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What bar width are you running for AM?


wesley_r
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Attention trail / all-mountain riders - what bar width are you running? I switched to 780mm wide BooBars a little while ago. I found the control on the descents incredible but they felt a tiny bit akward while climbing. I am considering switching to the new Holzfellers (which are 730mm wide, going for 20mm rise) for a bit of weight saving and a bit less of an extreme width, but I have to say lately I've been getting used to climbing with the BooBars so now I'm 2nd guessing myself :P

 

What bars and width are you running? What do you think, does 730mm sound like the perfect compromise?

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I am running Spank Spike 777's CUT DOWN to 750mm ... but to be honest they may still be too wide for AM ... also contemplating cutting down to 730!

 

Saw that brendan and sam run 730mm renthals for DH ... i'd say 710 is just too narrow and 750 is on the maximum ...

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i would stop at 710 as well. bars on me XC bike are 690mm and they feel way too narrow. DH bike is 760mm, and pretty comfy. So once i get some renthals, I'll stick the current boobar onto the XC bike and trim down to 750mm, and further in 10mm decrements if required, until I'm happy. (happy meaning riding it for a week or so before trimming further).

 

On the whole though, it's all personal preference. Like shock settings, set, ride, reset: rinse and repeat. Same for bar widths. I rode the boobars stock at 780mm for about a month before I noted I just wasnt comfortable that wide. It's great for hitting the rough stuff, but i felt stretched with reduced cockpit movement.

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Wow, is Sam only running 730mm for DH... that's pretty narrow by his standards.

 

I'm running 780mm (1/2" rise) Answer Pro Tapers on my DH bike. Probably a little too wide... thinking of cutting down to 760mm. 700mm (1" rise) Spank Royalas on my jump bike, and when I had a FR/Am bike I was running 720mm (1.5" rise) Race Face Diablous.

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So wide bars are the trend and once you get the right width for you then they are they way to go.

 

A couple of questions though:

  • I would be interested to know how wide bars and rider perceived comfort correlate to the riders shoulder width
  • If the bar is going wider I would imagine the stem should be getting a little shorter too

I have a 680mm bar on the Shova and at first I thought it was just great (Used the bar first on the Scott MC), but in time my stem became shorter (60mm) and ever since I mounted the 150mm Revelation the bars just feel a little narrow.

 

RE the cutting down of the nice wide bars you currently have. Why don't you just move the grips inwards and ride with this for a little while until you think it is right, then mark or measure this position and take the grips out to the max width again, ride the bike again and see how she feels. Do this before cutting as once cut you can't go back.

 

Regards

Hairy

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hairy: sure, ride with them grips inboard, but the end caps on my grips then wont work,and I dont fancy being eye or groin hole-punched by my bars should/when I bail. And when you ride to test a width, it's best to ride it under conditions you normally would ride your bike. Parking lot test might not yield optimal results.

besides, once you know something is too wide, you take it down in small increments, 5mm either side and ride for a while.

 

As for wide bars are the trend, it really depends on the type of riding you do. Wide bars become a huge pain once the track gets all tight and twisty. But if you going for wide bars to try out, you still have recourse to original narrow ones should the experiment yield unsavoury results ;)

 

As for correlations between shoulder width and preferred bar width: I personally have never used that metric. I just cut them down till I was happy.

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The groin hole-puncture is good enough motivation in my mind to cut that puppy down with out having the end of the bars exposed!

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So wide bars are the trend and once you get the right width for you then they are they way to go.

 

A couple of questions though:

  • I would be interested to know how wide bars and rider perceived comfort correlate to the riders shoulder width
  • If the bar is going wider I would imagine the stem should be getting a little shorter too

I have a 680mm bar on the Shova and at first I thought it was just great (Used the bar first on the Scott MC), but in time my stem became shorter (60mm) and ever since I mounted the 150mm Revelation the bars just feel a little narrow.

 

RE the cutting down of the nice wide bars you currently have. Why don't you just move the grips inwards and ride with this for a little while until you think it is right, then mark or measure this position and take the grips out to the max width again, ride the bike again and see how she feels. Do this before cutting as once cut you can't go back.Regards

Hairy

 

Hey Hairy,

 

Unlike the old road-style measurements where your bar width matches your shoulder width (which for some reason many MTB riders still cling to and i cant imagine why) ... as the MTB bars are obviously not curved like road bars you can go to wider widths which will increase your stability at high speeds. So it actually has more to do with your arm length than your shoulder width (I'd say). Personally i have narrow shoulders but long arms and to get the right elbow bend for my riding style i can only ride a minimum 680mm wide bar. Any narrower and my wrists start to bend in and it becomes uncomfy ...

 

As you said the shorter the stem the wider you think the bars need to be ... this is due to the steering being A) more direct and B. your bars are now a couple of cm closer than previously and you will be a bit more cramped in your shoulders and your wrists will be angling in ... the wider bar negates this ... HOWEVER if you have a long toptube with a long stem the wide bar is not for you as you will be reaching too much for the grips (See all the youth DH riders running massive 780 bars and stretching with straight elbows to try reach them - STUPID) ....

 

Then the comment on moving in your grips to find the desired position - EXACTLY RIGHT - best way to do it - ride it at max width for a week or 2 and get used to it - then change to a narrower setting and try - then set it back and compare .. then cut! I'm about to set my Spikes to 730 just to see if its better for climbing ... will let you know

Edited by nigelhicks
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Rode 711 on my Mbuzi and Ibis SL. Went with 740 when I got my HD, but have since trimmed them to 730mm. Coupled with the 65mm its perfect for me.

 

I would say no less than 710, but closer to 720 - 730 depending on stem length and indented purpose.

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780 mm boo bars. 60 mm stem. Hard tail single speed. 170 mm fork. And it goes down hill like a rocket. Jumps like a startled rabbit. And climbs like am amputee. Ha ha, seriously though the wide bars help a lot. But I did hit a fallen tree on fairy garden on sunday. Nearly broke my finger.

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Okay, so this is not a "do not dare to run bar ends on riser bars" kinda reply. But do yourself, and that bike, a favor and try a wider bar. For the riding that bike is suppose to do 610 is WAAAAAAYYYY too narrow. Either that or you are doing mostly XC rides.

 

Even so, go AT LEAST 680mm and thank me later.

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