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Handlebar width


RodTi
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Hello all,

 

[i vaguely remember a topic on this a while ago - tried the search option and found zip. If someone can refer me to the correct link, then this will be short and sweet.]

 

On this week's Supercycling, saw the short clip about Mr Tattoo(?) measuring the two Epic wannabe's in order to get their bike setup's right.

 

I realise that they were only showing snippets, and thus there might be more to it, but can someone assist with the following pertaining to handlebar width:

 

1.] How important is it to have right width? I can understand how you might not want your hands too close together, since this might potentially close up your chest i.e. lungs, but why is it NB not to have them too far apart?

 

2.] How do you measure your back? Mr Tattoo(?) appeared to simply drape a string from collar-bone(??) to collar-bone(??). Where exactly is the measurement done from?

 

3.] Am I correct in assuming that the type of bar you have [flat/riser] is irrelevant - that (for instance) with a riser bar, you needn't worry about the shape of the bar - you simply take your back measurement and ''pull'' it in a straight line from end to end, in order to see how much needs to be taken off both ends?

 

4.] Is it a simple case of taking a hacksaw to carbon fibre? Or is there a special manner to do it in order to avoid the carbon fibre ''strands'' from running/tearing...

 

5.] Can this be done at home with someone who has a vague notion of DIY-ness about him...

 

6.] Lastly - I have Giant non-slip/locked grips on my handlebar, and noticed the very small allen screw on the ends. Is it a simple matter of unscrwewing those to get the grips off? Twist and pull? No twisting at all? Keeping in mind the handlebar is carbon fibre?

 

Apologies for the mini-thesis here Embarrassed - but me thinks it's better to get as many questions out the way upfront, than rather having to pop them in during the course of the [hopefully] discussion....

 

Thanks again!

 
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Ok...

 

I found the link with more concerted searching...

 

It was Mampara that wanted to make his bars narrower.

TitusTi had a few things to say about that.

As did The Thug, Mintsauce and Dirt rider.

 

 

And now I am no longer so sure.

I just assumed that it was important to get the handlebar width right.

But the guys in the know seem to think it really depends on what you're comfortable with....

 

Which begs the question, how do you know whether you're comfortable with something, if you've only ever tried one width...

 

Then again - don't always believe everything you see on TV [super Cycling a la Mr Tattoo(?)]...

 

But uhm... also - don't always believe everything you read!

 

So - right about now, any advice would be appreciated.

 

The story as I have it, is that in the one thread dedicated to handlebar width, opinion was very much divided about whether or not to do it... And yet - on plenty of other, unrelated threads, the correct handlebar width was constantly mentioned as being vital in ensuring for the correct set-up of your bike.

 

So which is it now?
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When i got my Ritchey road bars recently the old man at the bike shop said they were too narrow for my shoulder width.  I just smiled and said "oh". The bars were 44cm, as wide as they come.

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You're gonna have to try different ones....and if that means cutting your bar, we'll all hold thumbs that you like it better shorter as opposed to longer Thumbs%20Up

 

 

 
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You're gonna have to try different ones....and if that means cutting your bar' date=' we'll all hold thumbs that you like it better shorter as opposed to longer Thumbs%20Up

 

 

 
[/quote']

 

 

Fannnnnn-tastic! Big%20smile

How big a difference do you reckon bar width makes?

 

Cause I would be happy if someone could simply tell me that it's no big deal (a sound reason with that would be appreciated), and life will move on...
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"Mr Tattoo" is Geoff the Aussie from Logwood

why not email him and ask ? his website is  http://www.cultcycling.co.za/


 

Now there's an idea!

 

Thanks The Thug.

Will drop him a line right now...

 

Though if he mentions anything about the cricket....
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You're gonna have to try different ones....and if that means cutting your bar' date=' we'll all hold thumbs that you like it better shorter as opposed to longer Thumbs%20Up

 

 

 
[/quote']

 

 

Fannnnnn-tastic! Big%20smile

How big a difference do you reckon bar width makes?

 

Cause I would be happy if someone could simply tell me that it's no big deal (a sound reason with that would be appreciated), and life will move on...

 

Well....I'd be pretty pissed if i had to make do with a short bar now. I don't have very wide shoulders, but a narrow bar drastically restricts my 'feel' on the bike.

 

Don't like it at all.

 

Currently running 610mm....thinking of switching to 680mm. Gonna try a friend's 710mm bar to see how it feels.

 

I'd say rather too wide than too narrow.

 

Some way or another, you're going to have to try it.

 

 
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It can make a huge difference if its way too wide or narrow.

 

I was struggling with a muscle spasm just under my shoulder blade.  It would be at its worst after riding my mountain bike. 

 

When I had my setup re-done at my now favourite LBS they told me the handle bar was too wide for me.  He made it shorter and also changed the position of my gear levers and since then back has been fine and the bike feels more comfortable.   Did the same again with the bike I just bought. 

 

 
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It can make a huge difference if its way too wide or narrow.

 

I was struggling with a muscle spasm just under my shoulder blade.  It would be at its worst after riding my mountain bike. 

 

When I had my setup re-done at my now favourite LBS they told me the handle bar was too wide for me.  He made it shorter and also changed the position of my gear levers and since then back has been fine and the bike feels more comfortable.   Did the same again with the bike I just bought. 

 

 

 

Thanks Ratty...

 

 
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I like my 580mm Ritcheys now tha they are 560mm. A matter of fact is that i can not make them any shorter because there is no space for the levers to move to. everything is already at the point where the bars is going to oversize, not that i would want to either. 560mm is fine for me and I use 420mm road bars.

 

 
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Guest Big H

I like the wider handlebars on our MTB Tandem..... I feel like I am riding a Harley!!!!!!!! On the Road Tandem the drop bars are as wide as my shoulder and it works for me.

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Hello all...

For those who might be interested, Geoff replied this morning.

I hope he won't mind, but I include part of his reply below.

 

Makes for some interesting reading.... :

 

The width of your bars is directly related to the intended use of the bike.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Bar width influences cockpit length (the shortest distance between two points is a straight line) and if you ride with a bar that is so wide it looks like a giraffe drinking when you are on the bike then your cockpit will be too cramped, or your seating position will be too far forward over the bottom bracket.

For XC pedaling efficiency this also encourages bad pedaling habits like bridging (locking your elbows) and muscling (using brute force to fight your bike in rough stuff rather than finesse).

For XC use the ideal bar width is the distance between the two acromioclavicular joints. This distance will represent the midpoint on your grips.

A word of caution though, trim 5mm each side each week until you get to the desired width or you will be so un-nerved by the change you will develop a whole new bunch of bad habits to compensate for this.

Ride well and keep the rubber side down

Geoff the Aussie

Now... repeat after me: "Acromioclavicular joints..."

Try saying that quicly with three ping pong balls in your mouth!

 

 

 
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I prefer my bars narrower than the standard size, have this phobia about tree's and handle bars - no quicker way to dismount then when your bar end prefers the otherside of the tree / branch...

 

Like Geof said, cut off a small amount at a time rather than too much trying to get it right the first time, once you have it right you will know it as it will feel just right.

 

Ive found that too narrow = uncomfortable hands (pain behind the little finger / outside of hand) and less control at low speed.

 
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Thanks SV...

 

Either ways - I'm not going to rush into anything...

Am first going to go home and find my "Acromioclavicular joints"... since apparently, not only do I actually have those, but I need them too!Wink
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