Handlebar Width?

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by cybersnow, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. cybersnow

    cybersnow Senior Tavern Member

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    i recently replaced the flatbar handlebar on my commuter bike. The handlebar just seems too long. I have been looking around for guidance and can’t find a lot of info other than;
    1. The width of your shoulders (22”)
    2. The width of your pedals (20”)
    3. Do a push-up and measure the outside of your hands (24”)
    4. The bigger the better, don’t cut it (750mm or ~29”)
    5. As small as possible, stacking up brakes, gears, etc. (?)

    Any of you bike shop techs have some advice?
     
    John_V likes this.
  2. i12ride

    i12ride Spin Spin Spin Tavern Member

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    I would say hold out your arms holding the new bar in a comfortable stance where your arms go straight down to bar or maybe spread a small amount, but not spread eagle feeling, then trim same amount from both sides. I would recommend a bit less than it seems you need to trim and trim again if still feels too wide. Of course you don't want to crowd bars too far in and such either. Kind of balancing act depending on how wide you are starting with and how much you have before bars get wider near stem. The bars on the my Stache7 were 760mm and my arms were just spread too far where it made my pecks ache after a good ride. I trimmed them down to 730mm with a pipe cutter for nice clean perpendicular cut. Made huge difference. Doesn't seem like much but it was still good for torque trying to steer a 29x3.0 tire and I didn't feel all spread out.
     
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  3. superj

    superj still learning Tavern Member

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    from what I have read, its supposed to be your shoulder width +2". i also got the same info from the guy who designed one of the recumbents i ride because i was asking why they chose the bar width the bikes came with.
     
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  4. cybersnow

    cybersnow Senior Tavern Member

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    You both make a lot of sense. Just bought a tubing cutter, will go down to 26” and take the bike for a ride. There are 29 er wheels with 38mm gravel tires so I will see how it rides, if still a little long will go down to 24”. Thanks
     
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  5. i12ride

    i12ride Spin Spin Spin Tavern Member

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    I'm avg 6' and not really any wide extra shoulders or anything and my comfort zone is around 27" give or take an inch or so. 26" and especially 24" feels really narrow to me. If your bars are 29" now, I would try 1/2 or 3/4" off each side and see how it feels before going too much. Things went from way wide to just right only trimming 15mm off each side of my 760mm bars. I was glad I didn't take whole inch off each side at a time. This isn't carpentry so measure twice cut once doesn't apply, lol. Sneak up on it is my advice.
     
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  6. cybersnow

    cybersnow Senior Tavern Member

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    Thanks, sounds like good advice. I am thinking of taking off the grips and moving brakes and shifters around until it feels “right”. Not sure how long that is...ha ha. But the idea is not to cut anything until I am happy with the feel. Then cut so the grips fit.
     
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  7. cwtch

    cwtch Well-Known Member

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    I ride fairly wide bars for techy stuff. But on a gravel bike would probably just go with something that felt comfy.
    My personal opinion is no formula will work because riding style and hand positioning on a flat bar bike has very little to do with shoulder width.
     
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  8. cybersnow

    cybersnow Senior Tavern Member

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    I like really wide bar on my MTB, due to maneuvering around obstacles, sticks, etc. But riding the commuter on bike paths with other bikes felt that the stock width was a little wide and I want to avoid a collision by handlebars, if that makes sense.
     
  9. rynoman03

    rynoman03 Moderator Mod Team Tavern Member

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    I'm riding 800mm wide bars and I only rubber MTB. So I'm just gonna sit here and watch lol.
     
  10. cybersnow

    cybersnow Senior Tavern Member

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    Ok, here is what happened. I cut my commuter bike down and still didn’t like it. So I bought a totally different bike.
     
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  11. i12ride

    i12ride Spin Spin Spin Tavern Member

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    Not sure why.....OK that was a lie...........but I like the logic employed here.........has nothing to do with n + 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9..................