Re: Road standard or over size handle email@example.com (Anthony Buglio) wrote:
> I'm building up a new road bike. Does anyone have some information on the plus or minus of using a
> standard size or an over size handle bar.
The point of a 31.8mm bar is to stiffen the most highly stressed area near the stem, so that
thinner-walled material can be used. Since all the available bars in this center size are
lightweight aluminum and grooved along their lengths, they will still wag and flex annoyingly, just
like any other lightweight, grooved aluminum drop bar. Thus the "advantage" conferred by the larger
diameter is neutralized by the same marketing-driven design that brought it into existence.
The virtue of a 31.8 stem, if there is one, is that it may be shimmed to accept any smaller
handlebar, which is to say all of them: 28.6,
26.4, 26.0, 25.4, 25.0, 23.8, and 22.2mm. It's a virtue of only esoteric interest, but it's there.
If you want the stiffness advantage that a 31.8mm bar purports to confer, use a 26.0 or 25.4 all
round-section drop bar with a thick wall; the more over 300g you go the stiffer it will be. Steel
drops are by far the stiffest.
If enhanced stiffness doesn't concern you, use any 25.4 or 26.0 bar and stem that tickle your fancy.