Handlebar width



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dannyfrankszzz

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Mar 8, 2003
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I was watching some cycling on telly the other day and the cyclists had what appeared to be really wide handlebars when they were cycling. Presumably this is to help get more leverage when sprinting.

Does anyone know the actual width that they use?
 
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Pete Biggs

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dannyfrankszzz wrote:
> I was watching some cycling on telly the other day and the cyclists had what appeared to be really
> wide handlebars when they were cycling. Presumably this is to help get more leverage when
> sprinting.

Yes, and also possibly to expand the lungs, plus they (or at least I find they) help with control
when cornering fast. Bars do need to be basically in proportion to shoulder width but wider bars are
more popular (or fashionable?) in general now. My 1985 touring bike came with 40cm (o-o) drop bars,
and that was with a large frame as well; early bikes with drops had even narrower bars. You don't
see that now. A lot of bog-standard complete road bikes come with 46cm as standard now (or at least
no smaller than 44).

I've just switched from 44 to 46cm myself. The extra width helps me a lot when out of the saddle and
also increases the reach to the drops and hoods. This can enable the use of a shorter reach stem (if
you like) so you get more of a difference between tops and drops (making the tops nearer for a more
upright position for climbing, etc), and also provides more sideways scope on the tops. Arms and
shoulders are not so relaxed on the hoods though - so there's a bit of a dilema whether to continue
with them or not.

> Does anyone know the actual width that they use?

I don't know for sure but I would think mostly 46, with a few 48cm, and with the smaller riders
using 44cm.

(All above measurements are overall total width from bar end to bar end,
ie. "outside to outside". Subtract 2cm for "centre to centre").

~PB
 
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GearóId Ó Laoi

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it's only fashion really. They use 44 or 46 etc.

Narrow bars are no problem if you're used to them.
 
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