What road handlebar width

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by pudster, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. pudster

    pudster New Member

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    I was wondering what handle bar widths people use for their road bikes. Some places use the shoulder width as a bar width but others seem to use wider bars. I use to use 40cm bars in the old days but now I use 44cm bars.:confused:
     
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  2. PSR

    PSR New Member

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    Shoulder width is correct for a couple of reasons:

    1. Aerodynamics. Going wider than the shoulder width is a disadvantage aerodynamically. You present a wider and less advantageous frontal area than if you were at shoulder width.

    2. Probably more important - Proper opening of the chest cavity. This applies more if someone is trying to go narrower than shoulder width. If you're too narrow, you won't be able to breathe as efficiently.

    Many stock bikes come with an arbitrarily chosen handlebar - based on the average shoulder width for the person that bike is sized to fit. However, it is not uncommon for a bike shop to measure your shoulder width when they're doing a fitting to ensure you're getting the correct width.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. eddiebrannan

    eddiebrannan New Member

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    why is this posted twice?
     
  4. rtsy

    rtsy New Member

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    Aside from handlebr width, consider depth. An LBS recently fitted me with shallow depth handlebar which allows me to stay on the (more efficient to me at least) drop longer.
     
  5. armchair_spacem

    armchair_spacem New Member

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    Good-point - drop depth/height is also important - I have large hands so need a deep drop bar for comfort and control. That said you can go too deep - if drops are too deep for your hands, you might have trouble reaching brake and gear controls from the drops (at least with a conventional lever-tip-aligned-with-straight-edge-on-the-flats setup).
    As to width, it's partly a personal preference issue, but go narrow and aerodynamics are improved at the expense of stability and breathing room, go wide and you're more stable with more breathing room at the expense of aerodynamics. Bars to suit shoulder width (remember it's AC joint to AC joint) is a middle ground that suits most folks (either that or we've all adapted to suit).
     
  6. drewski

    drewski New Member

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    aside from the width and drop, the brand/model of bar can alter the shape.

    the 3T Zepp bar that came with my bike had the drops curving slightly outward as you got to the bottom of the bars.

    when i switched to a 2cm wider ritchey wcs bar, i noticed that the bar ends were 2cm different as spec'd, but the drops where the shifters attach were 4cm wider.
     
  7. retrogeek

    retrogeek New Member

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    I prefer 44cm (c-c) bars. There are soo many different bends and drops on the market now that it is really hard to recommend one bar specifically.

    As with all things in cycling there are soo many choice of options that the only real solution to choosing components is to test ride them or at least check them physically at a bike shop, this is one reason, of many, why supporting your LBS is such a good idea!

    I personally use the Ritchey Biomax Pro bars. They give you more available options as to hand positions for long rides. And they seem to help the problem of numbing in the hands. I am also a climber, not a sprinter, so aerodynamics are not as important as comfort and breathing.
     
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