Why do handlebars need to be so wide?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Hull Fulweiler, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. I'm considering shortening my handlebars on a hybrid I use to get around
    town and occasionally ride for exercise. I figure that I'll be able to
    squeeze pass stopped cars more easily and be more aerodynamic. I've heard
    that having your hands close together makes it harder to breath but I ride
    this way frequently and never noticed it myself. Can somebody talk me out
    of this?

    Hull Fulweiler
     
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  2. maxo

    maxo Guest

    On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 19:12:06 +0000, Hull Fulweiler wrote:

    > I'm considering shortening my handlebars on a hybrid I use to get around
    > town and occasionally ride for exercise. I figure that I'll be able to
    > squeeze pass stopped cars more easily and be more aerodynamic. I've heard
    > that having your hands close together makes it harder to breath but I ride
    > this way frequently and never noticed it myself. Can somebody talk me out
    > of this?
    >
    > Hull Fulweiler


    No, I've hacksawed many a city handlebar. :D Start with an inch or two and
    see how it feels. Replacement straight bars are cheap if you screw up. LOL

    better yet replace them with something classier and more comfy for city
    riding:

    http://store.yahoo.com/momovelo/nialbar.html

    and my favourite, the classic 3speed "dove" bar
    http://store.yahoo.com/momovelo/rifaba.html
     
  3. S o r n i

    S o r n i Guest

    Hull Fulweiler wrote:
    > I'm considering shortening my handlebars


    No wonder they're so wide. You're using more than ONE.

    Bill "pet peeve" S.
     
  4. maxo

    maxo Guest

    On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 19:28:43 +0000, S o r n i wrote:

    > Hull Fulweiler wrote:
    >> I'm considering shortening my handlebars

    >
    > No wonder they're so wide. You're using more than ONE.
    >
    > Bill "pet peeve" S.


    You're the guy who likes a pleated pant as well, not to mention your chain
    link fent.

    LOL
     
  5. Roger Zoul

    Roger Zoul Guest

    Hull Fulweiler wrote:
    || I'm considering shortening my handlebars on a hybrid I use to get
    || around town and occasionally ride for exercise. I figure that I'll
    || be able to squeeze pass stopped cars more easily and be more
    || aerodynamic. I've heard that having your hands close together makes
    || it harder to breath but I ride this way frequently and never noticed
    || it myself. Can somebody talk me out of this?
    ||
    || Hull Fulweiler

    I thought wider handlebars gave better control.
     
  6. Hull Fulweiler wrote:
    > I'm considering shortening my handlebars on a hybrid I use to get
    > around town and occasionally ride for exercise. I figure that I'll
    > be able to squeeze pass stopped cars more easily and be more
    > aerodynamic. I've heard that having your hands close together makes
    > it harder to breath but I ride this way frequently and never noticed
    > it myself. Can somebody talk me out of this?
    >
    > Hull Fulweiler


    I'm going to shorten a pair of my handlebars in just a few minutes, I've
    done it before with good results.
    I like my hands to be slightly closer together than my shoulders. The
    handling is different but doesn't take much getting used to. The benefits
    are comfort, aerodynamics, maneuverability in traffic and I guess a weight
    benefit as well.
     
  7. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "Hull Fulweiler" <[email protected]> wrote in news:aOxNc.141863$OB3.1962
    @bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net:
    > I'm considering shortening my handlebars on a hybrid I use to get around
    > town and occasionally ride for exercise. I figure that I'll be able to
    > squeeze pass stopped cars more easily and be more aerodynamic.


    They don't need to be so wide. Mountain bikers regularly hack saw an inch or
    two off of each end of their handlebars. A wide bar improves slow speed
    maneuverability, but many people (especially skinnier people) are happy with
    somewhat narrower bars. Try moving your grips inward first. Don't cut until
    you find a nice position for all the terrain types you experience.
     
  8. DRS

    DRS Guest

    "Hull Fulweiler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm considering shortening my handlebars on a hybrid I use to get
    > around town and occasionally ride for exercise. I figure that I'll
    > be able to squeeze pass stopped cars more easily and be more
    > aerodynamic.


    If you want to be more aerodynamic put on clip-on aero bars. A couple of
    centimetres won't make any noticeable difference.

    > I've heard that having your hands close together makes
    > it harder to breath


    Not on a hybrid it doesn't. You're typically talking about going from a
    58cm flat/riser bar to a 56cm flat bar, not a 40cm to 38cm drop bar. No way
    it's going to adversely effect your breathing.

    > but I ride this way frequently and never noticed
    > it myself. Can somebody talk me out of this?


    It's not such a big deal. It'll cost you a few dollars for a new bar and
    about 30 minutes to swap everything over. If you don't like it put
    everything back the way it was.

    --

    A: Top-posters.
    Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?
     
  9. Garth Vader

    Garth Vader Guest

    > Can somebody talk me out of this?
    >
    > Hull Fulweiler


    Ok, Don't do it!!! Whatever you do, don't do that!!
     
  10. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Guest

    On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 19:12:06 GMT, "Hull Fulweiler"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm considering shortening my handlebars on a hybrid I use to get around
    >town and occasionally ride for exercise. I figure that I'll be able to
    >squeeze pass stopped cars more easily and be more aerodynamic. I've heard
    >that having your hands close together makes it harder to breath but I ride
    >this way frequently and never noticed it myself. Can somebody talk me out
    >of this?
    >
    >Hull Fulweiler
    >


    Go for it. It's your bike, make it work how you want it to work. I've
    used a tubing cutter with good results.

    If your hybrid has riser bars- not uncommon- the only thing to watch
    out for is if your brake levers will be able to slide in far enough.
    Loosen them up and see where the bend of the riser stops them- pay
    attention to rotation because this also affects how far they can go
    in.

    If you have flat bars, I've seen people with them cut off very short,
    so the brakes slide all the way to the bulge. A bit much for me, but
    it must make cutting between cars easier.
     
  11. On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 18:55:17 -0700, Dan Daniel
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >If you have flat bars, I've seen people with them cut off very short,
    >so the brakes slide all the way to the bulge. A bit much for me, but
    >it must make cutting between cars easier.


    That'd be like riding on the tops of my drop bars all the time--not
    what I want when I'm in traffic.

    I have seen messengers do this, though, so I suppose this, as many
    other things, is a personal preference.

    -Luigi
     
  12. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Hull Fulweiler" <[email protected]> writes:
    > I'm considering shortening my handlebars on a hybrid I use to get around
    > town and occasionally ride for exercise. I figure that I'll be able to
    > squeeze pass stopped cars more easily and be more aerodynamic. I've heard
    > that having your hands close together makes it harder to breath but I ride
    > this way frequently and never noticed it myself. Can somebody talk me out
    > of this?


    Wide handlebars are ghastly when local regulations compel
    you to ride on the sidewalk when crossing a bridge.

    They can also get in the way when parking in a bike rack
    that already has other bikes in it.


    cheers,
    Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD
    Above address is just a spam midden.
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  13. > I'm considering shortening my handlebars on a hybrid I use
    > to get around town and occasionally ride for exercise.


    I shortened the handlebar on my folding MTB to make a smaller folded
    size, so it now has a 46cm flat bar, and it works fine for me.

    --
    Robots don't kill people -- people kill people.
    http://www.irobotmovie.com/
     
  14. Steve-o

    Steve-o Guest

    On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 19:18:03 GMT, maxo <[email protected]> wrote:

    >better yet replace them with something classier and more comfy for city
    >riding:
    >
    >http://store.yahoo.com/momovelo/nialbar.html
    >
    >and my favourite, the classic 3speed "dove" bar
    >http://store.yahoo.com/momovelo/rifaba.html



    A slightly different interpretation of the latter that I prefer, use,
    and love:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/handlebars.html

    (first one on the page)
    The grip positions are closer to parallel and easier on the wrists.

    Cheers,
    Steve "I want to be like Sheldon and put quotes in my sig too" -O
     
  15. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    "Hull Fulweiler" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > I'm considering shortening my handlebars on a hybrid I use to get around
    > town and occasionally ride for exercise. I figure that I'll be able to
    > squeeze pass stopped cars more easily and be more aerodynamic. I've heard
    > that having your hands close together makes it harder to breath but I ride
    > this way frequently and never noticed it myself.


    If that's what you like, go for it.

    But take a moment to reckon how far apart you place your hands when
    you push a shopping cart, or when you stand in front of a railing with
    your hands resting on it. That should give you an idea of your most
    natural spacing. Narrower than that has its advantages, as you point
    out, but there are control and comfort reasons that handlebars are
    wider than the minimum size necessary to fit grips and levers.

    Chalo Colina
     
  16. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 19:12:06 GMT, "Hull Fulweiler"
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I'm considering shortening my handlebars ... I figure that I'll be able to
    >squeeze pass stopped cars more easily ... Can somebody talk me out of this?


    Don't ride in the door zone, and your handlebar width will cease to
    be a problem. You will also significantly reduce your danger.
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  17. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Rick Onanian <[email protected]> writes:
    > On Tue, 27 Jul 2004 19:12:06 GMT, "Hull Fulweiler"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>I'm considering shortening my handlebars ... I figure that I'll be able to
    >>squeeze pass stopped cars more easily ... Can somebody talk me out of this?

    >
    > Don't ride in the door zone, and your handlebar width will cease to
    > be a problem. You will also significantly reduce your danger.


    I've got VWH. Didn't think much of anything of 'em, until I started
    talking about them here. Now they worry me. Especially at night,
    when drivers can't really see how wide they are.

    Ignorance is bliss.

    Tell ya what, tho': wide handlebars have a way of enforcing staying
    out of door zones. And off of sidewalks.


    cheers,
    Tom


    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD
    Above address is just a spam midden.
    I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
     
  18. Jon

    Jon Guest

    You're worried about squeezing between cars on a hybrid? Shouldn't you
    be on a fixie with sprint bars?

    Just curious

    Jon


    Hull Fulweiler wrote:
    > I'm considering shortening my handlebars on a hybrid I use to get around
    > town and occasionally ride for exercise. I figure that I'll be able to
    > squeeze pass stopped cars more easily and be more aerodynamic. I've heard
    > that having your hands close together makes it harder to breath but I ride
    > this way frequently and never noticed it myself. Can somebody talk me out
    > of this?
    >
    > Hull Fulweiler
    >
    >
     
  19. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 22:12:28 -0700, [email protected] (Tom Keats)
    wrote:
    >I've got VWH. Didn't think much of anything of 'em, until I started
    >talking about them here. Now they worry me. Especially at night,
    >when drivers can't really see how wide they are.


    It's easy at night with drop bars. Just put lights in the ends of
    'em; that makes them more obvious than in the daytime.

    There's probably lights that stick out the ends of flat bars, too.
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
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