Bar width

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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djconnel
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by djconnel

First, I think this is a great discussion, whether or not it is strictly compliant with the subject.

On this point I strongly agree. The same applies to front end stiffness arguments. Climbing is mostly aerobic, and I want to use mostly large, less easily fatigued, muscles to carry the load, not my skinny arms which cry out for mercy at the slightest insult. Better to be smooth, balanced, relaxed and let my legs do the heavy lifting. They're more than up to the task, since the limiting factor is my heart and lungs.

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WMW
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by WMW

11.4 wrote:If you want to race, or ride really hard, you better have solid core strength or you will have back problems and hip problems, which turn into knee problems, shoulder problems, and generally shitty riding performance.


Nope. The key is to learn how to ride without holding tension in your core. *That* is what causes problems. It's important to be relaxed and have good posture... especially if your activity lasts 5+ hours.

If the race or ride is short and intense, and requires some upper body strength (MTB, track, cross), then of course you may feel some discomfort at first if you haven't trained for it.
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by Weenie


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Tapeworm
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by Tapeworm

KWalker wrote:...although they tend to do some core work in the off-season, but strictly for cross training purposes and because they lose basic human functionality by sitting on a bike for 25-35hrs a week and then on the couch recovering. For them its just about ensuring that they don't lose some very basic human abilities...



This.

Its why I like to lift and encourage riders to do so. It has nothing to do with improving power on the bike, core muscles, aesthetics, it's about ensuring they don't break doing everything *other* than cycling, like putting your back out lifting a pot plant (Brad McGee reference there :lol: )


@Imaking20 strength *is* important in BJJ but it is a rather different sport, maximal and sub maximal application of force occurs a lot more than cycling. But the "trunk" muscles are no more or less important than any other. The body is one piece and any weakness or imbalance will be more likely to fatigue and or injure.
"Physiology is all just propaganda and lies... all waiting to be disproven by the next study."
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KWalker
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by KWalker

BJJ rounds are also much shorter any bike race save for the track stuff. At least they were when I did MMA and back then 5 minute rounds seemed like for god damned ever.
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boots2000
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by boots2000

One thing to consider about bar width is your preferred climbing position.
Those who Prefer to climb on the tops may want their bars to be wider- it just feels good on the tops.
Those who climb on the hoods may be able to get away with a narrower bar. They don't use the tops very much.

11.4
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by 11.4

I'd like to see the power profiles for those who say core doesn't count. I'm glad you all feel that way. It's nice to have people to beat in races.

benzooki
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by benzooki

I've just bought some 38's, I usually ride a 42 and I'm 6ft.
They where so cheap and light I thought I may as well give it a go and see how I get on.

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Tapeworm
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by Tapeworm

11.4 wrote:I'd like to see the power profiles for those who say core doesn't count. I'm glad you all feel that way. It's nice to have people to beat in races.


You can see mine in the training thread.

Of course my poor power makes you right. Keep up with the crunches.
"Physiology is all just propaganda and lies... all waiting to be disproven by the next study."
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG

BdaGhisallo
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by BdaGhisallo

Last week I switched out my 42s for a set of 40s and, so far, my n=1 experiment is going very well. On the first ride they felt really narrow and by the third they felt completely normal. They feel better and I feel like I have more control when out of the saddle.

Count me as a convert.

nathanong87
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by nathanong87

i just went from 42 to 40. works well enough. i'll race on 40s this season. im short though, and probably should have been on 40s anyways. 5'7 here.

edit: actually bought my 40s from 11.4 up there haha

CXrider
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by CXrider

Anyone has some experiences with narrow handlebars like 36 or 38 c-c?

spdntrxi
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by spdntrxi

I've ridden my wifes bike a number of times with 38's.. I normally use 42.. it's no so different. For a time I was using Enve Aero Road bar in 42 and it's actually like 37 on the hoods.. maybe that's why 38 didn't feel so odd.

11.4
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by 11.4

There are several long threads about narrow handlebar widths. You might search those out.

Basically, the idea behind narrow bars is that you are pulling up in line with the force applied downwards on the pedals. You don't need wide leverage to exert more power, and you actually lose some. And the argument that wide bars open up your chest and let you breathe more is simply bogus for most people -- all you do is rotate your arms at the shoulder socket and spread the hands wider. Better to keep your position narrow and efficient, then go out a centimeter or two longer on the stem so you raise your rib cage higher which gives your lungs more room to expand. The track world has really embraced narrow bars, and the trend in road bikes is narrower -- a number of pros rode 44 cm bars when they were trendy and now are riding 38's.

Almost all riders will feel uncomfortable with any change in position, but almost all will adapt to a new position. If you aren't one of those, you may want to stick where you are, but the response to narrow bars tends to be more positive than negative. Your opinion may always differ, of course.

dogg
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by dogg

i went from 44 to 40 and now 38. and i can't praise the narrow width enough. id even consider 36mm at this point. riding in the drops or out of the saddle, or "sprinting" feels much much better for me. it was a revelation. i would certainly consider going narrower if i could find something with a reasonable amount of drop. another thing of note is that (to my surprise) with the narrower bars i was able to hold the bike much more steady under me, with the wider bars i often found my front wheel "wandering" under heavy efforts (think jens voight) and once i went narrower i immediately noticed i was holding much more steady and straight while putting in big efforts, seated or standing. the only downside I've experienced is that you loose some space on the bar tops but i haven't found it to be much of a problem as i rarely use that position.

another thing to note is that you will probably want a longer stem if you go narrower with your bars. when your hands get closer together the reach of your arms gets longer. i went from a 100 to 120 and now a 130mm stem with each step down in bar width.

by Weenie


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BeeSeeBee
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by BeeSeeBee

Sure the reach gets longer, but not dramatically so. I would have 7mm less reach going from a 42 to a 38, nowhere near anything to require a 30mm stem length difference.

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