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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:29 pm
Posts: 16
Hi everyone..

Need help to find best handlebar for my Trek Madone 54cm frame. I'm 5.84 ft tall (1.76 mt).. Actually I have a Bontrager RXL carbon handlebar, 44mm wide, but kind of feel it a bit big for me. I have a 90mm stem, planning also to change for a 70 or 80 mm stem.
My concern is if there is a standard size of handlebars by a given frame size?? For example bike companies built a 52cm frame with a 40mm wide handlebar, and a 54cm frame with a 42mm handlebar??
Sorry for my ignorance, but I have searched for this answer and haven't find a positive answer..

Thanks for ur commentsImageImage


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:31 am 
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in the industry

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:34 pm
Posts: 179
Location: South Florida
measure the width of your shoulders (center-to-center) and go with the closest size from there. My shoulders are 41cm and ride a 42cm bar

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Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:31 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:37 am
Posts: 270
no one can really give you answer for this, not everyone is built with the same proportions, not everyone likes their bars the same width as their shoulders.

if 44 feels big - go smaller, id pick up some cheap alloy bars in various widths before you go spending a bunch on a pair of carbon bars that might not work for you.

just my $0.02


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:54 am 
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Thks for ur comments. My concern also goes around if I go to a Trek dealer and I buy a bike, and choose a 54cm, will it be the same width of a 56 or 58?? I had my 1st madone in 2010, and that built was perfect. Sold the bike and now I built this one by my own.
I will follow both recommendations, measure my shoulder, and probably I will be trying a 42 handlebar..

I'll be back with my shoulder's measurements..


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:51 pm
Posts: 302
Narrower bars and shorter stem will give a faster steering response, I think 42cm and 100m stem is a good balance


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 349
Location: Hull
at 1.78m I ride 54cm frame with 14cm stem and 40cm bars.
for training I ride 38cm.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Posts: 1760
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
A good LBS will swap bars on a new bike to get you fit to your preference.

I'm 6' (183cm) tall and use 40cm bars measured C-C. I have narrow shoulders.

There are two different ways to measure bar width- outer to outer and center to center. C-C is more common. O-O gives a number about 2cm wider than C-C on the same bars. A 40cm C-C is about the same as a 42cm O-O. Also some bar bends are narrower at the bend than at the end of the bar where the measurement is traditionally taken.

When setting reach, note that bar reach to the levers varies quite a bit- some compact bars are in the 72mm range while others may be as much as 90mm. I set the bar position by where the levers and drops are since that's where my hands are most of the time. With compact bars I use a longer stem set lower.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:19 pm 
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Sounds like you need a decent bike fit! Before settling on an ideal bar/stem combo you need to ensure you have the saddle:BB position set correctly and that you have an idea of your ideal bar height - i.e. do you need to cut your steerer/use a stem with a significant rise/drop. Only then can you really start to consider stem length.

Bar width is easier in that much wider or narrower than shoulder width is usually uncomfortable. Unless you are more than usually broad/narrow at the shoulders, at 5ft 8 you are looking at either 40 or 42. After that it's a matter of compact/ergo/classic shape to get the reach, drop and feel that you prefer.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:51 pm 
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Completely agree - start with a proper bike fit. That will ensure you have a solid starting point. A good fitter can also let you play around with different bars while you are there to see what feels good. Fitters will suggest things, but it's up to you to decide what feels right - you are going to riding the bike, not them :-)

And certainly be sure you are dialed in (bike fit + time on the road for small tweaks) before dropping big money on carbon bars.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:30 pm 
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Location: by Crystal Springs (Sawyer Creek Trail)
a 42 feels great for me. I've gone to really narrow bars like 38 and 40s for aero, but they don't have the control during descents and sprints. anything bigger than 42 feels really odd, almost as if I'm trying to make my chest a parachute. also feels a bit awkward out of the saddle


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:49 pm 
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Location: The Taint of the USA!
A proper bike fit is going to be the key to determining what works for you. I'm surprised the shop let you walk out without fitting you on the bike. Every shop I've bought from have done at least a basic fitting. Normally, I'd suggest you get a 42cm bar, but I'm not sure if that would work for you, since I don't know your measurements. If you are narrower up top, you'll need a 40cm. As for stems, that's dependant on other measurements. My suggestion is to get at least a basic fitting done, so you know what you need. Also, keep those measurements stored away, so you can use them to measure other bikes you buy later on.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:17 am 
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Hi everyone, finally I went to LBS today, and immediately accepted that handlebar was too big for me. Think they were most focused on selling than really taking care of my needs.
Shamefully in my country Honduras there is no proper bike fittings and asked my LBS and didn't feel them very secure of what all that really takes.. Probably they give just the basics fits to recommend an specific built..
For now, my immediate option is keep trying different sizes, but I will follow many recommendations shared here, and will be working around a 42cm bar that will be provided temporarily by LBS to give it a try. It a used one and alloy. Think it will be the same fit as in a carbon. Hope it is!
Also did my research of fits and some measurments on my shoulder, and everything takes me to a 42cm bar, but need to try first before spending usd$300 in a bar.. Once I have the correct size my LBS will order my correct size, but it will take about 30 days to come.. So i will be stucked with an alloy bar this days.



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:26 am 
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justkeepedaling wrote:
a 42 feels great for me. I've gone to really narrow bars like 38 and 40s for aero, but they don't have the control during descents and sprints. anything bigger than 42 feels really odd, almost as if I'm trying to make my chest a parachute. also feels a bit awkward out of the saddle
dear just keeppedaling: what frame size you have? Is it 54?? I shared my size, but of course every body has different dimensions of size, especially on legs, chest, arms, etc.. But to give an idea of my sizing I use Medium on all my bike clothings.. Well, lately I have been forced to use some large size shirts because of my belly and some overweight.. But my mountain bike is Medium, road bike 54 or 53.. I used also a fitting in Canyon bike's website, and results were from a 53 frame..
I hope you are in my same size range, and if you use 42cm bars, it can also be good for me. But insist I need to try it 1st


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:08 am 
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Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:08 am 


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:27 am 
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Im 5f 9 and ride a 42 as they are the most comfortable for me on my weekend bike and for commute i ride a 40 as riding in London warrants it.
At the end of the day its whats comfortable for you.


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