Handlebar Width

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
sungod
Posts: 1462
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: it's raining, it must be uk

by sungod

it is simple trignometry to calculate the effective stem difference if all you change is width, but it's only going to be a few mm

if you are also changing to a new bar shape then throw all calculation out of the window, you introduce so many changes including preference for where your hand will sit that there's no point, just get the new bars then see if you want to change stem

personally i would go for the narrower

by Weenie


Lieblingsleguan
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:47 pm

by Lieblingsleguan

I am 45,5cm bone-to-bone measurement (so not shoulder width). I was handed out 46cm bars on my first road bike, yet I didn't like them. Found out that I like bars that are about 43cm wide (c-c) at the hoods. Measured width as manufacturer claim isn't always accurate. (3T Ergonova run narrow for example, Zipp SL-70 Ergo run wide).

wingguy
Posts: 3668
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:43 pm

by wingguy

3Pio wrote:I know it's personal preference, but trying to decide better one, without need to try both :) at the end.

Tough. If you wanna know which is definitely best, you'll have to try both! :wink:

So which one will have bigger chance to feel right?

Have you ever felt like you wanted to go narrower? Do you feel like you're always rolling your wrists in to try and get narrower arms when you're riding in an aero position? If the answer is no (and you've already said that you're comfy in your current 42 hoods bars) then why would you change?

The first thing the guy in that video said was that what is comfortable for you is most important. So just because the rule of thumb he explained next suggests that you might try a fractionally narrower bar (in a size that basically doesn't even exist) doesn't mean you need to get at all hung up about it. It's really not important. So chillax, go and ride your bike with the bar size you're happy with, and don't stress anything that some dude in an internet video says!

3Pio
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

wingguy wrote:
3Pio wrote:I know it's personal preference, but trying to decide better one, without need to try both :) at the end.

Tough. If you wanna know which is definitely best, you'll have to try both! :wink:

So which one will have bigger chance to feel right?

Have you ever felt like you wanted to go narrower? Do you feel like you're always rolling your wrists in to try and get narrower arms when you're riding in an aero position? If the answer is no (and you've already said that you're comfy in your current 42 hoods bars) then why would you change?

The first thing the guy in that video said was that what is comfortable for you is most important. So just because the rule of thumb he explained next suggests that you might try a fractionally narrower bar (in a size that basically doesn't even exist) doesn't mean you need to get at all hung up about it. It's really not important. So chillax, go and ride your bike with the bar size you're happy with, and don't stress anything that some dude in an internet video says!



There is another thing that i forgot to mention. The only thing that maybe i dont like 100% in my bike, is how it's handling on downhill. On tight turns sometimes i feel like im putting more effort then i want to follow to the tight turn. Like the handing is too slow.So i was also wondering if i go narrow handlebar if this feeling will become more lively, and better reactivity then i have now

TiCass
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:13 pm

by TiCass

Hawkwood wrote:
Wookski wrote:38 or 40mm is pro- even better if you get a longer stem. Wide bars are for old people and make bikes look ugly.


Lol, so like Boonen's 2016 Roubaix bike: Handlebar: FSA Energy, 44cm (c-c)


Yeah, but no.
http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/boo ... s-roubaix/

eric01
Posts: 517
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:06 am

by eric01

Don't over think. It's all about riding style and personal feel. If you want to experiment, get some cheap bars in wide and narrow off eBay or the bargain bin.
AX Lightness Vial Evo, Carl Strong Titanium

Stormtrooper
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:29 pm

by Stormtrooper

If you like climbing, I've heard that wider bars give you more leverage and stability when climbing out of the saddle

shimmeD
Posts: 366
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:52 pm
Location: eNZed

by shimmeD

Many have also said that wider bars allow you to breath better/freer when climbing. Bollocks to all those airy-fairy beliefs. I'm in the narrow-for-aero camp. It didn't get long to get used to 36 from 40, and I'd try narrower (if available) if it can get me a smaller frontal area.
Less is more.

Mep
Posts: 269
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 4:11 pm

by Mep

An important consideration is whether your elbows naturally bend outwards or inwards. A narrow handlebar will work better for the latter.

Hawkwood
Posts: 266
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:27 pm

by Hawkwood

TiCass wrote:
Hawkwood wrote:
Wookski wrote:38 or 40mm is pro- even better if you get a longer stem. Wide bars are for old people and make bikes look ugly.


Lol, so like Boonen's 2016 Roubaix bike: Handlebar: FSA Energy, 44cm (c-c)


Yeah, but no.
http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/boo ... s-roubaix/


On the basis of Boonen's results perhaps he was better on 44cm!

Fiery
Posts: 383
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:21 am

by Fiery

3Pio wrote:There is another thing that i forgot to mention. The only thing that maybe i dont like 100% in my bike, is how it's handling on downhill. On tight turns sometimes i feel like im putting more effort then i want to follow to the tight turn. Like the handing is too slow.So i was also wondering if i go narrow handlebar if this feeling will become more lively, and better reactivity then i have now

Most of the time you'll hear that narrower handlebars are more sensitive/less stable. Yet for me a narrower bar feels more stable and makes it easier to hold a line, while going wider feels more sensitive to inputs and can feel less secure at speed. Talking just about how steering feels, I find that going narrower with the bar feels somewhat similar to going longer with the stem, or having more trail. However, my experience seems to go against the common wisdom, so it would again be best if you could test multiple sizes to be able to tell for yourself.

But handlebar width and stem length are just details in the larger picture, and they cannot really change the main handling characteristics of the frame - and Colnagos with their relatively long front centers and lots of trail tend to steer somewhat slower than average.

3Pio
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

Fiery wrote:
3Pio wrote:There is another thing that i forgot to mention. The only thing that maybe i dont like 100% in my bike, is how it's handling on downhill. On tight turns sometimes i feel like im putting more effort then i want to follow to the tight turn. Like the handing is too slow.So i was also wondering if i go narrow handlebar if this feeling will become more lively, and better reactivity then i have now

Most of the time you'll hear that narrower handlebars are more sensitive/less stable. Yet for me a narrower bar feels more stable and makes it easier to hold a line, while going wider feels more sensitive to inputs and can feel less secure at speed. Talking just about how steering feels, I find that going narrower with the bar feels somewhat similar to going longer with the stem, or having more trail. However, my experience seems to go against the common wisdom, so it would again be best if you could test multiple sizes to be able to tell for yourself.

But handlebar width and stem length are just details in the larger picture, and they cannot really change the main handling characteristics of the frame - and Colnagos with their relatively long front centers and lots of trail tend to steer somewhat slower than average.




Thanks Fiery for ur post. I measured the handlebars i was using in past 3-4 years. on Pinarello FP3 Most Jaguar XR Alloy is 42.5 cm in hoods, and 42 cm in drops. Zipp Service Course SL-80 im using now (last year), on Colnago C60 is 42cm in hoods, 44 in drops.

So decided to experiment and to go with a bit narrower version. So i just oredred Easton EC90SLX3 in 42 cm size, which mean 40.5 cm in hoods, and 42 cm in drops.

And yes, the only thing i dont like about C60 is slow steering (or im still used of Pinarello FP3 steering, i had before). Will see how this will change (if change at all), with narrower handlebar.


Thanks a lot for everyone.

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milesthedog
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:21 pm

by milesthedog

I tried the Zipp and Enve narrow bars that flare out in the drops and opted for the Zipp aero road bar for the flat top and the 38cm width and honestly feel 2cm narrower-er would be just fine. for reference, I do a ton of climbing with long twisty descents

jpanspac
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:21 pm

by jpanspac

3Pio wrote:There is another thing that i forgot to mention. The only thing that maybe i dont like 100% in my bike, is how it's handling on downhill. On tight turns sometimes i feel like im putting more effort then i want to follow to the tight turn. Like the handing is too slow.So i was also wondering if i go narrow handlebar if this feeling will become more lively, and better reactivity then i have now


Handling depends primarily on your fork geometry (rake and trail) and the frame's head tube angle, not the handlebar width.
My favorite components are the ones I never have to think about.

BdaGhisallo
Posts: 1837
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:38 pm

by BdaGhisallo

jpanspac wrote: Handling depends primarily on your fork geometry (rake and trail) and the frame's head tube angle, not the handlebar width.



That is very true, but handlebar width does have an effect. All else being equal, a narrower bar should make the steering feel a little slower than would a wider bar.

by Weenie


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