Handlebar Width

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
3Pio
Posts: 868
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

Hi there.. As some of u know, few weeks ago i ordered a new handlebar, EASTON EC90SLX3. The handlebar came cracked , so now chainreactioncycles.com will send me a replacament.
In meanwhile i saw this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abbNEPP_Z94

Here they say i need width shoulders + 2 cm. My shoulders seem to be 39.5cm, so i based on this i need 41.5 cm in hoods

And now im confused which width do i need:

Cracked handlebar i oreder was 44cm, and If i order 44 cm again, i'll have 42.5 cm in hoods, 44 cm in drops.This will be 1 cm wider then i need

If i order 42 cm version, i'll have 40.5 cm in hoods, 42 cm in drops.This will be 1 cm narrower then i need.

I like to climb a lot, will use this handlebar with 110 mm stem, on Colnago C60 50s.

So which size to go? Wider 1 cm then i need , or Narrower 1 cm then i need?

Or to order something else which will be clear 42 cm in hoods?

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corky
Posts: 1180
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:53 pm
Location: The Surrey Hills

by corky

It's like saddles.......everyone's needs and preferences are different.....do you spend most time on the hoods? Do you sprint?...... there is no right or wrong answer.

My only comment is that a lot of people are realising narrower bars are a bit more aero but then again it's a trade off with stability.

Only you can decide on what suits you.

by Weenie


3Pio
Posts: 868
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

corky wrote:It's like saddles.......everyone's needs and preferences are different.....do you spend most time on the hoods? Do you sprint?...... there is no right or wrong answer.

My only comment is that a lot of people are realising narrower bars are a bit more aero but then again it's a trade off with stability.

Only you can decide on what suits you.


Flat parts: im using 65% hoods, 35% drops

Climbing: 70% hoods, 25% drops, 5% tops

Downhill: 75% drops, 25% hoods

I dont sprint that often, but when i do using hoods 60%, drops 40%

I know it's personal preference, but trying to decide better one, without need to try both :) at the end. So which one will have bigger chance to feel right? What is negative and positive sides of narrower, and what is the negative / positive sides of wider?

Forgot to add, that handlebar im using now is Zipp Service Course SL-80 (so the new one will be 5mm shorter reach), in 42cm hoods size, 44 cm in drops, and feel comfortable. But in same time i never had narrower (actually im using narrower BullHorn handlebar on my Fixie Pista Bike which im using for city, and is 38 cm. But totaly different kind of riding, and short distances so cant compare. ).

TiCass
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:13 pm

by TiCass

Positive for narrower:
More Aero (one of the best upgrade you can do)
More "agile" when you're in a pack.

Negative for narrower:
Minor lost of handling control power when out of the saddle.
Might need a longer stem to keep the same reach

Wookski
Posts: 698
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:51 am

by Wookski

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

mr4fox
Posts: 258
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 2:01 pm

by mr4fox

I'd get the narrower bars. I don't believe that the ideal bar width is related to your shoulder width. That's just a convenient ball park figure. Narrower is more aero. I changed from 44 to 42 and it felt completely normal within a week or so. I'd go for a 38 or 40 next time and my shoulders are over 42cm from acromion to acromion.

Tbh now I actually prefer the feel of the narrower bars.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Eclat
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:38 pm

by Eclat

I'm using 42 bars.

My shoulders are 43cm from acromion to acromion.

I had used 44 bars, but I feel more comfortable 42 bars.

It depend on users feeling I guess

BdaGhisallo
Posts: 1929
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 1:38 pm

by BdaGhisallo

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.


Now you're talking. With bars that narrow, your pedals would become the widest part on the bike and would be the factor limiting the gaps you could fit through!

Stueys
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:12 pm

by Stueys

I've recently gone down from a 44, to a 42 and then to a flared bar that gives me 40 on the hoods and 42 in the drops. I'm pretty broad, my bike fits all gave me 44 as recommended size. It takes a couple of rides to get used to but I don't feel any loss in stability on the narrower bars, they look a lot nicer and I'm guessing some aero advantage is there.

Hawkwood
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:27 pm

by Hawkwood

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)

Multebear
Posts: 1065
Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 10:11 pm

by Multebear

When measuring shoulders, you need to focus on your bones, not your actually width. If you have a lot of muscle on your shoulders, they will become wider. But that doesnt mean, that you need wider bars. Handlebar width is related to the pivoting point of your shoulders. That said, the difference of shoulderwidth between the male population is very small. So it's not really relevant to focus on shoulderwidth at all.

As others mention, you need a handlebar, that you're comfortable with. Personally I don't see any reason going wider than 42 for road. For cx it's a different story. And there's no reason going narrower than 38. Actually I don't see any reason going narrower than 40. You wont get more aero, since your shoulders are still the same width regardles of how narrow you place your hands.

So don't overthink it. 40 or 42 is sufficient for 95 % of the population. Just pick 40, and move on.

What's way more important is handlebar shape. Deep/shallow, ergo/classic, compact/regular, aero/traditional. There are a lot more important things than width, to get confused about ;-)
Last edited by Multebear on Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3Pio
Posts: 868
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

Seem that everyone prefer the narrow version :)

Does anyone have idea how much longer stem i'll need if i go for narrower one? (That mean i'll switch from 80mm reach Zipp i have now to 75 reach on Easton, and from 42 cm in hoods , 44 in drops that i have now, Easton will be 40.5 in hoods, and 42 in drops).

Should i go from 110 stem, -7 deg, to 120mm, -7 deg stem in that case (one size longer)?

Multebear
Posts: 1065
Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 10:11 pm

by Multebear

3Pio wrote:Seem that everyone prefer the narrow version :)

Does anyone have idea how much longer stem i'll need if i go for narrower one? (That mean i'll switch from 80mm reach Zipp i have now to 75 reach on Easton, and from 42 cm in hoods , 44 in drops that i have now, Easton will be 40.5 in hoods, and 42 in drops).

Should i go from 110 stem, -7 deg, to 120mm, -7 deg stem in that case (one size longer)?


After Reading this, you might consider a bikefit. If you don't know how you're supposed to be sitting on a bike, the money is probably better spent on a fit. The way I see it, you don't need to change stem just because you move from 44 to 42 handlebar or similar.


by Weenie


3Pio
Posts: 868
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

cyclespeed wrote:I'm all for narrower bars.

This may help;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brZ_t7vZrks


This is helpfull video.. Thanks a lot.



Multebear wrote:
3Pio wrote:Seem that everyone prefer the narrow version :)

Does anyone have idea how much longer stem i'll need if i go for narrower one? (That mean i'll switch from 80mm reach Zipp i have now to 75 reach on Easton, and from 42 cm in hoods , 44 in drops that i have now, Easton will be 40.5 in hoods, and 42 in drops).

Should i go from 110 stem, -7 deg, to 120mm, -7 deg stem in that case (one size longer)?


After Reading this, you might consider a bikefit. If you don't know how you're supposed to be sitting on a bike, the money is probably better spent on a fit. The way I see it, you don't need to change stem just because you move from 44 to 42 handlebar or similar.



I know how to sit on bike, and also i allready had a Retul fitting last summer (i have at least 7000 km from that time including few >200 km rides, a lot of climbs, etc...). And also im almost sure that i'll need compact handlebar, and that why i choose Easton EC90SLX3 ( i was wondering should i get Deda Superlegerro or EC90SLX3, since both give flat transition with Campy levers).

I decided for EC90SLX3 because dont have internal routing, and also seem to be stiffer compared to Deda.

Im also upgrading from Bar that is Compact and feel almost fine (Zipp Service course SL-80, 80mm reach, 125mm drop). The main reason i want to upgrade is to have better transition from tops to hoods (there is bump on this Zipp with my Campy lever, which feel un comfortable on longer distances), and also i need sligtly deeper drop (the new one will be 5 mm more drop). Another reason is saving weight, and buzz reduction on bad roads.

I asked the question Stem Corellated, because someone replied that with narrower bar, probably i'll need longer stem to compensate shorter reach (sound logic to me, and in my case if i go with narrower Easton bar and compared to bar i use now, i'll have 5mm shorter reach with 1.5 cm shorted hoods width), so wondered how much stem comensation will be needed. Good thing is that i have spare 120mm stem, so i dont need to spend money on that. And also seem that fitters suggest more conservative way of bar width (wider), while everyone seem that prefer narrower :)

And while measuring, we measured from bone protrusions on the shoulders. The width im posting (39.5 cm), is measured that way

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