Handlebar width based on Bike Geometry (Trail)....

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
3Pio
Posts: 1257
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

I know that trend for handlebar width in last years is going narrower then what was hype last years....

I also switched from 42hoods/44 drops to 40 hoods/42 drops and after few rides accomodation i found like better ....

But since handlebar width also influence the bike handling how is this matched to bike trail ?

For example.. One bike on higher side on trail (Colnago C60), and other bike lower trail than this..

So what is better match for high trail geometry bikes? Narrower or Wider? Same question for lower trail geometry bikes?

Let's consider that handlebar width dont influence bike rider confort, let's focus just on geometry match....

by Weenie


User avatar
Calnago
Posts: 8532
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

Get the handlebar width you’re comfortable with. In the early/mid 2000’s there was trend toward wider because it allowed you to “breathe better”. Bollocks. Had ‘em. Holding my arms straight out parallel to each other with a handlebar diameter sized piece of dowel in each hand, and measuring the distance between them gives me my comfortably natural width of 42c-c for a road bike. It works. Special purpose applications like TT or something maybe narrower, like 40 (for me), but then you start getting into special purpose applications. These days narrower is the “trend”. I suspect eventually the ideal will come back to the most naturally comfortable position as it always does. It’s only natural after all.
As to the handlebar width and trail question... just don’t even start. Trail is not affected by handlebar width, but it may play a factor in how long or short a stem you may end up preferring. So get the width and shape of bar that you’re most comfortable with from a fit perspective. Stem length is a bit more complex because it’s a factor affecting both fit parameters as well as handling characteristics. But you can’t ignore bar choice either in terms of reach, drop, placement of levers etc.
The total reach from the steering axis can come down to a lot of personal preference in handling characteristics. Quick or slow, one is not worse than the other, they are just different. Find what you like. And there’s really no way to determine what that is other than by trial and error. If it feels good, that’s a very strong indication that it is.
This topic might end up a rabbit hole so I’m just going to leave my contribution here near the surface.
Last edited by Calnago on Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

mattr
Posts: 4673
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

3Pio wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:20 pm
But since handlebar width also influence the bike handling how is this matched to bike trail ?
Not really, not on a road bike. It's more about reach, stability, weight distribution, balance, they are all way further up the list than bar width.

3Pio
Posts: 1257
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

Calnago wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:25 pm
Get the handlebar width you’re comfortable with. In the early/mid 2000’s there was trend toward wider because it allowed you to “breathe better”. Bollocks. Had ‘em. Holding my arms straight out parallel to each other with a handlebar diameter sized piece of dowel in each hand, and measuring the distance between them gives me my comfortably natural width of 42c-c for a road bike. It works. Special purpose applications like TT or something maybe narrower, like 40 (for me), but then you start getting into special purpose applications. These days narrower is the “trend”. I suspect eventually the ideal will come back to the most naturally comfortable position as it always does. It’s only natural after all.
As to the handlebar width and trail question... just don’t even start. Trail is not affected by handlebar width, but it may play a factor in how long or short a stem you may end up preferring. So get the width and shape of bar that you’re most comfortable with from a fit perspective. Stem length is a bit more complex because it’s a factor affecting both fit parameters as well as handling characteristics. But you can’t ignore bar choice either in terms of reach, drop, placement of levers etc.
The total reach from the steering axis can come down to a lot of personal preference in handling characteristics. Quick or slow, one is not worse than the other, they are just different. Find what you like. And there’s really no way to determine what that is other than by trail and error. If it feels good, that’s a very strong indication that it is.
This topic might end up a rabbit hole so I’m just going to leave my contribution here near the surface.
ok :) Let me try to explain... I found some blog few weeks ago, mention this.. And the fact provided there was totaly oposite regarding my experience.. There was mentioned that high trail bike will benefit from wider handlebar and oposite, so that's how i got interested about this (Could not find the link, if i find it i'll provide it. But it's not so important )

Colnago C60 is on high trail.. First i was using the ZIPP Service Course SL80 (80mm reach, 125 mm drop), in 42 cm hoods / 44 drops.. Then i switched to narrower Easton EC90SLX3 which is 40cm in hoods 42 drops, and 75mm reach, 130 drop.

The second is better feeling to me in any term..

Also this bar is perfect in hoods, pefrect in drops.. Also with first bar i hated the slow sluggish response from bike, going narrower make the things more faster, more reactive which i like a lot.. So this is oposite what that blog suggested.. So that's how i got interested about this.

I guess u are right that there is no better or worst handling and that maybe it's personal taste.. And maybe the more direct feeling with narrower bar on my c60 i prefer....


Another reason asking this (it's not main reason, just extension of interested about this)

Now im building another bike as u know, Cannondale CAAD12 (waiting the parts, as soon i get them i'll measure and do the build) which is lower trail then C60.. Tried to find the same Easton EC90SLX3, but it's discounted, and new model a bit different shape..

So thinking to go Deda Superleggera which is 75mm reach, 130 mm drop (which match my Easton EC 90SLX3), but no flare on this bar.

Since im comfortable enough in hoods of Easton (40cm), and in same time comofrtable enough in drops (42 since it's flare), im sure it can be comfortable 40 cm Deda also 42cm..

So want to choose the width which will complement better handling of the bikes. (will decide at the end which bar on which bike)

Regarding the width and comfort... I have 38 cm Cinnelli Lola Bull Horn bar on my city duty fixie (Bianchi Sei Giorni), and also 38 cm on my Pinarello Fp3..


Also feel comfortable (maybe touch less then on Easton 40/42).. So almost sure that there is some window in term of width that we can be comfortable, and it's not just one width that we can ride (for me is probably 38-42)

Hexsense
Posts: 935
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

Are you sure the blog is not talking about MTB?
Slow speed turning, high trail bike need more force to turn and wider bar give you more leverage to turn easier.
29er thus longer trail, shorten stem, widen handle bar was the trend on MTB so far

Road bike... amount of force we need to turn a bike at high speed isn't that high, especially when rider know how to counter steer the bike.

RocketRacing
Posts: 883
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Yeah... i was thinking mtb also.

3Pio
Posts: 1257
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

After reading more about this topic sound logic that on road bike not that important in term of handling...

So if i want to match my Easton EC90SLX3 (again, 75mm reach, 130 mm drop, 40cm hoods, 42 cm hoods), and if i choose Deda Superleggera as closest match in term of reach drop, which width to choose.. 40cm (which will match hoods width of Easton, or 42 cm (which will match Drop width of Easton)?

Another option is Fizik Cyrano R1 Bull 40 (which is 40 cm hoods, 42 drops, 75mm reach, but just 125 mm drops...)

Those options are closest match to Easton EC90SLX3 from what i found so far...

RocketRacing
Posts: 883
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Darimo has a 77reach, 128mm drop. This is weight weenies!

MikeD
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:55 pm

by MikeD

Hexsense wrote:Are you sure the blog is not talking about MTB?
Slow speed turning, high trail bike need more force to turn and wider bar give you more leverage to turn easier.
29er thus longer trail, shorten stem, widen handle bar was the trend on MTB so far

Road bike... amount of force we need to turn a bike at high speed isn't that high, especially when rider know how to counter steer the bike.
Bicycles are steered by leaning the bike/body, not by wrenching on the handlebars.

User avatar
wheelsONfire
Posts: 2963
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

To affect trail you'd look at the fork rake, not the handlebar width or lenght.
What you might mean is all in all reach of stem + handlebar?
Low trail makes fast steering, you'd prefer longer reach (bar + stem lenght) to make the bike a bit slower in steering response.
High trail, well, it's vice versa.
Example; if your head angle is 72 degree, you'd like a higher rake fork (ex: 50mm rake).
If your head angle is 73.5 degree, you'd like a lower rake fork (ex: 43mm rake)

To make things worse, you can oversee wheel flop...
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

Hexsense
Posts: 935
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

MikeD wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:38 am
Hexsense wrote:Are you sure the blog is not talking about MTB?
Slow speed turning, high trail bike need more force to turn and wider bar give you more leverage to turn easier.
29er thus longer trail, shorten stem, widen handle bar was the trend on MTB so far

Road bike... amount of force we need to turn a bike at high speed isn't that high, especially when rider know how to counter steer the bike.
Bicycles are steered by leaning the bike/body, not by wrenching on the handlebars.
Try leaning the bike at low crawl speed compare to handlebar turning.
I know counter steering and how bike leaning work. But it applicable once we up to a bit of speed. At extremely slow speed rotating handle bar works better. So it's not the only way to turn (although majority of the time it is the main way). So correct statement might be "Bicycles are steered mainly by leaning the bike/body, not by rotating on the handlebars once we go above crawling speed."

Anyway, wider bar still help you wrenching handlebars up/down fore/aft to initiate the lean angle easier. It's not just helping around steering axis rotation.
PS. don't get me wrong, thanks for the correction attempt. It help me in future explanation to not omit the detail about initiating lean angle rather than simply say "turning"

3Pio
Posts: 1257
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

wheelsONfire wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:47 pm
To affect trail you'd look at the fork rake, not the handlebar width or lenght.
What you might mean is all in all reach of stem + handlebar?
Low trail makes fast steering, you'd prefer longer reach (bar + stem lenght) to make the bike a bit slower in steering response.
High trail, well, it's vice versa.
Example; if your head angle is 72 degree, you'd like a higher rake fork (ex: 50mm rake).
If your head angle is 73.5 degree, you'd like a lower rake fork (ex: 43mm rake)

To make things worse, you can oversee wheel flop...

Thanks for reply... I understund things better now.... Just to be clear.. What is considered high trail on Road bikes and other side what is considered low trail?

Im using this calculator:

http://www.yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/trailcalc.php

And this is my C60 Colnago Trail calculation in 50S size


Image

I realized that i prefer handling when i switched on this bike from 80mm reach / 125 mm drop (42 hoods, 44 drops) to 75mm reach/130 mm drop (40 mm hoods/42 drops) handlebar... (Much more feedback, easier to turn in tight , more snap feedback which like vs slow, non responsive dead feeling...)


This is Trail Calculation for Caad12 which will be soon in building process (waiting for the parts) in size 52:


Image

Hope that i wont need a bit longer reach handlebar on CAAD12 to compensate lower trail in term of handling...


Also using another tool https://app.velogicfit.com/frame-comparison

I found out on CAAD12 the reach will be 5mm shorter using 110mm stem on same stack heigh compared to C60, or 6mm longer if i use 120mm stem.

The first plan is to use 110mm stem, and to compensate shorter reach with a little lower handlebar position (if that work)

Am I ok putting here same reach/drop Handlebar, or better to think to compensate 5mm shorter reach (and lower trail numbers vs my C60) with 80mm handlebar (5 mm longer reach then Deda i plan to order)?

Best will be to just try :), but have to admit im a click away from ordering Deda Superleggera (same reach/drop as my Easton), and that's final part i need to start building process..

For that purpose i'll have another thread, since i'll dissasemble C60, measure everything, install 90% of parts on Caad12, and new parts to C60.. So in same thread i'll try to measure both bikes in details...

3Pio
Posts: 1257
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

Hexsense wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:57 pm
MikeD wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:38 am
Hexsense wrote:Are you sure the blog is not talking about MTB?
Slow speed turning, high trail bike need more force to turn and wider bar give you more leverage to turn easier.
29er thus longer trail, shorten stem, widen handle bar was the trend on MTB so far

Road bike... amount of force we need to turn a bike at high speed isn't that high, especially when rider know how to counter steer the bike.
Bicycles are steered by leaning the bike/body, not by wrenching on the handlebars.
Try leaning the bike at low crawl speed compare to handlebar turning.
I know counter steering and how bike leaning work. But it applicable once we up to a bit of speed. At extremely slow speed rotating handle bar works better. So it's not the only way to turn (although majority of the time it is the main way). So correct statement might be "Bicycles are steered mainly by leaning the bike/body, not by rotating on the handlebars once we go above crawling speed."

Anyway, wider bar still help you wrenching handlebars up/down fore/aft to initiate the lean angle easier. It's not just helping around steering axis rotation.
PS. don't get me wrong, thanks for the correction attempt. It help me in future explanation to not omit the detail about initiating lean angle rather than simply say "turning"
One of the negative sides i had on my C60 was low speed handling.. Found narrower handlebar solve this, and also going a bit lower in the front (1 cm narrower handlebar, and 5mm lower ), and now very satisfied how it handles.. (not sure if those small changes can impact or i just got used of it better)

1llum4
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:00 am

by 1llum4

For 54/56cm frame size. anything above 60mm of trail is a high number. Most race bike like Cervelo R5/S5, Cannondale Supersix/System Six,Spec Tarmac/Venge/Allez Sprint, Trek Emonda/Madone etc will be around 55-57mm of trail.

One thing that happens for many company is that trail is not consistent between frame size.

by Weenie


User avatar
wheelsONfire
Posts: 2963
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

The Colnago bike has a slow steering response compared to my Vial EVO D.
You'd need a fork with 50mm rake to make that bike steer faster.
I ordered a Vial EVO Race. It has 0.5 degree slacker headtube, but i can also use a longer stem since frame reach is over 1cm shorter.
That will slow steering down aswell as put more weight on front wheel.

Sweet spot is somewhere around 57mm trail.
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post