Bar Widths, Are You Riding Wider For Gravel?

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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Point
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Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:35 pm

by Point

I'm on the hunt for some new bars and have read a few people deciding to go up a few cm's on their bars width (not flared width). I'm just wondering if any of you have and your thoughts on the matter?

I was always under the impression that on road bikes you need the right width or run the risk of back/shoulder pain from holding the bars too wide?

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Miller
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Location: Reading, UK

by Miller

That sounds like a myth to me. Would MTBers get pain with their crazy wide bars?

For road bikes I use 42 or 44 but for my mixed terrain and winter bike I have 46 cm ergonovas. Might not be super aero but it's comfortable and I think the width is worthwhile on rough terrain.

by Weenie


spdntrxi
Posts: 3458
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

40 for road
42 for Gravel.. but they flare to 46 in the drops... it's all I need.

advantage of wider...

stability of course
and if you are a bike packer those you can still get in the drops with those handlebar bags.
room for stuff... lights, bells,garmin mounts, dropper remote.
Last edited by spdntrxi on Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cerro
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by cerro

I don't go wider than my regular 40cm but will use 38cm on road if available when changing bars. Tried wider and even 42cm feels way to wide for me so sticking to 40cm.
/jonas l
http://cerrol.wordpress.com (my cyclingblog)

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IrrelevantD
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by IrrelevantD

When I was using a separate bike for road and for gravel/trail I tried the wide flared "gravel" bars. Specifically Specialized Hover with Flare. Listed as 44cm, measured out as something like 48~49cm C-C at the drops. Wasn't a huge fan.

When I got my Aspero and switched to one bike for everything, I just pulled the Zipp SL70 Aero's off of my road bike. They have a very slight out sweep in the drops, maybe 1~1.5cm, but more to keep your wrists from hitting the bends in sprints than anything else. Favorite bars, hands down. I wrap the tops all the way to the cable exit, which makes for a nice big flat surface to put your hands on.
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NickJHP
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Location: Canberra, Australia

by NickJHP

I use 46cm for everything. Syntace Racelite CDR Carbon XL: https://www.syntace.com/en_GB/products/ ... -carbon-xl
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gb123bike
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Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:02 am

by gb123bike

40cm here, but I'm on a smaller side myself, so that might be more like 44 or 46 for a larger rider with broader shoulders.

simoncx
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Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:27 am

by simoncx

I use 44 or 46 c-c bars for cx/gravel bikes, personally I prefer wide bars.

LiquidCooled
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by LiquidCooled

Miller wrote:For road bikes I use 42 or 44 but for my mixed terrain and winter bike I have 46 cm ergonovas. Might not be super aero but it's comfortable and I think the width is worthwhile on rough terrain.
The Ergonova sizing is measured at the bar-ends, not at the tops like most bars. And the bar-ends are flared out slightly. A 46cm Ergonova is only 44cm wide at the tops, so it really is a 44cm handlebar.

3T wisened up when they came out with the Superergo (the Ergonova’s replacement). The new bar is measured at the tops. A 44cm Superergo and 46cm Ergonova have the same dimensions.
Last edited by LiquidCooled on Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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TheRich
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

Nope, same size.

42cm has worked fine for 30+mph coming down the Col de Crush on washboard dirt and mountain biking up to the limits of the 38mm tires and lack of suspension.

It's a gravel bike, you're not going to be doing anything crazy on it...put some MTB tires and a suspension fork on it and then you'll be needing extra stability.

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Juanmoretime
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by Juanmoretime

40cm for road and gravel. 780cm on the fat bike. I've descended at over 45 mph on gravel and my bars always have felt rock solid. FWIW I use the Kestrel carbon standard drop bar on gravel. A little heaver but a no flex bar.
RESIDENT GRUMPY OLD MAN.

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IrrelevantD
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by IrrelevantD

I run 44mm Zipp SL70 Aero for everything. Aero section is wrapped and a nice flat platform for hands on the tops. Wasn't a fan of wider flared bars, I have no problem taking on fast single track or gravel. Feel like it's more of a benefit on the single track as it makes it easier to go through the tree gates at speed.
* There is a 70% chance that what you have just read has a peppering of cynicism or sarcasm and generally should not be taken seriously.
I'll leave it up to you to figure out the other 30%. If you are in any way offended, that's on you.

stlutz
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Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:01 am

by stlutz

I tried wider but it never felt right so I switched back.

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Etienne
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:41 am
Location: France

by Etienne

HI,

I ride the same width on my road and gravel bikes, 40cm c-c bars ... I also have 42cm c-c on my monster cross, because I had it in my stash.

Never felt right with wider bars. Even on my mtb (when I had one), I never liked going wide ... rides like a truck, needs more room in singletracks. Personal choice, I guess.

About bar width and shoulder problems, I feel that in my case, wide bars require a more dynamic shoulder stabilization (different scapula position, etc.) ... more fatigue on longer rides, sometimes neck problems but I have had several shoulders injuries, so maybe a specific problem.

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kytyree
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Location: US

by kytyree

I like narrow bars on my road bike but have gone wide on the gravel bike. I like the extra real estate for my hands and I'm more likely to be using lights, bags etc on that bike and it is nice to have the room. If I was to go much wider I'd probably shorten the stem a centimeter or so but as is it's fine. I don't do it for extra control or better handling offroad as I have read others do. I haven't really noticed that, I just find it gives me more room and is a bit more comfortable over the long haul.

by Weenie


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