11.4 wrote:We keep hearing about leverage here, but all we're really doing with wider bars is tilting the bike to one side and pushing harder with pedals on the other....
When you stomp down on the pedals, a longer bar should make it easier for the bike to be held closer to upright.
Imagine a ridiculously long bar: you could mash the pedals very hard, yet still keep the bars level (and the bike vertical) with very small forces at the end of the bar.
Imagine a ridiculously short bar: at some point you simply couldn't prevent the bike from tilting over in response to the torque on the pedals, or at least it would require a lot of strength. .
I have no idea where the optimum is, but longer bars would definitely make it easier to keep the bike upright just from the physics involved.
Again, why would you pick up a weight at arm's length rather than vertically right next to your body?
Because it is not about how much weight you can lift, it is about applying the correct force to keep the bike vertical. This is assumimg we all have "enough" strength to keep it vertical and in the the common ranges of bar widths. So they are at shoulder width ± a few inches.