Bar width - question

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by G6612

I am in the market for a new set of bars and I need to know what width bars I should get.
I have always just riden with what bars came on the bike when purchased. I measured my shoulder (boney part on top of shoulder to shoulder) It measured about 36CM looked to be a little narrow just wondering what width I should go with. Looking at 3T Ergonovas that measure c-c add 2cm that would put me at 38's. Does that sound right or should I go wider?

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by elviento

Sounds like 38 should be a good point to start. Some will say bar width is about opening up your chest to breath better, which is hardly true -- just hold a bar, and then move your hands outward by 1cm on each side and tell the difference.

Bar width is more about handling which is a result of multiple variables like stem length/angel, rake, head angle, crown height, riding style, etc. Plus you also get used to a certain width over time.
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by notsoswift

The trend in the Pro ranks is going narrower, be PRO!

On the track, in sprinting, if you look a guys like Hoy and Perkins they are huge units consuming a vast amount of air yet they and ride 38, while Sineau (sp?) looks like he is on a 42 and is probably a little smaller in frame
so really I agree with the above it is more about comfort for you than any formula. I see lots of people out there that seem too wide with their arms splayed, but it doesn't slow them down

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by Dov

A lot of track guys are now riding bars as small as 340mm. Decreases frontal area apparently.
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by notsoswift

The info above was from an interview with Perkins in the current RIDE, he is about to try a 36

Track riders also need to worry about getting into small spots without hooking each other up, it is one thing to bump a shoulder but locking bars is never going to end well!

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by BobSantini

Climbing with narrow bars is difficult. If you do any climbing then I'd guess 40 or even 42 might be better.
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by Kayrehn

This is WW, so ride with smaller (lighter) bars!

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by MajorMantra

Be aware that Ergonovas are measured c-c at the end of the drops. The c-c at the hoods is ~2cm less.

I am fairly narrow but I wouldn't want to go below 39/40 cm c-c to be honest as it starts to feel a bit unstable out of the saddle. I'm currently riding 42cm Ergonovas.

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by G6612

Thanks for all the replies, I went with 42CM.

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by PoorCyclist

Not sure how people get such narrow bars, my bike came with a 40 FSA which is more like 38 at the hoods, but always had some shoulder and neck pain, descent and out of saddle does not swing right. Until someone took a pic of me riding during a event you can see my shoulders are squeezed together for the tiny bars.

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by andrewleitch86

I used to ride 44cm bars with quite a deep drop. I changed to 40cm Ergosums (38cm) t the holds and they've made a huge difference. Sure, there's not a huge amount on the tops for climbing but I don't have large hands so it's not an issue.

The only way you can really tell what's right for you is by trialing them. That's not really a realistic thing to do over a short period of time though.

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