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Author Topic: Handlebar width  (Read 1496 times)

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Offline J. Ryan

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Handlebar width
« on: July 05, 2011, 05:34:46 PM »
My Hifi came with Bontrager RL Big Sweep Bars that are 690 mm wide. They seem rediculously wide, and I would like to cut them down a bit. Any advice on what a good length would be for the trails around here? Or should I hack a little bit off, see how they feel, and repeat until I'm happy with them?

Offline fatcamper

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2011, 06:09:26 PM »
I think bar length is personal preference. Just keep moving them in until you find something you like.

Offline MBruns

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 06:12:54 PM »
I have found that 24.5 to 25.5 in. works well in the tightest trees, Some of these bars get "fat" quickly so before you cut, slide brakes and shifters inboard to be sure you have enough of the straight diameter to get grip and all on with shorter bars.
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Offline Darrinw2001

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2011, 07:17:28 PM »
I agree with Mike above.. 25" is about perfect.. There are some trails at Carter like Cruddy Buddy that those lengths go right through...

Offline Orion_134

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 08:58:15 PM »
wow, y'all are way different than me.  I think that if you sitnspin, then narrower bars may be better/ok.  However, I tend to standnmash and prefer 27" bars for the more noticeable leverage gain plus I feel that it opens my chest more.
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Offline ProEdgeBiker .

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2011, 09:55:06 PM »
J, first off, I love EASTON Carbon Bars...

I rode 560mm flat bars for many years and felt that they gave me awesome control and there wasent any narrow passages that could stop me.

As I got older, I felt that being so low and flat started was giving me a pain under my shoulder blade after long rides so I decided to give 635mm lo-rise a try.
I have now been on 635mm for the past 2yrs. I do not feel like it opens my chest whatsoever like some like to say.
It was definitely a learning curve going wider and now when I get on someone's MTB with narrow bars, I feel extremely uncomfortable on them.

It's a personal choice brother just like most things in our sport are, just gotta hop on a buddies' bike and try it for cho self..


GOOD LUCK!

Offline Alan

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 07:31:37 AM »
You can simulate bar width by sliding your grips and controls in half an inch at a time.  This way you can determine which width you like before you start cutting the bars. 

Offline J. Ryan

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2011, 07:48:42 AM »
I do like the leverage that the longer bars offer. They're just a bit too wide at this point. I brace myself for impact every time I go through a tight spot.
 
I think I might start by taking a 1/4" off each side and see how I feel after that.
 
Next question: Do I just use a hack saw to cut them down?

Offline Rocky Mountain OOTH

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2011, 08:49:41 AM »
I do like the leverage that the longer bars offer. They're just a bit too wide at this point. I brace myself for impact every time I go through a tight spot.
 
I think I might start by taking a 1/4" off each side and see how I feel after that.
 
Next question: Do I just use a hack saw to cut them down?


I like wide bars and have settled at 660mm as a compromise for not hitting trees. 

Are they carbon? Use a fine tooth new hacksaw blade. Tape at the cut to prevent fraying.  Let the blade do the work, and measure twice cut once etc... Also, I highly recommend using this: http://www.parktool.com/product/threadless-saw-guide-SG-6

Offline J. Ryan

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2011, 09:31:08 AM »

I like wide bars and have settled at 660mm as a compromise for not hitting trees. 

Are they carbon? Use a fine tooth new hacksaw blade. Tape at the cut to prevent fraying.  Let the blade do the work, and measure twice cut once etc... Also, I highly recommend using this: http://www.parktool.com/product/threadless-saw-guide-SG-6



Thanks, Luis! The bars are aluminum. Nothing fancy on this bike yet.

Offline Alan

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2011, 12:26:53 PM »
That saw guide is nice.  If you don't have one just use your brake lever or shifter clamp to draw a line around the entire bar.  This way you have a reference to keep your cut straight.

Offline J. Ryan

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2011, 12:28:15 PM »
That saw guide is nice.  If you don't have one just use your brake lever or shifter clamp to draw a line around the entire bar.  This way you have a reference to keep your cut straight.


Good idea, Alan. Thanks!

Offline rob_squared

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Offline Redriderpro

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2011, 01:54:23 PM »
Progression is a wonderful thing.
 
Example: In 1995 I was on a Dual Suspension bike with 3.5" travel at both ends and 25" wide "low rise" bars.
Most local people were on hard tails with 22-24" flat bars and "climbing" bar ends on those flat bars.
 
Many made fun of me, my bike and the "moto bars". ( ok, some still do!)
 
What do we see today? Even pro racers are using 4" travel bikes and many with 26-27" low riser bars.
( I came from motorcycle racing, so suspension and wide bars were a given for me)
Take a look at the next ride group you are with, I believe you will see more wider bars than ever.
 
About 6 ot 7 months ago I move from 26" bars to 27" bars: Why? Because that extra inch gave more control on short steep down hills and more control when hitting rocks, logs etc,and slowed down the steering a little***.
With the exception of just two trees on the South Quad trail at Boyette, the 27" bar has not caused any issues.
 
For Single speed bikes, there is even more reason to go with wide.
 
Bottom line: Try them wider, use some old grips with ends cut off, move in 1" per ride, find YOUR sweet spot, everyone is different.
 
PS. The pipe cutter is the hot setup for cutting the bar quickly and cleanly
Measure twice, cut once.
*** May not apply to 29" wheeled bikes, as for what I have seen those things turn slow enough already
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Offline Albe23

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Re: Handlebar width
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2011, 02:52:55 PM »
I've been running some downhill bars on my rig with only one issue at Carter Road.  Currently they are just over 29" and that is after taking an inch off of each side.  Like Redriderpro I prefer the extra stability and control this provides me during descents, let alone when I am DJ'ing and racing. 
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