31.8 bars make much difference over 25.4?

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  • 31.8 bars make much difference over 25.4?
  • soobalias

    never noticed the change in feeling.
    did notice the lack of availability of the old standard.


    On a road bike I reckon you can feel the difference – it’s not a lot but it is there. You forget about it soon enough though 🙂

    On an mtb with big squishy tyres, not really IME. I have mtbs with OS and non-OS bars and never notice an obvious difference.

    These are 25.4 and come in various widths and rises:



    I’ve not noticed the front of my bike feeling flexy but I want to change my bars to lower rise and as standards have changed, an upgrade of the stem seems to be required as well…

    It’s a Soul with Rockshox Revs (20mm Maxle), 70mm Thomson Elite and Easton EA70 (25.4) but as I can’t find mid-rise bars in 25.4, maybe I just need to bite the bullet and get an oversize stem as well.

    If I can sell on the old kit, it won’t cost that much more overall than sourcing 2nd hand 25.4 bars on ebay

    Has anyone really noticed a difference from the extra 5mm?


    Noticeable difference for me, but I suspect it was mostly going from a cheap old Specialized 2 bolt stem to an oversized Thomson 4 bolt stem. Bar was identical model apart from oversize difference, and stem length and rise were also the same.

    It would be interesting to hear your experience if you got the oversized version of the same stem. I wonder if maxles might overshadow the difference though since my old bike is also still running a QR fork.


    I noticed the difference when I switched. Made a massive difference, front end of the bike felt much more controlled.


    Was it more “planted” too?

    I “think” I could feel a difference, but I am 16st nekkid, so yes I think it feels a little more stiff. Bars were the same before, just non OS. Switched from a Thomson Elite to an Easton EA90, so the stem is unlikely to be any stiffer. Probably.

    Premier Icon Coyote

    Cynical converted here too. Used to use 25.4 and switched to 31.8. Much stiffer.


    The bike I went to when I switched to 31.8 was so different I wouldn’t have been able to tell any difference BUT I did notice I didn’t get any creaks and the whole thing seemed more solidly put together.
    Road bikes make a big difference, especially when sprinting. 31.8 miles better.

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    I still use a mixture of 25.4 and 31.8 all over the shop on my different bikes including some 25.4 / 750 wide Funn bars on my DH bike.

    There’s a barely perceptible difference in stiffness / harshness (IMO) which is arguably offset by using a tapered wall bar… discuss?

    If you’re changing stem then I’d say go over to 31.8 as you’ll find more choices available in that size now. but otherwise you’ll still find plenty of options in 25.4…

    Premier Icon ransos

    It feels much stiffer to me, but it’s a different brand of bar & stem so not a fair comparison.


    Think it depends in the bar quite a bit quite tbh

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