Depends – the width of the drops should be roughly the same as your shoulder width (or that of your lower arms held forward with elbows tucked in to the side). 400mm is a bit narrow for me, something like 460mm is better. But, yes, much narrower than what you might be used to on an MTB. It’s one reason you get flared drop bars like the Salsa Woodchipper and Cowchipper.Posted 6 months ago
Yes, have seen those, like the look of them.
Sounds like my bars are a little narrow for me too.
lol, not easy to get your arms parallel is it?
Bar size, shape etc are quite a way down the list.
I am trying to work out a way to get comfy first and then buy a bike the right size.
Only did a few miles and already they feel better.Posted 6 months ago
It just made me giggle how different they were as I wobbled off down the road.
Upon investigation it seemed they were narrow because of rules and a drive to be aero. Rather than anything to do with comfort or fun.
Ah, that makes sense.
Don’t see many dutch commuters on drops do you?
Once you’ve cycled off the beer gut you will even be able to get down on the drops and win a couple of MPH of free extra speed.
Yup, that is the plan.
Mainly to get my head down in a headwind, boy oh boy.
I did read somewhere that they now reckon hands on the hoods and forearms parallel to the floor (I think was the position) is more aero than in the drops.
First things first, comfort, then go from there.Posted 6 months agowhitestoneMember
(Many) Years ago I had a custom road bike built for me. The measurement was more like having a bespoke suit and included measuring my shoulder width and reach. Once it was built my mate had a ride on it and complained that the bars were too wide: I was 6ft and he was about 5’4″ and much slimmer.
To get the width: put your arms by your side as if you are standing to attention then bend them from the elbow until they are parallel to the ground and tuck your elbows into the side. That’s the width you are after.
A quick search gives another measurement: 2cm wider than the width between the bony protrusions on the front/top of your shoulders. Can’t see anything from a quick look at current UCI rules about handlebar width.Posted 6 months agojoemmoMember
there’s a load of wider bars out now thanks to #gravel so don’t feel limited by some arcane rules to something related to your inter-protrusion dimensions.
I understand the feeling though, on holiday I hired a bike that had narrower drops than I was used to and did feel a bit insecure at first.Posted 6 months agoandytherocketeerSubscriber
UCI rule is something like a maximum 50cm external total width of the bike.
Drop bars are typically more like 40-42cm centre-centre.
I thought there was a minimum width too (something like 38cm).
Speak to the bike fitters, and they’ll often be replacing bars with a narrower model to get a more comfortable fit. It’s not that 40 is more aero than 44, it that 40 is the “right” size for lots of people.
42cm c-c on my CX bike is perfect
40cm c-c on my roadbike really does feel narrow
It’s only MTBers that have an obsession over bar width, and the right size is one more than what the right size used to be. Roadies have been using the same size since ever, pretty much, give or take 10mm.
edit: but if you’re not competing in UCI sanctioned events, then screw any rules, and fit a wider one if you think it might feel more right.Posted 6 months ago
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