Handlebars, how wide is too wide?
At 710 1 still found my hands on the lock ring. Moved to 720 and my hands now sit properly on the grip. I’m under 5’8″, 70mm stem.
I have a mate who has only just moved to 685’s, who still rode rings round everbody on his old skinny bars. He sometimes, begrudgingly drops his saddle an inch too & sometimes wears Lycra! Wide bars feel good but they’re no substitute for talent 🙂Posted 4 years agoclubberMember
Assuming it’s not too much hassle, I’d always try bars as they come first but I’ve never ridden with bars wider than 680ish and liked the experience. And FWIW, being tall, I have wide shoulders.
I did like the comment about tame trails though 🙂 I hope it was tounge in cheek…
But then given that it’s entirely personal preference you might as well ask what length seatpost you should use.Posted 4 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
I’ve never ridden with bars wider than 680ish and liked the experience. And FWIW, being tall, I have wide shoulders.
It does confuse me why people keep using height as a reason, it’s certainly got a lot more to do with shoulders and arm vs torso length along with bike setup and the rest.
Sometimes it’s as if people want a magic formula to work it all out and tell them they have it right.Posted 4 years agomatther01Member
Not so much a magic formula but at least a good starting point as far as set up is concerned (especially for new bikes with diff geo to your other bikes). Unless you have an abundance of differing stems, bars it can be quite difficult and potentially expensive if you get it wrong.
It’s either that or pay for a bike fitting. My brother in law paid £120(?!) for his but reckoned it was the best money he’s spent.Posted 4 years agonjee20Subscriber
You riding xc/trails? at 6′ I don’t know why you would want to ride with a bar width of 680mm unless it just tame bridleways etc you’re riding. I think a wider bar enables more leverage which equates to less force being needed to hold the bars straight at high speed when you hit something that tries to pry the bars from your grip.
Amazing post! You’re riding Swinley FFS! I bet you high five and say rad and sick a lot at the bottom of every section.
I’m not even totally sure what mine are, 660 rings a bell. They’re fine. Borrowed a bike with narrow flat bars last week, and it felt horrible.Posted 4 years agomindmap3Member
I bought my bar with the intention of cutting it down. I’d previously ridden bars at around 710mm but because I used Hayes brakes with longish blades for one finger braking, the levers were miles down the bar still hence I went wider.
Once I’d ridden them a few times I liked the extra width so the bars remained uncut. Nothing with trying to be cool or owt and yo be honest for the places that I ride, they don’t cause too many issues.Posted 4 years agoPeterPoddyMember
I ride a deeply unfashionable bike anyway. A 26in wheeled,slimmish tyred, shortish travel forked, slightly racy geometry, fillet brazed steel Saracen.Posted 4 years ago
685mm is plenty wide enough for me thanks. I want to hold something that feels like a handlebar not a flippin’ rudder…..
If you learn to lean the bike, not yourself, when cornering (with correct footwork), long bars and short stem starts to make sense. Push the bar down to lean.
Went 750 on the full sus and loved it but kept 685 on the hard tail for a while thinking that I tended to be a bit more xc-ish on it. I ended up going 750 also though as it just felt way too short in the end, being used to 750 on the full sus. Plus the hard tail is pretty slack and I ride a lot of the same stuff I do on the full sus on it also.Posted 4 years agomaxtorqueMember
Of course it depends what you ride and how you ride it, and how you are built (shoulder width, arm length etc)
But i’d say, try it, you might like it!
One thing i really noticed on a swap from a 75mm stem/690mm bar combo to a 50mm stem/750mm bar combo was that not only was there more “leverage” but the higher moment of inertia caused by your heavy hands and upper arms being pushed out further from the center of rotation mean’t a lot more stability too in the choppy stuff! (kinda like a steering damper!)
When pushing hard into flat and bermed turns, that moment as you feel for front end grip and the handlebar turning loads sort of reverse a bit(as the tyres loads/slips) seem to be a lot easier to feel and “ride through” with the wider set up, and the front wheel felt a lot less likely to “tuck under” quickly.Posted 4 years agoPeterPoddyMember
@njee20 you’re a dick!
To be fair (having ridden with him) he’s a very VERY fast and skilful dick to be precise. I’d wager he’d rip you to bits on pretty much any trail you care to mention.
You did come over as rather scornful to be honest mate, I imagine you’ve not been MTBing very long by the sounds of it?
Deadkenny – I know EXACTLY where you took both of those pics. I rode over that very canal a few days ago. You must be local to me. 🙂Posted 4 years agochiefgrooveguruMember
how wide is too wide?
When you either lose more speed from mincing between trees than you gain from the extra control due to your awesome wide bars or when you crash more often from clipping trees than you avoid crashes by catching sketchy moments due to your awesome wide bars, that’s how wide is too wide.
Or when it just feels stupid and you can’t steer super-tight super-slow corners without feeling like your arms are too short.Posted 4 years agoEuroMember
720 is a good intro to the cool wide bars gang imo. Wide enough to feel the differences without getting too cool. I’ve a set on my hardtail and they’re spot on temperature wise. I tried my Renthals at 780 in the shop but didn’t like them, so chopped them to 750 on the FS. It’s definitely a very personal thing though, as i’ve seen guys much smaller than me (that’s most folk) look comfortable on a far wider bar. OP – try them for a few weeks at 720 and see how you get on. £1 says you’ll like it 😀Posted 4 years ago
PeterPoddy – Member
Deadkenny – I know EXACTLY where you took both of those pics. I rode over that very canal a few days ago. You must be local to me
Yeah, I’m in Woking and have the playgrounds of Surrey Hills, TH/Porridgepot/Frith, Caesars, Minley, etc, as well as the motorways of Swinley of course, all surrounding me. 😀
Was over the canal yesterday. Still can’t ride through with those bars though without clipping them.Posted 4 years agonjee20Subscriber
Crikey, my apologies for upsetting you Tymbian, you did offer up a rather peculiar opinion which read like you’d taken magazine articles as gospel! PP’s doing me a disservice, I’m not that quick, I’ll take his kind words though 😉
Deadkenny – I know EXACTLY where you took both of those pics
Indeed, I looked at the picture of Clawhammer for about 2 minutes, whistfully thinking of dry trails. Happy times!
I’d be interested to try some wider bars, but must say that most people just look like they’re fighting with the bike when they get to >750 or so, which is surely the opposite to what one is trying to achieve.Posted 4 years agocoreMember
The original bars on my bike (genesis core) were 660mm, I’m pretty broad shouldered, 6ft tall, and always felt the bars were narrow and I was curling my hands over the ends.
I got some 740mm bars (with thoughts of trying them & probably cutting them down), but really like them as they are, feels much nicer on technical stuff. I do use grips with double lock on rings though, so probably stay a little inboard for comfort.Posted 4 years ago2unfit2rideSubscriber
Well this thread has certainly stirred debate & some interesting opinions.Posted 4 years ago
FWIW I have never felt lack of stability with my current set up, maybe I’m unique, but chances are 680mm is quite wide enough to keep control below warpspeed, but conversely I remember going up from silly narrow bars where the brake levers were but a few inches apart & thinking that this was the future.
I think the safest option is to suck it & see.
Cheers all 🙂toronteMember
Went from 80stem/670bar to 50/740 on my zesty. Felt good. Would never ride below 700 anymore.
Now I ride an enduro with 60/720 and it gives me more confidence on woodsy trails. Don’t worry that much bashing the handlebars into trees.
Nice open area however I would not hesitate to go back to 740 or even try 760. Anything more than that… I just feel ridiculous.Posted 4 years ago
5’8″ with definietly wide shoulders.
The topic ‘Handlebars, how wide is too wide?’ is closed to new replies.