- How wide?
Depends on your shoulder width and the kind of riding you do, but the general consensus (and trend) is that wider is better, especially for technical descending. I went from 670 to 710 on my trail bike and going up again to 740,,the bike feels instantly better. Depending on how much wider you go remember to shorten stem accordingly too or it will be too slow to steer. Obviously tree clearance on your local trails may dictate how wide you can go too. A significantly wider bar is best to buy as you can then cut it down to fit.Posted 5 years agojamesoSubscriber
Triangles, like many bike things I think – grips and tyre contact make a triangle looking at the bike end-on. In a corner a wider grip spacing can still support your bodyweight pushing down through the tyre from the upper grip side at dafter bike-lean angles, a narrower bar is past the balance point sooner or puts you out of balance / braced position sooner. Over-simple and not that accurate really, but being braced from a wider point is generally good for stability. Seems to make drops and hops more stable, that kind of thing. Can make you feel more confident to develop better technique ime. So, no formula, just related to how you ride.Posted 5 years agojamesMember
“significantly wider bar is best to buy as you can then cut it down to fit”
Not neccessarily. You’ll end up with the ‘reinforced middle’ of a wide bar, rsther than a bar ‘designed’ around the width. Not that will make much difference
Also its not impossible you could end up with less ‘usable’ clamp space, ie the bar could dip ‘sooner’ on the wider bar. Whether this is an issue will depend how wide you like your grips, how far in you run your brake levers/shifters/remote levers/bell/gps/lights and so on
re: triangles, the higher your grips* are relative to tyre, you ought to need a wider bar to retain the same sideward stabilityPosted 5 years agoHerman ShakeMember
People of the same height aren’t the same proportion or necessarily ride the same way. A 5’5″ DHer may want distinctly wider flat bars, a 6’5″ XC mincesnake may want more ordinary width riser. Then it’s also affected by frame size/geo, stem/seatpost settings etc.
I’m 5’11” and use 711mm, I’d like wider but some bits of the local trails only just let me through with my current bar!
As a stab, 50-70mm stem & 700-750 bar; then again I don’t know your bike or chosen terrain! As the bars widen, shorten the stem so it doesn’t handle like a barge.Posted 5 years agoadrenalindaddyMember
I’m not sure shortening the stem will make that much of a difference to the leverage at the end of the bars, isn’t it more to do with keeping your relative position over the bike. ie if your bars are wider than your shoulders your shoulders will come forward a touch so shortening the stem puts your cog back to where it was before.Posted 5 years agoHerman ShakeMember
You’re right about position, but you wouldn’t just slap some 745s on a 100mm stem; it would feel unwieldy. IME 45, 50, 60 & 70mm stems all feel quite different in terms of steering to one another with the same bar (the sizes I’ve tried in the past 2 years). Somewhere between twitchy and slow is the place you personally like your handling to be.
I see your point from a leverage point of view, as we should be leaning the bike to turn and not turning the bars so much. However, the bars do turn a bit when steering and this is affected by stem length. Wider bars slow the steering down, shorter stems speed it up. As you mention the bars give you added leverage so the handling remains similar but the ride is more stable… I thinkPosted 5 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
It’s entirely down to taste, I’ve had 760s and they were nice at times but just too wide for me (and I don’t mean “I hit them off trees”, they were just weird and uncomfortable and the amount of hand movement to do slow-speed maneuvering was too much for me.
I do this every so often- get wider bars, ride them for a little while, cut them down, repeat, then eventually they all end up at 710mm or occasionally 720mm. Smaller feels narrow, wider feels too wide.Posted 5 years agoandyrmMember
5’9″ and run 711 on my enduro race/trail bike, and the same on my DH and 29er too.
Tried wider (even with shorter stem length) and it was just too wide.
There’s no real “formula” as such, as there are so many factors including top tube length, torso length, saddle to bar height difference, stem length, head angle, type of riding you do etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.
I’d suggest borrowing a wide bar off a mate’s DH bike perhaps and riding it on your current setup. See how it feels as you move grips & controls inwards. You’ll usually find a point where it just feels “right”.Posted 5 years agodarryl1983Member
I’m 6’2″ with wide shoulders. Went from 685mm to 800mm (with the intention to cut them down to what felt comfortable). I’m now down to 770mm and it still feels too wide. Going to cut another 10mm off each side tonight ready to the weekend, also fitting a 50mm stem to replace a 60mm stem.
To be honest 685mm didn’t feel too bad at the time, i imagine now i’m used to riding with the wider bar it would feel very narrow.
Anyone tried the superstar yard stick bars yet?…915mmPosted 5 years agogregwaringSubscriber
6’5″ and running 760’s on my hardcore hardtail, which seem to feel perfect for the aggressive riding in the peak (not many tight trees about though). Just got an all-mountain full sus and think i’m going to give 785 or 800 a go on that.
Did have to drop the stem on the hardtail 90mm to 70mm in response to the bar change though as it felt v. slow when I put the wider bars on the 90mm!Posted 5 years ago
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