Road bike bars – width conundrum.
As I’m building a long-distance fixie (50-60km each way once in a blue moon) with two brakes I’m wondering if there’s a rule how hide the bars should be. My Inbred has 720mm bars, my last fixie (several years ago in London) had 420mm flats. Somebody told me that it needs to be as many centimetres as the size of my dinner jacket. Any substance to this claim? BTW I’m fitting roadie bars, no bullhorns/flats/whatever else is cheap.
Any advice much appreciated.Posted 3 years ago
I had some Cinelli bars and did not like them, I tried a Bontrager’s offering and despised it lots. I have an On-One Midge but I’m undecided, maybe this? At least it ticks the looks boxes 😉Posted 3 years agoTiRedMember
Shape is more important than width. If you are big, 44cm will be fine. Wider bars need a slightly shorter stem, all other things being equal. Most of the pros are riding 40cm for “aero” gains. Mine are 42 as that was stock, but my fixed wheel is 44 because it came with a bike I bought. I do notice the difference, but it isn’t significant. I’m medium sized with broad shoulders, if that counts for anything. I like the discontinued Ritchey Streem because the aero profile is a very good palm rest.Posted 3 years ago
Jeez, I’m learning something new every day, thanks. I’ll try some sizes next time I visit Dublin (there is a fixie specialist near the office), maybe I’ll work something out. I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t keep the bike brake-free and fit just some 400mm flats with ergo bar-ends but with the hills round here… 😀Posted 3 years ago
Thanks, once again!IanWMember
I find it difficult to get road bars I really like.
I have some 44cm alu which are ok but I think they achieved the overall width by reducing the drop and a ome 42cm that came with another bike are pretty much perfect but really flexy.
Bike shops should have them all lined up on stands to try out.Posted 3 years agoesher shoreMember
be aware that different brands size their road bars differently, some centre to centre, some outside to outside, some inside to inside and some..who knows what?
its really hard to recommend any sizing without seeing your bike setup, as this affects the choice of handlebar.
Frame geometry, stem spacers, stem length, seatpost, saddle, pedals and cleats, your body shape/size, personal choice, etc. all has a big affect on your handlebarPosted 3 years agotechnicallyineptMember
Finally got out for a short ride on my new Salsa Vaya. Fitted 44cm Cowbells and, so far, so good. The bars are short reach and drop, and slightly flared.Posted 3 years ago
Stated size is measured at the hoods. The 44cm bars measure approx 50cm c-c at the ends.aracerSubscriber
40cm here (nominally for aero, but they’re what I’m comfortable with – though I have spent a lot of time riding on tri bars), 42cm on the crosser and tandem for a bit extra control. I’m not all that big, but then I’ve got fairly broad shoulders being a kayaker – the standard advice about shoulder width is BS, and as with so many fitting parts on a bike, I doubt the 10% standard range actually covers the full range of human sizes. If you’re happy riding with 420mm flats, then 40cm drops should actually put your hands a little further apart.Posted 3 years agonjee20Subscriber
Agree that shape is as important (and makes a bigger difference) then the claimed size.
I’ve got 42s on both road bikes (IIRC), one is a Bontrager “Ergo” shape – abrupt curve, short reach, deep anatomic drop. I really like it. The other is a Spesh standard bar, much smoother curve, longer reach, shallower, curved drop. They feel totally different.
Check how they’re measured too – some brands are centre-centre, some are outside-outside.Posted 3 years ago
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