Road bike bars – width conundrum.

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  • Road bike bars – width conundrum.
  • Hairychested
    Member

    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.

    mrmo
    Member

    Pick what you like, tradition is shoulder width, but some like narrow and some like wide.

    Baznav
    Member

    Well they don’t make rodie bars 720 wide thank Christ the widest you will get are 46cm rodie bars match shoulder width.

    plus one
    Member

    Deda RHM 2 bars in 46 o-o are spot on .. Nice aero top which is very comfy and only around £28 mark 🙂

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Only drop bars I’ve ever felt really comfortable on was a set of Nitto 520s but even then I’d like to go wider, I still feel squeezed (and I am not a wide person). It’s personal taste, the same as mtb bars, just that roadies love fitting rules.

    Hairychested
    Member

    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 😉

    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.php/components/handlebars/grand-cru-course-handlebar-classic-round-bend.html

    TiRed
    Member

    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.

    Hairychested
    Member

    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… 😀
    Thanks, once again!

    IanW
    Member

    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.

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    I had some lovely Cinelli drop bars 46cm wide that I wish I’d never sold, it was the shape of the drtop just suited my handed. Bikes since have been an uncomfortable disappointment.

    esher shore
    Member

    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 handlebar

    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.
    Stated size is measured at the hoods. The 44cm bars measure approx 50cm c-c at the ends.

    http://g-tedproductions.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/salsa-cycles-cowbell-ii-handle-bar-moar.html

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    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.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    for a fixie, I believe the rule is twice as wide as your waxed moustache*

    *you big hipster pansy

    Hairychested
    Member

    ^^^ LOL ^^^

    Thanks guys, I need to decide what shade of pink she’ll be first 😈

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    my tiny wife is tiny.

    she’s got 42cm bars on her road bike, she’s asked for wider.

    …Somebody told me that it needs to be as many centimetres as the size of my dinner jacket (in inches?)…

    wrong, but awesome!

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    …Somebody told me that it needs to be as many centimetres as the size of my dinner jacket (in inches?)…

    wrong, but awesome!

    Superstar yardstick?

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    6ft 1 and 40cm bars on my road and track bikes, more aero, stiffer and lighter, what’s not to love? Had 42cm on a cross bike briefly and they just felt weird.

    TiRed
    Member

    42cm. Unless you are very broad shouldered (then 44cm). The fact that it is fixed is irrelevant. Gear properly for rolling terrain (48×16) and you will still be able to honk and gurn up the hills just fine.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    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.

    umop3pisdn
    Member

    Gear properly for rolling terrain (48×16)

    That’s not a proper gear for rolling terrain. Aim for something 66-70”

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