Viewing 18 posts - 41 through 58 (of 58 total)
  • Wider bars – pros/cons or do I look wide enough?!
  • So depending how much you read into his calculations your currently running in quite a sweet spot.

    I have only very recently used his concepts to set my bike up from his book Dialed , but I had used his bar width calculator quite a while ago and ended up cutting down to 740 (my range was 713 to 752) and I much prefer it now (was at 780)


    That calculation outs me at 860, I’d struggle to get my bike down country lanes with bars that wide!

    Premier Icon brant

    I thought it was half your age plus seven?
    Makes as much sense.

    Premier Icon ta11pau1

    That calculator puts me at 840mm (ok, 838mm) and 5% less is 796mm.

    So at 6ft 3in, 800mm is bang on.


    I ride 690mm 35mm stem

    Premier Icon tjagain

    I am 5’9ish with a normal span. I find wide bars uncomfortable and hinder me. 700 is the max I can feel comfy with

    That calculation gives me bars that are far too wide for me personally

    One other thing that occurred to me while setting the Stooges up, was grip length;
    how long are yours and where are you mostly holding on? If you’ve got 800mm but have long grips that you always hold near the levers, then surely you need narrower.

    I see a lot of online journalists saying a lot of things, I know its all about opinion, but a lot of views always come across ‘we are right, you are wrong’.

    Recently I have learnt that we are ALL riding bikes that are too small, you have the wrong bike if you cant run a 50mm stem, 780mm bars are for everyone and a few others.

    I guess i find myself (stupidly) influenced by what I read. I don’t even know why!!

    You certainly have to read between the lines. For example I was reading an in-depth review of my own bike (130 mm travel trail/XC full suss) and the reviewer (who was a really small guy too, barely fitting on a medium frame) reported that the bars “need” to be wider (770 is obviously not wide enough these days for a shortish travel full susser aimed at the trail/XC market) and he would have preferred 800. He was a young guy, probably quite fashion conscious and impressionable. That was my interpretation anyway, lol. In fairness the overall review was pretty good, but some of these comments are hard to take seriously.

    You just have to look at your own riding and ask yourself which of these fashion trends are actually going to help you out. For sure the current “enduro” trend is good for those seriously pushing the limits of their trail riding, but for me it just means more bike to have to haul around my local singletrack. As per my highly contentious 2015 vs 2019 geo thread I stepped off the LLS wagon when they started going over 1200 mm wheelbase. Simply because I have no use for a bike of that length and it would actually be a disadvantage for 99% of my riding.

    Having said all that, maybe your bike REALLY is too small for you. The only way to find out is to actually try riding a larger frame and see if you are more comfortable. But I think chasing wider bars and shorter stems on your current bike is unlikely to get you anywhere. It’s not like your current bars are in any way super narrow or you have an unusually long stem.

    One other thing that occurred to me while setting the Stooges up, was grip length;
    how long are yours and where are you mostly holding on? If you’ve got 800mm but have long grips that you always hold near the levers, then surely you need narrower.

    That’s a good point. I’ve noticed my wife rides with her hands well inboard of the grip ends (a good inch or more sticking out either end). I’m not that surprised as her bars are 780 wide and she’s 5’6″ with a very slight build. I should chop them down really, but she doesn’t mind riding like that. Her natural bar width would probably be around 700.


    I have stopped chasing. After another weekend ride (all be it very muddy and slippery) I ahev decided to just keep everything as is.

    For some reason, and I hate it, I just reasd in to things too much. No idea why, just one of my worst habbits!

    I don’t think my bike is too small, but have been told it is too small. I need to learn to listen to myself lol

    Premier Icon metalheart

    I’ve got progressively wider over time (as have my bars, boom boom, I’m here all week). But I’ve always favoured wider than average (as I’ve broad shoulders).

    On my recent bikes I put on Renthal fatbars at 800mm fully expecting to cut them down to 770-780mm but over a year on I’ve not felt the need.

    What’s more I roll them forwards, but that’s because rolled back I get shoulder/back pain. Something I first found running chopped down world force azonics back in the nineties on my kona explosif… MMV, so there… 🤪


    I’ve tried wide bars and I just don’t like them. My upper body feels strained and the steering feels clumsy. Not to mention smashing fingers between trees and the bars.

    I’ve settled at 720mm on my enduro and 670mm on my winter-slop hack. Admittedly, I’ve cut those 670mm a bit short and can get a little sketchy but it does mean I can cycle through the side-entrance by the gate at ashton court without bashing the bars!



    I’ve noticed my wife rides with her hands well inboard of the grip ends (a good inch or more sticking out either end)

    Good way for her to clip the bars on trees. The body has very good spatial awareness of where each bit of it is. Not sure her brain will remember to add on a couple of inches automatically*
    *Obvious joke is obvious.

    That calculator seems fair enough, if you actually read the whole thing the calculation is your effective max with a usable range down to 5% less. That puts me at 732mm to 771mm, given right now I run old EA50s at what, 680mm? 770 seems plenty wide enough and I’d probably err to the narrower end.

    I think the opening comments from that calculator link about sum it up for me:-

    “Unless you have a custom setup, the handlebar width that comes with your bike is probably determined by:

    Fashion. What is cool right now?

    The style of bike. Is it a cross country race bike or a trail bike or an enduro bike or a downhill bike?

    What the bike company thinks it can sell. What width handlebar do people expect on a bike like this? What width looks cool? Yes, that really happens — and wider bars do look cool.”

    For me the calc says 775-815, so “modern” bars would seem to suit me. My current bike actually has 770 bars, which do feel good, if a bit too wide for some of the tight tree runs. I could definitely cope with less width and probably would be faster due to all the tight twisty tree runs. I also remember when 685 mm EA70 monkey bars were considered super wide. How times change.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    That calculator – eh? Bar width depends on a load of factors, mostly the bike you’re riding and the kind of riding you want to do.

    My long travel bike (26) has 760, my XC racer has 710 and my adventure rigid bike 660. They are all perfect for what they are intended to do. I’m 5’11.

    What you want out of a bike ride and what you enjoy is also a factor. On my XC bike on climbs I move my hands inboard a because climbing like that feels really positive. But I don’t want to cut down because it’d make descending worse.

    Oh and my road bike is 440mm. That’s positive feeling on climbs too 🙂

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Actually. Maybe going wider on the long travel bike would increase effective bar reach without needing a longer stem.. as a longer stem makes the steering floppy. Maybe I could go up to 800 if there were a cheapo bar to try.

    On One El Guapo are £13 and look decent but are 780. Tempted at that price.


    i have an arm span of 6ft and run 780mm on my trail bikes and 800mm on my gravity bike as i want my trail bikes to be more nimble and the gravity bike to be more stable, especially as im not generally clipping trees on dh tracks.
    im 5ft 11 and have owned a 15″ frame Orange blood as my smallest bike and now ride a large modern bike with one of the longest reach measurements for its size. i also ‘size up’ as i tend to be at the top of a medium and the bottom of a large according to manufacturers. longer bikes definitely work for me but wider bars only up to a point.

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