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Road handlebar width advice

dombo6dombo6 Posts: 582
edited March 2009 in Road beginners
"Know How" forum seems to have disappeared so I'm posting this here...

Recently did a Cyclefit session and I was told that the handlebars on my roadbike were too wide. They are 44cms centre to centre on a 55cm frame, and I have narrow shoulders and stand 5'8", although have not noticed any discomfort. They do seem wider than my riding buddies who are generally broader shouldered than me.
My question is, what likely benefit if any would i get changing to a narrower bar eg 42 or even 40cms?
Thanks for any advice


  • dinosaurdinosaur Posts: 86
    I recently changed from 42cm to 44cm and it is much more comfy for me. I felt I was squeezing in to the 42cm bars and my hands weren't happy. So if you are uncomfortable on 44cm and have been recommended smaller ones then I would try some out.

    If you are already happy and comfortable enough with the 44cm bars though then there doesn't really seem any reason to change. But then again, I am pretty stingy.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Well you would be slightly narrower for wind resistance ?

    That said - I dont think I'd bother if you are OK with it. Maybe just bear it in mind for next time.

    The rule was always that the bars should be as wide as your shoulders. Works for me.
  • hamstrichhamstrich Posts: 112
    What is the proper technique for measuring handlebars? From outside to outside? Or should you measure from the centre of the tube?
  • dombo6dombo6 Posts: 582
    centre to centre so if already on the bike from the tops of the hoods
  • bicebice Posts: 772
    I am the same height as you and have the same width bars. I think they are great, especially in town. On another old bike I had been using narrow 1970s bars. The bike was twitchy and not nearly as comfortable, so I replaced with a flat bar.
  • crankycrankcrankycrank Posts: 1,830
    What works for me is to hold your arms out in front of you parallel to the ground with palms facing each other (for flat bars palms rotated down a bit). then move your arms toward each other and then away from each other and find what spread has the least amount of tension on your shoulders. The measurement between your palms would be the outside width of your bars. Doesn't work for everyone but it's a start.
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