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How Wide Are Your Bars?

PufftmwPufftmw Posts: 1,941
edited September 2009 in MTB general
How wide are they and how wide should they be?

My old Gary Fisher has reasonably narrow bars which I find absolutely OK but both the Orange and Scott appear to have really wide ones which I find a bit unwieldy,

What is the reason that they are (now?) so wide and what should be the ideal size? Is it down to individual preference or should they be a particular width to suit your body?

The other problem I have is the gaps between trees in Thetford Forest... :o
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  • I think mine are 660 (uncut RF Evolves and Easton EA50's) and they suit me - I coul dgo wider but wouldn't go narrower. My mates wife rides a flat narrow bar and it feels horrific (to her as well!) and another friend has an older rockhopper which is horribly narrow in the bars.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • Well, I have just (as in last night) fitted some Faceface Next SL flat bars to replace my old Easton EA50 Monkey Bars.

    The RF bars are 560mm, the EA50s were 685mm.

    I take in some really tight singletrack on my bike and I am hoping that the narrower bars will give me more of a margin without hooking a tree and killing myself to death.

    Only done a couple of miles on them this morning but they dont feel too bad, just trying to adjust to the different position on the bike.
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    If your bars are narrow, you don't have as much leverage for steering. At high speed this isn't such a problem, although any input you do make will be horribly exaggerated and may leed to a speed wobble. But it means that you need to make a fairly big input on short bars to make a direction change.

    If you go for wide bars, you don't need as much input to make steering adjustments.

    I swapped my old 660mm bars on my Giant for a pair of 710mm Sunline V2s and what a difference it made! The low-speed steering is now much more predicatable and the bike has less of a tendency to over-steer. This coupled with a much shorter stem (70mm now as opposed to the old 110mm stem) has made a huge difference.
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  • 700 on a 60 stem but I could live with 685 just to take that squeezing through a gap feeling out of the equation.
  • 665 on the Evil
    the SS has narrower ones, 650 I think (coz I forgot to check before clicking "buy" :oops: ) but I've got used to them

    680 is nicer for me chest-wise but I find it a bit broad for threading through trees so 650 - 665 seems to work well for me well enough
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • dave_hill wrote:
    If your bars are narrow, you don't have as much leverage for steering. At high speed this isn't such a problem, although any input you do make will be horribly exaggerated and may leed to a speed wobble. But it means that you need to make a fairly big input on short bars to make a direction change.

    If you go for wide bars, you don't need as much input to make steering adjustments.

    I swapped my old 660mm bars on my Giant for a pair of 710mm Sunline V2s and what a difference it made! The low-speed steering is now much more predicatable and the bike has less of a tendency to over-steer. This coupled with a much shorter stem (70mm now as opposed to the old 110mm stem) has made a huge difference.

    I hate to disagree Dave but that's just wrong - basic principal of levers means if your bars are longer your hand has to move further to make the same difference to the steering angle thus wider bars make for a more stable, less twitchy ride than narrow.

    Think about it - if nothing but the bar changes then to turn right you have to push your left hand further forward to get the same angle of steerage.

    Your shorter stem/wider bars combo has the effect of one cancelling or compensating for the other giving you a moderate effect. Shorter stem will sharpen handling, wider bars soften.
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • PS - that's my understanding anyway - I am willing to be proved wrong!
    Closet jockey wheel pimp censored .
  • paul.skibum, glad it's not just me who thinks this way. Part of my reasoning behind getting the narrower bars was the idea of sharpening up the handling a little.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    it depends on which bike i am riding.

    they vary.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
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  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    My NS bars are 690mm with a 40mm stem, that and I'm only 5'5".

    Wider bars help keep the old lungs working a bit easier.

    Also twitching in the arms doesn't have such a big effect on the steering.

    And Dave_Hill your post has me confused, ie law of levers and bike over steer, I always thought it was the rider that over steered not the bike.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    620mm on the Zaskar team.
  • picked up spike 777 bars,but cut down to 27in,
  • grumstagrumsta Posts: 994
    710 here - think wider bars do slow down the steering, but not in a bad way.
  • KiblamsKiblams Posts: 2,423
    640 on my Easton EA50s, much thinner on my commuter.
  • 680 on my Commencal. Any wider and they feel unwieldy and my arms tire quicker. Any narrower and it becomes too twitchy.
  • 685mm here on an xc hardtail. Recently changed from a 630 and the bike rides faster! It really does! More leverage = quicker turning response, and..........the longer bar exerts more downward force when banked over, increasing front wheel traction. Brilliant! It's at about the limit for my physique and riding style though.
  • 660mm ritchey carbon feel spot on to me wouldnt want to go any less
  • 680 PZ racing on a 70mm Easton Stem
  • ads4ads4 Posts: 698
    Changed my 680mm racelite Bontragers for some 660mm FSA K Force Carbon bars, work great with the new 70mm stem :)
    Adam.

    Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.

    Current ride - Yeti ASR 5a X0
  • 760mm nickle elment flat bars.with a funn direct mount stem.feel amazing
  • 77ric77ric Posts: 601
    How wide are my bras?

    38DD


    oh

    How wide are my bars?

    sorry misread that there :oops:



    erm 680mm on the stock commie bars, i was going to change em for some raceface atlas bars (700mm version) when i got the commie but actually quite like the feel and don't miss the extra 20mm at all.
    Fancy a brew?
  • 560mm Exotic Scandium Flat bar.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Mr Rowlie wrote:
    560mm Exotic Scandium Flat bar.

    How you finding it? I have the 620mm low riser.
  • rudedogrudedog Posts: 523
    mine are 685mm
  • Very nice. I think the 580 would suit better but they are much better than the stock riser i had on before. Really surprised on the weight of them too. Can't beat them for the price!
    Running bar ends on them currently with supporting plugs, which i would not recommend, as they are very thin.

    Also using the 80mm exotic stem, another quality piece of kit.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I am using that stem too lol. So well made, and ten quid! Why buy Thomson?!
  • Sir HCSir HC Posts: 20,148
    685mm on the Reign, although I have some 740mm sunline V1's to try at some point, they look ridiculous tbh.

    660mm on the Inbred
    Intense Socom
    Inbred
  • 680mm with a 40mm stem for me :)
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Did you know a longer stem actually gives you more leverage, not less?
  • coxy17coxy17 Posts: 401
    711 the new sunline v2 i have just brought :D
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