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It's about the bar...

archemistarchemist Posts: 21
edited October 2013 in Road buying advice

I've just purchased a 45cm Basso Devil in the Wiggle sale for my youngest - from the geometry data it appears to be about a perfect fit, for example his inside leg is smack in the middle of the range and it looks like it'll fit him as he grows another say 4 inches or so.

My question is about handlebar width - it appears to come with a set 42cm bars which seems enormous for a wee bike?

I thought that bar width had a near corollary with shoulder width, too small and it affects your breathing and too large and reach and frontal area issues.

Should I invest in a 38cm or 40cm bar - it's bit sad to have to replace and retape on a new bike though!

Any thoughts welcome:)



  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,964
    Probably won't make much difference, tbh. Not sure how relevant bar width is (beyond personal preference, or issues of control or reach) anyway. If you look at the size of most track sprinters, 99% of them are on narrow bars and it doesn't seem to restrict their breathing. Same issue on tri-bars...
  • tonye_ntonye_n Posts: 832
    A 42cm wid bar is defo too wide for that size of bike. You are right in that most bikes of that size would usually have either a 38cm or 40cm bar.

    In general you would find that most growing children if shorter than about 5' 6" would have correspondingly narrower shoulders that an adult of average height (i.e. 5' 9" = about 42cm in general).
    Similarly most bikes sized for females( who are on average a tad smaller than males), have smaller handlebars.

    2cm or so does not usually make much of a difference unless you have developed a strong preference for a particular feel over time.
    However someone who is sized for a 45cm bike I would suggest should be on a 38cm wide handlebar.
    The difference b/w 38cm and 42cm is quite a bit, and would have an effect on the handling and feel of a road bike IMHO.
  • Thanks for your thoughts I think the reach is going to be the problem and an 80 stem and 38 bars are the way to go.
    He's not a big lad but has longer legs than trunk, relatively. What I really really don't want is for him to not love it because of a fit issue.

    I'm a bit loath to trust the tech spec's on Websites as looking at the size guides the cm and inches measurements don't tally anyway.

    thanks again
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd not change anything yet - see how it goes. Widths are measured in different ways - some centre to centre - some outside to outside.

    I prefer a wider bar - but there's really not much in it I reckon.
  • Thanks all for your thoughts - I though a little feedback might be useful.

    We did 103 miles the 1st weekend including a memorable ride up the Trentside where he led me and a proper roadie mate at c. 18mph for a good couple of miles :D

    After tweaking the fit as best we could it was clear that 42cm (actually 42.5cm!) were too big, and they're not very compact so reach is a genuine problem. Campag shifters don't adjust for reach like shimano either!

    We've fitted a pair of Deda RHM01's in 38cm - these are very compact and the tight curve helps to bring the shifters round and nearer. An 80mm Deda zero2 stem and we're now sorted. Steering will be a bit direct no doubt but at least he can reach the brakes properly from the hoods and drops.

    Bike was supplied with a 350mm seatpost - with the bottle bosses less than 200mm down - it fitted me never mind someone who's 4' 10"!

    All in though the Basso is a little cracker - absolutely lovely, a nice mix of kit and a great finish - I know it's heavily discounted (old stock) at Wiggle but still IMHO an absolute bargain.

    Oh yes the weight, as delivered, 8.4kg! (45cm frame).
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    Bar width has nothing to do with frame size and everything to do with shoulder width. You've done the right thing in measuring your son and getting a set of bars to match. I have no idea where the notion comes from that the bigger the frame, the wider the bars need to be.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
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