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Which bars?

Guys, a bit of handlebar buying advice if you will..

I want to buy some new bars for my Whyte G170.
Why?? Because I fancy spending some cash on something nice! Nothing more, nothing less... (at least I’m honest)

Now, I want the carbon Renthal bars, they’re quite pricey and I want to buy the bend that’s best suited to me, rather than just buying a set off the shelf.

I have plenty of experience with motocross bars- 30 years racing taught me what kind of bend & height worked or didn’t work for me.

I know, I know this is ultimately all down to personal preference, but what I’m asking is if there’s a rough guide to what a given type of rider/physique/terrain is suited to a certain type of bar bend/height/width?

I’m fairly short at 5’7”
I ride Friston, will be doing as much BPW & Rogate as I can In coming months.

Yeah some might say I’m over thinking it and they’re right! But I thought I better check- at £100+ for a set of bars I’d hate to buy something only to find it’s not ideally suited to what I’m using it for or my physique.

TIA.

Posts

  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 624
    If the bars you have now work for you buy the same. Match stem clamp diameter, rise (bend), back sweep and width except in carbon if you 'fancy spending some cash on something nice'
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,014
    I bought a Renthal Lite alloy bar, loved it! When I bought another bike I switched the stock bar for a Renthal carbon bar. Wow! It felt as though every rock had had its corners rounded off just for me. The trail buzz disappeared and the ride felt super smooth. That feeling lasted a week and then became the new normal.

    This is an opportunity to check your ideal bar width.
    Lay a tape measure on the floor and assume the press up position. Do a few to make sure you are comfortable. Measure across the outside of your hands. That will be your best bar width.

    I read somewhere that most people could go wider than what they have now with benefit. I went from 620 to 660, then 710, then 740, now at 760. My 12 year old grandson is a foot shorter than me and he has 800!!! OK, he has arms like a gibbon, but he will not hear of his bars being shortened.

    Anyway, back to you. If it is above 780mm, you may have to go carefully at a few trail centres as they like tree gaps. Mostly you can get an 800mm wide bar through but you will need time to get used to them. Practice your shimmy.

    Wider bars give you more steering control and make negotiating rocky descents a lot easier. To maintain your centre of gravity on the bike, you may need a shorter stem. Buy try the wider bar first. A shorter stem will sharpen your steering response too. Win-win!

    If you need to shorten your carbon bars, wrap masking tape around the end and use a fine tooth saw and patience. Finish off with fine sandpaper. Do not use a pipe cutter of the sort used by plumbers, they will crush the bar.
  • ToneCToneC Posts: 18

    I bought a Renthal Lite alloy bar, loved it! When I bought another bike I switched the stock bar for a Renthal carbon bar. Wow! It felt as though every rock had had its corners rounded off just for me. The trail buzz disappeared and the ride felt super smooth. That feeling lasted a week and then became the new normal.

    This is an opportunity to check your ideal bar width.
    Lay a tape measure on the floor and assume the press up position. Do a few to make sure you are comfortable. Measure across the outside of your hands. That will be your best bar width.

    I read somewhere that most people could go wider than what they have now with benefit. I went from 620 to 660, then 710, then 740, now at 760. My 12 year old grandson is a foot shorter than me and he has 800!!! OK, he has arms like a gibbon, but he will not hear of his bars being shortened.

    Anyway, back to you. If it is above 780mm, you may have to go carefully at a few trail centres as they like tree gaps. Mostly you can get an 800mm wide bar through but you will need time to get used to them. Practice your shimmy.

    Wider bars give you more steering control and make negotiating rocky descents a lot easier. To maintain your centre of gravity on the bike, you may need a shorter stem. Buy try the wider bar first. A shorter stem will sharpen your steering response too. Win-win!

    If you need to shorten your carbon bars, wrap masking tape around the end and use a fine tooth saw and patience. Finish off with fine sandpaper. Do not use a pipe cutter of the sort used by plumbers, they will crush the bar.



    Funny , I run 800s on my hardball and got ridiculed slightly at my bikeshop as they never saw bars that wide...pointed out that I'm a 50 inch chest so that makes a difference. My full susser however I run stock 740s and never felt the need to change. Different type of bike though.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747


    This is an opportunity to check your ideal bar width.
    Lay a tape measure on the floor and assume the press up position. Do a few to make sure you are comfortable. Measure across the outside of your hands. That will be your best bar width.
    .

    I disagree completely, there is much more to someone's personal best bar width than that, not least the type of bike and type of riding.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,014


    This is an opportunity to check your ideal bar width.
    Lay a tape measure on the floor and assume the press up position. Do a few to make sure you are comfortable. Measure across the outside of your hands. That will be your best bar width.
    .

    I disagree completely, there is much more to someone's personal best bar width than that, not least the type of bike and type of riding.
    I accept the personal angle as everybody has like and dislikes. The press-up aspect is not something I've made up, it was widely quoted elsewhere when I was looking for a better bar width. It gives the individual a bar width that is personal to them and will provide a stable triangle around which to exert steering pressure. and resist it too.
    As for the type of bike and type of riding this is the "MTB buying advice" forum. I would not recommend this approach for commuting for example.

    I will however refrain from using the phrase "that will be your best bar width". I will replace it with "that will give you a stable body position from which to exert and resist steering pressure."
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Fair enough.

    I would add that many a myth can be said to be 'widely quoted elsewhere', like 5g spreading coronavirus and vaccines causing autism.....

    I would suggest that it gives a 'starting point' perhaps.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,014
    By "widely quoted elsewhere" I meant in MTB magazines probably Mountain Bike Rider or What Mountain Bike. I didn't take notes but it probably came up in searches at the time I was looking fro myself. I didn't get it from gossip, Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other chat channels.

    A "starting point" is good, I will use that.
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