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Shoulder width

nashcomnashcom Posts: 255
edited June 2007 in Workshop
I'm buying new handlebars, and am wondering how to measure my shoulders to determine the correct width to buy. Which distance should be measured, and are calculations required to work out the handlebar width?

I've measured my current bars at the centres just behind the brake hoods. One is 410mm, and feels not too bad, although I'd always thought they may have been narrower than that. The other bike is about 440mm, and they've always felt huge, but I've never really noticed aproblem with them once I've got used to them. I'm quite skinny and narrow, so I'm not sure whether I ought to go for a 40cm or 42cm bar.


  • jumbolugsjumbolugs Posts: 181
    Be aware that some of the manufacturers use outside-to-outside measurement (most of them I think) and some use centre-to-centre.

    I think it's just a case of whatever feels comfortable. I recently switched from 40cm to 44cm and realised almost immediately I'd made a mistake - the 44s felt slightly too wide - 42 would have been ideal. However I've now got used to them and don't notice any more.

    I think 42(o-o) is probably right for most adult males - 40 if you're very small and 44 if you're really big or have very broad shoulders.
  • nashcomnashcom Posts: 255
    Thanks, Jumbolugs.

    The ones I'm looking at are measured centre-to-centre. As I said, mine are currently 41cm centre-to-centre, and the new ones are available in 40cm, 42cm, and 44cm. I think the 44cm are too wide, but I'm dithering about moving 1cm up or down in size.
  • SteveorowSteveorow Posts: 162
    Had the same dilema . Go into a shop with a selection of bars turn the bars upside down then curl the bar ; like a bar bell curl ; so the bar end ; where the bar plugs go ; touch the bony part on thhe outside of the shoulder . If they do then the bars should not be too far off the correct size if they do not then then a different size maybe needed . As jumbolugs says different manufacturers specify differently size differently .
  • nashcomnashcom Posts: 255
    My LBS only has one drop handlebar in stock, and as I'll be buying mailorder (the shop's not very good at ordering non-stock items) I don't really want to bother them. I've read that you should measure from a bony protrusion on shoulder, then add 2cm to that measurement to find out the handlebar size (assuming handlebars are measured centre-to-centre). My problem is, that I can find all sorts of bony protrusions around my shoulders, and haven't a clue which one to choose! Should I measure from the outside of my arms? There also seems to be a bone at the top of my shoulders that feels roughly in line with the centre of the top arm joint (ie it pivots from there).
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