Handlebar width

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Milkman, 24 May 2008.

  1. Milkman

    Milkman Über Member

    Firstly hello everyone. I'm reviving my interest in cycling and hope to share some of it with this forum.
    But first some questions. I keep two road bikes, one in London and one in stockport. I don't usually get to compare as there's usually some delay between riding the two.
    However the bikes have just been swapped round as I'm taking the lower geared Stockport bike to Alpe d'Huez next week.
    Thing is the handlebars feel very wide apart and I wondered what the wisdom is on the handle bar width?
    Is it just whatever's good for you or is there an accepted size, like "same as your shoulder width" or something?
  2. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    yep, same as your shoulder width is the rule of thumb.
    But if anything wider handlebars allows your chest cavity to be more open and thus breathe better, also they are slightly more controllable but not that much.

    Having said all that, trust your instinct - whatever feels comfortable for you is ultimately what you should go with. If your new bars feel a bit wide, then give it a bit to get used to them, as it may just be that the feel unfamiliar but you will like them better once you get used to them, but if you can't get usd to them, then go back to what you're comfortable with.
  3. simoncc

    simoncc New Member

    The only issue I've ever had with handlebar width is that in heavy traffic the narrower they are the better which means drops are best. Do drops vary much in width?
  4. gavintc

    gavintc Guru

    Yes, you can get a range of widths and as stated, the normal wisdom is to have them as wide as your shoulders. But, the wider they are, the less aerodynamic you are.
  5. woohoo

    woohoo Veteran

    I've tried ITM anatomical, Deda Newton and Bontrager VR bars, all nominally in the same width. I hated the ITM's (couldn't reach the levers from the drops), found the Deda's pretty good but really liked the Bontrager's because they have a small radius bend on the top which gives a larger effective width. All bars the same width but very different in shape and riding position.
  6. OP

    Milkman Über Member

    thanks for the ideas. I'm going to go with it for the mo. might swap 'em over when i come back
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