How wide are your flat bars?

TheDoctor

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe
Moderator
Location
Stevenage
One of mine has the bars cut as narrow as will take shifters, levers, grips and bar ends. Once I go SS on that bike I'll be taking them as narrow as I can. My current SS has 420 mm bars (cut off drops, upside down), and isn't too twitchy at all.
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
The distance between the second fingers ( long fingers ) of each hand should be the outside measurement of your shoulders.

This is the ergonomically correct arm position.
 

buddha

Veteran
I chopped some 660mm risers to 540. Not to be able to squeeze between traffic, but for comfort (where my hands naturally 'rested'), making full use of some Ergon grips.

I use a 400mm road bar FWIW
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
Thanks, but I'm not bothered about some scientist's ergonomically correct position, otherwise I wouldn't be riding a bike.

I just want to get them as short as possible without adversely affecting the handling.
Why don't you do what any sensible person would do.

Move all the levers, grips etc as close to the stem as possible and go for a decent ( 50 miles at least ) ride with spare handlebar sticking out.

If you don't like how it feels; the sqeeze on your thoracic cage is restricting your breathing or you have pain across your trapezius, shift the grips and levers back out.

When you are happy, get the hacksaw out.
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
On one bike they are 640 - but they are too wide and I don't use that bike often enough to bother changing them, but on my favourite bike they are 570 - I just went into the bike shop and showed him where I wanted my hands to end up - he took quite bit off each side. At first it felt as if I had gone too far but I was soon used to the new position - I expect I could have gone further.

Where would you like your hands to rest on the bars - have you tried cycling with them in that position - that's why I decided to chop mine as I was resting on the edge of the grips/gear levers some of the time.

Not being knowledgeable about this - can you repeatedly cut bits off (obviously stopping before you go too far)?
 

eldudino

Bike Fluffer
Location
Stirling
jimboalee said:
Why don't you do what any sensible person would do.

Move all the levers, grips etc as close to the stem as possible and go for a decent ( 50 miles at least ) ride with spare handlebar sticking out.
Jeez, you're suggesting I'm sensible!

I did the above and cut mine down, can't remember the exact width but it's about 500-520mm I think. I ride on the bar ends most of the time so it's a comfy position. I'd recommend doing the above as well as putting all the tat you ride with on the bars - lights, computer, reflectors, cuddly toy etc. to make sure you leave enough room for them when you want to put them back on (assuming you've taken them off for the good weather).
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
Another method of finding your optimum width without looking a prat for 50 miles is....

Do a load of press-ups. You will soon find how far your hands should be apart to get efficiency.
It is usually 'shoulder width'.
 

GilesM

Guru
Location
East Lothian
Hardtail: 650mm
Fullsuss: 700mm

I have a shorter stem on the Fullsuss, which compensates slightly for the wider reach, the wider bars are greater for techincal stuff, especially downhill techincal, and the wider bars also allow you to get the brakes levers further in to the centre which makes one finger braking easier. The wider bars sometimes present a few problems with narrow gaps, some dodgy moments when I have clipped a few trees. If the bike was staying mainly on the road, I'd use about a 600mm wide bar, and a slightly longer stem, but if it's going anywhere off road and techincal, short stem and 650mm plus bars.
 

youngoldbloke

The older I get, the faster I used to be ...
Interesting then that a road bar (dropped) is regarded as wide at 46cm? Anyway I often ride with hands inboard of the levers on the tops - when climbing for example - no problems with twitchiness. Ok hand position is different on flats but cutting them down to 580 isn't going to cause any problems.
 

redddraggon

Blondie
Location
North Wales
I have 36cm c-c of hoods (38 c-c at bottom of drops) and it's fine, and I often ride with both my hands right next to the stem anyway.

A lot of fakengers seem like bars that are like 20cm wide.
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
Another useful method is to fold your arms with straight fingers touching the biceps.

Your flat handlebars can be the width of your elbows' outside dimension.
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
How about "Twice the length of your foot".....

Which happens to be 'twice the length of your radius bone'.... which is what you are doing when you fold your arms with straight fingers touching the biceps......
 
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