Maximum size handle bars to use cycle tracks?


Well-Known Member
As title I use cycle tracks and they often have bars at one end it is claimed to stop motorcycles however since the handle bars are lower on a motor bike they don't, however they should allow wheel chairs, mobility scooters and push bikes through, however I have to angle my handle bars as they are too wide for many of the entrances and exists I come to.

With a light road bike this is not really too much of a problem, I know it was a problem for my son where he had to remove the wheels of the children's trailer and drag it through and then reconnect them after. And I have needed to dismantle my dad's mobility scooter and rebuild the other side, in some cases we have found a lock which uses a RADAR key issued for disabled toilets that allow wheel chairs and mobility scooters through.

However I am getting older and it's now time to get an ebike which is slightly heavier than normal road bike so dragging the front wheel through or slacking off handle bars and turning them to get through is not what I want, even if only a feeler gauge clearance I want handle bars that fit through the bars.

I am sure there is a nationally agreed size, so what is the nationally agreed size? OK some will not follow the agreed size, I even saw a set on a tow path, where clearly no horse could ever pass, and watched the horse drawn barge guy cut them off with a battery angle grinder and throw them in the hedge, however carrying an angle grinder in my saddle bag is not really an option. However if my ebike will pass through the official gap then I should not have a problem.

Borrowed wife's ebike to try it, cycled alongside the River Dee from Queensferry to Chester, no problem getting on the cycle track there was a chicane type, then could not get off the track without lifting handle bars over the angled bars at Saltney Ferry, one would think at least they could use same bars both ends? Did not have spanners with me to release handle bars. So want to make sure when I get an ebike it will fit.


Growing old disgracefully
South Wales
Good luck with that

Along my local five-mile stretch of route 469, there are 11 such gates, all different widths and designs.

I have to stop and turn my handlebars sideways to get through each one. One is so narrow, I cannot even get my shoulders through without turning my body sideways.

Fair enough, I have quite wide bars on my current bikes, but even on my older bikes with narrower bars it was the same problem

Ironically, I regularly see motorbikes and quads up and down there, no problem.


Über Member
I've had some success with standing the bike up on its back wheel. You can usually push the bike through without turning the bars as they go over the barrier. My bikes are all either L or XL so this may not work for smaller bikes. As a previous poster mentioned, the barriers are never a standard size so a few I've come across have been too high to do this. In which case I've had to resort to waggling the bars through or standing the bike on its back wheel as mentioned previously, pushing the wheel through and when the wheel is clear on the other side turning the bars vertical and walking through.


I do most of my cycling on the road, but was recently on holiday with my wife on her ebike. We cycled part of the C2C cyclepath, possibly from Consett to Beamish, and I couldn't believe how rubbish it was. There were some nice bits, but some real compromises in getting through built up areas. I struggled to get my roadbike through some gates, and we had to jointly manouevre my wifes bike, with an end each at one point. A lot of the Sustrans infrastructure just isn't fit for purpose.


Deplorable Brexiteer
I got a secondhand Raleigh hybrid which was factory-fitted with bars of a ridiculous width of 24 1/2", which, aside from being wider than anyone could possibly need to control the bike, are a right royal PITA when passing through those anti-motorcycle barriers. The solution is actually very simple; I deployed my hacksaw and cut 5/8" off each side of the bars and reduced their width. Now, there are very few barriers where I need to resort to picking the whole bke up and heaving it over the top before walking round the gate.
Just do what I did, get the hacksaw out and make the bike fit the gaps you need to get it through., its not exactly a big deal.

Ming the Merciless

There is no mercy
Inside my skull
Certainly does not work well with a bike loaded with panniers for touring.


Setting the controls for the heart of the sun.
To repeat what has been said upthread, that is why I try to avoid cycle tracks. There is one a couple of miles from my house, I used to take child 2 to shortly after she learned to ride to help develop her confidence. Even she in her early stages of riding found it dispiriting she could get through some of the "gates" with care, but others I had to manhandle her bike through the obstacle.
This thread has highlighted the total unsuitability of these trail features to me.

As a young, fit, physically capable male I find these obstructions an annoying inconvenience, even when having to manhandle a laden touring bike through them. The fact is that for most people with less gorrilla like capabilities these features are actually a barrier rather than an obstruction. It should not be acceptable that public money is being spent this way.


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
Try getting a bunch of MTBers through them at once. Takes ages. So much so, I chucked my bike over the fence, then jumped over it. Much smugness as people were still queuing.


Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
In theory, they should allow 1m wide at ground level through, narrowing to 850mm at 1.2m above ground. This is so mobility scooters, wheelchairs and wheelchair hand-tricycles can pass through.

In practice, some people can't install them correctly and you still find a few really nasty old designs about like pedal-catchers because no-one will fund removal. Take a spanner and a hacksaw :sad: (It is legal to remove obstructions from the highway, isn't it? ;) )

Oh and I'm sure you'll all be happy to know that everything other than bollards has been removed from the Sustrans design manuals years ago.
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