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  1. #1
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    Cutting handlebar shorter (narrower stance)

    Would you do it? Or have you done it?

    I've never owned a 29er before, but have test ridden quite a few at bike shops. I don't feel the need for such a wide stance or large leverage bar (long lever arm in geometric terms). I'm a recreational sport rider who enjoy single track, technical climbs and fast downhills.

    My LBS is more than willing to cut it down for me. Maybe an inch or inch and a half each end -- upon delivery of my new Mamba. Of course there's no going back once it's done.

    Comments?

  2. #2
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    I have the same problem.

    I'm currently working on my new used 29er. I just received Enve carbon riser handlebar(700mm) and was installed in the 29er already. I decided not to cut it since I want to see how it feels in the trail. If it works, I will leave it at 700mm. Please don't rush to cut the bar since there is no going back.
    Last edited by edle; 01-21-2013 at 11:11 PM. Reason: add info.

  3. #3
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    NOOOOOO! do not cut it. You'll regret it later. Try to stay around 680-700mm is ideal imo.
    12' Sir9 Rigid
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  4. #4
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    Oh,i have 4-5 carbon bars that i cut down to 620-640. You wanna trade
    12' Sir9 Rigid
    11' Jabber Rigid
    10 SJ SS rigid
    10' Swork SS 29er
    10' Tallboy
    08' RM Vertex SS

  5. #5
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    A shorter stem may help you adjust to the wider bars. So this fit and handling component should be included. Allow several hours of trail time for evaluation.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by snellvilleGAbiker View Post
    Oh,i have 4-5 carbon bars that i cut down to 620-640. You wanna trade
    In fact, do you have them listed for sale somewhere? I seriously might consider buying a used bar -- just for sake of going back to original if needed. Is 700mm the standard on 29ers?

    620mm would be about three inches shorter (inch and a half each end). Why doesn't it work for you? Is it just comfort and feel for your body proportions?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    A shorter stem may help you adjust to the wider bars. So this fit and handling component should be included. Allow several hours of trail time for evaluation.
    Interesting you should mention the stem.

    I'm actually used to a longer stem (on an old Rockhopper). I think they call it a racing posture. I'm 6ft tall. So all these newer bikes seem odd to me sitting so upright.

    My LBS also said swapping out for a longer stem would be easy. They may not even charge me for it.

    The thing about trying it out for several hours in the trails is just timing. Dry conditions are still months away. I don't want to go right into muddy conditions on a new bike.

  8. #8
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    I would leave it alone and see how you like the wider bars. The trend in the market is toward wider bars and shorter stems...and for me, the bike handles way, way, way better set up with wide bars and a shorter stem. No loss by seeing how you like it the way it is set up, and you can always cut the bars later, and long stems are a dime a dozen now because of the trend toward going shorter, so no real cost to do it later.

  9. #9
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    Before you cut it I'd suggest try it as is. You can take a few Allen wrenches with you on the trail and move the controls and grips inward on the bar to find "your" ideal width. Also ask your LBS to lend you a shorter stem to try. (Depending on what stem is on the bike.) Then decide if you want to cut it.

    Personally, 700mm. is not a wide bar. I ride at 720mm. and I'm 5' 10". The tendency to use wider bars and shorter stems on 29" bikes has resulted from now over ten years of riders finding they handle better and it gets the weight of the front wheel. You don't have to feel like you are in a too upright riding position by moving your saddle back a little.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  10. #10
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    It's hard to get internet answers to a question that's basically about fit and personal preference/riding style/terrain. That said the trend among 'knowing' consumers is definitely to go wide, no holds barred.

    Most of the trend setting boys sport the short stem attached to a spar-like set of bars, resembling the mainyard on a Nelson era frigate. Their bikes are also adorned with a slacked out geometry, big forks and are ridden like an avalanche down the Eiger. Surely having the hands far apart is of great advantage here.

    My single speed friends also swear by the wide stance. Performing those ligament tearing standing mashes up insanely steep bumps in a gear more suited to winning sprints, Greipel-style, require the leverage of 700+ millimeters of skinny alloy.

    Myself, well, I think 680mm is the sweet spot. I'll ride anything out there, but given the average tech-skills and an aversion to broken bones that comes with learning a new sport in the mid forties, my style is less aggressive and more ponderous than the average hotshot. In this situation I don't feel the advantage of going wider when climbing any sort of terrain, or descending, say, tight switchbacks. But I don't huck the occasional big drop presenting itself, rather I creep down with squealing brakes and damn near sitting on the rear tire.

    My hardtail also sees lots of long rides with it's fair share of gravel and, god forbid, pavement, where, for me at least, the not so ultra wide set up is very comfy and also more aero.

    All that said, my current choice is the Jones Loop bar, which coincidentally is also 680mm tip to tip, but otherwise a completely different brew.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
    ...
    Personally, 700mm. is not a wide bar. ...
    Right on. I'm riding a 780mm bar. "Wide" is a relative term.

    To answer one of the OP's questions, no, there is no standard handlebar width. Also no standard frame size, no standard stem length, no standard seat shape, no standard control setup (lever angles, etc.) All these things and many other aspects of individual bike setup are strictly personal preference. I'm with the others who've recommended you give the "wide" bars (wide in quotes because 700mm is not wide to some of us) a thorough thrashing before you reach for the hacksaw.

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  12. #12
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    I cut a pair when in Japan ... The narrow aspect worked quite well while manuvering through tree lined narrow trails.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan_nikolajsen View Post
    ...
    All that said, my current choice is the Jones Loop bar, which coincidentally is also 680mm tip to tip, but otherwise a completely different brew.
    Quite a fun and funny read! Thank you.

    I've actually tried a bike with that bar, but just in test around the parking lot. And I like it! There's something amazingly natural for the angle of the grips. Ergonomic would be the word.

    As for Haymarket's comment, "long stems are a dime a dozen now because of the trend toward going shorter" -- it really gives me some thought. I might just pick up a few to test the various positions.

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