Bar Width & Stem Length-Cross post in Santa Cruz
Hey everyone, I'm trying to get my new Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc just right. I am 6 feet tall and purchased a size large. After getting measured I decided to go with a 100 mm EA 90 stem. It is flipped over so it has a negative rise. The handlebars are EC 70s that have a 20 mm rise and are 685 mm wide. After a few rides I've decided to go with bars that are somewhat wider (Easton Havens, 711 mm wide with a 20 mm rise). After a few rides, it seemed that wider bars would help improve my climbing traction. My question is how else do wider bars affect the bike's handling? What happens if I go for a shorter stem? Thanks for your help.
Bar width/ stem
I am running Easton Haven bars, uncut with the stock 55 or 60 mm stock stem and it felt short in the cockpit at first and now I think its perfect. I am 5' 11".
IMO they dont.
It is marketing hype and gimmickry.
100mm stem 640mm.
How do wider bars help with climbing traction?
TR put it bluntly, but he is correct. Wider bars will not help you keep the front tire on the ground. It is all about body position. If you lean forward, i.e. more weight on the bars, no matter the width of the bar the front tire will not squirm or wander.
Wider bars can give you a more stable feel, especially on the downhills and through the rough though.
There is not much choice between rotten apples.
Wider bars do not help with traction as mentioned above. Wider bars help with leverage, but utimately it's for better breathing - opens up your chest, better control and better balance, which makes you more stable and slower to fatigue.
Ideal width of a bar is dependent on the individual rider, riding discipline, and size bike.