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  1. #1
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    Handle-Bar-Lengths

    My handlebars are 680mm or 26"...I wanted to upgrade to some carbon bars to lighten the Heckler up, but most of the bars Im looking at are 685mm or 27"..I am use to my bars and do like the feel of what I have, so if I switch to the 685mm only 1" bigger, will I notice the differnece. I don't want to have to get use to something new. It is what, 1/2 inch more to each side..will this really be noticable when gripping, especially for a shorter rider at 5'5"? What if i cut the 27" carbon bar down to 26" will this jeopardize the integrity of the carbon bar?

    Genrec

  2. #2
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    Some carbon bars have a "cutting area" that's alu.

  3. #3
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    You can cut carbon bars with a fine tooth hacksaw blade. There are carbon specific hacksaw blades at some bike shops that they may let you use. If you were any taller I'd say that you'll definitely like the wider bar better but it's hard for a 6'2"er to give fitting advice to a 5'5"er. I've gone wider on all my bars in the last few years. 26-28" on my different bikes.
    Last edited by Lelandjt; 02-23-2009 at 11:17 PM.
    Keep the Country country.

  4. #4
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    I am 5'5" & ride a 28" bar with no problems I actually prefer the handling of a wider bar better.

  5. #5
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    The difference between 680 and 685 is less than 1/4" total length, or about 1/10" on each side. I'd be really surprised if you or anyone else could tell the difference.

  6. #6
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    He has the mm lengths wrong. He means 26" and 27".
    Last edited by Lelandjt; 02-23-2009 at 11:02 PM.
    Keep the Country country.

  7. #7
    JMH
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    Quote Originally Posted by genrec
    My handlebars are 680mm or 26"...I wanted to upgrade to some carbon bars to lighten the Heckler up, but most of the bars Im looking at are 685mm or 27"..I am use to my bars and do like the feel of what I have, so if I switch to the 685mm only 1" bigger, will I notice the differnece. I don't want to have to get use to something new. It is what, 1/2 inch more to each side..will this really be noticable when gripping, especially for a shorter rider at 5'5"? What if i cut the 27" carbon bar down to 26" will this jeopardize the integrity of the carbon bar?

    Genrec
    I trim Gravity Carbon DH bars with a 32tpi hacksaw blade all the time, just stop cutting before you go all the way through (you don't want to splinter the carbon) and start cutting from the other side. Sandpaper will give you a smooth edge, nail polish will seal the composite (if you roll that way, I don't bother)

    Yeah, an inch can feel quite significant.

    JMH

  8. #8
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    Go wide... the wider the better, you won't regret it.

  9. #9
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    If you want to cut carbon bars wrap the cut area with masking tape and use a new fine tooth blade. Go nice and steady, wear a mask and file edges when your done with a round file. Draw the file, don't push it into the carbon and don't use too much pressure and you'll be shiny.

    I've got carbon splinters in my fingers before and it hurts like a SOB, and carbon fiber dust particles I'm sure are no good for lungs.....

    CF and DOT fluid: The 2 things I treat with most respect when working on any bike.

  10. #10
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    I have a feeling that the wider the handlebar, the higher chance of it flex / bend...
    It worries me when I'm useing wide handlebar.
    Last edited by Hardtail Rider; 02-24-2009 at 05:47 PM.
    Upgrade what you need, not what you Want.

  11. #11
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    Riders way bigger than you don't have flex problems with wide carbon bars. I use one of these on my X-Large Mojo and like the bend, feel, and weight. 25.4 clamp, 20mm rise, 26" width, 158grams.
    http://www.eastonbike.com/PRODUCTS/BARS/09/bar_rise_ml_xc_'09.html
    Keep the Country country.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt
    Riders way bigger than you don't have flex problems with wide carbon bars. I use one of these on my X-Large Mojo and like the bend, feel, and weight. 25.4 clamp, 20mm rise, 26" width, 158grams.
    http://www.eastonbike.com/PRODUCTS/BARS/09/bar_rise_ml_xc_'09.html
    I saw this bar..only i heard the the non glossy coat carbon bars such as this are more prone to issues or something without the glossy coat? I dont really think so.

  13. #13
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    That doesn't sound right. Why would the paint matter? Easton's CNT bars are probably the most bombproof handlebar at a given weight. They make a DH bar and so does Gravity if you are really worried but the XC bar will be fine.
    Keep the Country country.

  14. #14
    Cannondale Snob
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    Do they not have trees where you all live? I'm pretty sure I couldn't fit 27" bars between the trees on many of our trails. I cut mine down to 25" and can think of one spot on a trail where I've rubbed both ends of the bars squeezing between trees.
    '06 Cannondale Rush 1000 4" travel 27lbs
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  15. #15
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    Yeah, there is that downside to wide bars. Also just having to take a slightly wider line around turns to avoid the tree on the inside. There's a fast section on a trail I ride a lot where you have to wheelie and turn the bars about 30 degrees to fit through without slowing down.
    Keep the Country country.

  16. #16
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    I have 26, 27 and 28 inch bars on my bikes. They feel very different because they're for different purpose. My big 6 inch bike has the 28, and it's great for descents. My hardtail has the 27 because it's set up as an AM bike. And my 5 inch bike has the 26, which helps a lot on the technical climbs and doesn't really hurt on the descents because I grap the bars as far outside as I can. Hope this helps...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigiugueto
    Go wide... the wider the better, you won't regret it.
    As with everything bigger is better!

    But in all seriousness I am totally a big fan of 710mm bars. After ridding 680, I feel more control and more confortable

  18. #18
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    You may want to read this for some additional info about relationship between handling and stem/handlebar lengths. For example, I use a 27" bar on my 6" squishy bike with 70mm stem, but a 26" bar on my HT with 90mm stem. Both combinations feel different, but exactly the way I want it for the given bike.

  19. #19
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    As usual RC is too old school to make relevant recommendations. His comments on stem length ignore jumping. If you don't care how you bike handles in the air why not just stick to XC bikes? Long stems feel goofy when doing even small jumps over natural terrain that we bought our AM bikes for. If you want your bike to feel good jumping don't go over 70mm on the stem or under 26" on the bar.
    Keep the Country country.

  20. #20
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    Maybe he is old school (don't know), but I think he is giving good food for thought about how different combinations of stem & handlebar length can affect handling. I.e. if the original poster is currently using a 100mm or even longer stem, I am not sure that it would be a good idea to put a 27 or 28" handlebar on that stem, unless the OP is super tall (but even then it would beg the question if he is on a right sized frame). Anyway, just wanted to add perspective when posting that link.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigiugueto
    Go wide... the wider the better, you won't regret it.
    I couldn't disagree more! The bars should be shoulder width, so your arms are parallel when in the ride position.

    Wide bars flex more and need more movement to steer. I have v broad shoulders and my bars would be considered to be very narrow.

    I just don't get why people have cow horn type bars....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ssushi
    I couldn't disagree more! The bars should be shoulder width, so your arms are parallel when in the ride position.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssushi
    Wide bars flex more and need more movement to steer.
    Never noticed my 27" bars flex anymore than my old 24" bars. Try a shorter stem when going to a wider bar and it won't require "more movement."

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssushi
    I just don't get why people have cow horn type bars....
    Increased leverage, easer to pop the front, more stability on the techie/downhill stuff.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by antonio
    Why?



    Never noticed my 27" bars flex anymore than my old 24" bars. Try a shorter stem when going to a wider bar and it won't require "more movement."



    Increased leverage, easer to pop the front, more stability on the techie/downhill stuff.
    Must be personal preference. I find shoulder width bars way more responsive. I'm not going to change the reach of my bike to compensate for the bars. The stem length is determined by reach, nothing else.

    Why would you prefer wide bars if you compensate with a shorter stem? My fork provides me with all the front end stability I need, this is the job it's supposed to do.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ssushi
    Must be personal preference. I find shoulder width bars way more responsive. I'm not going to change the reach of my bike to compensate for the bars. The stem length is determined by reach, nothing else.

    Why would you prefer wide bars if you compensate with a shorter stem? My fork provides me with all the front end stability I need, this is the job it's supposed to do.
    Correct fit is a very dynamic concept. If you move your hands further apart then you can move the them closer to your chest as well and still have a good fit. Shorter reach with narrow bars will do funny things to your arm position and feel awkward, shorter reach with a wide arm stance puts you in a good bench press position.

    The front end stability in question is separate then fork stiffness or whatever you meant. A wider bar provides more leverage around the steering axis, which means you a better ability to fight against steering input from the trail and wheel deflections.

    Just my personal observations from trying lots of setups. I have 4 stems in different lengths and 3 bars in different widths and styles. I keep experimenting with different combinations, but the 28" bar/shorter stem combo felt great for high speed riding

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ssushi
    The stem length is determined by reach, nothing else.
    Bar height, bar width, saddle fore-aft, and stem length all impact reach, One is not independent of the rest.

    Read what boomn wrote, and try different set-ups on your bike. Until then, don't dismiss stem/bar combos that many have found superior (via trial and error) to the one you run.

    Seriously, try it. You might like it!
    Last edited by antonio; 02-27-2009 at 04:06 PM.

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