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  1. #1
    56-year-old teenager
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    Handlebars - how wide is too wide?

    My new bike (Chumba XCL) came with a really wide riser bar - 710 mm (roughly 28"). It's a huge change from the 22" wide flat bar on my old XC bike. The wide bar feels a little ponderous on the slower bits but it sure feels good going downhill. I'll still probably cut it down a couple of inches.

    How wide is your handlebar? Where does the width work well for you, where is it inconvenient?

  2. #2
    = dirt torpedo =
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    i run 28" Diabolus bars on both my bikes..

    at first i thought they were too wide, but now i can't imagine going back to narrower bars.
    Sure, you have to be more careful in tight sections, and it's slightly tougher to maneuver at slow speed...
    trade-offs are worth it for me and for the type of riding i like to do.

    Go wide! Stay wide!

  3. #3
    squish is good
    Reputation: Clutchman83's Avatar
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    I've got the RF evolve XC low rise handlebar and it came at around 25". Can't really say anything bad about it, never ridden wider though, have a tough time imagining going wider!

  4. #4
    Motion activated
    Reputation: Steve71's Avatar
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    There was a thread about this in the AM forum just a few weeks ago, so you might want to check out the responses there.

    I just switched from a 26" bar to a 28" Diabolus. Much better. With some of the trails I ride I have to shift my weight around very quickly and the wider bar helps a lot. If you've ever done weights (bench press & rowing) you'll know that you can lift more if your hands are the right width apart. If fact it can even place an emphasis on a different muscle group. For example a close in grip uses your arms more, but a wider grip uses your back & chest more.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  5. #5
    Purveyor of Trail Tales!
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    Good job! 710mm Truvativ Holzfeller Riserbar with a 50mm rise!

    Quote Originally Posted by chucko58
    My new bike (Chumba XCL) came with a really wide riser bar - 710 mm (roughly 28"). It's a huge change from the 22" wide flat bar on my old XC bike. The wide bar feels a little ponderous on the slower bits but it sure feels good going downhill. I'll still probably cut it down a couple of inches.

    How wide is your handlebar? Where does the width work well for you, where is it inconvenient?
    Hi chucko58,

    I use the 710mm Truvativ Holzfeller Riserbar with a 50mm rise. It dramatically enhances control and the only downside is fitting between the trees on the tightest runs on the Philís Trail System in Bend, OR. I have a pair of these handlebars on my Giant STP jump bike, my Santa Cruz VP Free freeride bike and my Specialized Enduro Pro SL all mountain bike. I tried leaving on the 660mm Specialized mid-rise bars that are stock on the Enduro Pro SL. They worked fine for flat or uphill grinding on smooth trails. However, when it came time to launch the front end of the bike they just didnít do the trick like the Truvativ Holzfeller Riserbar with a 50mm rise. So, as usual, the smart decision comes down to what you ride and where you ride. I hope you find something that works for you.

    Have fun, play safe!

    Michael
    If you can't keep the rubber side down......at least smile for the camera!

  6. #6
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    Stem length and bar width is the key.

    What stem length are you using chucko58 ?~?


    I prefer 710 bars for a 70mm stem.
    I can get by with 680 bars for a 90mm stem.

    I use this as a rough guide on control (bar width / 2 + stem length) :

    710 bar + 70 stem = 425

    680 bar + 90 stem = 430

    660 bar + 100 stem = 430

    all about the same control...

    the resulting number gives the ''feeling of control" --> higher the better

    yup, I'm a common idiot !~!

  7. #7
    ride hard take risks
    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
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    Some clown did a post about averaging weights, widths & carp similar to this.
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  8. #8
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    Whoa,

    so i've got more control on my xc bike (600mm bar and 110mm stem) than on my dh bike (680 and 50)!

    In case you couldn't guess, i like my bars a little narrower. I used to run my dh bars at 720, but then after i choped them it was way better. I feel that bar height has a lot to do with control too. I run my dh bike dumped (zero spacers) for maximum control of the front wheel. My xc bike has a single 5mm spacer under the stem. Both stems are zero rise.

    Cheers
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  9. #9
    56-year-old teenager
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    The bike came with a 100 mm 10 degree stem. It feels a bit stretched out to me.

    I'm debating whether I want to swap to a shorter stem, a bar with more back sweep (maybe a Mary bar), or something completely off the wall like drop bars.

  10. #10
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    Try a 90mm stem (maybe with a 5 degree or 0 rise)

    or...

    If you have lock-on grips, you can move everything inwards about 10 to 15mm each side.

    This will give you the same affect as cutting your bars, and allow you to fine tune the length before you decide to cut !~!

  11. #11
    ride hard take risks
    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by All Mountain
    !~!
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  12. #12
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    of the folks i ride with, the shorter ones seem to like the narrower bars, taller folk like the wide things.
    .

  13. #13
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    It's all prefernce. Skinny bars makes it kind of twitchy. Your hands move less for the same ammount of turn. Wider bars are the opposite. Your hands have to move more to turn the same ammount. The reason I cut my bars was I had a particulary bad crash because my bar clipped a tree on a really fast narrow trail.

  14. #14
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
    Reputation: crisillo's Avatar
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    as others have said it is a matter of preference... I have been moving to wider bars and shorter stems progressively... I am now running 710mm Syncros bars and 80mm Syncros stems on both my rides.... the only problem I have is when space gets tight between trees... other than that I love the wide bars

    (I will cut the steerer when I settle on the stem position )

    testing 80mm stem on the 575

  15. #15
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    ... and if we just ...

    wider gives more leverage and control.......maximum bar width is determined by the narrowest space between trees on the trail you ride most often..... I run El Norte's 31.8, 2" risers at full length w/ a 45mm Azonic stem........I may change the bars and stem at some point, but this configuration I like....so if it changes it will be similar if not exact..... I've only endo'd a few times because I slapped a grip on a tree.....

  16. #16
    Just roll it......
    Reputation: ebxtreme's Avatar
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    Running 28" diabolus bars on the dh bike and FSA (same width) on my xc and AM bike.

    Not going back.

    EB

  17. #17
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    the difference one inch can make

    Quote Originally Posted by crisillo
    as others have said it is a matter of preference... I have been moving to wider bars and shorter stems progressively... I am now running 710mm Syncros bars and 80mm Syncros stems on both my rides.... the only problem I have is when space gets tight between trees... other than that I love the wide bars

    (I will cut the steerer when I settle on the stem position )

    testing 80mm stem on the 575

    Glad I came across this thread. I have been using 660mm on my AM bike for about 4 years and thought it was great. Last week I put 680mm bars on my SS and today when I rode my AM bike I thought the bars were skinny and the handling was not as stable as it should be. Looks like I might be switching to 680mm bar on the AM bike too.

  18. #18
    56-year-old teenager
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    This evening I chopped an inch off each side of my bars - down to 26" wide - and swapped the brake and trigger shifters. We'll see how it rides on Saturday.

  19. #19
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    What about thickness? Y'all rollin' 31.8s? The ladies do say thicker is better...

  20. #20
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    31.8 all the time. I was on a 27" bar and am back to a 26" bar. I can't stand the narrow grip anymore and am thinking of going back to a 27" or even 28" bar. However, you have to be careful when flying through tight trees or rocks sticking out at bar height- very careful.
    I have long arms and can even breathe better with wider bars.

  21. #21
    Knomer
    Reputation: Dusty Bottoms's Avatar
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    I'm comfortable with a 26" bar on both my bikes. A 28" bar makes handling dull through extreme tech sections where actual bike handling is neccessary. Tight turns and switchbacks also become more of a hassle with a wide bar, since your hands have to travel around a bigger circle to make the same turn.

    28" bars are for DH racing, this is the AM board, therefore 26" is the correct answer.

  22. #22
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    Or 27". Which is what I roll. Somewhere in between DH racing and AM; that sweeeeet spot.

  23. #23
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    I'm comfortable with a 26" bar on both my bikes. A 28" bar makes handling dull through extreme tech sections where actual bike handling is neccessary. Tight turns and switchbacks also become more of a hassle with a wide bar, since your hands have to travel around a bigger circle to make the same turn.

    28" bars are for DH racing, this is the AM board, therefore 26" is the correct answer.
    unless your shoulders/back are wide enough to use 28" very comfortably...then what..
    o

  24. #24
    Si vales, valeo.
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    710mm Bontrager Big Earl handlebar and 70mm Bontrager stem.
    "An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton

  25. #25
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    28" bars

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