1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Cutting down bars on a new bike

    I ordered a Kona Kahuna and will be picking it up this week. When I test rode the bike (fairly extensively) I found the bars to be wide. I've heard that the cool kids all have wide bars now, and that they're great for 29ers. But don't they get caught on stuff? I felt like I had the girth of an atv with those things.

    So the question is, should I chop them down? I could try to get used to the big bars, but is that worth it? or would it be better to get used to riding a 29er with normal bars? Is width not as big of an issue as I'm imagining as far as trail narrowness goes?

  2. #2
    T.W.O.
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    Do you have a narrower bar to compare with? You can always cut to the width you want it's almost impossible to add length.

  3. #3
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    All I have now is a beater commuter bike and a friend's 26er that I use on trails. The bars on the Kona are much, much bigger than either of them. At 6'3 the 29er fits me great, but its not as "nimble" as the 26er I'm used to and I think part of that is how wide it feels.

    I could definitely learn to love it. I guess I'm just wondering if it would be better to learn to handle the 29er with the bars a bit shorter so I stay tight on the trails rather than alter my riding and shift to wider stuff.

  4. #4
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    It's not the bar, it's the big wheel and longer wheelbase. I have bars range from 24"-30" I've been clipped by branches on both ends of the extreme. Wide bars feel better and provide more leverage. You can try to install your grip further inward say 1" on each side and go for a ride see how you like the handling before you cut it.

  5. #5
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    The wider bars also put you lower and more forward. The more wide the bars than your shoulders, the more of a difference in riding position.
    Like Mimi said, you can't go back once cut so I'd say ride em for a while and see. I had the same feelings about the wider bars. It took some time but now like em better and feel more in control and can flick the bike around better.
    After some time, move the shifter/brake inboard and ride to find the width you want before you take out the pipe cutters.
    My .02
    Round and round we go

  6. #6
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    bars

    Others already gave you some good advice. When I ordered my 29er last season it came with really wide bars also,which was new to me but now I love them wide try them out first and make your own call after getting on the trail with it! enjoy the new bike!

  7. #7
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    Go ride. Lots. If you are routinely clipping a handle on narrow paths between trees, consider chopping it. Before you do though, watch to see if others on similar bikes make it through. My first MTB, I chopped 1/2 inch off each side becuase I felt like you descibe, and hit the handlebars on a tree a couple of times going through narrow sections of trail.

    Fast forward 6 months, new and improved bike, same handlebar width as my 1st bike started out with, and I've yet to clip a handlebar on it. It was all in my poor technique and lack of skill that I was clipping a handlebar on my original bike. I'm amazed at some of the skinny stuff I can dodge through now.

  8. #8
    I4NI
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    Ah I dont know if I'm old school from my dirt bike days or turned into a wennie but I chop um till there's only enough room to hang the stuff on.
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

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