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  1. #1
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    Newb here, what the advantage to shorter bars

    just curious, got out on the trails today for the first time, and noticed that the large majority of riders i saw had bars narrower than mine, just curious the advantage and how much would you take of stock bars??
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Not an expert but I'd say wider bars is for more control while shorter bars is for more comfort (all to a point of course ...avoiding the extremes). Case in point, long distance XC riders tend to use narrower handlebars where DH riders use the wide 700mm or even wider bars. The small adjustments between is just personal preference based on your anatomy (someone with wide shoulders vs narrow shoulders), you'll just need to find what's best for you.

  3. #3
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    Short bars are going to make the bike twitchy feeling and wider bars are going to make it feel slower. XC racers tend to use shorter bars for faster response and downhillers use wider bars to slow it down.
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  4. #4
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    I ride XC, really only because DH isn't an option around me, and I prefer wider bars. Just more comfortable. Though I do find myself much closer to the trees than I'm comfortable with.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Short bars are going to make the bike twitchy feeling and wider bars are going to make it feel slower. XC racers tend to use shorter bars for faster response and downhillers use wider bars to slow it down.
    What he said...

    Stem length can counter bar length to some degree also. Shorter bars and shorter stem = Super twitchy. Shorter stem and wider bars might negate the narrow bars.

    Oh... and for XC on some tight courses, wide bars may have an issue... or could just be a bit more fun when you bump at tree. lol
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  6. #6
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    Some popular reasons for short straight bar are weight and narrower bars seems to snag the tree less. I used to like the straight bars with bar ends but now that I've gone with wider riser bars I'm not going back since I'm not racing anyways.

  7. #7
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    the trend is generally leaning toward wide bars. a few years ago, everyone was running 22-24" bars, now everything is 26-30 inches. I have 685mm Salsa bars now and I like them a lot on my rigid 26" single speed.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by redoc View Post
    just curious, got out on the trails today for the first time, and noticed that the large majority of riders i saw had bars narrower than mine, just curious the advantage and how much would you take of stock bars??
    Thanks
    I find my upper body is a lot more relaxed when I have my hands about shoulder width. I'm not a big person, so a lot of bars come too wide stock. Which is better, really - if they came the right size for me, it would totally screw people who are bigger than I am, or who care more about some of the advantages that wider bars have.

    So that's the big deal for me - more efficient breathing and less shoulder pain over a long day in the saddle.

    Experiment with it. This is the wrong answer.



    This is also the wrong answer.



    There are many right answers in between.

    At risk of being obvious - you can put your controls and grips wherever you want them on your handlebar without cutting the bar. You may need to cut the end off your grip. I recommend doing this, and messing around with it until you're happy, before cutting. I don't care to speculate on how much I'd take off your handlebars. I don't know how big they are, I don't know how big you are, and while I think I'm "all that," I don't think I know what width handlebar someone else should be riding. Good luck.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    I think Short handle bars are more for people who do tricks, and people who like to tuck them selves in, inorder to become alot more aero-dynamic.

    Longer handle Bars, IMO, give the rider a more aggressive, comfortable, and secure structure, to absorb any bumps in the trail, without getting off balance as easily.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I find my upper body is a lot more relaxed when I have my hands about shoulder width. I'm not a big person, so a lot of bars come too wide stock. Which is better, really - if they came the right size for me, it would totally screw people who are bigger than I am, or who care more about some of the advantages that wider bars have.

    So that's the big deal for me - more efficient breathing and less shoulder pain over a long day in the saddle.

    Experiment with it. This is the wrong answer.



    This is also the wrong answer.



    There are many right answers in between.

    At risk of being obvious - you can put your controls and grips wherever you want them on your handlebar without cutting the bar. You may need to cut the end off your grip. I recommend doing this, and messing around with it until you're happy, before cutting. I don't care to speculate on how much I'd take off your handlebars. I don't know how big they are, I don't know how big you are, and while I think I'm "all that," I don't think I know what width handlebar someone else should be riding. Good luck.
    Lol, loved the pics +rep for you!

  11. #11
    Still Ridin Dirty
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    Like the pics too... My new bike has longer bars and it definitely took a little while to get used to. I still think they are too long, but I don't want to cut them and then regret this later. What's the best way to get a feel for the best length for me?

  12. #12
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    I'm going to go ahead and be "that guy" and quote myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    you can put your controls and grips wherever you want them on your handlebar without cutting the bar. You may need to cut the end off your grip. I recommend doing this, and messing around with it until you're happy, before cutting.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the reply Andrew. I did see your original post about this. I guess I'd have to move the components on the bar too to allow room to move the grips. I'll look at this when I get back to my bike and give it a try.

  14. #14
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    As I said I'm a newb the bars feel fine to me. I set my controls as they are on my mx quad. Thanks for all the advice.

  15. #15
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    Just wanted to make sure there was not an inherent advantage one way or the other. Thanks again

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by selwyndvr View Post
    Like the pics too... My new bike has longer bars and it definitely took a little while to get used to. I still think they are too long, but I don't want to cut them and then regret this later. What's the best way to get a feel for the best length for me?
    Before I got my 78 cm chromag fubar osx bars, I took a measuring tape and pulled 78 cm out and did push ups at that length to see if it was comfortable. I tried it at the length of my bars on my old bike, 65 cm, and didn't like it as much as 78 cm. I'm not sure if this is the best way, but I do love my fubar osx bars.

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