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  1. #1
    Happy Trails
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    How wide bars are you riding/racing? Grips?

    Just upgraded to a nice 23 pound* Scalpel from my 29 pound Titus, and I am dialing in the fit. The bars on the new bike are 700mm (27.5") ... just under 28" end to end with OEM foam grips mounted. I've been riding a set-up about 2" narrower, with Ergons, and wonder what you guys are riding before I think about taking an inch total of width off these fancy Enve bars.

    *23.10 pounds with Maxxis Ikon 2.2 tubeless tires, bottle cage, pedals, and computer.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How wide bars are you riding/racing? Grips?-cannondale-scalpel-bar-2012-12-28-001-small-800x600-.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Last year, I started with the 28 inch (710 mm) stockers, and slowly but surely ended up right back at 26.5 inches (670 mm), which has been my preferred width for a long time (it was once even considered wide!).

    But to each their own. The trend is definitely wider.
    Last edited by kosmo; 12-29-2012 at 07:21 AM.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  3. #3
    Grip it and rip it.
    Reputation: Damitletsride!'s Avatar
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    My new bike at the start of the year came with 680mm bars. I rode on them a lot and tried to like them, but in the end I thought they were too long for me. Switched over to 640mm bars, and combined with Ergon grips with the bar-ends, they feel perfect for me.

    For DH biking I like 780mm bars, the wider the better for DH, just not for endurance racing.
    "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"

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  4. #4
    Dirty South Underdog
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    666mm wide Niner Flat Bars w/ Ergon GS2 Carbon Grips
    Brickhouse Blog (most known unknown)

    Just Riding Along- best internet radio show on Mountain Bike Radio

  5. #5
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    YBWMV(your body width may vary)......

    i now run 720-740mm bars with shorter stems. it makes the steering faster and easier to control at the same time. great for stand up steep climbs as well. the usual wide bar problems with narrow trails, but not a biggy.

    that or the other way and have 540-550mm bars on my crazy lightweight rigid geared bike for fast/smooth xc racing that is more of a sit down and spin fest.

  6. #6
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    660mm Bontrager Race X Lite Flat, geared with Oury's on one bike, SS with GX2 Carbons on another.
    Rolling on 29", 650b, 8.3" and 23mm

  7. #7
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    This is like asking what size of shoe should I wear. Everybody has their own size that fits them best. If I was you, I'd keep the new wider bar for a good two weeks of consistent riding before you trim it down. You can't replace what you remove. I think your bar width should be based firstly on your shoulder width as a starting point and go from there.

    I run a 710mm wide bar. Your mileage will vary.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatri View Post
    This is like asking what size of shoe should I wear. Everybody has their own size that fits them best. If I was you, I'd keep the new wider bar for a good two weeks of consistent riding before you trim it down. You can't replace what you remove. I think your bar width should be based firstly on your shoulder width as a starting point and go from there.

    I run a 710mm wide bar. Your mileage will vary.
    You can also try using grips that can be mounted in a bit from the ends of the bars (which would be most grips). Try moving the grips and of course the levers in an inch or so and give it a try for a few rides. As noted above, you can't put back what you cut off, so be sure you're ready before chopping those expensive bars.

  9. #9
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    Lots of Ergons on here ... I like mine. Thanks for the input.

  10. #10
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    610 with ergons. I have no clue how you guys fit through some of the trees with those boat oars you call handlebars.
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  11. #11
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    As others have said, your bar needs to be fitted to you, not just ride what others do. I had my bars fitted by a fit specialist after a coach said my bars were too narrow. I also ride an Enve bar and S-Works bar.

    This is how I was fitted, so try it then decide what you want to do. Get into a push up position with elbows out at 90 degrees. Have someone mark the outsides of your hands on the floor or counter. Do a few pushups to make sure you are in a natural position. Then fall into that position and catch yourself in the push up position to find your natural strength position. Have someone measure it after each fall and catch.

    Now you should now have a measurement fairly consistent with each fall. That measurement should also be within the specs of your wide enve bar. Cut to size if needed. If your size is way off or you are not consistent with each fall. Then make sure you are getting into an elbows out position and not tucked in by your ribs. Or a bench press position will do the same thing. Find the best bench press position that you are strongest in…then measure it.

    My S-Works bar came out perfect stock and my Enve bar could be cut down one mark...but I left it one mark wider and adjusted my grip in a little to give me some protection when I hit stuff.

  12. #12
    Happy Trails
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    That push up test seems pretty smart. I was 26-7/8 inches from outer pinkie finger to outer pinkie finger. I'm still riding full width (28 inches grip end to grip end on 27.5 inch bar) and will keep this in mind before making any adjustments. I'm also going to ride today 1 lap with my Ergons versus 1 lap with OEM round foam to compare as well.

  13. #13
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    My Trek Sawyer came with stock whatevers (too lazy to look it up) and they are super wide, I'd guess at least 72 inches. Makes some of the singletrack problematic, but man oh man they are awesome for the long steep fire road climbs, just like standing on the stairmaster at the gym.

    I added the Ergons (XL) with the extender grip too.

  14. #14
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    72" = 6 feet. That's hardcore!
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  15. #15
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    710s on my SS and geared F/S. Both have ESI grips, the SS has cheapo Performance barends. I really like the wide bars on the loose/chunky/rocky stuff out on South Mountain and don't see any benefit to going narrower on any other Valley trails. I think the F/S came stock with 640's...felt too twitchy for my taste. Go with what feels best for you and the stuff you ride most often.

  16. #16
    Your Best Friend
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    My new Anthem came with Giants carbon 730mm bar. I felt like I was driving a truck. Cut it down to 690mm and I'm using Ergons GS1 Leichtbau grips.

  17. #17
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    My Scalpel came with wide bars. I sold them and bought an Easton EC90 XC flat bar (600mm). I am not a real big guy, though. I also always use ESI chunky grips. I do use 680mm bars on my fat bike, though.

  18. #18
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    From SS to 1X

    Carver Ti flat bar cut to 700mm with a 100 stemon my 29er. I roll my bars up and forward slightly so the ends rise a little. Sram grip shift 1X with OURY waffle grips. SS was 700+ and OURY waffle grips with the end piece also.
    Unicoi29

  19. #19
    Happy Trails
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    I thought I wasn't going to keep 28" bars but after three 2-hour rides am starting to get used to them. I'm glad to have Ergons on again though.

  20. #20
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I have ODI Ruffians. I haven't had problems with handlebar palsy and they're enough for me. One of the advantages of the Ruffian, and other locking grips, is that I can mount them inward of the ends of the bar. As others have said, do some experimenting and find "your" width. It's easy with locking grips.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott In MD View Post
    I thought I wasn't going to keep 28" bars but after three 2-hour rides am starting to get used to them. I'm glad to have Ergons on again though.
    I WAS running a set of 680mm bars, until last summer. I needed a new set of bars, and after reading an article by G. Hamilton on bar width and how it affects control/comfort, I opted for a set of 710mm (28") bars. I figured if I didn't like them I could cut them, but couldn't lengthen a set of shorter bars.

    Anyway, I found the difference to be substantial and immediate. Love 'em.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damitletsride! View Post
    My new bike at the start of the year came with 680mm bars. I rode on them a lot and tried to like them, but in the end I thought they were too long for me. Switched over to 640mm bars, and combined with Ergon grips with the bar-ends, they feel perfect for me.

    For DH biking I like 780mm bars, the wider the better for DH, just not for endurance racing.
    I was watching a mtb video the other day and the announcer mentioned that few of
    the Euro pros used bar ends any more, and that wider bars were more in fashion.
    Are wider bars and bar ends really two different solutions to the same problem? I'm
    just a newbie, not judging anyone.

    Thanks in advance.

  23. #23
    Grip it and rip it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Marshall View Post
    I was watching a mtb video the other day and the announcer mentioned that few of
    the Euro pros used bar ends any more, and that wider bars were more in fashion.
    Are wider bars and bar ends really two different solutions to the same problem? I'm
    just a newbie, not judging anyone.

    Thanks in advance.
    They might be similar solutions, in fact they are in some respects I would say! 700mm straight bars will probably give you similar leverage to 640mm bars with bar ends, but I don't like the feel of climbing out of the saddle with wide bars and no bar ends, feels a bit too big and cumbersome to me. Also, being able to open up your body more and stretch out on the climbs with hands on the bar ends is something I really like.
    "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"

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  24. #24
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    I run my bars w/barends to where my hands are "just" outside the width of my shoulders. About 23" I think. The barends give me the extra leverage that I lose from not running a wider bar. Wide bars strain my neck and traps. That's on both SS as well as gears.

  25. #25
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    That pushup test is interesting. Suggests I should be using a 640mm bar.

    I've been using 600mm bars for years, now with Ergon grips. Been really happy with this setup. I would fear a wider bar would be difficult to navigate the tight singletrack and trees here in the Southeast.

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