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  1. #1
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    Stem/Bars: Long and narrow or short and wide?

    Why are fatbikes and mtn bikes being specked with shorter stems and wider bars these days? What is the practical reason for this, or it just the industry trying to make waves? I have 660 bars on my 2013 Moonlander and I have experienced absolutely no need for the 750s Surly now gives the bike.

    Which approach do you prefer, and why?
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  2. #2
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    I just picked up one of the bikesdirect fat bikes and I think they came with a 720mm bar. I remember someone saying in a different thread that the wider bars are just to make it easier to maneuver the larger front tire around. I would imagine it increases overall balance as well, and that would go for any bike not just fatbikes.

    I personally plan to go with shorter bars down the road myself. Something in the 650-660 range. Been researching carbon bars due to the understanding that they have a little bit of flex to them which I think would just be a little more comfortable while riding.

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    arock, I understand that wider bars would possibly provide more control of the front end, but I haven't had any problem with my "narrow" 660s. Be it riding over big roots and rocks or through rutty, hard-packed sand. I don't know, maybe it's because I have a long background in road riding and I'm used to much narrower 440s.
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    One thing we are forgetting is these bike are kinda designed around riding in snow and the wide bars are really helpful in maintaining balance and control in said environment. Now I understand that people are now using these bikes for all different types of riding run what ya like.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    One thing we are forgetting is these bike are kinda designed around riding in snow and the wide bars are really helpful in maintaining balance and control in said environment. Now I understand that people are now using these bikes for all different types of riding run what ya like.
    Yeah, I haven't even ridden mine in snow yet, so maybe I'll feel differently when I get that chance. Thanks for your reply.
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    I was never comfortable with the skinny bars bikes came with in the '90's, and actually like wide bars. But is it a market trend driven by people's preferences?

    I rode my pugs for a couple of hours yesterday; first real ride in a month or so. I was surprisd to learn that I had forgotten some subtle quirks...like increased rider input. Right now it has an uncut Salsa bend2 (710) on a 7 deg up /90mm stem. I think a fat bike with narrow bars and a short stem would be a struggle for most recreational riders (and that's a HUGE market segment, eh?). Increasing stem length to the point of slowing down handling would be counterproductive, as would lengthening top tubes by very much. So its wide handlebars.

    After a certain period of time, one learns to bend at the waist a little while standing ...get your butt back a little and weight the back tire a little better. Wide handlebars help make this feel more secure, and when adding the extra traction of a fat tire, it feels like you can climb almost anything.

    An inexperienced rider on a test ride feeling more stable and secure will certainly equate with more sales, I think, too.

  7. #7
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    I agree, narrow bars with a short stem would not be any fun. But I think most narrow-barred bikes are usually specked with longer stems. I can see your point in how the wider bars (and shorter stem) helps the rider to get back over the rear wheel. I've always loved climbing and I suppose I have my technique down (somewhat). But who knows, maybe I'll need a little extra help when I start riding in snow! Thank s for your reply.
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  8. #8
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    I took the wide stock bars off mine and replaced them with narrower bars for one really simple reason- the trails around here are designed for narrow bars. Nothing worse than having to slow down to a crawl every time the trail passes between two trees for fear of catching your bars.

    My experience with wide vs narrow has been mostly "meh"- that is, narrower bars didn't make it any harder to steer, don't require noticeably more effort in snow or on trails.

    Honestly, once you get into enough snow to matter, the width of your bars is pretty much the least of your worries.
    Last edited by buckfiddious; 10-14-2013 at 08:55 PM. Reason: damned autocorrect

  9. #9
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    Well for one, it's pretty much the worst accelerating bike ever, so wider bars give you leverage to stand and pedal, which is really helpful from a stop to get up to speed, or not lose speed on a particular section. To make the rest of the bike balance out, a shorter stem helps to allow this without making your steering or reach goofy.


    I've been searching for 25 years, but I've never found those oft talked-about mystical trails where you have to use narrow bars. I'm not sure where they are, but I'd like to ride them sometime in my life.
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  10. #10
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    Ive never had a stem longer than 90mm, i think the longest on any of my bikes at the moment is 80mm. Bars are min 680mm to usually 720mm.

    If you go too crazy on width they clip trees and limit speed on tight trails.
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  11. #11
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    I'm right on the edge of trying out some wider bars with a shorter stem. I have a 100mm and 680 bars on my SS Pugs now. My buddy and I were out riding some trail the other day and we switched bikes- he was on his Krampus with 80mm stem and 780 bars. Holy smokes- that took a lot of getting used to, but once I rode it for a bit it wasn't too bad. The trails around here are tight in sections, that was my only worry. He usually rides very wide bars and he felt he was twitchy as hell on my "hipster" bars, as he joked.

    I think I'm going to try out some wide bars on my Necro that I use all Winter where I don't have to worry about clipping trees at high rates of speed and see how it feels. Another buddy is letting me borrow his Spank 777's and 60mm stem, so I'll be going in head first!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I've been searching for 25 years, but I've never found those oft talked-about mystical trails where you have to use narrow bars. I'm not sure where they are, but I'd like to ride them sometime in my life.
    If you are ever in the Mpls - St. Paul area, you will find them. I have 760mm bars. There are trails with 1" to clear on either side between trees. The trees have the marks on them of those who have not cleared cleanly.

  13. #13
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    Down in the Otways in Victoria (Australia) theres a trail network called Forrest.... awesome trails, i swear there's a tree that has half its trunk gouged out by handlebars, its not even that narrow to miss but this tree has lost out big time.
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  14. #14
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    I think the wider bars are driven by the leverage and control they provide at high speeds or on very techy terrain. At least, that's why I assume they are so prominent on trail bikes these days.

    When I bought my Transition Bandit 29, it came with 740mm bars, which when I used I instantly felt at home on. After that when I bought my second Pugsley, I just feel super uncomfortable on the narrow bars, which I have yet to fix. For normal bumbling about I can get used to it, but when I get into very technical slow speed rock crawling, I find myself wanting wider bars.

    For snow riding, I assume wider bars help work to dampen the steering input. But I've yet to truly ride my fatbikes as everyone else seems to on here, lol.

    Regarding narrowly spaced trees, I dunno, I don't have a problem with 740mm bars, I just quickly twist the bars to get around the trees.
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  15. #15
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    I've been a fan of wide bars and short stems since back when 620mm was considered wide and 90mm was considered short.

    There are really two factors here: the first, and most critical is fit. People with wider shoulders will fit better on wider bars, and people with longer arms or torso's will fit better on longer stems, and vise versa. Of course frame design is a factor in this, for example I ride a small Beargrease since I have short legs (29" inseam), but with a long torso (relatively, with a total height of 5' 7"), I'm going to a 130 mm stem to get a good, efficient XC fit.

    The other side of the story is ride feel, leverage vs stability... more or less. Many bikes today are being designed with a longer top tube so you can run a shorter stems and the bike becomes more flickable. Wider bars help with leverage...

    What it comes down to is that mountain biking has changed in the past 15-20 years. Back in the 90's trails (at least here in the Midwest US) were narrow, tightly wound around trees, and speeds were slower as a result, so having a nimble bike was a priority. Steering was done heavily with the handlebars. The other driver was that XC racing was big so bikes were built around a body position that was better for pedaling efficiency.

    For the past 5 years, maybe a bit more, it seems like most new trails are build to allow faster travel and more 'flow'. As a result, steering is done more from the hips than from the handlebars. Trees and other obstacles are generally removed if they work against trail flow so narrow bars offer no advantage. The sport has become more focused on gravity events so stability at speed and on rough terrain has been prioritized in bike design. I recently changed from 620mm bars to 660mm bars on my MTB, and along with the increased stiffness of newer bars my ability to 'rail' bermed has improved considerably.

    All this has carried over into fatbike design. Fat bikes, in their natural environment of snow and sand, roll at lower speeds and the balance of steering efforts is back to the arms and bars. But these surfaces put up a lot of resistance, so wider bars really help give you more leverage when you need to make a big heavy bike change direction on a soft surface.

    So it kind of depends on your size and your riding background, not to mention the kind of riding you do on your fatbike. But the main point I'd like to make is don't do something just cause your riding buddy does it, different sized people are going to find different sized bars and stems fit their bodies better or worse.
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  16. #16
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    Also: Wider bars can be cut shorter. Shorter bars can't be widened.
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  17. #17
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    I'm a big guy with very long arms and I hated the narrow 660's that came on my Moonlander. I put 810's on it thinking I would cut them down some, it never happened.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I've been searching for 25 years, but I've never found those oft talked-about mystical trails where you have to use narrow bars. I'm not sure where they are, but I'd like to ride them sometime in my life.
    Madison, Wisconsin has lots of narrow trails.

    When you don't have hills or mountains, you make your trails twisty and technical to make up for the lack of vertical drop.

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    It's all personal preference, try both set-ups and see which you like better.

    I, for one, like the greater leverage of a wide bar/short stem and I really, really like getting my weight back over the rear tire, making it less likely to endo and making the front end lighter and easier to lift over obstacles.

    While 780mmbars/50mm stems felt the best to me there are many trails in this area where the gaps in the trees are less than 750mm. I settled on 710mm bars and a 50mm stem as a compromise.

    FWIW, I'm 6' tall with long arms and legs. I ride 100% singletrack and 0% snow. If you're riding a higher percentage of time in the snow it probably makes more sense to run a long stem and get more weight over the front tire to equalize the weight and minimize the rear tire sinking.

  20. #20
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    Lots of great input here! Until I got my Moonlander, I hadn't been on mtn trails since the late '80s (just about the time shock forks were coming around, I believe). I've had my Moonie on some of our mtn bike trails in SE Wisconsin, and many of them are tight and narrow. There have been several times when the 660mm bars have been JUST narrow enough to get between trees, and I've even placed a "signature" in those trees.

    My other riding has been on the beaches along Lake Michigan, and so far I have not felt a real need for wider bars. However, one of the main reasons I bought this bike was for winter snow riding, and I've beginning to feel that there might be an advantage to a (wider) bar that offers more leverage/control when getting into situations where the nature of the terrain might want to "self-negotiate" the BFL tires. Truth be told, I may I have even sensed that advantage a bit when rolling through some of the areas with larger rocks that I occasionally encounter on the beaches. So it looks like I will be testing out something wider than my current bars/stem.
    Thanks everyone for the valuable info.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnroyal View Post

    FWIW, I'm 6' tall with long arms and legs. I ride 100% singletrack and 0% snow. If you're riding a higher percentage of time in the snow it probably makes more sense to run a long stem and get more weight over the front tire to equalize the weight and minimize the rear tire sinking.
    I'm 6'1" with long arms and legs too. And it makes sense about equalizing the weight when riding over snow, especially since I have a light upper body. So I probably won't be cutting my stem length down as much as some guys do.
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  22. #22
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    wider bars and shorter stems help slow down steering and make inputs more direct. It also shifts your weight further back, which is great for steep sections. It can also make you sit up a little higher and more upright, which are all good things for DH or aggressive riding.

    The OTHER side of the coin is that you can also extend the top tube while shortening the stem, which keeps your overall body position the same, but puts the front wheel further in front of you, moving your weight rearward. This makes it a little bit harder to climb (weight balance is key and has now shifted rearwads), but makes it sooo much better to ride technically, especially at high speed. You've got more room to move around, and since you're not right on top of the front wheel, it's easier to correct mistakes after they happen but before you feel the effect.

    I don't know how any of that will affect a fatbike rider though. In my experience, I settled on a 90mm stem with a 23.5" ett for 90% of the riding I do. It puts me centered on the bike and makes the steep climbs and descents around here really fluid without a lot of monkey motion. For DH, I want a 24" plus top tube and a short, 35mm stem. It gives me so much more control over the bike and even when things get hairy, I don't lose control. I experimented with a 60mm/24.4" top tube XC bike for a while, which cornered very naturally and was one of the most "fluid" bikes I've owned, but climbing was a chore. My pugs is a 24" ett and I'll be playing with a 90mm and 60mm stem, probably settling on the 60. I imagine that it'll be good to have your weight back, but if it's too far, you might push the front wheel hard in the snow. Too much monkeying around in slippery weather is not a good thing either, so a balanced position might be ideal.

    As for wide bars, wider is better. Give it a shot. I have 31.5" bars on my XC bike now, which I thought I would want to immediately cut down, but I really don't mind them. I had 720s before, and the 685s on my pugs felt narrow! You do punch trees, but I think you'll find that any tree you would punch with 30" bars, you'd punch with 27" bars.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    wider bars and shorter stems help slow down steering and make inputs more direct.
    I immediately noticed this when I first rode a Krampus. Hated it! I didn't like the slowness of the steering, but that's probably because I'm still thinking like a roadie and need to re-evaluate my requirements for fat-biking.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Madison, Wisconsin has lots of narrow trails.

    When you don't have hills or mountains, you make your trails twisty and technical to make up for the lack of vertical drop.
    I think its more a matter of the local vegetation type and the size of the park where you can ride. There are a lot of places in dryer climates where there's just not as many trees, and the undergrowth doesn't grow into the trail so quickly where the trails will stay more wide open. Also, often we in the midwest have very small fragments of "natural" area that are not developed, so if you want decent trail milage, you have to make it twist and turn a lot to fit it into a few acres as opposed to thousands of acres of public land elsewhere.

    For the record the trails in S. WI are a lot more open and flowy than the trails in IL where I learned to ride
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Madison, Wisconsin has lots of narrow trails.

    When you don't have hills or mountains, you make your trails twisty and technical to make up for the lack of vertical drop.
    Oh, I've ridden plenty of narrow and tight trails that looped back on themselves all over and had lots of trees growing right next to the trail, even occasionally brushed a handlebar on a tree (with both narrow and wide handlebars), but I've yet to find these textbook "tight" trails where you can't ride wider bars. I will keep searching though...
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Oh, I've ridden plenty of narrow and tight trails that looped back on themselves all over and had lots of trees growing right next to the trail, even occasionally brushed a handlebar on a tree (with both narrow and wide handlebars), but I've yet to find these textbook "tight" trails where you can't ride wider bars. I will keep searching though...
    Fair enough, but for me, I like the narrower bars. YMMV.

    I've said it before, I'm mostly a roadie, so anything narrower than two lanes of blacktop seems claustrophobic.

  27. #27
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    I don't think its so much that you can't ride them with wider bars, but that the wider bars make it a trickier in sections, slows you down to avoid the trees. Then again maybe its just our perception that the trails are narrow and we might clip our bars, but it was enough I think to drive people's purchasing.

    I met a guy once who was from FL and had bars that couldn't have been more than 400-450mm wide. He said they had to be that narrow to get through the brush down there... seemed a little fishy to me, I mean, how wide are your shoulders and hips then? Its easier to maneuver your body parts than your handlebars, but still.

    FWIW I have had a couple occasions, I think at Kickapoo State Park in Illinois where my bars have ricocheted off of a tree on the left and into a tree on the right because the gap was just a few inches wider than my bars. Would bars 2" wider have been worse in this situation? Maybe not. Once you got used to it you could pretty effectively weave your bars between the trees, even if they were narrower than your bars.

    I think sometimes trails that are built super-tight tend to 'loosen up' over time. Trees that get hit a lot die, or someone 'sanitizes' the trail and removes the trees so they can go through the corner faster, which pisses off those of us that value skill over speed (don't get me started about removing logs from the trail). Also I think the line of the trail migrates over time to the easiest line, usually further from a tree that the average rider is afraid they are going to snag. Lastly, people aren't building trails like that much anymore so any new sections or improvements of existing sections will usually straighten things out in the name of flow.

    Getting back to the topic, I think you could summarize it to say that bar width/stem length depends on your body size, your bikes measurements, your intended use for the bike and personal preference. All things being equal, a wider bar is probably better for a fat bike that rides on soft surfaces than an MTB that is ridden on hardpack trails.
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    It's worth noting that the new long toptube/wide bars/short stem paradigm is pretty much universal in the mtb world now. It's not just a fat bike thing. I'd say that most anyone who rides a mtb fitted this way will find it more comfortable and better handling than the short TT/narrow bars/long stem set-ups that we rode back in the 90's.

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    fwiw, any time I've come across a pair of trees that my ape hangers couldn't weave or fit through, I needed to use trials or slow down to a halt regardless of whether my bars are too wide or not.

    I mean thing about it, how often do you find two trees that are paired together that are between 28" and 25" apart? Wide enough that you can fit some bars through, but too narrow for "wide" bars? Not very often. More common is clipping a bar on the left or right against a tree, which can either be avoided, or by using the very long width of your handlebars, it goes unnoticed. I've clipped a few trees at high speed with the big ones, but the added leverage just lets you keep going. It's pants-staining, but I survived without wrecking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    More common is clipping a bar on the left or right against a tree,...
    Exactly. I supposed it the real world it's not all that common, but since it will often limit the line you are able to take, it may slow you down some than if you had slightly narrower bars and could pick the line you want. OTOH, isn't "slowing down" what fat bikes are all about?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    fwiw, any time I've come across a pair of trees that my ape hangers couldn't weave or fit through, I needed to use trials or slow down to a halt regardless of whether my bars are too wide or not.

    I mean thing about it, how often do you find two trees that are paired together that are between 28" and 25" apart? Wide enough that you can fit some bars through, but too narrow for "wide" bars? Not very often. More common is clipping a bar on the left or right against a tree, which can either be avoided, or by using the very long width of your handlebars, it goes unnoticed. I've clipped a few trees at high speed with the big ones, but the added leverage just lets you keep going. It's pants-staining, but I survived without wrecking.
    I don't really get why my preference for short bars has offended so many. I like shorter bars. They work better for me. I have my reasons. They are not your reasons.

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    i'm sorry if it sounded like I was saying you can't like a thing I like because I like it and so should you...I'm just saying that there are performance positives to wider bars. Every time I think "I can't go wider, that's ridiculous", I do, and it's not that bad. So, I'm simply suggesting that you try it, if you can. You can always go shorter.

    My last comment was also just to say that no matter how narrow people think their trails are, the reality of punching trees is that it doesn't happen that often....and that the advantages of wider bars outweigh the negatives of a brief arboreal pugilistic encounter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    i'm sorry if it sounded like I was saying you can't like a thing I like because I like it and so should you...I'm just saying that there are performance positives to wider bars. Every time I think "I can't go wider, that's ridiculous", I do, and it's not that bad. So, I'm simply suggesting that you try it, if you can. You can always go shorter.

    My last comment was also just to say that no matter how narrow people think their trails are, the reality of punching trees is that it doesn't happen that often....and that the advantages of wider bars outweigh the negatives of a brief arboreal pugilistic encounter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    fwiw, any time I've come across a pair of trees that my ape hangers couldn't weave or fit through, I needed to use trials or slow down to a halt regardless of whether my bars are too wide or not.

    I mean thing about it, how often do you find two trees that are paired together that are between 28" and 25" apart? Wide enough that you can fit some bars through, but too narrow for "wide" bars? Not very often. More common is clipping a bar on the left or right against a tree, which can either be avoided, or by using the very long width of your handlebars, it goes unnoticed. I've clipped a few trees at high speed with the big ones, but the added leverage just lets you keep going. It's pants-staining, but I survived without wrecking.
    Not that hard to find in young hardwood forests. I know any challenging trail I have been on in the area has at least one choke point where a couple more inches of clearance would make it much easier to flow through. Sure Ive been able to clear all of those points but the wider bars do add a degree of difficulty.

    However that has not caused me to narrow the bars, as I dont ride to be as fast as possible. So taking my time when the trail is narrow is not a bad thing.

    Craig

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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473 View Post

    I think sometimes trails that are built super-tight tend to 'loosen up' over time. Trees that get hit a lot die, or someone 'sanitizes' the trail and removes the trees so they can go through the corner faster, which pisses off those of us that value skill over speed (don't get me started about removing logs from the trail). Also I think the line of the trail migrates over time to the easiest line, usually further from a tree that the average rider is afraid they are going to snag. Lastly, people aren't building trails like that much anymore so any new sections or improvements of existing sections will usually straighten things out in the name of flow.
    Trees are usually pretty tough and it takes a lot more than hitting them to kill them, but on the same token, soil compaction is a huge aspect that does kill off brush and small trees near the edge of the trail, if anything, it would make it easier to avoid the few big trees near the edge. In some climates brush and vegetation quickly reclaim any surface, yet in others the soil compaction of so many riders prevents anything from growing on or right next to the trail.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  36. #36
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    I am a narrow bar fan.. I am not sure why - but I absolutely love my dirt drops (my lower back does not however).. I have moved to fleagles I am riding right now with 60mm stem.

    I have not tried anything wider than 720 - but I do have bar ends on my fleagles.. I know I am a dork.. but I love riding with my hands 90deg to the bars. Long live the bar ends!!
    My bike is heavier than yours - it does not have Carbon or Titanium parts - I love it!

  37. #37
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    I've seen bars go from crazy wide to narrow to crazy narrow to wide again, mostly with the same justifications over the years. The thing is, whatever works for you works for you. Some folks like wide, some folks like narrow. ride what you like, no big deal.

  38. #38
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    The fact is there are going to be some areas where narrow bars will be faster. You won't have to make a steering adjustment to clear a tree (yes, there are places like this where I've ridden), and any steering adjustment requires a check on speed (however slight it may be).

    What I find ridiculous is how some people here find a need to throw an insult at someone's riding ability when they don't even have an idea where the other person is riding.
    - Mark Ehlers
    The Prodigal Cyclist

  39. #39
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    I'm thinking the increased popularity in wider bars is not limited to the fatbike, but the increase in 29r's. The Easton carbon flat bars I use are marketed towards the 29r crowd. So, remember most fatbikes use a geometry similar to a 29r with a longer toptube/downtube. When I rode a 26" bike, I used a 120mm stem with a bar around 590. On my Fatback I use a 90MM stem and a 690MM wide bar, 100MM stem and a 690MM bar on my 29r. The Wildfire in my avatar is a smaller frame with a 110MM stem and a 620MM bar I believe. The Fatback is the largest frame I own, the 29r is a custom build, and the Wildfire is the smallest. You can see the descending values also relative to frame size.

    Going past 700MM is too wide for me, and the trails I ride don't like it either.

  40. #40
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    I am a big bloke with broad shoulders. I find the narrow On-One Mary's on my fat bike are pulling my elbows too far inwards causing my whole chest to be constricted.. Just bought some 720mm and will see how that goes.. I use a 110mm stem too

  41. #41
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    Just got a 710mm Jones loop bar, looking forward to trying them out. They are completely different then what I am used to.. so we'll see how it goes.I have to rebuild my drivetrain first though.....last year I went to 710mm on my ss 29er and dont think I could go back to narrow bars....I really like the leverage and control....to each his own! cheers fellow fatbikers!

  42. #42
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    WIsh I had the coin for the Jones.. They are what I am going after at the end of the day.. Or Groovy cycles - Luv handles..
    My bike is heavier than yours - it does not have Carbon or Titanium parts - I love it!

  43. #43
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    I'm thinking of going a little wider, but I like the back sweep on my Moonie's stock bars and the wider, higher bars don't seem to have as much back sweep. So I'm thinking of going with a set of these:

    ProTAPER® Carbon 720 Enduro 20/20 | Answer Products
    - Mark Ehlers
    The Prodigal Cyclist

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by marathon marke View Post
    I'm thinking of going a little wider, but I like the back sweep on my Moonie's stock bars and the wider, higher bars don't seem to have as much back sweep. So I'm thinking of going with a set of these:

    ProTAPER® Carbon 720 Enduro 20/20 | Answer Products
    They say reversible? What does that mean?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    They say reversible? What does that mean?
    I believe they mean it can be flipped for either rise or drop.
    - Mark Ehlers
    The Prodigal Cyclist

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    Jayem come out to the Aspen and Gambel Oak forests of the Utah Mountains. Usually it is only 1 or 2 trees that are too narrow to pass, but I don't want to almost come to a stop to get by. I used to cut my bars down to 24" but now I run alt bars that don't leave room on the ends to cut them off. They are also harder to get between trees because they stay wide for a greater distance front to back. That makes it very hard to clear one side then swing the other side past.
    I am not knocking wide bars just saying that some of my favorite trails make it hard to ride if your bars are too wide.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by marathon marke View Post
    I'm thinking of going a little wider, but I like the back sweep on my Moonie's stock bars and the wider, higher bars don't seem to have as much back sweep. So I'm thinking of going with a set of these:

    ProTAPER® Carbon 720 Enduro 20/20 | Answer Products
    I have the DH 780 version on my 29er Enduro. They are seriously thick, which is nice for their intended purpose.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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    In the trail motorcycle world, the solution to two tightly spaced trees is a timed wheelie, and turn the bars for adequate clearance.

    The soil compaction issue is only a concern with certain soil types, and won't apply everywhere. Just like many other trail building techniques.

    I've found bar ends with a curve are best for closely spaced trees. If I make an error and hit the curved bar end forces the bar away from the offending tree, rather than turning my bars into it. They also help if you are still hanging on during a crash. With that said I have slowly upgraded my bike fleet to wide 710 - 750 mm bars without bar ends. I use wide grips, and simply move my hands in a bit if the clearance is tight to avoid finger damage.

    I think one reason that wider bars are more common now than in the past is that the 31.8mm diameter size is almost standard. It makes the center section strong enough to support a longer bar (lever) in impact and crash situations. I've now broken three bars in my life, and I feel much happier when I'm on 31.8mm bars. I've only broken one thicker bar, and it was shortly after a high speed crash.

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