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  1. #1
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    When to adjust the bar length?

    I've got 3 rides each nearly 2 hours on my new SJ FSR Elite. Loving it so far, but the fit is sooo different than my approaching-vintage '93 hardtail. Question is, how long should I give it before I start cutting on the handlebars vs. getting used to the "modern" geometry My old bike had 22" bars, this has ~26"bars, which feel very awkward. I'm thinking of cutting 1/2" per side...or do I need to give it some more time.
    Thanks,
    dave

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hewie
    I've got 3 rides each nearly 2 hours on my new SJ FSR Elite. Loving it so far, but the fit is sooo different than my approaching-vintage '93 hardtail. Question is, how long should I give it before I start cutting on the handlebars vs. getting used to the "modern" geometry My old bike had 22" bars, this has ~26"bars, which feel very awkward. I'm thinking of cutting 1/2" per side...or do I need to give it some more time.
    Thanks,
    dave
    Unless you are riding a small or extra small, I would give it some time. I thought the 640mm bars were too narrow and upgraded to 685mm bars (27"). Give it at least 5 good rides. If you still feel uncomfortable, then cut 1/2" off each side.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hewie
    I've got 3 rides each nearly 2 hours on my new SJ FSR Elite. Loving it so far, but the fit is sooo different than my approaching-vintage '93 hardtail. Question is, how long should I give it before I start cutting on the handlebars vs. getting used to the "modern" geometry My old bike had 22" bars, this has ~26"bars, which feel very awkward. I'm thinking of cutting 1/2" per side...or do I need to give it some more time.
    Thanks,
    dave

    I Highly recommend getting a set of lock-on grips from ODI. THat way, you can easily slide them around to simulate different widths, then lock them down, and get a feel for that "width" before cutting.

    But overall, yeah.. give it more time. If you ride rocky, technical stuff, you'll like the extra leverage that a wide bar gives you. If you ride all smooth stuff, then shortening the bar might feel better.

  4. #4
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    Do what ever feels right for the bar. Worst case, you narrow it too much....Upgrade time!!!

    I was in the same boat, Just upgraded my entire front end and the new bars were 26.5 wide, the original bars on my 96 Rockhopper (still riding it!!) were only 23 inches wide. The new bars made the bike really twitchy and uncomfortable. In the end I removed 1.25 inches from each end of my bars! Bike feels more "normal" now to me.

  5. #5
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    Keep in mind that stem length and bar width are interrelated. You might have had a 135 stem to go with those 22" bars on your 1993 hardtail. What we we thinking back then? Short stem wide bars seems more than fashion. Give it more time.

  6. #6
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    more time for sure,which reminds me i had 23 inch on a 120mm stem,now im running 28 inch bars on a 50mm stem,weird and wonderful world of mountain bikes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramshackle
    You might have had a 135 stem to go with those 22" bars on your 1993 hardtail. What we we thinking back then? Short stem wide bars seems more than fashion.
    Yep, that's exactly what was on that bike. I just put on a 90mm stem and 27" bars to complete a SS conversion, and its rides great. Should have made that change years ago.

    I rode the FSR more over the weekend, though, and am gonna chop 1/2" per side off tomorrow. The wide bars feel great on the SS, but just don't fit me right on this bike.

    Dave

  8. #8
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    Cut away if you must.

    Another difference between the old geometry and today's bikes is that now we generally see a slacker head angle that requires more active weighting of the front end on climbs. The wider the bar the easier it seems to move over the front wheel when needed.

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