When is the handlebar too wide?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    When is the handlebar too wide?

    Back in 2012 my Trek Rumblefish came with a 720mm bar which I swaped to 750mm+shorter stem and steped out of LBS door.
    My 2016 Enduro comp 29 came with a stock 780mm bar, LBS cut it 10mm each side and it feels great.

    Looked at some bikes spec and found that the 2020 Enduro comp has a 800mm bar, while the 2020 Trek Slash has a 820mm bar!

    I looked at the Ibis Ripley V4 and it has 800mm bar too, although its not an AM/Enduro bike.

    I ride in the woods and the desert, singletracks, uphill, downhill, trail/AM riding style. So, when is the bar gets too wide? 780mm? 800mm?
    Yes, I'm aware that it depends on the rider characteristics, riding style, bike geo, stem length and more parameters, and still - is there any point when the bar is too wide so it's actually damaging the rider-bike fit?

    Thx, Mo
    Last edited by mo6500; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    When you prefer it narrower or when it hurts your shoulders or wrist.

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    Does it fit in a one car garage?

  4. #4
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    Fit, handling, comfort, preference.... I very recently built my first hardtail trail bike and put a 45mm stem and a 780mm bar on it because I thought that's just what you do. Thought it would be great....felt and handled like dog crap (66 deg HTA w/130mm fork for reference). Put on a 60mm stem and a 740mm bar and it completely rocks. Also, it's just more comfortable. I could tell pretty quickly 780's were not going to play too well with my 49 year old, well used shoulders.
    The member formerly known as Redtires....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Does it fit in a one car garage?
    The member formerly known as Redtires....

  6. #6
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    If you ride in the woods, it's too long if you hit a tree trunk with your handgrip. Don't ask me how I know this.

  7. #7
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    Bars are too wide when:
    The width causes body discomfort
    When your riding conditions warrant a more narrow bar in order to pass through obstacles, routinely
    When over-all control becomes sacrificed
    When you are brave enough to admit you want narrow bars to your friends/public

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadGrandpa View Post
    If you ride in the woods, it's too long if you hit a tree trunk with your handgrip. Don't ask me how I know this.
    Haha awesome!!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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    I have wide shoulders, so a wider bar feels more comfortable for me (this is why I swapped the 720mm bar on my Rumblefish).

    Yesterday I tried a bike with 800mm bar outside LBS, and it felt weird as if I'm lying over the front. Tried to move the saddle/dropper but it still had the same feel, so maybe it feels like that only at the beginning and this is something I will get use to?

    I'm asking because I'm considering the Trail 429.
    Demoed the 2019 model that had 760mm bar ant it felt perfect.
    2020 model comes with same stem but 780mm Padloc bar that has these cut edges (what is it good for ) so if I cut 10mm each side and it won't be comfortable then I have to buy a new bar and there is no wide selection of this "special" bar (I really liked the Padloc grips though)...

  10. #10
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    Others have suggested in other threads on the same topic that it would be wise to buy a cheap pair of lock on grips with removable plugs and slide them in & out to find your comfort zone. Cut bars accordingly, this eliminates multiple cuts or cutting too short.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdb85 View Post
    Others have suggested in other threads on the same topic that it would be wise to buy a cheap pair of lock on grips with removable plugs and slide them in & out to find your comfort zone. Cut bars accordingly, this eliminates multiple cuts or cutting too short.
    Thanks! Due to this Padloc bar I must buy Padloc grips too

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    When I bought my 5.5 couple years back Pivot had some adapters that expanded in the bars to allow you to use any grip. You may find if you use the method suggested that you might be cutting that silly notch off enough to use any grip you like...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadGrandpa View Post
    If you ride in the woods, it's too long if you hit a tree trunk with your handgrip. Don't ask me how I know this.
    You don't need to ride in the woods. I'm hitting my bars on big rocks, which means the resulting crash is usually into other big rocks.

    Depends on the focus of your riding, your preferences and you're wingspan. Wider is better for your arms to better brace and control the front wheel from being deflected when hitting objects while descending. Narrower, IMO, works better for general trail riding, climbing, and tight maneuvering.

    One thing you can do is look at your hands after you've been riding a while and in different situations. If they're choking up toward the lever perches, you might want to try narrower. If they're at the very ends of the bars, you might want to try wider.
    What, me worry?

  14. #14
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    I liken it too using different hand positions on a weight bar when lifting weight. To wide or to narrow and you reduce the strength to push or pull back the bar or use leverage side to side. Ive also found my arms fatigue faster using a wide bar. The other thing is my fore-aft hand position in correspondence to bar sweep angle and the impact on my hands and wrists.

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    Thanks guys!

    This bar thing is tricky... I like and prefer a wide bar, but not too wide so I have to find this break-even point.

    BTW, anyone have a Pivot bike with this Padloc bar and can tell what is that notch size? If it's 0.8-1" each side then cutting it off will narrow the bar from 780 to 730-740mm which is too narrow for me...

    The Switchblade V1 had this Padloc system, but the new V2 does not use it anymore.
    I hope that Pivot will get rid of this Padloc on the next gen Trail 429 because I can't think of any benefit/advantage using it.

    Mo

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    Got an Ibis Ripley demo bike for the weekend.
    800mm bar. So wide I had to step back to get it into the frame
    Will try it out during the weekend and see how it goes...When is the handlebar too wide?-ripley.jpg

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo6500 View Post
    Got an Ibis Ripley demo bike for the weekend.
    800mm bar. So wide I had to step back to get it into the frame
    Will try it out during the weekend and see how it goes...Click image for larger version. 

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    Not sure about the stock bar but my Ibis carbon bar on my V4 Ripley came with 25mm inserts on each end that screw in/out. I have mine out to run at 750 which is perfect for me.

  18. #18
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    I think these bike manufacturers are getting a little crazy on the width. 720-740 seems to be the sweet spot.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo6500 View Post
    Back in 2012 my Trek Rumblefish came with a 720mm bar which I swaped to 750mm+shorter stem and steped out of LBS door.
    My 2016 Enduro comp 29 came with a stock 780mm bar, LBS cut it 10mm each side and it feels great.

    Looked at some bikes spec and found that the 2020 Enduro comp has a 800mm bar, while the 2020 Trek Slash has a 820mm bar!

    I looked at the Ibis Ripley V4 and it has 800mm bar too, although its not an AM/Enduro bike.

    I ride in the woods and the desert, singletracks, uphill, downhill, trail/AM riding style. So, when is the bar gets too wide? 780mm? 800mm?
    Yes, I'm aware that it depends on the rider characteristics, riding style, bike geo, stem length and more parameters, and still - is there any point when the bar is too wide so it's actually damaging the rider-bike fit?

    Thx, Mo
    When you gotta ask ...

    You know that bars can be cut down?
    GG Megatrail 27.5 (Braaap!)
    GG Trail Pistola 27+/29 (speedy)
    Pivot Shuttle 27.5 (wife's)

  20. #20
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    darrylruddock - thanks for the info, didn't know about that! will ask LBS when I return the demo bike.
    Nurse Ben - you are right and I know it can be cut, but if I cut and don't like the new width after some time, then I have to buy a new bar which can be expensive (if it's carbon). So I'm trying to figure out the right width before cutting.

    Did a 20 mile ride on the Ripley yesterday. Fast riding on a flat terrain. My shoulders hurt and the ride was not comforable, so I guess that 800mm is too wide for me.
    Will ride in the woods tomorrow, a more gnarlier terrain with ups ans downs and see if there is any difference.

    Mo

  21. #21
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    My 2016 Orbea Occam came with 740mm flat bars. I was leaning over too much and my arms were spread out too wide--it strained my back and neck. I got 720mm bars with a rise (10-15mm? can't remember) and it's been great. It still looks too narrow and not really "cool" but who cares. My point is--consider not only width and stem length, but also rise.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramount3 View Post
    My 2016 Orbea Occam came with 740mm flat bars. I was leaning over too much and my arms were spread out too wide--it strained my back and neck. I got 720mm bars with a rise (10-15mm? can't remember) and it's been great. It still looks too narrow and not really "cool" but who cares. My point is--consider not only width and stem length, but also rise.
    Thanks! I'm aware of the rise too. When I bought my 2016 E29 it had a stock 10 degree rise bar, so LBS swapped it with 27 degree

    Mo

  23. #23
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    760mm on all bikes for me

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