shortening my handlebars- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    shortening my handlebars

    hey guys,
    I am in the process of converting my 98(?) Hard Rock into a SS for commuting, and I was wondering what people think of taking an inch or so off either end of the handlebars (the stock, aluminum, flat bar) to reduce the likely hood of clipping cars/people/etc. I would imagine the quicker handling could be a help as well, although that is just a guess. Anyways, what do you guys think?

  2. #2
    local trails rider
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    Try moving your levers and grips in a bit, without cutting, to see how you like the narrower hand position.

  3. #3
    occupation : Foole
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Try moving your levers and grips in a bit, without cutting, to see how you like the narrower hand position.
    Good advice !!! Not to mention, I'm under the impression that wider bars give you more leverage for honking up hills on a ss (dunno, as my area is way too hilly, and my knees too old, to consider ss. Good luck

  4. #4
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    perttime - excellent idea, that will definitely be step one.

    Fuelish - I have been assured by locals in another forum that the hills aren't too bad in the area, although this is definitely something else I will take into consideration.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rip420tide

    Fuelish - I have been assured by locals in another forum that the hills aren't too bad in the area, although this is definitely something else I will take into consideration.
    That's cool, re: hills. If they aren't a major issue, then I'd say go for it, if you feel comfortable with the narrower bars (by experimenting as perttime suggested). I've always cut my bars down, but haven't the nerve to go ss. I love riding to work, although most of my co-workers think I'm crazy .... dunno why, I live in a small city, roads are in great condition, and traffic is not really bad at all, compared to places I've lived previously. Yeah, narrow bars can be handy in tight traffic situations, for sure.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I am moving to Seattle which I understand to be a pretty bike-friendly city, with converted rail-trails and designated bike lanes, etc. Needless to say I cant wait to give up my 45 mile round-trip car commute for something significantly shorter on a bike!

  7. #7
    bi-winning
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    For a commuting bike, i think differences in handling would be relatively insignificant, as you tend to get used to whatever you have, and make the appropriate adjustments yourself.

    I noticed with really narrow bars, there is a little less "leverage" as fuelish said. As long as you don't go ridiculously short, that should not be a problem either though.

    I think the riser bars on my MTB are around 24" wide. On my commuter/road bike, the flat bars are a few inches shorter.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  8. #8
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Hey, Rip tide- not to do with your original question, but you might be interrested in the Commuting and Touring section on rbr. They have quite an active Seattle contingency with tons of great pics and ride reports.
    Good idea about moving your grips in too- I cut down my bars a half inch on each side because I have a couple gates I pass through on a regular basis. Even a little makes a noticeable difference in what they want to snag on. If you can get away with a full inch per side, even more better.

  9. #9
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    rkj - thanks for your input. i am sure you're right and the difference of a couple inches will be entirely unnoticeable.

    ryr - i'll head over there now to check it out, thanks!

  10. #10
    bi-winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by rip420tide
    rkj - thanks for your input. i am sure you're right and the difference of a couple inches will be entirely unnoticeable.
    I used the words "relatively insignificant." You may notice a difference; but unless you are commuting on twisty singletrack though, I don't think trimming an inch or two will have detrimental effects.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  11. #11
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    One of my bikes has inadvertently narrow handlebars - in fact almost stupidly so. basically, I had OLD Syncros steerhorns on the bars years ago (the ones with the expansion bolts) so the bars themselves had to be cut down a number of inches to get the correct width. When the steerhorns went, I was left with ultra-narrow bars. Not nearly as torque-ey as long bars, for sure, but I really like them when riding in traffic - they give me a level of confidence while making those tight squeezes, and they are nice and twitchy!

    -jeeves

  12. #12
    WHEELVALUTION
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    In school back in england I had cowhorns that where about 4 and a half feet wide on a black road bike wid 26" fatty on the back (mean as mad max bike),then a few years later I went the other way and cut the bars down on my nice red puch road weapon....how short? lets just say the adjuster barrols on the brakes were nearly touching exalent for wipin through traffic in a nice arc,going round a corner at speed?....lets just say I met a car coming the otherway,he wasnt pleased to meet me up close,moral is always go down the middle,set the outside of your grips 45cm apart,that will give you a good few inchs gap between wingmirrors,most cars like to be 3 to 4 feet away from each other
    Okay,okay,so how do I put it back together,and where did this spring come from

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