Anyone else not like wide bars?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Anyone else not like wide bars?

    Am I the only one NOT liking the wide bars on modern mountain bikes? I tried to acclimate myself to them, but getting ready to break out the hacksaw.......

  2. #2
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    I'm not gonna comment....

  3. #3
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    What's considered wide now...like 810mm?

  4. #4
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    Uncut. All my bikes. Uncut.

    The last bar I cut felt like the most emasculating thing I have ever done. HUGE mistake. I totally castrated an otherwise perfect 30mm rise 800mm SixC bar. I will never make that mistake again in this lifetime. Or the next.

    Thankfully I was able to sell it with that bike.

    800mm is starting to feel a little narrow. I am going 820 with my next bar.
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  5. #5
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    What do you consider wide? Anything narrower than 720 belongs on a hybrid.

    Edit: I am told that this comment "narrow-minded." If stating my personal opinion, an experience that is agreed upon by a near-unanimous experience from my peers, then I guess I am being narrow-minded when I say that you should vaccinate your kids and the Earth is not a flat disk.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:41 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    What do you consider wide? Anything narrower than 720 belongs on a hybrid.
    My Timberjack has 800 mm bars and just seem too big to me.....don't know, maybe something with more back sweep would make them seem narrower to me.......

  7. #7
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    I use 680mm, tried some uncut 780 bars and it was an awful experience.

  8. #8
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    800 is quite wide. Seems like the sweet spot is around 740-780 for most folks. if you are close to average hieght/ proportions on a modern mtb and you think you need bars that are narrower than that, there's a good chance something. Is amiss.

  9. #9
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    Bike came with 780, felt fine. Swapped in new bar that was stock 820 and it was just silly and hazardous. Cut it down to 800 and it feels real good. Just depends on what you want.

  10. #10
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    It all depends on the trails you’re riding...do you have trees? Are you riding single track? I’m running 740mm bars, and I can’t see myself ever wanting wider bars if I’m riding Where I do. It’s all personal preference.

  11. #11
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    I took the bars and stem off and just steer with the fork crown. Let's me get more aero.

    Like this:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Anyone else not like wide bars?-p5pb17019486.jpg  


  12. #12
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    ^^^in that terrain you could run 1000mm bars

  13. #13
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    I just went from 780's to 800's. I laughed when I put them on because they looked so ridiculously huge. A few hours later I went on to clip a tree with them and landed in a rock garden, leading to a nice slice on my leg that still hasn't healed after just about a month now. I do not regret the switch to wider bars at all... It feels so much more comfortable and controllable! You just have to watch the trail a little closer when things get tight. No ragrets.

  14. #14
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    I welded extension on my bars reaching 990mm and it's still too narrow....

  15. #15
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    Bike frame geometry is designed with an intended bar width and stem length. And bars are tuned to flex around that width. Deviate drastically from what was intended and you will probably end up with a harsh riding bike that steers weird.

    I've built some frames, and i have mtbs that span 2 decades of design progression. I don't like <720mm bars cuz they're too narrow and awkward, or 800 or so bars because they're too wide and uncomfortable. (and they make me crash my shoulders in to trees, for some reason). Within those limits it's an interaction between trail/wheel flop/ and bar-stem lever.... it depends on the bike.

    I've seen several family-friends do horrible drastic things with bar/stem set up, complain about the consequences, and then brag about their ingenuity. Don't do that.
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  16. #16
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    My wife's are sawed down to the point where there is barely room for small-size grips, shifter and brake clamp.

    I'm currently on a drop-bar kick. 440 mm wide.

  17. #17
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    ^^^lol^^^

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by krankie View Post
    I welded extension on my bars reaching 990mm and it's still too narrow....
    Right?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by krankie View Post
    ^^^lol^^^
    I got her some Jones Bars too, but the amount of complaining increased even more.

    My kid just badgered me into ordering 800mm carbone bars for him. Spoiled extremist.

  20. #20
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    I like bars that fit. Going from 600 something to 740 was an eye opening experience, its impossible to go back. Always thought the 740's could be a bit wider.

    I got 800 bars and tried them out for awhile but they were too wide and gave me wrist pain. I rode around with the grips moved inwards and found 760-780 to be my range.

  21. #21
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    Twenty posts and no one has specified how long their bull-bar extenders are.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  22. #22
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    ^^^whats a “bull bar extender”???

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    ^^^whats a “bull bar extender”???

  24. #24
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    Like the 800's on my singlespeed.

    Thought the 820's were a tad wide on the Hightower....yet I have adjusted to them.

    Then again, I was running 710/720's back in 2002.

    Today anything narrower than 780 just feels wrong.
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  25. #25
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    I love the wider position and increased control. When you go down rough or technical terrain, it's much easier to keep your wheel going straight, rather than the rocks making your wheel turn, jamming, and causing you to endo. That is one of the main advantage IMO.

    Me and my semi-wide bars during a cyclocross race on Saturday! 780mm

    Anyone else not like wide bars?-i-sj2bgsb-x3s.jpg
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I love the wider position and increased control. When you go down rough or technical terrain, it's much easier to keep your wheel going straight, rather than the rocks making your wheel turn, jamming, and causing you to endo. That is one of the main advantage IMO.

    Me and my semi-wide bars during a cyclocross race on Saturday! 780mm

    The other dude's bar is laughable. He looks like he is on a kid's bike. Or maybe a folding bike.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    ^^^in that terrain you could run 1000mm bars
    Lol
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    The other dude's bar is laughable. He looks like he is on a kid's bike. Or maybe a folding bike.
    Go beyond looking at his bars. He’s on a 1993’sh bike. Looks like he’s even with Jay on his high tech phatty. What Jay didn’t tell us was this was the last corner before the finish line.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  29. #29
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    750-760 is what feels best for me but I am smaller at 5'6, tried 780 and it was just a bit too wide for my liking.

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I am going 820 with my next bar.
    I bought 820mm bars two years ago with the intention of riding for a bit and then taking off mm until I was comfortable. Still haven't cut them down though I might this winter.

    I like the extra leverage from them on my 130mm trail bike though it does get a bit tight through some tree sections of my local trails. If I don't hit the line right I'm grazing knuckles on trees.

    My rigid single speed felt weird with 820mm on them, down to 780mm on that bike and they feel just about perfect for me.

    Anything less than 780mm just feels really narrow and twitchy now... and BITD if a bar was over 700mm it felt wide !!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    It all depends on the trails you’re riding...do you have trees? Are you riding single track? I’m running 740mm bars, and I can’t see myself ever wanting wider bars if I’m riding Where I do. It’s all personal preference.
    This. 820 would be ridiculous around here on some of the trails. Maybe some are running 800s but they probably stick to the flow trails. I'm actually running 700s and I still managed to clip trees a lot, though that's more due to I pick a lot of lines close to trees, but some spots are pretty tight and you can often see where people clip trees. I've got a couple of new bars and I'll try going wider but not too wide. At some point, the ratio of my arms being wide vs forward feels off. And to those saying XXX just feels wrong, of course it does if that's not what you're use to.
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  32. #32
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    I had 820mm, felt good but hard to keep away from trees.

    Cut them to 760, but moved my brake levers against the grips so my hands could be at the edges of the bar. Most people lose 20mm on each side by gripping in the middle of the grip. The guy next to Jayem is giving up at least 30mm on each side. There's no need for this. Also my brain now knows exactly how wide my bike is. Why don't more riders do this? no idea.

  33. #33
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    I’m not thrilled with bars that exceed 730mm or so. There is a lot of tight single track where I live/ride.


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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    I’m not thrilled with bars that exceed 730mm or so. There is a lot of tight single track where I live/ride.


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    I hear people say this, but I'd really like to see the videos of it. I have to wonder if it's really an issue, or whether it's a perception thing like when trails "drop off" on one side and that freaks the person out, vs. doesn't affect other people. We have lots of tight trails here, especially in the winter, where you have to angle your bars a little sideways as you ride to fit them through or lean to one side. It's part of the fun and challenge. The narrower the bar, the more that will go wrong when you do contact, since you'll have less leverage to correct.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Go beyond looking at his bars. He’s on a 1993’sh bike. Looks like he’s even with Jay on his high tech phatty. What Jay didn’t tell us was this was the last corner before the finish line.
    Both 26" bikes...so basically the exact same thing.
    "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

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  36. #36
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    I have 800s on all my bikes. I ride plenty of heavily treed trails throughout western Canada. I highly doubt anyone is riding more densely treed trails. I have learned exactly what I can get through at speed, and what I have to slow down for. I use the “swim” method to navigate through the super tight areas.

    The very slight inconvenience is a small price to pay. To each his own though.

    For those running longer bars who are thinking of cutting them, just make sure that’s what you really want. You might be surprised to find that you end up regretting it after you cut them. Try moving your grips and levers inboard, leaving your bar intact, or borrow a cheap aluminum bar from your LBS (in whatever shorter width you wish) to try before potentially destroying an expensive bar.

    For me, the very infrequent inconvenience is well worth the benefits of the longer bars, including (but not limited to) the significantly increased control in the super techy, rooty, rocky chunk at speed. Wider bars do nothing on flow trails, which was mentioned more than once above. It’s in the jank where they shine.

    I also still “row” up super loose steep pitches (the technique we all learned when we first started out). I find that the wider bars provide a lot more leverage to power up the really tough stuff. There are other advantages too but like I said, to each his own. No skin off my back if you want to cut them.

    EDIT: whatever you do, do not be swayed by anyone's advice on this, including mine. Each of us is different anatomically. Find what works for you, but try not to destroy any perfectly good bars in the process.
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  37. #37
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    I had a 680 on a 90mm stem on an older bike. When I went to a 50mm stem, that 680 felt way too twitchy. Upgraded bikes and the new one came with a 780 and a 60mm stem. It felt way too sluggish so I slid the saddle back and added a 50mm stem. Much better but still a bit more slow response. Dropped to a 35mm stem and installed a 740 bar I had kicking around. Very fast response, felt like my old BMX handing, maybe a bit more twitchy than I'm used to from having ridden the 780 for a while. I think 760 would be my sweet spot. Might break out the pipe cutter this wknd.

  38. #38
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    760mm is my sweet spot. Wider I have found I clip trees more frequently. Narrower and it is a bit twitcher then I want.
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  39. #39
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    All of my current bikes are 10 year-old XC geometry hardtails and I find that 710mm bars and 90-100mm stems are about perfect for my terrain and riding style. That was a big change from the sub-600mm bars and 150mm stems I used to ride back in the 80's and 90's. I regularly demo bikes with wider bars and they make some sense on newer bikes, but they still feel weird to me.

  40. #40
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    There isn't anything wrong with trimming the bars down.

    But, what don't you like about them? Just a generic "I don't like it" or is there a reason. You make a complaint but with no apparent reason.

    How much are you planning to cut off each end?

    Depending on what you are trying to mimic, suggest taking it in small increments. Maybe 1/2" per side at a time.

    The mountain bike bars on one of my bikes is I think 1/2" wider than my dirt bike bars that I'd always cut down. I think my dirt bike is 30.5 or 31". Probably came 32" wide new but it's been too many years to remember. ha

    If too wide because they are uncomfortable because of your wing span or stem length, cut away. If you ride tight trails all the time where bars clip trees, probably need to trim.
    If they are too wide because they are simly wider than another pair, maybe not the best reason to cut 'em down.

  41. #41
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    I was running the stock bars on my Hightower V2 and found them wide and constantly found myself gripping on the inner most part of the grips to the point that the shifter and dropper post lever were constantly hitting my thumb.

    So I finally cut the bars down to 760 and am happy with that width.

    I also am somewhat small. And ride some tight terrain. I don't find them sketchy at all though will admit that wider has a certain stability to it. Within some range it's personal preference based on what you like and what you are riding most often.

  42. #42
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    It does take a few rides to get used to a change in bar width so if you just got the 800s then give it a little time. I previously used 760mm, got new 800s and felt they were too wide, cut them down to 780mm. Now I feel like the 800mm would have been okay.

    Your ideal width will also vary depending on how broad your shoulders are. The OP's bio says he lives in Spring Valley, AZ, so he probably has some trees but not very tightly spaced. He also needs shoulder surgery so bad shoulder joints might be a factor.

  43. #43
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    If you have a 700mm bar and don't clip trees and adding 3/4" to each side suddenly turns every ride into a disaster, it's not the handlebar's fault. There are lots of tight tree gates where I ride and 760s don't slow me down.

  44. #44
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    720mm is wide to me...hahahahah. I don't see how you can ride where I am with these huge bars, you will clip trees. I could probably go up to 740.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I hear people say this, but I'd really like to see the videos of it. I have to wonder if it's really an issue, or whether it's a perception thing like when trails "drop off" on one side and that freaks the person out, vs. doesn't affect other people. We have lots of tight trails here, especially in the winter, where you have to angle your bars a little sideways as you ride to fit them through or lean to one side. It's part of the fun and challenge. The narrower the bar, the more that will go wrong when you do contact, since you'll have less leverage to correct.
    Wider bars are definitely more confidence inspiring in that they provide more control. Newer frame geometries with very short stems warrant use of wider bars. I'm old school and don't mind a less aggressive geometry with somewhat longer stem length (60-90mm maybe...).

    Even with ~730mm bars I have my brake levers in an inch or so from where the handlebar grips start. If I didn't, I would smash my pinkies on occasion for sure due to narrow tree lined trails, bridge railings, etc. Some of my friends with slightly wider bars have to stop at bridges and walk their bike across with the front wheel in the air.
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  46. #46
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    Anything over 750/760 is just too wide for me. 720 is about the smallest I'd ever want.

    I always post this, but I'm laughingly amazed mountain bikes "need" bars that are wider than MX bars.
    "Go soothingly in the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon"

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    Even with ~730mm bars I have my brake levers in an inch or so from where the handlebar grips start.
    I thought this was how everyone set up their brake levers. Install grips, set lever so your index finger can wrap around the hooked end of the lever, angle down until just right, cinch bolt. Duplicate spacing and angle on the other side. 1" is a great starting point for average sized hands.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I thought this was how everyone set up their brake levers. Install grips, set lever so your index finger can wrap around the hooked end of the lever, angle down until just right, cinch bolt. Duplicate spacing and angle on the other side. 1" is a great starting point for average sized hands.

    Yeah, where the levers are is irrelevent compared to the bar width. The levers (and shifter(s) will be where they need to be to work with your hand, bar width doesn't matter!
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Me and my semi-wide bars during a cyclocross race on Saturday! 780mm

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	254 
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ID:	1284921


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  50. #50
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    after riding bars in the mid 700's for awhile now i rode some oldschool about 600 wide - the 600's felt like i would crash at any moment. lack of control - jittery.

  51. #51
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    690 and 700 on two bikes. Road/gravel 420.
    Do the math.

  52. #52
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    Wide bars suck, they made bar ends obsolete

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Wider bars do nothing on flow trails, which was mentioned more than once above. It’s in the jank where they shine.
    At least around me, the flow trails (and pretty sure everywhere) are a lot wider than the straight up more natural singletrack, so on flow trails, your bars could be 1000+ without having to worry about clipping trees. I enjoy riding flow trails but more prefer tight singletrack over those wide highways.
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  54. #54
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    I like 780 for trail riding. Wide enough to open the lungs and narrow enough for tight singletrack.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Both 26" bikes...so basically the exact same thing.
    Lol
    Basically, mmmmm..mmmmm.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  56. #56
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    No wide bars for you in Australia. Not sure why these particular bikes were picked out and not every other bike out there. So do they have handlebar width police?

    https://www.productsafety.gov.au/rec...d-liv-bicycles

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    At least around me, the flow trails (and pretty sure everywhere) are a lot wider than the straight up more natural singletrack, so on flow trails, your bars could be 1000+ without having to worry about clipping trees. I enjoy riding flow trails but more prefer tight singletrack over those wide highways.
    Well, wide bars help with leverage and pedaling to get speed for jumps on flow trails and they help you keep the wheel straight when you land, or allow you to land a little more off-center/on a hip/etc. and maintain control...just like everywhere else
    "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

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  58. #58
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    I run 580mm anything wider hurts my wrist and rotator cuffs....
    Tread killer....

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    Where's the cyclocross!?!
    Right here. My first cyclcross race ever. Raced sport, but they launched sport, beginner and a few other classes all together. I initially pulled ahead and had the lead, but blew out the first corner on the slippery grass (pictured), ending up 180 degrees to where I wanted to be. Luckily, a steep hike-a-bike uphill right after limited how far people got ahead of me, so I was able to make it up a bit and pull off 4th place.

    Anyone else not like wide bars?-018e9ca544d5d5948773506d8596dac1934db2051b.jpg
    "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

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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    Where's the cyclocross!?!
    Twenty miles ahead.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Right here. My first cyclcross race ever. Raced sport, but they launched sport, beginner and a few other classes all together. I initially pulled ahead and had the lead, but blew out the first corner on the slippery grass (pictured), ending up 180 degrees to where I wanted to be. Luckily, a steep hike-a-bike uphill right after limited how far people got ahead of me, so I was able to make it up a bit and pull off 4th place.

    I think we can all agree that the real story here is the pants.
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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Wider bars do nothing on flow trails, which was mentioned more than once above. It’s in the jank where they shine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Well, wide bars help with leverage and pedaling to get speed for jumps on flow trails and they help you keep the wheel straight when you land, or allow you to land a little more off-center/on a hip/etc. and maintain control...just like everywhere else
    I think you meant to quote mike, I wasn't the one that said wide bars aren't useful on flow trails, I just said there is plenty of room for them.
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I think we can all agree that the real story here is the pants.
    Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.

    That's a pretty funny picture, pants and the 180, Jayem. You look confused.
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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.

    That's a pretty funny picture, pants and the 180, Jayem. You look confused.
    At least I didn't get shot down in flames...

    The pants are always the real story. Now I too can walk through airports in total comfort.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    At least I didn't get shot down in flames...
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  66. #66
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    And we wonder why this sport is such a sausage-fest...haha
    "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

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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teufelhunde View Post
    Am I the only one NOT liking the wide bars on modern mountain bikes? I tried to acclimate myself to them, but getting ready to break out the hacksaw.......
    If you were on the right side of the law, you wouldn't be in handcuffs and require narrow bars...

    But seriously, with my arm length suited to passing a hooter across a room without an extenda-roach, bar width shall be a minimum of 800mm, per the Uniform Bicycle Code.
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  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And we wonder why this sport is such a sausage-fest...haha
    I was trying to decide where to haul me, my 800 mm barred behemoth and my little posse this long weekend. Nelson BC... Home of BC/DC, Robbie Bourdon, Kurt Sorge and a million other MTB icons... Within a few hours striking distance... Hmmm....

    ...and I bet I won't clip a single tree all weekend.
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  69. #69
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    Had 660's on my old bike, old Easton Monkeylite. The stock bars on my Mach 5.5 are 760's. I like so far but we have a few tight trees on one of the trails we ride that are like 750 wide. Fun little adventure at 15 mph...lol.

  70. #70
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    I have 760 on one bike, and 780 on another (Unit), I really can't tell the difference, but definitely wide bars for me. We don't have many trees in SoCal trails.
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And we wonder why this sport is such a (sweet) sausage-fest...haha
    What width Handlebar works for this bike? May enter the Sugarcane 200 in January.

    Anyone else not like wide bars?-maxresdefault.jpg
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  72. #72
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    There is no one bar fits all. Shoulder width, arm length, torso length, ETT, frame size all play a role not to mention any sort of wrist or hand issues. Older style frames are intended to be run with a longer stem and more narrow bar while more progressive geometry will likely have a shorter stem and wider bar. I used to ride with a 680mm bar, which was never wide enough, and my hands would be half-off the grip. I used a 720mm bar after that and it was better. I've had 750 and 760 bars on the fat bikes, both felt good the 760 stayed on the fatty. The 750 moved to my older style skinny tire bike, but I've been using a 740 17deg Salsa Bend 2 bar and my wrists have never felt better. The bar feels like it increased the reach so I also went to a 90mm stem from a 100. It's a work in progress but I'll never go smaller than 740 now.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    ...so I also went to a 90mm stem from a 100.
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  74. #74
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    my bike came stock with a 760 but it was hard to wrestle the bike up stairs and through a bit of hallway into my bike room.

    i took the raceface 725 off of my hardtail, put the hardtail's stock 700 (?) back on and used the 760 for a physical therapy tool while i was recovering from an injury.

    now, i think i want 740-745 on the dualie, as my hands just seem to want to be a little farther out on the bar.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    my bike came stock with a 760 but it was hard to wrestle the bike up stairs and through a bit of hallway into my bike room.

    i took the raceface 725 off of my hardtail, put the hardtail's stock 700 (?) back on and used the 760 for a physical therapy tool while i was recovering from an injury.

    now, i think i want 740-745 on the dualie, as my hands just seem to want to be a little farther out on the bar.
    740mm is where it’s at

  76. #76
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    My latest bike came with 800mm RaceFace bars. Too wide, I am very used to 760mm. When I removed the grips, I was thrilled to find that the bars were pre-marked on each end for the width you wanted them to be, so for 760, I just cut at the 760 mark on each end. Pretty cool. No way to mis-measure.

    BTW, if you ever cut bars, seatposts or fork steerers, you should get yourself one of these (or the Park equivalent for 3x the price): https://www.amazon.com/CyclingDeal-B...A26/ref=sr_1_2

    Also, file the sharp edges off the end of the bars after you cut them, inside and out, especially if you use grips with soft ends.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    There is no one bar fits all. Shoulder width, arm length, torso length, ETT, frame size all play a role not to mention any sort of wrist or hand issues. Older style frames are intended to be run with a longer stem and more narrow bar while more progressive geometry will likely have a shorter stem and wider bar. I used to ride with a 680mm bar, which was never wide enough, and my hands would be half-off the grip. I used a 720mm bar after that and it was better. I've had 750 and 760 bars on the fat bikes, both felt good the 760 stayed on the fatty. The 750 moved to my older style skinny tire bike, but I've been using a 740 17deg Salsa Bend 2 bar and my wrists have never felt better. The bar feels like it increased the reach so I also went to a 90mm stem from a 100. It's a work in progress but I'll never go smaller than 740 now.
    Did it really take 72 posts for this to be said (posted by someone who skimmed through most of the thread, but saw more than a few "absolutes of bar width" being posted.

    And, why do people think a wider bar gives more control?

  78. #78
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    BTW, grips come in differing lengths. I use one finger brake levers, and I can't have my hands all the way out to the end of my grips anyway. You can use a narrower bar and shorter grips and end up with your hands the same width apart as a wider bar and longer grips.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post

    And, why do people think a wider bar gives more control?
    Depends on the difference. 760 vs. 780 probably not noticeable in control.
    760 vs. whatever they were in year 2000 offers additional control, giving the same speed and trail condition.

    My two bikes are different by I think 20mm (can't remember for sure). I feel a difference in handling due to one having a shorter stem of 10mm, and different fork offset, but as far as downhill handling because of the width differences, I don't.


    In the case of this thread, we were only offered "wider bars" without a reference dimension.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    BTW, if you ever cut bars, seatposts or fork steerers, you should get yourself one of these (or the Park equivalent for 3x the price): https://www.amazon.com/CyclingDeal-B...A26/ref=sr_1_2
    That is pretty friggn neato!
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  81. #81
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    I went from 670mm bars to 800 mm bars last year. I didn't think I'd like them and had intentions to cut them down. I ended up loving the wide bars and now I have no intentions of cutting them down. Love the wide bars!
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post

    And, why do people think a wider bar gives more control?
    Simple physics. Control is making the bike go where I want it to. The longer the lever arm, the better I can make the front wheel do just that.
    "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

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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post

    And, why do people think a wider bar gives more control?
    Think of it as a circle. With a wider bar, your circle has a lot wider diameter than a small circle. So if you move your hands 2" along that circle, you've moved a smaller degree around the circle than if you moved two inches on a smaller circle. So you can fine tune easier. But, requiring further movement to get the same degree (or angle), the steering is slower. Narrow bars make the steering twitchy, you can be turning your hands back and forth trying to get the angle right while with wider bars, it's easier to hit the proper angle.
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  84. #84
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    Regarding the above two posts, I understand the physics of longer lever versus shorter lever. (The shorter the lever, the faster the change on what that lever is attached to). I also understand that longer does NOT mean "more control", and neither does shorter. It's situation-dependent.

    But, there is also the factor of the human arms (and the body they are attached to) moving that lever. The wider the bar, the more you have to move your upper body to swing that bigger arc. Easier for taller people than shorter people. I personally find there is a natural position for where my arms want to be. With my hands too close together, I am uncomfortable. Too far apart, uncomfortable. Simple ergonomics. (From bench presses and pushups, to fighting with a bo staff, to lifting a bag of cement).

    Wit the absolutes that "a bar of XXXmm is the RIGHT size", I wonder if there are people who take it to heart and end up riding with discomfort because it's what they have been told by the "experts" to do.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post
    Simple ergonomics. (From bench presses and pushups, to fighting with a bo staff, to lifting a bag of cement).

    Wit the absolutes that "a bar of XXXmm is the RIGHT size", I wonder if there are people who take it to heart and end up riding with discomfort because it's what they have been told by the "experts" to do.
    Well, I'd say the converse of that is that the idea of having your bars based on your shoulder width is BS and 99% of people will feel pushups are easier when they take a wide stance, again, leverage. That won't build muscles the best, so if you do happen to build up a certain set of muscles, that exercise will seem easier, but that doesn't really mean it's optimal or easier for everyone. If you are having discomfort, by all means, change some things around, there are lots of variables with sweep, height, width, position, brake lever angle and reach, etc.
    "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

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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post
    Regarding the above two posts, I understand the physics of longer lever versus shorter lever. (The shorter the lever, the faster the change on what that lever is attached to). I also understand that longer does NOT mean "more control", and neither does shorter. It's situation-dependent.

    But, there is also the factor of the human arms (and the body they are attached to) moving that lever. The wider the bar, the more you have to move your upper body to swing that bigger arc. Easier for taller people than shorter people. I personally find there is a natural position for where my arms want to be. With my hands too close together, I am uncomfortable. Too far apart, uncomfortable. Simple ergonomics. (From bench presses and pushups, to fighting with a bo staff, to lifting a bag of cement).

    Wit the absolutes that "a bar of XXXmm is the RIGHT size", I wonder if there are people who take it to heart and end up riding with discomfort because it's what they have been told by the "experts" to do.
    If you're short and riding a production bike (especially something like a long travel 29er) the handlebars are only the tip of the iceberg. Some stuff just can't work even though you can buy it at a shop.


    For the rest of us, the handlebars are just one lever in a series that connects our hands to the front tire. If you're varying that length drastically... something is wrong. Or at least poorly optimized.

    If you fall outside the 740-800mm range it's indicative of poor setup. Everyone wants to think they're special, but we're not.
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  87. #87
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    Anyone else not like wide bars?

    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post
    Regarding the above two posts, I understand the physics of longer lever versus shorter lever. (The shorter the lever, the faster the change on what that lever is attached to). I also understand that longer does NOT mean "more control", and neither does shorter. It's situation-dependent.

    But, there is also the factor of the human arms (and the body they are attached to) moving that lever. The wider the bar, the more you have to move your upper body to swing that bigger arc. Easier for taller people than shorter people. I personally find there is a natural position for where my arms want to be. With my hands too close together, I am uncomfortable. Too far apart, uncomfortable. Simple ergonomics. (From bench presses and pushups, to fighting with a bo staff, to lifting a bag of cement).

    Wit the absolutes that "a bar of XXXmm is the RIGHT size", I wonder if there are people who take it to heart and end up riding with discomfort because it's what they have been told by the "experts" to do.
    And I wonder whether you have any idea what you are talking about.

    Go ride a legit black or double black with an 800mm bar. Then ride it with a 640mm bar. Decide for yourself whether you have more control with the former.

    But as I said in post #36 above, “whatever you do, do not be swayed by anyone's advice on this, including mine. Each of us is different anatomically. Find what works for you, but try not to destroy any perfectly good bars in the process.”

    I get the impression you just want to argue.
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  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by DethWshBkr View Post
    Yeah, where the levers are is irrelevent compared to the bar width. The levers (and shifter(s) will be where they need to be to work with your hand, bar width doesn't matter!
    I have the brake levers against the grips on my other bikes with narrower bars. My point is that if I did the same on wider bars, I would smash my fingers...
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  89. #89
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    Why, just the other day I was in the supermarket fighting with a bo staff and I thought to myself, "This would be so much better if my hands were a little further apart. Hey look, eggs are on sale!"

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    I think ya'll are overlooking the most important part.

    Wider bars will make you look like you are always attacking something. Intimidating to all people you come face to face with.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post
    Regarding the above two posts, I understand the physics of longer lever versus shorter lever. (The shorter the lever, the faster the change on what that lever is attached to). I also understand that longer does NOT mean "more control", and neither does shorter. It's situation-dependent.

    But, there is also the factor of the human arms (and the body they are attached to) moving that lever. The wider the bar, the more you have to move your upper body to swing that bigger arc. Easier for taller people than shorter people. I personally find there is a natural position for where my arms want to be. With my hands too close together, I am uncomfortable. Too far apart, uncomfortable. Simple ergonomics. (From bench presses and pushups, to fighting with a bo staff, to lifting a bag of cement).

    Wit the absolutes that "a bar of XXXmm is the RIGHT size", I wonder if there are people who take it to heart and end up riding with discomfort because it's what they have been told by the "experts" to do.
    But, we have a lot of “experts” among us. And I have to ask, what is “fighting with a bo staff”?
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    But, we have a lot of “experts” among us. And I have to ask, what is “fighting with a bo staff”?
    It's what you do if you've dropped your nunchakus and can't find your tonfas. Doesn't everyone do this?

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post

    If you fall outside the 740-800mm range it's indicative of poor setup.
    LOL!!

    Yes, using equipment that fits you is clearly poor setup.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    LOL!!

    Yes, using equipment that fits you is clearly poor setup.
    I think the point that is being missed is that while your 2003 mountain bike with it's 100mm or longer stem and bars may "fit you", the initial reaction when getting on a modern bike with shorter stem and wider bars needs to be questioned, give it a little time and see. The range of "narrow to wide" is now wider on a modern bike. Just like on an older bike with longer stem, the range was narrower, so arbitrarily, back in the day a 720 setup was "wide" and at the upper limit of riders with large dimension body parts. Now, with size of the stem, that limit has moved outward significantly. Additionally, now there are a lot of stems available less than 50mm, so your first inclination to cut your bars may not be the best idea, it may be to shorten the stem down.

    If you really need narrower, then go for it and cut them down. MTBs have evolved to have wider bars and this "fits" people just like the narrower-long-stem setups did before, but gives handling advantages. So as long as people are aware of this, no problem. At least give the wider setup a chance, and then think real hard about what is the right way forward, it may not mean cutting it down or may mean a combination of things, to achieve the correct balance for you.
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  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post

    Go ride a legit black or double black with an 800mm bar. Then ride it with a 640mm bar. Decide for yourself whether you have more control with the former.
    To the contrary, stand and hammer the pedals for a long solid effort, and decide which feels better.

    640 is a touch extreme, especially on the long bikes of today. But I honestly cannot fathom having a consistent strong pedal stroke with my hands 80cm apart.

    Though, it may be too much time spent in drops on my part.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    LOL!!

    Yes, using equipment that fits you is clearly poor setup.
    Is this you?
    Anyone else not like wide bars?-c8a.png


    But seriously, let's not talk about nonsense from the 90s. The narrow bars work because the whole bike is screwy.
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    Do a push-up with dumbbells and your body will tell you what it wants. Measure the distance you like the best.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by jan_kaspar View Post
    Do a push-up with dumbbells and your body will tell you what it wants. Measure the distance you like the best.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Who needs dumbbells. If using this technique, a simple push-up on the floor is the same thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Who needs dumbbells. If using this technique, a simple push-up on the floor is the same thing.
    Either way works, though the dumbbells are a little better of a simulation. Flat handed pushups hurt my wrists, so I’d be worried that my hand positioning would be slightly different as a result of favoring my wrists.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by knutso View Post
    To the contrary, stand and hammer the pedals for a long solid effort, and decide which feels better.

    640 is a touch extreme, especially on the long bikes of today. But I honestly cannot fathom having a consistent strong pedal stroke with my hands 80cm apart.

    Though, it may be too much time spent in drops on my part.
    Haha...it actually feels better to sprint out of the saddle on my road bike with its super narrow drop bar. The bar on my MTB's are 760...it feels real awkward with my hands so far apart.

  101. #101
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    Narrow minded about wide bars is no way to go through life son.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    My 760s are staring to feel narrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    My 760s are staring to feel narrow.
    You can go ahead an uncut them if you need them wider.
    Duh

  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Narrow minded about wide bars is no way to go through life son.
    /snort...

  105. #105
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    This was my progression over the past 10 years:

    660 mm bars, 100mm stem: Felt fine, didn't think too hard about the impact of wider bars/shorter stem
    740 mm bars, 70mm stem: Tried this first on a demo bike. It was definitely a better setup than what I had previously
    760 mm bars, 50mm stem: Another improvement over the previous setup
    785 mm bars, 50mm stem: I thought this was going to be a little too wide, but it seemed to provide a bit more control than the 760mm bars. It may have caused some shoulder pain over time.
    800 mm bars, 50mm stem: Definitely too wide. My upper body felt locked in place with this set up.
    Cut the 800mm bars down to 775mm, 50mm stem: Feels just right. As a plus, shortening the bars speeds up the steering of my Ibis HD4 just the right amount.
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    It is as much about your body as the bike, do a bunch of push-ups, until you start to have to actually work to do them. You will naturally put your hands in the position that is most comfortable for you, and gives you the best leverage. Measure that width to the outside of your hands. Add 20mm and that will be the correct bar width to start for average trail riding. Tight/high speed XC riding maybe 50mm less, enduro and downhill maybe 50mm wider. Downhill you might want to go even wider if it doesn't feel bad to you.

    For me the measurement was 680mm so I run 700mm bars on my trail bike, and 740mm bars on my enduro bike. I tried 800mm bars and they didn't feel real bad, but because of old shoulder injuries, they would cause pain on longer rides.

    One thing to remember, if your bike already is the right setup for your balance and you change to wider bars, you will need a shorter stem to keep the same hip to shoulder alignment and front to back weight distribution.

  107. #107
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    I run 825mm Deity's with a 40mm stem. But, I'm 6' tall and ride a lot of downhill. I don't necessarily turn my handlebars when cornering, I lean the bike and countersteer to corner. The 825's give great leverage while providing extra stability at speed.

    My opinion is that every bike and every setup is made to accomplish specific goals for specific riders. My 1986 Trek 850 has 675mm bars and the equivalent of a 60mm stem. Its super sketchy on a trail, but it works great with fenders to ride around town. I personally think most XC guys are running way too long of bars and they should be around 700-720mm, but if they want longer or shorter bars who am I to tell them otherwise? If you want to run 450mm bars on your fixie to deliver pizza's, why should I tell you to run anything else? I am just happy you are all out riding your bikes.
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  108. #108
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    Thanks to this thread, I have finally removed the bar ends and moved my grips out. Now I can take full advantage of every one of the 620 millimeters my bar has to offer. Don't worry, it makes up for its shortness with a 120 millimeter stem.
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  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thustlewhumber View Post
    If you want to run 450mm bars on your fixie to deliver pizza's, why should I tell you to run anything else? I am just happy you are all out riding your bikes.
    I'm starting to see guys with extra large bars with fixies downtown , no kidding !
    I wonder how they pass through cars......
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  110. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiThundrrr View Post
    Thanks to this thread, I have finally removed the bar ends and moved my grips out. Now I can take full advantage of every one of the 620 millimeters my bar has to offer. Don't worry, it makes up for its shortness with a 120 millimeter stem.
    My head asplode!

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    Quote Originally Posted by armii View Post
    It is as much about your body as the bike, do a bunch of push-ups, until you start to have to actually work to do them. You will naturally put your hands in the position that is most comfortable for you, and gives you the best leverage.
    I see no reason to believe that this will tell me anything other than the best place to put my hands for doing push-ups. I am not doing push-ups on my bike, so I don't see how the correlation makes sense. If it gets good results, I think it's coincidental, just like KOPS and measuring saddle size by wrist width. If that works for you, go for it.

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    If it's too loud, turn it down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I see no reason to believe that this will tell me anything other than the best place to put my hands for doing push-ups. I am not doing push-ups on my bike, so I don't see how the correlation makes sense. If it gets good results, I think it's coincidental, just like KOPS and measuring saddle size by wrist width. If that works for you, go for it.
    Basic physics and physiology. And if you are standing, going over obstacles, you are constantly doing mini push-ups. If you hands and arms are in the most comfortable and best place for leverage, you will be in the best position to apply leverage to counter steer while riding. You will also be in the position that puts the least amount of stress on your elbow and shoulder joints. Which will allow you to ride longer and harder.

    As far as wider being better as is often said.
    Yes if you are going very fast or with a very heavy bike, or heavy front tire, wider bars can help by requiring less effort to move the bars, but it also means it takes more actual movement for the same angle of direction change in the front tire.
    Even motocross motorcycles, much faster, much heavier, than a mountain bike, rarely ever have over 800mm bars.

  114. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    My head asplode!
    Bwahahaha I haven't even e-splained the head bearings situation! My frikkin' fork has no crown race, my balls are exposed to the elements!
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  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by armii View Post
    Basic physics and physiology.
    Not trying to be a dick about it, but you seem pretty sure that "basic physics and physiology" prove your theory? Can you point to peer-reviewed studies and calculations that back it up. Do you have academic credentials to back up your expertise? If the push-up method works for you, that's fine. Please don't offer a hypothesis on the public under the auspices of scientific rigor if it's not been tested beyond the subjective experience of a few people.

    Seriously, not trying to pick a fight, but there is value in having the humility to say tell people about a theory with the context "in my experience" and "this method worked for me." Offering a subjective experience on the world as universal fact is not helpful.

    I would argue that I don't do "mini push-ups" when I ride. The motion is quite a bit different, more of a forward and reverse rowing motion. You're also battling and creating lateral motions that don't happen when you do a push-up. My handlebar is much wider than my push-up stance, quote a bit wider than your calculation. I ride what you would call "XC" and I can't stand having it narrower. Am I doing it wrong?

  116. #116
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    720mm flat bar with bar ends.
    740mm riser bar feels about right.

    Measure press-up hand spacing.
    740mm.

    Tried 800mm bars with same sweep, but no, no, no...

  117. #117
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    I'm quite comfortable doing Diamond push ups. I do a lot of them.
    Do I need narrower bars?
    Anyone else not like wide bars?-diamond-push-up.jpg
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  118. #118
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    Rode 780s that came with the bike for more than a year. Then tried my wife's bike with 730 bars and it felt wayyyy easier to manuver. I progressively cut my bars to 740 and the bike just feels much easier to steer this way.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  119. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiThundrrr View Post
    I'm quite comfortable doing Diamond push ups. I do a lot of them.
    Do I need narrower bars?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yes. You need some 20mm bars.

  120. #120
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    While we're all comfortable being all anal and getting into arguing for argument's sake, if one has 780mm "bars", does that mean that the grip ends are 1560mm apart? I only have one bar on my bikes, they range from 720-760mm. Should I put another one on?
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  121. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teufelhunde View Post
    Am I the only one NOT liking the wide bars on modern mountain bikes? I tried to acclimate myself to them, but getting ready to break out the hacksaw.......
    Not sure what you consider to be wide. I know that is the "trend" or now the standard?

    Personally, the kind of riding I do often here in the jungles of Hawaii, "wide" is not so good. And I'm old school so I run my bars around 680 mm. It's about shoulder width. Don't get me wrong though, there are a lot of people who like the wide bars and ride just as well out here. So in the end, it's just what you like and what works for you.

    Disadvantages I found with "wide" bars?
    I often hit trees with the ends of the bars.
    Slower steering in the tight quarters when not ripping down flowy trails. Meaning tight, twisty, turning trails.

    Advantages I found with "wide" bars?
    Slows down the steering so on ultra steep, grinding climbs, the bike tracks straighter.
    When in rough stuff the bike will stay straighter.
    Opens up the chest for better breathing?

    Because I'm old school, I've learned how to handle the "twitchyness" of a shorter bar, stem combo on my bike in all kinds of conditions. People who ride my bike say it feels twitchy. I say it's like riding a short surfboard in big waves. It handles QUICK but I work with it and it works great for me.

  122. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmanInTheD View Post
    , if one has 780mm "bars", does that mean that the grip ends are 1560mm apart? I only have one bar on my bikes, they range from 720-760mm. Should I put another one on?
    Ha! That drives me insane, too. I am paid to be anal about words, so hearing someone say that a bicycle has "handlebars" and "forks" sounds so absurd.

    "Mils" are not the same thing as millimeters.

  123. #123
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    Lol to 1560mm bars. That's over 5 feet! Like the Texas Longhorn of MTB!
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  124. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiThundrrr View Post
    Lol to 1560mm bars. That's over 5 feet! Like the Texas Longhorn of MTB!
    Hook ‘em

  125. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Anything narrower than 720 belongs on a hybrid.
    Anything wider than 600mm belongs in the landfill.
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  126. #126
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    When I got my fat bike , I understood the need for larger Handlebars , you need that extra leverage for the extra "gyroscopic force" of heavier , bigger wheels.

    So I got an extra wide 630mm bar for my fat bike.

    (I'm 6'2'')
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  127. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post

    ....So I got an extra wide 630mm bar for my fat bike.


    lol, 90's flashback.
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  128. #128
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    I wonder how long it'll be before someone invents power steering for bikes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I wonder how long it'll be before someone invents power steering for bikes?
    Or a steering damper...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I wonder how long it'll be before someone invents power steering for bikes?
    Here you go!
    Anyone else not like wide bars?-img_20191015_142355918.jpg
    Just joshin ya, that's REVERSE steering!!
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  131. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    lol, 90's flashback.
    You had a fat bike in the '90s?
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  132. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiThundrrr View Post
    Here you go!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just joshin ya, that's REVERSE steering!!
    Ouch, my brain!

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    Amazing how many experts here know NOTHING of simple ergonomics.
    I wonder if another "expert" told them their pedals should be spaced 10" wider than their hip measurement, they'd do it because it's "correct".

    Doing pushups with your hands wider or narrower than they naturally fall in order to improve specific muscles or muscle groups is one thing, but if you had to do them every day as part of your work (think of swinging a hammer), your body's inclination will be to do what is easiest and most comfortable.

    Like someone said, put a mega-wide bar on your bike and ride around for a while. Your hands will naturally go where it's most comfortable and where you feel you can control the bike best and do your best riding.
    What if it happens to be at XXXmm, when YYYmm is the "correct" length? The answer is "Go tell the bee it can't possibly fly because the rules of aerodynamics say it's not possible".

    It's also funny how some people argue their point by trying to belittle instead of offering something like *gasp* fact, instead of opinion.
    A lot of people discuss politics and religion the same way.

    Interdasting.

  134. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    lol, 90's flashback.
    Didn't know there was such a thing as "Fashion Police" in the MTB world.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  135. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    Didn't know there was such a thing as "Fashion Police" in the MTB world.


    Naw, I was just remembering when I first got 640mm bars and thought they were super wide. Skinny bars like that seem kind of sketchy to me now but to each his own. I really don't cart too much about fashion.
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  136. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post
    Amazing how many experts here know NOTHING of simple ergonomics.
    I wonder if another "expert" told them their pedals should be spaced 10" wider than their hip measurement, they'd do it because it's "correct".

    Doing pushups with your hands wider or narrower than they naturally fall in order to improve specific muscles or muscle groups is one thing, but if you had to do them every day as part of your work (think of swinging a hammer), your body's inclination will be to do what is easiest and most comfortable.

    Like someone said, put a mega-wide bar on your bike and ride around for a while. Your hands will naturally go where it's most comfortable and where you feel you can control the bike best and do your best riding.
    What if it happens to be at XXXmm, when YYYmm is the "correct" length? The answer is "Go tell the bee it can't possibly fly because the rules of aerodynamics say it's not possible".

    It's also funny how some people argue their point by trying to belittle instead of offering something like *gasp* fact, instead of opinion.
    A lot of people discuss politics and religion the same way.

    Interdasting.
    Nobody has said 'XXX width is correct,' but you sure are eager to argue against that position.
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  137. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Nobody has said 'XXX width is correct,' but you sure are eager to argue against that position.
    Except for 785mm, that size is definitely correct.
    "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

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  138. #138
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    Well, I finally got around to putting my carbon bar on my Unit and everyone will be happy to know I didn't cut it, it's still 780. Went for a test spin and immediately ran one hand into a green briar and then clipped a tree. Now before anyone says "learn how to ride", it was probably more a display of my lack of trail building skills than bike skills; it was just a little trail I cut through the woods in my front yard and it needs some work.

    But tonight I went for a proper ride. I have to say, it didn't really feel that much different than my 700s after a few seconds and I mostly forgot about it. I know, that's a huge difference but I guess I ride so many different bikes that I just adapt very quickly and they all feel normal (not to say they don't have to be dialed in). I probably will end up cutting them down to 760 or 740 but I'll try them some more as they are. I did manage to clip one tree but that's pretty common for me.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  139. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Well, I finally got around to putting my carbon bar on my Unit and everyone will be happy to know I didn't cut it, it's still 780. Went for a test spin and immediately ran one hand into a green briar and then clipped a tree. Now before anyone says "learn how to ride", it was probably more a display of my lack of trail building skills than bike skills; it was just a little trail I cut through the woods in my front yard and it needs some work.

    But tonight I went for a proper ride. I have to say, it didn't really feel that much different than my 700s after a few seconds and I mostly forgot about it. I know, that's a huge difference but I guess I ride so many different bikes that I just adapt very quickly and they all feel normal (not to say they don't have to be dialed in). I probably will end up cutting them down to 760 or 740 but I'll try them some more as they are. I did manage to clip one tree but that's pretty common for me.
    Nice frame. Nice bar. Don't emasculate it. Let it thrive, in all its glory
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  140. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Nobody has said 'XXX width is correct,' but you sure are eager to argue against that position.
    "Bike frame geometry is designed with an intended bar width and stem length."
    Sound familiar?

  141. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Nobody has said 'XXX width is correct,' but you sure are eager to argue against that position.
    Some people come to this forum just to tilt at windmills and stroke their false sense of martyrdom.

  142. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    Didn't know there was such a thing as "Fashion Police" in the MTB world.
    I see you joined the site in 2006. You been under a rock since then? This whole sport is fashion oriented, color matchy, matchy.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  143. #143
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    Or, form follows function.
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  144. #144
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    In the end, ride what works for you. 620, 820, whatever. I know what works for me but I have a different bike and body, and I ride different terrain than you. Nobody is “right” here.*

    *with the caveat that the wider the better...

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  145. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbnj View Post
    "Bike frame geometry is designed with an intended bar width and stem length."
    Sound familiar?
    Yeah, that was me. I design and build mtb frames.
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  146. #146
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    I am interested in some potential myths about wide handlebars:

    "wider bars open your chest so you can breathe better." does this make any sense?

    "you have to use a shorter stem if you use a wider bar." is there really a correlation between handlebar width and stem length? prove it. perhaps the two are independent.

    "a wide handlebar eliminates any reason to have bar ends." I know bar ends are not for everyone (I don't use them) and are out of style, but would someone who is used to bar ends just give them up simply because they have moved to a wider bar?

    "a wider bar is needed for downhill and bike parks, but you should use a narrower bar for XC and 'trail' riding." it seems that is how most people set up their bikes for those disciplines, but is that because of trends and social expectations? professional level racing and riding notwithstanding, does any of that advice help the average rider?

    "handlebar width should be proportional to shoulder width." I don't see how this works.

    "you need a narrower handlebar for tight, twisty trails." how tight and twisty are these trails, overall, on average for the length of an entire long ride, that one should consider cutting down a handlebar just to accommodate a few tree gates?

    on a related note, can we call a moratorium on hyperbole on this forum? I mean, damn, you can make your point without making everything sound like a literal life-and-death situation.

  147. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I am interested in some potential myths about wide handlebars:

    "wider bars open your chest so you can breathe better." does this make any sense?

    "you have to use a shorter stem if you use a wider bar." is there really a correlation between handlebar width and stem length? prove it. perhaps the two are independent.

    "a wide handlebar eliminates any reason to have bar ends." I know bar ends are not for everyone (I don't use them) and are out of style, but would someone who is used to bar ends just give them up simply because they have moved to a wider bar?

    "a wider bar is needed for downhill and bike parks, but you should use a narrower bar for XC and 'trail' riding." it seems that is how most people set up their bikes for those disciplines, but is that because of trends and social expectations? professional level racing and riding notwithstanding, does any of that advice help the average rider?

    "handlebar width should be proportional to shoulder width." I don't see how this works.

    "you need a narrower handlebar for tight, twisty trails." how tight and twisty are these trails, overall, on average for the length of an entire long ride, that one should consider cutting down a handlebar just to accommodate a few tree gates?

    on a related note, can we call a moratorium on hyperbole on this forum? I mean, damn, you can make your point without making everything sound like a literal life-and-death situation.


    I never bought into the "wide bars open up the chest" deal.

    A shorter stem with wider bars makes sense to me.

    I used to like bar ends when narrow bars were a thing but they feel ridiculous on wide bars. I've seen people use them inside the brake levers and that seems about right.

    In the extremes, wide bars for downhill provide more control and narrow bars for xc are more aero.

    The only bar width I care about is the one on my own bike.
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  148. #148
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    Every time my handlebar strikes something while riding, I am reminded about why I run such a wide handlebar.

    I've voluntarily tried up 740mm wide, but have experienced as wide as 760, which came stock on some newer long travel bikes. Experiencing wider, and disliking it, made me try swapping to 720mm, and then swapping my other bikes to 720 or narrower (711 and 685). I've settled on 720, not feeling any urge to swap back to anything wider yet. I'm still open to narrower, as I think I just tried to make too big of a jump to 711/685 and had other complaints with wrist discomfort (couldn't find the sweet spot amount of bar-roll-angling). They were the low-rise type anyways, and I've been trending to a higher grip position that didn't have my back all hunched over.

    I'm willing to try any setup that better jives with my preferred heavy-feet, light-hands, universal athletic position style. Haven't locked down my style yet--I still have a bad habit of resting weight on the bars, tensing up under bumps and braking, and essentially death gripping, which locks out my steering sometimes. Kind of lame how I'm helpless to follow the pattern of slowing down even more while death-gripping, to the point I end up getting through the corner by just steering at low speed, when I know I can more confidently carve while ignoring the bumps if I weren't on the brakes or tensed up.

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    I hate them on demo bikes.
    I have very long legs, that makes all bikes too long to fit me.
    That might be your case.
    To fit my weird body i must use short bars + risers + saddle all the way forward.
    I ride narrow trails so 800 are plain impossible.
    It is like wheels, they switch to generate sales, they put too wide bars so we can personalize for our needs.
    My first fat was 740 a bit too wide for me. I went to 720, 700, 680, 620.
    Now my bikes are 620 to 680.
    Usually i use carbon to limit cold transmission, we get minus 40 here.
    It is your bike, fit it to you.

  150. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    on a related note, can we call a moratorium on hyperbole on this forum? I mean, damn, you can make your point without making everything sound like a literal life-and-death situation.
    Haha, that describes at least half of the threads on MTBR!

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    Well, I like them in the middle. For me that is 700mm (I am 193cm tall and hence my arms also reach far). Still that is today considered narrow. I know that today guys with shorter arms comment how bike is not good for having "only" 720mm. The last two bikes I bought came with those "narrow" 720s. I cut them both to 700mm.
    Also, I think it is a fad, cause it is NOT easier to steer with 700+mm (at least if you are average person) no matter how short your stem is, and how technical you discipline is.
    Besides, super wide handle bars can actually make normal breathing harder, and for sure it is harder to clear obstacles on narrow singletracks, and they are even worse in urban traffic.

  152. #152
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    Anyone else not like wide bars?

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I am interested in some potential myths about wide handlebars:

    "wider bars open your chest so you can breathe better." does this make any sense?

    "you have to use a shorter stem if you use a wider bar." is there really a correlation between handlebar width and stem length? prove it. perhaps the two are independent.

    "a wide handlebar eliminates any reason to have bar ends." I know bar ends are not for everyone (I don't use them) and are out of style, but would someone who is used to bar ends just give them up simply because they have moved to a wider bar?

    "a wider bar is needed for downhill and bike parks, but you should use a narrower bar for XC and 'trail' riding." it seems that is how most people set up their bikes for those disciplines, but is that because of trends and social expectations? professional level racing and riding notwithstanding, does any of that advice help the average rider?

    "handlebar width should be proportional to shoulder width." I don't see how this works.

    "you need a narrower handlebar for tight, twisty trails." how tight and twisty are these trails, overall, on average for the length of an entire long ride, that one should consider cutting down a handlebar just to accommodate a few tree gates?

    on a related note, can we call a moratorium on hyperbole on this forum? I mean, damn, you can make your point without making everything sound like a literal life-and-death situation.
    Breathing better? I don’t buy it. If there was anything to this I think you would hear it being discussed more in road racing where a 440mm bar is on the wide side.

    Shorter stem with wider bar? It has always worked that way for me and it makes sense. Push your hands farther apart and it pulls you forwards. Thus a shorter stem if you want the riding position to feel similar.

    Bar ends? Used them with narrow bars back in the day where they serve a good purpose, but once I got beyond 660mm, They ceased being useful to me, and just took up extra bar width. So yeah, I did give them up after using them for years due to going with a wider bar. And if I were to ride narrow bars again (like a flat bar road bike) I would use bar ends.

    Proportional to shoulder width? Sorta, but not really. Shoulder width probably has SOME influence, but it is just one of many factors.

    Catching trees? Depends on where you ride, but in general I am willing to slow down for an occasional tight spot. Some people don’t want to have to slow down.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  153. #153
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    My thoughts:

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    "wider bars open your chest so you can breathe better." does this make any sense?
    TRUE, to a certain point. Coming from a road racing perspective, Greg Lemond got road riders to think about the benefits of a slightly wider bar from a breathing standpoint. Now what he was suggesting was about 2 cm (20mm) wider so this isn't like going from a 660mm bar to a 800mm bar. So I think there are some benefits to a wider bar, but there are diminishing returns beyond a certain point.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    "you have to use a shorter stem if you use a wider bar." is there really a correlation between handlebar width and stem length? prove it. perhaps the two are independent.
    YES, I think it helps to shorten the stem when widening the bars. The shorter stem helps mitigate the increased reach to the grips. (Pythagorean Theorem: Length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is proportional to the length of the other two sides of the right triangle) Back before the idea of wider bars came about (and typical handlebars were 560mm), a 20 mm or greater change in stem length definitely sped up or slowed down how a bike handled so the same effect should hold true for wider handlebar widths as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    "a wide handlebar eliminates any reason to have bar ends." I know bar ends are not for everyone (I don't use them) and are out of style, but would someone who is used to bar ends just give them up simply because they have moved to a wider bar?
    YES & NO, a wider bar and bar ends have different benefits. I have found bar ends to be useful for using different upper body muscles for long climbs. That said, I don't use bar ends anymore with my current 775 mm bar width. This is not because I don't think there is value to bar ends, but with bars beyond a certain width, putting my hands even further out past the end of those bars feels awkward and not a position in which I am effectively able to use my upper body to create leverage for climbing. Holding bar ends like I might hold the brake hoods on a road bike would be ideal, but that position can only happen with pretty narrow handlebars which I no longer see value in running for my typical rides.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    "a wider bar is needed for downhill and bike parks, but you should use a narrower bar for XC and 'trail' riding." it seems that is how most people set up their bikes for those disciplines, but is that because of trends and social expectations? professional level racing and riding notwithstanding, does any of that advice help the average rider?
    NO, there are other factors that I would consider including shoulder width, shoulder musculature (or lack thereof), type of trails.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    "handlebar width should be proportional to shoulder width." I don't see how this works.
    KIND OF, shoulder strength is also a consideration: https://www.leelikesbikes.com/my-sho...-too-wide.html

    Good blog post from Dr. Dane Delozier from Revo PT & Sports Performance about how to determine the right bar width: https://www.rei.com/blog/cycle/are-y...ebars-too-wide

    His blog post also include pictures showing how Aaron Gwin is able to ride what looks like a fairly wide bar with strong shoulder musculature and how a similarly wide bar is clearly too wide for another rider.

    Anyone else not like wide bars?-gwin-shoulder.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    "you need a narrower handlebar for tight, twisty trails." how tight and twisty are these trails, overall, on average for the length of an entire long ride, that one should consider cutting down a handlebar just to accommodate a few tree gates?
    DEPENDS. Having lived and ridden in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic/New England, California, and now the Pacific Northwest. I can say that narrower bars definitely help for certain trails in the Mid-Atlantic and New England. The challenge is not just a "few tree gates", but that on certain trails you are literally chasing your tail around trees for the entire length of the trail. Being able to maneuver a 660mm bar between a 600mm gap between trees was a useful if you had the skills to do it. In general, I have not found trails with turns that are that tight in either California or the Pacific Northwest, so running a narrow bar here is not even a consideration for me. If I lived in the Northeast, I might consider running a slightly narrower 720mm bar width (but probably not anywhere near the 560mm bars I used to run)

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    on a related note, can we call a moratorium on hyperbole on this forum? I mean, damn, you can make your point without making everything sound like a literal life-and-death situation.
    YES, interesting topic to discuss, but I don't see a clear right and wrong in terms of bar width. Again, this is a great blog post for how to think about finding the right bar width: https://www.rei.com/blog/cycle/are-y...ebars-too-wide
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  154. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post

    "handlebar width should be proportional to shoulder width." I don't see how this works.
    You wouldn't expect rider 2 with 2" wider shoulders than rider 1 to favor wider bars, everything else being equal? Sure, there are other factors but it is a consideration. Isn't rider height proportional to bike size?
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  155. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Bike frame geometry is designed with an intended bar width and stem length. And bars are tuned to flex around that width. Deviate drastically from what was intended and you will probably end up with a harsh riding bike that steers weird.
    Good point. I cut my 720mm to 700mm. If I put 800mm or cut down to 640mm, it would feel wrong, no matter my personal preference.

  156. #156
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    "Proportional" doesn't mean "equal to." The proportion could be 1.5:1 bar:shoulder ratio. There's probably an actual "best fit" proportion that some biomechanist can figure out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    My kid just badgered me into ordering 800mm carbone bars for him. Spoiled extremist.
    My dad would told me to make myself a bar out of bamboo
    But he did paid for my grad school, sooooo

  158. #158
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    We have quite a few trails around here where you have to turn your bars a bit sideways, or lean a bit in one direction to counter-lean the bike, to clear trees. I have videos of doing mach-9 next to trees on some Texas trails. I'd like to see some videos of these trails that you can't run ~780 on. In the winter time, our swamps freeze and trails start appearing out of the woodwork, all kinds of gates and tight spots to maneuver around. Never thinking that bars are limiting it, so I'm genuinely curious what it looks like while riding for these trails that must be somehow even "tighter"?
    "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

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  159. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    We have quite a few trails around here where you have to turn your bars a bit sideways, or lean a bit in one direction to counter-lean the bike, to clear trees. I have videos of doing mach-9 next to trees on some Texas trails. I'd like to see some videos of these trails that you can't run ~780 on. In the winter time, our swamps freeze and trails start appearing out of the woodwork, all kinds of gates and tight spots to maneuver around. Never thinking that bars are limiting it, so I'm genuinely curious what it looks like while riding for these trails that must be somehow even "tighter"?
    Me too. I am a little confused about this as well.

    I have been running 800s for years through the most densely forested trails of BC and Alberta. Trails with names like "Black Forest", for self explanatory reasons.* I have learned to "swim" through the very infrequent super tight spots. No issues. Everyone I know who rides uses the exact same technique.

    * I see on TrailForks that this Fernie BC trail is described as being [a] narrow section of single track through dense trees with a steep exit for a more exciting way to connect to View Trail."
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  160. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Me too. I am a little confused about this as well.

    I have been running 800s for years through the most densely forested trails of BC and Alberta. Trails with names like "Black Forest", for self explanatory reasons.* I have learned to "swim" through the very infrequent super tight spots. No issues. Everyone I know who rides uses the exact same technique.

    * I see on TrailForks that this Fernie BC trail is described as being [a] narrow section of single track through dense trees with a steep exit for a more exciting way to connect to View Trail."
    These kind of trail systems, while far from my favorite, are what I ride occasionally on work-trips when I bring my bike: https://www.trailforks.com/region/la...ain-bike-park/

    When you are moving at a good clip, there are all kinds of trees right next to the trail, seemingly "danger-close". You are constantly turning as the trail constantly loops back on itself. Often you can see another section of trail a few feet away through the trees...but it could be a mile or more before you get there. Like a maze. You can clip a bar if you wander to the side of the trail...but that is pretty much regardless of the size, more about your line choice and keeping your hands at the edges of the bars so your brain "knows" where the end of your bars is. The East Coast is one place I haven't ridden though, so I don't know. For sure, there are lots of tight places in the Mountain West, including tight places in the rocks in AZ where you are going to scrape some bike part, maybe the pedal, maybe the derailleur, maybe a bar, etc. The Western half of the continent is not So-Cal fire-road trails.

    I find these tight "5 miles of trail packed into a few acres" trail systems pretty boring, but the one redeeming feature is going fast and feeling like you are in the ROTJ speeder-scene. The whole rush there is feeling like you are close to the edge.
    "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

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  161. #161
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    I am just north of Vermont. After some freezing rains or in spring there is a solid crust and we enjoy riding anywhere with our fat *off trails* whatever your skill level you cannot fallow me with with my sub 700 bars. Some trails are narrow they are more dog walkers stuff and when i guide new riders(the network map is in our head) i warn them about trees and i ear many tocs like i did when i started there.
    It is just usefull when you have to stop to let someone pass i just use the side of the trail, no need to stop most of the time.

  162. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyrmxd View Post
    (I am 193cm tall and hence my arms also reach far)
    Whats does 193cm mean?
    I Pity The Fool That Can't Ride A Bike Without A Dropper!!

  163. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom tom View Post
    Whats does 193cm mean?
    It means he lives somewhere that uses the metric system.... Pretty much everywhere except the USA.

    (Also, he's around 6' 4" tall)

  164. #164
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    It means we can blame that tall rider.
    I just randomly clicked the first bar for sale on CRC and on each side there were many small lines to help us cut it evenly so it is obvious the manufacturer does a 1 size fit all.
    That tall rider might buy it but a 5ft, 2in might also buy it and cut it.

  165. #165
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    My 2017 Marin PMO came as 780mm and 50 a mm stem.
    I modernized with my new bike from 2003 so it had been a while - lol.

    Felt way different but better in a few ways and took a bit of getting used to. I did smack a few things as trails and woods here can get tight and not even 'tight' compared to what some you others know and experience. As for now, I'm running a 720 just because I got a good price on a cf bar for another older bike but decided to try it on the PM. Not really missing the 780 much but I don't feel either defines the bike. It's got to be the rider that fits and dials it all in IMO.

    My ride position is affected by the reach associated with the wider versus narrow bar and the more narrow bar gives a faster turn-in feel. Pretty sure I'm liking the cf over aluminum too. In general though, I'd say I'm a fan of the wider bar trend and shorty stem. Trails here will dictate if I go back to as wide as 780 later on but the comment about 760 - 740 being a good range for most is probably true and I likely will stick with cf for any bar changes.
    bachman must spread some Reputation around before giving it to himself again. :madman:


  166. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teufelhunde View Post
    Am I the only one NOT liking the wide bars on modern mountain bikes? I tried to acclimate myself to them, but getting ready to break out the hacksaw.......
    I hate the current trend of wide bars. I think it is for all the weight weenies who have no upper body strength. I prefer the quick response I get from my narrow bars. I can't cut the oem bars because they are too fat for the brakes at the point where I would cut, so I buy the <$50 carbon bars on Amazon that are push up width for me. Young kids always comment about my narrow bars being "old school" but I don't care what anyone thinks. It's MY bike and I will modify it to suit/ fit me best. If I ever sell a bike, I have the oem bars and stems to restore it to original; oh, I also go with a 30 to 50mm stem with my narrow bars. I just don't get why kids complain their bikes are too twitchy with a short stem and narrow bars. They just don't have any arm strength or muscles, I guess.....

  167. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by A/C in Az View Post
    I hate the current trend of wide bars. I think it is for all the weight weenies who have no upper body strength. I prefer the quick response I get from my narrow bars. I can't cut the oem bars because they are too fat for the brakes at the point where I would cut, so I buy the <$50 carbon bars on Amazon that are push up width for me. Young kids always comment about my narrow bars being "old school" but I don't care what anyone thinks. It's MY bike and I will modify it to suit/ fit me best. If I ever sell a bike, I have the oem bars and stems to restore it to original; oh, I also go with a 30 to 50mm stem with my narrow bars. I just don't get why kids complain their bikes are too twitchy with a short stem and narrow bars. They just don't have any arm strength or muscles, I guess.....
    Want to have a pull up contest?


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  168. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    My 2017 Marin PMO came as 780mm and 50 a mm stem.
    I modernized with my new bike from 2003 so it had been a while - lol.

    Felt way different but better in a few ways and took a bit of getting used to. I did smack a few things as trails and woods here can get tight and not even 'tight' compared to what some you others know and experience. As for now, I'm running a 720 just because I got a good price on a cf bar for another older bike but decided to try it on the PM. Not really missing the 780 much but I don't feel either defines the bike. It's got to be the rider that fits and dials it all in IMO.

    My ride position is affected by the reach associated with the wider versus narrow bar and the more narrow bar gives a faster turn-in feel. Pretty sure I'm liking the cf over aluminum too. In general though, I'd say I'm a fan of the wider bar trend and shorty stem. Trails here will dictate if I go back to as wide as 780 later on but the comment about 760 - 740 being a good range for most is probably true and I likely will stick with cf for any bar changes.
    marin PM = marin pine mountain? i almost bought that bike but nobody in SF had one on hand.

    i think all their '17 bikes were 780 x 50/60, depending on size.

    i went to 725 x 70 on my HH1 which was stock at 780 x 60 and am happy--but think i might be happier at 740. stay tuned.

  169. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by A/C in Az View Post
    I just don't get why kids complain their bikes are too twitchy with a short stem and narrow bars. They just don't have any arm strength or muscles, I guess.....

    lol, or maybe kids these days just prefer current tech over antiques?
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  170. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by A/C in Az View Post
    I hate the current trend of wide bars. I think it is for all the weight weenies who have no upper body strength..
    Err, wider bars are heavier, thus anti weight weenie. Weight weenies would favor narrow bars.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  171. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Err, wider bars are heavier, thus anti weight weenie. Weight weenies would favor narrow bars.
    Yeah, I caught that part too. He made no sense there.

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    Never realized one needed to have massive upper body strength to steer a bicycle.

    I know you aren't serious, but thanks for the chuckle from nonsense. Good one.

  173. #173
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    Kids were brain washed with new tablet = better
    new smart phone = better
    imagine they totally swallowed new geo
    Excuse me but being over 15 YO and not knowing how to write and no clue how to add it might the system that deserves the blame but did you learn anything in your first 8 years in school?
    They just buy the BS of fake reviews, who cares it is not like they saved 3 years to buy a bike. It will get paid bit by bit, plastic style.

  174. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Err, wider bars are heavier, thus anti weight weenie. Weight weenies would favor narrow bars.
    Well, I did drop 5 grams by switching my weight-weenie 720 Next SL bars and Ritchey WCS stem to a Syncros Hixon SL 780 bar/stem/star/bem, whatever you want to call it. Now I finally have the width I need on my XC race bike, it's stronger than what I had before, and I saved 5g!
    "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

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  175. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by A/C in Az View Post
    It's MY bike and I will modify it to suit/ fit me best. I also go with a 30 to 50mm stem with my narrow bars.
    You should set up the bike as best fits and works for you. Smart way to do it.
    I'm sure it isn't the typical case but when reading a lot of posts about what comes on or with a bike as set up new, You'd think nobody has any idea the bike needs to be tailored to suit the individual. Brake levers / shifters width and off-set angle, bar type; sweep, riser or width etc..... Set it up right or the first few rides are going to feel wrong, strange or you'll come back feeling sore. I have little doubt many riders get a new bike and just figure; "Oh I'll get used to the few differences." discounting the idea that the bike should fit them not they adapting to the bike in some of those ways.

    We all know (at least bike fit taught me) people of exact same height have multiple variations such as trunk, arms and inseam even thought they may relate to the same frame-size suggestion.
    I do 'get it' that much of the thoughts and comments on forums are helpful, valid and worthy of discussion even getting us thinking about options, suggestions and the sort yet it seems hilarious at times to see what is likely a proper fit or preference to the individual stated as hate mail to the inventor of the contrary option, size or ?? **(insert objectionable idea or design parameter here)** .


    Quote Originally Posted by shekky View Post
    marin PM = marin pine mountain? i almost bought that bike but nobody in SF had one on hand.
    i think all their '17 bikes were 780 x 50/60, depending on size.
    i went to 725 x 70 on my HH1 which was stock at 780 x 60 and am happy--but think i might be happier at 740. stay tuned.
    Yeah, I recall you as a Marin fan.
    The Pine Mountain One was in very short supply at the time I was shopping over here as well. I thought the sales staff was just egging me on in the quest to push a sale because they were talking it up so much. Two of them claimed to try purchasing but were told by Marin the customer orders come first and were short supplied. I'd guess Marin wanted to fill the LBS orders for profitable sales/dealers before going the way of employee programs that offer good discounts.
    I test rode a medium and large, bought the large and decided within 2 - 3 days I wanted the medium. They were trying to get more mediums and would call when it was built. A few days later I got a call, loaded up the large and drove the 3 miles to the store that afternoon. It was sold and gone !
    I kept the large another week agreeing not to tear it up on the trails too much and finally got my medium. The Colorado area was mostly kaput for sourcing that bike but I didn't really know it until I was in it.

    I'll bet you are really enjoying that Hawk Hill !
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  176. #176
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    Big personal preference thing, ride what works for you. I'm 183cm and run 780mm on my FS and 760mm on my HT, both with 50mm stems. Too many tight trails for anything much wider where I live.

    Quote Originally Posted by 33red View Post
    Kids were brain washed with new tablet = better
    new smart phone = better
    imagine they totally swallowed new geo
    Excuse me but being over 15 YO and not knowing how to write and no clue how to add it might the system that deserves the blame but did you learn anything in your first 8 years in school?
    They just buy the BS of fake reviews, who cares it is not like they saved 3 years to buy a bike. It will get paid bit by bit, plastic style.


  177. #177
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    Anyone else not like wide bars?

    I dislike both the way I feel on bars wider than 700mm and how it makes very narrow sigle tracks feel very scary.


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  178. #178
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    Still looking to see some good examples of this super-tight singletrack. I did some searches on youtube and what mostly comes up is motorcycle stuff. Would like to see some.

    This one gets incredibly tight around the 4:30 mark, whether it's new snow or not, it's always a nice challenge in a few of these spots. You can see where my bars are turning to keep clearance. The trail is unreadable in the summer due to being a swamp, but the route is maintained and real fun technical, lots of ups-n-downs to get over roots and logs.

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  179. #179
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    Seeing small people with wide bars...

  180. #180
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    Another small person with wide bars, looking quite comfortable:

    Anyone else not like wide bars?-bike-annika-superjumbo.jpg

  181. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Still looking to see some good examples of this super-tight singletrack. ]
    I recall when I moved to Dead Moines, Iowa years ago that I thought the trees were super tight. They were definitely tighter than the ponderosa forests in Colorado that I was used to but I tried pulling up some photos of midwest single track and the trees don't look all that tight to me any more.

    Anyone else not like wide bars?-extra_large_5f6f4830bc49df84491b4047da7a2c33.jpg

  182. #182
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    Sometimes it doesn't matter how narrow your bars are. The trails always find a way of catching you out.

  183. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    Or a steering damper...
    I sure Hopey so...

  184. #184
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    6’2” and run 670mm bars.


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    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

  185. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I sure Hopey so...
    I Cane see it happening.


    I do like stealth design of the Viscoset.

  186. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Still looking to see some good examples of this super-tight singletrack. I did some searches on youtube and what mostly comes up is motorcycle stuff
    Well, there is only one I can remember, I use to ride it quite often (it had amazing serpentine descents, a bit dangerous also). But I must confess it was actually a hiking trail, used mostly by mountain bikers. And it is here in Europe. Everything is narrower here, from people (LOL) to trails. And you should see some of the streets in the city I live in.


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  187. #187
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    Anyone else not like wide bars?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Another small person with wide bars, looking quite comfortable:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think she seems smaller cause of the very narrow shoulders. However her arms seem to be of a decent length.


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  188. #188
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    For me, trail width has little to nothing to do with my preferred bar width. And before this thread, I didn’t even know what that was. About 28” btw.
    I don’t like wide bars -whatever all the various demo bikes I’ve ridden come with- any better on wide open trails than on narrow trails.

  189. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    We have quite a few trails around here where you have to turn your bars a bit sideways, or lean a bit in one direction to counter-lean the bike, to clear trees. I have videos of doing mach-9 next to trees on some Texas trails. I'd like to see some videos of these trails that you can't run ~780 on. In the winter time, our swamps freeze and trails start appearing out of the woodwork, all kinds of gates and tight spots to maneuver around. Never thinking that bars are limiting it, so I'm genuinely curious what it looks like while riding for these trails that must be somehow even "tighter"?
    I don't have video, but there are some trails in that state that were built specifically to prohibit horse traffic. The tree gates on them are narrow, almost impossible to ride, though some people claim they like the challenge. With 800mm bars set against these gaps, theres 20-30mm of bar overlapping each tree, and both side have bark ripped off from failed attempts. That's tight enough. Next time you're in Texas, try to hit Pedernales State Park, Juniper Ridge trail. You won't be getting the ROTJ speeder effect.

  190. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Still looking to see some good examples of this super-tight singletrack. I did some searches on youtube and what mostly comes up is motorcycle stuff. Would like to see some.
    This is a good example of what I used to run into on trails in the Mid Atlantic and New England. Trees and foliage grow more densely on the East Coast than on the West Coast. Also since the mountains on the East Coast are older, there are more rocks and boulders that have been exposed. Between trees, other foliage and the boulders, I would more frequently run into places on the trail where there were obstacles intruding onto the trail on both sides.

    Anyone else not like wide bars?-pa-singletrack.jpg
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  191. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    TBetween trees, other foliage and the boulders, I would more frequently run into places on the trail where there were obstacles intruding onto the trail on both sides.
    Because I have never ridden in this region and I am genuinely curious- approximately what % of the linear distance of trails around here feature extensive tree gates/ boulder passes that are "narrow"? approximately how many times per mile would you have to actually dismount to wiggle your bike through a gap that is so close that any modern "wide" handlebar literally can't go through it?

    trails with that many super-narrow tree gates were just poorly designed and scary to ride no matter what kind of handlebar you have. I would just as soon ride someplace where the trail was cut with someone who has at least half a brain.

    I don't see a bike in that photo for perspective, so I can't tell if that gap is 4 feet wide or 4 inches. I am not doubting you, just asking for clarification.

    I ask because I would think it would have to be a LOT of tree gates before I would consider compromising the handling of my bike that I enjoy for 99% of the trail and just deal with the occasional tree gate when I get to it. I am sure the terrain where you live and ride is different, but I also know that everyone has a tendency to exaggerate how difficult their local terrain is, sometimes claiming that locales with fun, challenging terrain are "boring."

    FWIW, most of the people where I live have adopted the wide handlebar approach, but there are a few who claim that they have to cut their bar to get through tree gates. I ride the same trails that they do and navigate those same tree gates with a 760mm bar. Indian/ arrow metaphor applies here, in this specific case, maybe not yours.

  192. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post

    FWIW, most of the people where I live have adopted the wide handlebar approach, but there are a few who claim that they have to cut their bar to get through tree gates. I ride the same trails that they do and navigate those same tree gates with a 760mm bar. Indian/ arrow metaphor applies here, in this specific case, maybe not yours.
    One thing I found when I started with bar not cut down my hands naturally wanted to be really far in on the bars (basically on the flanges of my grips) so there was a lot of bar outside my hand. I found I clipped a few trees when my bars were like this. I mean not saying a ton but a few.

    Once I cut the bars down a bit (to 760mm) my hands were not so far in. I kind of wonder if my clipping trees was less due to the extra length and more due to having more length outside my hand I wasn't used to.
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  193. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    This is a good example of what I used to run into on trails in the Mid Atlantic and New England. Trees and foliage grow more densely on the East Coast than on the West Coast. Also since the mountains on the East Coast are older, there are more rocks and boulders that have been exposed. Between trees, other foliage and the boulders, I would more frequently run into places on the trail where there were obstacles intruding onto the trail on both sides.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If it's only one gap every once in awhile like in the photo then I'd be able to deal with it and my 780mm bars. The photo shows quite a bit of space before and after the tight spot where there's nothing. I'm with Mack Turtle on this one. There would have to be a LOT of tight spots before compromising my handling by cutting my bars. Or I might go trail running instead.

    Some of the older trails in my area got routed through two narrow trees, maybe 24" apart. The older trail builders (now in their 70s) did it on purpose to "slow things down" but the trails aren't even fast ones. Those guys are also locally infamous for santiizing sections they decided are too difficult. How baby boomer of them.

  194. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    How baby boomer of them.
    This, in general. Blame boomers. Those farts were the ones handing out the participation trophies and now they're buying e-bikes and sanitizing trails.

  195. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Because I have never ridden in this region and I am genuinely curious- approximately what % of the linear distance of trails around here feature extensive tree gates/ boulder passes that are "narrow"? approximately how many times per mile would you have to actually dismount to wiggle your bike through a gap that is so close that any modern "wide" handlebar literally can't go through it?

    trails with that many super-narrow tree gates were just poorly designed and scary to ride no matter what kind of handlebar you have. I would just as soon ride someplace where the trail was cut with someone who has at least half a brain.

    I don't see a bike in that photo for perspective, so I can't tell if that gap is 4 feet wide or 4 inches. I am not doubting you, just asking for clarification.

    I ask because I would think it would have to be a LOT of tree gates before I would consider compromising the handling of my bike that I enjoy for 99% of the trail and just deal with the occasional tree gate when I get to it. I am sure the terrain where you live and ride is different, but I also know that everyone has a tendency to exaggerate how difficult their local terrain is, sometimes claiming that locales with fun, challenging terrain are "boring."
    In truth, I haven't ridden in the Mid-Atlantic or New England since 2000 so my comments are based on my memory of what I rode. And the widest bars I used back then were 560mm. But I remember thinking pretty frequently back then about handlebar clearance and how my bar ends might hook onto a tree or bush. A lot of trails that I rode back then were built for hiking so clearance between boulders and trees was just not a consideration. To my point below, I've not run wider handlebars in the Mid-Atlantic or New England and if I actually did, my perspective on whether wider bars would work might be different. My main point is that handlebars wider than 740mm MIGHT not work everywhere. BUT they also might work just fine. Just sharing that trailside obstacles and foliage in certain parts of the world MIGHT make wider bars less feasible.

    As a reference, I currently run a bar width of about 770 to 785mm and don't think I've ever had trouble with clearance with that bar width here on the West Coast. Since I've moved to the West Coast, I don't think I've ever thought about clearance. FWIW, a 740mm bar feels slightly on the narrow side to me now. If I moved back to New England or the Mid-Atlantic, I would probably try starting with that bar width.

    I notice a lot of folks commenting on this thread come from west of the Rockies so I will suggest that forests on the East Coast with more deciduous trees and underbrush produces ground level growth that is more dense than the evergreen trees without branches that stick out at ground level that I typically see on the West Coast (at least in CA, OR and WA)

    As an analogous situation, the Path Bike Shop podcast had a segment a while back in which they were chatting about 30 tooth chainrings and how some listeners had called in saying that they could not imagine using a chainring with less than 32 teeth and that they were running 34 or 36 tooth chainrings. The key point that they brought up was that a 20 minute climb might be the absolute longest climb that you might find in certain states, but climbs that take 45 minutes or more are typical climbs on the West Coast. The point that the Path guys were conveying is that compared to East Coast riders, we spend a lot more time in low gears here on the West Coast. My point with this is that if you've not ridden in a particular area of the country or other places around the world, it might be difficult to imagine how the nature of the terrain and foliage (or even what "forest" means) in those places might be completely different than what you've already seen.

    (For a non-mountain biking example, my wife and I got a lot of completely ridiculous "advice" from her cousins that didn't have kids as to how we should parent. Their experience was based on watching their nieces and nephews for a couple of hours versus taking care of a newborn 24/7. A couple of years later when they had babies of their own, it was pretty clear that they weren't following their own "advice" and what they thought taking care of a baby would be like was totally different from reality. From my work talking to people as a UX researcher, it's pretty clear to me that the great majority of people have great difficulty imagining situations that may be even just slightly different than what they have personally experienced.)
    Last edited by Spectre; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:09 PM.
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  196. #196
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    For the love of God!

    Is it really THAT hard to believe that some people ride in places with tight trees that they find easier to navigate with narrower bars?

    Do you suspect people are just making this stuff up?

    I abso-freaking-lutely need to take things slower with 775mm bars than with 660mm bars in some of the less-developed places I've ridden on the East Coast. I still prefer the wide bars, but I would be lying if I pretend they don't slow me down in some places.

    I went on a ride a few weeks ago in PA where my bars were literally pushing through bushes on both sides of the trail for long stretches. Some rarely traveled ridges in VA are the same way (that's how I broke my wrist).

    I'm sorry, but if you've mainly ridden out west and not actually LIVED on the East Coast, ridden some of the little known, local, less developed trails, then maybe you just can't get it. Sure, the well-maintained and trafficked places you are likely to VISIT are not super tight, but many people live in areas where a good chunk of what they ride are little more than rarely-traveled, rarely maintained, and rarely cut back paths that often don't even have names.

    And no, I am not going to go out with a tape measure and camera to prove it.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  197. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    For the love of God!

    Is it really THAT hard to believe that some people ride in places with tight trees that they find easier to navigate with narrower bars?
    HAHA. So true. One principle that worked well for us in product development at Honda was the Three Reality Principle: 'We go to the actual place where things happen'; 'we learn about the actual situation'; 'and we are realistic'. MEANING Don't waste your time using "logic" to build a mental concept of what the world "should" be like (versus what the world is ACTUALLY like).

    I give a whole lot more credence to your thoughts given that you actually live and ride in VA. And, WHY are people who have never ridden east of the Rockies so concerned about what handlebar length riders in those areas choose to run???
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  198. #198
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    Anyone else not like wide bars?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Don't waste your time using "logic" to build a mental concept of what the world "should" be like (versus what the world is ACTUALLY like).
    I actually crashed twice because I hit bar against the tree on one of my favorite super-narrow trails. And that was with „only“ 720mm width. And I had been on that trail at least 100 times.



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  199. #199
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    Let’s say a 760mm bar is “wide” and a 660mm bar is “not wide.”

    That’s a difference of 100mm total, or 50mm per side, or less than 2” per side.

    If 2” is the difference between moving forward or clipping the end of the bar then how the heck does one lean the bike to the side (like when pedaling hard out of the saddle or when turning)? Do you keep the bike perfectly vertical the entire ride?

    Riding would be kind of a pain in the ass if 2” on either end meant the difference between forward motion and coming to a dead stop.

  200. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Let’s say a 760mm bar is “wide” and a 660mm bar is “not wide.”

    That’s a difference of 100mm total, or 50mm per side, or less than 2” per side.

    If 2” is the difference between moving forward or clipping the end of the bar then how the heck does one lean the bike to the side (like when pedaling hard out of the saddle or when turning)? Do you keep the bike perfectly vertical the entire ride?

    Riding would be kind of a pain in the ass if 2” on either end meant the difference between forward motion and coming to a dead stop.
    Some have 800, my average is 650 it is a ton. On my HT i can ride close to trees on the right or the left to avoid stuff and be more on a flow. I know with suspensions over 130 many just ride the middle.
    I was forced to do that on 2 demos i did this season and it was boring always doing 1 thing.

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