25.4 vs 31.8 Handlebar- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    25.4 vs 31.8 Handlebar

    I just got my 2010 Felt Solo 9 and I want to change both the stem and handlebar. Currently, they run a 31.8 mm bar, but if I'm changing both out, I could go to a 25.4. The 25.4 options tend to be a little lighter.

    For a SS, is there any good reason to run the 31.8 over the 25.4? Strength, stiffness?

  2. #2
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    I definitly prefer the 31.8 for the extra strength and stiffness. To me, the weight gain is minimal. In an SS application, you are pushing and pulling on the handlebars so much more than with geared bikes. You really want a handlebar that is not going to turn into a noodle under heavy loads.
    I have demo'd the Felt Solo 9. I actually really liked the Felt handlebar. Super wide, stiff and sturdy. The extra width is great for added leverage and control.
    I liked the Felt bar so well that I bought one at a swap meet for my own SS
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  3. #3
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    No real complaints about the stem on the Felt, it's just a bit too long for me. The bar is super stiff considering how wide it is. I'm not totally crazy about its feel though, it's stuck between a riser and a flat, and I think I'd rather have either.

    The real reason I want to chang the bar however is the amount of trail chatter I get at high speeds. I want to go carbon to lose some weight and smooth out the ride at speed.

  4. #4
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    I run an alumintum Salsa ProMoto on both my Niner SIR9 and my Niner RIP9. The one on the SIR9 is 25.4 and the one on the RIP9 is a 31.8. I like the skinnier bar better on the SIR9 - it's less harsh. It doesn't flex enough to be noticeable when climbing out of the saddle, but it has enough give to take a little of the sting out on the downhills.

  5. #5
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    I prefer the 31.8 because I can buy stems that work on both my mountain bike and my road bike.

  6. #6
    Out spokin'
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    Personally I have nothing but 25.4 handlebars so I can't say they're better. But I can say I've never wished I had a different diameter bar.

    --Sparty
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  7. #7
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    31.8 is not necessarily stiffer or stronger than 25.4.
    You also have to factor in width, bend, & probably most important wall thickness.
    Plenty of trials riders use 25.4 bars.

  8. #8
    I'm gonna have to kill ya
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    As has been said the larger diameter doesn't extend the length of the bar so they are not necessarily stiffer, each design of handle bar is different irrespective of the clamping diameter.

    I went for 25.4 due to weight reasons and have a 89g stem and 159g carbon riser bars and there is no noticeable flex when mashing up a hill yet they seem compliant enough to limit trail buzz

    At the end of the day buy what you want (or get a better deal on) for me it is another pointless marketing thing like 15mm axles and 1.5" headsets. Solutions looking for a problem.

  9. #9
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    I have been riding the 2010 Felt nine solo for about a month now and love it. One of the first things I did was swap out the bars for the Easton high rise MLXC. I wasn't crazy about the Felt bar feel either, much better now.

  10. #10
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    Im using 25.4 bars and have never used a 31.8 before so I cant comment as well.

    The thing about 31.8 is that you have more choices of stems and bars to choose from? Most bars and stems I see is 31.8 nowadays.

  11. #11
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    I bought a 31.8 mm stem in 90 mm length. The fact that more and more bars are going that diameter helped make that decision. That and the fact that it was a great sale.

    Now for my bar search. I'll try the shorter stem with the current bar for a few rides and then decide what direction to go. I'm thinking a mid riser bar.

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