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Handlebar width - how to determine fit?(6 posts)

Handlebar width - how to determine fit?Matno
Jun 11, 2002 5:51 PM
Is there a rule for determining this or does it involve as much voodoo as crank length? I didn't even know there were different widths until I started reading this board recently. I've got 41cm bars (center to center). They seem to work fine, but I'm wondering if there's an advantage to wider bars? I do mostly long rides, touring kind of stuff. NO races.
re: Handlebar width - how to determine fit?zray61
Jun 11, 2002 6:41 PM
A rule of thumb for handlebar width for touring is to attempt to correlate with the width of your shoulders; i.e 44 shoulders = 44 bar with the largest size bar being 46 c to c.
Just to make things easy - bars, like bike frames, are measured differently by various manufacturers, a 44 c to c is wider than a 44 outside to outside.
A wider bar is less aerodynamic but theoretically opens your chest more for breathing.
Also, some drops are shallow while others are deep.
I use a SALSA road pro 46 c to c, with a shallow drop. Why?
Because it is my bike, it is comfortable, and I like the feel of the short distance between the hoods and the drops.
Bike fit should not be all "science". Personal preference
is important too.
Yeah, butMatno
Jun 12, 2002 3:40 AM
Some of us don't really have an opportunity to test things out in advance, so we rely on "information" as much as possible. When you say "the width of your shoulders, do you mean just measuring them from outside to outside, or from the bony points? By the way, what size are you? (i.e. height, weight, shoulders, etc.) Also, how do you measure drop? Shallow drop sounds good, but I think that's what I already have. The newer "ergonomic" bars look deeper with their extra curves.
the bumps near the end of your shoulder. Measure across them (nmPaul
Jun 12, 2002 3:46 AM
Go to the 3T webpage......KurtVF
Jun 12, 2002 5:16 PM
I forget the exact adress but they show you EXACTLY where and how to measure. Also some tips for getting the right length stem.
re: Handlebar width - how to determine fit?zray61
Jun 12, 2002 3:17 PM
As Paul suggested that is the way to measure. Smaller is more aerodynamic while wider is more comfortable.

One of the best bike tool I own is a small metal retractable ruler that is graded in centimeters and millimeters. It truly helps in all the comparisons we as cyclist go through. But it does not eliminate the human factor of knowledgeable bike store employees or even a riding buddy.

Unfortunately, 98% of us don't really have the opportunity to test things out in advance that is why we all have a carton of parts that came close but somehow missed. I am not trying to be cynical. But, when it comes down to the finer nuances of a bike there can be alot of trial and error. Hopefully, this board can eliminate some of our grosser errors.