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Handlebar width: CX versus Road(9 posts)

Handlebar width: CX versus RoadBigFatSal
Feb 4, 2004 11:10 AM
Just bought a used Cannondale CX bike for winter road riding and some off-road too. Would like to try some CX races next season. I haven't received the bike yet but am expecting I may need to change a few parts for fit reasons. If I need new handlebars, should I get bars that are wider than I use on my road bike (for more stability off-road)? Also, are CX bars typically padded under the tape for shock absorption, or double-wrapped tape??? This is new territory for me....
re: Handlebar width: CX versus Roaddreww
Feb 4, 2004 11:41 AM
The only reason you will need new bars is if they are not wide enough compared to your road bike/shoulders. IMHO cross bars i.e Salsa Belllap etc are a gimmick, find a comfortable road bar and stick one on your cross steed.
As for tape, same as road bike and use padded gloves if you ride rough trails alot. Top mount levers help newbies get used to drop bar offroading, giv em a try.
re: Handlebar width: CX versus RoadBigFatSal
Feb 4, 2004 12:10 PM
Thanks for the info. In regards to the top mount levers, does this mean that I'd have two sets of brake cables going down to each brake (a cable from the standard brake lever and a cable from the extra, top mounted, lever)?

Can you run me thru the steps to do this? I'm assuming I just run the extra rear brake cable/housing along the top tube and secure it along the frame with zip ties.... Thanks.
top mountsatpjunkie
Feb 4, 2004 12:51 PM
the double cable is the old school method. the new levers 'interupt' the cable line between standard lever and brake. Imagine the cable right as it leaves the bar tape. Go to, the have instructions as do most Mfrs of this product
re: Handlebar width: CX versus Roaddreww
Feb 4, 2004 12:53 PM
Check further down the list, a thread from last week covered it. I have a set of unused top mounts if you are interested. The cable runs from the main lever thru the top mount then to the cantilever. No need for two cables. Just cut the housing each side of the top mount and attach to brake as normal.
Feb 4, 2004 7:30 PM

Sure, sounds like the top mounts would be a good idea. Go ahead and email me the details at

re: Handlebar width: CX versus Roadatpjunkie
Feb 4, 2004 12:49 PM
there are cx bar tapes (Stella Azzura) that offer more padding but I've never used it. I run standard tape and MTB gloves (usually). I tend to go one size up from road to cx (44c to 46c) for increased leveerage and stability. I don't use cx specific bars either but may try as the flange of the bell laps would get the barcons.
same herelaffeaux
Feb 4, 2004 1:48 PM
I run a bar one size larger than the one on my road bike (44 vs 42), with standard (i.e. non-gel) Cinelli tape and MTB gloves.

I've tried a Bell-Lap bar and didn't care for the flares. However, if I used barcons I might use it anyway as I bash my knees into the bar enough as it is, and with barcons it would only be worse (even if I cut the bar down a bit).

Top mount levers are really nice to have IMO. I raced last season and only used them on one course. However when I ride on local trails (which have longer and steeper downhills than races) I use them quite a bit.
re: Handlebar width: CX versus Roadseamus
Feb 5, 2004 9:46 AM
I think wider is definitely better in terms of leverage. You'll really feel it in rough sections, when the trail tries to pull the front wheel out of your hands. Personally the Salsa Bell Lap bar is a bit too goofy for my taste, but Ritchey's Ergo bar (5 degree sweep on the tops like a mtb bar and very ergo drops) is pretty cool.