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Wide handlebars: Current fad or no one bothers to fit themse(9 posts)

Wide handlebars: Current fad or no one bothers to fit themsep chop
Sep 3, 2002 12:05 PM
I've noticed most new bikes seem to come with wide bars, and I've been seeing lots of riders out there looking like tripods on their bars. Older bikes' bars seem generally narrower. Does this reflect revisited thinking on fit and leverage, or is this one-size-fits-all sizing that the masses are just swallowing?
re: Wide handlebars: Current fad or no one bothers to fit themseThe Human G-Nome
Sep 3, 2002 12:15 PM
my bike came with wide bars and i've noticed alot of soreness around the shoulder blades after anything over 40 miles. i was wondering if perhaps this could be one of the culprits? anyone?
re: Wide handlebars: Current fad or no one bothers to fit themseSintesi
Sep 3, 2002 12:24 PM
The rule of thumb is the bars should be as wide as your shoulders at the joints (i.e. where the bal of your humerous meets the torso) and then adjusted for comfort. Your problem could be that you handlebars are too low. Do you feel strain and fatigue on the backs of you arms?
re: Wide handlebars: Current fad or no one bothers to fit themseThe Human G-Nome
Sep 3, 2002 1:03 PM
no, the backs of the arms are fine. just the shoulder blades. they're definitely wider then my shoulders at the joints.
rider's discretionSintesi
Sep 3, 2002 12:18 PM
Greg Lemond ran wider bars, so does Lance. The thinking is that this makes it easier to breathe and is more comfortable for the long hall. Narrower bars have a slight aero advantage. Both styles have been ridden to great success so I think it's purely up to how the rider wants to do it. As for new bike trends I hadn't noticed, but the bike shop should switch out the handlebars if the customer requests it. On the whole, I'd rather have the bars too wide than too narrow anytime.
Speaking just for me, I love my 50cm bars...retro
Sep 3, 2002 12:22 PM
I'm a semi-Clydesdale (6'4"), and one-size-fits-all sizing is nearly always too small for me. I swapped my off-the-rack 42cm bars for 50s (from Nashbar, sold for tandems), and I like 'em so much I ordered 48s for another bike. For the first time, I understand what they mean by "open up your chest." When I ride 42s or 44s now, I feel cramped.
re: Wide handlebars: Current fad or no one bothers to fit themseGMS
Sep 3, 2002 12:24 PM
I have a old Raleigh (1970s) that has very narrow handlebars, and a new Giant that has very wide ones (I have a Large size frame, which seems to come with commensurately wider handlebars, also).

That said, the bars are still narrower than my shoulders (my arms point in towards my body, not away from it when I grip the bars). The rule of thumb is supposedly shoulder width.

As another poster said, too wide is generally better than too narrow.
Current fadfiltersweep
Sep 3, 2002 12:47 PM
One might argue that aerodynamic profile is adversely affected by wide bars (wider than shoulders)- and body width can often have as much impact as vertical profile.

I saw a little guy yesterday with huge bars- his arms were noticeably spread outward... it did not look pretty... but hey, "if Lance does it?"
not sure if fad or not but...DaveG
Sep 3, 2002 4:48 PM
I have slowly migrated to wider bars. When I bought a bike a couple of years ago it came with 44c-c bars which seeemed insanely wide compared to the 42c-c bars I was using. I quickly came to find that these were much more comfortable. When I switched back to the older bike I noticed a loss of comfort that I was never aware of before. On my last bike I went with 46o-o with no regrets