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Old 08-21-11, 09:10 AM   #1
fishugly
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Handlebar width for hybrid bikes?

Though I'm guessing there's a lot of personal preference here, I thought I'd ask if there were any rules that should be followed before I started messing around with my new bars. My existing bars are 24" wide. My new ones are 32" wide MTN bike riser bars. I'm reasonably certain I'll be cutting them down (narrower) but how much I don't know. They're going on a Gary Fisher Montare I use for general town riding/commuting/exercise. Could possibly do a little bit of single track riding and the idea of touring intrigues me.

Guidelines? Thoughts?

Last edited by fishugly; 08-21-11 at 02:04 PM. Reason: correction on bar width
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Old 08-21-11, 04:39 PM   #2
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1. BEFORE you cut the bars, slide on the shifters, brake levers, hand grips and anything else you plan to install on the handlebars. Slide all of that stuff as far toward the middle of the bar as you can. The bend on the riser bar will eventually stop you. That will show you the maximum that you can cut off of each end.

2. Asking the question tells me you have some doubts about how much to cut. My advice is to cut off 3/4" less than whatever you're thinking. You can always cut off a little more later but you can't add it back.
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Old 08-21-11, 07:11 PM   #3
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fishugly, Rule of thumb for handlebar width is that they're the same as your shoulder width. It's quite common for mountain bikes that see a lot of wooded single track to have their handle bars narrowed.

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Old 08-21-11, 07:52 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys! The open end of my Ergon grips allowed me to slide them around on the bar to play with different widths...with lots of bar sticking out from each grip. The best feel for me thus far is slightly wider than shoulder width. All the cables but the front brake are now too short though (I had to ride with no shifting & front brake only). I'll install new cables and fine tune from there. I'd like to add some bar ends later too so will leave about 3/4" more width on each side to accommodate those. Any flaws with this thinking?
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Old 08-21-11, 07:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
You can always cut off a little more later but you can't add it back.
+1
In the end, correct width is what works best for you.

I've found adjustable pipe cutters to work well for too-long aluminum bars.

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Old 08-21-11, 08:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fishugly View Post
Thanks, guys! The open end of my Ergon grips allowed me to slide them around on the bar to play with different widths...with lots of bar sticking out from each grip. The best feel for me thus far is slightly wider than shoulder width. All the cables but the front brake are now too short though (I had to ride with no shifting & front brake only). I'll install new cables and fine tune from there. I'd like to add some bar ends later too so will leave about 3/4" more width on each side to accommodate those. Any flaws with this thinking?
Of course, you will need room for bar ends. With conventional grips, you can just trim them shorter-but not with Ergon or similar.
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