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Old 08-16-05, 10:16 AM   #1
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Handlebar Width Guidelines

I'm riding a lot of tight, twisty singletrack, so I've got the urge to cut down my handlebars. Are there any kind of guidelines are out there for determining optimal individual bar width?
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Old 08-16-05, 12:14 PM   #2
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That's a very good question, I don't think that there's a rule written on stone about this.

I've heard the width of your shoulders + 1" for XC racing. I tried that and found it short so I go by feel rather than what most people do. The shorter the bar the quicker the steering so be careful.

I run my bars 26" long and have suffered the occational bar/tree tangle resulting in an OTB fall on tight singletrack but for the majority of the trails I ride on is a nice confy width.
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Old 08-16-05, 03:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL
That's a very good question, I don't think that there's a rule written on stone about this.

I've heard the width of your shoulders + 1" for XC racing. I tried that and found it short so I go by feel rather than what most people do. The shorter the bar the quicker the steering so be careful.

I run my bars 26" long and have suffered the occational bar/tree tangle resulting in an OTB fall on tight singletrack but for the majority of the trails I ride on is a nice confy width.
What shoulder measurement does that use? Overall or joint-to-joint?

I should mention I'm using flat bars (Truvativ Team) that haven't been cut yet and are just under 23". I'm guessing you're using risers since yours are 26". So what's the best method for cutting them down (i.e., how do you keep the cut perpendicular and straight)?
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Old 08-16-05, 03:33 PM   #4
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I've never done it, but I would probably leave it on the stem, take the things on the bar off, and use a tape measure and a hack saw to get it even on both sides.


I use 27" bars with 2" rise... bit wider than my shoulders, lol
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Old 08-16-05, 03:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Peek the Geek
What shoulder measurement does that use? Overall or joint-to-joint?
Overall shoulder width is best to start with. When cutting your bars, use a pipe cutter as opposed to a hack saw. You will get a nice clean cut with pipe cutters.

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Old 08-16-05, 06:27 PM   #6
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Overall shoulder width is best to start with. When cutting your bars, use a pipe cutter as opposed to a hack saw. You will get a nice clean cut with pip cutters.
Agreed. And some typical modifiers dhillers/fr/dj and street usually make them wider and xc guys go narrower, ESPECIALLY if they come from a roadie background.
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Old 08-16-05, 06:43 PM   #7
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ESPECIALLY if they come from a roadie background.
Yup, that's a big reason my bars feel wider than I want---I only mountain bike once or twice a week, with the rest of the week's rides being spent on my road bike.
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Old 08-17-05, 02:02 AM   #8
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Overall shoulder width is best to start with. When cutting your bars, use a pipe cutter as opposed to a hack saw. You will get a nice clean cut with pip cutters.
Not if they're carbon bars.
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