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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-09-05, 09:26 PM   #1
schloe mo
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does anyone know of a good rule of thumb for handlebar width?
or is it purely personal taste?

I seem to remember reading somewhere that the proper set up
should keep your hand placement in the same plane as your shoulders, not too
far inside and not too wide.

I'm riding 36cm dropbars on my road frame, and will be installing the same size
drops on my track frame... it's a little narrow for my body size, but for some
reason it feels right, compared to the 42cm bullhorns i used to ride.
maybe it's the tighter control. i have noticed soreness in my shoulders,
but that could be due to the fact that i've just crossed the 30 year mark.

i realize some of you are riding seriously chopped flat bars and such.

any opinions?
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Old 12-09-05, 09:29 PM   #2
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for cruising at sloy speed, I ride with my hands on top of each other on the stem. better handling. for cranking and better control at high speeds, further out. bullhorns rule.
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Old 12-09-05, 09:31 PM   #3
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yeah i do the same. feels so steady with the hands close in... plus arms in a "V" cut wind resistance way down.
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Old 12-09-05, 09:32 PM   #4
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sometimes i miss the bullhorns for that long reach.. maybe i'll throw em on again.
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Old 12-09-05, 09:37 PM   #5
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I think the Fit Kit places handlebar width at a couple centimeters wider than shoulder width, but I ride with my hands butted up against the stem, so what do I know?
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Old 12-09-05, 09:41 PM   #6
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Well, my winter bike has flipped cruiser bars, kinda like this:



I hold them either on the (flipped) grips, in the crook of the bend, or right up against the stem.

Edit: just to clarify, flipped as in they look kinda like moustache bars now - not like bullhorns.
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Old 12-09-05, 09:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12XU
I think the Fit Kit places handlebar width at a couple centimeters wider than shoulder width, but I ride with my hands butted up against the stem, so what do I know?
upon googling Fit Kit... do any bikeshops really use this system? looks like a lot of gadgets when a tape measurer should do the trick, no?
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File Type: jpg quick_fit.jpg (12.4 KB, 22 views)
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Old 12-09-05, 09:47 PM   #8
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the 'urban' rule is to ride handlebars the same width as your shoulders. that way you can squeeze through tight spots with some sort of measured level of narrowness.
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Old 12-09-05, 10:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schloe mo
upon googling Fit Kit... do any bikeshops really use this system? looks like a lot of gadgets when a tape measurer should do the trick, no?

Tons of bike shops use the Fit Kit. If you had a fit done at our shop, you'd never go back to the tape measure (although a tape measure is used to measure shoulder width in the kit).
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Old 12-09-05, 10:07 PM   #10
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maybe i'll try it sometime... to find out how much my frame dosen't fit!
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Old 12-09-05, 10:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potus
the 'urban' rule is to ride handlebars the same width as your shoulders. that way you can squeeze through tight spots with some sort of measured level of narrowness.
just like cats use their whiskers to 'gauge' width to see whether or not they can squeeze through tight spots...
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Old 12-09-05, 10:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by schloe mo
maybe i'll try it sometime... to find out how much my frame dosen't fit!
It's a great process to go through. Some measurements taken include: Arm length, inseam, foot length, hand size, thigh length, shoulder width. Also, the computer program adjusts for such preferences as performance, comfort, flexibility, bike style, etc.
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Old 12-09-05, 10:56 PM   #13
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My shop uses the Fit Kit as well, but I can't stress enough that it's only used as a starting point. It's good to take some accurate measurements of a person's body (you can get them in the right postures and take measurements quickly that are spot on). That's not to say you can't do that at home. These are a set of items that really are just specialized measuring sticks. They work well for that though.

The Fit Kit also includes some software. That'll do things like recommend ideal crank length, give you a recommendation for pedal to saddle distance and some recommended cockpit combinations. What that means is it'll work out an "ideal" distance from your saddle to your bars (considering saddle position, stem length and drop, etc.). From there you can either adjust your saddle, stem, get a new frame, etc ... or ignore it completely.

Obviously if you've got an special needs for the bike (physical condition, specific frame style, specific event the bike's being used for, etc.) the Fit Kit's recommendations go out the window ... but it's a starting point.
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