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Thread: bar width?

  1. #26
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    I have no problem buying speed, that is all there is left after training and most all of us do it one way or another. My goal is to win a nationals jersey this year and that is often done by inches and seconds or less. I already spent my 26 years on the bike and have more than earned the right to spend a little of my cash on something that will make it easier to achieve my goals. I bought my rear wheel last year, my bike this year, had a front wheel I like for years, have a nice helmet, so I am down to the final details. I don't think handlebars are going to win my race for me, but there is a chance that they will, especially after a week or racing, mean that I have a little extra in the tank during my final races ... and that could win it. I am pretty sure I am going to lose my 2 pound steel bar setup for nats, so it is just how narrow and how aero to go. Scatto does both, just curious if I am going to like that, and the ? here is can I avoid the cost of learning the hard way by finding the right people here who have already done it for me.

    So far I am leaning to a buy just because I have no choice. By that I mean, what is a good flat top bar that is still really stiff and liked by other track riders ... answer is usually the 3t bar. I have a feeling that the aero front will help reduce the watts needed during my mass start events and maybe, just maybe add an inch to my sprint. And I have lost and won my fair share of sprints by a tire width. As stated my concern is that I might loose some shoulder spacing and leverage on the bars. I do not feel that there is any chance I will lose my ability to breath with narrow bars.

    I am happy that at least one person has come out against narrow, I figured there would be more. And I know the real answer is that I have to try them to see if they work for me ... but $300 is a lot to ask to try them out. Might need to find someone at Alpenrose to lend me a pair for a week.

  2. #27
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    I think the only drawback to going SUPER narrow is with standing starts. Most people I talk to find that if the bars are below 35cm it gets pretty awkward trying to get away from the line. I haven't talked to anyone yet who's bought Scattos who hasn't liked them. I'm fine with my 38cm Eastons, but if I had extra cash I might go for the Scattos too. But I definitely do not have the extra cash!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    I think the only drawback to going SUPER narrow is with standing starts. Most people I talk to find that if the bars are below 35cm it gets pretty awkward trying to get away from the line. I haven't talked to anyone yet who's bought Scattos who hasn't liked them. I'm fine with my 38cm Eastons, but if I had extra cash I might go for the Scattos too. But I definitely do not have the extra cash!
    In my experience this is a small problem, but small in the fact that practice will smooth out the problem. I rode my PRO 40cm c-c bars over winter and switched back to my 37cm Scattos in spring. Starts were all over the place, but after a few weeks, the stabiliser muscles worked themselves out and all was smooth. Definitely not a permanent problem.

  4. #29
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
    In my experience this is a small problem, but small in the fact that practice will smooth out the problem. I rode my PRO 40cm c-c bars over winter and switched back to my 37cm Scattos in spring. Starts were all over the place, but after a few weeks, the stabiliser muscles worked themselves out and all was smooth. Definitely not a permanent problem.
    that happens to me every time the snow & ice melts and i start riding my road bike in the spring - a winter of riding cross bikes or various incarnations of flatbar commuters definitely change how your brain processes steerering, bar width, and stabilization. but yeah - you adjust back.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
    In my experience this is a small problem, but small in the fact that practice will smooth out the problem. I rode my PRO 40cm c-c bars over winter and switched back to my 37cm Scattos in spring. Starts were all over the place, but after a few weeks, the stabiliser muscles worked themselves out and all was smooth. Definitely not a permanent problem.
    I was referring to the really narrow bars, under 35cm, for example the 33cm Alpina bars. I don't consider 37 to be particularly narrow, and in fact that was my favorite width when I was using Nittos.

  6. #31
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero Talent View Post
    I would not get the scatto's they will wreck your fit! They are also not necessary and are a common cleshay among people trying to buy speed. Especially for an enduro doing longer events it will close up your chest to much. Even for a sprinter hyper narrow bars are not necessary take Francois Pervis who is currently the fastest in the world. For a sprinter his shoulders are quite narrow yet he is not riding hyper narrow bars.
    THIS!

    I've used everything from standard 40cm down to 33cm bars- including 35cm Scattos, 36cm Nitto 123 and 125, and Alpina 33cm bars.. the aero advantage of the narrow bars is negligible- especially at non-Elite speeds. As said above- you can see tons of people at the track rolling around on bikes that used to fit them before they switched to Scattos… but looking cool is fast right?

    anyway- as usual, fit is king, and i happen to have narrow shoulders- deceptively so for a guy built like a fire plug. and the narrower bars allow a better pull alignment for sprints and starts..

  7. #32
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Love those videos. They are instructive, as well.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  8. #33
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn8it View Post
    THIS!

    I've used everything from standard 40cm down to 33cm bars- including 35cm Scattos, 36cm Nitto 123 and 125, and Alpina 33cm bars.. the aero advantage of the narrow bars is negligible- especially at non-Elite speeds. As said above- you can see tons of people at the track rolling around on bikes that used to fit them before they switched to Scattos… but looking cool is fast right?

    anyway- as usual, fit is king, and i happen to have narrow shoulders- deceptively so for a guy built like a fire plug. and the narrower bars allow a better pull alignment for sprints and starts..
    Scattos have shorter reach and drop than normal bars. This means you have to use a longer reach stem that isn't angled as high. It's as simple as that.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    If you go from classic drops (deda or 123's) to 35cm scattos you are accounting for more than a 3cm reduction in reach and drop.. That's a lot of stem

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn8it View Post
    If you go from classic drops (deda or 123's) to 35cm scattos you are accounting for more than a 3cm reduction in reach and drop.. That's a lot of stem
    You are right.

    I use -10deg 130mm stem with my Scattos and I still don't have the reach I want.

    The same thing happened in the roadie world with the adoption of short/shallow road bars...longer stems. That's what you started seeing -17deg 140mm stems on road bikes.

  11. #36
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    So, using Scattos doesn't "wreck your fit". It just means that you can't use the same stem that you used with your old long/deep bars.

    At the end of the day, it's all about where your hands are. Pick the right stem/bar combo to get your hands at the desired spot.

  12. #37
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Think of bike fitting (including bars) this way: Decide on the shape (lengths, angles, etc) that you want your body to make, then form the bike under that.

    Sort of like this:


  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    I was referring to the really narrow bars, under 35cm, for example the 33cm Alpina bars. I don't consider 37 to be particularly narrow, and in fact that was my favorite width when I was using Nittos.
    For me standing at 6'5" I would guess my 37cm Scattos feel similar to your 35 or 33cm bars!

    I only have Scattos because at the time I was trying to solve a cockpit problem and also looking for stiffer bars. I may have looked at the Easton and Pro bars as well in 40cm, but they were more expensive than the Scattos at the time, and also very hard to get. From the reading I did back when I got the Scattos, part of the theory behind the narrower bars was with standing starting and sprinting. The narrower grip put your "pull~hand" line closer to your "push~pedal" line, thus reducing the effort required to not throw the bike around in starts/sprints. I know my starts are certainly better on my Scattos than my 40cm Pro aluminium bars.

    If doomsday comes and I break my 61cm TT frame, I will have to start looking for a replacement to the Scattos with a longer reach to compensate as the biggest alternative frames are 60cm TT and I'm already on the longest stem I could find.

  14. #39
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    A few years ago I picked up a set of Nitto bars in 36,38 and 40 cm to try different widths from some guy on the east coast who is now in Portland. That was nice to be able to ride different widths and to play with them for a while. I like the narrow bars but the first few jumps and starts are interesting.

    Also the curve on the Scattos make the effective drop about a cm less than a traditional round bend with the same drop/reach.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn8it View Post
    If you go from classic drops (deda or 123's) to 35cm scattos you are accounting for more than a 3cm reduction in reach and drop.. That's a lot of stem
    I was not aware it was that much ... hmm. My new frame is already a touch tighter than my old frame and I was thinking of going from a 10 to an 11 stem. So this would but me well over 12 and into the 13/14 region. That is a lot of stem. I am 100% playing around with my hand position on the bike right now and trying to figure out what feels best as well as what effects power/fatigue. Looks like if I buy a scatto I will also need to buy 2 more stems to try things around as well ... complications ... thanks for the extra info.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmikami View Post
    I was not aware it was that much ... hmm. My new frame is already a touch tighter than my old frame and I was thinking of going from a 10 to an 11 stem. So this would but me well over 12 and into the 13/14 region. That is a lot of stem. I am 100% playing around with my hand position on the bike right now and trying to figure out what feels best as well as what effects power/fatigue. Looks like if I buy a scatto I will also need to buy 2 more stems to try things around as well ... complications ... thanks for the extra info.
    Don't freak out about it. It's just a longer stem. You'd need a longer stem if you equipped Nitto B125s.

    Stem choice is a function of

    - Head Tube Length
    - Head Tube Angle
    - Bar Reach
    - Bar drop

    You know why short/shallow bars work? Because we used to do this:


    (this is Anna Mears' bike)

    The Easton EC90 was based on the much older Nitto B123...which was made to be used on bikes like this:



    Look at allll that head tube

    When modern compact frames were made, top tubes were lowered and head tubes along with it. This really benefited those who used aerobars....but some of those who used deep drop sprint bars had to use a high-rise stem...even at the highest levels:


    (V. Pendleton)

    What if we could keep the frame the same and the hands in the same spot? We'd have to make the bars more shallow...like this:


    (Meares' new bike)

    It's OK if your stem is long:


  18. #43
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    A long stem and short bars nets out the same so it just changes where you get the reach from. The only real limit is that the bars are not supposed to be more than 5cm ahead of the axle. If you are too far ahead of the axle you are just giving up ground on photo finishes which are on the leading edge of the wheel so from that angle a large frame is better than long stem/bars.

  19. #44
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    Carleton is saying that regardless of what happens stem/Bar wise the only thing that matters is the hand position as it relates to the steer tube.. Long stem/short bars, long bars/short stem... Doesn't matter if hand position is the same...

    im saying 130mm+ stems with enough drop to make up the fit difference for bars that have 3cm less drop and 3cm less reach- are hard to find and (IMHO) look f-ing stupid... So most people will take the hit on the fit- in order to run "cool bars"

    when tiemeyer and I decided to change my build to Scattos there was a significant change to both the top tube length and the head tube to accommodate them..

  20. #45
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn8it View Post
    Carleton is saying that regardless of what happens stem/Bar wise the only thing that matters is the hand position as it relates to the steer tube.. Long stem/short bars, long bars/short stem... Doesn't matter if hand position is the same...

    im saying 130mm+ stems with enough drop to make up the fit difference for bars that have 3cm less drop and 3cm less reach- are hard to find and (IMHO) look f-ing stupid... So most people will take the hit on the fit- in order to run "cool bars"

    when tiemeyer and I decided to change my build to Scattos there was a significant change to both the top tube length and the head tube to accommodate them..
    No, I'm saying that the only thing that matters is the hands relationship to the front axle. The head tube angle and head tube length determine how long a stem you need.

    Think about this:

    Take two riders, one needing a 50cm frame and one needing a 60cm frame. They both use the same bars (doesn't matter which kind for this example).

    They both like their reach such that their hands are 1cm behind a vertical line from the front axle.

    The 50cm bike has a short 10cm head tube. The 60cm bike has a long 16cm head tube. This is normal, right? Nothing strange here.

    Now if the head tube were vertical then they could *both* use a 90mm stem and get the reach they want. But the head tube is not vertical, it is around 16 degrees off of vertical (74 degrees). So, the longer the head tube, the further it moves the stem away from the front axle. This has to be taken into account when choosing a stem/bar combo for a frame.

    So, a 130mm stem on my Tiemeyer which has a 15cm head tube will render the *exact same* reach as some other guy's 100mm stem on his 10.5cm head tube. That's why head tube angle and head tube length must be considered.

    Math:



    To put it shortly: The longer the head tube (or effective head tube if you use spacers), then the longer the stem you will need to achieve the same horizontal reach.
    Last edited by carleton; 03-19-14 at 05:26 PM.

  21. #46
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    So, every rider should know, not what stem length and angle they like. They should take note of how far they like their hands behind the front axle. That is where steering happens.

  22. #47
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    Aren't we saying the same thing?

    you and I actually agree and I still get a novella with illustrations

  23. #48
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn8it View Post
    Aren't we saying the same thing?

    you and I actually agree and I still get a novella with illustrations


    I don't mind running a long stem. If anything it makes things stiffer. Short/Shallow bars with long stem is probably stiffer and lighter than Deep/Long bars with a normal stem.

    3T makes a -17 140mm stem for a reason. They probably saw this coming.

    Here is Road World Champ Phillipe Gilbert's bike. He is 6' 0" (1.83 m) and uses short/shallow bars with a -6 140mm stem



    Notice where his hands end up...around 1cm behind the front axle
    Last edited by carleton; 03-19-14 at 05:49 PM.

  24. #49
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    I think Quinn is saying he doesn't like long stems. They make him feel funny.

  25. #50
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    Not exactly my issue..
    I have a freakish long torso with midget legs- so I am well aquatinted with long stems. I'd venture to guess I've owned as many 130-140mm stems as anyone on this list-

    my point was-
    If you have a good fit on your bike with deda bars and a 110mm -7deg stem and 1cm spacers below the stem.. You will need a 145mm Stem with a ton of drop to even get close to replicating your hand position with 35cm scattos..
    The lack of quality options for stems in this range (basically left with flipped hybrid stems) will leave most people sacrificing fit..

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