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Xoc 05-01-03 07:05 AM

What width handlebars should I have?
Is there a general rule as to how wide your handlebars should be?

I just bought my first road bike used, and the bars that came with it are 42s, and seem very cramped to me. I want to get something wider, but I'm unsure of the size I need.


TimB 05-01-03 07:29 AM

whats your shoulder width?
Mine is 42 so I ride a 44 even though recommended width should = shoulder width.

general rules of thumb are

1) Shoulder width must not exceed bar width.

SW40-42 = 42
SW42-44 = 44
SW > 44 = 46

wider than this and you'll need to go custom.

meltable 05-01-03 07:45 AM

Exactly what TimB said, shoulder width + 1 or 2 cm. This will get your arms almost straight to the bars, with just a slight angle out.

Changing over to wider bars will decrease your aerodynamics - but it's more than made up for with better breathing (opens the lungs), more comfort, additional leverage on hills and sprints, etc.

Good luck!

MichaelW 05-01-03 09:25 AM

The bar ends should line up with your shoulder joint. I prefer mine a bit narrow, but it doesnt cramp my breathing. Try and avoid overly wide bars which triangulate your arms out. This removes any natural suspension you have.
In addition to width, bars come in a variety of drop radii and bend styles. Cinelli and 3TTT make a wide range with most styles included.

Xoc 05-01-03 10:28 AM

Thanks for the info guys!

Where should I be measuring my shoulder width from? Joint to Joint I'm guessing.

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