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Bar width

Old 10-01-01, 09:36 AM
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Bar width

Rainman is confused again.

My commuter had a Cinelli B-square bar that measures 44cm center to center though after I unwrapped it to take it of it seems to be marked 42. My Bianchi has a bar that also measures 44 cm c-c but feels much narrower than the Cinelli across the top. It is also too shallow for my big paws. The Cinelli is very comfortable so I wanted to get something like it for the Bianchi. I bought a Ritchey Pro Logic because I had read a favorable review and it seemed to be very close in design to the Cinelli. Since I ride mostly on top of the bar, I decided to get a 46 cm to get a littl more space, figuring the little extra width would not make much difference on the few occasions where I get down.

The Richey is enough wider than the Cinelli that the Cinelli fits inside the Ritchey across the top. Looked good since I wanted, or thought I wanted more space up top anyway. Here's where I get confused. The bar is not nearly as comfortable as the Cinelli. Why would that be? I mean a flat bar top is a flat bar top, isn't it? I didn't expect any difference in feel up top, but the heels of my hands get a little numb and achy. Maybe without realizing it the heels were actually on the curve of the bar just enough to take some pressure off, and I wasn't entirely on the flat of the top. But to achieve that position with the 46 cm bar, my hands are too far apart for comfort. My shoulder points are 43-44 cm.

Since the Cinelli seems to measure 44 but is marked 42, now I don't know what size bar to get! 42 or 44? That is a rhetorical question; I know I will have to sort it out myself. Guess I will need to take some additional measurements and make some comparisons. I never would have thought width, within reason, would make such a difference. Just goes to show you that on a bike, centimeters and even millimeters CAN make a difference! I welcome any guidance on this subject.
Regards,
Raymond
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Old 10-01-01, 01:28 PM
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Since the Cinelli seems to measure 44 but is marked 42
Maybe it is measured outside to outside rather than center to center.

If you haven't already seen it, perhaps the article in the June or July issue (can't remember which) of Bicycling magazine will help. It discusses handlebar width, shoulder width, etc.
If you don't have it and would like to see it, send me a PM and I'll scan it tonight when I'm at home and send it to you.
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Old 10-01-01, 01:46 PM
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Thanks, Ron, I think that is where I got the shoulder point to shoulder point measure for shoulder width. I think that issue may have gone to the big recycle bin in the sky. Rainbabe says the herd must be thinned when the stack starts to fall over.

I'm pretty sure Cinellis are measured c to c, but I could be wrong. I think I will measure the top because that seems to be more critical to my style.

The only mark I can find on the bar is a 42 stamped near one end.
Regards,
Raymond
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Old 10-01-01, 01:58 PM
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I had a very similar problem with a cheap stock aluminum bar that measured about 40cm c/c. I switched to a set of gorilla wide Bontrager (?) cyclo cross bars (44 cm c/c) and they work great, offering a much better choice of hand positions. They are actually lighter than stock!
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Old 10-02-01, 06:29 AM
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That's about what I am looking at, Huffyman. C to C at the bar ends of the bar on the Bianchi measures right at 39 cm. C to C of the tubes just in front of the bends measures 37 cm! My Cinelli bar measures 44 cm at the bar ends, 42 cm in front of the bends. Since it is marked, I think, 42 and is comfortable, I think I will go with a 42. I will report back in a couple of weeks.
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Raymond
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Old 10-02-01, 06:47 AM
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I have a raddoneur bar on my touring bike, made by Nitto. It is measured at 35 cm c-c at the top, but the drops are something around 45cm.
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Old 10-02-01, 08:20 PM
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Well, my guess is that the achiness is occuring because now you're putting more weight on your hands. You mentioned that because the bar is wider, your hands might be spread a little more. That would cause you to lean forward more, hence more weight. Did the stem height possibly get changed when you switched bars? Are you using other hand positions as much with the new bars (i.e. on the hoods, in the drops, etc.).

Hey! Guesses are cheap!
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Old 10-02-01, 09:41 PM
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Rainman- the easiest way to get bar size is as follows- Make a fist, with the top of your hand parallel to the top fo your forearm and and the edge of your knuckle and the edge of your elbow should just fit inside the drops. If your measure your shoulder points and measure from knuckle to elbow you'll get the same value, this way your body tells you what to get and you don't have to mess with measuring. Some guys like a slightly narroweer width on their criterium bikes. As far as room for your hands and one bar the same width as another feeling different- Cinelli makes several bar shapes and several "drops". The deepest drop is a "66", that is the "hooks are bigger and deeper, and there is more room for the hands. A wide bar with this deep drop is a "42, 44, or 46 x 66". The "65" drop bar is also known as a Criterium bar, the bend of the bar into the forward curve is more gentle, rather than the bar being straight and bendng quickly to the front before curving down. The "64" drop has a wide straight section on top like the "66" but the "drop" is much shallower, a little less room for the hands in the front of the "hook" but a little higher position when your'e using them. The bars are stamped with their width and drop. Also, there are some ergonomic models that have recurved bends or flat spots in the drops to better fit the palm of the hand in the forward positon. In case you're wondering, I use the 44X66 because I like to move my hand in the drops slightly for different situations and the deep drop gets me in a good pursuit/time trial position, and I'm very used to them.
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Old 10-04-01, 11:05 AM
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FWIW my latest project uses Salsa MotoAce Cross bars. (44cm I believe) May look funky on a Colnago Master frame but extremely comfortable and many options for hand placement.

I've been told they're a good bend for climbing but except for bridges over the Intercoastal I don't have to worry about that much.

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Old 10-04-01, 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by Walter
I've been told they're a good bend for climbing but except for bridges over the Intercoastal I don't have to worry about that much.

Tell me about it! About the closest thing to a hill I can muster up here in New Orleans are overpasses, bridges and the levee which is about a 40% grade, but only for about 10 meters.

In installed a 42 cm Ritchey ergonomic. Seemed like just the ticket though only time will tell.
Regards,
Raymond
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Old 10-05-01, 05:23 AM
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Hi Rainman,

Nitto makes a "dreambar" for Rivendell . It is a drop bar but has a slight upper curve for those who like to ride on the tops. It comes in a 42 and 44 but the 46 size sounds like it may suit you if you are a big guy. They favor a larger bar at rivendell because it lets you open your chest a bit more. The bar is 50 bucks.

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Old 10-05-01, 05:57 AM
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That would be the Nitto 135 Raddoneur, and you can order it from any bike shop.
BTW, there are 50cm "stoker" bars available, if you really want a wide bar!
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Old 10-09-01, 12:00 PM
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Thanks, guys. I decided to get the 42 cm because 42 has worked well on my commuter. I rode it in today, and it feels great, much better than the narrow bar that was on my Bianchi. According to the sizing recommendations, I "should" use a 46 cm bar, but the one I put on my commuter feels uncomfortably wide. I will be putting the 42 cm Cinelli back on when it is time to replace the bar tape.
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