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Handlebar width - Is it normal to go wider for Captain and Stoker

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Handlebar width - Is it normal to go wider for Captain and Stoker

Old 06-10-17, 07:46 PM
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socalrider
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Handlebar width - Is it normal to go wider for Captain and Stoker

I have on all my road bikes 42cm handlebars and just noticed that the Santana I recently bought has 44cm for both the Captain and the stoker.. I was thinking of keeping the 44cm, in the sense that they give me a wider base and possibly more control as the captain. But my girlfriend usually rides 40cm bars,, should I be looking at getting her 40cm or 42cm bars.. I'm looking to change out her bars for Bullhorn style anyways.

Any info would be greatly appreciated..
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Old 06-10-17, 11:56 PM
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I ride 44 on the tandem and so does the stoker without issue, despite both of us riding narrower on singles. Considering going wider too for my single race bike because it gives me more stability when in drops.

Another note - You may want to actually measure the bars if you haven't already confirmed the widths, since sometimes listed measurements can be o-o or c-c, and drops can sometimes be flared from the tops, so your 44 may actually be o-o and measure out to 42 c-c.
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Old 06-11-17, 12:00 AM
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Yes I measured them and they are most definitely both 44cm.. I am keeping the 44's and going to get 42cm bullhorns to see if they are more comfortable for my stoker.
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Old 06-11-17, 08:14 AM
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Wider stoker bars are also there to give more room for the captain's backside! Narrow bars can be confining, depending how extended the stoker stem is.

Bigger captain's bars give better leverage for controlling a big bike and its weight, in my experience. I actually go a size up, riding 46 on the tandem and triplet vs. 44 on my single touring bike, for example. I like the feeling of control with the wider bars on the tandem. I'd say ride with a bit before you start swapping things out. You might be surprised.
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Old 06-11-17, 11:59 AM
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I've always had wide bars on my tandem until recently when I decided to try a narrow bar that is the same width (38cm C-T-C at the hoods) as on my single bike. I couldn't be happier! I felt no loss of control or stability. I've setup my tandem cockpit to be identical to what's on my single bike. Going from single bike to tandem and back to single bike felt natural. The only thing that is different between the two bikes is the Q factor, which on the tandem is significantly wider. I kept the 44cm bars that came with the Santana. Should I decide to sell the tandem in the future I will put the 44cm on and keep the 38cm

Not every bar manufacturer spec. and mark their bars the same. On my 3T Ergonova it's marked as a 40cm but the center-to-center distance at the hoods is 38cm. The drops flare out a bit and 3T spec'ed their bars at the drops, hence the 40cm designation. The Santana bars I have are measured as such: full carbon 'aero wing' bar: 42cm C-T-C at the hoods, 44cm O-T-O at the hoods, and 46cm O-T-O at the drops. Carbon wrapped alloy bar: 44cm C-T-C at the hoods, 46cm O-T-O at the hoods, and 47cm O-T-O at the drops. So even between different Santana bars the actual measurements come out differently.
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Old 06-12-17, 12:43 AM
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I (captain) ride same width as single. Just give the stoker wider bars if they are required to clear the captain.
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Old 06-12-17, 05:57 PM
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My stoker prefer the bars in a more upright position, so I do not need to worry about my bum fitting between them.. Looking at Bullhorns in 42cm vs her standard road at 40cm
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Old 06-12-17, 10:33 PM
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I found I was perched on the hoods of the drop bars, and really wasn't using any other hand position. I couldn't comfortably reach the drops at all.

Someone had me try a quill extension, a shorter stem, and much much wider mustache bars. I couldn't believe how much more stable the tandems felt, especially the steel Santana Arriva that always was much flexier than our aluminum tandem. The bikes comfort level went up tenfold and bike handling double that. Now so truly have multiple hand positions.
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Old 06-19-17, 09:58 AM
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I use 42cm FSA bars which are more like 40cm at the shifters. I don't have problem on the tandem with control. Stoker also has the same size bars, can't go narrower or my rear end interferes with her hands and she likes having more of the straight portion of the bar. She has problem with hand pain and I switched her bars to FSA K-Wing and that has really helped.
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Old 06-19-17, 11:12 AM
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We decided on Bullhorns in 40cm - her normal handlebar size and have them facing towards her for a more comfortable position..

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