Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-20-17, 10:10 AM   #1
Kapusta
Cyclochondriac
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Bikes:
Posts: 528
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Flat bar width?

This is not really a touring question, but I thought i would find more flat bar users here than in the "road riding" section.

I am building up a new road bike for my wife. She never grew to like drop bars, and wants to try a flat bar. That point is for now non-negotiable.

So, my question is: what width to shoot for?

I know that the best answer is "go with what feels right", but I have found (from previous experience on her road, mountain, and commuter bikes) that she is not very good at telling what needs to change in her setup. Just that she is happy or not happy.

So I am curious what a good starting point is? I have several flat bars that I can cut down, so if we end up going too narrow I can just grab another bar from the parts bin.

She rode 40cm (center to center) drop bars and seemed OK with that. her mtb and town bike both have 660mm wide bars, but i don't think that is going to work well for a road bike that she will be doing a lot of miles on.

The narrowest bars I have are 580mm (from my early mtb days in the 90s). I have the 580mm on there right now and even that seems really wide even for me (even though I run 750mm bars on my mtb)

I was thinking of cutting these down to 550mm. Is that a good starting point for this? I'm using ergon grips with the integrated bar ends.

I am just curious what other people's experience is with this.
Kapusta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 10:34 AM   #2
mstateglfr 
Senior Member
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Bikes: '87 Miyata 912, '80 Schwinn Voyageur 11.8, '90 Fuji Saratoga, '90 Diamondback Ascent EX, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4
Posts: 5,366
Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1491 Post(s)
Set everything up but shifting and braking. She can hop on and ride it. With nothing interfering her grip, she can figure out what width is most comfortable.


...or get trekking bars since its a diverse flat bar withna ton of hand pisitions and angles.
mstateglfr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 10:41 AM   #3
revcp 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
Bikes: 2011 Surly Troll, 2012 Salsa Mukluk, 2015 Orbea Orca OMP (all built from frames)
Posts: 819
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
This is not really a touring question, but I thought i would find more flat bar users here than in the "road riding" section.

I am building up a new road bike for my wife. She never grew to like drop bars, and wants to try a flat bar. That point is for now non-negotiable.

So, my question is: what width to shoot for?

I know that the best answer is "go with what feels right", but I have found (from previous experience on her road, mountain, and commuter bikes) that she is not very good at telling what needs to change in her setup. Just that she is happy or not happy.

So I am curious what a good starting point is? I have several flat bars that I can cut down, so if we end up going too narrow I can just grab another bar from the parts bin.

She rode 40cm (center to center) drop bars and seemed OK with that. her mtb and town bike both have 660mm wide bars, but i don't think that is going to work well for a road bike that she will be doing a lot of miles on.

The narrowest bars I have are 580mm (from my early mtb days in the 90s). I have the 580mm on there right now and even that seems really wide even for me (even though I run 750mm bars on my mtb)

I was thinking of cutting these down to 550mm. Is that a good starting point for this? I'm using ergon grips with the integrated bar ends.

I am just curious what other people's experience is with this.
My sense is that anything under 650mm or so will be so narrow as to make the bike feel overly twitchy. Flat bars, in my experience, just can't be as narrow as drops.
__________________
Don't complain about the weather and cower in fear. It's all good weather. Just different.
revcp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 10:43 AM   #4
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 8
Posts: 28,609
Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3025 Post(s)
I have Cut Down the Width of straight Bars, that were too wide..

A used Score, of a Bull Moose Quill stem-Bar combination.. Last.. Bike Shop saw guide insured the cut was square.

I too Vote for Trekking bars .. No cutting , they are typically 57Cm wide but other than the sides there are narrower hand holds.







Last edited by fietsbob; 03-20-17 at 10:49 AM.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 10:46 AM   #5
niknak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 701
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
My wife is in the same boat. She prefers flat bars with the Ergon grips and bar ends. The width depends on the bars you want to use. The riser bars my wife uses only have so much room for the brake levers, shifters, and grips. If I cut them too narrow everything wouldn't fit before the curve in the bar. Her bars are probably in the mid 500s.

Width should also be determined by the front end geometry of her bike. If her bike has a shallow head angle (69-71 degrees) and little fork offset (43-47 mm) she'll probably want wider bars to increase leverage against the high trail. If she carries a lot of weight in front panniers, wider bars would also be an advantage. Bars that are in the mid 600s would probably be good.
niknak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 10:47 AM   #6
FrontRanger
Senior Member
 
FrontRanger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Bikes:
Posts: 175
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
I highly recommend that you consider the Jones loop bar.
FrontRanger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 10:54 AM   #7
Joe Minton
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southern California
Bikes: Gary Fisher Hi-Fi Deluxe, Giant Stance, Cannondale Synapse, Diamondback 8sp IGH, 1989 Merckx
Posts: 594
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Shoulder-width is a good start.

Joe
Joe Minton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 10:58 AM   #8
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes:
Posts: 5,642
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 711 Post(s)
Just make sure you measure once and cut twice.
alan s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 11:01 AM   #9
saddlesores
Senior Member
 
saddlesores's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangkok!
Bikes: inferior steel
Posts: 2,342
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 418 Post(s)
if you're absolutely sure:

1. she definitely, positively wants flat bars, and
2. you have the skills/tools to cut the bars to length,

just get a longish bar, and a temporary set of grips and clamp-on bar ends.
load up and go for a ride, move the grips/barends as needed.
shouldn't take too long to figger out where the piece-parts should be.
saddlesores is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 11:04 AM   #10
Kapusta
Cyclochondriac
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Bikes:
Posts: 528
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Thanks for the replies so far.

I am not too worried about the handling right now. This is on a nearly same sized frame (in terms of reach) as the frame she ran drop bars on, so she will end up with a fairly long stem, so I am not too worried about it being twitchy. Will not be caring loads on the front.

I am mainly thinking of what is comfortable on longer road rides.

Re the jones bar: I've considered a bar with a bit of backsweep, but we are startihg with flat bars because it is what I have laying around.
Kapusta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 11:11 AM   #11
Kapusta
Cyclochondriac
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Bikes:
Posts: 528
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
if you're absolutely sure:

1. she definitely, positively wants flat bars, and
2. you have the skills/tools to cut the bars to length,

just get a longish bar, and a temporary set of grips and clamp-on bar ends.
load up and go for a ride, move the grips/barends as needed.
shouldn't take too long to figger out where the piece-parts should be.
1- definitely sure she is done with drop bars. Flats bar is the next step, backswept bars may follow.
2- no issues there, done it many times.

I may end up doing what you suggest with moving everything around on the bar and then cutting it to length, the only problem is that with the integrated bar ends, you can't slide the Ergons farther onto the bar.
Kapusta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 11:18 AM   #12
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 8
Posts: 28,609
Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3025 Post(s)
Ergon Grip/bar ends will need the Bar Cut off to Be Square.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-17, 11:24 AM   #13
Kapusta
Cyclochondriac
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Bikes:
Posts: 528
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Ergon Grip/bar ends will need the Bar Cut off to Be Square.
Not a problem. I've always gone with a pipe-cutter (for metal bars).

Last edited by Kapusta; 03-20-17 at 01:16 PM.
Kapusta is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:22 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.
I HAVE A QUESTION