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View Poll Results: What size narrow handlebars work for you?
40
4.35%
38
17.39%
36
34.78%
Less than 36
43.48%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

Narrow bars

Old 04-09-22, 01:47 AM
  #1  
Bisexcycle
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Narrow bars

How narrow are your bars for mass start racing???
For you 38 <= narrow bar people. Any cons? Is the aero advantage really worth it?
​​​​
I'm a tad 6ft and want to try a 38 from a 42. I realized 42 are massive for me. I'm maybe a 40 shoulder center to shoulder center.
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Old 04-09-22, 06:52 AM
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Handlebar width is VERY individual. It isn't narrow=more aero in a linear scale.
I've got bars from 38 down to 27, and once I'm below 36 the amount of reach necessary to keep the elbows from flaring out quickly starts to increases to the point of failing a jig (and becoming unreasonable to ride) and I'm by no means a "large" guy.
I think most people will see a little benefit going from something like 40+ to ~36, and those that really hone the position (and focus on it specifically) perhaps down to 32-33. Much below that imo starts becoming the oddity that sees gains, and most see detriment.
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Old 04-09-22, 07:04 AM
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I would choose the widest option since Im a road guy

Last edited by joesch; 04-09-22 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 04-11-22, 05:51 AM
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It was a progressive transition for me.

I tried going from 40s to 33s, and it was too much. I could not get comfortable on 33s. I then opted for 37s - got comfortable on those, and now I'm on 35, and they are starting to feel wide to me. I could probably handle 33s now.
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Old 04-11-22, 07:03 PM
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On my road bikes I have 38s now, previously 40s for 20-25 years (Cinelli and then most recently FSA compacts) and 41s (3ttt Gimondi / crit bend). I was a long time "narrow bar" kind of guy, after a brief period (mid 80s - when everyone tried huge bars and huge cranks) where I even tried a 44 cm bar.

My track bike has a 37 and it seems pretty big. I have yet to try anything narrower.

I want the smaller, not-as-much drop bars for the track bike, like the WXR bar on Awang's bike.. And I'd be curious how it would work on a road bike if there's one out there that will take a brake lever. I know there isn't one but it would be interesting if there were. I generally spend most of my time on the drops so lack of a "top of the bar" position wouldn't be an issue. Only thing is lack of a "on the hoods" position for short climbs out of the saddle.
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Old 04-13-22, 01:03 AM
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it doesn't take long to adjust, I run 30s and am considering putting a spare set on my road bike, the 38s on that feel like pushing a bulldozer now! Just remember you are going to need a longer stem to compensate for the narrower bar - nobody wants to be kneeing themselves in the elbow on a set of narrow bars whilst sprinting..

I am slightly wider shoulder centre to centre than you, much shorter though

Last edited by RobertPaulson; 04-14-22 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 04-18-22, 01:04 PM
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Hi, Bisexcycle. Welcome to the forum.

A poll may not be the best way to get the kind of info that you are looking for...especially if you are looking for something that you will use personally. If you just ask, others will offer their opinions.

As I'm sure you know, a couple of centimeters changed on any of the bike components can make a huge difference in comfort and/or performance. In my experience, personally, coaching, and watching others, it really comes down to trying it out for a significant number of days/reps. And be keen to not give up on the idea because it's uncomfortable at first. That discomfort may simply be your body being "set in its ways". I've said in the past that it takes about 3 training sessions for one to feel natural using narrow bars.
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Old 04-18-22, 01:38 PM
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320mm on the track bike (140mm stem); 380mm on the road (120mm stem). I am considering going back to 130mm for the road bike, but i went from a 400mm bar w/ 70mm reach to a 380mm bar with 80mm of reach. I will say, I get numb hands with the new setup on the road bike, so perhaps I am putting more pressure on the bars due to the reduced reach (i.e., the 5mm difference in reach was over compensated with the stem length change).
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Old 04-18-22, 01:46 PM
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One thing to be mindful of when going to narrow bars is the reach. Even though the reach of the new narrow bars may be the same on paper as your current bars, the effective reach will be shorter because your hands will be closer together.

It's difficult to explain in words, but extend your arms in front of you as though you are riding 44cm bars. Note how far your knuckles are from you. Now move your hands closer together simulating more narrow bars. Your knuckles are now a couple of centimeters further away.

It's this reason why people wind up using stems longer than they expect to use to achieve the same upper body angles.

Last edited by carleton; 04-18-22 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 04-18-22, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
One thing to be mindful of when going to narrow bars is the reach. Even though the reach of the new narrow bars may be the same on paper as your current bars, the effective reach will be shorter because your hands will be closer together.

It's difficult to explain in words, but extend your arms in front of you as though you are riding 44cm bars. Note how far your knuckles are from you. Now move your hands closer together simulating more narrow bars. Your knuckles are now a couple of centimeters further away.

It's this reason why people wind up using stems longer than they expect to use to achieve the same upper body angles.

Yes.
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Old 04-20-22, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
On my road bikes I have 38s now, previously 40s for 20-25 years (Cinelli and then most recently FSA compacts) and 41s (3ttt Gimondi / crit bend). I was a long time "narrow bar" kind of guy, after a brief period (mid 80s - when everyone tried huge bars and huge cranks) where I even tried a 44 cm bar.

My track bike has a 37 and it seems pretty big. I have yet to try anything narrower.

I want the smaller, not-as-much drop bars for the track bike, like the WXR bar on Awang's bike.. And I'd be curious how it would work on a road bike if there's one out there that will take a brake lever. I know there isn't one but it would be interesting if there were. I generally spend most of my time on the drops so lack of a "top of the bar" position wouldn't be an issue. Only thing is lack of a "on the hoods" position for short climbs out of the saddle.
I have the worx alloy bars (30cm). They flex a fair bit (I am blind to most of this stuff but even I could notice the difference on back to back rides with 30cm alpina carbon sprint bars, my watts were down too but that could just be co-incidence), having said that maybe a little compliance is good for the road. They would not be hard to fit levers on.

Speaking with guys at the track who have ridden the worx carbon bars - they are very stiff.

I'm racing closed course crits this summer in the fat sprinter cats hence my thoughts about putting the worx bars on the road bike, in anything outside of a race situation I (personally) think making any sort of comfort or useability sacrifice on the road bike for the sake of faster/more aero (with the caveat that ofc pursuiters need to train in the position, narrow bars is not this though) is at best pointless.

Don't be the guy ruining your love of riding by smashing everywhere head down on full tt kit to try and take strava crowns all set by folks tapping the pause button, gps errors or with a massive tailwind anyway!
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Old 04-20-22, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by RobertPaulson View Post
Don't be the guy ruining your love of riding by smashing everywhere head down on full tt kit to try and take strava crowns all set by folks tapping the pause button, gps errors or with a massive tailwind anyway!
Haha! For sure I'm not one of those guys. I actually do have a KOM but only discovered that I did when I searched for a segment to show someone exactly what the sprint was that I used to contest. Ended up I have a KOM on it, from 2015 or something. He told me I must be one of the only people to have had a KOM for 6 years and not know about it. Okay I looked it up, 2014, so 7 years, because I discovered it last year.

However... I am good on the drops on my bike for long rides, and in fact find myself gravitating towards the drops as the rides get longer. In the crits I do I rarely leave the drops. So to optimize the bike for the drops position isn't a bad thing for me. The flex thing bothers me now, after using some pretty stiff cockpit setups (current is carbon 37cm bar with a Zipp whatever chunky carbon stem). On the road bike I have less options so it's a custom steel stem and FSA alloy bars.
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Old 04-20-22, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Haha! For sure I'm not one of those guys. I actually do have a KOM but only discovered that I did when I searched for a segment to show someone exactly what the sprint was that I used to contest. Ended up I have a KOM on it, from 2015 or something. He told me I must be one of the only people to have had a KOM for 6 years and not know about it. Okay I looked it up, 2014, so 7 years, because I discovered it last year.

However... I am good on the drops on my bike for long rides, and in fact find myself gravitating towards the drops as the rides get longer. In the crits I do I rarely leave the drops. So to optimize the bike for the drops position isn't a bad thing for me. The flex thing bothers me now, after using some pretty stiff cockpit setups (current is carbon 37cm bar with a Zipp whatever chunky carbon stem). On the road bike I have less options so it's a custom steel stem and FSA alloy bars.
I mean its a nuanced thing, they do not feel like noodles. I could only really feel the difference on back to back efforts with a very stiff set-up, it probably didn't help that the worx were on a 150mm stem either but did chime with others saying (wrt to match sprints/f200/man 1 starts type riding etc) they flex, on the road you are either not going to notice or be breaking something expensive on your road bike doing an effort where you maybe do.
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Old 04-25-22, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertPaulson View Post
I mean its a nuanced thing, they do not feel like noodles. I could only really feel the difference on back to back efforts with a very stiff set-up, it probably didn't help that the worx were on a 150mm stem either but did chime with others saying (wrt to match sprints/f200/man 1 starts type riding etc) they flex, on the road you are either not going to notice or be breaking something expensive on your road bike doing an effort where you maybe do.
Yeah, you are subject taco-ing a chainring if you try to get a road bike's stem or bars to flex. Hell, I've taco-ed a road chainring just climbing a hill in my neighborhood.

I've seen people use their road bikes for standing start practice and I'm wincing every effort hoping that they don't eat it and lose some teeth.
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Old 04-30-22, 09:24 AM
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[QUOTE=Morelock;22466494]Handlebar width is VERY individual. It isn't narrow=more aero in a linear scale.
I've got bars from 38 down to 27, and once I'm below 36 the amount of reach necessary to keep the elbows from flaring out quickly starts to increases to the point of failing a jig (and becoming unreasonable to ride) and I'm

I tried 38 and huge improvement in naturally getting my elbows in. Can't find any 36 to try that are affordable
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Old 05-01-22, 07:55 AM
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best bet for something cheap is to look for women's or kids drop bars, 36 is (relatively) common
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Old 05-09-22, 05:15 AM
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[QUOTE=Bisexcycle;22490076]
Originally Posted by Morelock View Post
Handlebar width is VERY individual. It isn't narrow=more aero in a linear scale.
I've got bars from 38 down to 27, and once I'm below 36 the amount of reach necessary to keep the elbows from flaring out quickly starts to increases to the point of failing a jig (and becoming unreasonable to ride) and I'm

I tried 38 and huge improvement in naturally getting my elbows in. Can't find any 36 to try that are affordable
This is pretty unhelpful, but I was able to snag two 360mm Zipp Sl 70s from my coach.
I don't know if the supplier in the link below is reputable, but a quick google search turned this up for me (affordability is relative, but $118.00 is somewhat inexpensive in this context):
https://www.trisports.com/product/zi...ar_1?v=rghb036
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Old 07-01-22, 02:21 AM
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Just picked these 33s up!

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Old 07-05-22, 08:59 AM
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another "stabber" design

They do look good
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Old 07-08-22, 12:55 PM
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190cm and I ride 33cm bars.
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