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I am in the process of building up my Niner Air 9 for XC riding/racing and was wondering what bars to use. It seems the trend is to go for wide flat bars, but I am concerned about going too wide for racing. I don't want to be clipping trees and having a tougher time getting around other riders on the tight singletrack. My guess is to go with a flat carbon bar that is a bit wider than the average, maybe something like the FSA SL-K flat bar which is 620mm (24.5") wide. Any opinions for folks racing on 29ers?
 

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I'm racing with 700mm bars in hilly/tree-filled PA. Haven't had any particular problem passing anyone, though i have clipped trees a few times racing and training. These potential drawbacks are worth it to me for the extra leverage climbing.
 

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On my geared Air 9 I run 660mm Salsa Pro-Moto Carbon. It is a comfortable width for me (I'm 6'3") and it fits through most stuff.

On my single speed I run a 710mm Salsa Pro-Moto. It is definitely a disadvantage in the tight stuff. There are some places on the local race courses where it simply doesn't fit through the trees. I have to slow way down and rock the bars through. But on the single speed the extra width is helpful on the stand and grind sections.
 

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Another vote for the Salsa Pro-Moto Carbon. Personally, I wouldn't go any narrower on a 29er.
 

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Crackhead_Willy said:
I am in the process of building up my Niner Air 9 for XC riding/racing and was wondering what bars to use. It seems the trend is to go for wide flat bars, but I am concerned about going too wide for racing. I don't want to be clipping trees and having a tougher time getting around other riders on the tight singletrack. My guess is to go with a flat carbon bar that is a bit wider than the average, maybe something like the FSA SL-K flat bar which is 620mm (24.5") wide. Any opinions for folks racing on 29ers?
I'd say keep the width at 660mm or less. 620-660mm width is the sweet spot for me for tight singletrack lined with trees.

BB
 

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BruceBrown said:
I'd say keep the width at 660mm or less. 620-660mm width is the sweet spot for me for tight singletrack lined with trees.

BB
I don't race, but have been so satisfied with my 630mm Syntace Duraflite, I just have to recommend it!!!

Fantastic piece of (light) equipment!!!
 

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Bars are almost like saddles in that it really comes down to personal preference and fit. Go with what works best for you.

But...I would suggest giving the wider bar a shot. Ride that and see if it works out for you. If not you can start chopping some off to bring it down to a width that works best for you.
 

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I run a carbon bar on my rigid, but on my front suspension bike I really prefer an alloy bar for flex reasons. I have been running a Niner Flat top bar for a little over a year and really like it I did cut about 1/2" off each end to help with tree clearance.
 

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600mm fsa flat bar and bar ends on my air9, which i use for racing and not much else. 660mm low rise bar on my other bikes, it feels more stable/slower steering. i like the narrower bar in race situations but like the wide bars when i'm out trail riding.
 

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Syntace Vector Carbon here.... 12* back sweep and just a touch of rise (~10mm). I ran it at the 680mm width for a while but recently cut it down to 660mm. Like it a LOT.
 
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