The wider the bar, the slower the steering response. If you think about it, the further your hands are out, the more you have to turn the bar to get the same amount of movement at the wheel. Wide bars = less response at the wheel. Narrow = more response.
Or you'll be buying another pair and kicking yourself all the way to the store. If the bars are the standard aluminum you can cut them using the preferred method which is a tube cutter you can get at any hardware store or you can use a hacksaw, but be careful not to cut too crooked or squash the bars while you are holding them during the cutting. Then be sure to deburr them. If you bought the bars from an lbs they might cut them for you for free to help you get the right adjustment?
Yes you can cut it, but I wouldn't lop off a few inches. Instead I'd start off with maybe 1/2" off each end. That way you won't end up with a new riser bar that's too short. A hacksaw works and if you give yourself a reference line it'll come out fairly straight. I used a pipe cutter (<$10 at Home Depot) and while it leaves a slightly raised bit on the ends I just file it flat in no time at all. Some folks use a Dremel, but it goes through a few cutting wheels using that. If you have a metal cutting blade on a table saw that will work too. All of those ways work fine, but if you don't know how to use any of the tools properly ask someone first as it's not as simple as it seems if you've never done it before.
Boy I tell you... I got a great deal on a used bike but it had one of those itty bitty bars that's only like 14" wide. It felt weird but was OK on fairly flat ground. The one decent downhill I have on my pavement circle almost scared the poop out of me... Just the tiniest nudge and you really moved a LOT!
I actually bought a riser bar which was 680mm wide. I ended up cutting 2cm off each side, but started with 1cm off each side. I used a hacksaw and just took my time. When I was done, I hit it with a metal file, then with a diamond knife sharpener to make it super burr free.
A forum community dedicated to Mountain Bike owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about bike parts, components, deals, performance, modifications, classifieds, trails, troubleshooting, maintenance, and more!