Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is a very personal decision, but I wanted to see what your thoughts were on bar width.

I am a big guy (6'6") with a wide wingspan. I replaced the stock bar on my Stache 7 with a Deity Speedway carbon bar that is 810 mm wide. I did not cut it down originally and feel that it is a bit wide even for me.

Yesterday I was riding a local flowy trail that has some moderately technical sections. At one point there were two trees that bracketed the trail. I had to stop because they were pretty close. To be sure standing between them there was maybe an inch on either side of clearance.

Furthermore, the open track was somewhat deep requiring a pretty steady hand to keep from running up out of the rut. It was deep enough to easily hang a pedal. Anyhow, in this deep rut I felt like I was fighting the bar to keep my track in the middle.

So all of this is making me think I should cut it down a bit. The tick marks for cuts are at 800, 790, 780, 770, 760.

The gap between the inside of my grips and my levers was about the distance between the end of the bar (810mm) and the 780mm mark. So I am thinking of cutting to this point.

Do you guys think that this is too much?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,677 Posts
780mm isn’t an odd width. It’s a fairly common stock size for size L bikes. If just caution that of course you can cut down… but you can’t add it back on. So if you’re thinking taking 30mm off all at once is maybe a bit much, perhaps start with taking less, and work your way down.

I will say though. The fact that you felt like you were fighting the bars in the rut on the trail is interesting. Because that is a situation where usually wider bars are better, as you have more leverage to fight the forces of the rut and keep you on line.

But it is totally normal to trim to the bars to a width that lets you ride your local trails.

Also, while it’s not a big deal,it is somewhat interesting that you are wanting narrower at your height. I’m 5” shorter than you, and enjoyed my bars at 820mm. I did eventually trim them down due to a few narrow tree spacings at my local trail system. But I’ve been quite comfortable with them at 800mm for 2 years now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
780 Posts
At $180 you might consider throwing a cheaper bar on to play with widths, before cutting down your nice one and potentially overshooting.

For data analysis, I'm 6' with a +2 ape index and ran a bar+grip combo that was 815mm for a while. I dropped that to a total of 795mm and am a lot happier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good points all. I think I will only go to 790.

While I was riding I shifted my hands in to the controls (my grip ends are about 20mm from the controls). It felt marginally better.

Shorter cut is better than longer to be sure.

I need to look at the stock bars and compare them width wise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,122 Posts
I'm a little confused on fighting the bars to hold a line in a rut. Wider bars would provide more leverage to fight the front wheel that wants to climb a rut. The issue you're describing would be more pronounced with narrower bars. Of course in the trees narrower makes life easier, i'm just pointing out the leverage thing in the context of holding a line in a rut. 780 is a fine width for your height really. Much wider becomes a disadvantage in the woods unless you're only riding machine built trails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm a little confused on fighting the bars to hold a line in a rut. Wider bars would provide more leverage to fight the front wheel that wants to climb a rut. The issue you're describing would be more pronounced with narrower bars. Of course in the trees narrower makes life easier, i'm just pointing out the leverage thing in the context of holding a line in a rut. 780 is a fine width for your height really. Much wider becomes a disadvantage in the woods unless you're only riding machine built trails.
Yea, it wasnt a leverage issue. In fact, maybe it was too much leverage. I was tired and probably overcorrecting. Which is a smaller issue with narrower bars, but a bigger issue with wider bars.

The only wreck I have had in recent years was also due to width. I clipped a close tree and went head over heels and at 6'6" that is a long way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you have open ended grips?
If so, move them in, adjust your controls and see what you think. Then cut.
No, but that is what I am saying I did, effectively. Since there was a 20mm gap between the inside end of my grips and my controls, I shifted my hands in and my control improved. Again, probably because I was overcorrecting with the wider bars.

So dropping down from 810 to 790 will be approximately the point where I shifted my hands in to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,433 Posts
Do you have open ended grips?
If so, move them in, adjust your controls and see what you think. Then cut.
Enough with the good ideas already.

But yeah, the best thing to do is slide your grips around and do some test rides until you figure out exactly where you prefer them. Lock-on grips are pretty cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
No need to move the grips, just slide the controls inward. For me, my index finger goes on the curve of the lever, and my hand is situated on the bar from there - If I were to move my grips but not the controls, my hands would still end up in the same place. If you just move each control bracket in by 5mm, that'd be like shortening the bar by 10mm, assuming your hand isn't already at the very inside of the grip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Have you tried a shorter stem? I would try that before cutting anything. You put your hands much further apart with a longer bar and didn't correct with a shorter stem.
No, I am already running a short stem. Reach is not an issue and is a byproduct of, yes stem length and bar pullback. Anything closer would be an issue for me as tall as I am.
 

·
Registered
Status 140, NS Suburban
Joined
·
465 Posts
6'1 with +2 inch ape index (1,027) on large frame running 770/760 mm handlebar;

Tried 800 - put my shoulders in freaky painful position; so depending on your shoulder width etc

Cut 10 mm once per week/ride and you will be good;

By default manufactures spec 760 on s/m and 780 / 800 on l/xl sizes for reason to put max possible handlebar under recommended rider height, so you can trim down to comfortable
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,301 Posts
I found it difficult to have dramatically different bar widths between bikes and my dirt bike as I was always clipping stuff "just enough". Problem was that cutting my dirt bike bars too short makes them a bit crowded with all the clamps and controls, so I settled on a compromise with around 710ish. I tried a set of "truck driver" bars on my MTB and it didn't really work well.

One technique that started with dirt bikes and now has been adopted by some people for gauging bar width is the "push up test'. Here's a link:

How wide should your handlebars be? Try this test to find out… - MTB Strength Training Systems (bikejames.com)
 

·
high pivot witchcraft
Joined
·
6,721 Posts
I found it difficult to have dramatically different bar widths between bikes and my dirt bike as I was always clipping stuff "just enough". Problem was that cutting my dirt bike bars too short makes them a bit crowded with all the clamps and controls, so I settled on a compromise with around 710ish. I tried a set of "truck driver" bars on my MTB and it didn't really work well.

One technique that started with dirt bikes and now has been adopted by some people for gauging bar width is the "push up test'. Here's a link:

How wide should your handlebars be? Try this test to find out… - MTB Strength Training Systems (bikejames.com)
I thought the legitimacy of this whole push up test thing was ripped to shreds long ago.

PS - I think there must be 2 dozen threads on bar width in the last 3 or so years. Might be the most common topic at MTBR.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,677 Posts
I found it difficult to have dramatically different bar widths between bikes and my dirt bike as I was always clipping stuff "just enough". Problem was that cutting my dirt bike bars too short makes them a bit crowded with all the clamps and controls, so I settled on a compromise with around 710ish. I tried a set of "truck driver" bars on my MTB and it didn't really work well.

One technique that started with dirt bikes and now has been adopted by some people for gauging bar width is the "push up test'. Here's a link:

How wide should your handlebars be? Try this test to find out… - MTB Strength Training Systems (bikejames.com)
the push up test is a good way to get a baseline. But because of the variations in how people do them (wide stance for more chest, narrow for more tricep, etc), it can be really hard to compare.

I use it more to mean where is your bodies default "strong" stance on your hands.

For random data, again, I'm 6'1", and my "push-up test" shows I need 890mm bars. But that would be wildly not useful in real life because of narrow trees and whatnot.

But it was helpful to me to help me realize that my 800mm's are likely not "way too large" for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
I used to think my commuter bars (at 640) seemed really wide. Then I finally got a mtb bike last fall and it has 780s. Anytime I mtb rode on the weekends, Monday mornings commutes felt as if someone had put my bars in the dryer. Had to match my commuter bars to my mtb bars, it was best for my Monday Morning Brain function:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,305 Posts
I'm a little confused on fighting the bars to hold a line in a rut. Wider bars would provide more leverage to fight the front wheel that wants to climb a rut. The issue you're describing would be more pronounced with narrower bars. Of course in the trees narrower makes life easier, i'm just pointing out the leverage thing in the context of holding a line in a rut. 780 is a fine width for your height really. Much wider becomes a disadvantage in the woods unless you're only riding machine built trails.
you have more leverage but you only realistically have more leverage up to a point. Think of it sort of like if I have you hold your arm out straight ahead and then I push on your hand. You can resist it fairly easily yet if I make you extend it straight out sideways and then forward and then I try to push your hand back it becomes much harder (wish I had an illustration to help). Basically what I'm getting at is if your have a bar that is so wide that it puts you arms out past a certain point then your arms become weaker so any gains in leverage gained by the wider bar are instantly lost by the weaker body position. There really is no right or wrong answer and people really need to test by moving their grips and controls in gradually until they find what works best for them and then cut, also just an opinion as something I discovered for my self is if it's awkward and hard to pull up on the bar then that's a key sign for me that it's too wide.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top