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Not sure exactly where to ask this so I thought I'd do it here:

What's the width of bars you run? Mine is 19.5. They came like that and I like 'em. I bought a bike for my wife and they're about 23.5 inches wide and it seems like way too much. I'm building up a new bike and bought a carbon bar that is 22 inches wide. I'm gonna try 'em that wide to see if I like it.

Related question: If I don't like it that wide, can you cut carbon fiber bars? If so, what's the best way to go about doing it?

Thanks
 

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Not sure if you can cut carbon bars or not. I had a 26" riser bar that I hated. I have been cutting it narrower and narrower for over a year to try and get it comfortable. But it still isn't right for me because I now can't get the shifters and brakes inboard enough. Just switched to an Easton carbon flat bar, what a huge difference. Much more comfortable and I have the shifters/brakes exactly where they need to be.

I never understood how people can use such wide bars riding single track. I have hit so many trees with my bars because it can get really tight in places.

before anyone thinks I'm a small guy, I am 6'2" 210. Maybe I am used to my road bike with much narrower bars than a MTB posseses, don't know. This just feels more comfortable and much more stable to me.
 

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thecentralscrutinizer
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24" custom Dean on my Kona
23" carbon Truvativ on my Stumpy.

I've always liked the additional control feel the wider bar provides, but at some point you have to consider clearance of obstacles in the woods.
 

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Fo' Bidniz in da haus
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anything less than 685mm feels like crap for me now......i have come to love bars at least this long and cant stand anything shorter...but like anything else with bikes, its only up to you.
 

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STEP 1
You'll need a sharp, fine tooth blade (32 teeth per inch) appropriate
for cutting metals.

STEP 2
Wrap the bar with several layers of masking tape in the area of the cut. This will ensure a clean cut with minimal unraveling of the carbon fibres.

STEP 3
Determine the amount of material
to be removed. The cut line can be marked with a pen or pencil directly on the masking tape. Make sure you remove the same length of material from both ends of the bar. (Unless you like to lean to one side while your riding.)

STEP 4
Easton recommends building some kind of vice made of wood, but you can cut on the bike.

STEP 5
Make sure you cover the cutting line and half an inch both ways with masking tape so the fiber doesnt separate.

STEP 6
Sand off the cut so it's nice and smooth. I'd advise not breathing at this point.

This was just taken from eastons site besides steps 4-6.
http://www.eastonbike.com/downloadable_files/r&d_files/R&D-05-Carbon.pdf
 

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hollerbachMTB said:
STEP 1
You'll need a sharp, fine tooth blade (32 teeth per inch) appropriate
for cutting metals.

STEP 2
Wrap the bar with several layers of masking tape in the area of the cut. This will ensure a clean cut with minimal unraveling of the carbon fibres.

STEP 3
Determine the amount of material
to be removed. The cut line can be marked with a pen or pencil directly on the masking tape. Make sure you remove the same length of material from both ends of the bar. (Unless you like to lean to one side while your riding.)

STEP 4
Easton recommends building some kind of vice made of wood, but you can cut on the bike.

STEP 5
Make sure you cover the cutting line and half an inch both ways with masking tape so the fiber doesnt separate.

STEP 6
Sand off the cut so it's nice and smooth. I'd advise not breathing at this point.

This was just taken from eastons site besides steps 4-6.
http://www.eastonbike.com/downloadable_files/r&d_files/R&D-05-Carbon.pdf
I've been using steel hose clamps as a guide for cutting aluminum bars and seatposts, so maybe it would help on carbon bars too?
 

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I had some questions about this same topic recently (posted a thread on this in the Turner forum). Use a couple of wraps of tape centered on the cut line to keep the cut clean. Use the clamps for your lock-on grips, if you have them, to serve as your cut guide. Sand down the cut edge (inside and out) thoroughly.

Lock on grips also make it easy to try out different widths to figure out exactly what width works for you before you do any cutting. Try cutting in 1/4 inch increments. More than that and you might cut off too much (you want to make sure you leave enough room for mounting your shifters and brakes). It doesn't take much to make a big difference. Less than 1/4 inch, however, and it's harder to get a clean cut.

Handlebar width depends a lot on the type of bars and their intended purpose. Flat bars are generally in the neighborhood of 580 mm. Risers generally run anywhere between 630 and 685 mm. The narrower the bar, the twitchier (more responsive) the steering will be and the more horizontal clearance you will have. I wanted the added comfort of a riser, but since I ride/race tight singletrack, I'm cutting my bar down. Started with 630 mm carbon lo-rise bar, and I'm cutting off 1/4 inch off either side (total of 0.5 inch/12.7 mm).
 
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