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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife is a tiny 5'0"...the handlebar formulas put her at a very narrow 650mm ideal handlebar width.

She's got a bike on order that will arrive with some very nice Race Face Next R 35 20mm Rise 780mm bars.

RF looks like they allow up to 25mm per side (50mm total) reduction. That just gets her to 730mm, which is still pretty wide for her.

There aren't a lot of narrower carbon bars that also have a decent rise to them (20-35mm), which she can use. It seems that XC bars are the only ones that start narrower.

Anyone know if it's safe to cut past the factory "min" marks?

I may just need to sell this bar and pick up something like the Renthal Fatbar Lite 35, 30mm rise which starts at 740mm - so in theory if Renthal offers similar trimming leeway as RF, I could get down to 690mm for her.

Anyone have experiences, good/bad, or a broken face from cutting their bars down past the recommended lines?

Thanks.
 

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I think the main problem is that they begin to become too stiff, and lose their designed compliance. Also, depending on the shape and taper, you may run out of room for attaching controls.
 

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The shorter you go the less likely the chances to break the bar. Agree with the previous comment, likely she'll feel the bar a bit too stiff or as that would take her towards the center where the bar gets thicker, difficulty to place the brake levers and so in the desired place.
 

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The number of available bars of various widths goes up a lot if you consider 31.8mm clamp diameters as well as 35. This means you'll need to get a new stem, but that allows you to get some of your desired rise in the stem rather than just the bar. I would think by choosing both bar and stem you could get any combo of width and rise you like.
 

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I found 35mm bars to be very harsh to begin with (I personally went back to 31.8 because the hand pain was unbearable for me), even if you can make everything fit, cutting out the area that gives compliance is going to make for extremely rough riding I'm guessing.
 

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Only issue I can add to the list is there may be conflict with how far inward you are able to position brake/shift levers and grips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice folks...yeah, I was trying to avoid changing out her stem but in the scheme of things it's not a big deal and if that opens up some narrower selections sounds like a good idea. I didn't even realize the Renthal bar I mentioned previously WAS a 31..8! Case in point... filtering on 35mm yields 760mm as the narrowest in most searches.
 

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Yeah--very good idea! Before cutting, set up her cock pit (push controls inward to the new width) and have her ride it around the neighborhood. If it works, then cut.
 

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You will run out of space to fit the brakes pretty fast. Im at 770 on a Raceface and theres around a couple inches left before the bar starts getting fatter. You dont want to have to put the brakes right next to the grips so the lever overlaps the fingers.
 

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I seem to recall that some carbon bars are reinforced where the controls clamp. So if the controls are pushed too far in, they may place loads outside of the designed area.

Feel free to call me out on this, as it's only a vague memory, but that's what is rattling around in my head. On the other hand, your tiny wife probably does not put enough load on the bars to be a concern either way.

Another option would be an XC bar (as already mentioned) with a higher rise stem to make up for the lack of bar rise.
 

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35mm bars are painful. Cutting them shorter will make them even more stiff. I have no idea why anything would use them besides a downhill or freeride bike.

As other people said already the shorter you make a wide bar the stiffer it will be. They were made strong enough to handle all of that leverage from 780mm width so it's overbuilt when you start going more narrow. Another thing to consider is there might not be enough space for the controls. Going so narrow you'll probably start hitting where the bar gets fatter and can't push the controls in any further.
 

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I just checked my Renthal Fatbar Lite Carbon 31.8 (740mm, 40mm rise) bar for you. It has marks to cut every 10mm all the way down to 640mm. That bar should work for you.

1934097
 

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And to add, those handlebar width formulas are great for a starting point but I'd definitely try it at shorter length by moving controls in before you cut (y) Obviously if it winds up too short you can't put the carbon back LOL
 

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I got some easton in the 580 size. Old school when steering angles were steep and fatigue didn't matter
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just checked my Renthal Fatbar Lite 31.8 (740mm, 40mm rise) bar for you. It has marks to cut every 10mm all the way down to 640mm. That bar should work for you.
@DeeCount - Aww man this is EXACTLY what I've been looking for across google images, and no one's pics show this up close like yours. Thank you! That's great news. I had also run across the Ritchey WCS Carbon Rizer Handlebar: 31.8, 710mm, 30mm rise. But this is great news since it may be easier to find the Renthal. I'm sure she won't need to get down to 640mm but nice to know they've designed it that way.

I'll check for clamp tolerance, etc. first though before cutting! ;)
 

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What bike is your wife getting? A shorter travel smaller bike with be fine with a narrow bar...but as the travel goes up and if its a 29r...a bar that's too narrow can make the bike feel like it's harder to handle. I don't think I'd go any narrower than a 740 ro 720 to start.
 

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Well here's a coincidence for you :D I just so happen to have the Ritchey WCS Carbon Rizer Handlebar 31.8, 710mm, 30mm rise on the wife's bike. Looks like it can be cut down to 630mm.
1934100


If you go with the Ritchey check out Masherz.com which was/is the best price I could find anywhere. No tax/free shipping and 25% off coupon code = $142.49. Just make sure to contact support (Doug) via email before ordering because his stock status doesn't always match reality. He responds quickly.
Ritchey WCS Carbon MTB Riser Bar - UD Finish
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What bike is your wife getting? A shorter travel smaller bike with be fine with a narrow bar...but as the travel goes up and if its a 29r...a bar that's too narrow can make the bike feel like it's harder to handle. I don't think I'd go any narrower than a 740 ro 720 to start.
@RS VR6 - She's got an Orbea Rise M10 on order. 150/140 travel 29er. You make a good point about starting @ 740mm. I may just get the Renthal 740 for starters (when it's in stock again!). I'd rather sell (or keep) the stock 780mm RF Next R35 bar since it's a super-nice bar (I might even use it myself) and leave it uncut since I've only got 50mm to work with, if 730mm still ends up too wide, we're screwed and then I'd need to sell a narrow-cut bar....

By the way, are you a current/former VW VR6 engine owner? I had a Jetta GLX VR6 back in 97. Could NOT keep those front wheels from spinning. Talk about understeer, but loved that motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well here's a coincidence for you :D I just so happen to have the Ritchey WCS Carbon Rizer Handlebar 31.8, 710mm, 30mm rise on the wife's bike. Looks like it can be cut down to 630mm.

If you go with the Ritchey check out Masherz.com which was/is the best price I could find anywhere. No tax/free shipping and 25% off coupon code = $142.49. Just make sure to contact support (Doug) via email before ordering because his stock status doesn't always match reality. He responds quickly.
Ritchey WCS Carbon MTB Riser Bar - UD Finish
@DeeCount - Well this is getting downright fascinating! I love the pics and the real-world data. Sure beats writing to the manufacturer's support pages hoping for a response.

So you both are narrower-bar fans I suppose? Must be a coincidence only in that there aren't really that many hi-rise carbon bars shorter than 760mm out there.

Torn between the Renthal 740, 40mm rise and the Ritchey WCS 710, 30mm rise. Ritchey has another 2 degrees backsweep which is also good for reduced reach. I may get both and return one depending on fit.

I'd love to take advantage of that coupon code, but we don't even have a bike assigned yet! It's on order through JensonUSA, Orbea's partner....and they just say "we think it'll drop in July". But who knows what that really means in COVID times.
 
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