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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to mountain biking and my new bike has 760mm wide (or 29.9") handlebars. Is it normal to have such wide handlebars?

They seem to be on the ridiculously long side to me.
 

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I think you'll enjoy a 760 handlebar. It'll open your chest up to breathe easier and you'll have the leverage to keep your wheels where you want to go.


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That opening up the chest thing is specious BS. There is no effect on breathing. I prefer somewhat narrower bars for general trail riding, but like them wider when things point down hill...still not as wide as many other riders. They provide long bars on bikes as you can cut them down if you prefer. Most all bars have scales printed on the ends to facilitate cutting to the desired length.

I suggest riding with the wide bars for a while to get used to it and see how you like it. Note where you're tending to hold the grips, toward the inside, middle or outer end. I rode 750 bars for nearly a year before cutting them down to 690, which is still a little on the wide side for me as I still tend to grip toward the inside ends of the grips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I am going to cut them down. I honestly feel like I'm riding a chopper or something like that.

As far as the chest thing is concerned, I think there is some truth to that. I never feel that burning sensation in my chest that you get when you are sucking a lot of wind in the cold. On my ride yesterday that's all I felt and I think it it's because it actually was easier to breathe. I can't say for sure but the handlebars may have something to do with it.
 

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I think I am going to cut them down.
I'd recommend trying those bars for a few more rides before cutting them, especially since you're new to mountain biking. 760mm isn't all that wide these days and unless your restricted by tight, narrow trails wide bars don't have any downsides IME and they are definitely helpful for control in the rough stuff.

If you do cut them don't go crazy, a little chunk on each side makes a big difference.
 

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OP, do yourself a favour and DO NOT cut the bar down yet, give your body time to adapt and get more accustomed to the width, especially if you had an older bike with narrow bar <685mm. If after giving them at least a few good rides you still feel they need cutting, DON'T, instead move your grips and controls inboard to simulate the narrower width and try them for a ride or two like that. If after doing this you still want to cut them down, then I suggest doing it a little at a time and giving it a few rides to settle into them, no more than 10mm per side.

No one I have moved from those old school narrow bars <27"/685mm to a wider bar in the 720-760mm range (depending on height and arm length) have ever reverted back after finding out the amount on leverage and hence control they've been missing out on. Narrowest bar I run on my smallest loaner/rental is 710mm and that's a Small.
 
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