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Well I've been reading up a lot on bar lengths and have heard a million different theories. I currently had a 27 inch wide FSA Maximus bar on my bike and felt it was way too narrow, even though a 27 inch bar is considered a little on the wide side. I did a little research and wanted to try and really wide bar; if it was too long I could always cut it down.

Even companies who make "all mountain" bars are still make them too narrow; usually less than 28 inches. So I noticed at a downhill race I was at recently that a lot of DH riders were using the Race Face Atlas FR bar; 785 mm wide or a little shy of 31 inches.

It's not too heavy, about 340 grams (40 grams lighter than my FSA bar and 4 inches longer) and comes in a bunch of funky colors. Sweep is 4 deg. up, 8 deg. back and a nice a low .5 inch rise. I was sold. I got in in blue.

I though of physical advantages weighing out the disadvantages: more leverage, better shock absorbtion, stability, etc. But I also considering clipping a tree and getting tossed to the ground.

So I paired it with my Thomson 70 mm stem and after installing and riding around the block I thought I had really overdone it this time.

Despite this I figured I had to ride it before cutting it down, but I was certain I would be hacking a little off.







Well I got it on the trail and really was really feeling great on the super wide bar. Leverage is huge. When climbing up rocky, rooty sections it is much easier to muscle the front end over obstacles. Descending, the advantage is obvious; stability is awesome. The bar really changed the character of the bike. Its feels much more stable and sure footed at speed. Cornering is also faster and more fluid. Lots of fun of fast sweeping singetrack.

I also like the ability to mount my shifters outside my brakes and push my brake levers further from my hand. I like just using one finger to brake and not hitting my brakes or shifters when I don't want to.

Downsides? Sure. The wide bar is like a pair of fat powder skis. Tough to turn quickly and at slow speeds. When you lose your momentum or start getting tired, it's a considerable amount of effort to turn the bike when climbing or poking slowly through tight singletrack.

I haven't had an issue with sneaking in between tight trees......yet. It's an obvious downside but I'd like to ride the wide bar more before declaring its too much. I don't think I'll be cutting it down anytime soon.

I do recommend going super wide for any all mountain riding, especially if you've got wide shoulders and/or looking for more downhill stability.
 

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Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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Nah, don't sweat it. I'm a skinny little short dude, and I love my 29.5" bars on both bikes, and 32" on the DH bike.

There are spots you have to jockey between tight trees, but nothing that has ever really caused me a problem. Even a couple spots where lines go between some trees that the bars are physically too wide to go through without jogging the bars back and forth. Just makes for more challenge!
 

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Christ! My 620mm wide bar is almost impossible to get through trees on some of the single track I ride... I'd have to dismount and pick up those bars - it'd be like moving furniture in an apartment!
 

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think
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That's the money TransAM setup. Exactly what I am running. Race Face AtlasFR and a 70mm stem, 160mm fork. I got a pair on my Covert too. Feels exactly right. They're the same width as my old KTM, actually. I rode a bike with the wide Chromag bars and immediately threw all my old 27ish inch handlebars in the corner and did up the Race Faces. Can't say enough good things about them. Three of my friends are going wider than 27" too now.
 

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I'm running nukeproof warheads. Out of the box they are 760mm, I tried them stock length and did not like them that wide for me. So I ended up trimming them down 20mm on each side which ended up feeling perfect for me. Plus I can get through standard doors and tight trees better without clipping my bars or banging my fingers.
 

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Infidel
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I've been riding for about eight years now and started with a stupid narrow 22" or 23" flat XC bar. I went to a 24" riser shortly there after. Then a 25", 26", 27" and just recently to a 28". I figure in about ten years or so I'll be riding a 36" handlebar. But seriously, I do think my sweet spot might end up being around 30". I love wider bars for more technical riding. BTW I'm only 5"5".
 

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Calm like a bomb
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Funny, but while I do love my wide bars for descending, the stability is awesome, I love them just as much or more for climbing. I find that my hands naturally gravitate all the way to the very edge of my grips on my 30" bars. I get a ton of power in that position and it really helps when I'm grinding up really steep stuff on my Single Speed.

Wide bars for the win, particularly the Chromag type ->
 

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Drop to a 50mm stem; you don't need a 70 since the wider bars pull you forward more anyway and the shorter stem will make the steering quicker (similar to what it was before the wider bars). As for being hilarious... I say time to get HILARIOUS!

Have FUN!

G MAN
 

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El Gato Malo
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KYMtnBkr said:
I've been riding for about eight years now and started with a stupid narrow 22" or 23" flat XC bar. I went to a 24" riser shortly there after. Then a 25", 26", 27" and just recently to a 28".
Same here, except I started out back in the day with a XC bar chopped way down to 18 inches. Using a 28 inch riser now and after reading the posts I am considering going for 30 inches.
 

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Good thread here. My new Sanction 1.0 came stock with what I thought was a extremely wide bar (29.5" Syncros AM 20 carbon black grunge with 20mm rise) which phased me a little at first. My old rig had a 23" bar by comparison.

After a month I can say I now love the bar width! I've got a long torso and ridiculously wide shoulders considering I'm 5'7" 210lbs and I do a lot of weightlifting so I don't mind horsing the mother of all bars (I can't even picture a 31-32" bar!) when necessary. I took the rig out on some fairly technical PA singletrack and I 100% agree with the other guys on the stability/leverage thing both climbing and descending.

Another truly unexpected positive is that rude/clueless people walking(sometimes two across) :madman: /or on road bikes coming in the opposite direction on narrow towpaths, railtrails (yeah, sometimes I have to ride them if I'm with non-AM friends) now actually get over and pretty quickly too when they see me approaching on my all-black, seemingly all-bar ride. Who knew AM could be intimidating? :D I really try to be respectful and ride slow and over as far as I can get but I still hate it when others hog what room there is.

Only negative so far is rolling/walking the bike around PA state park and PA Game Commission gates. Those bars just don't thread the gap and I end up lifting the rig over or laying it under which made my friends laugh (until they saw me climbing hills). Other than that, I'd say go wide!
 

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Thor Lord of Thunder said:
Definitely intriguing....thought I rode a wide bar but now realize I don't. Seems these bars have low rise.....anyone riding something with a bit more, or are they all generally in the 0.5" range?
What I've seen around (since I've been paying more attention to it) has been pretty low. I remember someone else on a separate thread here recently was looking for a 40mm rise in a particular wide bar rather than the 20mm they've been seeing and they said it's been hard. I haven't seen too much else being said on here about it until now. How wide a bar you riding?
 

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I built a rigid 29er this spring and threw on some 31" Salsa bars for the extra leverage to aid climbing. Never thought I'd leave them that long but I found that the extra length was very comfortable and offered lots of stability. After 4 months of SS, I got back on my 2007 Moment with 26" bars and it felt like I had a tooth pick in my hands. It only took one ride to realize that I needed wider bars so I went with Dirty 30's. Don't know if I'll ever be able to ride short bars again.
 
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