Handlebar Width?
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  1. #1
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    Handlebar Width?

    I'm a mountain biker who just bought a used Trek 1500. The previous owner has the bike set up with flat bars but I want to change it back to drops. I've read that I should get bars as wide as my shoulders. Is this correct?

    I've built several mountain bikes but never a road bike so this is all new to me. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Starting point

    Quote Originally Posted by Onepivot
    I've read that I should get bars as wide as my shoulders. Is this correct?
    It's a pretty good starting point. Recognize that this is the width of the tips of your shoulder bones, not the distance from "outside to outside" of your arms. If you get wider bars, it makes breathing a little easier and is a little less aerodynamic. Beyond that, it's all personal preference.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I'm a big guy at 6'2" & well over 200 lbs. so I'm guessing that it might be hard to find a bar that's too wide. The word aerodynamic & my name are seldom used in the same sentance. I'll be setting up my bike with Shimano dual control levers and that will also be a first for me. Look for me to posting about that issue if I can't find it in a search.

    Thanks again

  4. #4
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    Consider going wider, IMO

    I'm 6'4", and i've usually ridden with 42 or 44cm bars just because that's what's been on the low-end bikes I rode for years. When I nutted up and built an Atlantis a few years ago, I bought some cheap 50cm bars, made for a tandem stoker, from Nashbar. I figured I'd use them until I could afford something better, but I liked them so much they're still on there. There's lots of room on the tops, where I ride most of the time, and I just like the feel. Anything smaller seems cramped now.
    The things only cost $18.95, and they have at least 10,000 miles on them. I want to replace them, but I haven't found anything wider than 46 and I don't want to go narrower.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Cory. You're right, I haven't seen anything wider than 46cm unless you count the On One Midge bar which goes 58cm wide. It's not a traditional drop bar & some of my single speed mountain biker buddies love 'em, but I don't know if they'd be a good choice for a dedicated road bike.

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