Too wide or too narrow? Bike handlebar width plays a critical role in the way your bicycle fits and feels. While almost every cyclist understands the importance of choosing the right seat height, many riders leave their bicycle’s handlebars the way they came in stock. While this may not mean that your bars are fitted incorrectly, it’s important to bear in mind that most bike manufacturers use the same sized bar width across their entire set lineup. If you’re worried about bike handlebar sizing or if your long bike handlebars are too wide, here are some tips and tricks to find the correct sizing for your bars from sixthreezero:
How Wide is Too Wide?
The upper body plays a vital part in your technical riding skills. A stable upper body enables you to ride faster and more safely, helping you to strongly navigate technical terrain. This is why wide handlebars have become more popular amongst every type of rider out there.
A good way to understand the benefits of wider handlebars is to do a push up with your hands in a narrow position and then again with your hands wider out. As you can see, it’s much easier to do a pushup with your hands spread out.
But let’s perform another test. Put your hands out even wider than before and do a pushup. Besides being tough, it may even result in discomfort in your shoulders and neck. The same can be true of using wide handlebars.
A good way to assess if your handlebars are too wide is to take note of your body positioning. Are your elbows too high and are your shoulders hunched? Do you experience shoulder pain or discomfort after you ride? If this happens, then your handlebars may not be the appropriate width for you.
Selecting the Right Handlebar Width
Choosing the right handlebar width can be tough. But there are a few things that you can do to help select the optimum width of your handlebars:
Firstly, place a bike handlebar up to your shoulders and see how thoroughly it caters to your shoulder’s outer edge. This is a simple way of measuring the proper bar width.
For a better measurement, have a family member or friend find the bond protrusions on the front of your shoulders.
Measure the distance between these humps with a tape measurer in centimeters, then add two centimeters to account for your arms naturally going outward in your riding position.
Handlebar width is extremely important to your riding ability and comfort. If you have bars that are too wide, it can not only be painful, it can be dangerous.
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