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(+) 30mm on the bars - am I going to notice?

June 13, 2017, 9:25 a.m.
Posts: 549
Joined: Sept. 2, 2010

I love my 2015 Giant Trance, although the 730mm bar feels a little xc for my purposes.  I went to a 780 on my dh bike and love it.

I have a chance to trade up to a 760mm Race Face Turbine (which comes with a 50mm stem to replace the 70mm I have now) - and I am wondering if 30mm is really worth the trouble (all be it not much trouble - but I am very lazy)?

Any sage advices greatly appreciated.

June 13, 2017, 10:28 a.m.
Posts: 1998
Joined: May 2, 2004

No brainer, do it, especially if it's just a trade. Wider bar (if you are starting with a pretty narrow one) is one of the most cost effective upgrades you can do IMO

June 13, 2017, 11:41 a.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: June 7, 2017

Cheap and quick way to make you faster.

June 13, 2017, 12:55 p.m.
Posts: 58
Joined: June 5, 2017

I would do it in a heartbeat- 760mm is really a nice width for trail riding.  

Theoretically the +30mm on the bars + -20mm on the stem should keep your riding position relatively the same, maybe a touch more rearward.

June 13, 2017, 2:43 p.m.
Posts: 549
Joined: Sept. 2, 2010

Thanks all - I will have to pony up some $ - but not much.

I just look at 30mm and think to myself - man that isn't very much.  How can 1.5cm on each end really make a difference.

June 13, 2017, 3:50 p.m.
Posts: 27
Joined: Dec. 1, 2004

Posted by: L.Hutz.Esq.

Thanks all - I will have to pony up some $ - but not much.

I just look at 30mm and think to myself - man that isn't very much.  How can 1.5cm on each end really make a difference.

tell that to your pinkies after the tight trees on trails!

June 13, 2017, 9:22 p.m.
Posts: 27
Joined: June 13, 2017

Sounds like the sages have spoken. I'd say go for it!

Where'd you find the bargain?

June 13, 2017, 10:57 p.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: June 13, 2017

Is there hard evidence that wider makes you faster? Shouldn't we first ask how tall the rider is and if they have broad shoulders? 

It seems like everyone is going wider and wider and riding similar bars, but bars should be sized to suit the rider. I'm 6'4" with broad shoulders and am happy with 740mm bars though I do ride some tight trees. 

I had to put narrower bars on my girlfriends bike because the stock ones are ridiculous for a 5'7" women for trail riding.

June 15, 2017, 10:50 p.m.
Posts: 26
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Personal preference, and based a lot on how people approach cornering.  I run 810mm bars on my trail bike and 780mm on my XC hardtail [50mm and 70mm stems respectively] (6'2", +3 ape index - somewhat broad shoulders, so I'm not totally off the deep end with this).  I try to attack turns on initiation, and want stability when I'm mindlessly plowing through rocky sections on both bikes, so I run wider bars.  I'm not a finesse rider, and manage to collide with trailside trees and cacti even running 680mm bars, so I lose comparatively little. 

I still use as my primary metric for bar width being adequate how much push-up force I can generate at halfway through pushup position - which is where my poorly built upper body is basically at its weakest.  I think it biases me towards wider bars, but my compensation mechanism has been to go full 'duro and slap on some handguards for the cacti and drive on.

I think a non-trivial amount of the hype for wider bars is that it's always possible to trim bars down slightly - for each person it's individual preference.  I think the reason the default answer is always 'buy wider bars' is that cutting down bars to fine tune is always possible, and trying wider bars with shorter stems typically comes with more enjoyment, and among the few who decide to trim down, it's usually not all the way back to the original size.

June 16, 2017, 9:34 a.m.
Posts: 549
Joined: Sept. 2, 2010

So I picked up the bars.  A friend was taking them off her bike because they were too wide for her.

Turns out that they are 780.  One lap in - they seem very wide. While I am a swarthy, thick chested, wide shoulder'd fella at 5'9 - they may be too wide. I think I'll ride with them a bit and then decide if I cut them down at all.

Can I just move grips, controls etc inboard 10mm on each side to try the feel of 760mm - or do I have to buck them off for the right feel?

June 19, 2017, 11:21 p.m.
Posts: 26
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

You should definitely be able to scoot stuff in and see how it feels. Is trying a 10mm shorter stem a realistic possibility? A lot of the bars feeling much wider is that you also end up a bit further forward with your center of mass, which draws more attention to that change

June 20, 2017, 8:20 a.m.
Posts: 14630
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

you can move them inwards if you got lock ons but you will still hit some trees. I'm rocking 785 which felt wider for sure than what i was used to but i think it gets me out over that big front wheel so I'm gona leave it like that, maybe it depends on the bike and your style

June 21, 2017, 2:52 p.m.
Posts: 2268
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

Posted by: L.Hutz.Esq.

Can I just move grips, controls etc inboard 10mm on each side to try the feel of 760mm - or do I have to buck them off for the right feel?

Definitely just move 'em inboard and give it a few rides before you decide for sure. Just watch out for tight spots - your artificially-inboard hands may deceive your eyes.

June 27, 2017, 9:22 p.m.
Posts: 11660
Joined: June 4, 2008

So, I went from riding 780mm for the last 85 years to riding 800mm on my new bike.  Thought what the hell, I want to ride it now.  I didn't really notice much of a difference.

Blew a bunch of spokes on the new ride and didn't have the time to swap wheels and rode the old bike today.  780mm felt dangerous. 

Strange I didn't see much of a diff going up and so much going down.

June 28, 2017, 10:03 p.m.
Posts: 11660
Joined: June 4, 2008

And today I forgot about the bar width change.  So, no, it doesn't matter.

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