Handlebar size?

6 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

Hi - just joined nycc.
Was wondering about handlebar size. My chest measurement is about 48. Handlebar about 40cm. My friend says that is really was too narrow.
Should I got to 46cm?

Anonymous's picture
Chaim Caron (not verified)

Hi Julian,
It's not your chest size, but unfortunately I can't tell you exactly what it is. A good fitter (especially one who is Sirotta-trained) can tell you in a minute. It's the width measured between two points between two bones that are reachable (accessible) on the top of your shoulders. I just don't know exactly what the two points are. Happy Freedman can tell you, and there's another Sirotta-trained fitter in NYC as well. I know this is not an exact answer but I hope it steers you in the right direction.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Julian (not verified)
Thanks guys

OK. Followed link and measured again. Thanks again for advice.

According to measurement, I should be using at least a 46 CM with Ritchey.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
misc ramblings

You're friend thinks your bars are too narrow, but more importantly you did not state what you think. For instance, are you experiencing discomfort?

Without much personal info (and dependent on a heavy dose of critical reasoning/conjecture), I'd be a bit cautious going from one extreme to another. Commonly, 40 width bars are the narrowset to be found while 46 is the widest. If you want something smaller or larger - its usually a custom fabrication. I reckon 42s are most common - filling up the bulk of the bell curve with 44s next in tow. 40s are common with petite folk and track bikes. 46 is quite wide and I'd guess not too common.

If you are comfortable with the 40, stick with it. That's what matters most, yes?

Anonymous's picture
Julian (not verified)

I just started biking again after a very long break (10 years.) I'm a big guy (200+lbs) and most of the the time I just feel like my arms are crammed together. Can't seem to find a comfortable hand position either when I'm not climbing. Reaching out over brake hoods makes me feel like I'm rolling my shoulders in. (Having enough trouble hoofin' up Harlem Hill without that..:)
Appreciate your advice. Found handlebars from ITM Mantis on sale for about 50 bucks. Right now that looks like a worthwhile investment.

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Handlebar width

"I think that proper handlebar width is somewhat subjective. I have 38 cm bars on one bicycle, and find them quite comfortable, not to mention aerodynamic. On the bike I ride most often I have 40 cm. You should use what feels right to you, even if the Fit-Kit tells you it's wrong.

Sheldon Brown, in an interview with Grant Petersen in the Rivendell Reader, said that he is most comfortable with 37 cm bars. Grant, who is an advocate of wider handlebars, was incredulous. But in the 1960's and '70's narrower handlebars were the norm, and many people got used to them, and came to prefer them.

Speaking of the Reader, Grant's interview with Richard Sachs has been posted on e-Richie's website."

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