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Thread: Wider road handlebars

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    Default Wider road handlebars

    I've been putting a lot of miles on the Coconino since October, somewhere around 2300 miles. That bike has Salsa Cowbell 3's in 46mm. My road bikes have 3T bars in 44. The Salsa bars have a shallower drop and flare, I'm in the drops more than half the time, especially when I'm motoring along.

    Now when I ride my road bikes with their traditional bars, I'm on the hoods which feel narrow in comparison. The drops are really too far away to be useful except for bombing descents.

    Now I'm considering putting shallow drop, flared handlebars on my road bikes. It's not a big investment, the Salsa bars are like $40. The unknown is how a campy 11 bar will profile on with the flared bars. The Shimano 685's work well. Has anyone tried this or can recommend a more shallow drop bar that comes in 46? I was also thinking about Noodles in 46 with a shim.
    I heart burnt bikes.

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Those Cowbells are not only 46cm, the drops spread to something like 51cm+. I like flared bars, but not hugely flared bars like some of these adventure models. I hadn't really considered why, but you mentioned a possible reason - I use Campagnolo. The drops are great, but I found the wrist angle too dramatic in the hoods.

    I have FSA Energy Wing Compact bars now and like them. I think they have maybe a 4 degree flare, which suits me fine. 80 reach and 125 drop. But they only come in 44 and that's measured at the ends of the bar, so they are probably 42 at the levers.

    My second favorite bar is the Ritchey WCS Curve. Light bar, with 73 reach and 128 drop with a compact/modern curve to the drops. They are only flared 1 degree but feel more open than that in the drops. And they come in a true 46 measured at the levers.

    Ritchey also has a couple adventure type bars. The WCS Neomax is sort of a classic bend bar (what Ritchey calls a Neoclassic) with 73 reach and a 120 drop - pretty shallow - and 12 degree flare to the drops. You might look at that one if you like classic bends.

    The other adventure bar is the WCS Venturemax, but that looks a lot like what the various 'Chipper bars offer.
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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    One thing to keep in mind about the Nitto Noodles-they are really long reach by modern bar standards. You may need a shorter stem than you are accustomed to.

    I like the noodle bars-had the 48 cm wide version. They paired nicely with 10s campag ergos.
     

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Try these and report back, Bill.

    Review: Ritchey WCS Evo Max Handlebar | road.cc
    rw saunders
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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Bigbill, you must be big guy with those wide bars.
    When I ride any bars wider than 40 cm, I feel like I'm parasailing, and not in control any more.
    Cinelli 65s forever!
    Mark Walberg
    Building bike frames for fun since 1973.

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    I've been putting a lot of miles on the Coconino since October, somewhere around 2300 miles. That bike has Salsa Cowbell 3's in 46mm. My road bikes have 3T bars in 44. The Salsa bars have a shallower drop and flare, I'm in the drops more than half the time, especially when I'm motoring along.

    Now when I ride my road bikes with their traditional bars, I'm on the hoods which feel narrow in comparison. The drops are really too far away to be useful except for bombing descents.

    Now I'm considering putting shallow drop, flared handlebars on my road bikes. It's not a big investment, the Salsa bars are like $40. The unknown is how a campy 11 bar will profile on with the flared bars. The Shimano 685's work well. Has anyone tried this or can recommend a more shallow drop bar that comes in 46? I was also thinking about Noodles in 46 with a shim.
    Are the Nitto's shallow? I've used that bar extensively for many years. I use Shimano however I do recall seeing these setup for Campy and it looked 100% better than Shimano. The hood tops made a flat transition, looked really good. Someone who uses the combo should confirm. You can't kill that bar, they are strong like moose and squirrel. IIRC the 46 and 48 are heat treated. If you are severely conflicted I've got a set you can borrow (new) that I use for tradeshows...just pay postage.

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Mountain bike handlebars have gotten wider, and there is a trend I think in that direction for drop bars, especially on bikes that fit wider and wider tires.

    I wanted something wide when I changed my Ahearne over to the drop bar set up. I bought a set of used bars 48's by Joseph Kuosac and love how they feel, especially when needing to lift the front wheel, etc.

    For reference the Parlee has 42's and the Waterford has 44's.

    For any of you who follow Ultraromance, I'm pretty sure the bars he designed and uses are 66cm...I've seen them in person and holy shit they are wide.

    October 14, 2017 Nutmeg Nor’Easter by SlowPoke Pete, on Flickr

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Are the Nitto's shallow? I've used that bar extensively for many years. I use Shimano however I do recall seeing these setup for Campy and it looked 100% better than Shimano. The hood tops made a flat transition, looked really good. Someone who uses the combo should confirm. You can't kill that bar, they are strong like moose and squirrel. IIRC the 46 and 48 are heat treated. If you are severely conflicted I've got a set you can borrow (new) that I use for tradeshows...just pay postage.
    The Nittos aren't shallow but they come in wide sizes. I've got a set of 44's on the MX Leader that were originally for the GT but I went threadless on that bike when I got a new fork. I think I'll try the Ritchey's on the Serotta and see how they work. But I've got a shrinking budget because of some wheels oldspud is building for me.
    I heart burnt bikes.

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    My Nitto Noodles are 140 drop
     

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Obviously you can go too wide also....
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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Obviously you can go too wide also....
    I'm looking at 46's. I'm just under 6'2" and ride 60cm frames. I have gotten so comfortable in the drops on the Coconino that I doubled up the tape on that section to spread the impact a little.
    I heart burnt bikes.

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    I'm looking at 46's. I'm just under 6'2" and ride 60cm frames. I have gotten so comfortable in the drops on the Coconino that I doubled up the tape on that section to spread the impact a little.
    Oh no, I have no doubt you can ride with 46 bars. I've seen photos of you in weekly rides threads. Big Bill is an appropriate moniker.

    I just meant as general advice. No swan dives while cycling.
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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    These are also an option -- they come in 46cm (c-t-c), are flared, have shallow drop, and plane. ;) They ain't cheap to experiment with, though.

    Compass Maes Parallel 25.4 Handlebars

    They also come in 31.8mm clamp versions, but I only see 44cm c-t-c in stock.
     

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    One other thing about wide drop bars is it gives you a little more real estate when riding the tops, in other words it is nice to not have both hands slammed up against the stem...

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Am I the only one who finds wide bars mad-painfully painful, particularly in regards to neck strain?
     

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Quote Originally Posted by WFSTEKL View Post
    Am I the only one who finds wide bars mad-painfully painful, particularly in regards to neck strain?
    That's funny. I have been wanting to try a wider bar/shorter stem combo to try and reduce neck and back pain.

    I can't remember what model of Salsa flared bars I have but I really liked them. I agree with Bill that those flared ends are super comfortable. They weren't great for packing in the S&S case so I switched back. If I didn't hate wrapping bars I would just switch back and forth when traveling.
     

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Quote Originally Posted by WFSTEKL View Post
    Am I the only one who finds wide bars mad-painfully painful, particularly in regards to neck strain?

    The old measurement used to be shoulder to shoulder. Get bars no wider than your shoulders.

    A guy I worked with used to say that you should lean on a table with your hands, palms flat, fingers forward and put your hands so your upper arms don't press on the sides of your chest/lats. That's where your hoods should be. His theory was this was enough to allow free breathing and put you in a ready position for absorbing bumps, steering, etc. assuming proper stem length.

    As your hands get wider, your reach decreases and your body gets lower. So if you go from a 40cm bar to a 46cm bar, seems like there should be some stem length or bar reach adjustment to make sure body position is still in the right place. Most people don't make that big a size jump, so it might not make that big a difference. And different bars measure differently. I ride a 40cm FSA but at the levers the bars are 38cm wide because the bars are measured center-to-center at the ends and the drops have a 4 degree flair. On a Ritchey, I still ride a 40cm, but the bars are 40cm at the levers so they feel a bit wider but only for about 12 seconds at the beginning of the ride.

    But like I said above that you can go too wide, and lower your body too much with your hands too wide, which sort of locks up your upper body and screws up your neck angle.
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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Fer sher. Too wide is a killer for me. Generally speaking 46cm C-C is just right. I've tried 48's and it is painful.

    Quote Originally Posted by WFSTEKL View Post
    Am I the only one who finds wide bars mad-painfully painful, particularly in regards to neck strain?

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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    These are nice and offer 3 reach/drop versions per width.

    Wide handlebars road bike::Zinn Cycles:: 46cm handlebar:: 48cm handlebar :: 47cm handlebar
    John Cully
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    Default Re: Wider road handlebars

    Quote Originally Posted by echelon_john View Post
    Those are the bars I have.

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