Is Narrow the New Wide? - EWS Round 2 - Video

Apr 8, 2017
by Enduro World Series  

Is narrow the new wide when it comes to bar width? With some pretty tight sections in Tasmania we sent Ric McLaughlin into the pits at the second round of the Enduro World Series to find out.


MENTIONS: @EnduroWorldSeries



Posted In:
Videos



158 Comments

  • + 112
 Classic comment from Jerome: "I'm more worried about Ritchie's schoulder. I don't know if they can fit."
  • + 3
 Hahaha I didn't catch that!
  • + 14
 It's pronounced showdah- say it!!!
  • + 2
 @PigletOrange: yeah brah.
  • + 31
 Never will i cut my 915 mm bar!
  • + 3
 They sell those?
  • + 25
 @Hetman64: Yes and wider, I run 1200's Wink
  • + 3
 @Hetman64: Superstar Components did sell those.
  • + 3
 @mundinger: Superstar had the yardstick, one yard long.
  • + 3
 strictly fire roads huh?
  • + 1
 how tall are you..? that's insane
  • + 1
 @BigEvil: haha you must look like an eagle with a wingspan that wide
  • + 22
 I can't keep up, 680mm, 750mm, 800mm

Now it's going back again.... starts looking on eBay for old narrow bars.

#keepingupwiththejones's
  • + 58
 Since when are 760 bars narrow?
  • + 19
 @zer0c00l44:
In the last BIKE magazine "Bible of Bikes" the writers were complaining that 750mm bars were too narrow. The bike industry has these inexplicable trends that come and go.
  • + 3
 @zer0c00l44: That's what I've cut mine too, had 800 they cornered great but couldn't lift front of bike for jumps as good. cut to 760 and spot on for me. Dirt jumper is 720.
  • + 48
 @axleworthington:
Maybe the lesson here is that everyone buying exactly what bike review writers tell you that you need is a bad idea.
  • + 4
 Maybe I can finally sell that collection of old bars in my garage!
  • + 12
 You can always cut your mega wide bars down.
  • + 5
 @axleworthington: have u ever tried to add material to your bars to fit you better?
  • + 4
 @axleworthington: those guys are clueless.
  • - 2
 I'm 6 ft tall and I still ride with 700mm bars and they're just fine, at least I can ride on narrow forest paths.
  • + 3
 @vikb: Cutting bars down?? Shhh... they don't want us to know that. We need to be spending money.
  • + 4
 @Extremmist: fitting name
  • + 2
 @zer0c00l44: yeah just what I thought sub 700mm bars are narrow imho
  • + 4
 @Extremmist: Shoulders width isn't related to height.
  • + 3
 @jrocksdh: With solid lock on grips you can add a few mil by mounting them past the bar ends.
  • + 2
 @jrocksdh: I actually have put spacers of cork in the end of my grips to get a little wider grip on slightly too narrow bars. I have single clamp lock ons. Seems to work pretty well
  • + 4
 @Ashevillerider: if there's a will there's a way
  • + 2
 No one coming in at 777mm? Are racers not superstitious?
  • + 18
 Bars should be largely height / shoulder width dependent obviously +- personal preference - that's for max width.

E.g. 800mm bars at 5 foot 8 is plain stupid unless you have gorilla arms though most of the top DH guys don't run bars this side regardless of height.
  • + 1
 Exactly, too many been riding too wide for ages esp women, that said I'd say shoulder width height is realitive, arm length bike size stem, stack, style, courses, body type, but shoulder width is more important that height, someone 5'8" could be a body builder with a shorter stem a wide bar is obviously going to be a better setup!

I've run 800mm on a Dh bike from 780 and the dtabikityndifferenc Ron the same bike fork was huge, but then I am very broad, I have always needed, wanted wide bars, Enduro 760-780 max for me though DH no prob with 800!

But it should bot be the normal 740-760 is more than enough for lost normal people!
  • + 3
 I've run 740mm for the last decade nearly, I've tried 800 and 785 and found them too wide, recently tried some 760 and really liked the feel but can't really see them being a benefit for trail riding, if I get another dh bike one day I'll probably go to 760 as I can see them helping with stability at high speeds, but my local trails have lots of tight twisty corners through trees so 740 is staying for the foreseeable future. I'm 176cm tall.
  • + 8
 @Maverickdh00: well you should tell Rachel Atherton that her 775mm bars are to wide and make her slow????
  • + 8
 I am 5 foot 9 and run 800 and do not have wide shoulders. I have run 750 and just felt like I didn't have full control over my bike, really sketchy.
  • - 4
flag justanotherusername (Apr 8, 2017 at 3:01) (Below Threshold)
 @Hetman64: I'm just about the same size as you and cannot understand how you ride a bike with such wide bars, unless its a full DH rig on wide open tracks anyway.

Even then the 6ft+ WC guys don't seem to stray above 780 in the majority.

Instead of going from one extreme to the other, not think of trying a 775 bar?
  • + 106
 I have an idea. Run what you like and everyone else stfu
  • + 5
 Height is irrelevant, it depends on your shoulder width. It is possible that a short stocky guy needs wider bars than a tall slim guy. I'm 5'7 or so and 750mm makes the most sense, 730 feels too small.
  • + 1
 @kubaner: This.
  • + 12
 @kubaner: Right!I just installed a whiffle ball bat for handlebars an they are great!Lighter than carbon and great for fist pump.
  • + 11
 Pick a bar width and be a dick about it erry buddy! Too many variables for anyone to have a legitimate argument regarding bar width. No one's going to do any mic dropping after trying to convince one another why 800 is too wide and 750 too narrow. I do like to hear the method to the maddness as to why people run the setups they do though.
  • + 2
 My Scout came with 760s and it just didn't feel like there was enough control on the downhill and not enough room for my arms on steep uphills. Switched to 800s and I couldn't be happier, feels exactly right.
  • + 2
 I'm only 5'9" and 780-790 is my sweet spot. I have really long arms and somewhat broad shoulders so anything less feels like I'm on a road bike.
  • + 1
 @thebigschott: well ya, we'd need to hear about riders wingspans, reach/TT geo #s, what their home riding areas are like,...lots of variables.
Im 6'1 without monkey arms and ride socal coastal desert-limited trees. 787/31" for me.(diety)
  • + 2
 @Hetman64: You need a longer wheelbase bike then Wink
  • + 2
 @SintraFreeride: New, larger, frame is actually on the way ;D
  • + 2
 Legitimately if someone asked me what size bars they should ride I would say buy some 800s and ride them for a bit and if you cut 5-10 mm off each end and repeat until you are happy. It is a lot easier and cheaper to do that than to buy some 750s and decide that you want 770s and having to buy another set.
  • + 3
 @Racer951: bro bro I'm 5'8" and live a 800mm bar. Is it too wide, maybe but I love it. Ride what you like duder and take a chill pill. Ever want to shred the area with a guy who rides 800mm bar hit me up!
  • + 2
 @ctd07: 740mm for me too. I think it doesn't just depend on your arm length, shoulder width or height but also frame size / reach. Wider bars increase reach, I bet a lot of people with 800mm bars if you put them on a bike with longer reach would then say too wide and would find narrower bars better.
  • + 1
 @StevieJB: thats true. A wider bar essentially increases your cockpit length. So if your bike is short try a wider bar (and conversely).
  • + 0
 I have 730mm on one of my bikes and 780mm on the other and tbh I barely notice any difference when riding either one. It's all nonsense.
  • + 1
 @HankBizzle: so with ur rationale should i not bother with wider rims, tires, grip thickness, bike geo/travel #'s? Well that makes things ez, thanks!
  • + 21
 After narrow-wide chainrings we need narrow-wide handlebars...
  • + 11
 Well technically...
  • + 4
 Nah, CTD handlebars.
Narrow for climbing power, mid-width for those tight trails and 123%6#$ ;wide for control through those high speed rock gardens we all plough on a daily basis.
  • + 2
 maybe something like adjustable seat post! handlebars width adjustable on the flight!
  • + 9
 bar width is all preference...learn how to steer with your hips and body english.
  • + 6
 Not too surprised I did run 770 a couple of years ago then went 760 and then 750 last summer. That seems to be enough even with a 35mm stem for control but makes the tight stuff a bit more comfortable.
  • + 9
 Next trend - short, high, and steep.
  • + 5
 It's like with most things in life, everyone thinks more is better. Bars become too wide, end up looking like crucified Jesus and unable to move your bike side to side. HAs become too slack, making it difficult to maneuver in tight twisty trails. BBs become too low, end up smashing your pedals and cranks trying to pedal through rough terrain.

Modern trail/enduro bikes are now pretty much downhill bikes which you pedal up fire roads, they are becoming less fun and more difficult for general all around trail riding,
  • + 1
 With u on this one, I ride a newish giant trance and find the bb way too low, makes it corner nice on flat stuff but I constantly clip pedals on rocky, technical climbs and I dont have much sag setup either. Keep thinking how dumb the bb height is every time I ride it
  • + 4
 720mm wide works for me. Clipped a tree and took a bit of the clear coat off of the end of the bar. Trimmed them down on my chop saw with carbide blade, same amount both sides and ended up with 720 wide. Perfect.
  • + 2
 Of course they're gonna tell you old tech is new or in style again so they can sell you a new product. How else do they make money? Its a matter of time before they tell us how "scientifically" inefficient 1x's are and rave about 2x's again. This is biking we're talking about here. There's only so many ways to reinvent the wheel.
  • + 1
 I'm seeing this already with shimano trying to force Di2 on us. Electronic shifting isn't that great for MTB, where derailleurs break enough for people to want replacement to be cheap. Electronic shifting mostly shines in 2x, because you can use one shifter and avoid cross chaining. 1x rocks, 2x still has its place, but shimano is being dumb trying to get us all to go back to it after selling us on 1x for years.
  • + 2
 Since the wide bar trend got bigger and bigger I notice more and more photos of people riding with 3-4 cm of bar stuck out past the end of their hands on either side; It looks ridiculous to me. That means your 780mm bar that your got convinced you needed could be a 700mm or 720mm bar and you wouldn't be banging trees. I'm not against wide bars for those that it anatomically works for but if you find yourself riding on the inside portion of your grips all the time then you probably don't need all that width.
  • + 4
 I was riding with my hands off the ends of the bars Razz Opposite problem
  • + 1
 @src248: my hands are on the edge too. I figure I'll upgrade when my hands slip off the sides.
  • + 2
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: no matter how wide my bars are, I ride just hanging off the edge!
  • + 2
 Basically do a push up with your hands in the most comfortable position and where you can get your full power. Ok good now get some one measure the distant from middle finger to middle finger. Thats your bar width you can start with minus or plus 10cm each way.
  • + 25
 plus or minus 10cm either way you say?... hmm i measured 74cm so i should run bars between 640mm and 840mm? thanks for the help...
  • + 6
 @holden-biking: yes a bit flawed technique..
how about do you pushups on the measuring tape so you can measure to the outside of your palms and hey maybe add 1cm incase you need to cut down more.
Sounds good to me..

Same also applies for chin-ups.. which i find that when my head is about to touch the bar, my forearms are parallel to each other.
  • + 2
 What I found best is hands slightly wider than shoulders. If you'd look at yourself in a mirror while sitting on your bike, the inside of your hands should be aligned with where the outside of your shoulders end.
  • + 1
 I think he ment 10mm extra rather than 10cm. I've tried this before and it's garbage. It would put me on a 1m+ bar despite being only 6'2" tall.
  • + 2
 720 is my personal sweet spot for handling super tight techy switchbacks.. Went 760 because of the trend and it just felt awkward and hard to handle when the trail presented slow, tight, and sharp turns.
  • + 1
 Beyond obvious physical extremes, stem and bar length are totally personal preference as they apply to comfort and handling characteristics.

What definitely makes me shake my head and chuckle is when I see the hipster fixie hags cruising the city with bars chopped so narrow there is barely room to fit grips - fashionista cyclists. To each his/her own.
  • + 1
 Real talented rider I know who grew up bmxing runs 800s but chokes up on the bar like he's still riding a bmx bike. I for the most part suck at riding relative to this guy and feel comfy with the edge of my hands hanging off the grips on a bar cut down to 770? I've gone through this entire thread three times over and still don't know what bars I should run?
  • + 1
 My bike came with 780's. Feels fine. This kind of stuff can be super trendy and subtle difference in width probably makes no difference to the majority of riders. Thinking it makes a "big" difference probably sells bars to some people...good for those that like to tinker with stuff on their bike.
  • + 1
 I watched the sighting lap/course pre-run video like prolly everybody else on here, and saw the two split-rock/cutout sections that were ubder-narrow. This obviously being the only reason why riders would choose narrower bars, this 'story' on here about narrow bars becoming 'popular' in the EWS is obviously misleading and nothing more than PB trying to milk every possible angle to fill space, truth be damned
  • + 1
 But alot actually say they either always run narrower or have gone narrower since last season not just because of theses rock gaps.
  • + 2
 @YoKev The crowd will always follow hype instead of reason. Seems like you were on of the few people who got it right. www.pinkbike.com/photo/14591582
  • + 2
 i'm all in with you that bar lenght is a personnal preference but i think that it is just a venue effect on this one. Super tight trail in tasmania, then we are gonna see the 800 mm bar back on other race tracks..
  • + 1
 My old bike had 730 and I thought it felt fine to me. New bike is 800 and its way too wide, even though people are telling me it should be better that way. I slid my grips in to 760 to see if thats a good place to cut and so far it feels pretty good. Interesting to see so many of these pros right around there.
  • + 4
 Good to see riders going for width relative to their size / build rather than what is trendy.
  • + 1
 I believe I prefer wider bars because of my motocross roots. I've tried 760 and it just feels way too narrow for me and 800 is just a tad too wide. 780-785 is by far the most comfortable I've tried for DH and enduro. Can also depend on bar height and bend I think
  • + 1
 All this "how wide is your bar?" talk has got me thinking!!!! Hey shimano!!!! we need something new to gripe about, so can you hurry up on those xtr Di2 electronic disc brakes already???? I'm tired of waiting for something atually problematic to cause a real problem!! So many complainers on here about changes in the industry.... for jerkin sake!!! Ride your fu**in bikes and shut the heel up already!! Do what YOU wanna do to make it YOURS and Rip it down a trail already!!! Gah!! After sitting here reading through all these comments, I just realized I've waisted 30 minutes ride time I'll never get back. And absolutely none of you said a damm thing worth reading. Lol I'm out!!!
  • + 2
 I'm pretty sure, well besides the homage to Chainsaw, why Fox made 'Ride Your F***ing Bike! Too much talk about preferred bar width 1x v 2x, 26 v 650B v 29, Carbon v Alu v Steel.

I'm with you, shut up and ride! Be happy it didn't just snow another 18" on the trails that were so close to clear in your area!

Obligatory bar width: 725 mm and I'm 6'4"
  • + 4
 I'm currently running 775mm but we all know we should be running 560mm flat bars with bar ends. It's the future!
  • + 4
 #7504lyfe
I thought that was wide
  • + 2
 Saw a guy with a trek 4300 and a 100mm fork with a 800mm 35 riser bar. he was a skinny dude in lycra around five seven in height. I think he drank too much Kool aid.
  • + 6
 he must have send a question to pb on how to upgrade his bike. "get a shorter stem and a wider bar"
  • + 7
 Riding what you want and not giving a fu.k My kind of guy.
  • + 2
 who cares if it fits right, or works better. . . we need adapt to the sizing/standards that the manufacturers market to us!!
  • + 0
 Never understood the need for wide handlebars - anything over 700mm for me is too wide. I'm currently riding with 660mm (with 0.5 inch cut from either side of a 685mm bar). The reason why I like it like this is that I don't over-steer. People. including me, tend to over-steer especially when you're doing low-speed maneuvers or going through tight turns and tight places.
  • + 2
 I've got a mid 80s Univega Alpine Pro that I put a bmx quill stem and some nos 32" (812mm) moto bars on. Works well for neighborhood booze cruising in the summer.
  • + 4
 I'm 6ft 6 I'm allowed wide bars Smile
  • + 1
 Slack headangles mean narrower handlebars and allow for a higher raiserbar. Flat 800 is way to wide and low for almost everyone. Looks are not everything.
  • + 2
 @holden-biking haha oops I meant 10mm not the perfect method I know but it helps get a starting point.
  • + 1
 i thought so, it's pretty good too cause i like 750mm normally but just a little more for my enduro/dh bike
  • + 1
 I have 780mm, a bit larger than I usually run. They were on sale. I would cut them to 760, but cutting carbon=scary. So 780s are perfect.
  • + 1
 I have been saying this for years as the wide bar trend exploded. 800mm bars just slow you down in places like New England with tight trees and rocks.
  • + 1
 Just measured my bars. They are 610 and I'm 192cm tall. I still can't do a full xup let alone a bar spin. New bars are 720 and I m scared they won't fit a tree gap I have.
  • + 3
 Yess, Regnier is the man!
  • + 1
 Can you ask about how riders carry their gear with them? I noticed most of the top riders are using stuff under their jerseys. Maybe what they bring with them as well.
  • + 3
 I think my current bars are just fine thanks.
  • + 3
 So where were the narrow ones?????
  • + 1
 5'8" - 760mm. There are far too many sections of trail where 800mm wouldn't fit. Plus it slows down the handling a little too much.
  • + 3
 Pros go narrow, the mass will follow
  • + 1
 Can't decide so I'm gettin' a unicycle. Hmm, hardtail or suspension post, what's trending?
  • - 2
 are enduro bikes actually designed to be as fast as possible or is it jsut a fashion show for companies to market things that they wanna sell to people?

also since when as 740 been narrow? do people not remember 680mm bars? and even then they are not narrow like in the old days
  • + 1
 I just moved from a 2006 enduro with 685mm bars to a Scout with 725mm, the stock 750 was a hair too much.
  • + 1
 Burgtec carbon, 800mm, best bars I've every had the pleasure of gripping, also on a sensible bike, I mean dh bike.
  • - 3
 If you are well over 6ft, fair enough. If not, maybe take a look at that - You run wider bars than the vast majority of every top WC Dh racer out there - you find most hover around 760-780. Its like when the fashion for flat bars and really low DH front ends was 'in', that has disappeared completely even though wheel size and thus bar height increased.
  • + 1
 @Racer951: I've run. A variety of bars from 740 through to 800, and that's what I've settled on as most comfortable, the burgtecs are the only 800mm I've liked, tried a few out and absoluty hated them, bur those fit me perfectly, I'm 5ft 11in btw.
  • + 1
 @Racer951:
There was a reason for the flatbars though. And there is a reason why they have disappeared. When they were on the high, head angles were still steep and headtubes were loooong. They were also 1 1/8. As manufacturers adressed that with shorter 1.5 headtubes, widespread use of zero stack headsets and much slacker headangles, flatbars became pretty much obsolete.
I remember in those days i was looking at a flatbar and even negative rise stem for my V10 and i never bought into the trend. The bars just felt too damn high on that bike. Then i switched bikes and didn't feel the need for lower bars anymore.
  • + 3
 @Racer951: 6'2",740mm bars. Height has nothing to do with it.
  • + 2
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: I am 6'1 and run 700mm on my Bronson. Feels perfect and fits in my trails.
  • + 3
 @Boych12: 4'19" 0.75m bars 46' bust.....
  • + 2
 @Boych12: However, you forgot to mention you're built like a T-Rex! Lol
  • + 1
 @bishopsmike: I should also mention I have a 90mm stem. I need a larger frame! I usually feel cramped on large bikes. Nice to see they are getting more roomy. Hopefully getting a new ride this year.
  • + 0
 Narrow is the new wide? What are you smoking? Narrow is narrow, rolls better than wide, grips better than wide since it digs in. Enduro brainwashed sheeps!
  • + 1
 bro if your handlebars are involved in any sort of "rolling" activity I have some concerns about your technique
  • + 2
 I uncut my 800mm bars to 520mm and now i feel really better and happy
  • + 1
 ride what fits you , I have been as narrow as 680 and as wide as 800 , 760/780 works best for me
  • + 2
 Fuck. Gotta stay on trend. Grabs hacksaw...
  • + 1
 just as i thought about selling my 620mm bar, might just keep it in case narrow bars do come back.
  • + 2
 Richie Rude on 300mm of travel!! :o
  • + 1
 140 + 160.
  • + 1
 Lol. I was making a joke
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: Nah we don't know the ratio. Maybe it's 10 + 290.
  • + 1
 @jdreynolds2: Good joke.
  • + 2
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/14591582

That is the reason. Period.
  • + 1
 What happened to Rich Cunningham presenting these EWS vids?
  • + 1
 760mm is the sweet spot for me, I'm 5'8
  • + 1
 @filterhappy Here ya go broooooo
  • + 1
 Pfft who uses bars? I only use the stem to steer.
  • + 1
 cheaper to cut the Trail to fit the bars!
  • + 1
 Just run batch that match your physical stature. Done.
  • - 1
 At some point aero must come into play too. Narrow maybe faster overall on Enduro stages due to aero, even if wider bars give a bit more control on the gnarly parts.
  • + 0
 is it really about length here......or diameter!
  • + 1
 767's no duh!
  • + 1
 My bars are 685 mm
  • + 1
 Moir knows whats up!
  • - 3
 carbon 820mm bars all dayy
  • - 3
 I assume you are 7ft tall.....
  • + 1
 @Racer951: If I was using sizes based on my height, I would be hella uncomfortbale most of the time because height isn't the only deciding factor.
  • - 2
 @Hetman64: I have an image in my mind of a short bloke in 34l jeans and an xxl tshirt with size 12 shoes.....
  • + 1
 @Racer951: Is it logical to you though?
  • + 1
 820mm too heavy go 810mm
  • + 2
 Loaded 840's. They give me room to breath.
  • + 2
 @Racer951: close lol 6'3 with 22 inch shoulders. I just feel more in control being spread out. super comfy leaning on them to climb and easy to control bombing down a mountain, paired with ergon palm grips
  • - 3
 not knowing what bar length you run is shocking. bar length probably depends on the sponsor as well
  • + 9
 Hardly if they have a mechanic, riders will give feed back and mechanics will just adjust as required. Some just don't retain numbers and will just ask for say 10mm off the bar, raise or lower stem 5mm ect without knowing the start point. To me its completely reasonable.
  • + 5
 I would suspect it depends on the trust level between the rider/mechanic also.

Mechanic: How do you like this x bar width?
Rider: it feels perfect
Mechanic: *sets bar width to that for next couple years*
Rider: *Doesn't get too worked up about bar width because they are happy with it & trust their mechanic.*
  • + 6
 I dont know size of my bars neither. If they fit I sit..
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.063543
Mobile Version of Website