Video: What Handlebar Width Are Racers Using at the EWS Tweed Valley?

Jun 4, 2022 at 1:34
by Pinkbike Originals  


The trails at the Tweed Valley stop of the Enduro World Series are notoriously tight through the trees, so what bar width are the top riders running? Tom gets trackside during practice to heckle a handful of riders.







165 Comments

  • 402 31
 Why always videos, why not articles any more. I don't want random info splattered into video format, give me pictures showing rise, sweep, stem and length, not a video Please
  • 57 1
 Yes. And a scatter graph :-P
  • 34 4
 It's probably more valuable to sell advertising when you have video views and engagement, rather than people scrolling through an article or chart.
  • 19 3
 I came to say the same thing.
  • 36 1
 And more critically, rider height/wingspan alongside the bike setup. It's like asking frame size without knowing how big someone is.
  • 86 5
 @erikober: I understand that, but only if people actually watch it. I've not bothered.

Things like Jesse's run down EWS I'll watch but videos like this, I won't even bother clicking to open. I opened the page to see if it also had words and info, then closed it again.
  • 3 1
 Couldnt agree more!!!
  • 21 18
 Bunch of whiny wonkers
  • 27 6
 Because anybody under 30 only watches videos now, at 8min long none of them will make it half way though so yeah they might as well just make it an article for the rest of us.
  • 9 67
flag islandforlife (Jun 4, 2022 at 7:58) (Below Threshold)
 Because the videos are more interesting and fun to watch. Video > written article everyday.
  • 24 2
 I was thinking the same thing as a scrolled to the comments without even watching the video.
  • 13 1
 Itz herd fur peepoll to red dem wurds und stand wut deey meen. MOAR eazyer to wutch a vidoo.
  • 17 0
 @warmerdamj: I am 26. They can get the f out of here with click bait ad videos. I want real content.. articles, data, graphs, pictures, whatever. So, yeah.
  • 3 0
 YouTube revenue.
  • 13 0
 @team-issue: epic. Well, meh, not really.

One day, places like this will see what 'we' are their customers and without the content we prefer, we'll go somewhere else instead.
Sadly in some ways, somewhere else doesn't exist and PB are at times absolutely exceptional with content.
Even more sadly, a lot of it is random clickbait that's barely better than " have you see what sporty spice looks like now" I don't give a toss what she looks like and I don't give a toss about 75% of today's topics being random clickbait.

Will pb care, I dunno, I guess it depends what their eanalytics prog tells them as companies don't listen to customers, just the stats from a random Google not.
  • 7 0
 At least it's not paywalled
  • 3 0
 Especially for something data centric like this
  • 10 0
 @weeksy59: I just googled what sporty spice looks like now, she appears to be more “sporty” I would venture to guess she would ride 760mm bars.
  • 7 1
 @weeksy59: PB is basically being forced to compete with the constant flow of shit on the internet. If they aren't putting out video after video of generic content then the masses will get bored here. With things like TicTok and YouTube shorts resetting everybody's brains every 30 seconds they require constant dopamine hits that they only get now from the instant gratification a short video provides and then quickly moving onto a new one. "Reading" is boring to their brains and 'we' don't matter one bit. That's why most print news sites charge an annual fee now, they aren't getting that video revenue because they produce articles and so few people bother to visit a website that's not all video that their website ads are not generating the needed income either because people are just getting their news from YouTube or Twitter. It's brutal, even legitimate newspaper sites are producing more and more video vs articles.

@DANKimball Don't give in!
  • 1 0
 @weeksy59: (or you open it for the comments)
  • 6 1
 @warmerdamj: this is my only form of "social media". WTF is TicTok?
  • 5 0
 @DANKimball: You do not want to know my friend.
  • 4 0
 This would have been the perfect write up with a table of data.
  • 1 0
 @pink505: hoping someone gives us a summary in the comments…
  • 2 0
 Pictures!?! Are you a millenial!?! A table will be just fine thanks!
Smile
  • 3 0
 @st-lupo: haha
pictures so i can see the different cockpit setups. invaluable
  • 1 0
 It's about money and advertising. Beggars can't be choosers.
  • 7 0
 I came here to say exactly this. If there’s been anything I don’t like about the Outside acquisition it’s all the goddamn videos all the goddamn time now. I mean, sometimes, yeah but it’s become to goddamn much.

Goddamn.
  • 4 0
 We could try to trigger everybody:
*PB poll asking about favorite bar width, rider height, etc
*Results are presented as text, shown as flash-cards in a video by people wearing pit viper clothing
*make sure the e-gravel bike data is over-represented
  • 2 0
 "includes paid promotion" is pretty self-explanatory Wink
  • 1 0
 So that they can post the video on Youtube and make way more money.
  • 1 0
 @willdavidson9595: well I'll admit, 42,000 views is bloody impressive. I don't know how many views a video takes to make money, Google suggests about On an average , youtube pays £1.15 per 1000 views on the video.
  • 3 0
 @willdavidson9595: I do watch YouTube? But that’s not why I come to pink bike. I come for the intelligent, detailed content. (And the comment section). Who exactly is asking for more videos??
  • 1 0
 @TheRoadWarrior: the comment section has always been the most intelligent content on Pinkbike.
  • 219 3
 In order: 770, 740, 750, 770, 750. Some riders thought they were 10mm narrower because they didn't account for grip width.

(Videos suck)
  • 71 1
 The hero we need
  • 9 25
flag cxfahrer (Jun 4, 2022 at 6:56) (Below Threshold)
 Thanks so much. You saved me spending valuable minutes of my life with senseless info.

Wondering why they don't cut them all the same width, are the trails narrower when you're smaller?
810 ftw.
  • 6 1
 @poiuy: And the one we wanted!
  • 14 0
 @cxfahrer: trails no, shoulders yes
  • 2 0
 Thank you so much for this.
  • 14 5
 Grip width is completely irrelevant. Bar width is a good benchmark.

I seems bar width is coming back to reality these days. No one needs 800+ unless you have shoulders like a NFL linebacker.
  • 18 8
 @stubs179: I used to think that, but tried 800s just this year. Turns out the extra leverage was helpful because I’ve got scrawny arms.
  • 2 0
 ..., 770, 750, ... 800!
  • 14 1
 @tabbid: Not sure why you are getting negged there.
I was all over 780 because it worked for me. I literally could not give a flying f**k what the pros use. Then I got a 29’er and found 800 worked better for that size bike. Im a big broad guy.
This whole video article is pointless. Ride with what your comfortable- or is practical where you ride. Not all tree gaps were created equal!!
  • 18 1
 @tabbid: So many people miss this. Riders who train strength can get away with narrower bars. Weaker people can't. I remember a while back, everyone in the comments was giving shit to a female EWS athlete for running something like 780-800mm bars because she liked the stability. "Not even Richie Rude needs bars that wide!" etc. No shit, Rude could take off his bars, stick his thumbs through the stem and still have more leverage over the front wheel than her.

Shoulder width and arm length matter too obviously, but lets not forget it's a trade off. Cutting 2cm off both ends of your bar can significantly open up a lot of tight trails.
  • 4 0
 @AgrAde: I think there's something to this. The women run proportionally wider bars and have proportionally less upper body strength compared to the gents. Isabeau's bars look demented but they clearly work for her. Richie looks like he's on a BMX bike but it clearly works for him. I'm a 5'3" female and bar width formulas tell me to run 680s, which, from what I recall from like 2010, felt pretty scary.

That said, I run 710s on my enduro bike. Lopping your bars down not only spares you from broken pinkies, it gives you more 'travel' in your arms to shift your weight back or absorb the terrain. (And Isabeau is so light and fast that probably doesn't matter, I bet she just floats over everything.)
  • 4 4
 You will never convince me to get rid of my 825s. Who thought that shoulder width dictated bar width? Those people who ride with their elbow locked out straight, thats who!
  • 2 1
 @stubs179: Just think of all the crashes where the front wheel gets twisted and riders get catapulted out the front door. Wider bars with more leverage make them less likely.
Iam a bit of a beanpole, so ill take all of the leverage I can get.
  • 1 0
 @tabbid: thanks for confirming my lack of upper body strength.
  • 2 0
 @AgrAde: I think the reality is that the bar width has very little to do with actual "leverage" as much as it has to do with how easy it is to travel through your "arm travel". try doing a pushup with your hands directly below your shoulders and then try it going narrower or wider and it becomes more difficult to control your body weight as you move through your arm travel, and requires more specific muscles to be stable. now imagine doing that 100s of times per run or on big hits...I bet a lot of people would be surprised how much less arm pump they will get on a more appropriate sized bar.

scientifically I think there is merit in the wider bars produce more leverage but I don't think its the reality of what riders feel and need. not to say there is a right bar width, but I think a lot of people are focusing on the wrong reasoning for bar width.
  • 2 0
 @acdownhill: Well, I observe a fairly linear relationship between "stability" and bar width. I think it can be almost directly attributed to leverage - ie with a wider bar I need to move my hands a further distance to turn the bar to the same angle as a narrower bar, and with a wider bar I need less force to keep the bar straight for a given force on the front wheel. Both of these factors should give me finer control of the steering, especially through rough terrain, and that's what I observe.

My ideal bar width when i'm not in shape is 780mm which I choose for stability reasons, and when I'm strong I prefer 760 for the extra tree clearance. In terms of muscle activation etc these widths both feel identical to me when moving through a push/pull motion, and very very similar when turning the bars, so I think i can happily say that i am choosing bar width almost purely due to the trade-off between leverage and clearance.

I have ridden up to 810mm bars (which on paper are far too wide for me at 180cm height, average shoulders and ape index), which felt to me like they had the appropriate increase in leverage over my usual width, and I enjoyed them when riding in a straight line over rough stuff without noticing any more arm pump or working any strange muscles when doing the push/pull motions. My main problem with them aside from the horrible clearance was that my body movement was restricted. During tight corners because I had to move my outside hand too far out in front of me, in flat turns because I couldn't drop the inside grip low enough, and just in general because I couldn't get my weight quite as far back when I needed to.

I've found that arm pump is all about bar upsweep/backsweep, bar flex, grips, and brake levers. I expect that someone's ideal bar angles for a narrow bar would be different than for a wide bar, but i'd call that an angle problem rather than a width problem?
  • 52 2
 From all the tech i've seen, EWS Pros are downsizing handlebars, frames and rear wheels. We are witnessing the return of the playful bike!
  • 14 1
 Since the bikes are getting so slack, you can compromise on stability way more. Which is way more fun too!
  • 26 4
 maybe one day, someone will be bold enough to come up with a new smaller wheel size... I know 27.5" is all the rage these days, but what if someone came with, say a 26" wheel !
  • 13 1
 yess finally about the ride not the trend
  • 5 0
 Man what a great idea, and maybe sum new frame too with components that were like aaall interchangeable with other frames and components that you already have

@f00bar:
  • 11 2
 @ryanniker: lol tell that to pinkbike. Bike reviews always have to have "modern geometry" and "tick all the boxes" and they are always marketing all the new sizes and standards to us. Ive never seen them write an article or review that says "this new thing is probably not necessary, hopefully the industry doesn't go this way."
  • 8 2
 @f00bar: 26.99 will be the new standard rear wheel in 2023, saw it on the sram website. They claim it offers all the benefits of 29 with 100% more 9s and about 5% more playfulness over 27.5.
  • 3 0
 @ryanniker: if everybody is doing it doesn't that make it a trend?
  • 5 0
 They've been running "narrow" bars for a while now. There's an EWS video from I think 4 or 5 years ago and the bar widths for most riders were in-between 760 and 740.
  • 3 0
 @SeanC1: this is true. But when a bike isn’t on trend and pulls back from the bleeding edge, it gets panned in the comments as being “outdated” and being “from 2016”.
  • 32 8
 So many whiners! “I don’t have time or don’t want to watch a video” but you have time to comment? I for one like the interaction between people Tom catches in his videos. You don’t get that from a graph.
  • 11 1
 They could add a bar graph about interactions:

1. Used word person didn't understand and person gives a confused look at camera.
2. Person ignored question and rambled on
3. Person answers question but was gazing into Tom's eyes obviously in love.
4. Other.

Bar graph over videos please.
  • 9 2
 @whickyfelps thank for the comment - glad you’re stoked on the interaction with riders. I wanted to show that EWS racers are human and that it’s interesting to hear and see why they run the handlebar width that they are running here Scotland, it’s definitely unique to this round.
  • 4 0
 It’s not that I don’t have time, but watching a video needs sound, which just isn’t always practical.
  • 23 2
 I'm waiting for someone to comment something useful so i dont have to watch the video.
  • 7 0
 See above!
  • 22 4
 but BRO, 810s are the sickness BRO. Cutting bars is for quitters, like drinking water instead of beer after a ride. BROOOOOOO
  • 5 0
 Finally someone gets it
  • 2 0
 beer is mostly water
  • 4 0
 @friendlyfoe: technically it is about 93.5% water, 6% smile sauce, and .5% magic
  • 12 0
 It's interesting to me how this is something we never talked about in motocross. Seems like once you got on big bikes you just ran either whatever came on the bike or whatever bar you bought. I don't ever remember hearing anyone talking about cutting them to specific sizes, regardless of how tall they were. Must have been the lack of trees.
  • 2 1
 I imagine it's a bit different when you're on a bike that doesn't have a motor/throttle.
  • 5 0
 True, never cut my bars either, but rise seems to be pretty important.
  • 10 0
 I think most of us are running a little bit wider than we should, especially with our long and slacked out geo. Trim a good 10mm and hardly notice stability change, but comfort and clearance are indeed better. But, yeah, go with what feels good and get on with the ride!
  • 14 2
 yeah quite amazing how many riders have their arms straight out and wonder why they're shoulders hurt. No, you don't need 780+ at 5'8"
  • 3 0
 I cut 10mm off my 760mm handlebar and leaning from side to side when turning felt a lot more natural. 1.64m/5'4".
  • 2 0
 I heard someone in the bike industry once say you should close your eyes and put your hands out in a riding position at a width that feels most natural and comfortable to you and have someone measure to the outside of each hand and that's your width. Never actually tried this to see if it matches what I run but sounded interesting.
  • 2 0
 Just get in a natural pushup position and measure. Same width for your bars makes perfect sense. I'm 6'0 with standard ape index and 760+ grips is a good fit for me. Thought it was pretty funny when everyone started running 800mm bars because it was trendy.
  • 1 0
 On my last build a friend convinced me to start with 800 (up from my previous 780) and it was one of the few cockpit changes I’ve made that felt intuitively good right away. We are both on the larger side though at ~186cm.
  • 10 1
 People complain about videos and the complain about paywalls. Revenue from videos helps keep some of the content free and not behind the paywall. If people stopped watching the videos, I have this odd feeling Pinkbike would stop making them. Ok, you can yell at me now.
  • 11 2
 The content may be free, but it's becoming less and less interesting. I don't even click on most of the videos anymore, they just feels like empty filler
  • 12 5
 Nearly a 9 minute video and all we had were five measurements. I wouldn't pay for this content.
  • 1 0
 @Thirty3: yeah it was actually quite a good wee video, but more “here’s some mid-practice fun interviews where we discuss bars” than the way they’ve pitched it to the punters
  • 11 1
 "I'll see ya, when I look at ya"
Cought me off guard
  • 10 0
 This is the kind of journalistic insight we need and deserve!
  • 12 1
 Topics like this deserve to be behind a paywall.
  • 10 1
 i “feel bad” for pinkbike now.

no matter what they do, ppl will complain and ask for the opposite of that.
  • 5 2
 I've never seen comments at the bottom of an article complaining its not a video.
  • 9 1
 I'm waiting for 300 or so comments and most, thankfully, won't be about handlebar width.
  • 18 1
 We all really know that it's girth that really matters in the deep dark woods...
  • 5 1
 @Erskine-Atom: Or as the Aussies would say, the bush?
  • 5 1
 My favorite trail has a gatekeeper tree. You can't make it through with anything wider than 780. It's on a sketchy spot on off camber roots with some exposure and speed. So sketch but it's part of the soup of the trail so we just keep riding it
  • 3 0
 Sounds like a real "heartbreak" if your bars are too wide.
  • 6 0
 Good vibe. Nicely done.

Note to amateur non-racers: the pros don’t seem too bothered.
  • 3 0
 Please explain how Cordurier and Moir have the same bar width??

All else being equal, their shoulders and arms are vastly different, so that, if they both were asked to do a press-up, surely their hands would be about 20cms apart..?
  • 12 0
 The explanation is: preference.
They run what works for them and everyone else should do that and not copy what others run.
  • 3 9
flag rookie100 (Jun 4, 2022 at 13:49) (Below Threshold)
 @tonit91: That’s right kids. Geo doesn’t matter. Travel? Doesn’t matter. Shock pressure? Doesn’t matter. There is no guideline. The brands and technical advisers are just job-creating drones! You can ride a Walmart bike as fast as an XL with telemetry and optimised fit.
  • 1 0
 Is bar width really anything to do with shoulder width? Roadies ride for hours with narrow bars. I've used bars from less than 600mm up to 800mm and it doesn't seem to make any difference in terms of comfort so I use what feels best for handling.
  • 3 0
 @kevinturner12: It's going to vary from person to person but for anyone that's had neck/shoulder problems it will definitely matter. For me (at 6'-0") I couldn't run less than about 720mm for any length of time as it causes me pain and tightness across the back of my shoulders because under that width my shoulders feel slightly flexed inward. Road bikes aren't exactly the epitome of comfort, they are more about an areodynamic postion. They do offer the option of multiple hand position though which can help. Again as someone that's had neck/shoulder problems, I certainly couldn't ride a road bike for hours on end.
  • 3 2
 @kevinturner12: literally every guide for bar width for roadies suggests starting with your shoulder width to find the right bar. But as the other commenter said, road bikes have an entirely different application where aero is prioritised.
'Feels best for handling' is exactly what I am talking about.
I still bet that if Jack and Isabeau were asked to do as many press-ups as possible their floor span would be pretty different.
It seems no one anywhere can really explain this phenomenon. So, I give up.
It is what it is.
  • 4 0
 Roadies don’t rail berms or throw sick tables sir @kevinturner12:
  • 1 0
 @Crankhed: that's kind of what i mean, handling requirements dictating handlebar width not shoulder width.
  • 5 0
 Was that supposed to be about handle bar width? I just heard lots of whooping and yeah boy and that was about it
  • 6 0
 Why not graph and vid?
  • 1 0
 What would you plot? A scatter plot of height and bar width? Shoulder width and bar width? With 5 data points, it’d be more Rorschach test than scientific visualization.
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: yeah, vid wasn't very dense ones in the past had more ppl.
  • 5 1
 When I'm really hungry I like a good pie chart. But in this case a bar graph will do just fine. It's all about the STEM.
  • 1 0
 Fascinating topic as usual. So much personal preference involved.. Man...a lot of haters on the video in the comments. It was a fun video to watch for me. I'm 5'7" with long ass arms and a bit of decent shoulder width and 780 feels awesome. I liked those little finger saver bar end things that one guy had....cool gear tip for those who ride tight trees all of the time.
  • 1 0
 I recently switched from 760 to 800 and it’s so much more comfortable. I also feel more confident descending. Im 5’10” and 170lbs. That said, if I was racing on a really tight course like that I would likely put my 760’s back on.
  • 1 0
 No one mentions bar width related to traction.

I run wider 800 bars just for when my front wheel slides sideways the bike doesn't collapse under me.
When it's dry there's hardly any risk and I can go narrower.
Also, the lower stack on my 27 bike puts me closer to the ground with more leverage and I would never feel the need to go any wider than 780.
With bikes getting taller and taller I see why people are running 820+
  • 3 0
 Jack Moir is running ODI grips but his bar caps are Ergon… is he supposed to be sponsored by Ergon and prefers ODI?
  • 2 0
 I just noticed that too… probably similar to when riders black out maxxis tires
  • 3 0
 First word of the title: VIDEO. People click the article. WTH, why is this a video?!
  • 3 0
 Are we in an alternative dimension? Think I just heard a bunch of guys get caught underestimating the length of their bars.
  • 2 0
 What if somebody made adjustable handlebars
Like threaded ends w/ optimal overlap on the threaded part or some other bulletproof way
Id probably be willing to try some
  • 2 0
 What if, two dropper post were mounted either side of the stem then one could adjust bar width on the fly for that important aero tuck when going thought the pits.
  • 1 0
 I think we should all freak out ! Jack says in one of his videos he prefers wider bars. But cut them down to 760 because of the tight EWS stages it's works for him the best.
  • 6 4
 780mm and never hit a tree in the tweed valley. Saying that I'm a 1/10th of the speed of the riders at the ews
  • 27 1
 Yep, same here, although I do live in Cuba.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, but I'm assuming you ride there a lot? Most of the ews riders still won't know every trail perfectly. I ran 800mm bars when visiting tweed a few weeks ago and came out fine, but had to turn the bars a lot when going through the trees, would've been pretty tough if I was riding at race pace!
  • 4 0
 People were hitting trees in the Tweed when “wide” bars were 675mm Eastons. Lines change to compensate
  • 5 0
 I run 770mm and a week ago had a gnarly OTB after I hit a tree with the handlebar on a narrow trail. Might cut them down now
  • 3 0
 T R A I L C H A T T E R #asmr
  • 3 1
 If you cant handle bar’s to long like you used to

Just drink beer at home it’s way cheaper and safer
  • 4 3
 Like they said, why video. I don’t watch YouTube and their horrible ads and phone updates that’s required to watch a dam vid... pass
  • 7 3
 more bradshaw please
  • 10 8
 Can you just tell us and not make us watch a video please
  • 2 3
 how do they ear extra cash.
  • 1 2
 @mtb-scotland: how do they thumb more bunse.
  • 2 4
 @browner: pews from mycube
  • 6 4
 So Lee McCormack was right about short handlebars.
  • 6 0
 At 197 cm, his formula also suggests I should be on 865 mm wide bars…
  • 7 0
 @alexasu: i love Lees tinkering and his first book helped me a ton, but that formula is whack. He is all about max biomechanical power and when i run a 800 bar as suggested i have clearly a lot less power than running my 765s.
  • 1 2
 @optimumnotmaximum: and how did you measure that? And how do you get more power running 765s? Hmmm?
  • 1 0
 @alexasu: yes, the 4.4 coefficient is bs. We don't have all the same anatomy. But the theory behind shoulder stability is interesting.
  • 4 3
 Lost me at video. Just tell us don’t make us wade through a bunch of BS banter.
  • 2 0
 More like: what width are they running and how tall are they.
  • 2 0
 Yeo! Wasn't enough of them in there.
  • 1 0
 Needed more yeah bois too.
  • 2 1
 is it just me or does Jack Moirs bike look like it have odi elite pros but with ergon ends?
  • 2 0
 Cut down the bars or cut down the trees? I'm so confused.
  • 2 4
 What is with being interested in pro’s, or anyone else’s bar width? I’d seriously love to know what people get from this? Are you also interested in seat post length? They seem to be about equal in relevance, and both are completely relative to the individual’s preference/physique.
  • 1 0
 Most people could probably ride with their bar 10-15mm off center and not even know if they didn’t look down but go ahead and insist 15mm of 770-800 width makes soo much difference. Strange times. Next thing you know 29’ers will take over.
  • 2 0
 Any idea what brand makes those little bar ends Charley Murphy had?
  • 1 0
 And we have Innes Graham with 680

www.instagram.com/p/CeUPTMEgFZs
  • 1 0
 The more interesting one to do would be frame sizes, but that would blow too many minds and piss off too many bikes brands.
  • 3 0
 Yup
Who gives a F#•k ?
  • 2 0
 I miss waki, so fun to downvote.
  • 1 0
 Yeah yeah this is like the fifth bar width feature in 2 years. Will you just go to the kit that matters: Boxers or briefs!?
  • 4 2
 Who cares
  • 2 1
 MY handle bar......is NONEYA!!! millimeters wide... >.>
  • 1 1
 800 or STFU! But thats if your 6'4" hahaha
  • 2 1
 Gripping stuff
  • 1 0
 Riveting topic….
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