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Endurance Drop Bar Width and Shoulder Width

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Endurance Drop Bar Width and Shoulder Width

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Old 11-25-18, 06:08 PM
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krispenhartung
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Endurance Drop Bar Width and Shoulder Width

I think I'm going to "drop" my Scattos and go with the 3T Aeronova Team bars for endurance events.
What's the current reasoning on bar width relative to shoulder width? I'm fairly broad shouldered -- approx. 47cm - -and wondering if I should go with 40cm or 42cm.
My Scattos are 37cm and feel normal to me, but then again that's all I have ever used since I started racing on the track. Now when I jump on my road bike, they feel unstable and too wide (I suppose that's an indication of how much time I spend training on my track bike vs. road bikes). The Velodrome Shop's page on this suggests 42cm based on my shoulder width, but since 37cm already feels fine to me, I am thinking of 40cm. Thoughts?
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Old 11-26-18, 09:36 AM
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gl98115
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Originally Posted by krispenhartung View Post
My Scattos are 37cm and feel normal to me,
Thoughts?
Continue riding the 37cm Scattos. Plenty of other racers do. You haven't articulated any benefits for going to a wider bar.
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Old 11-26-18, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gl98115 View Post
Continue riding the 37cm Scattos. Plenty of other racers do. You haven't articulated any benefits for going to a wider bar.
That doesn't address my question, however. My question is what's the current reasoning on bar width relative to shoulder width? I've already researched the benefits or reasons why some track racers would choose a more road-like endurance bar over a sprint bar, and I have worked that out already on my own. So, to rephrase, are there any rules of thumb regarding bar width, in light of ergonomics, mechanics, etc? I'm looking for some facts and data here.
K-
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Old 11-26-18, 11:01 AM
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I believe the general rule of thumb for road bikes was that your bars should be as wide as your shoulders. The idea being that your arms would move straight out to be on the hoods or drops. Given your measurements, you would need a 46 bar. (I've never seen a 48). Of course, that is not the most aerodynamic set up.
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Old 11-26-18, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
I believe the general rule of thumb for road bikes was that your bars should be as wide as your shoulders. The idea being that your arms would move straight out to be on the hoods or drops. Given your measurements, you would need a 46 bar. (I've never seen a 48). Of course, that is not the most aerodynamic set up.
That definitely makes sense given my road bike setup and aligns accordingly.
I found this page interesting. https://www.velodrome.shop/barsize
I am just wondering where they get the recommendation of 42cm for my shoulder width, or the rest of the recommendations for that matter. I assume that at some point, similar to a time trial bike, an overly narrow arm position can constrict the chest and oxygen intake, despite increased aerodynamics. On a time trial bike, there is also an issue of stability. However, on my track bike, 37cm does not seem to constrict my chest nor reduce stability. If anything I feel more stable, because a wider bar is essentially like using a longer lever, where you can produce greater movement of the steer tube with less movement from the end of the bars (I think this is standard mechanics, right?) -- hence I consider this a good basis for going with a 40cm endurance bar, but this is an inference based on limited information and experience.
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Old 11-26-18, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by krispenhartung View Post
However, on my track bike, 37cm does not seem to constrict my chest nor reduce stability. If anything I feel more stable, because a wider bar is essentially like using a longer lever, where you can produce greater movement of the steer tube with less movement from the end of the bars (I think this is standard mechanics, right?)
Actually it is just the opposite. A 1 cm movement at the end of the bars will give less angular rotation the wider the bars. Narrow bars initially feel more twitchy because you are used to inputting more movement than necessary for the narrower bars.
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Old 11-26-18, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gl98115 View Post
Actually it is just the opposite. A 1 cm movement at the end of the bars will give less angular rotation the wider the bars. Narrow bars initially feel more twitchy because you are used to inputting more movement than necessary for the narrower bars.
Ahhh, makes sense. So, when I use my road bike on my rollers, it feels more unstable and twitchy. I assume that is just because I have adapted to using my track bike on the rollers.
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Old 11-26-18, 08:27 PM
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Am I alone in thinking that the old chestnut "narrow bars restrict breathing" is no longer applicable? It seems that track positions have gotten much longer, putting hands well in front, so that your arms are in no way beside you, and cannot really be restricting your breathing. Right? Wrong?
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Old 11-26-18, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by krispenhartung View Post
Ahhh, makes sense. So, when I use my road bike on my rollers, it feels more unstable and twitchy. I assume that is just because I have adapted to using my track bike on the rollers.
Actually, my guess would be that the wheelbase of your two bikes is different.

There is only about a 1 inch sweet spot where a bike is nicely mated with rollers.

To see if they are the same or different, simply use a tape measure and measure horizontally from front wheel axle to rear wheel axle.

When setting up rollers for a bike, the sweet spot is to have the axle of the front roller barrel either directly under or 1cm in front of the axle of the bicycle's front wheel. Use a plumb or at least a nut tied to a string as a plumb.

When the rollers are set up properly for the bike, handling is easy
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Old 11-26-18, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
Am I alone in thinking that the old chestnut "narrow bars restrict breathing" is no longer applicable? It seems that track positions have gotten much longer, putting hands well in front, so that your arms are in no way beside you, and cannot really be restricting your breathing. Right? Wrong?
You aren't alone. This was debated and debunked ad nauseum on fixedgearfever back when Hoy was spotted ridding 34cm Nittos and 33cm Alpinas before the Scattos came out.

I forgot who it was, but one regular called the narrow bar trend about to happen about 1 year before it hit. (S)He had seen narrow bars on the British bikes working for them.
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Old 11-26-18, 09:40 PM
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Yeah, I mean I've sen a few enduros riding 33's at elite level too, so this isn't just a sprinter thing. NOBODY has 33cm shoulders., and I would guess that a world level points race is a fairly intense deal aerobically.
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Old 11-26-18, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
Yeah, I mean I've sen a few enduros riding 33's at elite level too, so this isn't just a sprinter thing. NOBODY has 33cm shoulders., and I would guess that a world level points race is a fairly intense deal aerobically.
Yeah, even the British women use 33cm Alpinas in the Madison, sorta debunking the need for a flat top grip area for the throw.

I can't recall if they won World Cups, Worlds, or the Olympics using those bars. They won something big using them.
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Old 11-26-18, 11:17 PM
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Your road bike most likely has a longer wheelbase, putting the hub IN FRONT of the roller.
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Old 11-27-18, 09:56 AM
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My shoulders are 48cm wide and I use 37cm bars for enduro and 40 or 42cm bars on the road depending on application (racing, training, CX).

I have never felt restricted in any way.
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Old 11-27-18, 10:58 AM
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Jon Dibben won the '16 WC points race on 33cm Alpinas. Also notice that he rides with his wrists rolled in, which would exaggerate any 'breathing constriction'.

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Old 11-27-18, 12:38 PM
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Katie Archibald and Emily Nelson on the way to winning 2018 Worlds Madison:

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Old 11-27-18, 12:41 PM
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I honestly think that the 33cm Alpinas are the best all around bar available now in terms of fitting, usefulness, and value.

Fitting because it's not super short and shallow. So, you can use it with moderately tall head tubes and don't need 140 or 150mm stems.

Usefulness in that all manner of riders can and have used them with success.

Value in that they are like half the cost of Scattos for all of the above.

No, they don't have an aero profile on the tops, but, it may not matter.
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Old 11-27-18, 12:42 PM
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The NZ Team Sprint dynasty used them:

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Old 11-27-18, 05:49 PM
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Man some of you people must be HUGE! I'm a BIG unit at 6'5" and my shoulders only run at 44cm! I presume that everyone is measuring correctly and to the shoulder bone, not the outside of your shoulders (skin)? Wider bars are a comfort factor. On the track that doesn't matter, even for "long" races. That is unless you're just a club rider out there and having fun.

At higher levels, at the speeds that are being ridden, aero trumps comfort EVERY time and in that case, wider bars will handicap you (unless you never intend on riding at the front )
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Old 11-27-18, 07:59 PM
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I switched to 38cm bars this season and would never go wider than that, road bike included. When I was on vacation and rented a bike it had 44cm bars on it and I felt like i was steering a cruise ship. It took me literally one day to get used to narrower bars, and now i want to go even narrower.
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Old 11-28-18, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
Man some of you people must be HUGE! I'm a BIG unit at 6'5" and my shoulders only run at 44cm! I presume that everyone is measuring correctly and to the shoulder bone, not the outside of your shoulders (skin)? Wider bars are a comfort factor. On the track that doesn't matter, even for "long" races. That is unless you're just a club rider out there and having fun.

At higher levels, at the speeds that are being ridden, aero trumps comfort EVERY time and in that case, wider bars will handicap you (unless you never intend on riding at the front )
Yeah I wasn't measuring between the joints. My shoulders are about 43-44cm measured that way (I'm 6'3).
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Old 12-04-18, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by krispenhartung View Post
That doesn't address my question, however. My question is what's the current reasoning on bar width relative to shoulder width? I've already researched the benefits or reasons why some track racers would choose a more road-like endurance bar over a sprint bar, and I have worked that out already on my own. So, to rephrase, are there any rules of thumb regarding bar width, in light of ergonomics, mechanics, etc? I'm looking for some facts and data here.
K-
The current reasonings for road are antiquated and incorrect, all stemming from the Italians trying to codify bike setups in the 60s. Shoulder width is a bit like kops for setback and bikefit, sort of an easy guide for people but not really worth anything but it's said as gospel.
Also as you've seen people's definitions of shoulder width changes depending on where they measure, I'm about 43-4cm from AC joints and ride very narrow 40cm bars on the road that measure 36.5cm at the hoods and track bars that are 34cm.
I remember reading about the actual width of the shoulder ball in the joint doesn't vary that much between people but its protrusions from that and bone structure around it that make up the majority of variance in people, and that width generally falls between 37.5 and 39cm for that majority of the population +-1SD. It's something I'd like to look into with some of the medical people at uni and delve into a little more.
TLR- imo almost everyone rides bars too wide for them on the road and it's generally trackies that don't.

Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
Am I alone in thinking that the old chestnut "narrow bars restrict breathing" is no longer applicable? It seems that track positions have gotten much longer, putting hands well in front, so that your arms are in no way beside you, and cannot really be restricting your breathing. Right? Wrong?
You're correct as thats a similarly antique saying, most of the breathing should be done with the stomach on the bike, also narrower bars don't effect the angle of the humerus that much, there just tends to be a slightly more bent elbow.
Originally Posted by carleton View Post
I honestly think that the 33cm Alpinas are the best all around bar available now in terms of fitting, usefulness, and value.

Fitting because it's not super short and shallow. So, you can use it with moderately tall head tubes and don't need 140 or 150mm stems.

Usefulness in that all manner of riders can and have used them with success.

Value in that they are like half the cost of Scattos for all of the above.

No, they don't have an aero profile on the tops, but, it may not matter.
Bang on with this, I sort of like scatto's in that plenty of people have embraced narrower bars because of them but they're very limited in their actual use. The difference for enduros is that they're easier for slings and you can mantis on them. If I were swapping my nittos out they'd be the only things I'd get short of the custom Aus things on the way.
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Old 12-12-18, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
I honestly think that the 33cm Alpinas are the best all around bar available now in terms of fitting, usefulness, and value.

Fitting because it's not super short and shallow. So, you can use it with moderately tall head tubes and don't need 140 or 150mm stems.

Usefulness in that all manner of riders can and have used them with success.

Value in that they are like half the cost of Scattos for all of the above.

No, they don't have an aero profile on the tops, but, it may not matter.
Man I skimmed through this thread then bought some 33 Alpinas on ebay.

Thanks a lot @carleton
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Old 12-12-18, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Morelock View Post
Man I skimmed through this thread then bought some 33 Alpinas on ebay.

Thanks a lot @carleton
Awesome. Let us know how it works out.
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