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Switching to narrow bars

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Switching to narrow bars

Old 05-06-19, 03:07 PM
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Radish_legs
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Switching to narrow bars

I'm in the process of switching from 42cm bars to 38 cm bars. I have no idea what it is going to feel like. I'm done with the install maybe later today. There is a crit race tomorrow.

Would it be ill advised to have my first ride on 38s be a crit race?
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Old 05-06-19, 03:53 PM
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Eh, too late now. Might as well go for it.

I noticed it initially on longer rides in my shoulder blades. Not so much on shorter rides.
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Old 05-06-19, 04:27 PM
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The old rule - place the drop ends against the balls of your shoulder. Exact fit? Perfect. For me, that was 38, 39. I now rode those on my road bike, 42s on my road fix gears for climbing leverage and 43+ for my mountain climbing setup for that fix gear. (The wide bars are also very nice for spinning 200+ RPM coming down!)

Any time I have to go upwind, I really appreciate those narrow bars. Back when I raced, being narrow also had real advantages moving up, etc.

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Old 05-06-19, 05:08 PM
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It depends. I have about 5 sets of bars (good bars) dealing with the aero and the power part. Found in the end that IAB and height/position mattered more. Rolling shoulders matters more. All said and done, narrow is better. Riding with forearms parallel to ground is better than bar width. But if you have all that, narrow bars are good, and may assist rolling shoulders part.
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Old 05-06-19, 05:40 PM
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I'd consider getting a slightly longer stem to go with it. Otherwise it may feel more cramped and your elbows will flare out more to compensate
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Old 05-06-19, 05:44 PM
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Love em. 3rd season on 38cm (36 at the hoods) 3T Ergonova. I don't see how static fitting arms at your side can account for differences in shoulder function. Narrow bars force me to either externally rotate to an uncomfortable point or ride elbows out. Just have to try it.

Track guys are going crazy narrow, aero trumping everything.
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Old 05-06-19, 05:48 PM
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When I first started riding I was on 42cm bars.

Last year I got Zipp aero bars and dropped down to 40 cm. Didn't really notice much of a difference.

This year I went to 38 cm Zipp (SL-70?) bars and at first they felt too narrow but I've gotten used to them - no pain anywhere or anything like that.

Once thing to keep in mind about these bars is they flare out a bit in the drops - so they might even be 36cm at the tops, but 38cm in the drops.

Narrow is aero!

(I'm 5'10" for reference)
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Old 05-06-19, 10:13 PM
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I have either 36's to 38's, but being shorter that's not as big of a deal.
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Old 05-07-19, 11:29 AM
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How far up should I wrap these aero bars? Will wrapping the tops allow me to do IAB?
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Old 05-07-19, 11:33 AM
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I wrap em to the bend and leave the top naked. I bought mine off a teammate and he had put some grip tape on top, which is awesome because my arms don't slip when I get sweaty.
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Old 05-07-19, 11:55 AM
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Only wrap them on the curved part and leave the flat part alone.


According to the above video you're lost 1.5 watts wrapping it.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
I wrap em to the bend and leave the top naked. I bought mine off a teammate and he had put some grip tape on top, which is awesome because my arms don't slip when I get sweaty.
what is grip tape? Like skateboard sand paper?
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Old 05-08-19, 10:14 AM
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It's textured tape basically, and will let you rest your forearms on the top of the bars without them slipping. I think 3m makes it? It's like maybe a couple of mm thick so aero penalty is somewhere between negligible and nonexistent. I have two pieces a few inches in length applied to the top of each side of the bar.
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Old 05-08-19, 10:23 AM
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I'll add I don't really use the IAB position all that often, i mostly go between sphinx/drops and use IAB in cases where I'm taking a pull on a straightish not sketchy road. It's worth having the option but don't feel you're obligated to do it on the regular.
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Old 05-08-19, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
When I first started riding I was on 42cm bars.

Last year I got Zipp aero bars and dropped down to 40 cm. Didn't really notice much of a difference.

This year I went to 38 cm Zipp (SL-70?) bars and at first they felt too narrow but I've gotten used to them - no pain anywhere or anything like that.

Once thing to keep in mind about these bars is they flare out a bit in the drops - so they might even be 36cm at the tops, but 38cm in the drops.

Narrow is aero!

(I'm 5'10" for reference)
Even I have 38cm bars on my more-aero bike. They lack leverage for sprinting, but that's not really a factor for me.
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Old 05-08-19, 06:00 PM
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I use skateboard deck tape on the tops of my aero road barz, got 2 sets
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Old 05-31-19, 03:59 PM
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With the new setup, 38 alum aero bars and 140mm stem, I'm definitely more aero on the bike (I think). People tell me I look lower and more aero. There is still some question in my mind whether I can sprint as effectively with the new position. But I'm of the mind I can still practice and adjust to it. I've won my last 4 bunch sprints, so I'm thinking overall it doesn't appear to have set me back. And also I have been in a successful breakaway since the new setup. The other factor here is that I may just be racing with slow-ish guys, or guys on bad days.
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Old 06-09-19, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
I use skateboard deck tape on the tops of my aero road barz, got 2 sets
Hockey tape. Pretty much 1970/80s bar tape. With flat top bars and IAB, just better.

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Old 06-26-19, 11:44 AM
  #19  
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I had bought a 140mm stem from ebay. Someone commented to me that it looked longer than 140. I measured it. It's 150. <smh>. I've been riding now on a 150mm stem for quite a while. I didn't even know this stem came in 150mm.
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Old 07-14-19, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
Even I have 38cm bars on my more-aero bike. They lack leverage for sprinting, but that's not really a factor for me.
I don’t think that is a huge factor for sprinters either. Track sprinters are riding very narrow bars.
https://www.trackcyclingacademy.com/...ack-handlebars
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Old 07-14-19, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
With the new setup, 38 alum aero bars and 140mm stem, I'm definitely more aero on the bike (I think). People tell me I look lower and more aero. There is still some question in my mind whether I can sprint as effectively with the new position. But I'm of the mind I can still practice and adjust to it. I've won my last 4 bunch sprints, so I'm thinking overall it doesn't appear to have set me back. And also I have been in a successful breakaway since the new setup. The other factor here is that I may just be racing with slow-ish guys, or guys on bad days.
Measure out 200 meters on a road and time yourself. One nice thing about track racing is you have all these perfectly measured distances to test out new equipment and positions.
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