The last component I added to my new bike were the handlebars, but one point I did not address yet was the width. I get asked on the “right” width from time to time, and as much as anybody just wants a simple answer, the problem with simple answers is that they are usually wrong.
You may know the rule about handlebar width matching shoulder width. Sounds logical. Then you ask yourself: “Why would my handlebars have to be the same width as my shoulders? There’s quite a bit of arm in-between!” Personally I like narrow bars, they make me feel compact and fast. Wide bars make me feel like I’m riding a cruiser.
Does bar width make a difference in my performance? Aerodynamically, the narrow bars probably are a bit better. Other than that I doubt it makes any difference. Some worry about the ability to breath, but with your arms free to take any position, I doubt that’s a real problem. It’s a little different with aerobars, where your elbows are locked in and hence if they are too narrow, it could affect the shape of your chest. But with dropbars that problem doesn’t exist.
What’s your favorite bar width? Let me know in the comments section or call me out via twitter @gerardvroomen.