Wider is better..

19 10 2011

So you’re working at home in the shop, you’re changing your oil – whatever. You’re trying to loosen a bolt and your wrench just isn’t long enough to get enough torque. What do you do? You find a longer wrench or grap a cheater, slip it over the wrench and, Bazinga! The bolt’s loose. It’s called leverage and it gives you mechanical advantage.

This same theory can be applied to mountain biking as well. I have been rocking wide bras for years, even wider this year when I picked up some Chromag OSX 760mm bars. 760mm is 30 inches. That’s almost a metre wide! For those of you not convinced here are a couple points to consider.

1) Wider bars place you in a more aggressive stance over the bike. This means more stability which makes you better prepared for all conditions.

2) Ever notice that it’s easier to do a bench press when your hands are placed further apart? This mechanical advantage can also be applied to wide bars. Not that you’re bikes weighs 200lb. but the front end of my ride does exactly what I want it to do with the least amount of input because I have mechanical advantage. This can also get you into trouble!

3) You can apply the same theory above to climbing. Apply this with another gym analogy. Try doing a pull down with your hands together. I know, right? Now try with your arms spread. Exactly… When the climbing gets technical and steep having a wide bar gives you more room for your legs to maneuver when you are riding the rivet.

4) I am a barrel chested Irishman so having all that room up front for my lungs to inflate is fantastic!

The only con to wide bars that I can think of can be seen in the image above. You really need to learn your width before you go tearing thru the goal posts.  If you are thinking about going wide which will change the geometry of the ride consider your geometry. If you are a 5′ tall and a buck five then a 760mm bar might feel like a flag pole so cut the bar as appropriate to your own body.

What do you think?

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