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What’s Your Bike’s Handlebar Width? GCN Asks The Pros At The UAE Tour

– Many cyclists these days tend to be opting for slightly narrower
handle bars than usual, although not everyone is adopting that. So, let’s ask some of the pros
today whether or not they do, and also, how did they go about choosing their handle bar width? Come on. (dramatic music) How’d you go back to,
yeah, exactly, Valentines. Someone did say in the comments. – How do I choose it?
– Yeah. – By looking at what looks good. – Yeah?
– I’m only joking. – Uh. – Also, you need to
save wads were you can. – Yeah, tell me about it.
– Yeah. – Ride whatever the
mechanics put on your bike, and don’t complain. – Well, Alex, we’re gonna try
and get a few words from you. There’s a bit of motor sport
going on in the background. Your road handle bars, how’d you go about choosing
your width for them? – So, I just basically ask for as narrow as Canyon will
make a new aero bar. – Right, okay, and is that
purely just for aerodynamics? – Um.
(car engine revs) No. Not at all, actually, it’s for squeezing through
gaps in the peloton. – Really? – If you’ve got wide
bars, it’s a smaller gap you have to go through. – I just thought the narrower, the better. And I tried it, I started
on 44 centimeters, now I went to 42’s, and
then I thought, okay, let’s just try the smallest, 38’s. And I had no problem with it. And I noticed that no matter
what handle bar you hold, your elbows always stick out, and, you know, it’s a, how do you say, it’s a slave joint, in a sense, and, yeah, I had no
problems with controlling my bike riding, and I’ve been doing it ever since 2007. – That’s a long time, actually, isn’t it? You’ve been that narrow for that long? – Yeah. – To be honest, like, narrower
is better aerodynamically, but I don’t get enough
leverage when I sprint with a narrow bar, you know. I kind of have to sit up,
it keeps the body upright. On a track bike you can
do ’cause you’ve sat down, but when you’re out of
the saddle, you know, I throw the bike around when I sprint, and I need a bit of weight there, to kind of, lever on it a bit. – Have you tried around with narrow ones? – Yeah, I have, yeah. I always use them on the track when I don’t have to
get out of the saddle, I do. Yeah, I think even 2012
Olympics I used narrow ones but, I had a puncture and
I won the sprint anyway, but I was in the saddle on the sprint, we had to learn the kind of track sprint on the road, you know. – Yeah, ’cause they go
in like, what, 36, 34? – Yeah, but that’s just crazy, innit? – You can’t really maneuver,
do you know what I mean? I tried it, I was trying
to get wider and wider, just to maneuver, you know? That’s how I ride, isn’t it? That’s the thing. Narrower is aerodynamically better, but you just can’t
maneuver the bike as well. – Yeah, you’re that tall kind that likes to chuck it around a bit. – I’ve been in a 40 since
the beginning of time. I’m 40 is what it is, center to center. – Ever though about going narrower? – No. No, sorry mate. – That’s all right.
– No. – That’s all right. – No, why would I do that? – Honesty is the best policy.
– Yeah, exactly. No, I don’t understand why
people are going narrow. It makes you more aero,
but 90% of the time, you’re sat in a bunch. – That is true, yeah. Does it make is easier to
move through the bunch, drifting? – No. – No? – If you’ve got narrow
bars and wide shoulders then you’re still gonna bump into someone, aren’t you? – (chuckles) That we are. – Well, basically, I’ve gone from, when I was a junior, I was set up by the
AIS, Cycling Australia, and they measured me up as a full body, and said your bars should be 40, 42, and I’ve stuck with it since. It’s as simple as this. – Never been tempted to
go a little bit narrower like we see some of the
guys here, like Adam? – Yeah, no. – No? – No. I like to be comfortable. If you’re on a bike for a long period, then it’s a little bit
different to a time trial where really, if you’re comfortable, it’s the wrong position. If you road bike, like I
said, between 4 and 7 hours, you want to have some comfort. – I’m small, so I just use
the narrowest ones for me. I just get the 40’s. – Okay, and do you find
that makes any difference with handling in the peloton? – Not that I’ve noticed, anyway. I just feel more comfortable on them. That’s about, literally all
I’ve ever thought about, so. – Never thought going wider
or anything like that? – No, not really. – I kind of went narrower
when I was at Quickster, you know, just ’cause it
was like, their philosophy was go narrow, narrow, narrow, you know? And it just felt good. So it’s just comfort more
than anything, I think. There’s no secret formula. It’s kinda look at your shoulders. I don’t think you should
have it much wider than your shoulders, a little bit wider than your shoulders, and that’s about it. – Pretty narrow, but not too narrow. So, I have big shoulders and
I ride 40 centimeter bars, so, but any narrower than that and I think you kinda compromise handling. But actually I feel
almost better with 40’s than I do with anything wider, so. – Funny question. I run size 40 handle bars, but I just saw my biomechanic a month ago and he was posing the question why I shouldn’t go to 38. The one limiting factor for us, is actually what our sponsors make. Because a lot of us run
a one piece bar and stem, and the sizing and lengths that we run compared to the general public who’s what they make the measurements for, because they, you know,
the market for the public is much bigger than a
handful of handlebars they supply us each year. And, so we kind of have to fit into, if you want to run an
integrated bar and stem, you need to fit into their
kind of specifications, and 38 is not normally an
option with most companies. So unless you prepared
to run a non-integrated, you know, you have to decide. Do you want to be 38, maybe be narrower, but you’re losing the integration, so you’re losing the aerodynamics anyway, how much more aerodynamic are you with 38 bars? Or do you run the 40’s,
all integrated and, I don’t know. Also, hand position has
got a lot to do with it. If you hold the bar straight or if you just roll your wrists in, it can be like you’re riding
a size 30 bar any way. – Whatever your shoulders are, man. My shoulders are relatively narrow, so I use a 42, I think. – Ever been tempted to go narrow, like some of the guys out here? They look narrow, don’t they? – Yeah, actually mine might be a 40. I’m not the most specific
on equipment, am I? I’m not really a finicky rider that way. I just think, you know,
if it gets to narrow, then everybody’s a specialist
these days, you know? Some guys like to run them really narrow, ’cause they’re gonna ride the break aways, and they wanna be nice and aerodynamic when they’re on the front, and I think the wide is stable, you know, but if it’s too wide in the sprint then your gonna have
trouble getting through some of the holes and
gaps in the peloton, so. – So, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. – Yeah. Ride what’s comfortable
is my recommendation. – So there we are. Some different opinions
on what types of bars to be using, and also how to choose them. Let me know, though, have
you gone super narrow and super aero or are you still remaining nice and comfy and well, able to ride all day long. Let me know in the comments section. Don’t forget too, to
like and share this video with your friends. Big ol’ thumbs up. And why not check out the GCN shop at And now for two more great videos how about clicking just down
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