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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
    Posts
    473

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    TM, I think it's really interesting that the fit involved cutting your bars down. Are these guys used to fitting roadies? Every thing I am learning about MTB technique with my coaching certs points to wider bars being more stable, and have many other advantages but that certainly did not used to be the case. Example, my 2001 FS came with 22" bars, the one I bought in 07 had 25" and now 28" or more is standard. The shops I work with want you to start wide, try and then cut them down after you've ridden them for a bit. And sure, they can be intimidating and feel pretty strange if you are used to narrow bars.
    The LBS that I went to fit all types of riders, from MTB to Cyclocross to Roadies. I had no complaints riding my MTB with the original handlebars, but after the ends were cut off, I felt I had more control with the narrower handlebars; so I am very happy that my LBS did that. In addition, since my current handle bars are only a slight bit wider than my "optimal" and your coach recommends that wider bars are more stable, then my current handlebar width is probably perfect for me.
    2014 Liv Lust
    2013 Specialized Fate Expert with carbon wheelset (sold)
    2012 Specialized Amira Elite
    2010 Santa Cruz Juliana with R kit and Crampon pedals (sold)

    2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle (sold)

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403

    Tight downhill single track switchbacks

    Mostly I'm just thinking out loud as I learn more and more about tech stuff and adjustments, and how minor tweaks can affect riding. If something is working for you , totally awesome and stick with it.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,583
    So here's my view on the whole handlebar width deal. In general most shops think wider is better. The theory is that you have a longer lever to work from so you can affect a larger change in your front end alignment with a smaller movement of your body. That's great from a bicycle physics point of view and hence...

    Quote Originally Posted by Irulan View Post
    The shops I work with want you to start wide, try and then cut them down after you've ridden them for a bit. And sure, they can be intimidating and feel pretty strange if you are used to narrow bars.
    Unfortunately, what that doesn't take into account is the riders's physique and strength.

    My advice when it comes to mtn bike handlebar width is this... find the distance between your hands that you can hold a push-up position for at least 20 sec with elbows going outwards. The measurement should be from the outer edge of your hand. Start with that and then go narrower as needed.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    From what I've been told by the guy MTBers is the bike is less squirrely with wider bars, but more nimble/responsive with narrow bars. I immediately chopped mine because where I like to ride the trail is narrow with lots of trees to catch the bars on.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
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    2013 Electra Verse

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
    Posts
    473
    I don't know if the following things that I have been doing are "safe" mountain biking techniques, but they seem to work for me (I am very, very slow going downhill, especially in mountain biking).

    1. I know that you are supposed to feather the brakes when going downhill (so that the brakes don't overheat and fail), but I feather the brakes in an alternate fashion....left hand, then right hand, left, than right, etc. unless going on a very steep, short downhill where I brake lightly with both hands.

    2. When going around a tight curve while going downhill, you are still supposed to accelerate around the turn (if you go too slow, the bike will just flop over). I used to lightly let go of both brakes to get around the turn which made me fearful of losing control. I finally realized that I can keep the same grip on my right hand (rear) brake and just let go of my left hand (front) brake to accelerate around the corner. I just have to remember NOT to squeeze my right hand harder than I was already squeezing when entering the turn. Now I feel like I am still in control while accelerating around a corner (although I still need to practice my lines and look ahead at the trail instead of looking over at the cliff next to me). Sadly, I only figured this out yesterday (when I have been doing switchbacks for over 6 months now).

    Thanks to everyone at TeamEstrogen, I am climbing better now that I practice and know my trails more. There is still one tough 20% grade sandy, rocky, curvy, hilly single track that I am walking up (because I am still "pulling" up too hard and lose traction on my front tires), but I am able to climb some of the 15%-18% fireroads now, even with the deep cracks, which requires the correct aiming of my bike along the side of the cracks and correct timing if I need to cross over the crack. I know bikers that go downhill on this curvy half mile section that I climb up but the steepness of the hill with the big crack.....NOT safe in my book.
    Last edited by TigerMom; 02-24-2014 at 10:42 AM.
    2014 Liv Lust
    2013 Specialized Fate Expert with carbon wheelset (sold)
    2012 Specialized Amira Elite
    2010 Santa Cruz Juliana with R kit and Crampon pedals (sold)

    2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle (sold)

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,557
    Reviving this thread because it looks pretty good. I’ll read it tomorrow, though. My eyes won’t stay open.

    Night!
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

 

 

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