Q&A: Bar Tender

What bar width would you recommend for general riding?

Q: I’ve heard that downhillers are now using super wide bars for extra control, but what width would you recommend for general riding?

A P Hangur

A: Most cross-country bikes we test are currently coming through with 25in bars, which give a good compromise between weight and reasonable control leverage. More capable 5in-plus travel bikes or more aggressive riders will definitely appreciate the extra ‘power assist’ of a 26-27in bar in tight or very rough situations though. At around the 27-28in mark you really have to be careful about clearances on trailside obstacles/ trees/gates/bridge hand rails, though, as the couple of extra inches make a massive difference to what you’ll clobber now.

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