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How to measure bar width

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics' started by onm, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. onm

    onm

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    About to buy some new bars, and want to get them in the same width as my current ones as they fit really well.

    Are bars measure from the outer edge to the outer edge, or middle of tube to middle of tube?

    Have a look at this photo, and let me know what width my current bars are. The other end of the tape measure is hooked over the outside of the other side of the bar.

    Am I guessing I am currently running a 45mm (or there abouts?). This would be the case if bars are measured outside edge to outside edge. If they are measured middle to middle, I am guessing I am running a 44mm...

    Cheers in advance for any light you can shed on this.

    Owen

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Phil

    Phil Maximum Pace

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    Can't really say without seeing the other end of the measure. If you're hooked over the hoods, you're adding mms. 44 cm c-c seems the most likely, maybe. I don't know off-hand of any handlebar makers that offer bars in odd-numbered measurements. Did you try measuring from the center of the hood on the other side?

    Most manufacturers provide sizes as measured c-c (center to center) but some, most notably Deda, measure outside to outside; for these, generally subtracting 2cm from the given size will give you the equivalent c-c measure (approximately).

    One other thing to watch out for is flare, where the bottom of the drops are wider than the hoods. For example, 3T Ergonovas (and I think the Ergosums as well) have a significant flare, and they end up feeling narrower than their stated width. (40cm Ergonovas felt more like 38cms to me).
     
  3. ProRaceMechanic

    ProRaceMechanic Maximum Pace

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    c-c

    center to center is the center of the tube where the plug goes in the bar. This is a tough question though because I have seen first hand that this works on some bars and not others.

    Case in point why your way of measuring may not work (it might though)is you could have your levers in a different spot especially with different brands, so this is not the place to measure, all though it will work with some.

    There is no right answer though, unfortunatly. Like Phil said, I had the same problem with an FSA bar measuring like a 44 not the 46 we had though to order

    All you can do is dig up information on whatever bar you will purchase than measure yours the same way. An email to the manufacturer after you have decided on a brand will be your best bet.
     
  4. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace Post Of The Week

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    Actually I've found that most Euro brands measure outer to outer as this is the widest riding stance (Mainly for climbing)

    If the bars are ergonomical the drops might be slightly wider and the measurement should be taken from there.

    So I'm guessing from that photo those are 460mm bars if you measured from outer to outer.
     
  5. onm

    onm

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    Cheers for the info lads.

    I sent Cannondale an email (these bars came stock on my CAAD9)and they are claiming 42mm, but that seems wrong. I have quizzed them back on this, and am awaiting a reply.

    The bars I am after are Deda Zero 100, so if anyone has any experience with Deda sizing that would be very helpful
     
  6. simontwosheds

    simontwosheds Warming-Up

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    Deda measure outside to outside edges of the tubes at the end of the drops. So a it's a bit confusing.
    You might also think about the 'reach' and 'drop' of your replacment bars, to see what difference the new ones make. Like this http://www.cinelli.it/EN/bici/geom_curve/index.html
    In theory if the bars have 10mm less reach you could need a 10mm longer stem.
    Personally i wouldn't buy bars unless i've had them in my hands with my current set available for comparison, which would probably solve your problem.
     
  7. onm

    onm

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    Just got home and measured my bars from centre to centre of the plugs, and it turns out they are indeed 42mm as Cannondale told me. How dare I doubt them!

    I will check out some bars at the local, and see how things feel.

    Cheers for the advice.

    Now to work out how to measure my stem... :)
     
  8. ProRaceMechanic

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    stem

    center of the steer tube bolt to center of bar,

    as for angle.... well

    sorry
     
  9. onm

    onm

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    Right, Cannondale are saying my stem is 100mm with a 6 degree rise.

    I measured it as you suggested and got nearer to 110mm

    Does the rise affect this?
     
  10. Half-Fast Mike

    Half-Fast Mike Maximum Pace

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    I really like the Shimano Pro series. Not the lightest bars out there, but sturdy and have a nice long straight section on the downward slope that I can grab without my fingers overlapping.

    Owen you really should sort out in your mind the difference between mm and cm. One day it could get you into trouble. :eek:
     
  11. kiwisimon

    kiwisimon Maximum Pace

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    Either that or hurry up and get married, it doesn't matter after that.
     
  12. FarEast

    FarEast Maximum Pace Post Of The Week

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    Ok to measure the stem its actually measured from the central locking cap bolt to the end of the bracket on the stem. The reason for this is that many new bars are now off center to provide a better clamp.

    [​IMG]
     

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