In addition to the cushion, another major component that affects the long-distance road riding experience is the handlebar. Nowadays, handlebar manufacturers and brands provide handlebars of different widths and lengths for various riders. So in the face of a dazzling array of handlebars, how should we choose the one that suits us?
This article is about two points to consider when choosing a handlebar, whether you are buying a handlebar for the first time or want to further upgrade your bicycle, these two points are applicable.
Choose the length of the handlebar
In the choice of the length of the handlebar, there are mainly two opinions.
The first argument is that the long handlebars can better reflect the effect of leverage, allowing the driver to use more power to control the car. And the long handlebars also help to open our chests and breathe easier.
The second argument is more inclined to use short handlebars. This argument believes that narrow handlebars can stretch people’s shoulders and back, thereby reducing muscle tension and fatigue. Not only that, the shorter handlebars can also make the aerodynamic effect more prominent.
My original handlebar was at least 44cm in length, but now my handlebar is only 42cm in length.
I still remember when I was changing the handlebars, I was always worried. First of all, because I know that depending on the length of the handlebars, there will be great differences in the feelings of riding. These differences are reflected in the feeling of support and chest stretch when riding, and the second is because of my body shape. More than the average rider
After changing to the new handlebar, I did feel that the leverage on this shorter new handlebar would be less than that of the old handlebar, but from my overall feelings of support, I got used to it quickly.
In terms of comfort, because the new handlebars are shorter, the distance between my hands is closer, so my triceps also need to exert more force. But this may also be the reason why I don’t tighten my arms when riding a bike. In short, I have already digested the difference in feeling.
In terms of breathing, I didn’t obviously feel that these two handlebars of different lengths had any effect on my breathing, so I couldn’t make a statement.
Eddie Audi, the founder of a bicycle fitness center in Atlanta, said: “According to experience, the distance between the two shoulder lock joints should match the length of the handlebar. But this is only the conclusion that most people have concluded. , Not necessarily applicable to everyone.”
(Note: Acromioclavicular joint, referred to as AC joint. It refers to the sliding or planar joint formed by the acromioclavicular articular surface and the outer end of the clavicle, located on the outermost side of the scapula.)
Eddie Audi also said, “Short handlebars will make our elbows and forearms tight, which can easily lead to forearm fatigue. But in fact, long handlebars have their own problems.”
So having said so much, if we want to buy the most suitable handlebars, we still need to try and experience them ourselves.
But here, this article can still make a suggestion. That is, if you feel your back and neck muscles tight and tired every time you finish riding, then your handlebars may be too long. But if you feel that your arm muscles are very tired or have chest tightness or nervousness when riding a bike, then the handlebars are too short for you.
Selection of handlebar shape
Eddie Audi said, “When choosing a flat or round handlebar shape, the size of the hand is a very important determinant. People with larger hands can use a wide and flat handlebar, and people with smaller hands can use it. It is more suitable for thinner handlebars. This is because people who are not big enough need to open their hands when using wide handlebars, which will increase the burden on the forearms. This principle is similar to the grip of a tennis racket.”
This suggestion is very useful.
In my own experience, because I am tall and strong, my hands are also very large, so I always prefer to use wide and flat handlebars. But when I checked my bicycle recently, I suddenly changed myself to a thin round alloy handlebar, and the experience was very poor.