How Wide Should Your Mountain Bike Handlebars Be? GMBN's Guide To Bar Width

How Wide Should Your Mountain Bike Handlebars Be? GMBN's Guide To Bar Width

What width bars should I get for my MTB? It’s a question we hear all the time! There’s several factors to think of when choosing a new bar, width, rise, roll, style and a huge amount of personal preference! So here’s our guide to handlebar width for mountain bikers.

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Handlebar width affects how your bike handles and feels out on the trail. If you’re a downhiller, you might want to consider going wide; possibly up to 800mm. Even XC riders are going wide now – some up to 700mm.

In this video, Marc and Neil run through how to work out your ideal bar width and how your riding style might affect the bars that you run.

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  1. jaydavee on July 25, 2019 at 1:05 am

    I just spent $6 USD for brand new bars that are 710 mm. I guess I won’t cut them. πŸ˜€

  2. Will blundell on July 25, 2019 at 1:06 am

    I’m 2 and I have a -1mm stem with 1000mm handle bars

  3. Chevalier Edward Poljak KTJ on July 25, 2019 at 1:08 am

    been riding for 25 years on my xc I run 80mm stem with 640 bars perfect set up for me.

  4. STINKBUG76 ! on July 25, 2019 at 1:09 am

    R. I. P my 680 bars

  5. teshima junta on July 25, 2019 at 1:10 am

    Im using an XC bike with rigid fork, 760mm wide bars with an enduro/short stem.. my hands feel numb after few km’s of riding.. what should i do to be more comfortable? Thanks

  6. Crank Bait on July 25, 2019 at 1:12 am


  7. Life of MaMuT on July 25, 2019 at 1:14 am

    I run 1,5meters handlebar.

  8. 1095Workhorse on July 25, 2019 at 1:15 am

    So I roll on a 04 Supergo Wyless SP medium frame 26′ wheel, that is basically a Santa Cruz knock off, best bang for the buck bike back then. Anyway; love my old bike and want to upgrade, I’m thinking stem and handlebars, I’m 5.11′ 140lbs wide shoulder. So I currently have a 100mm stem slight rise with a 20′ handlebar race face DH bar, I do not know how short of a stem I can go with out cramping the cockpit, or how wide on the bars. I think I can get away with wider bars because I’m long armed, but to long of stem might make the up hills a little twitchy. any helpful input would be nice!

  9. Joe Scheller on July 25, 2019 at 1:16 am

    im old fashion dont like any of them want the old style bars with the high raise. 71 and dont have the bend over desire as you young pups want to be in a not so bent over cramped style dont care about speed just comfort

  10. Waffeey on July 25, 2019 at 1:17 am

    800 master race? I’m 5’11 and ride a GT avalanche hardtail

  11. Wade Pratt on July 25, 2019 at 1:17 am

    760 bars with 20mm rise 40 mm stem 3mm rise an i think 9 degree sweep on the bars on my gt pantera sport+🀘

  12. Chili SheepDog on July 25, 2019 at 1:17 am

    720mm came stock with my Scott Scale XC MTB and they feel really good for my 5’10” bulky build on the Scotts medium frame.

  13. Mr. Teff on July 25, 2019 at 1:20 am

    Optimal bar width is largely affected by the rider’s arm length and shoulder width. You said 740mm is right for you, but this is not helpful because we don’t know your dimensions. Perhaps you could interview some of pros and semi pros and compare their arm-span to their preferred bar width, and include the type of riding they do. (I’m 6’1" and my arm-span is 77". I do exclusively cross country stuff. I’m open to suggestions. Thanks.)

  14. wolfsoul121 on July 25, 2019 at 1:21 am

    The width of most bars today just seems ludicrous to me. Some of you are riding bars that barely fit between telephone poles. How much leverage could you possibly need? You’re not using your front wheel to pry open a safe. I’m currently running the longest bar I ever have at 650mm (120mm stem) and even that seems too wide for me. Even with the 650mm width I can’t lean into turns like I’d like on tight trails. I just don’t get it. You crazy kids today . . .

  15. jam on July 25, 2019 at 1:21 am

    i’m using a custom make 1000mm handle bar. anyone else beside me?

  16. M.C GAMES on July 25, 2019 at 1:24 am

    is 720mm fine

  17. El Jefe on July 25, 2019 at 1:25 am

    Hey guys quick question what’s the average bar width for downhillers back in the 90s to 2010?

  18. Danial Hakim on July 25, 2019 at 1:26 am

    I am riding xc with 780mm riser handlebar. Is that too ridiculous?

  19. Scott Lohr on July 25, 2019 at 1:27 am

    Going back to narrower bar with longer stem. The extra energy I’ve used to fight the wandering front end on long climbs is not made up on the descents. But again, my riding focus is climbing.

  20. Roman on July 25, 2019 at 1:31 am

    From 12 to 16 years old I was riding kid bike with extremely narrow handlebar. Recently I got new bike and it has 780mm bar. It’s so uncomfortable..

  21. CARLOS BELTRAN on July 25, 2019 at 1:31 am



  22. Vincent Borsum on July 25, 2019 at 1:33 am

    i run 720 on my freeride/downhill bike, and 780 on my street bike… I have no clue why its not the other way around

  23. Peter Wright on July 25, 2019 at 1:35 am

    800 crew??

  24. MrTrashcan1 on July 25, 2019 at 1:35 am

    I have a ’97 Jamis Dakar with the original bar, flat Titec 560mm. It always seemed fine to me, but several years back I purchased an Easton EA70 monkeybar which is 685mm which is like 5" longer! Never used it–in my hands it feels so wide, but I hate to cut it down. Maybe I’ll try it as it is.

  25. Michael McCutcheon on July 25, 2019 at 1:36 am

    Wow. This is only three years old but it already seems quite dated. XC race bikes these days generally have short stems and wide bars, matched with a long cockpit.

  26. Francisco Manduani on July 25, 2019 at 1:36 am

    what about puting a protaper motocross handlebar !! πŸ˜€

  27. Aiden Wright on July 25, 2019 at 1:37 am

    i ride 980mm

  28. Joesan on July 25, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Mine is 35 mm, 27.5 mm rise, 780 mm width. It is just the stock handlebar that came with my Trek Remedy 8! Should I consider going a bit down on the width? Perhaps to 740 mm? Would I notice any substantial difference?

  29. RAGE RAGE on July 25, 2019 at 1:39 am

    ur ass is too high when u doo push ups

  30. Dra5tic on July 25, 2019 at 1:39 am

    I ride with 620 mm bars

  31. TheFall3n on July 25, 2019 at 1:40 am

    My hardtail i ride is at 760mm bars and a short 35mm stem

  32. A Kendo on July 25, 2019 at 1:40 am

    1200mm bars and 3mm stem and im 85

  33. David ? on July 25, 2019 at 1:42 am

    750mm std KONA XC/BC 35 bars….

  34. Pooty Tang on July 25, 2019 at 1:43 am

    I’m 6’4” and my wingspan Is 7’8” is 800mm gonna be chill or what do u guys think

  35. Shmokter Resner on July 25, 2019 at 1:43 am

  36. eamon garceau on July 25, 2019 at 1:46 am


  37. Mik D'Addario on July 25, 2019 at 1:46 am

    GLOBAL mtbn… their all british

  38. Adriel MUtopia on July 25, 2019 at 1:47 am

    what brand of mountain bikes or city bikes offer the most upright positioning possible and only hardtails please? Excluding cruiser bikes unless they have a good amount of gears and front suspension, which isn’t basically a cruiser after stating those features to my knowledge. Looking to sit really upright with or without bmx bars.

  39. ZN Gamer on July 25, 2019 at 1:47 am

    the pushup is bullshit, pushups isnt a preference thing.
    putting your hands wider and it will have more effect on your chest
    putting your hands narrower and it will have effect on your triceps

    the correct pushup form is putting your hand perfectly under your shoulder

  40. Joel Davies on July 25, 2019 at 1:47 am

    I always ride with bars cut all the way down to roughly 65cm. Have no issues with stability or speed, also helps weave the bars between trees on narrow trails as dude on the right pointed out.
    The opposite will always be said by those used to different setups, like the guy on the left who was a long bar user, he struggled to comprehend the short bar use but also struggled to justify the (actual) benefits of long bar use. You just get used to what you’re using or have always used, his comments on confidence were invalid really.
    I ride a light cross-country full sus frame, with downhill bars on a cross country long stem. Downhill spec gears (shinamo ZEE + SRAM Cassette) with a (modded to 1 speed – previously 3 speed) cross country crank set. Downhill front air shocks on downhill wheels.
    It’s perfect for my mixed riding discipline and it’s taken me years to mix and match the parts into a perfect cocktail.
    I would never buy a band new pre-configured bike for that reason, always build from second hand. Save money and invest savings in custom set-ups.

  41. Markus Patients on July 25, 2019 at 1:50 am

    I purchased a mount- bike it came with 24" bars It felt unstable as if I would lose my balance. I brought new bars at 27.5 now the bike feels like I’m setting on a rock After grips they’re now 30 inches. BETTER but it won’t get through the bathroom door.

  42. Serkan SARCAN on July 25, 2019 at 1:50 am

    Do you recommend Easton ea 30 riser bar or race face evolve riser bar? Same price here.

  43. Arthur 94 on July 25, 2019 at 1:52 am

    I’m considering buying new handlebar, should I buy a 75 dollar renthal fat bar or a 30 dollar generic brand bar. Is the extra money worth it?

  44. No one will find this I hope on July 25, 2019 at 1:53 am

    I just think wide bars look cool

  45. Monkey Juju on July 25, 2019 at 1:55 am

    Do people really not know that a mil is an actual unit of measure, and calling millimeters mils is just annoying and confusing. It takes like 80 MILLIseconds to add "emeter" onto "mil"… No one can really be that lazy.

  46. AKOSI SHISHIDOUGIE on July 25, 2019 at 1:55 am

    What is the longest handlebar?

  47. Stacey Fletcher on July 25, 2019 at 1:56 am

    I’m like 5.8 and ride 780mm bars πŸ˜‚
    Edit: 5.7

  48. Darth Sidious on July 25, 2019 at 1:58 am

    Neil the guy to tell you fairytales are real and you beleave it

  49. ocBTyga on July 25, 2019 at 1:59 am

    i love 760mm

  50. Luke Entz on July 25, 2019 at 2:00 am

    Bar width is a preference honestly. There is really no right size