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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
when im on the bike, especially up on the hoods, i feel like my arms are spread way out. the feeling isn't as evident when in the drops, but its definately still there. i just feel like my arms should be slightly closer together. it isn't really as much of an issue in the drops. i have relatively narrow shoulders for my build (i have a pretty small upper body).

according the website, my bike has 44cm handlebars. my crude measurements put them in the ballpark of 44cm outside-outside, and roughly 42cm center-center.

all this being said, are new, narrower bars the answer? should i try something out 1 size smaller? will the 2cm of less width (i guess 1cm per side) feel all that different? i know this would come with a cost, and that would be handling. since i race, is this a bad idea?

and my last question, i read the old 31.8mm vs. 26mm bar questions, but couldn't really get a clear answer, knowing i weigh nothing, would you guys reccomend getting a 26mm setup if i could get it for less (i need to get a new stem anyways). if there is the apparent "softness" or a 26mm setup (doubtful?) then what would be a stiffer stem?

thanks all.

edit - lastly, if i get a bar with about 1cm more reach to it, should i decrease my stem legnth by 1cm? and if i were to get a bar with more drop, then use a lesser negative stem angle (flatter, to compensate for the extra drop?), and vice versa?
 

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Try a smaller bar size..maybe 42 or even 40. You won't notice any difference in handling. Ditto the 31.8 vs 26. Flexy stem? I raced from the 60's through the 80's & have never felt any stem flex. Ever. Maybe it's just me.
 

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In racing, narrower bars do have some advantages. They put your arms into a more aerodynamic position and, if you're an aggressive rider, allow you to move to the front through narrower gaps between riders. A couple of centimeters too wide don't sound like much, but they'll feel like a couple of feet when you're trying to move up to the front of the pack at 28 mph.

+1 on stem flex. I raced in the 70s and 80s and never felt it or heard of it then. I have no idea how people can possibly sense dreaded "stem flex" buried in dreaded frame flex, wheel flex, fork flex and handlebar flex.
 
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