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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How to determine road bike drop handlebar width ?
My second hand bike frame came with a 42cm drop bar and I'm not sure it is the right fit for me. Any tips are welcome.

Thanks.....
 

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A good starting point is to measure the width of your shoulders.

From there, the you can determined tradeoffs.

Go narrower for more aero

Go wider to open your chest more
 

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How do the 42s feel? too narrow, too wide

If you get different bars make sure that you know how they're measured. Are the bars that you're using measured center to center or outer edge to outer edge? Are the bars that you're interested in measured in the same fashion.

42 center to center are pretty much 44 outer to outer.
 

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Anphaque II
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And to clarify this a whole bunch it is the width of your shoulders at the bony protrusions at the front, not "outside to outside" distance.
That's how how I measure: Centerline to centerline of the humerus bones.


View attachment 279224

I'm 51cm C-to-C. The widest HB I've found are 48cm.

I've noticed a majority of the pros go one size larger so their hands are slightly wider than their shoulders.
 

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If the 42 doesn't feel right then I would have no hesitation about going up or down a size (depending). All fit and measurements that I've had come out as 42 (c-c) being the right size. I hate it; 40 c-c feels right for me and this is what I happily use.
 

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Go narrower for more aero

Go wider to open your chest more
But you gots to be careful on the 'narrower for more aero' thing.

If you go too narrow, your elbows will tend to stick out, making you very 'un-aero'.
 
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