Considering Enve bars for my crit bike. My shoulders as measured to the AC joint is about 38cm. I am torn between the 44cm with 39cm top vs 42cm with 37cm tops. Im thinking the 44 may be a bit wide filling gaps when racing, just seems wide. The 37cm tops seem pretty narrow… im torn lol. Any advice?
I’m pretty broad but have the 37/42 bars and love them. I really like the shape and I think you just get used to the width. I don’t get any noticeable gain from having bars that are wider at the drops (so, the potential extra leverage of wider bars in the drops doesn’t translate for me into more sprinting power).
When I’m pushing along on the flats (so, not really hammering it, but keeping the pace slightly uncomfortable), I really do notice the benefit of the 37cm hoods over the 40cm hoods I had been running. Once I adapted to being comfortable with it, that narrower position had really tangible aero gains so the speed I could hold for a set power went up a little bit.
I found that when I switched to narrower bars I had to very slightly lower the front end of my bike to keep the same body angles. If you do go for a narrower bar you just need to be conscious that it will impact your fit probably more than you would expect.
If you are worried about comfort with going narrower, I would generally say that it doesn’t really make that much difference. You get used to it and, as long as you adapt your position appropriately, you’ll settle into it. Plus, if its for a crit bike you’re not going to be that worried about comfort over long multi-hour rides, so I would say that it is potentially worth sacrificing a bit of potential comfort by going a bit narrower to get the aero benefit.
My shoulders are 43-44 cm ish to the ac joint. I’ve been using the 40 cm SES aero road bars on my road and track bikes for ~4 years. Haven’t had any issues.
I’m not super aggressive at filling gaps usually but the narrowness is useful occasional. I mostly got them for aerodynamics though.
Well I think I’m sold on it. Thanks for the feedback. I will cancel my B/O Rapides. I do rest my palms on the inside of the tops usually anyway. I think they will work out. Thanks again