How Wide Should My MTB Handlebars Be? Recommendations from Professionals

The handlebar’s width is crucial for a smooth and comfortable ride for a rider. It helps to maintain the stability of the front end of a mountain bike. It gives a calm and pleasant feeling during the whole ride.

So, how would you know how wide should your MTB handlebars be?

The width of the handlebars should be according to the rider’s size and, most notably, the width of his shoulders. In order to get the right fit of MTB handlebars width, trying different handlebar widths is the best option. 

This article will provide you with complete guidance on how to choose the correct width of the handlebars of MTB.

How Wide Should My MTB Handlebars Be

MTB Handlebar Width By Height

The width of standard mountain bike handlebars is usually between 710mm to 780mm. But short heightened riders may need a mountain bike with narrow bars.

Tall people may need handlebars with a width up to 800mm. The width of handlebars decides the comfort of a rider, and the proper width does not cause any stretching in their hands.

Measurement Methods Of The Width Of MTB Handlebars

The width of the handlebar is subjective and mainly depends on personal preferences. According to standard fitting advice, you should always prefer a handlebar with a width comparable to the width between the acromioclavicular joints of your shoulders.

These are the joints upon your shoulders where the collarbone gets attached to your deltoid muscle. But many riders prefer a handlebar a little bit wider than their shoulders. A wide bar helps to unlock the chest with a width similar to the width between the AC joints of your shoulders.

Recommendations Of PNW Squad Members About MTB Handlebar Width By Height

There are some recommendations about the width of handlebars by PNW squad members that can help you find the best handlebars. They can provide you with the facts to choose a suitable mountain bike with different width ranges.

John Allyn

According to John Allyn – who has years of racing experience – the width of handlebars should range between 780mm to 800mm. But if you want to ride for cross-country cycling, you should prefer a 760mm wide bar. You should choose the right and wide bars; it will give you more advantages than drawbacks for a smooth and less challenging ride.

Porsha Murdock

Porcha is a professional racer since 2016. In 2018 she became the U.S cycling enduro national champion. According to her, the width range should be between 750mm to 760mm. It gives the rider a good handgrip on the handlebars.

Dillon Lemarr

Dillon Lemar has won the U.S National Championship of MTB racing. He is known for downhill track racing. He says that 800mm width is best for downhill riding. This range will add stability to you even at incredible speed. And if you are riding a bike up hills, then width of 780mm is suitable for climbing. This range is good for dirt jumpers as well.

Pat Smag

Pat Smag is an impressive MTB rider and is crowned by US NATC trial champion 11 times for his skills in riding an MTB bike such as his quickly spinning quality and manual quality.. Pat Smag says that 770mm width of handlebars is best for riding a bike on tight single tracts with many trees close to each other. This type of tract is more common in the midwest. As these areas contain steep and narrow pathways, this width goes best for speedy trials.

Tips From Famous Riders That Will Help You Determine MTB Handlebar Width By Height

Some of the famous bike riders will help you with the ways through which you can determine the width of handlebars for enjoying comfortable rides.

  • According to John Allyn, keep your arms set up in the most powerful position possible. One of the easy methods to measure this is the push-up position process. For this reason, stem length also plays a critical part typically. For example, the higher the stem is, the narrower should be the bar width.  This will help your body to stay stabilized and generalized over your bike. If you’re riding a branch that is 50 mm or less, he suggests a 760 mm to 800 mm bar width. If your item is more than 50mm, you should choose bars less than 760mm in width.
  • Porcha Murdock says that the hand placement methods on the bars decide the comfortability of your ride. If your bar is too broad, it may lead you to get pain in the shoulder, and if it is too narrow, it feels uncomfortable and awkward. So the choice of good width of handlebars is essential for your health.
  • According to Dillon Lemarr, it is all about being comfortable riding a bike in the mountains. If a tall person is riding on a mountain bike a little narrower he may face a challenging ride. The width of the handlebar plays a significant role. If you are running too wide a bar for your body type, you will not be able to change the angles and position of your bike correctly. The other thing is that you may feel difficulty applying the pressure to the clasp.
  • Pat  Smag usually suggests looking over a few things such as the riding position and how you feel while riding a bike, and for this reason, he suggests choosing the width of bars that suits your height and keeps you in balance.

Preferable Points In MTB Handlebars Width

Correct placement of hands

The correct placement of your hands helps to reduce pain in your palmar area and keeps your arm in the right position to protect you from hand stretching.


Stability should be the priority for your bar width choice. This choice can improve your confidence on the downhills. Other factors such as rise and backsweep also play an essential role as helping factors in your comfort during your ride.

Seat height position

 The height of the seat also relates to the width of the handlebars. Because the incorrect choice of seat height might lead to an uncomfortable size which in turn may cause pain in your shoulders. A specific bar might feel suitable for some time but how it feels after a full day and after many hours on the bike is essential. There are several points that a rider should consider in their riding bikes to find maximum comforts, such as handgrips, the position of the lever, and most importantly, seat height and position. The handlebar plays a massive role in the proper width, back and forth sweep, and rise of a bike. 

Riding position

A proper riding position can give you an enjoyable ride. It would help if you don’t lean too far forward or back. If you are so lean, you should maintain such a position that may not make you feel behind the bike if the handlebars are too broad or on the top of the cycle. You should feel like you are riding in the correct bike position. Wide bars help provide you with more balance and stability, but there is a limit depending on your height and the way of your ride.

Additional Advice By Famous Bike Riders For Those Who Want To Find The Preferred MTB handlebar diameter

Jon Allyn

 He advises not to be afraid to try different widths of the handlebar. After one or two trial rides, you should decide whether you are comfortable or you want some changes in it. You should try 750mm bars, 780mm, and 800mm bars, and then decide which one is perfect for you. After trying all these width bars, choose how much you feel stable with that bar width. Minor improvements can have a significant impact on your riding confidence.

Porsha Murdock

You can generally put the bars on without brake levers and hold the bars to see where you can naturally stay or hold on. It would help if you try it in different positions by sitting or standing, and then you can cut off the extra part. This cutting step is only for your comfort level.

Dillon Lemarr

 Give some time to your choice to decide what you want in your mountain bike, so he suggests buying a more expansive bar and cutting it down as needed. If you start with the bit of wide bar, you will be used to it soon. If you feel that you need shorter bars, you can always cut them down little by little up to the width of your choice. Remember, you can start cutting down the bar shortly because the same length cannot be achieved again once it is cut.

Pat Smag

Try to prefer a bit wide bars and make small accommodations until you find what feels right. Before cutting handlebars, try someone’s thinner or brighter handlebars than you. Five millimeters may not correspond so much to remove, but it is quite a bit when it comes off both ends. If you cut less than 5mm of handlebars, it is not so much, and even when you cut from both sides, it is pretty minor.

Is 800mm Width Of MTB handlebars Suitable For All?

No, the width of 800mm of handlebars is not suitable for all the riders. The suitable width provides the maximum balance and stability to push your body with the handlebars comfortably.  It is only good for tall riders who ride downhills; they may require 800mm handlebars. But the riders who have short heights may not be comfortable with this width of handlebars. This width may disturb their body balance and make them uncomfortable during the whole ride. Their bodies become unbalanced because the short heightened riders cannot correctly grip the handlebars.

How Wide Should My MTB Handlebars Be Summary

This blog post has covered all the information about the width of handlebars that can affect your ride in all ways. Some tips and pieces of advice are also provided to help the buyers choose their interests regarding the width of handlebars.

I hope you got all the information that can help the best to know about the width of MTB handlebars or not.

About Martin

I am Martin, I am the author of this blog. My main interests include cycling. That's why this blog was created. I have always been interested in technology and how bicycles are made, so I built one myself.

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