Wider bars imply extra stability, proper? The quick reply is sure. The lengthy reply is, effectively, kinda lengthy.
At six-foot-three-inches tall, an 800mm handlebar permits me to get into an excellent comfy and steady place whereas sustaining a posture that’s conducive to each shoulder energy and mobility. An ideal world proper there. That stated, when you’re 5’9″ and nonetheless rocking the total width of the inventory bars in your new, hard-charging enduro rig, odds are that you simply’re sacrificing shoulder well being to extend stability and experience high quality through an overly vast handlebar.
Are your shoulders sore? In that case, it’s time to evaluate your place on the bike.
The bar width debate begins with rising the soundness of your driving and stops with the well being of your shoulders.
First, it’s vital to notice that you simply’ll be strongest and most steady in your bike when your humerus (the massive bone between your elbow and shoulder) is in exterior rotation and your scapula (shoulder blade) is seated each barely backward and downward. The other place (elbows up, shoulders shrugged), typically attributable to a handlebar that’s too vast for the rider, is less-than-optimal in regard to muscle activation and might heighten the danger of harm to the shoulder joint. We regularly see impingement-like signs (rotator cuff irritation) and anterior shoulder ache (i.e., bicep irritation) in sufferers that experience with this positioning.
Let’s assess the place of rider under. Discover the excessive elbows and shrugged shoulders? If you’re most comfy in your bars on this place, it’s fairly potential they’re too vast. Optimum shoulder mechanics shall be current with a extra externally rotated humerus (elbows down barely). This enables for musculature on the scapula to stabilize the shoulder joint correctly leading to improved dealing with and vary of movement throughout descents.
Under, we see Aaron Gwin shredding a downhill run tougher than any of us mortals can think about. Discover that his shoulders should not elevated up close to his ears and that he has a slight exterior rotation on the higher arm. Additionally discover the positioning of his elbows: They’re nearer to the extent of the bar as a substitute of nearer to the extent of the shoulder. Good! The person has unbelievable energy. A robust posterior rotator cuff and international scapular musculature make the distinction right here.
It’s very troublesome (and presumably harmful!) to evaluate your individual place whereas driving, so have a pal movie you as you descend a piece of path. Consider your shoulder and elbow positions as you evaluate the video. Are your elbows flared upward considerably whereas your shoulders are shrugged? In that case, chances are you’ll profit from a narrower bar.
Within the clinic, we use a wi-fi EMG to evaluate muscle activation patterns with numerous bar sizes, permitting us to pinpoint a rider’s excellent match. With out that instrument at your disposal, you’ll be able to experiment within the discipline by steadily slicing down your bars (5-10mm at a time). After every modification, have your pal movie you once more after which re-assess your physique place. Too scared to only begin slicing these marvelous bars? My pal and famend expertise guru, Lee McCormack, provided some stable recommendation on the subject of discovering the suitable bar width in a latest article.
The bottom line is to search out the steadiness between how your experience feels and the way effectively you’ll be able to management your shoulder/elbow place. And bear in mind, that excellent steadiness might be not on the 800mm mark.
Editor’s word: This story was initially revealed by REVO Phisiotherapy and Sports activities Efficiency