If you design bikes with flat or alt handlebars then you should know the actual dimensions of those bars to accurately display them in BikeCAD for your design. Very few handlebar manufacturers display the two crucial numbers needed to do so: stack and reach from the center of the bar at the clamp to the center of the bar end with the bars parallel to the surface plate. Instead they list rise and sweep, which aren’t helpful.
You can see an example of what I’m talking about on Surly’s website.
Let’s create a list of handlebar dimensions in this thread as a convenient resource. Please note whether you’ve personally measured them (*measured) or whether you received the info from the manufacturer (*source).
Here’s a few to get started:
Hunter Smooth Move Low Rise source
Hunter Smooth Move High Rise source
Jones Loop 660mm measured
Jones Loop High Rise 660mm measured
Myth Cycles Lomoto Ti 800mm source
OneUp 20mm cut to 780mm measured
Soma Dream High Rise measured
Soma Dream Low Rise measured
Stooge Moto Bar source
Salsa Salt Flat 720mm measured
Velo Orange Crazy Bar v2 measured
*Forgot to mention that Peter Verdone has published lots of bar measurements on his website, including most of the latest SQ Lab handlebars. It’s a great resource.
Thanks, for drawing attention to this issue. This is very helpful. People fixate on stem length, but don’t realize the bar reach has a bigger impact.
Comparing the Oneup (a pretty traditional 8/5 bend) to a Hunter Smooth Move (15/5 bend) is a reach difference of 33mm, way more than a stem change.
This article from the legendary Richard Cunningham is a good resource: Exploring the Relationship Between Handlebar vs Stem Length by RichardCunningham - Pinkbike
The article is nice because it talks about how different handlebars can make a dramatic change to your fit. But I’m not convinced that it really matters if your hands are in front or behind the steering axis.
My bikepacking bike runs the Soma Dream bars, which place my hands well behind the steering axis and it feels perfectly normal. I’ve descended some steep and chunky dirt roads here in the desert and on part of the Mt. Hough downhill trail without any bother.
But perhaps this discussion is best left for another thread
Do you know about whatbars.com? It has drawings and dimensions for a lot of popular bars (though it is missing some of my favorites like the Gusset Stache).
Ya, whatbars.com is okay for visually comparing two bars. But most bars don’t include the stack and reach figures I need for proper design in BikeCAD.
Ah, I wasn’t thinking about BikeCAD since I don’t use it myself. Does BikeCAD also want width and sweep values? Those also have an impact on fit (at least to my eyes).
I am curious to see how you adapt bar shape into your build and fit process. I’m a hobbyist and mostly build bikes for myself, so I have limited experience with sizing bikes for others.
Width and sweep are important for fit for sure. Bar shape is really a personal preference. Some riders like only a little sweep, like most MTB bars, and some want lots, like the Jones Bar.
Usually customers already know what bar they want to use. Whenever possible I like to measure that bar and plug stack and reach into BikeCAD. Without knowing the handlebar dimensions, it’s hard to know where the customer’s hands will end up, a crucial part of fit.
I made a bikepacking bike using the VO Crazy Bar. It has a long reach, which allowed me to push out the front end while keeping the rider’s hands where they need to be. I think it’d be pretty hard to design a bike like that if you’re just guessing about the bar dimensions.
This deserves a bigger design conversation that I’m not fit to lead. It’s definitely something I could learn from others. I remember putting on Jones H-bar on a bike in 2007 with a 90mm stem and it definitely placed the grips close to or behind the steering axis. It was how we first started using “short stems”… haha. Felt odd on technical trails but you adapt or use a longer stem if needed.
Although I like the stack and reach dimensions you have come up with there also is a rotation variable. In the Jones case they recommend about 20 deg of rotation down at the grips. In contrast, I make a flat bar with 20 deg of sweep that people like rotated upwards about 10 deg (pointing at your belly button almost). Both these rotations would change your effective stem length way more than the little bit Cunningham measured on his riser bar experiment.
It’s rare that I design a new bike for a person that will just start to use Jones Bars or another alt bar, so the saddle-to-stem length could be preserved since the bars are a constant. If the person is going to swap between Jones bars and a flat bar, then they’re just being difficult so I design for the flat bar since there are so many hand positions on the Jones and all of them are not adding too much reach - they’re usually swapped for bikepacking trips where a more upright position is ok or desired.
Yep, you gotta account for rotation in the design, but all that’s needed is reach and stack to get there and BikeCAD will assist with rotation.
The image illustrates how the X and Y measurements from the BB change as the bar is rotated. You can also see that bars with identical reach but different stack can make a difference too.
A recent customer had both of these Hunter bars. We tried to design his hardtail for the low rise version, but with his long legs we couldn’t get the bars high enough without him purchasing a new fork with an uncut steerer. Instead we switched to the high rise version and shortened the reach to the bars to compensate by adjusting the front center.
Without modeling these two bars, it’s possible the bike would have felt too long for him.
This is fantastic! There’s no such thing as up sweep, hahaha
If you dig on pvd’s website you can find a bunch more prints of different bars.
I’ll upload the list when I’m on my computer tomorrow
Super helpful info in here, thanks. I’ve made several sets of moto style bars and always took measurements with the rise perpendicular to the ground, allowing me to know the “upsweep” number I’ve always seen provided. The stack and reach measurement shown here makes a lot more sense, especially for modeling on a bike! I’m excited to apply this
3d sketch in fusion 360 for handlebars/seat stays/chain stays that bend in different planes. Followed the same principles that I learned in the 3d bike frame model tutorial. Is the 3d sketch function what others use to model handlebars? Is there a more preferred method? Start with desired reach and stack, then connect the points? I modeled these after some handlebars I made, I based my sketch on my bend lines/bend radius
Does anyone know the stack and reach of the Corvus Sweet 16?
I have this bar and have been riding it for most of the season. It’s pretty good. Not bad, just can’t put my finger on what it is I don’t really love about it. Might be the carbon. I’ve been riding the Hunter Smooth Move low rise the last couple seasons and I think I like it better.
edit. I should have had my morning coffee before typing. Somehow my brain thought you were looking for feedback on how the bar rides. When I take the bar off the bike I can try and get some measurements for you.
It never hurts to reach out to the company to ask for the specs. That’s how I’ve gotten bar measurements before.
Just measured some PNW Components Range 31.8 handlebars uncut: