How many watts can you really save running super narrow handlebars?

We went to the wind tunnel, to find out

bike in Wind tunnel head on
(Image credit: Future (Sam Gupta))

The trend of fitting WorldTour-capable frames with bars wide enough to double as clothes rails is sacrilege, isn’t it? Surely, bolting 42cm handlebars to medium-sized, range-topping race frames, from the likes of Merida, Specialized and Cannondale, is equivalent to tying a parachute to a jet plane. Or is it? 

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Joe Baker
Tech Writer

Joe is Cycling Weekly's tech writer. He's always had a love for bikes, since first riding a two wheeled steed before the age of four. Years down the line, Joe began racing at 16, and enjoyed great experiences internationally, racing in Italy, Spain and Belgium to name a few locations. Always interested in tech, Joe even piloted his Frankenstein hill climb bike to a Junior National Title in 2018.  After taking a step back from elite level racing in April 2022, Joe joined our team as a freelancer, before becoming Tech Writer in May 2023.