Re: [CR]bar width and breathing...

Example: Framebuilding

Date: Fri, 26 May 2006 12:22:20 -0600
From: "Mitch Harris" <>
To: "Don Wilson" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]bar width and breathing...
In-Reply-To: <>
References: <>
cc: Classic Rendezvous <>

One way this research was adapted was in guidelines for the (way off-topic) use of tri-bars. Recommendations were to have elbows close together on the pads for best aero profile. But concern that this would crowd the rib cage and constrict breathing (however slightly) was countered by recommendations that the elbows be as forward as possible for comfort and safety (if such a term applies to tri-bars). This contradicts somewhat the 1972 CONI description (have I made it back on topic yet?) quoted in the other thread that says that stretched out riders need the wider bars more than less stretched out riders. In my experience, the narrow bar feels best when my arms angle well forward. Perhaps this suggests how much more stretched out riders were after Hinault and the 80s than in 1972 when CONI made it's recommendation. CONI writers perhaps thinking of a Merckx style as stretche d out and requiring a wide bar but a more 50s/60s egg-shaped tuck as not requiring a wide bar for fullest breathing.

Mitch Harris Little Rock Canyon, Utah

On 5/26/06, Don Wilson <> wrote:
> To all who were nice enough to think about my original
> question about handle bar widths,
> I'm intrigued by Don Gillies' elegantly simple
> hypothesis that since one breathes chiefly through
> downward expansion of the diaphram, therefore bar
> width should not be crucial to breathing efficiency.
> Of course elegant simplicity is not the same as the
> right answer, but it is often an arrow in the
> analytical wilderness about where to start looking,
> especially if it is capable of empirical testing,
> which his hypothesis seems to be.
> I am also very curious to see (or better yet read
> critically summarized by a keen mind) the research
> that allegely refutes Don's reasoning--the research
> that shows that wide bars significantly improve
> breathing efficiency. It may well be bullet proof, but
> much research that has appeared bullet proof has
> subsequently be eclipsed by more coherent, persuasive
> research.
> I'm not one to accept hypotheses, like Don's is so
> far, that have not been tested under controlled
> circumstances.
> At the same time, I am not one to accept reputable,
> published research until I understand the assumptions
> and conclude they make sense, verify methodological
> validity (especially the statistics), and clarify that
> using the research findings to refute a hypothesis
> like Don's is not extrapolating inappropriately beyond
> the data set of the research.
> Because of the dubiousness of some assumptions in
> scientific research projects, the often sloppy use of
> statistical analysis by scholars and technicians in
> such research, and the sometimes absurd parsing of
> data sets and problem definitions to skew results
> toward desired outcomes (i.e., toward outcomes that
> enhance the ability of the researcher to get more
> grants or contracts), I am greatful not to be doing
> analytical research anymore...and yet I am a
> recovering analyst and so I am hopelessly attracted to
> debates such as this. :-)
> It could be interesting for someone to take a critical
> gander at the research that was done...and at who
> funded it, of course. I am on the analytical wagon
> presently and so am not the best qualified for the
> job, lest I fall off. :-)
> Don Wilson
> Los Olivos, CA USA
> D.C. Wilson
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