Bicycle handlebars: The Only Guide You Need (2021)

To help you choose which handlebars are right for your bike, we’ve gathered together all the information you could possibly need on bicycle handlebars. So sit back (don’t pedal), and enjoy!

Table of Contents

# Road Bike handlebars

There are three main components which connect you to your bike: these are pedals, saddle and your handlebars. The majority of cyclists spend great deals of time choosing the other two and often forgetting how important handlebars are. Below we will discuss some of the different kinds of handlebars, regardless of your bike.

1. Road bike handlebar types

There are many different road bike handlebar options available. These include flat bars, aero bars, drop bars, riser bars, and cruiser bars to name a few. The most common road bike handlebars, however, are flat bars (ideal for the majority of bikes), drop bars (popular for a wide portion of road bike users) and finally, aero bars (popular in time trials to increase speed via increasing aerodynamics).

For these cyclists, there are pretty limited types of handlebars to choose. Most of the time, you can choose drop bars for road bikes, and flat bars for MTB bikes.

And for materials, aluminum bars are quite popular, even among pros. On the other hand, carbon handlebars are growing fast in the market, which brings you lighter and stronger bars to maintain better performance during racing.

2. Flat road bike handlebars

Flat road bike handlebars combine the dexterity of mountain bike control onto a road bike. These are useful for beginner cyclists or those who cycle for enjoyment. Flat road bike handlebars allow for greater control, hence why these are popular across a wide range of bikes.

But flat road bike handlebars are just for beginners or touring bike. We don’t suggest to buy a flat bar if you want to experience the true riding on-road bike, which brings you the drop bars.

3. Drop handlebars (classic handlebars)

Drop handlebars are most common on road bikes. These handlebars allow for a wide variety of hand positions, unlike flat handlebars. Additionally, drop hand handlebars allow the rider to shift their weight towards the front of the cycle, allowing for greater control.

It all starts with classic handlebars, which are still the most common and popular option for road bikes. With universal size, you can switch to any bars easily without worrying about the stem, cycling computer mount and so on.

1) Aero handlebars

Aero carbon handlebar

Aero handlebars offer a different position to both drop and flat bars. These handlebars allow for a more aerodynamic position whilst riding, permitting for greater speeds across whilst riding.

But you need to check the aero bars before you buy it. If you are riding with a cycling computer (Garmin, Wahoo, or other brands), you would like to check first if the mount is suitable to install on the new bars.

2) Integrated aero handlebars

Integrated aero handlebar

Integrated aero bars come from aero bars. When most of the time, there are only a few sizes for stem and bar, so the integrated design will make your bike more aerodynamic.

It’s lightweight, beautiful and more aggressive during riding. Besides, most of the integrated handlebars are designed with full inner cable route, which will make your bike more elegant, and probably, reduce some wind resistance.

3) Fixie drop handlebar

The most common type of handlebar for a fixie cycle is a drop handlebar. These drop handlebars are useful if you value aerodynamics as a rider without going all out and opting for an aero bar. Furthermore, these handlebars can handle the majority of biking encounters you’ll experience.

4. Flat or drop handlebars?

Now that we know the difference between flat and drop handlebars, how exactly do you choose which kind is best for you? Flat bars are popular for commuting due to the ease of navigating through traffic with a plethora of different hand positions, whereas drop handlebars are much more suited to increased speeds whilst offering increased hand positions.

If you ride bikes for touring, then you can choose flat bars.

If you ride bikes for racing, then you can choose drop bars.

5. Carbon road bike handlebars

Carbon road bike handlebars are popular amongst the pros, but why exactly is this? Carbon fiber road bike handlebars are much lighter than other metals, therefore, allowing greater control and reduced weight of the bike. Carbon road bike handlebars include drop bars and aero bars, however, these two are the most popular.

# Triathlon handlebars

Triathlon handlebars (also known as aero bars) allow the rider to resume a much more aerodynamic position whilst riding. This is useful during triathlon races to increase speeds without the sacrifice of greater energy expenditure.

# Track handlebars

Track handlebars often come much narrower than a standard drop or flat handlebar. This allows for a further aerodynamic position, perfect for increasing speed on the track and helping you break those long-awaited records!

# Fixie handlebars

There is a wide range of different handlebars available for a fixie bike. The most popular option, however, is the choice of drop handlebars.

# Mountain bike handlebars

Mountain bike handlebars are most commonly butterfly handlebars, flat mountain handlebars or drop handlebars.

1. Butterfly handlebars

Butterfly handlebars are designed to maximize both grip and the availability of different resting hand positions. Butterfly handlebars are a perfect choice for mountain biking due to the consistent uneasy terrain and obstacles you face.

2. Flat mountain bike handlebars

MTB flat carbon handlebar

Flat mountain bike handlebars are generally wider than standard bars. These allow for a range of different hand positions, with these positions being able to be altered over developing terrains whilst still maintaining a solid grip and control over the bike.

3. Drop bars mountain bike

Just like drop bars on a road bike, using drop bars on a mountain bike allows for greater control over your bike on a wide range of different terrains. These are perfectly suited towards mountain biking, however, often these bars are overlooked and often recommended to primarily be used on road bikes.

4. Carbon mountain bike handlebars

Much like road bikes, carbon fiber mountain bike handlebars are also available. These bars are mostly available as drop bars, however, have been seen as flat handlebars too.

# Fat bike handlebars

Fat bike handlebars are much wider than standard bike bars – designed to withstand the increased weight of the ride whilst offering a wide variety of hand positions for whatever terrain you choose.

# Special handlebars

This section of the article will cover a mixture of so-called ‘special handlebars’.

1. Riser handlebars

Riser handlebars are an alternative to flat bars, simply offering as it states- a slight rise in the handlebars. Riser handlebars are no longer as popular – perhaps due to being heavier, more expensive and weaker to its flat handlebar counterpart.

Riser handlebars on a mountain bike are popular for those who require a more upright position whilst riding. This is ultimately down to personal preference, however, If finding yourself In a more upright position whilst hitting the trails, then these may just be for you.

2) Curved bike handlebars

Curved bike handlebars are similar to both aero and drop bars. These offer a greater aero position, perfect for hitting top speeds and taking down competition.

2. Bullhorn handlebars

Bullhorn handlebars are useful for letting out both aggression and speed. Designed in a bull shape, these bars (once the rider is fully extended) allow for greater weight to be transferred to the front wheel, ideal for helping riders skid-stop.

3. Cruiser bicycle handlebars

There are many different kinds of handlebars available for cruiser bicycles (also known as beach cruisers). These include flat handlebars and curved handlebars, ideal for comfort and style rather than practicality and logging miles.

4. Moustache handlebars

The moustache handlebar is a piece of cycling history, designed as it sounds – shaped like a moustache. This type of handlebar offers a comfortable hand position for flat and smooth roads, perfect for commuting and cruising.

5. Touring handlebars

A touring bicycle is designed to handle long commutes over a selection of different terrains.

Touring bikes can also be a different bicycle, however, later transformed to best suit touring. Touring handlebars are most commonly drop bars, though, are often down to the personal preference of the rider.

# Gravel bike handlebars

The most common bars on gravel bikes is actually drop bars. With gravel bikes being a combination of both road and cyclocross, there are, however, many different options when it comes to choosing your bars. This, nevertheless, is mostly down to personal preference.

# Bicycle handlebar accessories

There are many different kinds of handlebar accessories, from grips, handlebar tape, and even handlebar extensions. These will be covered in more detail below.

1. Handlebar exterior

The handlebar exterior on your bike can be fully customized. From adding grips, tape, and different color schemes or even adding a small bag for extra storage.

2. Bicycle handlebar grips

Investing in new handlebar grips is an easy way to improve the grip on your bike. We advise changing your grips depending on how often you ride. If riding daily, you can expect to be needing to replace your grips once every 6-12 months.

1) Mountain bike handlebar grips

There are many different mountain bike handlebar grips available. Different grip patterns are available to best suit your needs whilst increasing comfort as you ride.

2) BMX handlebar grip

Many BMX riders choose to customize or replace their grips on their bike. There are many different handlebar grips available to suit your style.

3. Bike handlebar tape

Fresh handlebar tape allows your bike to feel fresh and contemporary, perfect for mixing it up and keeping things fun!

1) Road bike handle tape

Replacing your road bike handle tape can offer extra grip, increased style, and a new look. Moreover, there is a wide choice of different road bike handle tape to choose from, perfect for keeping things fresh.

4. Mountain bike handlebar extension

Mountain bike handlebar extensions allow for a more upright position on the bars – perfect for maintaining control over the bike over rough terrain. Mountain bike handlebar extensions are useful for particularly eventful terrains, allowing for greater control and comfort whilst riding.

# Custom bike handlebar

Finally, there is an option to have a custom bike handlebar made. These are available from a variety of retailers – designed to your style and requirements.

If you want to customise your own painting handlebar, just simply contact our service and we will be able to help and get it done in 7 days.

# Bicycle Handlebar FAQ

1. Mountain bike handlebar width

Normally, our MTB carbon flat handlebar width is 580/600/620/640/660/680/700/720mm.

Our integrated MTB carbon handlebar width are 580/600/620/640/660/680/700/720/740/760/780/800mm, stem size are 40/50/60/70mm

2. Road bike handlebar width

Our classic road bike handlebar width is 380/420/440mm

Our aero road bike aero handlebar width is 400/420/440mm

Our integrated road bike aero handlebar width is 400/420/440mm, stem size is 90/100/110/120mm

3. Are all bike handlebars the same diameter?

Based on Wikipedia, the ISO standard for the stem clamping area of a handlebar is 25.4mm (Used on MTB bike and many Japanese-made road handlebars). And a new standard is an “Oversize” 31.8mm for both MTB and road bars.

4. How to measure handlebars

Below is a geometry of our handlebar, you can easily measure your handlebar by following the geometry.

To measure the width of handlebars, you can measure from each center of the handle part tube.

To measure the height of handlebars, you can measure from the top center to the center of the handle end.

Classic carbon Handlebar geometry

5. How to remove/install handlebar grips

Here is a thorough video to show you how to remove and install handlebar grips in a few minutes.

Also, you can check this through the post from Wikihow

6. What is the bicycle bar ends for?

Bar ends are an accessory to handlebars on MTB handlebars. It’s additional ends to have a few purposes as below

1)Work as an aid for climbing
2)To change your hand positions, which allow you to relax your arms a little bit
3)To give you a lift

But normally you don’t need that end on your MTB, especially if you race a lot.

7. Are all bicycle grips the same size?

Yes, most of the bicycle grips on MTB have the same size, because these handlebars mostly have the same diameter tubes.

But at the same time, you can’t use cruiser handlebar grips on your MTB bikes, always check the handlebar size before purchasing any bar grips.

Now over to you

What kind of bicycle handlebars are you riding now?

Or do you prefer to ride on a carbon handlebar?

Or you want to buy a integrated bar for your road bike?

Either way, you can leave a command, let us know how you think about this handlebar guide.

One comment

  1. Helpful handlebar guide. If you guys could make a video to show the tips during choosing a handlebar, that will be great.

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