Handlebars, all bikes have them but finding the right one for your mountain, road, or cruiser bike is essential for personalized performance, handling, and fit. The stock bars on your bike might not hit your sweet spot, so different bars are worth exploring. Picking out the right one boils down to personal preference. However, different styles, widths, aerodynamics, and materials influence how fast, fun, and comfortable your ride will be. From drop bars for road and gravel to flat and riser bars on MTB bikes, all come in either lightweight carbon or durable aluminum. Finding a well-fitting and comfortable handlebar and grip combo can turn an ok bike fit into an all-out legendary riding experience.
Mountain Bike Handlebars
Mountain bike handlebars are one of the most critical contact points on your bike and impact handling, leverage, fit, and comfort on the trail. The correct width, rise and sweep play into better geometry and personalized fit. Wide bars offer better control and balance for high-speed trail and DH riding, while shorter bars keep handling snappy for XC riding and squeezing between tight trees. Riser handlebars bring you more upright, giving you better control on steep terrain, and the right sweep will put your wrists in a more comfortable position. The moral of the story, finding the right MTB handlebars and grips will absolutely ramp up the stoke level and riding experience.
Road Bike Handlebars
Road bike handlebars provide control and handling, and when they fit right, give your hands a smooth switch from tops, hoods, and drops to provide all-day comfort. The correct width, aerodynamics, and shape also play into a victorious ride while adding to your riding position. Wider bars can add more stability and a natural feel, perfect for gravel riding, while narrower bars offer better aerodynamics and speed for long miles or racing. The shape of the tops and amount of drop and reach play a big part in fit and how comfortable you are on your bike. Drop bars from Zipp, ENVE, and FSA offer plenty of comfortable, aero, and stable ride options. And don’t forget about handlebar tape for the complete grip, comfort, and control package.