How to choose the best bicycle handlebars

How to choose the best bicycle handlebars

The three key touch points that connect you to the bicycle are: pedals, saddles, and handlebars. Most cyclists spend a lot of time choosing the first two with military precision-but the best bicycle handlebars are often forgotten.

Choosing the ideal bicycle handlebar for you can have a huge impact on your comfort and performance, as they play an important role in determining your position and weight distribution.

Of course, although turning and other actions should mainly come from changes in weight, your handlebars are also very important-if they are the weak link in the chain, upgrading them will have obvious results.


The crossbars on the new bikes are estimated based on the average shoulder width of an average person who rides a bike with your body.

As most cyclists would protest, none of us are truly ordinary people, so it is a good idea to customize the handlebars according to your needs. This is especially important for women who buy unisex bicycles instead of women-only bicycles: most women have narrower shoulders than men of the same height, and therefore require narrower handlebars.

A barbell that is too wide will put pressure on your neck and arms and make riding a bicycle feel a bit like driving a truck. On the contrary, narrow bars can make you feel cramped, but it is worth remembering that narrow bars can cause your elbows to sink in and have a considerable impact on aerodynamics.

The rule of thumb when choosing the right handlebar width is to measure the distance between the two bones on the shoulder-more scientifically speaking, the distance between the two acromioclavicular (AC) joints.

This measurement provides you with a baseline-if it is 38 cm, look for 38 cm bars-and so on. However, personal preference and riding style also have an impact. For example, if aerodynamics is important to you, then maybe you can choose one size smaller.

Some riders like the stability of a slightly wider barbell-so you can choose a size one size-40 cm barbell. However, this means that you have to move your arms outwards to reach the lever, which can cause your shoulder blades to collapse and cause discomfort.

The standard method is to measure from the center of the drop, but some brands measure from the outside, which means their 40 cm bar may be 38 cm in the previous method. It is best to check the method used by the manufacturer in your mind.

bicycle handlebars

Handlebar shape and drop

When it comes to handlebar width, although you can go up and down a bit according to your preferences, there is a right and wrong answer: Too narrow or too wide will make you feel painful and make bicycle assemblers around the world cringe. The shape of the handlebars depends more on personal preference.

Traditionally, the handlebars have a soft circular curve, which creates a deep drop and keeps the rider in a lower position when taking off the hood.

In recent years, compact handlebars have become more and more popular: they have a straighter shape, which means that the sagging lower part is higher. In the middle is an ergonomic rod: more round than traditional rods, but there is a flat part in the middle, which is very suitable for hand positioning.

Choosing the most suitable handlebar shape for you depends on your riding style. If you are looking for a fairly relaxed endurance ride, consider the compact.

If you want the eyeballs to come out, nose to the bar time trial effort, and tend to move the bar closer to the bottom of the droplet, think of tradition.

Sitting in the middle, if you want a fair drop and tend to keep the barbell at its center point, look for an ergonomic barbell that will not put pressure on your wrists.

Different manufacturers will shape their handlebars in their own way, and you will also find that adventure road bikes, gravel bikes, and off-road bikes will sweep them at the end to create a wider and more stable platform when riding in a fall .

bicycle handlebars


The shape and depth of the droplet affects the distance between the handlebar and the lever. However, most levers can be adjusted, so it is best to choose the shape you like and then adjust the lever to suit you. The handlebar also affects the overall stretch from the saddle to the handlebar-but, again, if the new handlebar has an effect here, you can adjust the length of your stem to find the right size.


One of the biggest challenges faced by cyclists when upgrading their handlebars is the question of what materials to choose.

Carbon fiber handlebars reduce the weight of the bicycle and are usually 20% to 40% lighter than alloy handlebars. The material can also be molded into any shape, allowing it to be perfectly designed to fit the ideal ergonomic fit. In addition, the carbon fiber laminate can be finely rotated to create the best combination of strength, low weight and flexibility. Everything sounds perfect?

The problem with carbon fiber handlebars is that they are much more expensive and more fragile. Although carbon can be very strong, if it is damaged, it is not always as obvious as it is on an aluminum rod, and may go undetected.

Not only that, carbon needs to be handled more carefully in workshops or home workshops, and if the wrong torque setting is used, it is more likely to break. Another disadvantage is that aluminum bars are much cheaper.

bicycle handlebars


Pneumatic road bikes are becoming more and more popular, and the handlebar setting plays a huge role in reducing drag.

Bicycle handlebars for comfort that improve aerodynamics usually show a smaller surface area at the front, flattening to create a longer surface area at the top.

This means that they can cut into the air more efficiently, and there is an added benefit of staying comfortable when climbing for long periods of time. In addition, the design of the pneumatic handlebar will cater to the internal wiring.

More advanced versions will support a high level of integration. The pole and the pole can be a unit, and can be built-in the installation seat of bicycle computer and other items.


A housework point that is actually quite important but seemingly boring. The standard diameter handlebar size is 25.4 mm-this refers to the center point where the stem will be connected. However, some brands choose to strengthen them to 31.8 mm to increase stiffness. This is great, but you need a stem that matches the size of the fixture: no one wants to bring a newly purchased item home and finds that they don’t have the right stem.

bicycle handlebars

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