Are you in the market for a new bike or looking to upgrade your current ride? One important aspect to consider is the type of handlebars you want. Handlebars not only affect the overall look of your bike, but they also play a crucial role in your comfort and control while riding.
There are several types of handlebars to choose from, each with their own unique features and benefits. Road bikes typically have drop handlebars, which allow for a more aerodynamic riding position and multiple hand positions. Flat handlebars are common on mountain bikes and provide a more upright riding position and better control on rough terrain. And for those looking for a more relaxed ride, cruiser handlebars offer a comfortable, upright position. So, which one is right for you? Let’s dive into the different types of handlebars and their pros and cons.
Drop handlebars, also known as road bike handlebars, are the most common type of handlebars found on road bikes. They are designed to provide the rider with multiple hand positions that allow for a more aerodynamic riding position.
The drop handlebar shape is characterized by a flat top section and curved drops that extend down and away from the rider. The drop section of the handlebar is where the brake levers and shifters are mounted.
One of the main advantages of drop handlebars is that they allow the rider to change hand positions frequently, which can help prevent fatigue and discomfort during long rides. The multiple hand positions also provide the rider with more control and stability, especially when riding at high speeds or in windy conditions.
However, drop handlebars may not be the best choice for riders who prioritize comfort over speed. The forward-leaning position can put more pressure on the hands, wrists, and neck, which can lead to discomfort or pain. Additionally, the narrow width of drop handlebars may not be suitable for riders with broader shoulders or those who prefer a wider grip.
Overall, drop handlebars are a great choice for riders who prioritize speed and performance over comfort. They provide multiple hand positions, aerodynamic riding position, and improved control and stability. However, riders who prioritize comfort may want to consider other handlebar options.
Flat handlebars are the most basic type of handlebars and are commonly found on mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and some commuter bikes. They are straight across and provide a more upright riding position, which can be more comfortable for some riders.
One of the advantages of flat handlebars is that they provide better control and stability, especially when riding on rough terrain. They also allow for a wider grip, which can be beneficial for riders with broader shoulders or those who prefer a wider stance.
However, flat handlebars can put more strain on the wrists and hands, especially when riding for long periods. This is because the rider’s weight is concentrated on the hands, which can lead to fatigue and discomfort. To alleviate this issue, some flat handlebars have ergonomic grips that are designed to reduce pressure on the hands and wrists.
Overall, flat handlebars are a good choice for riders who prioritize control and stability over speed and aerodynamics. They are also a good option for riders who prefer a more upright riding position or those who have back or neck problems.
Riser handlebars are a popular type of handlebar for mountain bikes and other off-road bicycles. They are designed to provide a more upright riding position, which can be more comfortable on long rides and provide better control on technical terrain.
Riser handlebars come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all share a common feature: a rise in the center of the bar that lifts the grips higher than the stem. This rise can range from just a few millimeters to several centimeters, depending on the specific handlebar.
One benefit of riser handlebars is that they can help reduce the strain on your back and neck. By raising your grips, you can sit more upright and take some of the weight off your hands and shoulders. This can be especially helpful on long rides or when you’re carrying a heavy load.
Another advantage of riser handlebars is that they can provide more control on technical terrain. With your grips higher, you can more easily shift your weight forward or back, which can help you navigate steep descents or tight turns.
Overall, riser handlebars are a great choice for anyone looking for a more comfortable and versatile ride. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, a good set of riser handlebars can help you tackle any trail with confidence.
Bullhorn handlebars are a popular choice for those who want a more aggressive riding position. They are often seen on fixed gear and single-speed bikes, but can be used on any type of bike. Bullhorn handlebars are straight bars that curve forward at the ends, resembling the horns of a bull.
One advantage of bullhorn handlebars is that they provide multiple hand positions. You can grip them at the ends for a more aerodynamic position, or closer to the stem for a more upright position. This versatility can help to reduce fatigue on longer rides.
Another advantage of bullhorn handlebars is that they provide better control and stability when riding in traffic or on rough roads. The forward curve of the bars allows you to maneuver the bike easily, and the wider grip provides better leverage when turning.
However, it’s important to note that bullhorn handlebars may not be the best choice for everyone. They require a certain level of flexibility and strength, and may not be comfortable for riders with shoulder or back problems. It’s important to test out different handlebar styles to find the one that works best for you.
Overall, bullhorn handlebars are a great option for riders who want a more aggressive riding position and greater control over their bike. They provide multiple hand positions, better control and stability, and a unique look that sets them apart from other handlebar styles.
Aero handlebars, also known as aerobars, are designed to reduce wind resistance and improve aerodynamics. They are commonly found on road bikes used for time trials and triathlons.
Aero handlebars come in different shapes and sizes, but they all share a common goal of reducing drag. They are typically made of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and are designed to be adjustable to accommodate different riding positions.
One of the benefits of using aero handlebars is that they allow riders to maintain a more aerodynamic position, which can result in faster speeds and improved performance. They also provide a more comfortable position for riders during long rides, as they reduce strain on the back and neck.
However, aero handlebars can be more difficult to control than traditional handlebars, particularly when riding in crowded or technical environments. They also tend to be more expensive than traditional handlebars, which can be a barrier for some riders.
Overall, aero handlebars are a great option for riders looking to improve their aerodynamics and performance, but they may not be the best choice for everyone. It’s important to consider your riding style and needs before investing in aero handlebars.
Cruiser handlebars are designed for comfort and style, making them ideal for leisurely rides around town. They typically have a high rise and a sweepback, which allows the rider to sit in a comfortable, upright position. Cruiser handlebars are wider than other types of handlebars, providing more stability and control.
One popular type of cruiser handlebar is the sweptback cruiser handlebar. This type of handlebar has a gentle curve that sweeps back towards the rider, allowing for a relaxed grip and a comfortable ride. Another popular option is the ape hanger handlebar, which has a high rise and a dramatic sweepback. This style of handlebar is often associated with chopper-style motorcycles, but it can also be used on cruiser bicycles.
When choosing cruiser handlebars, it is important to consider the width and height of the handlebar. A wider handlebar provides more stability, while a higher handlebar allows for a more upright riding position. Some cruiser handlebars also feature built-in grips, which can be more comfortable than traditional grips.
Overall, cruiser handlebars are a great choice for anyone looking for a comfortable and stylish ride. They are perfect for leisurely rides around town, and their wide design provides plenty of stability and control.
Butterfly handlebars, also known as trekking handlebars, are a popular choice for bike touring due to their versatility and comfort. These handlebars have a unique design that allows for multiple hand positions, making them ideal for long rides.
One of the main advantages of butterfly handlebars is that they offer a more upright riding position, which can help reduce strain on the back and neck. This is especially important for riders who plan to spend many hours on their bike.
Butterfly handlebars also provide a wider grip than traditional drop bars, making them easier to control on rough terrain. Additionally, the multiple hand positions allow for greater customization of the riding experience, allowing riders to adjust their grip depending on the terrain and weather conditions.
Overall, butterfly handlebars are a great choice for bike touring due to their comfort and versatility. They may not be the best choice for racing or high-speed riding, but for long-distance touring, they are hard to beat.
Choosing the right handlebars for your bike can make a big difference in your riding experience. It’s important to consider your riding style, comfort, and safety when selecting handlebars.
Flat handlebars are great for casual riders who want a comfortable, upright riding position. They’re also a good choice for mountain bikers who need more control and maneuverability on technical terrain.
Drop handlebars are ideal for road cyclists who want to achieve an aerodynamic position and go fast. They provide multiple hand positions for long rides and can help reduce fatigue.
Riser handlebars are a versatile option that can work well for both mountain and city riding. They provide a comfortable, upright position and good control on technical terrain.
Ultimately, the best handlebars for you will depend on your personal preferences and riding style. It’s important to try out different options and find the one that feels most comfortable and safe for you.