The 10 Best Bike Handlebars

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This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in July of 2019. Handlebars make all the difference when it comes to how comfortable your bicycle is, because they go a long way toward dictating your body position. Additionally, their stiffness and width affect how responsive your steering is, and the material construction plays a role in how much road vibration is transferred to your hands. Here, you'll find the best street, mountain, and track options around. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Control Tech Formidable

2. Origin8 Space II

3. Spank Spike 800

Editor's Notes

September 04, 2019:

It is important to understand how different handlebars affect your ride before making a purchase decision. Long distance road cyclists equip their bikes with a dropped handlebar so they can vary their hand placement, which helps relive the pressure constantly being bent forward produces. On the other hand, flat or slightly risen mountain bike handlebars only allow for one position. However, since these bikes tend to keep you in a more upright position, they put less pressure on your hands so this usually isn't an issue for most. The benefit of this upright position is that it keeps your center of gravity further back, allowing you to lift the front of your bike over obstacles and place your weight over the back tire during steep descents.

Those on the market for mountain bike handlebars need to look at the Origin8 Space II, Spank Spike 800, RaceFace Atlas FR, Renthal Fatbar 35, and Wake Comp Series. Of these, the Spank Spike 800, RaceFace Atlas FR, and Renthal Fatbar 35 are best-suited for serious riders and all come in multiple riser options. The Origin8 Space II and Wake Comp Series are more for casual users just taking their first step away from a stock bar. They both only come in one riser option, though the Wake Comp Series is available in two lengths, and don't absorb road vibrations as well as the premium models.

For road cyclists, we have included the Control Tech Formidable, which won the Eurobike Award in 2006 for its innovative design that flattens out as it moves into the bend; the Zipp Service Course SL-70; the FSA Omega Compact; and the Deda Elementi Pista. If you don't like deep drops, you'll want to consider the Zipp Service Course SL-70 and FSA Omega Compact, the latter of which allows for full palm-to-bar contact when working the brake and shift levers. For track racing, we recommend the Deda Elementi Pista.

The Wald High-Rise was added for casual riders who want something flashy to add to their bike for short city or beach rides, but don't want to spend much money. It promotes a very upright position, though it can make the arms tired if used for long periods of time.

Whatever handlebars you choose, always make sure to wear proper safety gear when riding, which means a road bike helmet for street cycling, and a mountain bike helmet for off-road riding.

Special Honors

Bontrager Elite Aero VR-CF Ideal for racers, or anyone else who is really focused on increasing their track time, the Bontrager Elite Aero VR-CF has a flattened shape that is proven to save up to 23 seconds per hour over a traditional round handlebar. While that may not sound like a lot, it can sometimes mean the difference between winning and losing.

4. RaceFace Atlas FR

5. Zipp Service Course SL-70

6. Renthal Fatbar 35

7. FSA Omega Compact

8. Deda Elementi Pista

9. Wake Comp Series

10. Wald High-Rise

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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