The 10 Best Bike Handlebars
This wiki has been updated 6 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 recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
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.
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. trekbikes.com