How to Choose a Bicycle Handlebar

Bicycle handlebars and variations

Development in the bicycle manufacturing industry is slowly but surely undergoing change. And this is mainly due to the emergence of a wide variety of cycling disciplines. Because of which, manufacturers have to make changes to individual parts and to the overall geometry of the bike in order to create more comfortable riding conditions and perform special elements. Changes undergo both frames, suspension travel, materials of manufacture, transmission standards, and a banal steering wheel. This time we are interested in what control of a two-wheeled vehicle begins with. a steering wheel. Here we will look at what a bicycle handlebar is and its varieties.

The steering wheel and its device

The handlebar for a bicycle is a tube of various widths, diameters and shapes with the required bending angle. Attached by means of a stem to the fork stem. It is necessary as a fulcrum for steering and maintaining the balance of the bike. Available in aluminum, carbon, chrome molybdenum or titanium.

The stem, or otherwise the steering bracket, acts as a connecting element. It is an elongated piece, along the edges of which there are clips for the steering bar and the fork rod. This element defines the distance from the head tube to the bike frame. Distance (stem length) for each bike and its owner is selected individually.

The bicycle wheel is not often repaired, but if the steering elements are severely dropped or worn out, maintenance and / or replacement of parts is necessary.


The following types of bicycle handlebars can be distinguished.

Mountain bike. straight (flat)

For a mountain bike, use a straight (flat) or slightly curved (riser) handlebar. Hands are in one position. However, with the addition of additional handpieces, called “bicycle horns,” one more room is added for the hand grip and change of the loaded muscles and joints of the hand. The straight bar is a sport discipline and is used on most types of mountain bikes. A head tube with a bend (with a rise) is essentially a kind of straight and is set according to the preferences of the rider. often it is more convenient to perform the elements of “stunt” (stunt riding).

Road steering wheel (also used on BMX’s)

The device of the road steering wheel is familiar to everyone since childhood. And we can say that this type is the ancestor of all modern models. Due to the raised steering wheel, the rider has an upright fit and only one place for a wrap-around. At the moment, the designers have made some additions to the design. In this connection, it is installed on city and children’s bikes for riding on a flat road. Slightly modified shape, with strongly raised places for the grip in relation to the stem, used on BMX’s.

Curved steering wheel. “ram’s horns”

For a road bike, a curved handlebar is used. “ram’s horns”, which gives the bike rider 4 places to grip. By changing the position of the hands, the rider’s position changes from vertical to horizontal. The grips are wrapped and can vary in material, workmanship and color. With a certain girth of the handlebar (palms in an upright position), it facilitates the effect of stress on the joints of the hands. Elbow rests can be installed in the central part, which greatly facilitates the control of the bike and creates a more aerodynamic position for the rider. There are deep and shallow “ram’s horns”. Each manufacturer produces a bicycle wheel by introducing its own changes in bends or inclinations, which makes each model unique.

Hiking rudders

Travel rudders resemble a butterfly. Installed on bicycles intended for slow walks or for long distance trips. There are four positions for gripping the hands, which is why the position of the cyclist will change. The end parts (drops) can be directed both towards the rider and in the opposite direction. For convenience, can be wrapped or sheathed in foam pads.


Bicycle steering wheel in the form of a mustache. The design resembles the previous view, but without one bend, which lightens the weight of the head tube. Also applies to older models used on Soviet bikes. There is ample grip so that the rider’s seating position can change according to the rider’s wishes. Often installed on city or tourist bikes.


Handlebars-horns. It has a similarity to “cow horns”. Used in cycling, but as popular in tourism as the previous two. Thanks to the three grip positions, they can allow the rider to be both in a semi-recumbent position and upright. Mounted on bicycles for riding on dirt and asphalt roads.

How to choose

Steering wheel selection isn’t epic, but it also has its own nuances. It is enough just to determine such criteria as the standard of compliance with the bike’s stem and riding style:

Cyclist landing

It directly depends on the type of bike you need to navigate when choosing. If the purchase and installation is done correctly, then it will be convenient to drive and ride comfortably. For example, mountain bikes have a curved or straight handlebar that defines a 45 ° torso tilt. For the urban, a vertical position of the rider is adopted, which is provided by several structural elements, except for the steering wheel. The road bike has a handlebar that allows the rider to lean parallel to the road.

Number of grips

It is difficult to keep your hands in one position during a long ride. Gradually, the shoulders and forearms, hands, and sometimes the neck will begin to swell. In this regard, road bikes involve the installation of a special steering wheel “ram’s horns”, which allows you to change the position of the hands. Sometimes the installation of such a steering wheel is carried out on other types of bicycles, but this depends on the preferences of the owner.

Availability of basic equipment and additional accessories.

Each handlebar has its own size and shape, for which the main equipment is specially made (gearshift device, brake levers, grips, bike computers, lights, etc.). Because of what it will be difficult to remove attachments from a mountain bike and put it on a road bike, to put it mildly.

Handlebar and stem compatibility.

For setting, the main parameter is the value of the stem diameter. Otherwise, the part simply will not have a strong connection or simply will not fit. Fastening with bolts. The standard for mountain bikes is 35 (new), 31.8, 25.4 mm (obsolete), for road bikes. 25.4 or 26 mm. But there are other standards.

Manufacturing material

Various materials of manufacture strongly affect the final cost and weight of the product.

  • The most budgetary option is steel. Heavy and cheap type of material. Not popular in mountain and road disciplines. But it is very popular in the BMX discipline, as it is very durable and has the ability to absorb shock a little;
  • Aluminum (alloys) is the most popular and widespread material of execution. The golden mean between weight, strength and cost;
  • Carbon. Modern carbon fiber parts are tough enough to withstand the extreme disciplines of cycling. Very lightweight, but not very cheap;
  • There are also titanium and chromium-molybdenum options, but they are extremely rarely used in the manufacture of the element in question;

Comfortable conditions are created with the correct selection of the bicycle head tube, which depends not only on compatibility, but also on a comfortable grip when riding.

Useful accessories

First of all, the main equipment is hung on the handlebars, without which it is difficult to imagine a comfortable cycling. These are shifters and brake levers, grips or winding.

Additional accessories include:

  • A bike computer, this device determines (depending on the level and cost): speed, the amount of distance traveled by the bike, weather, ups and downs of the terrain, cadence, etc.;
  • GPS navigator. Finding your location on a terrain map. An extremely convenient and necessary device, especially when it comes to tourism. In addition to the basic functions, the navigator may have additional (time, rider’s pulse, speed, etc.), but this depends on its functionality and cost;
  • Bike bell. As you might guess, to warn pedestrians about your approach;
  • Lantern if you plan to travel at night. It is worth paying attention to the area of ​​illumination, since this is important in the complete absence of light;
  • A compact audio system that will allow you to enjoy a pleasant journey and your favorite music;

But modern bike owners are not limited to this list. If you turn on imagination, then the handlebars of a bicycle can be equipped with a cloud of necessary bells and whistles, and with the help of special expanders, even in several rows. The main criterion for a handlebar-mounted accessory is its durability. Otherwise, at the first fall, repair or replacement of the device will be required.

Service required

As such, the handlebar itself does not require maintenance. This mainly concerns its attachments and parts, due to which it is attached to the bike frame.

When servicing your bike, it is worth checking how well the stem bolts are tightened. Pay special attention to the cup that connects the steering column to the glass on the bike frame. If necessary, lubricate bearings, but not industrial.

After active jumping, it is worth checking for cracks or scratches. The latter is not checked by all owners, since it depends solely on the owner’s personal desire to keep the steering wheel in an attractive form.

If a large number of accessories are located on the handlebars of the bike, then you need to check how tight they hold, as during fast driving over bumps they can loosen and fall.


Bicycle handlebar damage can vary. Major damages include twisting of the stem, bending of the head tube and / or rod, the appearance of dents and / or cracks on the above listed elements. Depending on the complexity of the breakdown, it depends on how realistic it is to fix or is it better to purchase new structural elements. For some breakdowns, repairs can only be carried out in bicycle workshops with special equipment.

In the case of a carbon steering wheel, if cracks appear, repairs are required in a specialist workshop that works with carbon. Since the slightest crack on the carbon fiber, sooner or later, will turn into a rudder broken into several parts.

Minor damage to the steering area of ​​a bicycle, but also requiring repair, includes damage to fasteners. For example, crushing of the edges or stripping of the thread of one of the bolts, etc. Breakdowns can occur due to excessive forces when tightening the bolts, there are usually recommended values ​​of forces calculated in Newton meters.

No matter how it might seem at first glance, the handlebar is not particularly important in handling the bike and creating comfort for the rider. However, with the right choice, comfort and maneuverability will increase, and the load on the bicycle rider’s arms will decrease. A bicycle handlebar is a place to place not only the necessary equipment in the form of grips, brake levers and gearshift knobs, but also a number of additional accessories. Therefore, it is necessary to select a steering wheel depending on the riding style, the discipline of the bike and the necessary accessories.

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Bicycle steering

A bicycle handlebar is more than a piece that you can use to control your direction of travel. A bicycle handlebar also helps to maintain balance and takes some of the rider’s weight. In addition, the handlebar is a real control center of the bike.

You can attach a basket, bike computer, reflectors, signals and many other additional elements to the handlebars. On sports bicycles, speed switches and brake levers are attached to the handlebars.

The variety of bicycle handlebars today is quite large, the handlebars differ in the materials from which they are made, in shape and size.

What are bicycle handlebars?

Straight steering wheel

This rudder is a straight or slightly curved tube at the handles. Fits mainly on mountain bikes or hybrid bikes. Large levers and a moderately sloped ride provide better bike control over rough terrain Typical Applications. Extreme Mountain and XC.

Straight and riser handlebars

The saddle mount allows for a seating position of approximately 45 degrees, giving the rider good visibility, fast pedaling and less stress on the spine.

The disadvantages of this shape of the steering wheel affect only on very long trips. When it is impossible to change the position of the arms and back, numbness and pain occurs. To avoid this, the steering wheel can be equipped with removable horns, which will allow you to relax on relatively flat sections of the path.

The steering wheels are straight (in common parlance. a steering wheel-stick) and with a rise (in common parlance. a steering wheel-riser).

Steering wheel “ram” or road

The classic road bike steering wheel has a straight base and handles bent to the bottom. the so-called “ram’s horns”. The cyclist can change the seating position from vertical to sporty (horizontal) with the back parallel to the ground. This allows you to accelerate to high speed, minimizing wind resistance and fully utilizing the muscle strength of the legs.

Ideal for road and touring bikes. This shape provides four possible hand positions. A large number of possible positions allows you to move on the road for a long time without discomfort in your arms or back.

Handlebars for road and walking bikes

City (or road) bicycles are equipped with a high handlebar with handles bent towards the saddle. When riding, the cyclist sits almost vertically (like on a chair), which improves visibility and minimizes stress on the arms. This is the most convenient option for a leisurely stroll on flat terrain.

Handlebar for BMX

These handlebars are used only for BMX bicycles for jumping and stunts. These bikes are small in size with very low saddle levels. The high vertical handlebars are designed to straighten the fit of the athlete. The crossbar acts as an amplifier.

Steering wheel “butterfly”

The butterfly steering wheel, aka “marching”, performs the same functions as the “ram”, but is focused not on high-speed, but on long-term riding. 4-5 positions for the hands and the ability to turn the pipe in the stem upwards gives a comfortable fit, and minimal fatigue of the cyclist during a long ride in an upright body position.

Mustache steering wheel

“Mustaches” are simplified versions of “butterflies”, which in terms of use are close to the standard raised ones. Such handlebars can be seen on classic Soviet bicycles. The curved tube makes it easy to grab a comfortable and high handlebar, the handles of which are turned towards the cyclist.

The design allows for a lower body position, and the absence of sharp or uncomfortable angles creates multiple grip points, minimizing rider fatigue.

Bullhorn steering wheel

This type of rudder follows the curve of the buffalo horns. The name confirms this. Convenient in that it is similar to a straight rudder with horns, but does not require additional components (namely horns). Therefore, it is lighter than its counterpart with installed horns. In addition, a variety of detachable “horns”, wraps and grips, rest attachments with elbow rests will help you upgrade your existing handlebars quickly and inexpensively.

How to choose a bicycle handlebar?

So, what to look for in order to choose the right handlebar for your bike:

  • Hand positions. As you can see from the list of different models, hand position is very important for the riding style (the ability to stretch out when the body is tilted, step on the pedals off-road). In addition, duration is important, since changing the position of the hands over time is very important.
  • Body Position. The grip is an extension of the body tilt and position. For example, with a mountain rudder, it is almost impossible to bend over to improve aerodynamics, and it is difficult to shift the focus on off-road to the “drop”.
  • Mounting type. the de facto standard is a bolted stem, but it can be of several diameters. For mining it is 25.4 mm, for road models. 25 and 31.8 mm.
  • The diameter of the steering wheel itself. grips and accessories are attached to it, which also may not fit. Usually correlated with bolt diameter and is 23.8 and 22.2 mm.

Note that the easiest choice of a bicycle handlebar is to choose one that suits your riding style. A straight steering wheel is suitable for cross-country tasks, a ram steering wheel for a highway. You can figure out whether you need a butterfly or bullhorn steering wheel when you have driven several thousand of your first kilometers.

An important point. do not rush to change the type of handlebars that are installed by default on the bike. You risk spoiling the landing. This can only be done under the strict supervision of an experienced cyclist.

And the last thing about bicycle handlebars is the materials from which they are made. They are:

  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Carbon fiber (carbon)
  • Titanium

Carbon is a lightweight and durable material, but such a handlebar is expensive. Aluminum is the best option in terms of price and quality. Steel-titanium. for an amateur for matching bicycles.

What is a bike stem?

Bicycle stem is designed to attach the handlebars to the vertical steering column post or directly to the fork stem. This part of the bike is responsible for the correct fit of the cyclist.

Regular stem and adjustable

Combined with the right frame and saddle, stem can significantly improve ride comfort, reduce the rate of fatigue and improve pedaling efficiency.

Types of offsets by type of manufacture

  • Welded stems are the cheapest to manufacture and have the most size combinations. The weak point of such products is naturally the seams, on which cracks often appear.
  • Forged stems are the preferred stem type as they have no welds and are therefore lighter in weight. And given the vulnerability of welds, even stronger.
  • Mixed. for such parts, the handlebar clamp is welded, and the fork clamp is located directly in the stem of the stem. Considering that it is the seam on the fork clamp that carries the greatest load, such overhangs can be considered comparable in reliability with fully forged and at the same time having less weight relative to welded.
  • Milled stems. are made by milling aluminum castings. These stems are the heaviest, but also the strongest. This type is ideal for trial bikes where reliability is key.

The stem is attached to the bike with bolts. There are several options:

  • Single bolt
  • Double bolt
  • Four-bolt

Offsets come in different diameters:

  • 25.4mm mounting feet. This type is found on urban and stunt (BMX) bikes.
  • 31.8mm. most mountain bikes.
  • Stem under the steering tube with a diameter of 35 mm.

The stem material can be different: aluminum, steel, carbon.

Stem length

The stem length is measured from the center of the handlebar clamp, along the stem, to the center of the fork stem. It is selected individually on the bike and must be coordinated with the cyclist’s height.

Stem length affects handling, and a shorter stem provides more maneuverability. The stem length is usually from 35 to 100 mm, but there are also models with a length from 0 to 140 mm.

Bicycle grips and handlebars

Bicycle grips are the rubber (sometimes foam) ends of the handlebars that the cyclist holds onto while riding.

Various bicycle handlebar grips

All models differ in weight, material, quality of the outer and inner coating and the place for a certain number of fingers. The main purpose is to firmly fix the hands on the steering wheel in all weather conditions.

Grips made of soft rubber are more comfortable on the hands, do not chafe the skin, but their service life is shorter than hard ones. Hard rubber handlebars last a very long time, but they can rub the palm bumps and finger bases during long driving.

Bicycle handlebar tape

The winding is needed for “ram” rudders and the like. You will not pull the grips on them, so you need to use a special winding.

Bicycle handlebar tape

The range of materials for making a winding on a bicycle handlebar is wide and it can be made from polymer materials, artificial leather, natural leather and textile materials.

The windings are highly durable and pleasant to the touch. High-quality winding is able to provide excellent grip with hands, and hands will not rub even if used without gloves. In addition, the material can be smooth, with patterns or perforations.

What is a bicycle handlebar for? One of its main functions. provide vehicle control. That is, with its help, the cyclist can change the position of the front wheel and thus set the direction of movement. In addition, the steering wheel helps to feel more stable and comfortable on the road. For example, sports models are equipped with a “robot”, thanks to which you can change the position of the chain depending on the speed or load. This device is controlled by two switches located on the bike bar.

Steering wheel. one of the main components of a bicycle. If it is correctly selected and properly installed, then this will directly affect not only the convenience of the cyclist, but also his safety. Riding style is also very important. It. one of the main factors that pay attention to when choosing vehicles and other components. This article provides a detailed overview of the handlebar design, its variations, and provides some tips to help you choose the right handlebar for your bike.


Before servicing a bicycle handlebar, you need to study its device, that is, find out what it consists of. Steering column. it is not one spare part, but a whole complex of parts, which consists of several parts:

  • crossbar;
  • takeaway;
  • steering tube;
  • head tube.
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The last three parts are always identical. These are standard mounts that are used to mount the crossbar to the frame itself. And here is the first item on the list. this is the handlebar of a bicycle, on which you can attach speed switches, brake levers, a bicycle computer and other accessories.

As a rule, only the crossbar is damaged when the bike falls. The head tube, glass and stem always remain intact. In this case, it is necessary to replace the crossbar and adjust it as accurately as possible. The following describes how to do it correctly.


When purchasing a new rung, you must install it correctly. Adjusting the bike’s handlebar involves aligning the bar precisely perpendicular to the front wheel. It is also important to choose the optimal height. To do this, loosen the control nut on the steering tube and set the steering wheel as level as possible. Then tighten the nut tightly.

The height of a bicycle’s handlebars depends a lot on the height of the rider. Therefore, there are no clearly established rules, everyone decides for himself what height of the crossbar is preferable to him.

How to eliminate backlash

Under the influence of vibration, the control nut on the steering wheel can loosen, and then play will appear. How can it be identified? To do this, we place the bike on a perfectly flat surface and apply the front brake. Then we jerk the front fork forward, and if you feel a kickback in the steering column, then there is a backlash, and you need to get rid of it. How to do it?

First, unscrew the top bolt located on the crossbar. After that, we install the crossbar to its original place, tighten the control nut tightly and again check the steering wheel for backlash. Many are interested in why it may arise.

Types of steering columns

The steering column can be of several types:

  • Threaded. All the elements that make up this column are considered classic and, as a rule, are installed on budget bikes. At the top there is a standardized chamfer to which the head tube is attached.
  • Integrated. This column is a threadless system. Its main difference from the rest. lack of cups. That is, the bearings fit directly into the head tube.
  • Semi-integrated. This design can contain not only industrial bearings, but also standard ones. The integrated column contains only industrial.

Each of them has its own pros and cons. For example, the semi-integrated steering column is very convenient when adjusting the steering wheel height. Threaded column is less durable than others, but very affordable as it sells for a low price.

We looked at several varieties of bicycle columns, now let’s take a look at the main part of the handlebars. crossbar.


This rudder looks like a regular tube with a slight bulge in the center. It is often installed on mountain bikes or hybrids. Thanks to this shape of the handlebar, the cyclist feels confident on any road, especially on rough terrain. This design can be seen in cross-country or other extreme cycling competitions.

It is highly discouraged to use this type of rudder for long distances. Back pain and hand numbness will appear after a couple of kilometers. To avoid this, it is recommended to install special horns on the bicycle handlebars, thanks to which you can change the position of the arms and back from time to time.


This handlebar design is universal and can only be used on certain bicycles that are designed for long rides. The main advantage of the steering wheel. curved edges that resemble ram’s horns. Thanks to this design, the cyclist can constantly change the position of his hands while riding, and with such a steering wheel there are more than enough options for posture.


As a rule, on city bicycles, a tall handlebar with curved edges is installed. This shape will allow you to keep your back upright, thereby increasing your visibility. In addition, the load on the arms becomes minimal, and you can ride around the city for a long time without feeling any discomfort.

Bicycle handlebar mounts vary. For example, you can install a basket, flashlight, mirrors, signal and more. Thanks to the transverse tube, which is located in the central part, this structure is very strong and allows you to carry more than 60 kilograms. Although this model belongs to the budget options, it still cannot be argued that it is of less quality than others. For traveling on rough roads or large depressions, such a steering wheel is definitely not suitable. Therefore, it is best to use it on a flat road, near the city.

Steering wheel on BMX

BMX bicycles, like road bikes, have their own unique handlebar designs. This type of transport is intended exclusively for jumping and all kinds of tricks. Since the load on such a bike is constantly high, it is necessary to install a handlebar that will differ in power.

The shape of this steering wheel is somewhat similar to the walking type and differs only in the material of manufacture. If the walking wheel is made of aluminum, then the wheel is on a BMX. only made of high-strength metal, steel. As for the switches, they are completely absent here. Adjusting the speed on the handlebars of the bike will only interfere, and the braking system is superfluous here, since the speed on such bicycles is low.

It is worth noting again that this bike is solely for stunts. If you want to travel long distances then BMX. the last option you can choose. Better to walk this path than pedal on such a small bike.

Tips for choosing

If you decide to change the steering wheel of a bicycle, but have not yet decided on the choice, then the following recommendations will help you pay attention to important nuances:

  • Hand position. You’ve probably noticed that each riding style differs from the other in terms of hand placement. This is a very important point. For example, when traveling for a long time, the wrist may become numb or pain in the back.
  • Body position. If you have a road bike, then you need to choose a handlebar with horns that can improve aerodynamics.
  • Handlebar diameter. The handlebar switches are very important. The correct diameter determines which switches you can install.

Each wheel has its own pros and cons, and this must be taken into account. It is recommended to choose it for your riding style.

This article discussed the construction of a bicycle handlebar and how to properly adjust it. There were also examples of several types of structures that are used in different bicycles. It should be noted that changing the type of handlebars should only be done in the presence of an experienced cyclist. The steering wheel that is installed by the manufacturer is considered the most optimal.

For example, if you have a walking handlebar on a bicycle “Stealth” and you want to change it to road, since you will have to travel far and often, then it is recommended to change the wheels. For long distances, a thin tire should be used, thanks to which you can quickly gain top speed. But do not forget that a thin tire is less durable. If you often ride on rough terrain, then it is better to choose thicker models.

Bicycle handlebars: types and choices

Summer is that time of the year when a lot of people ride their bicycles. Although it is not as expensive transport as a car, it also needs to be monitored. It is necessary to lubricate the mechanisms and be fully equipped in order for the ride to be safe. Today we will talk about bicycle handlebars.

Features and purpose

The main purpose of the steering wheel is to adjust the direction while driving. With this piece, you can maintain balance and have a fulcrum. Without a steering wheel, you will not be able to ride a bike comfortably. It can also accommodate hand brakes, signaling equipment, lights, grips and much more. In addition to the direct meaning, they also try to make this element of the bicycle beautiful.

Now we will analyze all the main types of handlebars, including those for high-speed bicycles.


This device is designed for rough terrain. The straight position of the structure allows the steering wheel to be very strong and not have weak points. Previously, such parts were not made from special materials, since the already simple structure provided suitable strength. Now you can find mountain rudders made of carbon, metal alloys or titanium.

It is very important for a cyclist to feel comfortable, but because of this shape of the handlebar, the hands start to tire quickly, so the mountain type of bicycle handlebar is used only for fast runs and small trails. Also, the too primitive device of such a part does not allow the cyclist to change the position of the arms and back, which can lead to their numbness. It is worth mentioning that there is a straight V-shaped handlebar with additional support. It is best suited for extreme riding.


One of the most common part options. Upholstered handlebars were made for bicycles of yesteryear and have become classics. From itself, this type of device is a curved pipe so that there is enough room for grips. Some cyclists themselves make such handlebars from several tubes, thereby increasing their strength.

The main advantage of these handlebars is that their height can be easily adjusted and have an even posture while riding. Basically, the price of these parts is low, so they are found on the simplest bicycles, which are designed only to safely ride around the city.


Standard handlebar for road racing. Outwardly, it has a flat base and special curved handles at the bottom that look like ram’s horns. The special structure of this part allows the rider to adopt a sporty posture (when the back is horizontal), with the help of which you can fully use the muscles of the legs, overcome wind resistance and gain high speed.

choose, bicycle, handlebar

Instead of grips, such handlebars are wrapped so that there is good grip. Some cyclists use a center-mounted aerodynamic handlebar to rest your elbows on so they don’t get too tired.


Also called “drop”. The structure is as follows: after the base, where the handles are located, there is a curved pipe. It forms a semicircle that is parallel to the bike frame. The peculiarity of this steering wheel is that it can be held from several sides. Either for the base or for the down tube with handles. This variety allows you to change the grip for your wrists so they don’t go numb. The pipe of this part is smaller in diameter than the mountain type, so you cannot use them on the same bike.


Can be called a “travel” rudder. Its design is somewhat similar to a ram-type steering wheel, as the handles are bent in different shapes, but reduced to the main frame. If bike handlebars for road racing are made so that you can pick up high speed, then this device is made for long distance riding. The large number of grips and grips allows your hands to rest, which is essential for a long ride. For more convenience, you can expand the stem and reposition your body. You can also use a sporty or simple riding type.

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Handlebar for BMX

It differs in that it is very small and is located at the level of the saddle. This is so that the cyclist can have an almost upright posture. It is used for the stunts that the BMX bike is famous for.


The type of handlebars most suited to compact bikes. The design is based on a telescopic stem, with which you can lower the bicycle wheel. The handles can also be folded down to keep them out of the way.

This view looks like a “butterfly”, but its handles are not brought to the end of the support frame. These handlebars are often found on today’s cheap bicycles. The low price is due to the fact that there are not so many places for capture as in the “butterfly”, but the functionality does not suffer from this. The absence of sharp and uncomfortable corners creates multiple grip points to rest the hands and ride long distances on the highway.


To select a part by size, you need to consider the type of bike, the type of handlebars and the width of your grip. Do not forget about the compactness of transport. If you buy a very wide handlebar, it can get in the way when cycling and hit nearby objects. The wide part size allows you to better control the direction of movement and ensure proper breathing, as your arms will be spread wide, making it easier for oxygen to reach your lungs.

If you will be using grips, you will also need to consider the length of the palms. If your shoulders are 50-55 cm wide and your palms are about 10 cm long, then get a handlebar with a size of about 72-75 cm wide. If the bike is designed for small city routes, a high handlebar is best, which will allow you to maintain a comfortable posture.

Manufacturing materials

  • Steel is the simplest and cheapest material. It is one of the very first metals from which bicycle handlebars were made. Steel allows you to damp shocks, so if your bike has a rigid frame and every jump literally hits the handlebars, then a steel part will work well.
  • Aluminum is lightweight and non-corrosive. It is also inexpensive, but you need to take into account that an aluminum steering wheel can last much less than a steel one, because it is more fragile and after a few years you will have to change it.
  • Titanium is a versatile metal that has all the benefits of aluminum and steel options. Very strong, rustproof, durable and excellent vibration damping. The only drawback is the price, but if you want to have a steering wheel that will serve you for a long time and not let you down on the road, then a titanium analog is an excellent option.
  • Carbon is one of the most advanced materials for bicycle components. The carbon steering wheel is lightweight, rust resistant and has very good shock absorption. There are only 2 drawbacks: the ability to scratch and easy breakage.


There are many accessories available, all of which can enhance your steering comfort. The main additional element is the grips. They are hand grips that improve grip. They can also be water-absorbent so there is no chance of wet hands slipping off.

Usually, cheap grips are made from neoprene. They are easy to use, provide good grip, and are available in a wide range. Neoprene pads can be easily torn, so don’t rely on their durability.

Another accessory is horns. Some types of handlebars already contain this element and do not need them, but if you install them on a simpler handlebar, you will be in a big plus. This will increase the number of grip points and make your ride more comfortable. Instead of grips, you can use conventional tape or other materials. This option is in any case safer than a conventional steering wheel without everything.

How to choose?

To choose a good bike wheel, you must decide how you will use the bike. For road races, a tourist steering wheel or the “ram” option is more suitable. For rough terrain, it is best to use mountain. If you prefer urban routes, then the elevated type of normal building is fine. It is specially designed for the walking type of races. For a simple layman, another is not necessary, because there will be no additional loads on the steering wheel.

For information on how to choose a handlebar for a bicycle, see the next video.

Bicycle handlebar: device and choice

It only seems that nothing could be simpler than a bicycle handlebar. In fact, the steering wheel is a complex structure, with various configurations and variations. And also with its history of creation, moreover, quite meaningful.

Bicycle handlebars: what is it for and how is it equipped

The bicycle wheel also has an “official definition.” It sounds like this: a bicycle handlebar is a significant part of a bicycle, with the help of which the cyclist maintains balance and also directs his vehicle in the right direction. In addition, it is the handlebars that act as an additional fulcrum (along with the pedals and saddle) when no movement occurs.

And on the bicycle handlebars, almost all additional equipment of a two-wheeled (and maybe three-wheeled) vehicle is traditionally attached. It can be:

  • grips (special tubular nozzles at the ends for easy grip);
  • the sound signal itself or its controls;
  • shifters that control the transmission (if there is one);
  • hand brake controls.

Elements are also mounted on the steering wheel, the presence of which is dictated by the current traffic rules:

  • front reflector (white) and / or headlight;
  • and rear view mirrors.

Many cyclists, on the other hand, install bicycle computers on the handlebars, as well as holders for navigators, mobile phones, bottles and flasks with drinks, trunk, etc.

Varieties of bicycle handlebars

The first bicycle steering wheels were made of wood and metal (most often steel). They were straight and attached to a special steering rack. Today, a bicycle handlebar has several modifications and countless variations. There are four main types, and each is intended for a specific ride:

  • “Drum”. This handlebar is ideal for high speed driving. The center section is straight and attached directly to the stem. The design is curved on both sides forward and downward, and also (in the lower position) towards the cyclist. There are several options for the “drum” steering wheel. Most of them are mounted on road bikes. The cyclist sits behind such a steering wheel leaning forward strongly, which significantly increases aerodynamics when moving.
  • The steering wheel is straight. It is either completely straight or slightly curved at the handlebars, designed for mountain or hybrid bikes. She usually has large levers, which, coupled with a mid-slope landing, gives the cyclist maximum control over the movement. This is important in rough terrain. But it is in such conditions that cross-country and extreme mountain biking competitions take place.
  • Handlebar for bicycles ВМХ (Bicycle Moto Cross). This steering structure is ideal for cycling motocross models, which has very specific requirements for the strength and rigidity of the steering wheel, and most importantly. for the absolute controllability of the vehicle.

The handlebars are raised high in the stem above the place of its attachment. by 12, or even 20. But the spread of the handles in such models is noticeably less than in all other steering bicycle structures. The combination of these two circumstances provides the cyclist with a virtually “motorcycle” (that is, close to absolutely straight) landing. Thus, the hands of a person receive the least load and the greatest freedom for precise control of the vehicle. What is a prerequisite for the safe performance of the most difficult tricks characteristic of this sport.

The rigidity of such a steering structure is provided by a welded horizontal crosspiece that pulls the expansion of the high handles into a stable reliable trapezoid.

In principle, a BMX handlebar can be installed on any bicycle model, if there is a need to radically change the type of rider’s fit.

  • Handlebars for road as well as walking bike models

Both road and recreational models are certainly geared towards providing maximum comfort for cyclists. With low speeds and insignificant loads. And since people are unprepared to sit on such bicycles, the requirements for steering structures for these models are much softer than for all others.

The lift of such handlebars is greater than that of sports models. This provides a more or less vertical position of the cyclist, as well as the relative ease of his vehicle control. In addition, such handlebars are wider than sports or road bars, as they are designed to reduce the effort spent on steering the bike.

Separately, it should be said about the handlebars for children’s and teenage bike models. There, the steering structures have an even greater lift than that of road and pleasure bikes. Indeed, it is structurally provided for the expansion of the lifting range, as they say, “for growth”.

Choosing a bicycle handlebar

When choosing a bicycle handlebar “for yourself”, you must take into account a number of essential parameters:

  • the width of the steering structure;
  • installation diameter;
  • bend angle.

Today the most popular steering diameters are 1 inch (25.4 mm), quarter inch (31.8 mm) and road diameter (26 mm). The first size is typical for road bikes and XC models, the second is for most mountain bikes.

It is also necessary to choose a steering tape or a special coating. Usually, soft grip tubes are put on the ends of the handlebars, and on road bikes, the ends of the handles are wrapped with a special tape.

As for the materials from which modern bicycle handlebars are made, these can be:

  • Aluminium alloy;
  • carbon fiber;
  • steel;
  • titanium.