Mountain biking is a common physical activity that has become even more popular with the wave of nature enthusiasts in today’s society.
If you are looking to get into mountain biking, then you definitely need to do some research about how the different areas of your bike will affect your bike’s performance.
One of the most important factors in your bike’s performance, believe it or not, is the handlebars.
Some mountain bike enthusiasts underestimate the value of a set of specialized handlebars, but those who are ready to get serious about their experience we have compiled a list of the 6 best mountain bike handlebars.
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Reviews of the 6 Best Mountain Bike Handlebars
If you are looking for a new set of handlebars for your trail rides, look no further than this comprehensive list of the top 6 mountain bike handlebars on today’s market. There are a lot of widely varying factors that surround each of these perfectly acceptable options. Join us as we delve into the good, the bad, and the ugly about the top 6 best mountain bike handlebars on today’s market.
1. Jessica Acekit Lightweight Mountain Bicycle Handlebar
- MATERIAL:made of aluminium alloy 7005,compare to traditional 6061, AL7075 with better performance
- WEIGHT:lightweight design with DB tube drawing technology (thickness of the pipe wall is distributed...
These Jessica Acekit mountain bike handlebars are a great value for the mountain bike enthusiast. They come in a variety of widths, so no matter how wide or narrow you would like your bike handles to be, you can get what size you want in this bar. Just be aware that purchasing a larger handle may require the purchase of a new stem for your bike as well.
These handlebars are a lightweight option and are pretty decently constructed. They are built of aluminum alloy and like all bicycle handles, they are hollow in the middle so that they are not too heavy for the user to control. These handlebars are also good for speed on the trail for any mountain biker who is looking to build their stamina.
The downsides to this model is that some users have reported the aluminum is not very strong this can be extremely dangerous during a ride. While most have found that these handlebars hold up fairly well, some question the durability of the handlebars claiming they break after minimal use. Another downside to these handlebars is that the paint is easily chipped.
- Multiple Size Options
- Less Durable
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2. Upanbike Mountain Bike Handlebar
- Handlebar material:aluminum alloy;Color:matting black;Fits most kinds of bike,such as mountain...
- Handlebar type:flat bar,riser bar;Bar ends diameter:22.2mm;
Also constructed of aluminum alloy, the Upanbike mountain bike handlebars are our top pick for those looking for a budget buy. Not only are these handlebars extremely affordable, they have a lot of really great features working in their favor for being your top pick for your next set of mountain bike handlebars. They are lightweight, easy to install, and look really nice once they are ready to go on your new bike.
The durability of these handlebars is extremely impressive. Not only are they a great upgrade for the bike user looking for a lightweight option, but they are really sleek as well. These are easy to install on your current bike so long as you have the right tools. The tools you will need depend on the bike you are trying to install the handlebars on.
One common complaint is that the decals included on this handlebar detract from the overall sleekness of the bar itself. The excessive decals might make a difference for you, so this is something you should absolutely consider before purchasing these handlebars. Overall, these handlebars are the best budget bars if you are first beginning to dabble in trying out specialized handlebars for your mountain bicycle rides.
- Sleekness of Style
- Excessive Decals Pre-installed
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3. RaceFace Atlas FR Riser Handlebar
- Manufactured from cold drawn, seamless Air Alloy material
- Internal taper increases strength and durability without adding weight
The RaceFace brand has really done a good job creating a name for itself within the biking community. For this reason, RaceFace can be expected to make a high-quality handlebar that will help your bike function to its optimal capacity.
This handlebar is constructed of aluminum and is made in a variety of sizes so that you can choose the right width for your preferences. Although it is constructed of aluminum, this handlebar is actually quite a bit heavier than its competitors. This could be an issue depending on how you choose to enjoy riding your bike in the future.
Overall, this handlebar does a really good job of not jolting the user around when riding on a trail, which often happens with handlebars that are constructed of aluminum. As an added bonus, this design is really sleek and not distracting at all. RaceFace has done an overall excellent job on this handlebar and it is extremely durable.
- Sleek and Dark Design
- High Quality Finish
- A little heavy
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4. Wake Aluminum Alloy Mountain Bike Handlebars
- 🚴 SIZE: 31.8 * 720 / 740 / 780 mm. Stable without compromise of stiffness. Extra long handlebars,...
- 🚴 LIGHTWEIGHT: Made of high strength Aluminum Alloy. Excellent shockproof and maximum firmness....
These Wake mountain bike handlebars are a great option for someone looking to replace the stock aluminum bars that come on their mountain bike. As mentioned, these are constructed of aluminum bars and are extremely durable.
You will need to measure before purchasing these handlebars, but they can be installed on any bike. The width is larger than most stock handlebars and is also wider than a lot of other options on the market. However, you can purchase a larger stem if you are interested in trying out this option for your bike.
These also have a really nice matte finish on them. The bright color is not everyone’s favorite, but on most bikes these look really nice once they are installed.
These may be slightly harder to cut into because they are a bit more thick along the rim. This will not be an issue for most users, but users who want to cut to a custom length may be affected by this. Overall, these are a great quality for the super affordable price.
- Nice Finish
- Durable Quality
- Larger Width
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5. RaceFace Atlas Mountain Bike Handlebars
- Constructed from cold drawn, seamless Air Alloy material
- Internal taper increases strength and durability without adding weight
RaceFace is one of the leading brands that sell custom length handlebars for all different types of bikes, including mountain bikes. These handlebars are constructed using a cold drawn and seamless air allow material. RaceFace uses a unique process to create durability in their handlebars without sacrificing weight.
These handlebars have a unique design in their internal taper that allows them to be more durable and have increased strength. The durability of these handlebars alone makes them a great buy, as they will withstand even the roughest rides on the mountains and trails.
This model is a bright green handlebar with a matte finish and a graphic design displaying proudly the name of RaceFace. These look really nice on the bike once installed. If you are a fan of the color green, then this is definitely a great option for an addition to your bike.
Because of the durability, unique high-quality design, and stunning finish of this handlebar, we have chosen this one as our number one pick for the best mountain bike handlebar at this time. This one is sure to impress.
- High-Quality Construction
- Good for Speed
- Highly Unique Color
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6. RXL SL Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike Handlebars
Our runner up spot goes these beautifully constructed mountain bike handlebars by the extremely well-known manufacturer of bike parts, RXL. RXL SL is one of the top manufacturers for custom bike parts for both mountain bikes and other types of specialty bikes as well.
In lieu of an aluminum alloy construction, these handlebars are constructed of a carbon fiber. RXL SL has a special patent on this type of construction. They claim that carbon fiber is not only lighter, but also stronger and sleeker than an aluminum alloy construction.
These handlebars are designed to absorb shock and create maximum comfort and control for the user of the bike. Unfortunately, some riders question the quality of a carbon fiber construction. While these might be a great design in theory, they might be a little easier to break than some of the bars constructed of aluminun alloy.
- Design for Comfort
- Less Durable
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Purchasing new handlebars can be a bit overwhelming for the mountain bike enthusiast. There are a number of factors to consider before making your final purchase. From material to design to brand and more. Before you decide which handlebars are the best for you, check out this guide on how to choose the best handlebars for your mountain bike experience.
Considering the material for the handlebars you purchase is extremely important. There are several different materials that handlebars might be constructed from, but most commonly they are constructed of aluminum alloy, carbon fiber, and titanium. Most often, for mountain bikes, the handlebars will be crafted from either aluminum alloy or carbon fiber. You can see that this is true by evaluating the materials of our top six picks.
Each and every manufacturer is going to have a different opinion and protocol for building their handlebars. However, in general, carbon fiber handlebars are inherently unique from aluminum alloy handlebars. Carbon fiber handlebars have a better damping effect, and the flex pattern that is designed into the inside of the handlebars is more easily manipulated than with aluminum. While carbon is lighter in weight than aluminum it is typically easier to damage the appearance of carbon.
Aluminum alloy, on the other hand, are far more durable according to research than handlebars made of carbon. When an aluminum alloy handlebar is damaged, that damage is usually not as dangerous as a broken carbon fiber handlebar.
Handlebar Rise and Sweep
The shape of your handlebar is referred to as the rise and sweep of the mountain bike handlebars. There are a lot of unique designs when it comes to the rise and sweep combinations and it would be hard to put all of these options on a chart together.
However, it is important for a buyer to have a general understanding of the concept of rise and sweep before attempting to purchase their handlebars. Whether you believe it or not, these handlebars are widely affected by the geometric design and so is your ability to ride the bike.
The rise of your bike’s handlebars, first of all, is measured vertically from the center of your bar all the way to the end of the bar. Mountain bike handlebars could have anywhere from a 0mm rise all the way to a 40mm rise, which is quite a wide range. The higher the rise of your handlebar, the taller the feel of the handlebar will be for the rider.
In terms of function, a mountain biker who finds themselves frequenting a steep turf would probably need to invest in a higher rise. This is all about physics. The higher rise allows the rider to transfer body weight from the rear of the bike, this helps when trying to ride on a steep terrain.
Sweep is a concept that is slightly harder to grasp. Sweep is broken into two separate categories: up sweep and back sweep.
Up sweep can be seen if you are standing in front of the bicycle looking at the handlebars. It is an angle that is measured between an imaginary parallel line to the bar and then beside the direction of rise and back up to the bar.
Back sweep can be seen only if you look down on the handlebar. It is measured, again in an angle, from an imaginary line back to the handlebar.
Usually, a mountain bike has around a five degree up sweep. The back sweep usually ranges from seven degrees to ten degrees. These changes seem slight, but they typically affect the comfort of the user rather than any actual function of the bike itself. In order to know what angle you want you up sweep and back sweep to measure, you really need to experiment and find out what makes you most comfortable as a rider.
So, while up sweep and back sweep are certainly important considerations, it will be hard to factor these angles in without first having tried out a bike with a few different handlebars. While understanding the concept behind the jargon is important, what is most important is locating the most comfortable handlebar position for your body.
If you want your new handlebar to fit without having to purchase even more parts, then you need to know how to understand the clamp size you need for your mountain bike. Mountain bike handlebars can be purchased in two widths. A traditional handlebar will measure 25.4mm and this is what comes standard on almost every mountain bike. An oversized handlebar, on the other hand, will measure 31.8mm.
You can actually alter your standard bike to accommodate an oversized handlebar if that is what you really want, but before you do you should know this will require an additional purchase. You will need a new stem for your bike before you can switch to an oversized handlebar.
Oversized handlebars are considered to be slightly stronger than the traditional sized handlebars. That said, many users notice little to no difference in the long term durability of the handlebars. This means that switching to an oversized handlebar is not in your best interest unless you are purchasing a new stem to begin with.
Bar Ends or No Bar Ends?
In general, bike ends are considered an unnecessary eye sore and the people who use them are known in the inner circles as people who do not understand biking. However, choosing a handlebar with bar ends actually does have a purpose. Do not let the snobby bike inner circle bully you out of the full experience of mountain biking.
Bar ends may not give the best aesthetic, but they do have an extremely useful purpose. Bar ends allow the user to more easily switch positions and improve rider comfort during a ride. This can be extremely beneficial during a long ride. It may also be a good idea for riders who are new to mountain biking to give these a try in order to improve their experience.
Other Major Mountain Bike Handlebar Brands
We mentioned some of the top handlebar manufacturer’s in this top 6 review, but there are definitely some major players that have been left out. Here is a quick overview of some other brands to consider when beginning the research process:
- Easton: Easton is a well known sports brand and makes a high-quality handlebar.
- Ritchey: Founded over 40 years ago by Tom Ritchey, this brand is very well known in cycling.
Here are some frequently asked questions.
What material should I choose for my new mountain bike handlebar?
This is entirely up to the user’s preference. Carbon fiber handlebars tend to be a little bit more expensive than aluminum alloy handlebars. The manufacturer has better control over the look and design of the handlebars, but in an accident carbon fiber handlebars are less likely to hold up as well as aluminum alloy. Further, carbon fiber materials tend to absorb shock better, which for many riders justifies the slightly higher price.
Put simply, for a novice rider, it may be best to go with aluminum alloy handlebars. A more experienced rider should do some research and try some bikes out before making a decision.
What width handlebar do I need for my bike?
Unless you have a need for a significantly sturdier handlebar, your bike probably needs a standard 24.5mm width handlebar. You can tell what size handlebar you need by inspecting the stem that is currently holding your handlebar to you bike.
Do I need to purchase a new stem?
So long as the handlebar that you purchase is the correct size for your current stem, you most likely do not need to purchase a new stem. However, if you suspect that your stem was damaged during an accident, you may want to consider making a small purchase to enhance the security of your bike.
There are a lot of widely varying options available on the market for new handlebars for mountain bikes this information can be hard to process for the new mountain bike rider looking for a few quick and easy upgrades for her bike. One of the many things that can be overwhelming is that all of the technical jargon surrounding new handlebars can be hard to understand for a newcomer.
If you are new to mountain biking and looking to upgrade your current ride, then hopefully you have found this guide to be helpful. There are a lot of factors to consider before committing to a purchase, but we hope that you are now adequately prepared to make decisions about the purchase of your new mountain bike handlebars.