HANDLEBAR BUYER’S GUIDE: FIND YOUR PERFECT BEND

A rise and sweep for every type of riding

MBA’S HANDLEBAR BUYING GUIDE

The contact points on your bike (saddle, grips, handlebars, and pedals) can often be overlooked in their importance. From what we’ve found, most riders have a particular setup when it comes to their handlebars, while others will keep it as is from the day it rolled out of a bike shop. Some will argue that handlebars are arguably the most important contact point on your bike and need careful attention.

PNW RANGE HANDLEBAR GEN 3

Used, abused and put up to the test by our wrecking crew, the PNW Range handlebar has a sturdy construction and is made with a 2014-T73 heat-treated alloy. PNW chose this material because it closely resembles carbon’s chatter absorbing qualities in a value-driven product for all riders. They stick to having one option that has a 10-degree backsweep, 5-degree upsweep, and a 30mm rise to put a rider’s arms and shoulders in a relaxed position.

Clamp diameter: 35mm or 31.8mm

Material: 2014-T73 heat-treated alloy.

Use: All-Mountain, enduro

Width: 800mm

Rise: 30mm

Sweep: 8° backsweep and 5° upsweep

Weight: 31.8mm/314g, 35mm/310g

Colors: Orange, Dune, teal, red, grey

Price: $69

Contact: www.pnwcomponents.com

RITCHEY WCS 10D RIZER

Taking inspiration from the original XC 10D flat bar, the latest 10D Rizer now has an 800mm-wide trail bar with a generous 10-degree backsweep to help wrist alignment, 4-degree upsweep to reduce pressure on the outside of the hand, and 20mm rise for an upright yet comfortable pedal position.

Clamp diameter: 31.8mm

Material: Triple-butted 7050 alloy

Use: Trail, bikepacking, cross-country

Width: 800mm

Rise: 20mm

Sweep: 10° backsweep and 4° upsweep

Weight: 350g

Colors: Black

Price: $79.95

Contact: www.ritcheylogic.com

 

THOMSON MTB Ti

If you are the type of rider that loves the feel and quality of titanium then you are no stranger to the price tag it will also bring. However, there is a class of riders that would appreciate these Thomson handlebars. There is no doubt that they will be heavier than carbon, but there is a gain of comfort and stiffness in a material that will last a lifetime.

Clamp diameter: 31.8mm

Material: Titanium

Use: All-mountain, cross-country

Width: 730mm

Sweep: 6° or 12° backsweep

Weight: 310g

Colors: Titanium

Price: $279.95–$389.95

Contact: www.bikethomson.com

 

RENTHAL FATBAR CARBON

The Renthal Fatbar Carbon is designed with the intention of being the ultimate downhill racing handlebar. Used by Aaron Gwin, this lightweight handlebar can also be utilized on a trail bike where a rider needs a wide, strong, and comfortable contact point. The Fatbar Carbon comes in the 35- or 31.8mm clamp option and in four different rise options.

Clamp diameter: 35mm or 31.8mm

Material: Carbon

Use: Downhill, trail, enduro

Width: 800mm

Rise: 10mm, 20mm, 30mm, or 40mm

Sweep: 7° backsweep and 5° upsweep

Weight: 225g

Colors: Black and gold

Price: $203.45

Contact: www.renthal.com

 

PROTAPER CARBON TEAM ISSUE

ProTaper Carbon bars feature PFL (Plastic Foam Lamination) manufacturing. PFL utilizes tiny particles and steam pressure in the lamination process to expand and shape the structure of the bars. The process uses less excess resin and fewer pieces, resulting in a 15-percent-lighter bar. ProTaper also has a textured Grit Grip finish in clamp areas to help mitigate over-tightening components that are mounted to these lightweight handlebars.

Clamp diameter: 35mm or 31.8

Material: Carbon

Use: Downhill, trail, enduro

Width: 810mm

Rise: 25.4mm or 12.7mm

Sweep: 8° backsweep and 4° upsweep

Weight: 190g

Colors: Stealth or yellow

Price: $174.99

Contact: www.hayesbicycles.com

 

JONES H-BAR BUTTED LOOP ALUMINUM

The multi-position Jones H-Bar is designed to provide riders with more hand positions for their rides. The crossbar on the Loop H-Bar sweeps forward to allow the levers to go behind the crossbar instead of in front. This helps give uninterrupted hand positions and with clearance for grip/twist shifters to fit on the rearward extensions.

Clamp diameter: 31.8mm

Material: Butted loop aluminum

Use: Ergonomic hand positions, bikepacking, trail

Width: 710mm or 660mm

Weight: 710mm/525 grams, 660mm/515 grams

Colors: Black or silver

Price: $145

Contact: www.jonesbikes.com

 

PRO THARSIS 3FVIE FLAT TOP CARBON

This is a superlight cross-country carbon handlebar that will bring a smile to any gram counter’s face and bike. Fair warning that this set of handlebars from Pro does run a little small in length with a 740mm width. Ideal for some, but many riders will prefer or want more width to cut down as they please.

Clamp diameter: 35mm

Material: Carbon

Use: Cross-country

Width: 740mm

Rise: 5mm

Sweep: 9° backsweep

Weight: 135g

Colors: Black

Price: $169

Contact: www.pro-bikegear.com

 

TAG METALS T1 CARBON

The TAG Metals T1 Carbon handlebars keep things sleek with features like their speed-adjust markings for levers, shifters, grips and stem. This option is also considerably light given its price and uses TAG’s Oval Tech construction for this carbon handlebar to help minimize arm pump, bar vibration and maximize steering responsiveness.

Clamp diameter: 35mm

Material: Carbon

Use: Enduro, all-mountain

Width: 800mm

Rise: 10mm, 20mm, 30mm, or 40mm

Sweep: 7° backsweep and 5° upsweep

Weight: 230g

Colors: Matte black

Price: $159.99

Contact: www.tagmetalsracing.com

 

DEITY HIGHSIDE 35

The Highside from Deity Components has one of the highest rises at 80mm or 50mm. Available with a 35mm diameter and an 800mm width, they can be used on any bike, but are best suited for dirt jumpers and slopestyle riders. Beyond the world of bike tricks, anyone looking to sit more upright, alleviate back pain, or simply set themselves into a more comfortable riding position should add this to their list of options.

Clamp diameter: 35mm

Material: Aluminum

Use: Slopestyle, dirt jumping

Width: 800mm

Rise: 50mm or 80mm

Sweep: 9° backsweep and 5° upsweep

Weight: 50mm/365g, 80mm 375g

Colors: Orange, blue, red, bronze, Stealth, white, Turq

Price: $84.99

Contact: www.deitycomponents.com

WHISKEY NO.9 FLAT HANDLEBAR

The Whiskey No.9 Flat Bar is a blend of value, weight savings and delivers a more forward position over the bike for a more aggressive riding style. These bars come with an 840mm width. You’ll likely cut them down, but they do give you plenty of length to play with.

Clamp diameter: 31.8

Material: Carbon

Use: Trail, all-mountain

Width: 840mm

Rise: 0°

Sweep: 9° backsweep

Weight: 215g

Colors: Black

Price: $140

Contact: whiskeyparts.co

ONEUP CARBON E-BAR

Mountain bike component manufacturer OneUp brings its comfort-enhancing oval-shaped handlebar technology to electric bikes with its all-new Carbon E-bar. According to OneUp, this eMTB-specific handlebar is 20% more compliant than other carbon bars on the market because of its oval shaping. The shape also adds steering stiffness and responsiveness – something that never hurts while throwing around a heavier ebike. Integrated wire ports for Shimano STEPS electric bike controls and displays or any remote with a connector diameter less than 6.5mm clean the cockpit and it passes the Zedler E-MTB Advanced Plus and international DH standard (ASTM Cat. 5 Downhill). Despite its strength, OneUp claims that it is the most compliant eMTB-rated bar on the market.

Clamp diameter: 35mm

Material: Carbon

Use: eMTB

Width: 800mm

Sweep: 8° backsweep, 5° Upsweep

Weight: 238g

Colors: Black

Decal Kits: Red, Green, Blue, Orange, Gold, Matte Bronze, Black, Purple, Oil Slick, and White

Price: $150

Contact: www.oneupcomponents.com

 

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