Bicycle handlebars are not just important when it comes to steering your bike. The shape and size of bike handlebars determine the riders sitting and riding position as well as the ability to steer through closed quarters easily and conveniently. In city commuting bicycles for instance, the handlebars are designed to provide the rider with an upright sitting position. On the other hand, on road racing bikes they are designed to accommodate an aerodynamic riding position. Combined with the bike stem they also determine the weight distribution of weight on the front and rear of the bicycle.
Did you know…?
Did you know that handlebar clamps come in two sizes?
To ensure that your bicycle handlebars fit firmly on the stem use the right clamp. Today there are two clamp sizes, the standard 25.4mm and the oversized 31.8mm variety that is gaining a lot of popularity.
The right clamp provides for a better and firmer fit eliminating the problems associated with loose handlebars.
Bicycle handlebars are made out of a variety of materials depending on the properties required by the rider, cost and intended application. Aluminum is the most popularly used material in making most bicycle handlebars. Most regular riding bicycles are equipped with aluminum alloy handlebars.
Demanding cyclists on the other hand usually go for carbon handlebars which tend to be stronger and lighter. Additionally they have better shock absorption properties since the structure of carbon is slight porous. Magnesium bicycle handle bars are also available and are also designed to the highest quality. These tend to be quite pricey however.
Types of Handlebars
These handlebars are named like this due to the position the rider usually assumes when riding bikes fitted with them. Drop handlebars are usually fitted on road racing bicycles since they help the rider assume an aerodynamic position which is necessary when it comes to maximizing riding speed.
These handlebars have different designs and styles depending on the riding conditions they are to be used in. the parts used can be straight or curved while the curves can assume a deep or shallow curve. For comfort purposes, curved handlebars are usually covered with handlebar tape for comfort purposes as well as enhancing the grip. Adding a gel under the tape will enhance the comfort of gripping the handlebars for extended periods.
These handlebars are also referred to as mountain bike handlebars. This is because they are found on all mountain bikes but they have also been adopted for hybrid and commuter bikes. They accommodate rubber grips for a better grip for cyclists who want it. Riser bars are designed to raise the cyclists siting position placing them in an upright riding position as compared to road bike handle bars.
These are also referred to as aero bars. These bars go further forward stretching the rider forward for a more aerodynamic sitting position for long distance cycling. They are designed for triathlon racers who need to preserve their strength and come with pads where the racer can rest their elbows. Such bars rarely have brake levers on them with only mounted gear shifters. They are also applied in time trials where the aerodynamic sitting position offers more speed. Their size usually varies as per the rider’s style i.e. narrower bars are for technical steering while wider bars are for smoother steering.
These bars are designed with a resemblance to a horizontally positioned letter B. This gives them a lot of versatility when riding. The rider can grip on numerous places around the edges while sitting upright.
These are also referred to as pursuit handlebars. They are named bullhorn bars due to their shape which resembles bullhorns. Also, like traditional track bars they are taped up for a better grip; they are also common on fixies.
Cruiser/Beach Bicycle Handlebars
Cruisers are not just used for cycling; they offer a representation of the owner’s creativity and personality. Most owners use these bikes not only to take leisurely rides along the beach but also show the world their character in a way. These bicycle handlebars are associated with a variety of designs; however most are meant to keep the rider in a upright sitting position. They can be short or long and overhanging, and made out of a variety of metallic designs all meant to meet the owners preference.
Everyone can agree that the BMX bicycle handlebars are among the most recognizable all over the world. This may be due to the fact that all other bicycles come with a variety of handlebar designs but mountain bikes only use one design.
Adjusting Bicycle Handlebars
If you bicycle handlebars are poorly positioned or loosely attached you not only run the risk of back, neck and arm pain but are also at a higher risk of losing control and running into other racers or road users. Below we will look at some of the adjustments you can make to enhance the reliability of your bicycle handlebars.
Bicycle Handlebar Stems
This is the connecting part between the handlebars and the steering tube. Most are made of aluminum alloys while the high end variety is made of magnesium and carbon fiber. It is true that the stem’s main function is to facilitate steering the bike, but where used well it can also aid in creating a comfortable seating position.
The Stem influences:
- How far you can reach out your arms
- The extent of an upright sitting position when cycling
Getting an experienced bicycle technician to adjust your bicycle handlebars at the bike store for the perfect fit is very important for comfortable riding in future.
Mountain Bikes Stems
Road Bikes Stems
Bicycle Handlebar Grips
Handlebar grips are essential in providing a comfortable and firm grip when cycling. When shopping for grips for your bike, consider buying anatomically molded grips. These are designed to fit the hand perfectly with the flared ends providing for some rest for your palms in extended rides. Bicycling gloves on the other hand will help you avoid getting sore hands after mountain biking outings especially given that the rough terrain necessitates grabbing the bars tightly.
Where to Buy Bicycle Handlebars?
If you are interested in buying bicycle handlebars you are invited to visit these trusted online stores: