Evans Cycles
Evans Cycles

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Handlebars
 
 
 
 
Road Bike Handlebars
 
Road bars may all look essentially alike, but they come in many guises. They are mostly made from aluminium or carbon fibre and are measured for their width, usually from the two centres of the dropped part of the bar, but sometimes from the outside edge to outside edge. It’s best to check in order to purchase the correct size. The size you require (c to c) should correspond to your shoulder width. Wider bars may be preferred for certain types of riding for example off-road cyclo-cross where wider bars offer more confident handling.

A traditional bend is when the lower portion of the bar, beneath the shifters, is simply a ‘smooth curve’ or rounded shape. An ergonomic or ‘ergo’ bar has a more angular curve. This shape aims to provide a more comfortable hand hold by placing the hands and wrists in a more natural position, but the style you opt for is largely personal preference. Another ergonomic addition can be for the top section of the bars to be slightly flattened or ovalised to provide a larger surface area for the hands, spreading the load for improved comfort. This can be taken a step further to form a more aerodynamic cross-section on the top part.

The diameter of the handlebars can vary along the length but the clamp diameter is one of two sizes; oversized 31.8mm or standard 25.4mm.

Compact or Shallow drop bars reduce the distance between the top of the bar and the drops, so that the change in position from one to the other is less extreme. These are popular with riders with less flexibility, particularly back related issues, or those who simply do not wish to ride in a highly aggressive tuck.

Women’s specific bars are narrower, often have a shorter reach and some are shaped to make the brake levers more accessible for smaller hands, when riding in a tucked position.
 
Mountain Bike Handlebars
 
Mountain bike bars can essentially be grouped into ‘flat’ or ‘riser’ bars. There’s a certain amount of personal preference governing which you choose, but consider which best suits your riding style.

If you want to ride low and narrow at the front, often the xc racers choice, then flat bars are for you. Flat bars can be incredibly light, and many are made in carbon fibre as well as the more traditional aluminium.

If you want to sit up taller, with a wider grip and more confidence inspiring position, then a riser bar is ideal. Riser bars are available in a number of different sizes and shapes, depending on their width, amount of rise, and degrees of back sweep. This means they are not just for more extreme forms of riding, as was the past trend, but can be used in any discipline, to fine tune the riding position. With more lightweight carbon fibre riser bars joining the many aluminium designs, even cross country racers are beginning to seek the benefits of the improved control that risers offer. Always bear in mind whether the product is suitable for the type of riding you wish to do. A super lightweight carbon fibre handlebar may look the business, but it may not be the best choice for a downhill racer.

This Buying Guide gives our customers general advice on the Handlebar Bags. It is a guide only and we always recommend visiting one of our stores or contacting one of the experts in our sales team on +44(0)1293 574 900 if in doubt about your needs.
 
 
 
This story was last updated on 17/01/2012