Make your next ride more comfortable with the latest in road bike handlebars. Choose from high-end alloys, carbon handlebars, and traditional and integrated models. Everything you need to improve your ride quality.
What is a road bike handlebar?
Road bike handlebars are what you hold on to while you steer the bike. To state the obvious — they're pretty important.
The right handlebars give you a better position on your bike, decreasing shoulder, hand, or neck pain caused by improperly positioned hands while you ride.
Road bike handlebars typically have a curved "drop" shape. Drop bars let the rider reach down and grip the ends of the handlebars while in a crouched riding position. Depending on the specific model and intended use, they may also have additional features, such as aero bars or integrated shifters.
Ultimately bike handlebars provide control and stability while riding. They're usually made of lightweight, strong materials such as aluminium, carbon fibre, or titanium and come in various shapes and styles for different riding styles and preferences.
What is the standard road bike handlebar size?
The key measurements for a handlebar are width, reach, and drop.
The most common sizes for road bike handlebars are 26.0 mm and 31.8 mm.
Choosing the right size handlebar for your bike is essential because the wrong size can cause problems with fit and performance. Take handlebar width for example — you need it to match your shoulder width for a better grip. Mountain and gravel bike handlebars tend to be wider and offer better control and stability. Road bikes have wider bars, too, but you can also shop for narrow bars that offer better speed control.
Before you buy, ask our team of cycling experts for help and assistance. From compact handlebars to compact bars, shallow drops and carbon bars, our team can make sure you get the right size without sacrificing performance.
How to put tape on your handlebars
Handlebar tape plays a major role in hand pressure and fatigue. Here's how to tape your handlebars for maximum comfort.
- First, clean your handlebars. This will ensure that the bar tape sticks and looks its best.
- Cut a piece of handlebar tape to the desired length, allowing a little extra to wrap around each end.
- Start by taping the handlebar on the underside (the side closest to the frame) just behind the stem. Leave about one inch of tape hanging off the end of the handlebar.
- Wrap the tape around the handlebar. Pull it tight as you go. Keep the tape as smooth and even as possible, and avoid creases or wrinkles.
- When you reach the end of the handlebar, tuck the excess tape under the last wrap and trim off any excess.
- Repeat for the other side.
- Once both sides are taped, trim any excess and smooth down the ends.
We suggest practising on an old handlebar before tackling your new one. With a bit of practice, you'll be taping your handlebars like a pro in no time.
Different types of handlebars
- Flat handlebars — Flat handlebars are the most common and are typically found on mountain and hybrid bikes. They offer a comfortable, upright riding position and great control.
- Riser handlebars — Riser handlebars are similar to flat handlebars but are slightly raised and swept back towards the rider. They provide a more upright position and are popular on comfort and cruiser bikes.
- Drop handlebars — Drop handlebars are found on road bikes. They have a downward curve, allowing the rider to get into a low, aerodynamic position. Drop handlebars also offer a variety of hand positions for comfort and control.
- Aero handlebars — Aero handlebars, also known as triathlon handlebars or bullhorns, are shaped like a pair of horns pointing upwards and forwards. They allow the rider to get into a very aerodynamic position and are used on time trial and triathlon bikes.
- Cruiser handlebars — Cruiser handlebars are found on beach cruisers and city bikes. They are wide and upright and offer a comfortable, upright riding position.
- BMX handlebars — BMX handlebars are solid and sturdy, with a very upright position. They are typically used on BMX bikes and designed to withstand the demands of tricks and stunts.
- Touring handlebars — Touring handlebars are drop handlebars that offer multiple hand positions for long-distance riding. They're used on touring and endurance bikes.
How to raise handlebars on a road bike?
To raise the handlebars on a road bike, you need to adjust the stem. The stem is what connects the handlebars to the bike's frame and allows you to adjust the height and angle of the bars.
- Loosen the bolt that holds the stem to the bike's frame. This bolt is usually located at the top of the stem where it meets the frame.
- Once the bolt is loosened, you should be able to lift the handlebars to the desired height. Make sure to hold onto the handlebars firmly to keep them from slipping out of place.
- Once you have the handlebars at the desired height, tighten the bolt to secure the stem in place. Make sure to tighten the bolt firmly, but be careful not to overtighten it, as this can damage the stem or the frame.
- Double-check that the handlebars are securely in place and that the bolt is tightened correctly. Test the handlebars to make sure they feel secure and stable before riding.
CYKOM is your go-to source for all things bike
Need help choosing the right road bike handlebars? Our team of cycling experts is ready to steer you in the right direction. We can offer free guidance and support on all aspects of cycling, and we're always happy to provide personalised recommendations.
If you don't see what you're looking for, just let us know and we'll be happy to assist you.