Bike handlebars are available in different styles and sizes and it’s not simple to get the right-sized one for the bike. Additionally, with the wrong purchase, the bell size can also differ along with the handlebar. Let’s look at the best apes and sizes for the handlebars and know what would suit you best?
What would be the Right Sized Bar?
The first thing you want to look at is the thickness of the bar. This is the portion of the bar that is right in the middle, and is what attaches to the stem of the bicycle. Most commonly bikers attach the bell to 31.8 mm, 25.4mm, or 22.2mm bars and these vary according to the type of bike you own:
- Cruiser/Commuter Bikes – The handlebar size can vary in this variant due to the abundance of styles available. However, a lot of bar sizes can either be 31.8mm or 25.4mm. You can find some great ones right here!
- Road Bikes – The handlebars are typically available in two clamp sizes of 26mm (old style) and the large new 31.8mm. The Oi bell attachment area would be around 31.8mm or 25.4mm.
- For Mountain Bikes – In mountain bikes, handlebar sizes are typically available in two clamp sizes of 25.4mm (old style) and the oversized 31.8mm. The bulge is present in the center on a few bars, and the handlebars thin out towards brake levers. When you wish to attach the bell, make sure you’re measuring as it would mean that you’ve moved from a large size bell to a small one. For instance, the area of grip on a few such bars is around 22.2mm, whereas the bulge is around 25.4mm. This is a great place to buy your mountain bike handlebars.
- The BMX – The size is always 22.2mm.
Choosing the Appropriate Width of Handlebars
It is often said that the bike handlebars must match the shoulder width, though in reality a lot of fuss is there about shoulder-width importance when selecting a handlebar.
While this might be a good starting point, sizing handlebars through this way most likely would create a perfect riding setup.
For example, off-road, handlebars have become wider lately as the riders search for more stability and tough grip on rougher terrain. The same applies to the road, where the broad handlebar also slows down the steering and provides confidence and stability to an inexperienced rider, regardless of their shoulder width and size.
Riders looking for taking on rough roads, gravel tracks, and mixed terrain, should also search for a little bit wider handlebar or the one having flared drops (gravel bikes).
Wider bars are also helpful for riders suffering from neck pain, shoulder tension, hand fatigue, or jaw pain from death grip, they’ve got it because of narrow bars. It can be noted on various women’s bikes, which are available with stock and narrow handlebars and suit riders with narrow shoulders.
However, for riders having a slim grip or for experienced riders, there are various benefits to narrow handlebars. When you find that the wrists can splay outwards to brake hoods, you might think of getting a narrower bar.
The handlebar width has a direct impact on the aerodynamic drag as well. In general terms, the narrower would mean the faster.
If presently you’re riding a 44cm length bar and want to add more free speed, you can consider shifting to a 40cm or a 42cm bar. Likewise, people using a 40cm or a 42 cm bar, must try a 38cm or also a 36cm bar. (Amateurs may find the 32cm bar to be quite extreme)
Assuming that you’ve got the desired control, a handlebar change can prospectively work as a better upgrade compared to buying a new bike or fancy set of wheels. For people who are into racing, it also provides better handling in narrow spaces.
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Selecting the Suitable Shape of Bike Handlebars
It took quite a long but by around the early 2000s manufacturers realized that a lot of bike sales aren’t made for the elite bike racers.
Until this point, a lot of bikes catered for racing fraternity with short head tubes combined with stem setups and bars were considered for offering the best possible aerodynamic position while riding in drops.
Reach and drop are typically long and deep and the idea behind this is that while being more stretched out, the faster you would go.
When combined with the endurance’ geometry of the bike, the ergonomic hardware allows the dedicated office worker to remain comfortable on weekend rides while on hoods. It can also put drop-in locations for the daily cyclist.
This is vital as it is the point where the brake leverage is maximum, which is good for safe descend.
Bike handlebars can significantly impact your control and comfort while riding.
A lot of riders would most likely do better off with long stem and compact bars instead of a short stem with a bar having deep drops and long reach. In addition to a good posture, you get better bike handling and simple brake lever access while riding in drops.