Mountain bike handlebar: everything about MTB handlebars

A mountain bike handlebar is often very wide and straight. There are many different types of MTB handlebars. They are not only available in different widths and thicknesses, but also in different shapes. On this page I tell you everything you need to know about MTB handlebars.

Mountain bike handlebar shapes

A mountain bike handlebar can have different shapes. For example, the ends may be slightly bent upwards or bent backwards. When you buy a new handlebar, it is important to pay attention to the shape. A mountain bike handlebar can come in three different shapes:

  • Upsweep: an MTB handlebar with upward curved ends
  • Backsweep: a backward curved handlebar
  • Risebar: a handlebar where the ends are higher than the center of the handlebar
mountain bike handlebar
This is a mountain bike handlebar with a small backsweep. © MTBdex.com

MTB handlebar influences driving behaviour

The shape of the mountain bike handlebar strongly influences how comfortable you are on your mountain bike. In the guide to the mountain bike frame size I already mentioned the ‘reach’. This is the distance from the bottom bracket to the handlebars. With a handlebar with the ends bent back, you reduce this reach. The MTB handles are therefore closer, so that you are less bent over.

Mountain bike stem

An important part of the handlebar is the mountain bike stem. The stem provides the connection between the handlebars and the MTB fork. A stem, also called an MTB stem, can have different positions. It is important that the position of the stem matches your riding style. Discover more information about the MTB stem.

Buying mountain bike handlebars: you should pay attention to this

If adjusting your mountain bike does not help to prevent physical complaints, it can be smart to consider another MTB handlebar. Before you just buy a new steering wheel, it is advisable to pay attention to the following points.

  • Choose the right form (so check the rise, backsweep and upsweep)
  • Note the MTB handlebar width
  • Go for a handlebar from better-known brands
  • Check the material (think carbon or aluminum)
  • Check the handlebar thickness (diameter)

After mounting a new handlebar, it is important to determine the correct handlebar height.

MTB handlebar brands

In the field of mountain bike handlebars, there are three brands that are very popular. I list them below:

  • PRO
  • Renthal
  • Ritchey

The brands have many different handlebars in their range.

Frequently asked questions about MTB handlebars

What kind of mountain bike handlebars are there?

MTB handlebars come in different shapes. For example, there is a rise bar; a handlebar where the ends are higher than the center of the handlebar. When the ends are bent back, you speak of backsweep.

What are good handlebar brands?

There are three good brands that produce mountain bike handlebars: PRO, Renthal and Ritchey. If you buy a new handlebar, it is recommended to choose one of these brands.

What should I pay attention to when buying a new mountain bike handlebar?

Pay close attention to the shape and material of the handlebar. In addition, it is important to check the pipe diameter.

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