Best Handlebars For Touring [Review] in 2020

Last Updated on August 3, 2020

This guide has been written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol

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Road bike handles are often overlooked but today we will see why they are very important when it comes to a wholesome and good riding experience. These handlebars are not just a place for you to hang your bike gear and helmet, but they also provide you with a critical and instrumental role in determining bike stability and handling characteristics. A well-made and well-adjusted bike handlebar will allow for a hassle free experience when it comes to balancing the bike and also enables hours of comfortable riding. Thus handlebars play an integral role in keeping your bike steady on the roads and provide a grand adventurous experience.

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Best road handle bars

1.

EC90 road bike handlebar

Top Choice Item

EC90 brings a drop bar style handlebar for your road bike which is made entirely of carbon fiber. As compared to aluminium, carbon fiber is an amazing material choice as it is lighter but also very strong at the same time. It is also rust-free which means that you can wash your bike without hesitation. Carbon fiber is anti-shock which means it can resist and absorb shocks well, on a challenging bumpy terrain. It comes with a clamp diameter of 31.8mm which fits most bikes. The structure of the handlebar is well thought out as the corner joints are treated with high temperature and are impact resistant. Adopted wind breaking and internal routing helps reduce wind resistance while riding. The bar has an ergonomic design to meet the normal posture perfectly and has universal compatibility.

Pros
R
Lightweight carbon fiber
R
Durable and rust-free
R
Good impact absorption and reduces wind resistance
R
Granule paint to reduce friction between brakes and handlebar
Cons
Q
Bar is not wide enough to mount a light

Latest deal: EC90 road bike handlebar

2.

FSA omega

Best Value Item

FSA omega makes aluminium road bike handlebars and this one is no exception. They use a 6000 series aluminium which is plenty strong and lightweight. It keeps the bike light and helps with the balance also. It’s important to have a proper handlebar to bike frame ratio and omega has a 125mm reach which falls into the proper ratio. Aluminium also makes the handlebar rust-free which translates to hassle-free washing. The weight of the entire handlebar is 300g which is impressive considering aluminium being used instead of carbon fiber. The price is also very affordable and this handlebar is a definite eye catcher.

Pros
R
6066-series aluminium
R
Lightweight and durable
R
Rust-free
R
Good reach of 125mm
Cons
Q
Width might be slightly small

Latest deal: FSA omega

3.

RXL SL handlebar

Prime Picked Item

RXL SL comes in various different designs and takes on the color black, on their handlebar. It has a very minimalist approach and gives an understated vibe. It is made of carbon fiber which is extremely lightweight and very strong. It helps keep the bike light while balancing it perfectly for the ride. The material is also rust-free which allows you to wash the bike with no worries. It weighs in around only 210g which is impressive as compared to aluminium handlebars.  It comes in 3 different widths. 400/420/440mm. It comes in red and grey color as well. The price on this one is also great and it’s an easy buy.

Pros
R
Lightweight carbon fiber
R
Rust-free and durable
R
Unique designs and colors
R
Good price
Cons
Q
Aluminium alloy stem will rupture the handlebar

Latest deal: RXL SL handlebar

4.

UPANBIKE

UPANBIKE brings you an all-aluminium alloy handlebar, which is 6000 series. This makes the handlebar extremely durable and it can take a rough beating during your bike riding adventures, with no problem. Aluminium is also lightweight and rust-free which makes it easy to shed weight from the bike and wash it without issue, respectively. The handlebar is suitable for road bikes, BMX and cruisers, but not to be used on mountain bikes. It has a conventional diameter on the clamp, of about 31.8mm. The price is very impressive, considering the quality of material you get in the handlebar. It will catch a lot of attention and is an easy buy.

Pros
R
6061 T6 aluminium alloy
R
Lightweight and rust-free
R
Ergonomic shape for proper posture
R
Works on BMX, road bikes and cruisers
Cons
Q
Center taper takes too much of the bar

Latest deal: UPANBIKE

5.

SRAM Zipp handlebar

SRAM Zipp brings an all-aluminium constructed handlebar which is well built. The aluminium used is 6000 series which is once again extremely strong and durable. It is lightweight at the same time to enable you to reach high speeds in less time. It keeps the bike balanced well due to even distribution of weight. The handlebar is also rust-free which means you can wash it without problem and it will not corrode or build up rust. The handlebar weighs around 300g which is impressive for an aluminium construction. The price on this one is also good.

Pros
R
6000 series aluminium construction
R
Durable and lightweight
R
Rust-free
R
Good weight distribution for balance
Cons
Q
No end caps with the bar

Latest deal: SRAM Zipp handlebar

6.

Alfa Pasca handlebar

Alfa Pasca has different colors and finishes for the handlebar. They have grey, red and black for the colors, and glossy and matte finishes on the handlebars as well. Options in customization is always a win when it comes to customizing your bike and truly making it your own. Alfa allows you that luxury. Other than this, the material used is full carbon fiber which is an excellent choice as it makes the handlebar, and hence the bike, very lightweight. It is also very durable and rust-free. This will definitely improve the longevity of the handlebar. Brake system position has been sprayed with granule paint to improve grip for the brakes. The handlebar is strong against high impacts and the ergonomic shape reduces wind resistance. The price for this handlebar is also very well put, especially when you consider the high quality carbon fiber used.

Pros
R
Carbon fiber construction
R
Lightweight and durable
R
Rust-free and impact resistant
R
Reduces wind resistance
Cons
Q
Has flex in the bar

Latest deal: Alfa Pasca handlebar

Types of handlebars:

Flat bars:

Flat bars, as the name suggests, are generally more upright and straight. They do not have a curvature to their shape and do not go below the neck of the bike frame. This makes them relatively simple to ride. They can also not be used well when it comes to racing since a low posture is required while racing on bikes, and that cannot be achieved with flat bars. But since they have a more upright structure, this makes the riding experience more comfortable and casual. Since flat bars do not offer more than one hand position, they can become uncomfortable to ride over long terrains.

Drop bars:

Drop bars, on the other hand, provide you with a more ergonomic shape which enables you to ride low. This facilitates racing as you can assume a low posture while riding which reduces wind resistance and enables you to reach higher speeds rather quickly. Drop bars also provide you with more than one riding positions, so you can cycle between racing positions and normal riding positions. Being able to grab the handlebar in various different positions help you to alleviate pain on extended riding sessions.

 

Advantages of drop bar handlebars:

Drop bar handlebars provide you with aerodynamic advantages when it comes to high speed riding. Help you utilize less energy on higher speeds. These bars are also narrower than flat bars which helps in riding through narrow and tight spaces. You can also fairly easily shift your body weight to the front while climbing hills, due to the various positions you can hold the handlebar. You can get leverage from the bar to put more power into pedaling. 

 

Overview

A touring bicycle is a bike that is modified to carry heavy loads. These bikes are also comfortable and robust.  They may also have special features such as a long wheelbase to enhance stability. Another important part of these bikes is the handlebar. You need to look for handlebars that are strong enough to give you excellent stability when riding on different terrains. Again, handlebars are also important because they allow you to control your bike even on challenging surfaces.  There are different types of handlebars but butterfly handlebars are the because they are comfortable, affordable and they also allow you to change your riding positions frequently. Apart from that, they provide a better posture and control on rough surfaces.

 

Factors to consider when searching for the best handlebars for touring

When determining the best handlebars for touring, you should have the following in mind.

Body posture – You may require to use different body postures for different touring conditions. When moving against wind, you are likely to get exhausted when cycling in an upright position. This means that you may need to lower your head down to prevent discomfort.  Therefore, you need a handlebar that will allow you to bend. The handlebars should also be flexible enough to give you plenty of leverage when climbing and when doing quick turns.

Stem compatibility– Another thing you need to think of is the compatibility. A hybrid mountain stem has a diameter of 24.5mm while a regular road bike has a clamp diameter of 26.0 mm. You should also consider the stem length and height. In case the shape of your handlebar is different from that of your bar you can shorten the length of your stem to give your arms a comfortable stretch.

Hand positions available– When touring, you may require to change your hand positions frequently to prevent discomfort. Placing your hands in one position for a long time can lead to pain. Therefore, a handlebar that allows multiple hand positions will be the most suitable.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are handlebars for touring expensive?
Touring handlebars are available in different prices which varies according to the material and type. However, you can still get a good handlebar for your touring bike irrespective of price.

Why are do I need the best handlebars for touring?
If you have a touring bike, you will require handlebars that are very strong to give you maximum control and stability. This means that not all handlebars will be suitable for your bike.

Alex Bristol
Content Manager at Pedallers

ABOUT

Alex is a cycling expert at Pedallers and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. She searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.

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