How to size mountain bike handlebars

Author: Alex Bristol

Last Update:

How to size Mountain Bike Handlebars

After you have purchases your mountain bike handlebars, you may realize that they are too wide which means that you will be required to cut them This can be a very complex exercise for those who do not know how to go about it. However, you should use the following procedure when cutting.


  • Measuring tape
  • File
  • Masking tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Allen wrenches
  • Marker
  • Pipe cutter
  • T25 Wrench
  • Lock-on grips


It may not be easy to determine the correct width. However, you should you should trim 10mm every time when cutting until you achieve the correct width. You need to be very careful because once you cut it is not easy to add back.

  • The first thing you should do is to remove the handlebars from the MTB bike. After this, get rid of all accessories from the handlebar. Avoid leaving the bars on the mountain bike because carbon dust can get on the mountain bike.
  • Keep the bars on the countertop after you have removed them.
  • Take the measurement of your preferred width and mark using a tape the area where you want to cut. For example, if you want to remove 20mm, you should remove10mm on both ends.
  • Aluminum handlebars are a bit hard to cut. However, a pipe cutter will allows you to cut it with ease. Ensure that you have cut equally on the two ends. Use a file to remove any sharp edges after cutting.
  • If you are cutting a carbon handlebar, a hacksaw and a tungsten carbide blade will be the best tools you can use for cutting. You can place a masking tape on the area you want to cut and then put a mark. This will ensure that the carbon does not fray.
  • Place them handlebars on a stand and clamp them down in such a way that they are on the same level with the floor.
  • If you want to make a very straight cut, you can use a lock-on grip to guide you in case you are using a hacksaw. To get a clean cut, you can use smooth strokes especially if you are using a hacksaw. Remember to file all the sharp edges.
  • Return the bars on the bike then put the grips and accessories back.
  • In case you are not sure whether you can complete the above procedure successfully or you do not have the recommended tools, you can take your bike to a bike shop.
  • Now your handlebars are ready.


In case you were wondering if it is possible to cut the handlebars, you should follow the above tips. Remember that if the handlebars are too wide, they are likely to cause shoulder pains and discomfort. Again, narrow handlebars can be very unstable. This means that you have to ensure that you are using the correct size. Trimming them is not a difficult tasks as long as you have the required tool.


1. Handlebar Rise: The Science Of Picking The Right Height – Post by Mountain Bike Action

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