How Wide Should BMX Handlebars be?

Author: Kier

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How Wide Should BMX Handlebars?

When upgrading your BMX bike, one of the things you should think of is the width of your handlebars. You should ensure that they are very comfortable for you. This means that they should be neither too big nor too small. In this article, we shall discuss various things that will help you to determine the correct width of your BMX handlebars.

A close up of someone sitting on a BMX bike with their hands on the handlebars

Rise and Width of BMX Handlebars

There have been a lot of changes when it comes to the rise and width of BMX handlebars compared to the traditional ones. The height, width, and rise have increased with the modern bars. The rise refers to the height from where the knurling is located to the highest point of the handlebars. Tall riders prefer to use bars with a high rise because they prevent them from hunching over. Big bars are also suitable for short riders because they are very comfortable. These bars also boost leverage when bunny hopping. However, the rise should not be more than 10 inches.

BMX Rider Size Chart

Height of the rider  Frame size                Bar Rise         Bar Width

4.6-5.1 inches            Junior                         3-5 Inches    22-25 Inches

5.0 -5.4 Inches           Expert                         5-7Inches    25.5-27 Inches

5.2-5.6 Inches            Expert XL                   6-7 Inches   25.5-27Inches

5.3 -5.8  Inches          Pro                              7-8 Inches   28 Inches


This is measured from one end of the bar to the other end. Most of the popular bars have a width of 28-30 inches. Some people prefer to cut between a quarter to half an inch away from the bar to get a tailored grip, as 30s are usually a little too wide.

However, 28 inches works best for many people because the bars will have the same width as your shoulders.  The 30 inches handlebars are the best for bigger riders. Like the height, the width of the handlebars depends on personal preferences.

BMX Handlebars for Kids

Wide BMX handlebars came about as they offer more stability, better cornering, and control. However, this only applies to a BMX handlebar if the rider is tall enough to handle the width.

Riders 6ft and over will easily manage bars that are 32 inches wide, but these BMX bars are too wide for children and could affect the stability and control of their BMX bikes. If the bars are too wide, they strain riders’ shoulders – especially if the rider is a child.

Children in their early teens are better suited to a BMX bike with 27-inch bars. This gives them more bike control and makes it easier to handle tight corners.

The torso of a BMX rider standing over a BMX bike

What are the benefits of wide bars?

The good thing about wide BMX handlebars is that they provide more space to catch on the bar spins. Wide bars also allow you to stretch your hands, making your work easier when controlling the bike’s speed. They also provide the required stability, especially when jumping. The only problem is that they are a bit heavy.

What are the benefits of narrow bars?

These are the best for street riders because these bars usually grip very narrow. They also allow you more clearance, especially if you love doing sketchy street sports.  Additionally, narrow bars are more responsive than wide bars due to their lightweight design. Again, narrow bars allow your bike to fit easily in your car.

If you are uncomfortable with a wide bar, you can easily cut it to suit your required size. However, some people argue that cutting bars change the tension. As a result, the bars might be more prone to bending or breaking.  You should also know that cut bars provide more room for bar spinning style tricks such as tbogs, and x-ups, among others.


What does a wider handlebar do?

Wider bars allow you to leverage your BMX’s front wheel more to navigate tighter and more aggressive turns. Wider bars can also improve your bike’s feelings, often giving you more overall control.

Some people have also acknowledged that wider bars open your chest and can improve your breathing. This, in turn, can improve your endurance and allow you to ride your bike for longer sessions.

Why are handlebars so wide now?

Handlebars fitted to BMX bicycles were rarely wider than 23.5 inches in the past. Nowadays, most bikes come with bars between 27 and 31.5 inches wide. These widths are great as they offer excellent control without being uncomfortable for bikers.

This change came about as the industry and many riders concluded that bar width is an important factor to consider for bicycles. These bikers discovered that wider bars provide more control through corners and are great for technical terrain.

Should I get wider handlebars?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to handlebar width. The answer to this question will depend on how tall you are and what type of riding you plan to do. Wider bars are ideal if you take your BMX to the local skate park or often ride through technical terrain.

However, if you enjoy narrow downhill trails and densely forested areas, bars with a shorter width would be better. Wider bars will only make it more difficult for you on these trails.

The Bottom Line

The width of the BMX handlebar is an important thing you should consider when buying the bars. However, you should choose a width that matches the width of your shoulders. A handlebar with a width of 28 inches works best for most people. However, bigger riders should opt for a 30 inches handlebar.



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Kier focuses on improving all things bike, and is always looking to take his ability to a new average (hopefully a higher one!). When not on the bike Kier is normally downing coffee and cake.
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