Types of Road Bike Handlebars

Last Updated on February 3, 2020

This guide has been written by cycling review expert Alex Bristol

Last Updated on February 3, 2020

If you have been planning to buy road bike handlebars, you need to be very careful when buying because they come with different design. Most of them are designed for a specific type of riding. In this article, we shall outline the most common types of road bike handlebars

1. Flat bars

  1. These ones are the most common in many road bikes. They are very easy to notice due to their flat design. However, some usually have a slight bend which moves toward the rider. For those who love cross-country riding, they usually prefer flat bars because they are very versatile.

Benefits of flat handlebars

  • Versatile – These bars allows you to attach different accessories you may require when riding. You can attach lights, phone holders, brake levers among other items
    Allows you to climb easily
    – Due to their design that allows you to lean forward, they allow you to climb easily. This is because the more you move your body towards the handlebar the better the leverage.
  • Tight spaces– With these handles you can navigate through narrow spaces like doorways due to their narrow design.
  • Lightweight – Most of them are made of light materials which makes them easy to use.

Drawbacks of flat handlebars

  • Speed– It is not easy to ride at a high speed when using them. Again, they are not the best for rough terrains.

 2. Riser Bars

These ones are almost similar to the flat bars but they usually have a rise at the center. You will also find that they are a bit wide as compared to flat bars. They are the best for trail riding because they allow you to stay upright.


  • Control – A wide handlebar provides a better leverage. As a result, you are able to turn more easily without using a lot of energy.
  • Wrists– Since they allow you to sit further from the handlebar, they make your wrists comfortable because your weight will be distributed at the front. In case you have wrist problems, this handle will be the best.
  • Climbing– Even if it may not be the most suitable for climbing, you can flip it upside down when climbing.


  • Weight– These bars are heavier than the flat bars. In terms of price, they are also expensive.

 3. Drop Bars

These ones are very versatile and they also have a great look. Just like flat bars, they usually have a flat straight part at the center. However, each end curves downwards towards the rider.


  • Versatile – These ones are very versatile because you can even add a brake hood on the bar for different hand positioning.
  • Appearance – They look attractive on the bike.


  • They can be a bit dangerous when you have to make frequent turns.

4. Cruiser bars

These ones are also known as upright bars because they allow you to ride when sitting upright. Unlike others, they usually have an extreme sweep.


  • They are super comfortable – leaning over the front of a normal style handlebar can sometimes ache your back. Replacing the handlebars with a higher bar saves the posiition of your back.
  • They give your bike a very nice look – sometimes mixing things up can create the perfect photo opportunities for your bike to stand out.


  • They are very dangerous when climbing


Those are the major types of road bike handlebars. You should make sure that you have understood their differences and how to set them up correctly before buying to ensure that you have picked the one that suits your riding conditions.


1. Bike Handlebars: How to chose them – Article by Cycling Weekly

Related Post: Best Road Bike Handlebars [Review]

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