Best Mountain Bike Handlebar Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
With summer just around the corner, getting one of the best mountain bike handlebars is a great way to add more control to the bike and boost comfort for those long and intense rides. However, with so many models available online, you might have a hard time knowing which one to choose. There are things like materials, geometry, width, rise, and other technical specifications to think about. Fortunately, we’ve done this for you and looked at plenty of mountain bike handlebars, picking the most promising ones. Our first recommendation is the RaceFace Atlas FR Riser Handlebar. Manufactured by a legendary company, this handlebar is made of high-quality aluminum alloy, it’s solidly built, has a width of 30.9 inches for extra control and comfort, a medium rise, and it fits on any 31.8mm stem. In case you can’t find this model in stock, you might want to look at the Truvativ 700 40 Rise 31.8 Hussefelt Comp Riserbar as well.
This handlebar is made of strong aluminum alloy and it’s quite stiff. The 0.75-inch rise is just right for many disciplines, and the 30.9-inch width makes it a great choice for mountain biking, in general.
The price might be a bit too high, and the graphics for the stem alignment could be a bit off in some cases.
This model is made by a reputable company, and it features a solid construction and good specs for the aggressive riders out there. The handlebar is relatively wide and the rise helps with position and breathing.
With a width of 700mm, it’s a middle-of-the-road option for many riders. It is made of tough 6061-T6 aluminum alloy for extra durability and endurance, and the clamp diameter is the universal 31.8mm.
It might be a bit too stiff for some downhill riders. The 40mm rise also puts more strain on the bar.
This is a popular model, and it comes from SRAM-owned Truvativ. It has a solid construction, and the price isn’t too bad either - it’s actually quite affordable - considering the fact that it’s made for freeriding and downhill riding.
Also To Consider
This model is made of double-butted 7050 aluminum alloy so it’s very strong but lighter than most competitors. It is 780mm wide so it boosts control. The 20mm or 35mm rise is perfect for enhancing comfort.
The paint used for the markings and graphics seems to be a bit weak, as it tends to rub off too easily.
Whether you’re into downhill riding, free riding or just love slaying those trails in a style you call your own, this handlebar is such a nice choice. It’s very wide but can be shortened, it’s built like a tank, and has a decent rise for tireless rides.
10 Best Mountain Bike Handlebars (Updated Reviews) in 2021
Whether you’re looking for affordable mountain bike handlebars or need something high-end and don’t care about the price, the search is bound to get difficult. The good part is that we’ve picked the models we thought are worth your time and money and wrote mountain bike handlebars reviews for each one to make your choice easier. So read on and take your pick.
- 1. RaceFace Atlas FR Riser Handlebar
- 2. Truvativ 700 40 Rise 31.8 Hussefelt Comp Riserbar
- 3. FIFTY-FIFTY Aluminium Mountain Bike Riser Handlebar
- 4. Truvativ 700 20 Rise 31.8 Hussefelt Comp Riserbar
- 5. RaceFace Chester 31.8 Riser 740mm Mountain Bicycle Handlebar
- 6. RaceFace Next 3/4in Riser Handlebar
- 7. Ritchey Comp SC Rizer Handlebar
- 8. Truvativ Descendant DH Handlebar Black 800mm
- 9. Renthal Fatbar 35 Handlebar
- 10. RaceFace Next 20mm Riser Handlebar Carbon/Stealth
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions:
1. RaceFace Atlas FR Riser Handlebar
If you’re looking for a sturdy handlebar for your mountain bike, then this one from RaceFace should be a more than decent choice. It’s made of aluminum and it looks really strong, so you shouldn’t have any problems using it for downhill riding, freeriding, and other similar disciplines.
The handlebar is quite wide, measuring 30.9 inches, which will give you a lot more control over steering and fine maneuvers. The clamp diameter is the usual 31.8mm so you won’t have a problem mounting it on countless stems.
The rise is 0.75 inches which is not too much, but not too little either, offering you a comfortable grip so your hands and arms won’t tire as fast. You get several colors to choose from but you can also opt for the flat variant or for the 1.25-inch rise, especially if you’re more into downhill riding.
Thanks to the 30.9-inch width, you’ll get to ride in a comfortable position and breathe much more easily, due to the greater distance between your arms (and relaxed chest).
The clamp diameter is the popular 31.8mm so you should have an easy time mounting it to most stems out there.
It’s made of aluminum so it’s strong but also stiff so it should be good for riding on rugged terrain. The handlebar is light so it won’t add to the weight of your bike.
The 0.75-inch rise is not too much, but not too little, and it should boost comfort and improve handling, especially if you’re more into gravity riding than cross-country.
The handlebar might be a bit too expensive for some, although it does come built like a tank and should last for ages.
In some cases, the markings for the stem alignment are off so you might have a harder time mounting it.Buy from Amazon.com
2. Truvativ 700 40 Rise 31.8 Hussefelt Comp Riserbar
This handlebar is a pretty nice offer from Truvativ. It is made of butted 6061-T6 aluminum alloy which makes it very strong, stiff, but not really that heavy, weighing a bit over 11 ounces. Still, this weight is nothing, given that this is an option made especially for downhill and freeriding so it’s supposed to be super-strong.
This handlebar has a clamp diameter of 31.8mm which is pretty much standard nowadays, so unless you’ve got a 35mm stem mounted on the bike, you won’t have trouble getting this installed. Thanks to the 700mm width, you get plenty more handling ability when steering which can be immensely helpful when riding downhill.
The 40mm rise is good for maintaining a good posture, especially when leaning back to prevent losing grip on the rear wheel. This rise will also help you minimize fatigue in your arms and contribute to a better riding experience overall.
The 40mm rise is nice for moving the center of gravity more to the back of the bike so you can descend on steeper inclines.
You get a 700mm-long handlebar which is quite nice as it’s not too short for stuff such as freeriding but not too wide either and you can use it for XC or riding in thick vegetation.
The aluminum construction makes it sturdy and it should last for a long time if used properly.
It has a clamp diameter of 31.8mm so it’s almost certain that it will fit on your stem.
Given the fact that it’s made of aluminum, it’s stiff so it might lead to tired arms on harsh rides.
The rise is perhaps a bit more than many downhill riders would actually want, especially in an aluminum handlebar, since it means there’s more strain on the bar.Buy from Amazon.com
3. FIFTY-FIFTY Aluminium Mountain Bike Riser Handlebar
This mountain bike handlebar from FIFTY-FIFTY isn’t such a bad choice after all. It’s made of 7050 aluminum alloy and it is double-butted, which means manufacturers were able to make this as strong as they could while keeping the weight low. In fact, this model weighs just 9.8 ounces, which isn’t too shabby for a handlebar this wide.
Speaking of width, it’s 780mm wide, so it’s perfectly suited for freeriders and downhill aficionados out there as it allows for much finer control and smooth cornering. The lightest option, mentioned above, has a 20mm rise, but if you need more than that, there’s also a 35mm model for you, and it weighs 10.8 ounces, which is still pretty decent.
The central setup grid is helpful for mounting the handlebar on a 31.8mm stem, and there are also cut markings so you can shorten it to between 700mm and 760mm with high precision.
This handlebar is made of high-grade 7050 aluminum alloy and the tubing is double-butted which means it’s a lot lighter than other models but stronger. The 20mm rise weighs 9.8 ounces while the 35mm rise weighs 10.8 ounces, which is pretty good.
Thanks to the fact that it’s 780mm wide, you can ride on harsh trails and retain amazing control every time. What’s more, there are markings that allow you to cut precisely and shorten the handlebar to between 760mm and 700mm.
Its diameter is 31.8mm so you’re probably going to be able to mount it on your stem without a problem.
The paint markings and design seem to rub off faster than expected, so there’s a chance the paint wasn’t anodized. You can still repaint it or put some cool stickers anytime you want, it will still do its job well.Buy from Amazon.com
4. Truvativ 700 20 Rise 31.8 Hussefelt Comp Riserbar
If you’re looking for a trusty handlebar that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, then this Hussefelt Comp from Truvativ is a nice offer to consider. It is made of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy with butted tubing for extra strength and a lower weight. It can be mounted on any 31.8mm stem which makes it an easy and pain-free job.
It comes with a sweep of 5 degrees but if you’re looking to boost comfort, there’s also a 9-degree handlebar for you. This will allow you to sit a bit more relaxed and keep your hands in a proper position to avoid fatigue and arm sores after a couple of hours of riding.
The handlebar is 700mm wide so it’s not on the long-end, but it’s still a decent choice for many mountain bike disciplines, but perhaps not so much for downhill and freeriding. This model has a 20mm rise which is quite good and not too much.
This model is made of butted 6061-T6 aluminum so you can trust it to provide you with countless rides without a worry in the world.
The fact that it has a clamp diameter of 31.8mm makes it a universal choice and one that will fit most bikes in the world.
The sweep is of 5 degrees but you can also go for the 9-degree sweep if you like to pedal more laid-back.
The 700mm width is ok for cross-country or regular trail slaying, even if it’s probably not an ideal choice for DH.
This handlebar is quite heavy, and the 9-degree-sweep one weighs over 13 ounces, which is kind of heavy and it might not appeal to some riders looking for something lighter.
It is perhaps not as sturdy as one would want for downhill riding, so it probably isn’t the best choice for this discipline.Buy from Amazon.com
5. RaceFace Chester 31.8 Riser 740mm Mountain Bicycle Handlebar
This model from RaceFace is a nice option for someone who’s looking for a beefy handlebar and doesn’t mind the extra weight. It is made of 6061 aluminum alloy and it’s built like a tank. However, the weight kind of shows it, as it weighs 14 ounces. Something had to give, as the price of this one is low.
The tubing is butted, just as expected, so it offers a good strength-to-weight ratio. This handlebar is 740mm wide, which makes it a good all-arounder for quite a few riders, except for the tall ones. This is not so much of a downhill handlebar but one more suitable for general mountain biking. The price is quite friendly as well so most riders should be able to afford it.
This model comes with a 1-inch riser which is decent as it can enhance comfort without going too much over the top.
The handlebar is made of 6061 aluminum for extra durability and strength while keeping the price low.
The 740mm width makes it a universal option so people passionate about diverse MTB disciplines will find it comfortable and useful.
The handlebar is quite stiff but not too much and the extra width will help give you more control over steering and maneuvering around or over obstacles.
It’s the regular 31.8mm clamp diameter so you shouldn’t worry that it won’t fit mounted on your bike’s stem.
The 1-inch riser will help you ride a bit more relaxed, and give you more reach while minimizing strain so your arms won’t hurt that much after long rides.
While it does have a sturdy construction, it’s kind of heavy, to put it mildly, as it weighs 14 ounces.
It’s not that wide for tall people and it is certainly not a popular choice for downhill riding and other aggressive MTB styles.Buy from Amazon.com
6. RaceFace Next 3/4in Riser Handlebar
If you want to get a light and strong handlebar and don’t mind paying top dollar for it, then this model from RaceFace might just be the one you need. It is made of carbon fiber so that pretty much explains things.
It was made using unidirectional carbon fiber weaving so you get a handlebar that’s very strong, less stiff than aluminum so it provides an awesome vibration response, and it’s lightweight. It is 720mm wide so it’s fit for medium-height riders or especially those who are into XC and similar disciplines.
It has a rise of ¾ inches so it doesn’t go overboard while still being able to boost comfort. The clamp diameter is 31.8mm, just as expected, so you won’t have any trouble mounting it on your bike (unless you went with a 35mm stem). The sweeps are 8 and 4 degrees respectively, enough for relaxing the arms and moving the center of gravity a bit to the back.
This model is made of carbon fiber so it’s incredibly light without compromising strength. Not only that, but it’s not as stiff as aluminum so you should get a greater feel, especially on long and harsh descents.
The 720mm width is average and well-suited for narrow trails, shorter people, or disciplines such as XC.
The 31.8mm clamp diameter is good news for most riders as that’s the size most stems come in nowadays.
The ¾-inch rise is enough to increase flexibility and comfort yet not too much to cause problems and awkward grip position.
It’s definitely not the cheapest handlebar around, although the fact that it’s made of carbon fiber and by a reputable brand should explain the price.
It’s not really that wide, and taller riders or those more interested in gravity riding might actually find it to be quite narrow.Buy from Amazon.com
7. Ritchey Comp SC Rizer Handlebar
Ritchey is a brand that needs no introduction, and this next model is one that’s a hit among many riders both amateur and pro. It’s reasonably priced, not to say cheap, and it is made of 6061 aluminum alloy which is strong enough without weighing a ton.
It has a 25.4mm clamp diameter which is great news for those with that size of stem and not so great news for the rest. It’s also a bit heavy, weighing 16.5 ounces, but at least it’s built like a tank so it should last for a long time.
The rise is 30mm which is quite nice as it helps keep the arms relaxed, eliminating aches and sores after long rides. This is true especially since this rise is coupled with a width of 670mm which is mostly suited to cross-country or riding on narrow trails. The upsweep is 2 degrees so there’s nothing too much there, while the 9-degree backsweep helps improve comfort.
This handlebar is solidly built, and despite its added weight, it is a great choice as it’s bound to last for years and years without any sign of fatigue.
It has a rise of 30mm which is good news for people looking for more comfort, as this allows for more cockpit space and it’s also ideal for taller people who have problems getting a comfortable grip.
The upsweep is 2 degrees which is pretty standard, while the backsweep is 9 degrees which helps with positioning and might lead to more relaxed rides, depending on your height and style.
It comes in the 25.4mm clamp diameter, which might not be great news for most people who have 31.8mm bars so it’s not exactly a universal choice. Still, there are quite a few riders who have bikes with 25.4mm stems, though.
It’s relatively narrow by all standards, so except for small people, amateurs or XC riders, it’s not such a great choice for everybody else.Buy from Amazon.com
8. Truvativ Descendant DH Handlebar Black 800mm
This is an option many downhill riders have been waiting for: an affordable handlebar that’s made by a reputable company such as Truvativ. This model has a fitting name, as it is certainly suited for descending on steep inclines in style.
It is 800mm wide so it’s just perfect for downhill and freeriding, and for those riders who find that this is too much, there’s always the option to shorten it in order to get just the right width. It is made of aluminum alloy and it’s very strong and stiff enough to take a beating from harsh rides on rugged terrain.
The clamp diameter is 31.8mm so it’s a good fit for most riders out there. The rise is 25mm which should suffice to give you some flexibility in terms of riding position while also boosting comfort. There’s also a 5-degree upsweep and a 9-degree backsweep to make this a comfortable option.
Thanks to the fact that it’s 800mm wide, you can be sure that it will fit you, no matter how tall you are. You’re going to love the improved control and steering ability provided by the extra width.
The handlebar is compatible with 31.8mm stems so you’ll have no problem mounting it on your bike, as chances are your stem is this size.
The rise is of 25mm which should help you keep a more comfortable position in the saddle, especially on long and steep descents.
Thanks to the 5-degree upsweep and 9-degree backsweep, your hands will sit in a more relaxed position so you’ll be able to negotiate technical terrain better.
It measures 800mm which is almost certainly too wide for most cyclists out there. The good news is that you can always shorten it to the exact width you need without any penalty (besides not being able to lengthen it back).Buy from Amazon.com
9. Renthal Fatbar 35 Handlebar
The Fatbar from Renthal is such a nice handlebar and one that’s sure to appease all those hardcore downhill bikers out there. It is made of 7 series aluminum alloy which makes it really strong but also lightweight so you won’t feel any extra weight on the bike.
It comes in the 35mm diameter so you know you can trust it to last even through gnarly crashes (but maybe you can minimize those) and really nasty trails. It comes with a width of 800mm which is mouth-watering for many riders looking for something like this in the 35mm diameter. You can choose from the 20mm or 40mm rise, depending on your needs and your bike’s specs.
Thanks to the hard anodizing treatment, the surface of the handlebar is more resistant to scratches, dents, and other forms of mechanical damage but also longer-lasting so you can be sure that it will maintain its finish for a long time to come.
It’s made of sturdy aluminum alloy and it should last for a long time while taking all the use and abuse you can throw at it.
With the 800mm width, this model becomes a serious contender for downhill riders and not only, given the boost in control and flexibility this offers.
The 35mm clamp diameter might make many riders happy, as this new trend that’s emerging is still lacking in available components.
You can pick between the 20mm and 40mm-rise options so you can get the proper handlebar for your riding style.
While its 35mm width makes it an awesome choice for downhill bikers and freeriding people, it might be a bit of an overkill for many others, especially since the extra width also adds weight to the rig.
It’s definitely not one of the cheapest options out there. However, this model is quite appreciated in the bike community so that says something about its quality.Buy from Amazon.com
10. RaceFace Next 20mm Riser Handlebar Carbon/Stealth
If you’re looking for an XC or trail handlebar that’s lightweight and strong, you can’t go wrong with this model from RaceFace. It is made of UD carbon fiber so you know you’re getting an ultralight handlebar that is just as strong as aluminum yet it responds better to vibrations and thus might be a better fit for rugged trails.
It has a 760mm width, which is a bit unusual for a model that’s advertised for cross-country, but then again, there are lots of tall riders in the discipline, and not everyone is called Nino Schurter and likes to ride on 680mm handlebars.
It has a 20mm rise which is nice and it is suitable for descents where you can move the center of gravity to the back, but it also won’t hinder you even when climbing on steep hills.
Thanks to the fact that it is made of carbon fiber, it is very light but not only that, it is also better at absorbing bumps due to its optimized flex so that your arms won’t tire as fast.
It has a width of 760mm which is great news for riders looking to enhance their control and fine-steering ability.
It comes with a 35mm clamp diameter so riders who’ve been waiting to make the switch to this new popular standard now have the perfect opportunity.
It is optimized for XC so if you’re into this discipline, you’ll probably be quite happy with it, especially since its rise of 20mm isn’t something that bothers on climbs but it certainly helps on descents.
It’s not the most expensive option out there, but it’s certainly not really cheap either, so some riders might be reluctant to buy it despite its carbon construction and low weight.Buy from Amazon.com
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Whether you’re looking for cheap mountain bike handlebars for your new bike or want to upgrade your aluminum handlebar with a carbon one, there are several specs you need to consider before committing to a particular model. Check out our guide below to get the basics so you can choose your next handlebar that’s fit for your size and needs.
When it comes to bike handlebars, there are three materials that are mostly used: aluminum, titanium, and carbon. Aluminum handlebars are the cheapest, but also the heaviest. These are generally cheaper and somewhat heavier, and depending on the construction, they are stiffer than carbon fiber mountain bike handlebars, for example.
Titanium handlebars are probably the most expensive ones, and they’re slightly heavier than carbon. Carbon mountain bike handlebars, on the other hand, are lighter, and they have a bit of flex or response to vibrations which makes them better for disciplines such as downhill, although many of these are expensive.
When it comes to mountain bike handlebars types, you’ve got flat handlebars and riser ones. The flat handlebars are self-explanatory, and they’re better suited for cross-country or other similar disciplines, where you’re meant to keep a low profile but also be able to climb steep inclines with ease.
The riser bars usually have two specs when it comes to geometry: rise and sweep. The rise is the distance between the center of the handlebar, where it attaches to a stem, and the center of the taper, which is right after the transitional bend. A handlebar with a high rise gives you a more comfortable position, especially if your cockpit feels a bit too low.
It also gives you more control on descents, since you can move your center of gravity to the back. Of course, there are also upright handlebars for mountain bike but the extreme rise is probably not ideal for competitive riding.
The sweep can be upsweep and backsweep. The upsweep is the angle between the bars and the center of the handlebar, and it does contribute to the rise. The backsweep is the angle at which the handles are bent to the back, and they might give you more comfort, but too much and your hands will stay in an awkward position.
The good thing is that you can also adjust the position, so if you’re wondering “how to raise handlebars on mountain bike”, you can do that by either removing or adding headset spacers, or inverting the stem.
At the grip, all handlebars are 22.2mm wide, so you can fit just about any mountain bike handlebar grips as they’re universal.
When talking about clamp diameter, or the diameter of the center which gets mounted to the stem, you’ve got three dimensions: 25.4mm, 31.8mm, and 35mm. The first is not so popular, while 31.8mm is the most common, and most handlebars you can find nowadays are that size.
There is also the newly emerging 35mm which leads to thicker handlebars at the center, but that without necessarily adding more total weight. There aren’t so many such models, and not even many downhill riders have flocked to these yet.
As far as width goes, handlebars are usually between 600mm and 840mm. It’s not common to find 600mm handlebars, but for disciplines such as XC, 680mm is pretty standard. For trail riding, free riding, or downhill, you’ll most likely find bars that are usually way above 700-720mm.
The advantage of using wide mountain bike handlebars is that they give you much more control as there’s more movement required for steering so you get finer cornering ability and not only. If you look at downhill mountain bike handlebars, you’ll notice that most are usually between 740mm and 780mm, and for good reason, as these riders need lots of control on descents.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is the rise and sweep of mountain bike handlebars?
When talking about riser handlebars, you’ve got two things to consider: the rise and the sweep. The rise is the distance between the center of the handlebar, where it gets mounted to the stem, and the part where the diameter gets to 22.2mm (grip diameter), which is just after the transitional bend.
A handlebar with a higher rise might feel more comfortable for gravity riders as it allows for more comfort and moves the center of gravity to the back, which is great for descents. The sweep is of two types: upsweep and backsweep. The upsweep is the angle in the vertical plane between the center of the bar and the grips.
The backsweep is the angle at which the bar ends are bent to the back. The right angle is down to preference, but too much might lead to an awkward position on the handles and wrist problems.
Q: How wide should my mountain bike handlebars be?
There’ve been many discussions on the matter over the past few years. The trend has been that the wider, the better, but that’s true only up to a point. More than a decade ago, handlebars used to be narrow, but they’ve increased by more than 15 percent. That’s quite a radical change, even if it doesn’t seem so.
Now, for things such as XC, you’d benefit from narrow handlebars, such as 680mm, as you get to pull on the handlebars and you can move your weight to the front on steep inclines. It’s the other way around on descents, as you’ll benefit from a wider handlebar.
The wider it is, the finer the movements are, so you get a considerable improvement in control, which is quite nice, especially for gravity riding where speed is a huge factor and mistakes can be costly. Many people usually go above 720mm, but there’s little benefit in going above 780mm, unless you’re a big person. Handlebars that are too wide can lead to poor control and possibly health problems.
Q: Which type of mountain bike handlebar should I get?
When you’re about to get a new handlebar, you need to think of the materials, the width, and of course, the rise and sweep. In case you want something more affordable, aluminum alloy models are pretty much the standard. They do their job well, and especially if they’re butted (or double/triple-butted), they are relatively light but still strong.
If you’ve got the money to spend, you can get a carbon fiber mountain bike handlebar. It will be lighter than aluminum alloy, and also a bit more flexible, so you’ll get an improved feel and better vibration response, which are great for gravity riding. Titanium handlebars are also an option but they’re quite expensive.
As for width, go with a narrow model if you’re into XC or wider if you’re into DH, freeriding, and the like. The rise and sweep are down to preference, but more is not better in this case, so you should make sure to carefully read the mountain bike handlebars review of the model you’re about to get to make sure these specs aren’t way off from what you really need.