Handlebars are a crucial part of the bicycle as they control steering and dramatically affect the bicycle’s performance. A handlebar going awry is quite scary, as it may lead to accidents and injure the cyclists. To prevent this, one must be circumspect when choosing a replacement handlebar.
Handlebars are made from various materials, with carbon being one of the most reliable. But with so many varieties out there, the search for the most dependable brand can be daunting.
Here, we review the best carbon handlebars to guide you when out to furnish your bike with impeccable gears.
Table of Contents
- Best Carbon Handlebar Reviews
- 1. RXL SL Carbon Mountain Bike Handlebar
- 2. EC90 Carbon Mountain Bike Handlebar
- 3. RXL SL Carbon Handlebar Road Bike
- 4. Renthal Fatbar Carbon V2 Handlebar
- 5. TOSEEK Aero Integrated Carbon Handlebar
- 6. IRON JIA’S Carbon Bicycle Handlebars
- 7. OneUp Components Carbon Handlebar
- 8. Funn Black Ace Riser Bar for Mountain Bike
- 9. RXL SL Ultralight Carbon Handlebars
- 10. KABON Carbon Fiber Handlebar
- What to Look for When Buying Carbon Handlebars
- Are Carbon Handlebars Worth It
Best Carbon Handlebar Reviews
1. RXL SL Carbon Mountain Bike Handlebar
On top of providing dependable leverage to control the bicycle’s direction, this handlebar from RXL SL also provides a perfect spot for the rider to rest the hands while biking.
If you are up for aggressive rides, you definitely can trust RXL SL for optimal performance. This sturdy product works well in resisting pressure, so it doesn’t detach even when the ride gets more challenging than expected.
As a cyclist, I’ll never know what type of trail lies ahead, and so I find it necessary to always ensure every gear of my bike is performing on a topnotch level. And this brand does that.
I am impressed by this carbon handlebar as it allows me to engage my hands correctly, thereby preventing hand strain. The length is perfect even for taller men and allowed me to position myself comfortably. You will have to find support from the handlebar at some point, and you’ll thank yourself for equipping your bike with a reliable handlebar.
Since it is made from carbon fibers, it weighs lighter than other handlebars made from aluminum alloys, which is another advantage of this brand. Bicycle experts have been looking for ways to lighten the bike’s weight to produce less drag. The handlebar’s weight does not negatively affect overall performance.
The anti-shock is also as effective as it can get. In off-road biking, the bicycle becomes subjected to extra forces due to rigorous trails and even accidents. Because of this sport’s rough nature, one should be very attentive in choosing which gears to equip your bike. I’m glad I had mine fitted with the RXL, as it has indeed served me well.
2. EC90 Carbon Mountain Bike Handlebar
If you love doing amateur tricks with your bike, then you better have a handlebar that’s firmly built, such as the EC90 Full Carbon handlebar for mountain bikes.
Bunny hops, fishtails, and jumping curbs are just some of the basic tricks that I do with my bike that is mounted with this handlebar. Surprisingly, it holds pretty well for a price that’s way lower than the market’s mainstream. Why opt for the more expensive handlebars when a more affordable brand offers the same durability.
Even as I didn’t use grease on the bars just yet, I heard no clunking and scraping, which is a good start for a handlebar like this. More than two months after installation, it still works superbly when I’m on the road, without any fuss and issues, so I must say it’s a reliable brand.
While other handlebars are lightweight, EC90 falls on the super light category, which is why I like this model. Being almost weightless at 165g, it doesn’t add up on my bike’s weight, which is excellent to sport for amateur races. If you’re using other types of handlebar before, it’s easy to feel the difference, and you’ll never want anything other than this ultra-lightweight bar.
And aside from being lightweight, the bar itself is impressive as it is well-polished and without bare seams so that you won’t feel any roughness on the surface. It’s essential to have your handlebar smooth in all parts to keep your grip comfortable at all times.
3. RXL SL Carbon Handlebar Road Bike
From comfort to control, this cycling bent bar by RXL SL is another cyclists’ top favorite. When out to purchase a replacement handlebar, always choose one that provides the most comfort and control.
I love RXL’s bent bar because every part was designed to match its auxiliaries perfectly, leading to a seamless assembly.
The handlebar’s tortuosity, for example, was custom-made to connect correctly to the brake system. The makers also applied granule paint to enhance the wrap between the brake grip and handlebar for a safer riding experience.
But comfort is not all that matters because aerodynamics is another must-have component in any handlebars. This handlebar is made from T700 carbon fiber, which is known to be a light material. It only weighs a little more than 200g, and its diameter and reach are ideal in improving any bike’s aerodynamics. The overall design makes this bar a windbreaker.
It also has quite an efficient anti-shock mechanism so it can withstand unexpected, challenging trails. On top of that, it went through a tough impact test and passed with flying colors. The joints went through high-temperature treatment so that it binds impeccably.
I also like how the makers chose to expand the handgrip because it allows me to rest my palm on it with greater ease. Long-distance cyclists like myself like our bikes to be genuinely comfortable to help us sustain the already exhausting ride.
This handlebar doesn’t only boast about its performance, the aesthetics are just as impressive. It comes in a velvety black with streaks of bright colors for a more appealing look.
4. Renthal Fatbar Carbon V2 Handlebar
If you are an avid fan of motocross or loves motorbikes in general, then you are no stranger to Renthal. The brand has recently entered the realm of bicycles, and does not disappoint.
They produce one of the best carbon mountain bike handlebars in the market. I am impressed by how this Renthal design allows the rider to have an extreme stance for more straightforward navigation of the terrain.
If you are a rider that loves the scenery and the challenge of off-road biking, then this handlebar will be an excellent match for you. It is modifiable and lightweight. If you ever had trouble maneuvering during a ride due to flimsy stock handlebars or wobble issues, this Renthal handlebar will not fail you.
This handlebar’s dimensions can be altered to fit your body frame and your bike without sacrificing its efficiency. The unidirectional orientation of its design gives it a sturdy placement on your bike despite being lightweight.
Notably, its seven-degree backsweep and five-degree upsweep enable you to position powerfully on your bike. Renthal has fine-tuned its handlebar flex for you to have that pleasant ride when encountering rough tracks.
5. TOSEEK Aero Integrated Carbon Handlebar
Riding bicycles has become a lifestyle and a trend nowadays, and more people are just getting into it. The TOSEEK aero integrated carbon handlebar stands out among others as it provides a safe and reliable design for road bike lovers.
TOSEEK offers different handlebar sizes to match the variety of road bike built. The weight of the handlebar is proportional to its size.
This bar’s built is aero integrated, meaning there will be less air resistance as your speed increases. It also includes a mount for a cycling computer to quickly monitor your speed and distance traveled. Since road bikes are purposely used for long rides in less time, the handlebar plays the most significant role.
6. IRON JIA’S Carbon Bicycle Handlebars
The IRON JIA’S brand was initially started for motorcycle protective gear that ventured into the world of bicycle gears due to the high demands. One of their products is the carbon fiber lightweight handlebar.
This model is one of the best road bike handlebars on the market and is one of my favorite picks due to its durability.
What I also like about this bar is its lightweight and the feel of it. Hence, it is excellent for long rides and not very straining to the arms. The dimensions also come in different measurements, so you can have the option to choose what suits you best.
One of the best features of this handlebar is the stem length, which varies from 9 to 12 cm. Some handlebars on the market do not have this option. With size to choose from, you can achieve an optimal tucking position. The shape also allows you to take advantage of its aerodynamic capabilities, thus, performing well on rough road terrain. It also minimizes the shakes on your arms for a more convenient ride.
Although this product seems spotless, it is only limited to those road bikes that houses its dimensions. It is significant to know the perfect fit for your road bike to have a safe and smooth ride.
7. OneUp Components Carbon Handlebar
With a premium handlebar from OneUp, you are guaranteed a much more comfortable ride in a day of rough trails. Check out the OneUp Components Carbon Handlebar.
This product has become quite common to see 35mm clamp diameter handlebars sporting mounting bikes these days, but let’s admit how inept it may still feel at the end of a long rough trail. But whatever you may have against a 35mm on a mountain bike is a thing in the past now, as OneUp improved the handlebar design for a more comfortable ride.
The makers combined the lightness of 31.8mm and the stiffness of 35mm in their one-of-a-kind handlebar design that comes in a distinctive flattened oval form. This innovation results in a lightweight bike that can still manage maximum steering capabilities. Plus, the design lessens the vibration you get in your hands, so you don’t feel sore even after a long day’s ride.
The rise is ideal for biking on steep terrains as it allows you to rest your weight at the back of the bike, which is crucial so as not to fatigue your hands during a steep descent. I also find it easy to find my comfortable position with the degree of its back sweep and up sweep.
8. Funn Black Ace Riser Bar for Mountain Bike
If you’re looking for the best handlebar that strikes the best balance between strength and lightness, the Black Ace Riser Bar from Funn certainly does not disappoint.
Even if you race across the most rugged trails, you can expect every part of this handlebar to hold up, owing to the premium material where it’s made of – the UD carbon fibers. On top of being responsible for the brand’s strength, this material also makes it lightweight, so you can easily steer the bars on tough road conditions.
What I specifically like about this brand is how the handlebars were manufactured using hydroforming technology. This method allows uniform thickness in all parts of the tube to ensure balance and lightness. Hence, it takes the ease in maneuvering to a whole new level, benefiting greatly even new cyclists.
Bikes sporting this handlebar can best absorb tensions experienced during vigorous biking, sparing the biker from unnecessary strains. Its anti-shock mechanism is almost flawless, making tough rides so much bearable. That is why this handlebar is a safe choice for smooth and rough terrains alike.
The quality control in producing this brand is superb. Each production batch undergoes a thorough strength test both in the labs and in actual off-road trails. So you do not have to worry about its performance in the long term.
9. RXL SL Ultralight Carbon Handlebars
An almost weightless handlebar with tortuosity designed for utmost performance is what the RXL SL Ultralight Carbon Handlebars can offer.
This bent handlebar design is ideal for contemporary road racing bikes, ergonomically bent to ensure bikers’ maximum comfort and performance. And since it’s super lightweight, you can easily navigate the handlebar even on rough terrains and uphill climbs without losing full control of steering.
The makers had also meticulously tweaked the handlebar area where the brake attaches, layered it with granule paint to enhance the friction between the handlebar and the brake handle. This leads to a more secure and more comfortable riding experience.
And with the brakes fitting the bar to a tee, you are guaranteed seamless installation of the brake system, which is another plus factor for me.
Its aerodynamic design works efficiently in internally directing the air, so the biker feels much-reduced wind resistance. And aside from effectively defying wind, it can also withstand harsh biking conditions. Each of its joints is treated with high temperature to ensure it passes rigorous impact tests.
This handlebar is also fitted with an anti-shock mechanism to lessen the vibrations reaching your hands, thereby preventing hand soreness. On top of that, the upper hand grip features a more expanded bar for you to rest your hand comfortably and to avoid exhaustion during long rides.
10. KABON Carbon Fiber Handlebar
Whether it’s durability, design, or compatibility that you are looking for, the KABON Carbon Fiber Handlebar caters to it all.
Durability-wise, this handlebar is made from T800 carbon fiber, a blended material known for its low density, ultimate rigidity, and impressive strength. Hence, you can expect this brand to be lightweight yet superior in toughness to challenge long bike rides.
This bar’s design is impeccable, with so much focus given on its tortuosity. And rightly so as this is one of the most crucial arrangements of any handlebars. Its design conforms to wind-breaking dynamics, absorbs shakes during rough rides, and ensures optimal control and functionality.
The drop is ideal at 139 mm for better aerodynamics, versatility in hand positioning, and squeezing your way in tight spaces.
When it comes to compatibility, it’s a pretty flexible handlebar that you can use seamlessly on fixed-gear bikes or road bikes. Its clamp diameter comes at 31.8mm with a center-to-center bar width of 420/440mm. So whether you’re into rough rides and group bikes or winter riding for fun and leisure, this handlebar works just fine.
The company has full confidence in their product. They’re willing to return your money or provide replacement should the brand fail to satisfy your needs for a highly functional and reliable handlebar. Truly, there is nothing to lose by opting for Kabon handlebars.
What to Look for When Buying Carbon Handlebars
The importance of sporting your bikes with the best carbon handlebar is not overrated. In fact, it is just right to be circumspect when choosing gears, as each one contributes to the overall performance of the bike and the biker.
But with many types of carbon handlebars, such as the Nukeproof Warhead Carbon Riser, and Prime Primavera Carbon Handlebar, among others, the options can be confusing. To help you with the task, here’s what you should consider when buying carbon handlebars.
Type of Carbon Material Arrangement and Layup
Not all carbons are made equal, and when it comes to handlebars, the following are your options.
- 1K/3K/12K/18K Carbon – This alphanumeric combination stands for the number of single carbon filaments in each carbon thread. A 1k carbon means there are 1000 single filaments.
But how does this number translate to functionality?
The lower the number of monofilaments in each carbon strand, the lighter the weight will be. But lower K carbons are pricier due to the intricate weaving method used to produce each carbon bundle.
It’s also less stiff. Utility-wise, the number of monofilaments used in each carbon strand does not affect a handlebar functionality. Still, the significance may be seen in its capacity to resist damage and fatigue.
When it comes to this spec, it’s not a matter of the higher, the better. Your choice should depend on your specific needs and your priority feature.
- Unidirectional (UD) Carbon UD or unidirectional carbon handlebars are known to be durable, super lightweight handlebars. Because the carbon strands are arranged in a single direction instead of cross-sectional, there are no gaps between the fibers. This leads to better tensile strength.
Further, UD carbon is easier to control during molding, allowing the production of highly precise handlebars. But they are not great for absorbing tensions from all directions since the strength goes with the strands, which is only one-directional.
So handlebar makers have laid up UD carbons in various orientations or added woven fabrics to solve the directional strength glitch. This way, handlebars remain rigid with different movements while preserving lightness in weight.
- Woven Carbon – The carbon is arranged in a cross-sectional manner for woven carbon handlebars. This type of arrangement is better at resisting forces from all sides. It also looks more beautiful than UD bars. However, it can be heavier.
It is common to see handlebars using both UD and woven carbons to complement each other’s strengths.
- T300/T600/T700/T800/T1000 – If you see this alphanumeric naming in carbon handlebars; it only means the type of carbon material used in the production. Each type has different tensile strength and modulus. Tensile strength is the ability to resist tensile force, while modulus refers to the hardness of the material.
The higher the number, the greater the tensile strength and modulus of the handlebar.
Are Carbon Handlebars Worth It
The carbon fibers handlebar has tons of advantages over its aluminum contender. First, carbon fiber is a lot stiffer, highly tensile, more chemical-resistant, and can better tolerate high and low temperatures, making it more durable. Second, it is lighter in weight. No biker would want to be weighed down by anything while racing or casual biking.
These factors are definitely what every biker are looking for, aren’t they?
Money-wise, the price of the carbon handlebar will depend on the type of carbon used. The price can range from affordable to pricey. But one thing is undebatable; carbon handlebars do not fail in quality. And when coupled with other quality bike gears, you can expect excellent bike performance.
When should you replace carbon handlebars?
Some people might think that carbon handlebars need periodic replacement. This isn’t accurate as handlebars can still work just as fine, years after installed on a bike. Handlebars are best replaced when there are obvious signs of damages that have compromised the bike’s performance and functionality.
The following are telling signs that your carbon handlebars need to be replaced.
- After a crash
A bike crash can lead to damages to the carbon handlebar, and all too often, there will be marks. Damages to carbon are easy to identify; they will appear as severed fibers or delaminated surfaces. When you see these signs, it’s high time to replace your bar.
But some accidents do not produce defacement and still affect the bike’s performance. If you think the accident had been significant, it’s best to replace than take chances on your safety.
- After thorough routine inspection reveals covert damages
While routine replacement is not necessary, periodic maintenance is. If you’re always on your bike, you might want to do a thorough inspection and cleanup biannually.
Carefully run through each part of the bike and pay extra attention to areas where components are clamped. This is where obscure damages are festering. Remove and clean each part to reveal the true physical condition.
- When performance deteriorates
To a cyclist, the bike becomes an extension of the body when they’re on it. And so it’s easy to know when something is wrong with any of its parts. There might not be obvious signs of wear and tear in some instances, but you can feel when performance is compromised. Driving a bike with unconditioned parts can be risky. To avoid second-guessing, replace your handlebar at once.
Carbon handlebars are one of the highest quality and most sought-after types of bars in the cycling world. Whether it’s durability, performance, compatibility, and aesthetics you’re looking for, carbon handlebars can cater. It allows you to have a safe yet thrilling adventures with your bicycles. The best carbon handlebars are genuinely worth the money you spend for it.