Want to level up your mountain biking pleasure? Here’s the latest review I’ve done on the best mountain bike handlebars for leisure riders and gravity riders alike!
Take advantage of this knowledge about carbon bars and alloy bars to make the most suitable cockpit upgrade for your bike. What’s more, it’s your riding style that’s among the important factors I’ve considered in this review.
After all, it’s not just handlebar strength, shape, and weight that matter in your biking experience. Comfort and proper balance are paramount to your ultimate exhilaration, as well.
Read on and look forward to more fun and adventure with your MTB!
Table of Contents
- Best Mountain Bike Handlebar Reviews
- 1. Wake Mountain Bike Handlebars
- 2. UPANBIKE Aluminum Alloy MTB
- 3. RaceFace Atlas Riser Handlebars
- 4. BW Aluminum Riser Handlebars
- 5. UPANBIKE MTB Extra-Long Rise Bar
- 6. RXL SL Carbon Mountain Bike Handlebars
- 7. Jessica Acekit Bicycle Handlebars
- 8. SUNLITE MTB/City Steel Handlebars
- 9. FUNN Full On MTB Handlebars
- 10. RaceFace Chester Mountain Bike Handlebars
- 11. EC90 Premium Carbon Fiber MTB Bar
- 12. PNW Components Range Handlebars
- What to Look for When Buying Mountain Bike Handlebars
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Mountain Bike Handlebar Reviews
1. Wake Mountain Bike Handlebars
Matching my passion for off-road biking is the Wake Aluminum Alloy Mountain Bike Riser Handlebar’s extraordinary strength and lightness. Something I didn’t expect when I first tried it after a friend challenged me to test his new choice among the best MTB handlebars.
It’s aluminum, so different from his previous carbon handlebar choices; that’s why I teased him that he might be simply starting to pinch pennies. I ended up borrowing his trail bike for an entire afternoon of exhilarating mountain rides. But, I did check things up before ordering.
Aluminum is known for its unique strength. But, one of the things that make the difference is that this riser bar is made of Alloy 6061. Just like 7075, Alloy 6061 is used in aircraft due to its tensile strength and ductility. Moreover, compared to more expensive carbon MTB handlebars, alloy handlebars are less vulnerable to scratches and breakage.
Their widths of 720mm and 780mm make them excellent as handlebars for downhill bikes, as well. I went to enjoy nature when my order arrived, and the handlebar proved easy to control. Attaining balance required less effort with the wide rise bar, too, enabling me to pedal in a standing position and breathe more freely.
Likewise, the ergonomic design caused less strain on my hands with its 9° back sweep. The clamp, which I installed easily, was firm in its place.
2. UPANBIKE Aluminum Alloy MTB
XC riders and road bikers, watch out for these terrific flat and riser bars from UPANBIKE! Made of lightweight aluminum alloy, these mountain bike handlebars types make riding to the next adventure level a breeze!
Now, this is another alloy handlebar I fell in love with recently. I needed an upgrade on my road bike, and the owner of my favorite cafe recommended it. He’s into biking, too, but more for leisure and practical travels. He assured me that this handlebar is a money-saver, a great combination of aesthetic appeal and strength.
What’s more, this sturdy product is available in 2 types: flat and riser handlebars. There’s also a choice between 600mm and 620mm bar lengths with corresponding 25.4 and 31.8mm clamp bar bore diameters.
And, though, he’s been enjoying the use of his flat bar, it was the riser bar which he suggested since it fits all bicycle types and he knows about my passion for xc.
But, he did also advise me to read more MTB handlebars reviews to make sure. Most of the reviews were positive, while the few critical ones were about rigorous rides. Has the company been remiss? It’s my turn to assure you that isn’t so.
One thing I strongly advise when ordering mountain bikes handlebars is to check the measurements carefully, particularly the clamping area. I was able to order the right steering handgrip because I gave extra attention to the important notes about the handlebars from the sellers/manufacturers.
3. RaceFace Atlas Riser Handlebars
Your spirit is always thirsting for the ultimate biking adventure! Count on Race Face Atlas FR Riser Handlebar to always give you the most powerful support!
Dirt roads, steep downhills, rough terrain, plus the courage to perform jumps and tricks while speeding along breathtaking trails! Yes, whenever I go for freeriding, you can always expect me to bring along my FR bike with this Handlebar, which can endure every challenge out there.
The top quality I love about race face handlebars is their incredible strength. It’s 7050-T76 aluminum, which is among the premier options for structural parts in the aerospace industry. You can imagine the high standards that Race Face keeps, from the choice of materials to state-of-the-art technology.
The 785mm bar width is perfect, enabling me to maneuver with full confidence and speed – minus the hand fatigue. And in case you’d like to cut it, there are reference marks on the bar to guide you.
To some riders, they prefer cutting the bar to 28” or less, and it’s just alright. The bar still feels robust and performs as tough as ever.
The clamp is also a breeze to install, provided you have the right stem for a 31.8mm clamp size, which is now the trend in mountain bikes. Adding to its terrific geometry is the Atlas pro appearance.
4. BW Aluminum Riser Handlebars
Now, this is a beautiful alloy handlebar that I chose for my young sister from an mtb handlebar rise guide. She quickly fell for this BW Riser Handlebar with its sandblasted anodized finish that makes it tough and gorgeous!
“What is anodized?”. This process helps aluminum to attain extra strength and a longer lifespan. It also creates a decorative surface where a broad spectrum of colors can be applied while being highly resistant to peeling, chipping, scratches, and corrosion at the same time. Wow! Can you see the huge leverage that an anodized finish gives to an aluminum bar?
But, that’s not all the benefits you can get from these multiple rise options. These handlebars are easy to clean with soap and water and, in case of stubborn dirt, a mild cleaning solution. This will surely save you not only money but lots of time for fun and adventure.
I further appreciate these mountain bike rise handlebars because they fit most bikes like my sister’s hybrid bicycle. She was so thrilled, especially when I showed her how its 25.4mm clamp could be easily installed on the bike stem.
You will love the shape and feel of the 620mm bar width along with its 60mm rise and 10mm back sweep. With such a design, you can bike in a more upright riding position, which minimizes hand fatigue and body ache.
5. UPANBIKE MTB Extra-Long Rise Bar
Level up your mountain biking enjoyment with UPANBIKE MTB Extra-Long Rise Bar! With its terrific geometry, you’ll experience power, control, and comfort like never before!
What’s inspired me to include this bar in my collection of DH handlebars? A biking adventure at the heart of the Forest Park in Portland, Oregon. A bike rental shop introduced me to the many practicalities of this bar made from an aluminum alloy. In detail, the material Alloy 6061 is trusted by experts in the aerospace industry,
For your information, the reasons for such awesome performance of this rise bars: Alloy 6061 that’s been also anodized. Hence, the BMX kind of ride feel and appearance in addition to their outstanding durability.
You can go riding on trendy mountain bikes with these modern 700mm alloy handlebars. In my opinion, old age doesn’t really matter with bikes of longer reach; in fact, this riser handlebar is the right match for anyone’s strength.
I can see that the 50mm rise and 9° back sweep is very comfortable to use. The 31.8mm clamp also felt secure along with the 350 g wide bar. I am also thrilled as the installation is a breeze with the right tools. You do not have to use too much clamping force to secure the brace to the stem, an occasional problem with a more massive 35mm handlebar.
And since it’s 700mm wide, cyclists are able to install more bike accessories, travel at various speeds, and enjoy more maneuverability.
6. RXL SL Carbon Mountain Bike Handlebars
Feel like you’re a bird in flight with RXL SL Ergonomic Carbon Mountain Bike Handlebar! Extremely lightweight and shock-absorbent, this bar offers exhilarating experiences that many riders find quite unforgettable!
And yes, this is the type of MTB carbon handlebar for challenging rides. If you desire an ergonomic carbon handlebar that’s flat with a 5° back sweep, choosing this one makes excellent sense as it is one of the best MTB handlebars available.
A back sweep handlebar shape makes cross country biking more comfortable. With the handlebar closer to the rider, the bicycle becomes more comfortable for you to maneuver while traversing different terrain types. Moreover, the back sweep will help you put your weight to the front wheel for a smoother steep climb.
Among multiple carbon fiber MTB handlebars, this design comes with an extremely lightweight carbon layup. It is proven efficient in damping trail chatter that often causes strain on hands and wrists.
This carbon handlebar also has a greater degree of compliance due to its adjustable flex. Likewise, the 660mm width is just the right measurement for an xc bike, facilitating passage between trees and other natural obstacles.
Besides, this carbon fiber mountain bike handlebar is made of industry-standard T700 carbon fiber -the reason for its higher price. Yet, this one still has a weakness as carbon bars are prone to cracking and breakage.
7. Jessica Acekit Bicycle Handlebars
When you’re looking for enduring beauty and strength in mountain bike handlebars, trust Jessica Acekit Lightweight Alloy Riser Handlebar to meet your expectations!
The strength of this trail bike handlebars made of Alloy 7005 never ceases to amaze me. This aluminum alloy is more potent than the AL 6000 series, which, in this case, is further reinforced by DB tube drawing technology.
Surprisingly, this robust handlebar offers extraordinarily light weight and aesthetics that are comparable to a high-end carbon handlebar. These characteristics make it a better bike fit for many riding styles, including mountain, freeriding, and road cycling. Of course, they’re great as XC handlebars too.
Indeed, I am delighted by the added pleasure and maneuverability that the bike’s 760mm bar width provides me. My enjoyment keeps leveling up due to the right angles of the rise and back sweep. Likewise, every time I take on diverse trails, I do not experience any slippage in the stiff 31.8mm clamp area nor discomfort in my hands.
8. SUNLITE MTB/City Steel Handlebars
Want to get rid of trail chatter and discomfort when riding? Enjoy the time-tested durability and damping performance of SUNLITE Best Mountain and City Steel Handlebars!
Honestly, I didn’t have steel handlebars in my collection before due to the popularity of carbon fiber and alloys. But this product changed my mind as it is among the most reliable steel MTB handlebars in the market.
What I came to cherish about this bar is its fantastic durability that’s coupled with excellent damping quality. Steel is known to be stronger and heavier than aluminum and carbon, yet the material can effectively absorb vibrations.
This steel riser offers a very comfortable grip and riding feel. Both 698.5mm bar width and 25.4mm clamp size seemed short of today’s popular handlebar measurements that range from 31.8mm to 35mm clamp diameter. But, with the mountain bike handlebar height of 127mm, I feel more relaxed with the upright riding position and leg clearance.
I also appreciate the bar’s capability to absorb road vibrations efficiently. And so far, the narrower bar width makes it easier to ride along singletrack, proving its maneuverability.
But, I also observe that its fatigue strength wasn’t suited to use as trail bars. The bar can get bent by a sudden steering input to change direction or hard impact.
9. FUNN Full On MTB Handlebars
Taste the extreme with the FUNN Full On MTB Handlebar! With this powerful alloy riser, you’ll get to discover just how far your guts and skills can take you!
Whether it’s in your home country where you plan to experience the most daring – or some other parts of the world with the most challenging terrains, this extra-wide handlebar with 785mm width can be your best pick.
The meticulous production makes these mountain bike handlebars exceptional in strength, maneuverability, damping performance, stiffness, and compliance. The brand uses Alloy 6061, which is further fortified through triple-butted tubing, making these world-class handlebars significantly lightweight.
This handlebar is ideal for mountain bikes featuring a 31.8 mm bar clamp. This figure is the standard width for enduro MTB handlebars, trail bars, and riser bars for downhill bikes.
I took this one for extreme adventures in Tromso, cycling for days along the spectacular fjords and vertiginous mountains onto secluded islands and coastal shores. It was a real test of strength and endurance. This product is indeed the best enduro handlebars to support my ultimate aspiration.
10. RaceFace Chester Mountain Bike Handlebars
No doubt, Race Face Chester Mountain Bike Handlebar can be your best companion on the road to ultimate self-discovery!
This MTB handlebar is my best friend next to myself. It’s one of my collections, which I often bring along with hardtail XC and downhill bikes when I travel to exotic destinations. That’s because I can always count on its excellent strength, the result of shot peening, increasing fatigue resistance and minimizing stress corrosion cracking.
Of course, another thing I love is Race Face’s choice of butted Aluminum Alloy 6061 for their downhill mountain bike bars. This means you’re supported by a robust metal used in aerospace, not just the bike industry.
The 740mm bar width is also superb for rigorous riding styles, enabling me to maneuver with full control and ease while breathing more freely. My hands and wrists feel comfortable gripping the bar with its 9° back sweep and 6° upsweep due to the ergonomic design.
Moreover, with the 1-inch rise, riding downhill at top speed becomes a breeze since I can put the right amount of balance on the rear. Stiffness is another vital matter for the best mountain adventures. The 31.8 mm clamp is easy to secure on the stem; no welding is required.
11. EC90 Premium Carbon Fiber MTB Bar
Feel like you’re flying when you go riding with EC90 Premium Carbon Fiber MTB Bar! It is among the best carbon mountain bike handlebars as it is so light and powerful, letting you enjoy more challenges!
Well, the carbon handlebar feels almost as light and refreshing as the mountain breeze. The bar width is from 660 mm to 720mm, yet it weighs only a little over 165 grams.
The carbon layup is also very tough since this MTB handlebar is made of T800 carbon fiber used in spacecraft, aircraft, cars, and computer production.
Another notable feature of this black, 3K matte finish bar is the damping performance, resulting in more excellent stability. Even when I ride on the highlands, there is no jarring ride feel, discomfort on the saddle, or strain on my hands. No slippage, as well, at the 31.8 mm clamp size since I am always careful about torquing carbon bars according to directions.
12. PNW Components Range Handlebars
Spice up your downhill biking experiences with this PNW Components Range Handlebar! Packed with extra strength and width, it will satisfy your relentless spirit!
I love how the company has made this edition of alloy bars perfectly compatible with the current bike geometry trend. With a bar width of 780mm, my breathing feels easier owing to the longer reach.
I also enjoy more maneuverability and pure confidence from its 31.8mm clamp, which takes just a little effort to install, yet very dependable in its stiffness.
Of course, the most important thing about this all mountain handlebar is the extra strength and compliance. The model absorbs the impacts of downhill racing and never lets its rider down. Made of 2014-T73 heat-treated alloy, it is among the most resilient aluminum alloys trusted by experts in the aerospace industry.
Surprisingly, this model is not also heavy at 334g, just enough weight to dampen vibrations and sustain longer riding periods.
Also, longer riding periods are possible partly due to this mountain bike handlebar’s 30mm rise combined with 10° backs weep and 5° upsweep. The ergonomic design enables me to ride in wild mountains more comfortably, making it easy to put more weight on the rear whenever I ride downhill.
I appreciate these alloy bars because the company devotes part of the proceeds to the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. Now, that makes me feel even better inside with my purchases.
What to Look for When Buying Mountain Bike Handlebars
Don’t underestimate the importance of your MTB handlebar. Just as a ship captain controls his vessel through the helm, you control your bike through the handlebar.
Many mountain bikes in the market are equipped with handlebars from similar manufacturers. However, what customers usually receive is a bike frame that suits their riding style but a handlebar that does not measure up to the task.
Hence, many riders opt for a cockpit upgrade to level up their bikes’ performance and comfort. Even if you have an old bike, you can still enhance its strength, convenience, and appeal by choosing the right handlebar.
So, how do you choose the right MTB handlebar?
First, let us understand the geometry aspects of an MTB handlebar.
- Width. This is the length of an MTB handlebar from end to end. The choice of a bar width depends on your riding style, which I’ve also discussed in this guide.
- Diameter. This is the measurement of the clamping area at the bar’s center, which ISO standard clamp size is 25.4mm. Nowadays, 31.8mm and 35mm clamp diameter are fast becoming the vogue because they can provide more strength, maneuverability, and comfort to rigorous riding styles.
- Rise. The height of the handlebar is from the bike stem, usually ranging from 0mm to 40mm.
- Sweep. It represents the angle of a bike’s grips, which may be vertical (upsweep) or bending toward the rider (back sweep).
- Weight. Handlebars vary in this aspect, which is often determined by the material used in its production.
- Material. Today, carbon fiber and aluminum alloy are the most popular materials used in bar production. But there are also titanium alloys and steel bars.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Carbon bars are known for their lightness, flex pattern, damping performance, and more aesthetic appeal. But, these mountain bike bars are also expensive and susceptible to cracking and breakage.
Aluminum alloy bars, on the other hand, are known for their extra strength and lower prices. But, compared to carbon bars, they’re heavier and are not as excellent in damping vibrations.
Steel. This is a more affordable option with good damping quality. However, due to its heavyweight, you’ll find it unsuitable for a long-distance trip. This gear is also prone to corrosion and bending.
Titanium alloys are the most durable and the most expensive among all these materials.
Now, let’s consider the different riding styles and the right type of handlebar for each of them to help you and everyone else decide on the best upgrade for cockpits. But you must also bear in mind that when it comes to material, victories have been won by both aluminum and carbon handlebars regardless of riding category. Yes, ultimately, it’s the mountain bike handlebar that helps bring out the best in your skills, making for the most intelligent choice.
- Cross Country. XC courses mostly consist of technical singletrack, forest trails, fire roads, jumps, and rock drops requiring great stamina. A low-rise bar weighing between 100 and 150 grams with a long stem is advisable for this style. The rise will help in maintaining balance on the front wheel. Bar width may range from 600 mm to 710mm since a narrower bar makes passage between obstacles a lot easier.
As for material, a carbon fiber bar is usually the choice among xc riders due to the advantage of its lightweight, which minimizes hand fatigue.
If you opt for a flat bar, you may find a 5° backsweep an advantage to your comfort.
- Enduro and All Mountain. Skill is paramount in this riding style, which goes through many grueling challenges like winding courses, dips, vertiginous rises and drops, and extended trails. A riser between 10 – 40mm is preferable, along with upsweep and back sweep. A carbon fiber bar is recommended with a weight between 200 and 250 grams to lessen hand strain. The suggested bar width is between 690 – 740 mm for a better degree of maneuverability.
- Trail Biking. This is more rigorous than XC but more focused on enjoying the sport, whether on-road or off-road. An XC rider looks for the adrenaline rush from jumps, drops, and other challenges, especially black diamond bike trails. A carbon riser between 20 and 40mm is a good choice because the more upright riding position makes it easy to maintain weight on the center or rear of the bicycle.
- Downhill Biking. The extraordinary strength of the aluminum alloy is most appreciated in this riding category. The widest bar width (ranging from 740 up to 800mm) and the highest rise are also the right preference for balance, maneuverability, comfort, and everything else that downhill and gravity riders need. Also, a compact bar with a weight of 300 grams or more offers more resilience and rigidity.
What is a mountain bike handlebar? Who is this for?
A mountain bike handlebar is a bent tube that an MTB rider uses to control his bike. It is one of the two most critical physical points in a bicycle, maneuvered by steering. Mtb bars are different from those of road and commuter bikes since they are designed for off-road biking. Those who like off-road biking use this kind of handlebars.
How does it work?
This product will fit right into your bike, aiding you to have a secure hold when riding. You should hold the grips firmly so you can steer the bar more efficiently toward your desired direction with your two hands. The bar controls the front wheel through the stem that’s directly connected to the fork.
What are the different types of mountain bike handlebars?
There are two general types of mountain bike handlebars: flat and riser. A flat bar is flat, with no upward angle, but it may come with a back sweep for more comfort.
A riser measured from the stem to the center end of the bar may range from a height of 0mm up to 40mm to attain a more upright riding position.
Why do you need an MTB handlebar?
You’ll also discover on your own that your joys and achievements do not depend on bike material, styling, and measurement alone. It will come from a partnership with your bike and its handlebar, which offers you the necessary control over it.
And this kind of partnership gets built up only through a trove of experiences. Don’t hesitate to experiment and keep on testing until you find your right MTB partner. You’ll realize that the exhilaration and satisfaction it gives back are worth your painstaking efforts.
You need an MTB handlebar for better traction in off-road biking, especially when climbing. Its low-bar design also provides better maneuverability by putting weight and balance between the two wheels.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted mountain bike handlebar brands?
Here’s a list of trustworthy brands you may want to check out for the best mountain adventures, Wake, UPANBIKE, RaceFace, BW, RXL SL, Jessica Acekit, SUNLITE, FUNN, EC90, PNW Components, and more.
What is the best width for mountain bike handlebars?
The right choice of width depends on your riding style. For XC and trail biking, narrow bar width is more practical to ease passage through trees and other obstacles. Enduro, all-mountain, and downhill benefit more from a wider bar width.
Are carbon MTB handlebars worth it?
Yes. Besides having more attractive graphics and the lightest weight among the handlebar materials, you’ll appreciate the efficiency of carbon mountain bike handlebars in absorbing trail chatter, making riding more enjoyable.
Why are mountain bike handlebars so low?
Compared to road bikes, mountain bikes have lower handlebars for better maneuverability on rough roads. With a rider’s balance centered between the two wheels, there’s better traction, making climbing easier.
How to install a handlebar?
This factor depends on the type of bar you have purchased, alloy or carbon handlebar. Every bar comes with guidelines for installation, which must be followed carefully. It’s easier with alloy since all you must have are the right tools and the manufacturer’s directions. The carbon fiber bar requires different tools for torquing and caution in applying force to avoid cracking. Steel bars usually require welding to be installed.
Is a cockpit upgrade worth it for a road bike?
Yes. Chances are you’d sooner or later want to level up your biking experience, and when that time comes, you’ll be more than happy that your bike is ready for the thrilling feat.
MTB is one of the most loved sports globally, not only for the best mountain adventures and the adrenaline rush it gives. It also helps to power up your immunity and overall health, maintain a positive outlook, build stronger ties with other people, and enjoy intimacy with nature.
Hence, you must always be supported by the best mountain bike handlebars that can endure many challenges with grace, strength, comfort, and maneuverability.