I tested 7 products and found FIFTY-FIFTY Mountain Bike Riser Handlebar to be the best overall option for most mountain bikers.
Whether you love cross country riding or you’re looking for more optimized control of your mountain bike, upgrading your handlebar should be a total game changer for you.
Yet, if you’ve been in the market for a mountain bike handlebar for some time, you’ll know that buying one isn’t as simple as it seems, as they come in a wide range of materials, specifications, and even different designs.
To help you with the process of finding the best mountain bike handlebars for your mountain bike, this article will walk you through brief overviews of the greatest options to consider as well as a guide to help you pick the right one for your needs. Let’s jump right in!
Best Mountain Bike Handlebars Overview
- FIFTY-FIFTY Mountain Bike Riser Handlebar — Best Overall
- Wake Mountain Bike Riser Handlebar — Runner Up
- Jessica Acekit Bicycle Handlebar for Mountain Bike — Best Flat Mountain Bike Handlebar
- SUNLITE Mountain Bike Handlebar — Best Steel Mountain Bike Handlebar
- UPANBIKE Mountain Bike Extra Long Handlebar — Best Budget
- BW Riser Handlebar Best High Rise Handlebar — Best High Rise Mountain Bike Handlebar
- RXL SL Mountain Bike Handlebar — Best Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike Handlebar
Top 7 Mountain Bike Handlebar Reviews
Here’s our list of the best mountain bike handlebars you could buy today in 2021!
FIFTY-FIFTY Mountain Bike Riser Handlebar — Best Overall Mountain Bike Handlebar
Kicking off the list with one of the best overall options that you can find out there, the FIFTY-FIFTY mountain bike handlebar is the perfect balance between quality and reasonable pricing.
The handlebar is made of hard anodized, double butted, 7050 aluminum with controlled bending for the maximum level of symmetry and precision.
Thanks to this premium grade, the handlebar is one of the lightest out there, providing an exemplary level of control while maintaining its durability and stiffness.
The handlebar is 31.8 in diameter and has a maximum width of 780 mm, with cutting guides to reduce the length by up to 50 mm.
- Premium-grade aluminum construction
- Wide handlebar with trim guides for customization
- Available in two rise settings
- Lacks variety in colors
Wake Mountain Bike Riser Handlebar — Runner Up
The Wake Mountain bike riser handlebar is one of the best alternatives to the FIFTY-FIFTY handlebar.
What’s great about this option is that it comes in various vibrant colors in addition to black. The bike is made from hard anodized premium aluminum with thick tubing with 9 mm thickness for extra durability.
Similar to the previous option, this one is also available at a maximum length of about 780 mm with a guide to trim it down to 720 mm.
The only drawback here is that the handlebar is limited to a rise of about 30 mm, which is ideal for good control over the bike in steep hills, but not the most comfortable out there in long rides.
- Available in a wide range of colors and widths
- Excellent stiffness and shock absorption
- Thicker tubing for more durability
- Limited to 30 mm rise
Jessica Acekit Bicycle Handlebar for Mountain Bike — Best Flat Mountain Bike Handlebar
If you prefer mountain bikes with a 0 mm rise, you should look no further than the Jessica Acekit handlebar.
This one is made from 7005 aluminum alloy, which suppresses many commonly used aluminum alloys. The handlebar also comes at a budget-friendly price.
This guarantees the handlebar’s durability without adding too much weight. In fact, the flat handlebar weighs only about 10.1 ounces.
Additionally, the handlebar comes in daring designs that stand out among the crowd, although the handlebar is only available in 720 mm width.
- Elegant design
- Available in both flat and riser to suit various purposes
- Easy to install
- Limited to a maximum width of 720 mm
SUNLITE Mountain Bike Handlebar — Best Steel Mountain Bike Handlebar
If you don’t mind a heavier handlebar in order to enjoy more durability against shocks and hard turns, you’re going to love this handlebar.
The SUNLITE handlebar is made of steel with a painted finish to protect the handlebar from rust and corrosion, but you should also keep in mind that steel tubing makes it quite heavy.
The handlebar has a clamp diameter of about 25.4 mm. However, the handlebar is affordable enough that you’ll have enough money in your budget to replace the stem. With about 700 mm width, it should be more suitable for riders with a smaller build.
Another impressive feature of the bike handlebar is that it has about 88 mm rise, which provides an unmatched level of comfort in both city and mountain cycling.
- Extremely durable
- Affordable price tag
- Versatile and fits different bikes
- A bit heavier than other options
UPANBIKE Mountain Bike Handlebar — Best Budget Mountain Bike Handlebar
If you’re on a strict budget but you don’t want to compromise on the lightweight features of aluminum, you should keep the UPANBIKE handlebar in mind.
The riser handlebar is also very easy to install on your stem, making it a great choice for first-time customizers.
The bike handlebar has a width of about 700 mm with a 50 mm rise and a back sweep angle of about 9 degrees.
The handlebar comes in a wide range of colors to match your bike and suit your taste with a 31.8 mm clamp diameter that is compatible with most bikes
- Ideal for buyers on a budget
- Comes in various colors
- Compatible with most bikes
- Not suitable for very tall riders
BW Riser Handlebar — Best High Rise Mountain Bike Handlebar
If you mainly use your bike for long trips down the mountain trail, you need a bike with a relatively high rise in order to keep your arms comfortable for as long as possible.
In that case, the best option to consider is the BW Riser handlebar. This one has a rise of about 100 mm, which is the highest on the list.
The riser handlebar is also suitable for activities in the city, making it a great bang for the buck if you own multiple types of bikes. Also, the handlebar’s clamp diameter is 25.4 mm, which is quite common in city bikes too.
Moreover, the premium aluminum handlebar is backed by a 90 days money-back guarantee to add an extra layer of security to your purchase.
- Ideal for those who prioritize comfort
- Comes in various heights
- Backed by a 90 day money-back guarantee
- Can feel a little short for some riders
RXL SL Mountain Bike Handlebar — Best Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike Handlebar
Last but not least, if you don’t mind spending a little more in order to land a premium carbon fiber mountain bike handlebar, this one would be a good option.
The handlebar is made from a single mold carbon fiber tube with a clamp diameter of 31.8 mm and a width that ranges anywhere from 580 to 760 mm, so you can pick the one that suits you the most without needing to trim the handlebar.
The RXL SL handlebar weighs as little as 170 gm (5.9 ounces), which provides an unmatched level of stability and control on challenging terrains.
The handlebar is also available in both 3K matte and glossy finishes with risers that range anywhere from 0 to 18 mm to suit various levels of wrist support.
- Durable construction with a decent stiffness
- Available in a wide range of widths and rise options
- Surprisingly affordable for a carbon fiber handlebar
- Limited color options in both matte and glossy finishes
What to Look for When Buying a Mountain Bike Handlebar
As you can from the products above, the best options on the market can still vary greatly in terms of various specifications and features. To help you pick the right mountain bike handlebar, you should have a better understanding of all these aspects, and this is where this section comes in handy.
Read on for a quick look at everything you need to keep in mind while purchasing your mountain bike handlebar.
One of the things that shows the variety of options when it comes to mountain bike handlebars is that they come in several materials with different properties and features.
Mountain bike handlebars are usually made from aluminum and carbon, but can also exist in steel and titanium. These materials vary in terms of stiffness, weight, and of course, price range.
To help you find out which material is the most suitable for your needs, here’s a quick look at each one of these options:
Aluminum and aluminum alloy are by far the most common materials used in making mountain bike handlebars nowadays. The reason why these handlebars are extremely common is that they’re a perfect balance in terms of weight, comfort, and cost.
Aluminum is a pretty abundant material and is extremely easy to shape and optimize, which is why aluminum mountain bikes are usually quite affordable when compared to other options on the market.
In addition to being inexpensive, aluminum is also surprisingly lightweight while maintaining a decent level of stiffness, making them extremely easy to control all the while staying durable and providing ample wrist support for the rider.
Keep in mind that aluminum comes in several grades, the higher the quality, the closer the gap in price to carbon fiber handlebars.
Speaking of carbon, this one may not be as common as aluminum, but it’s also one of the best materials to opt for while picking a handlebar.
This is because carbon fibers are extremely lightweight while staying incredibly hard and durable. Being lighter than aluminum, these handlebars usually provide even better control, shock absorption, and stiffness when compared to any other material on the market.
The only downside of carbon fiber is the price, as they’re typically more expensive than aluminum and other materials. So, it’s usually a better option for those who don’t mind spending a little more to land the best of the best.
When it comes to stiffness and durability, not many materials out there would beat steel at what it does.
Ideally, steel handlebars are more popular in city bikes but can be found in mountain bikes as well. Steel bikes are exceptionally durable and they usually have a chrome finish to protect them from corrosion and rust all the while maintaining their elegance and shine.
However, chipped off this finish puts the handlebar at risk of rusting and becoming brittle. It’s also quite heavier than other materials, which limits their ease of control, but they’re among the cheapest options out there, which is why they’re not quite popular.
Titanium is quite rare on the market because it’s extremely expensive and mostly used by elites and professionals.
These handlebars are quite lightweight and durable. Not only that, but they’re excellent at absorbing heavy shocks from jumps and stunts.
Yet, despite all these merits, their premium price tag makes them rarely used when compared to carbon fiber that offers many of these properties while being fairly priced in comparison.
The width of the handlebar describes the distance from one end to the other. Ideally, the length of a handlebar is measured in mm and is usually a range between 700 to 780 mm, with 720 to 750 being the most popular range.
Of course, the ideal handlebar width may vary from one person to the other because it depends on the rider’s height, wingspan, as well as riding style.
Lucky for you, in most cases, different sizes usually come at a similar or even the same price, so you won’t have to pay extra for your preference.
As a rule of thumb, you should opt for a width that is generally on the higher side of your tolerance because wider handlebars mean better control of the bike. On the other hand, shorter riders may need to go for a narrower handlebar.
Another reason why you might want to opt for a wider handlebar is that you can always cut it shorter to suit your preferences.
Since everyone has his or her own preferred length, a lot of riders trim the handlebars on both ends, which requires careful measuring of the bar to mark where you want to cut it off.
A lot of brands design their handlebars with reference cut marks printed on the bar to save you the guesswork while getting the job done.
Now that you know more about the width of the handlebar, it’s also important to check the diameter of the bar.
The good news is that most of these measurements are standardized at 31.8 mm or 25.4 mm, which are designed to fit perfectly over any stem that is 31 mm in diameter. These diameters are excellent for optimum stiffness and stability while riding.
Keep in mind that some brands make unique handlebars with a clamp diameter of 35 mm, which is perfectly fine as long as you install a 35 mm stem to attach them. In that case, make sure that you put that within your budget considerations.
Riser vs Flat
The design of the handlebar is mainly defined by its rise, which is also measured in mm. The rise usually ranges between 0 mm (which are known as flat handlebars) and 100 (which are known as high rise handlebars).
Like the width, this is also down to personal preferences, although higher width (40 to 50 mm or higher) tends to feel more comfortable, so they’re better for those who take lengthy rides down the trails.
If you like to ride in shorter but rougher terrain, a flatter mountain bike of a rise ranging between 0 to 30 mm should be a better pick.
The sweep is the angle at which the handlebar is bent, which can be an up sweep or back sweep.
Make sure that you consider your favorite sweep angle to stay comfortable while riding the bike. For a mountain bike, the ideal sweep angle is usually a range of 5 to 9 degrees.
This wraps it up for today’s guide about the best mountain bike handlebars and how to pick the right one for your needs. As you can see, there are plenty of options out there that you can choose from since mountain bike handlebars can vary in terms of material, rise, dimensions, and more!
If you’re still confused and looking for the best all around option, then I suggest that you go for the FIFTY-FIFTY Mountain Bike Riser Handlebar. This one is not only durable, but it’s also one of the lightest and provides exceptional control over your bike in rough terrain.
But, if you want to stay within budget and still land a lightweight aluminum handlebar, you can go for the UPANBIKE Mountain Bike Extra Long Handlebar, which is one of the most affordable options that still packs a punch!