Best Mountain Bike handlebars 2019: Our Top 10 Recommendations

by Daniel T
by Daniel T
Last Updated: 02/10/2019

In this review, we pinpoint our favourite mountain bike handlebars. Regardless of the width, we simply pick out the best.

MTB handlebars are hot topic and have been for a while. There’s been a lot of emphasis on wider bars. Although they have an advantage, some ‘old-school’ riders are yet to be convinced.

There are pros and cons to all types of handles.

Take a look at our top 10 best mountain bike handlebars…

What are the Best Mountain Bike Handlebars?

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Spank Spike Vibrocore Bar
  • Width- 820mm
  • Geometry- 5° Upsweep/8° Backsweep
  • Weight- 300g
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Nukeproof Horizon Carbon Riser Bar
  • Width- 800mm
  • Geometry- 6° Upsweep/9° Backsweep
  • Weight- 260g
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Renthal Fatbar Lite V2 31.8mm Alloy Handlebar
  • Width- 760mm
  • Geometry- 5° Upsweep/7° Backsweep
  • Weight- 315g
Click for Best Price

Top 10 Handlebars for Mountain Bikes

1.
Spank Spike Vibrocore Bar

Specifications

  • Width- 820mm
  • Geometry- 5° Upsweep/8° Backsweep
  • Weight- 300g

For the record, we’re all for wide bars. The research has been done and our first-hand trials have backed up what we’ve been seeing. More width offers greater control for those aggressive trails.

It doesn’t come free from negatives, there’s an argument for all sizes.

The Spank Spike Vibrocore is an extremely wide bar, boasting 820mm of alloy bar.

As well as its elegant design sure to illuminate the beauty of your mountain bike, it also provides a stiff design. The solid construction ensures that it absorbs impact and is strong during all routes, the technology of Vibrocore foam is to thank for the dampening of the bumps and landings.

The dampening of impact keeps you fresher for longer. Being able to take more impact offers plenty of advantage; the worry of aching wrists and arms is far less with the foam technology enabling the energy waves to be almost unnoticeable.

They’re easy to cut down to your ideal size, very stiff design and the Spank handlebars also come with an immaculate finish.

Reasons to Buy

  • Equipped with Vibrocore foam technology
  • Dampens impact significantly
  • It has 820mm width and is easy to control
  • Perfect for slopes and riding downhill
  • Easy to cut down in size

Reasons to Avoid

  • It isn’t cheap
  • Isn’t the lightest in weight

2.
Nukeproof Horizon Carbon Riser Bar

Specifications

  • Width- 800mm
  • Geometry- 6° Upsweep/9° Backsweep
  • Weight- 260g

Nukeproof have brandished some of the best mountain bikes on the market, in addition, they’ve also showcased the ultimate parts. Upgrade your bike with a riser bar made from lightweight carbon.

The formidable company have spent a lot of time on perfecting their handlebars, this Horizon Riser bar is for you, if you like to ride trails with plenty of decline. Riding down hills with a riser bar gives you more control and stability.

The combination of a 35mm rise and an 800mm width is ideal for those serious about mountain biking.

Nukeproof do nothing by halves, they have measured the capabilities of their bar. This carbon riser is one that can withstand impact equivalent to a 700kg load, this has been proven during their lab’ tests.

Despite being a lightweight, carbon choice- it’s still strong and resilient, enabling it to dampen the impact of the ground and jumps.

Our tests with the bar, concluded that Nukeproof are an honest company. All their promises seemed to have been met during our trial of the part. We were also thrilled to discover, their lifetime warranty for this product.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight at 260 grams and comfortable to use
  • Dampens the impact of the ground and lands well
  • Unique design of glass fibre in one layer for additional reinforcement
  • We have found a lifetime warranty that’s included

Reasons to Avoid

  • If you prefer a flat bar
  • It’s not cheap

3.
Renthal Fatbar Lite V2 31.8mm Alloy Handlebar

Specifications

  • Width- 760mm
  • Geometry- 5° Upsweep/7° Backsweep
  • Weight- 315g

Renthal restructured their sought-after Fatbar, as the demand for wide bars continues to increase

Wide bars offer a great solution to work alongside gravity, during landings and also throughout difficult trails. Bear in mind that if you’re trying to manoeuvre around a narrow track, or weave in and out of trees, the wide-grip may not be the best choice.

That said, you can easily cut down this bar to match your preference. The bar comes at 760mm, since their engineers, redesigned the fat bar.

It has been beautifully designed. It is brilliant to see many of the companies use their expertise and experience to create practical parts for the real MTB riders!

Reasons to Buy

  • Gravity oriented handlebars
  • Different sizes available, diameters of 10mm up to 40mm
  • You can personalise and adjust the width with ease
  • Taperwall tubing for resilience

Reasons to Avoid

  • There are cheaper options

4.
Race Face Next 35 Carbon Riser Bar

Specifications

  • Width- 760mm
  • Geometry- 5° Upsweep/8° Backsweep
  • Weight- 180g

This brand is a familiar face in the industry. It’s great to see that they have upgraded their design with this carbon-made riser bar. It comes as part of the next line, it has been made wider, bigger and lighter.

A lot of manufacturing has gone into the genius of these handlebars. Not only have they got bigger, they have somehow got lighter.

Perfect for trail racing, this set of handles are super-lightweight and can be embraced for landings and difficult trails.

They weigh 180-grams, there are different rise options and it has a backsweep of 8-degrees.

Thanks to the carbon material- it is lightweight and can be used for XC racing and trail. It has 760mm width and you can pick from different colours.

Reasons to Buy

  • Super lightweight, weighing just 180-grams
  • There are two options for the handlebar rise, it has 20mm and 10mm
  • It is made from carbon
  • Comes with a three-year warranty
  • Made stiff and robust

Reasons to Avoid

  • May be too firm for some riders
  • May be too firm for some riders

5.
Chromag Fubars OSX Riser Bar

Specifications

  • Width- 760mm/800mm
  • Geometry- 5° upsweep, 8° back sweep
  • Weight- 325g

Are you sick of traipsing around, looking for the best riser bar?

If you wish to enjoy freeriding, then you should know that these bars a recognised as the best freeride handlebars on the market and we’re obliged to agree.

Chromag have done a great job with this low-riser handlebar, it is complete with 780mm width, an alloy design and an 8-degree back sweep orientation.

We’re blessed to be in a new-era of fatter bars that are still light and loose to steer. Some have criticised the thick handlebars in the past, but ones such as the Chromag Fubars can’t be labelled as too stiff or rigid.

The latest 7000-alloy series, has been customised to perfection. Embrace the strong aluminium that weighs 320g in total. Your mountain bike kit just got better, enjoy a smooth ride with this riser bar.

Reasons to Buy

  • The wide bar is now available in 800mm, as well as 760mm
  • A robust and premium alloy, 7000 series
  • No harsh vibrations during trails
  • Great for freeriding

Reasons to Avoid

  • Doesn’t dampen impact as much as our higher picks
  • It isn’t the lightest

6.
Easton EA70 Riser Bars

Specifications

  • Width- 720mm
  • Geometry- 5° Upsweep/9° Backsweep
  • Weight- 290g

It’s one of the most sought-after aluminium handlebars, and rightly so!

Easton have innovated this riser handlebar for mountain bikes. If you wish to add lightweight, sturdy and easy-to-control steering to your skills- then be sure to continue reading our review on the Easton EA70 handlebars.

The taperwall technology provides alloy bars that are free from scratches and any other damage. They can stand up to adverse weather conditions and extreme trails.

With a 9-degree back-sweep and 5-degree up-sweep, this set is ideal for versatile riders. They are perfect for downhill trails, freeriding and even endure-racing.

The diameter is just under 32mm, 720mm wide and weighs 290-grams. Although it’s not as wide as some of our other top-rated handlebars, it is still considered wide and is perfect for those that don’t want anything too wide.

The issue with very wide bars can be that they don’t suit all trails.

Reasons to Buy

  • It is lightweight and easy to control
  • Made from alloy with Taperwall technology
  • Ideal for trail riding, due to the width and design
  • Impressive strength for a lightweight bar

Reasons to Avoid

  • Can feel the impact on harsh jumps
  • If you are a fan of 800mm, this isn’t wide enough

7.
Spank Oozy Trail 780 Vibrocore Riser Bar

Specifications

  • Width- 780mm
  • Geometry- 5° upsweep/7° backsweep
  • Weight- 270g

If you don’t wish to purchase our number one pick, then you can always take a look at the same brand’s OOZY Trail Riser Bar.

Spank have created a riser-bar with slightly less width, yet complete control and bespoke quality. From the moment you set eyes on this product, you will be completely astonished with its fine detail. That carries over to its practicalities too- as it has vibration-reducing technology, a supportive design and a stylish riser feature.

These handlebars produce a 25mm rise and are 780mm wide, they can be adjusted down to 740mm.

Boasting Vibrocore technology, expect a dampening of the vibrations and also less wear and tear on your arms. Additions such as the previous, make a huge difference to your riding capabilities.

Get your hands on some of the best mountain bike handlebars for under £100, it comes with Vibrocore, Dual XGT, CNC Bending and MGR technology.

Reasons to Buy

  • Options as lightweight as 270 grams
  • Comes with Vibrocore technology, eliminating the vibrations
  • Perfect for all trails and mountain bike riding
  • Andonised finish, resistant to conditions

Reasons to Avoid

  • It’s not cheap

8.
Truvativ Descendant CoLab Handlebar

Specifications

  • Width- 750mm
  • Geometry- 5° Upsweep/7° Backsweep
  • Weight: 349g

You’ll know a Descendant handlebar when you see one; this distinctive mountain bike bar is made from carbon and has striking logos embossed onto it.

We didn’t choose it due to the alluring aesthetics, we love this handlebar because it’s strong, stiff and is easy to control.

It’s the ultimate handlebar for those that enjoy freeriding or general mountain biking. It can certainly stand up to adverse conditions and terrain, but generally it’s a great set for those that freeride.

It is a wide bar of 750mm, has 31.8mm diameter and has a low rise. If you wish to chop down your time on a favourite trail, then you’ll soon notice the precision of this bar. It is reliable and great to weave in and out of your routes.

We’re huge fans of the wider bars and we haven’t made a secret of it. This is something a little more narrow than the usual 800mm wide bar.

Reasons to Buy

  • Easy to control and use during all mountain biking
  • It has a 20mm rise
  • Stylish design
  • Great for fast trails

Reasons to Avoid

  • It’s not as lightweight as we initially thought, at 349 grams

9.
M:Part Flat Bar

Specifications

  • Width- 580mm
  • Geometry- Flat
  • Weight- 180g

We wanted to cater for those of you that prefer to stick to the basics. It’s not always about the obscure, wide, rise bars.

Instead, you may need a component that is narrow and suited to the track that you’re riding. This bar is flat and is only 580mm wide. It is perfect for those that would rather avoid all of the messing around.

This is a reliable bar that has solid construction- with its 6061 alloy bar. It displays lots of strength and has a high quality feel.

If you’re not a fan of the wide bar phenomenon then this bar will work perfect. You’ll struggle to find a quality flat handlebar this good, for less than £20, yet our team have found some of the best prices.

This is one of our top 10 favourite handlebars, it’s great to see the no-nonsense style.

Reasons to Buy

  • Solid construction with extra strength and high quality
  • Flat bar, great for those that prefer that opposed to rise
  • Lightweight
  • Brilliant price
  • Narrow

Reasons to Avoid

  • If you prefer wide bars then this is not for you
  • It is flat and has no rise
  • Not for everybody

10.
Specialized Alloy Low Rise 31.8 Handlebar

Specifications

  • Width- 750mm or 780mm
  • Geometry- 8° Backsweep/ 6° Upsweep
  • Weight: 214g

If you are an experienced MTB rider, then you’d have already heard of Specialized. They are a mountain bike brand that accumulate plenty of recognition, there’s good reason for this.

There super-stylish and affordable bikes are widely available and are prevalent in the community. Regardless on what brand bike you own, you can now stick these wide bars onto your bike.

Upgrade your mountain bike with these alloy low rise handlebars, they come with a 31.8mm diameter, 750mm width and a 27mm rise.

The previously mentioned features allow the bike to handle superbly during trails. Whether you enjoy downhill slopes when participating in enduro-racing or whether you like to merely enjoy versatile cross-country biking- you can do it all with this bar.

Reasons to Buy

  • Robust alloy design made to last and withstand all conditions
  • Has a low rise making it comfortable to steer
  • Lightweight
  • Great price, available for under £50

Reasons to Avoid

  • Only available in one colour

Handlebar Buying Guide

What Width Handlebars Do I Need?

Without spending too much time on the subject, lets tackle the width issue. Firstly, we’d like to disclose that we are going to include a number of different widths in our reviews. The list compiled below, is a top 10 that doesn’t necessarily need to be a set width, rather an honest review instead.

You’ll find that avid MTB’ers starting out today are utilising new models with around 800mm wide handlebars. The reason for this, is due to the wide bars offering greater control during aggressive trails. Single-track riders looking for pure speed, will want to miss wider handles.

Ultimately though, it is all down to preference. Wide handlebars can be anything from 650mm, upwards. Bear in mind that the wider the bars, the more it reduces the stem.

Narrow bars can’t be made wider, but wide bars can be cut down to match your desire.

How to Buy the Best MTB Handlebars

Buying the best mountain bike handlebars has been made easy, thanks to our team of experts. We have listed our top 10 favourite bars that you can easily fit onto your bike.

Customising a bike is far easier than you’d expect, if you are new to adding components to a bike, then be sure to check out our entire website for hints and tips.

You can enjoy a list of different brands, widths and types of handlebars.

Features that you should consider when buying handlebars include

  • Rise or Flat Bar- Riders generally choose a rise bar if they want more flex during a trail. This comes down to various factors, position of the rider and what type of trails you’re likely to enjoy. Rise bars are beneficial for decscents. Read our full guide on handlebars for more information.
  • Width- The latest topic tends to be about the width of handlebars. Some classic riders still prefer a narrow grip. The alledged benefit of wider bars is that they make controlling a bike a lot easier, especially during extreme trails. Although, if you don’t have much width on tracks you enjoy, you may want a narrow handlebar, to save you hitting your hands into the bushes etc…
  • Material- This is down to preference. Yet, it’s something that has to be considered. Look out for a high quality alloy frame made from aluminium, as it provides strengths whilst remaining lightweight. Many, deem carbon to be the premium material. It’s usually more expensive and is the lightest frame material.
  • Upsweep- Up-sweep is alluding to the angle of the bar. Up-sweep is the angle that the bar bends up from the stem.
  • Backsweep- Back-sweep is the measurement of how far the handles bend back.

 

FAQs

What Handlebars Do I Need?

Although we have broken down the various features and factors to be considered when purchasing new handlebars for your mountain bike, it can still be a little overwhelming.

Firstly, pick out bars that match your preference. Every individual has something that they like, whether that is wide grip or a specific material.

Here at MTB Britain, we have a number of favourites. Hence why we have listed ten different handlebars here. We are advocates of a wide bar, something that’s at least 720mm-800mm. Aluminium or carbon are the best choices as long as you check reviews beforehand. You’ll need something lightweight, with flex and lots of strength. That is why we’d recommend going for a low riser bar, it provides less feedback and also can take jumps in its stride.

If you’re looking to cut down your handlebars, then find ones that have the clear markings.

There’s an abundance of brands and well-known companies that dominate the market, find the best handlebars for your bike.

Lightweight, strong and wide seem to be the most popular right now!

 

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