There are quite a lot of types of bars. Some best bit for aerodynamics, some best fit for control, some offer significant amount of positions.

I am looking to change my handlebars to the best fit type for both off-road rides which should offer a lot of control of bike and for road use, provide variety of positions, to gain aerodynamic form.

I was using a curved handle bars (also referred too as raised bars) before, it provide a lot of control over turn, but except that it was fine.

And does the width of the bar affect riding?

  • 1
    What sort of bike? What sort of on-road and off-road riding? The answers are quite different for (say) a suspended mountain bike, a touring bike and a road-racing bike.
    – Мסž
    Jun 6, 2011 at 4:42
  • @moz, its a MTB. I am not sure what you mean by suspended or not suspended.
    – Starx
    Jun 6, 2011 at 6:33
  • A 'suspended' bike is a bike which has bicycle suspension.
    – ChrisW
    Jun 6, 2011 at 11:27

3 Answers 3


The best handlebars for on/off-road MTB use are made of unobtainium:

Scott AT4

They offer four hand positions including an acceptable aero tuck. The double bar also acts as a hand-shield. The loop at the front is useful for carrying shopping small distances. The total width is narrow enough to squeeze through gaps in traffic, hands protected so long as not using the bar-end position. You get 2x 'dashboard' for mounting lights etc.

The Scott AT4 was made by the earlier incarnation of 'Scott' and they have no interest in making them now. The alloy is some last-forever furniture alloy so keep your eyes peeled on ebay for some.


Similar to as @Mathew pointed out, you can get some bullhorn handlebars. I got some similar to ones in the link above, but their curve inward at the end, to look more like the ones in @Mathew's post with the middle front section cut out. Putting your hands in the front section allows you to be in almost a complete tuck position, while the bars are wide enough to give you plenty of balance on the trials. I use bars like this exclusively on the road, as I find that they provide many different hand positions, allowing me to lessen fatigue.


The two types of riding are quite different in terms of technique, and the bars developed for both over many years are quite different. Standard road bars, the so-called "drop" bars, have evolved over a century and offer a variety of hand positions for efficient operation under all conditions encountered on the road. Folks who "don't like to ride bent over" are doing it wrong.

Mountain-bike or off-road bars vary largely by width; riders who spend a lot of time on tight, woodsy singletrack may prefer a narrower bar, those who ride wide-open trails with a lot of sand and such may like a wider bar. Other than that.. It's a matter of fit and comfort. A slight "rise" may be more comfortable, and a slight "pull-back" may ease strain on wrists.

  • 1
    -1 for "Folks who "don't like to ride bent over" are doing it wrong." There are people who can't ride that way for one reason or another, and others who just find it painful to some degree.
    – Мסž
    Jun 8, 2011 at 1:43

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