Questions tagged [handlebars]

Handlebars are the part of the bike where the rider holds onto for grip and steering of the bike.

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75 votes
7 answers
117k views

How to use drop handlebars properly?

This might seem like a really basic question, but there's no harm in asking. I've never had a bicycle with drop handlebars. I've always had sort of standard horizontal bars with only one hand position,...
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43 votes
12 answers
154k views

Different kinds of Handlebars

What different kinds of bike handle bars are there? All kinds welcome, the common and the nameless. If possible include the pros and cons of the bar One bar per post
34 votes
7 answers
103k views

Pros/Cons of Bar-Ends?

I've always heard "never use barends" and they're banned equipment for some of the local clubs/group rides. A number of people on-line swear by them though. What's up with that!? :-) Why would I ...
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26 votes
10 answers
30k views

Is having your hands "on the hoods" of drop handlebars safe for braking?

I've never had a bike with drop handlebars, but may get one for commuting in busy London (likely a single-speed with mechanical disc brakes). This would mean riding with my hands mostly on the hoods, ...
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25 votes
4 answers
129k views

Upgrading straight handlebars to drop handlebars

I have a two-and-a-half year old Giant FCR 3 (with a road-bike-like frame and thin tires; it's somewhere in the loosely-defined "hybrid" range) that I use to commute to work, twenty-five miles round-...
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24 votes
4 answers
22k views

What are the benefits of drop bars?

I come from a mountain biking background but I've also done a lot of cycle touring but I chose to go with flat bars and bar-ends vs drop bars. I've also seen bikes that are designed for 'bike ...
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21 votes
4 answers
56k views

What height should drop handlebars be - relative to my saddle?

I've done most of my cycling with flat handle bars on a mountain bike. I'd like to start commuting to work though and am considering getting a road bike with drop handle bars. The thing is though, I ...
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21 votes
6 answers
6k views

Deterrents against partial (component) theft

Big question: Is there any way to increase the security of bolted on portions of a bicycle? Specifics: I cycle as my primary mode of transport (in East London) on a early 90s steel road bike with ...
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19 votes
2 answers
24k views

What are the positions on drop bars called?

I've heard the different places to put your hands on drop bars given different names, like "hoods" which I think is the flat part on top or maybe the brake levers, or "drops", referring to the lowest ...
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18 votes
14 answers
51k views

How do I put grips on mountain bike handlebars?

I just spent the last 10 minutes trying to put a new set of grips on to my mountain bike handlebars.. The old ones came off fairly agreeably and I've got the new ones 80-90% of the way on, however, ...
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17 votes
5 answers
137k views

How do I correctly set the angle of my drop bars

Are there any tricks to setting the correct angle for the drop bars on my road bike, when adjusting my handlebars in the stem? Is it just a matter of personal preference or is there a general ...
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  • 323
17 votes
1 answer
917 views

How do I wrap a road bike handlebar?

What is the best way to wrap a handlebar? Specifically: Should I start near the stem or at the bar ends? wrap clockwise or counter-clockwise? How to wrap (e.g. how many times) around where the brake ...
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15 votes
8 answers
4k views

I bought my first road bike, and it hurts my back and hands

I bought my first road bike (from a MTB) about a week ago, and I’ve given it 130 kms so far. However, I’ve been experiencing lower back pain and lots of weight on my hands (along with shoulder and ...
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13 votes
4 answers
6k views

Bike seems less stable when using handlebar bag

On a recent 3 week trip I used a handlebar bag (together with two back bags) to carry the stuff I needed. In the handlebar bag I carried a reflex camera, my phone, a power bank and some candy. While ...
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12 votes
5 answers
13k views

How to bend handlebar to customize it?

Here in my country is kind of difficult to get certain types of handlebars, but it is easy to get flat and riser mountain type handlebars and standard types of road drop bars. So I'm investigating ...
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12 votes
2 answers
18k views

Aero Bars vs The Drops

On my road bike I am debating installing aero bars. Will I notice a significant measurable improvement in speed using aero bars vs being in the drops? I am looking for specific numbers here with ...
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12 votes
2 answers
56k views

How is the width of drop bars measured?

I'm looking to replace my current drop bars. I like the width just fine and would like to get a new set that is the same width (or at least close to it). How is the width measured? Is it the overall ...
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11 votes
8 answers
6k views

Can replacing my handlebar tape help reduce finger numbness?

Despite changing hand positions often and switching to more "cushiony" gel gloves, I'm still experiencing intermittent numbness when I ride (sometimes I get tingling and sometimes not). Are certain ...
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11 votes
5 answers
42k views

Securing sliding bar grips without hair spray?

I have some Bell anatomic handlebar grips that tend to slide (rotate) on the bar. I've read that using hair spray is useful, but tends to be rather permanent. I'd like to make the grip tackier but not ...
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11 votes
3 answers
21k views

V-Brake levers for drop handlebars?

I would like to try the drop handlebar on my touring bicycle that has V-Brakes, and Shimano 9x3 speeds. Are there drop handlebar levers (integrated shifters would be great), that have correct pull ...
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11 votes
2 answers
20k views

My brake lever is coming loose from my handle bars; how can I tighten it?

I have a road bike with drop bars, and the left brake lever is slightly loose - it can rotate a few degrees around the handle bar from side to side. How can I tighten it? Is it possible to do so ...
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11 votes
2 answers
521 views

What is the purpose of this small block on the handlebar?

What is the purpose of this small block on a handlebar? This article on "bicycle archeology" (in Dutch) describes that they have almost completely disappeared, and are found only on very old bicycles....
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11 votes
3 answers
6k views

Is it worth it to reverse the wrap direction of handlebar tape at the brake levers?

The Park Tool Handlebar Tape Installation guide suggests that the direction of wrapping can be either self tightening or prone to loosening. Its basic instructions make the tape self-tightening on the ...
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10 votes
6 answers
6k views

Are folding handlebars a good idea from an engineering standpoint?

A couple of Chinese stores have been selling folding handlebars: At first glance this appears to be a great idea since the handlebar width is one of the reasons that carrying and storing bikes can be ...
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10 votes
7 answers
29k views

Reversing Drop Bars

If I need to sit more upright on an old Fuji road bike, can I turn the drop handlebars upright and reversed so that they come up and then point to the rear? I haven't seen anything on the net from ...
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10 votes
3 answers
52k views

Better solution for uncomfortably low bars: a stem riser, or taller stem?

I've got my (threaded) stem at the maximum height, but I'd be more comfortable if the bars were higher relative to the seat. It would be uncomfortable to lower the seat any further. I was intrigued ...
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10 votes
2 answers
461 views

Accessory mount extender for curved bar: stem bolts vs double clamp

I've recently got a Giant Revolt 0, 2020. Obviously, I need lights for it, so I bought the Spanninga Axendo 60 front light. That is where the story begins :) Namely, it turned out, that the "...
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9 votes
4 answers
1k views

After an accident, what next?

Cycling home in the dark a car pulled across me to enter a super market car park. Apparently the car that let him cross didn't remove their full beam so he didn't see me in the cycle lane and I hit ...
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  • 213
9 votes
5 answers
5k views

Does anyone sell a direct-drive recumbent with no handlebars?

This document well describes the benefits of a direct-drive recumbent. Is there any carbon-frame recumbent, commercially available, that implements all its recommendations. And what are the pros and ...
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9 votes
5 answers
6k views

Drop handlebars with drops that don't fit. Replace or adjust?

I bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker a couple years ago, and it has the stock handlebars. My hands don't really fit in the drops, and I sometimes would like a lower handlebar position where I can still ...
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9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Modification for cycling with one functioning hand

My dad loves cycling, however he has dystonia which reduces control of the muscles in his hands. He can still cycle, however this becomes very painful after a moderate period of time due to gripping ...
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9 votes
2 answers
760 views

Aero bars are a pain in the neck - are there strengthening exercises?

I've got a set of aero bars on my tourer, and now I've got the hang of them I rather like them, especially when solo and into headwinds or trying to put some distance behind me on a long straight. A ...
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9 votes
1 answer
7k views

Does handlebar tape go inside the bar, under the bar-end shifter, when using bar-end shifters?

I'm installing bar-end shifters for the first time (Shimano 9-speeds, for what it's worth) and was wondering if I should be running the tape over the bottom of the handlebar with surplus to insert ...
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  • 303
8 votes
2 answers
7k views

Handle bar rotates on its own. Can’t screw the screw all the way down

I have a second hand Peugeot road bike. I noticed the handlebar was rotating on its own, unscrewed the screw, straightened the handlebar and found out it won’t screw back. Later I found out the screw ...
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8 votes
5 answers
2k views

How can I raise my handlebars when there are no spacers above the stem?

I have a threadless setup with no spacers above the stem. What is the simplest way to raise my handlebars?
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  • 213
8 votes
5 answers
5k views

Mounting light on handlebar with bag installed

On my bike I have installed an handlebar bag (the Ortlieb Ultimate 5). Since I am also considering installing lights on the handlebar, I am afraid they will be simply shielded by the bag. The clerk ...
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  • 6,569
8 votes
9 answers
4k views

Shock absorbing handlebar tape - recommendations?

Any recommendations for shock absorbing handlebar tape? I have a very harsh bike with drop bars (cheap alum frame and HD wheels, frame limits tires to 28mm) so I'm doing what I can to minimize the ...
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  • 1,096
8 votes
2 answers
12k views

How long should I expect handlebar tape to last?

I assume that if handlebar tape is grimy, torn, or peeling, it should be replaced. How long should I expect handlebar tape to last before it needs to be replaced? How often do most cyclists replace ...
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8 votes
3 answers
451 views

Can I drill into the handles of a B'Twin 100 Arctic?

My 4yo daughter has just got a B'twin Arctic 100 for her birthday. Her balance bike has tassels like these on the handlebars, so I bought some for her new bike too. But behind the grips, the ...
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8 votes
4 answers
558 views

Handlebar slips in quill stem clamp when going over bumps

I bought this new Kalloy quill stem, with Sakae 25.4mm handlebars as pictured below. The handlebars were purchased at an eBay auction. Here's the setup from the side I've tightened the handlebar ...
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8 votes
2 answers
754 views

How to fix ripped out ball joint in indirect under seat steering recumbent

There are two ball joints involved in the steering mechanism of my under seat steering recumbent. One of them ripped out of its socket: The dirty grey-green part inside the end of the bar is made of ...
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  • 1,581
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why the small difference between common sizes of handlebars (31.8mm) and MTB seatposts (31.6mm)?

Many handlebars have a 31.8mm clamp section, and a common MTB seatpost size is 31.6mm. I know these are both around 1 1/4 inches. Why the 0.2mm difference though?
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8 votes
2 answers
543 views

How to tell if my handlebar is really too long?

As some of you already know, I'm putting together a trekking bike. It is mostly to commute where the usual route will be 15km: up to 10km on paved roads and the rest unpaved, including a highway ...
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  • 1,084
8 votes
5 answers
6k views

Is there a recommended way to center your handlebars?

Is there a best practice for centering your handlebars in the stem? Besides eyeballing it, I actually tried measuring distances but found that depending on where I measured from and to I got different ...
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  • 342
8 votes
3 answers
621 views

Why is my handlebar wobbling like this?

My bike has recently started behaving strangely when I ride no-handed. When I let go of the bars, they are stable, but quickly develop a wobble which becomes quite violent. I put my hands on the bars ...
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Need a method to wrap H-bars with handlebar tape

I've gotten good at wrapping drop bars, using conventional cork tape: You start at the end and work your way up, keeping the tension even and watching the overlap, and it works perfectly for me. But ...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

Knee position while on the aero bar

I find that my knees are coming ahead of the pedals while I am on the aero bars. I am not sure whether this is right or wrong. In the below image, I don't feel pain on my lower back for a long ...
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7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Apparent pedal force improvement from swept back handlebars; why not use them?

As a teenager a friend found some antique swept back motorcycle handlebars that had the same expansion nut type fitting as my bike and we had to try them out; the handles just touched the front of the ...
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7 votes
7 answers
15k views

How do you make the handlebar stem straight?

I adjusted my stem height the other day, and since then, the stem hasn't felt straight. I've attempted to straighten it a few times, but because I'm just eyeballing it, the handlebars don't quite seem ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it really necessary to loosen/unmount handlebar while packing bike?

Reading multiple advice on how to pack a bike in a cardboard box for shipping, I have always read to "remove the handlebar" or alternatively "loosen it and rotate it by 90 degrees". Since my bike ...
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