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Bicycle Handlebar Guide


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bicycle handlebars - overlooking the Pacific Ocean Handlebars are an important part of the comfort and functionality of a bicycle.  They provide a place for the rider's hands to rest and assist steering and weight distribution.  The handlebars usually consist of a single piece of tubing and are constructed of steel, aluminum alloys, titanium, or carbon fiber.  They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Straight bars position the rider further over the bars with elbows slightly bent for shock absorption.  Mountain bicycles commonly use straight handlebars.  Some straight handlebars feature adjustable bar-ends for greater climbing leverage.  City bars are curved and swept back, positioning the rider upright for greater visibility in traffic.  Drop bars curl down at the ends and provide several riding positions.  They distribute body weight more evenly from the saddle to the bars, allowing the rider to be in a more horizontal position.  This positioning saves energy and cuts down on wind resistance, making dropped handlebars ideal for racing, road, and touring bicycles.  High-rise handlebars are popular on BMX and freestyle bikes and position the rider nearly vertical.

Rubber grips on the handlebars provide traction and protection from vibration.  Thicker grips are more comfortable for long rides, while thin grips work well with gloves.  Road handlebars are wrapped with cork tape instead of using grips.  As with handlebars, grips should be tailored to the rider's comfort and needs.

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Bicycle Handlebars - Bicycle Handlebar Grips

taped handlebars on a red road bike
Taped Handlebars on a Road Bike