How To Choose The Right Handlebars For Your Road Bike

How To Choose The Right Handlebars For Your Road Bike

In association with Profile Design.
We look at the various widths and shapes of bars that are available to road cyclists.

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A lot of discomfort we have while riding can be solved by the right type of handlebar. It’s where your hands will be resting for hours at a time, so just like everything else on the bike, you need to take into account the type of riding you do and factors such as how flexible you are to govern the correct size of bar for you.

Simon guides you through the 3 main measurements you should look at – width, reach and drop – as well as the various shapes of bar that manufacturers offer.

Watch more on GCN…
How To Get More Comfortable On Your Road Bike 🎥
How To Fit Clip-On Aero Bars 🎥

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  1. Kerim Amet on June 27, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Is 8cm reach long? I am 16 years old and I am building my own road bike and I dont have any experience with road bike. What size reach so you advise me?

  2. V8 Power on June 27, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    If you get 44 or 46 you’ll be stuck in traffic and will never get out of the city, I see many guys with those wide handlebars that can’t go between cars I’m guessing they have to leave hour early to get anywhere lol

  3. Carlos Calla Alarcón on June 27, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    If the bars flare out from the hoods to the drops, do I have to match my shoulder width with the hoods or the drops? For example, the FSA compact bars that flare out about 2cm. Thanks 😀

  4. smp156 on June 27, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    damn, now i didn’t realize i need new handle bars.

  5. Miłosz Frejnik on June 27, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    You forgot about graval option 🙂

  6. Dragan Boromisa on June 27, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Is for you more ergo handlebars more comfortable against medium ergo handlebars or … what GCN crew have to say about thet?

  7. Ejay jay on June 27, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    kuya magkano po ba ang gnyng handlebar

  8. 100rogerduncan on June 27, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    I’ve got Cinnelli’s matched to my shoulder width but with less drop than older ones. They’re traditional according to your classification. I like them because the geometry is so simple: right angles and regular curves (the radius of curvature is constant). I like to angle the drops so my wrists aren’t bent and my setup is pretty different in that way from what I see here on GCN.

  9. Cornelius Maximilianus on June 27, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    I like compact low drops, 3T Ergonova Team carbon with 123mm drops, fantastic

  10. Irfan Kamaludin on June 27, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Is your bike a 1x cause there isn’t any shifters on the left

  11. luis on June 27, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    he pedals the whole vid

  12. Voice IT on June 27, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Your channel alone creates the need for an option to ban videos from a channel. You spam youtube with your stupid videos and they’re all shit.

  13. Leonard W on June 27, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Do narrow bars cause any discomfort?

  14. Alejandro González López on June 27, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    GREAT advice on bars, Si. Thanks.

    <One Love>


  15. David tnsca on June 27, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Este en español por fa

  16. Truthseeker on June 27, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    I want my bike to look as close to an evil goat as possible.

  17. Sandy Zhang on June 27, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Top / favorite compact handlebars?

  18. FirexTitx MF on June 27, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    My hands are too small for drop bars :(. My fingers are too short to reach and use the brakes so i am stuck with flat bar bikes. my dreams are ruined but luckily there are options out there now! i watched the entire video trying no to cry but thank you Simon for the information at lease i can advise others.

  19. Israel Magalit on June 27, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Link to the Profile drive system?

  20. Jonathan Hughes on June 27, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    Look at Modolo Curvissima.

  21. PROcrastiDRIVE SV on June 27, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    FSA compact bars are pretty much perfect. Compact vero are 30 bucks on Wiggle. Job done 🙂

  22. Roland P on June 27, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Please do a video on stem length

  23. David Miller Shevelev on June 27, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    might handle bars not fitting well cause neck discomfort? If so, how does one fix the issue?

  24. Alec Perry on June 27, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Where is the handle bar tape???????

  25. vinohn on June 27, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    You keep paddling while your hand was busy explaining the 3 types of handle drops 😵

  26. Dan Connelly on June 27, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    "If I spend any length of time in the drops…" But do you anyway? If the bars are so shallow that the position is basically the same on the hoods versus the drops (the arms sweeping out an arc about the shoulder) then what’s the point? I personally like the drops to provide a bit of a lower position so I can be more aggressive when I really want that, for example when taking a pull at the front of the group, but then to go back to the hoods when comfort, rather than aerodynamics, has a higher priority.
    Additionally, I think when switching brake levers, for example from Shimano to SRAM, the latter designed to be flush with the top of the bars, the optimal reach may change. Back in the downtube shifter days when people used to ride in the ramps, the arms don’t extend out ahead of the bars as they would with SRAM, and the optimal bar reach would be greater.

  27. Papermate19 on June 27, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Do all handle bars fit all bikes

  28. Lorenzo Benci on June 27, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Exhaustive like always. Great.

  29. chasjm21 on June 27, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    The title says how to choose the right handlebars for your road bike, but the video only mentions drop handlebars, not flat handlebars which would be right for my bike!

  30. Nyaaark. on June 27, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    At 4:17 what handlebar is that? What’s it name and maker?

  31. Maca on June 27, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    My shoulders measure 36cm, is it okay to use 40cm?

  32. Reinis Martinsons on June 27, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    I kind of like bullhorns better

  33. ShadowBreaker9001 on June 27, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    In Morocco I saw people riding custom built bikes with drop bars fitted upside down!!!

  34. Corey Howard on June 27, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Which length drop bars would I want to make my cyclocross bike more stable on descents? longer or shorter?

  35. Alana Weaver on June 27, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    What about saddles for cushioning the tush?

  36. Ian Price on June 27, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    I’ve just done some DIY on my bars. Narrow on one side for some aero, wide on the other for stability.

  37. R R on June 27, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Love this video! I found a shallow handle bar but is has a 12 degree flare. What exactly is the point of the flare?

  38. Nick D'Alton on June 27, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Interesting, thanks

  39. GaussElim on June 27, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    I have found this to be one of the most frustrating decisions to make when it comes to bike parts. This video has definitely help provide some clarity. Thank you as always guys.

  40. Shanese Jones on June 27, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks Si!! It all makes so much sense now!! Random question: what size bars does Emma use? I’m all of 5’1 out here 😂

  41. Cedric Tabo on June 27, 2019 at 9:11 pm


  42. Riccardo Andrea Leccese on June 27, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    could a shorter witdh handlebar like a 38cm penalize my climbing pace or confort. curently i ride a 42cm, my rides are mostly flat with ocasionaly climbs, i like to be aero but also like to keep a good pace on short climbs. thanks. …im thinking to go ENVE ses aero wich has a mix of witdh like the 42cm on the drops and 39 on the hooks

  43. Mike M on June 27, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    thanks! great vid!

  44. Dawoud Jouf Caranguian on June 27, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    what do ylu call that stand?

  45. NimblyBimbly on June 27, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    You didn’t mention the style with drops flared out, like on the Specialized Sequoia. Is that something only suitable for gravel/adventure bikes? Are there any drawbacks to that design other than aerodynamics?

  46. Spinnetti on June 27, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Why change bar before stem? I don’t get that bit..

  47. nathan sharkboi on June 27, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    hey where’s the bar tape , did u see it too people ?

  48. David tnsca on June 27, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Parece interesante pero traducido por fa al español

  49. Rubén C.Marines on June 27, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    What brand is the handlebar on that bike? I like the drop…

  50. MichaelLeung2011 on June 27, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    I struggle to get a job