QUICK ANSWER: BEST BICYCLE TOURING HANDLEBARS

BEST TOURING BIKE HANDLEBARS COMPARISON

PRODUCT MATERIAL DIAMETER WEIGHT DROP REACH RETURN SHOP
Best Control No Matter How Rough the Terrain

Salsa Woodchipper 31.8
25 oz6061-T6 aluminum alloy 31.8 mm 12.5 oz 114 mm 56 mm REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction rant
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Best Lightweight Performance for Gravel

Salsa Cowbell Carbon 31.8
Carbon fiber 31.8 mm 8 oz 115 mm 68 mm REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Best Affordable and Lightweight Touring Bar

RXL SL handlebar
T700 Carbon Fiber 31.8 mm 7.4 oz 127 mm 104 mm Amazon – 30 days
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
Amazon.com
Stable and Stiff Carbon Touring Handlebar

ENVE Gravel Handlebar
Carbon fiber 31.8 mm 8.6 oz 120 mm 80 mm Return: Moosejaw – Within 60 days
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
Moosejaw.com
Great for Long Endurance Rides in the Saddle

ZIPP Service Course SL 80
7050 Aluminum 31.8 mm 8.8 oz 125 mm 80 mm CompetitiveCyclist – 30 days store credit refund
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
Competitive Cyclist
A BMX Feel With More Hand Positions

Surly Moloko Bar
Chromoly Steel 31.8 mm 25 oz No No JensonUSA 90 days for a full refund
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
JensonUSA.com

TOURING BICYCLE HANDLEBARS REVIEWS

Salsa Woodchipper 31.8

Best Control No Matter How Rough the Terrain

PROS:
– Very comfortable
– Lower drop means more useable
– Loads of leverage for offroad
– Unique shape delivers control no matter how rough the terrain
– Lightweight
– Works well with integrated road shift/brake levers or bar-end shifters
– Less vibration from the carbon bars
CONS:
– Too little wrist clearance while climbing in the drops

QUICK SPECS

  • Material(s): 6061-T6 aluminum alloy
  • Diameter: 31.8 mm
  • Weight: 12.5 oz
  • Drop: 114 mm
  • Reach: 56 mm
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

Salsa Cowbell Carbon 31.8

Best Lightweight Performance for Gravel Riding and Racing

PROS:
– Lightweight and stiff construction
– Available in multiple widths
– Places your hands, wrists, and arms into a more natural in a more natural position
– Short reach allows you to achieve a smooth transition from the bar to the hoods
CONS:
– Pricey

QUICK SPECS

  • Material(s): Carbon fiber
  • Diameter: 31.8 mm
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Drop: 115 mm
  • Reach: 68 mm
  • Return: REI 1-Year 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (Learn More)

TODAY’S PRICE

RXL SL handlebar

Best Affordable and Lightweight Touring Bar

PROS:
– Amazing price
– Very comfortable
– Super lightweight
– Feel no flex at all for a 150lbs rider
– Very sturdy
– Looks and feels strong
CONS:
– One owner said that it flexes when you get up out of the saddle enough to make you nervous
– Not ideal for heavy and hard riders
– Routing your cables through the bar shred their housing

QUICK SPECS

  • Material(s): T700 Carbon Fiber
  • Diameter: 31.8 mm
  • Weight: 7.4 oz
  • Drop: 127 mm
  • Reach: 104 mm

TODAY’S PRICE

ENVE Gravel Handlebar

Stable and Stiff Carbon Touring Handlebar

PROS:
– Stable
– Buzz damping
– Lightweight
– Comfortable and versatile shape
– Flared drop
– Stiff
– Feels compliant over rocky tracks
– Superb ride quality
CONS:
– Price is hard to swallow

QUICK SPECS

  • Material(s): Carbon fiber
  • Diameter: 31.8 mm
  • Weight: 8.6 oz
  • Drop: 120 mm
  • Reach: 80 mm

TODAY’S PRICE

ZIPP Service Course SL 80

Great for Long Endurance Rides in the Saddle

PROS:
– The drops flare out slightly
– Roomy for your knees when you’re sprinting out of the saddle
– The lever hoods are slightly turned in to take some pressure off your wrists on the longer rides
– Lots of size options
– Lightweight
– Feels pretty solid
– Doesn’t flex
– Very light
CONS:
– Expensive for alloy

QUICK SPECS

  • Material(s): 7050 Aluminum
  • Diameter: 31.8 mm
  • Weight: 8.8 oz 
  • Drop: 125 mm
  • Reach: 80 mm
  • Return: CompetitiveCyclist – 30 days store credit refund (Learn More)

FSA Omega Compact Road Handlebar

Tough and Lightweight Drop Touring Handlebar

PROS:
– Very comfortable drop
– Stiff
– Light
– Offer many grip positions when paired with hoods
– Long enough bar ends for riders with long torsos to utilize a sprint position with a long stem
– Less pronounced transition from hoods to drops
CONS:
– No complaint yet

QUICK SPECS

  • Material(s): 6066-series aluminum
  • Diameter: 31.8 mm
  • Weight: 10.6 oz
  • Drop: 125 mm
  • Reach: 80 mm
  • Return: CompetitiveCyclist – 30 days store credit refund (Learn More)

Surly Moloko Bar

A BMX Feel With More Hand Positions

PROS:
– Take bar mitts in cold weather as apposite to any flat bar
– The outer bar adds enough real estate to attach lights, a camera, cupholders, etc
– Strong without being a heavyweight
– Weight isn’t too bad for the size
– Durable
– Bars did not shorten my cockpit at all
– Multiple positions to rest your hands
CONS:
– In the forward position, the bike feels unstable
and the control is too far out over the front axle
– A little bit heavy

QUICK SPECS

  • Material(s): Chromoly Steel
  • Diameter: 31.8 mm
  • Weight: 25 oz
  • Drop: No
  • Reach: No
  • Return: JensonUSA 90 days for a full refund (Learn More)

BICYCLE TOURING HANDLEBARS BUYING GUIDE

ALL ROAD / DROP HANDLEBARS

ADVANTAGES

  • Enables you to ride in low body position, which results in aerodynamic advantages.
  • Let you have multiple riding positions, to alternate.
  • Let you shift your body weight to the front while climbing.
  • Can be paired fith cross levers as a second sets of brakes levers.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Feels less stable, especially for inexperienced cyclists.
  • Less brake levers accessibility.
  • Less handlebar space to attach accessories.
  • Not good at frequent tight turns/

BUTTERFLY / TREKKING HANDLEBARS

UPANBIKE Bicycle Butterfly Handlebar

With butterfly/trekking bars that have been popular in Europe, your hand positions go forward and backward, instead of up and down in drop-bars.

ADVANTAGES

  • Side hand position gives a lot of leverage when climbing.
  • Lot of hand positions makes them good for touring and better for your wrists.
  • Easy access to brake levers.
  • Suitable for beginners.
  • Provide a lot of handlebar real estate to attach things.
  • Better for posture.
  • Less expensive.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Lots of curved metal makes them tend to flex when you go heavy on them.
  • They are often heavier than most handlebars.

ALT HANDLEBARS

Alternative handlebars have many varying options to choose from.

ADVANTAGES

  • Offers excellent bike control.
  • Compatible with standard MTB shifters and brake levers.
  • Great aerodynamics.
  • Comfortable.

HANDLEBAR WIDTH

The best handlebar width is one that has a width the same as the distance between the two bony bits on your shoulders.

The handlebar width is very important because if you get one that does not fit you, you will end up putting pressure on your neck and arms, in case you choose a wider, or feel cramped if it’s narrower.

It’s always important to know how the manufacturer gets their measures because when the majority measure from the center of the drops, other manufacturers measure from the outside.

If you are after some aerodynamics advantages, you can opt for one size down, and the opposite if you want added stability.

REACH

The handlebar reach is the distance between the handlebar and the levers.

If your preferred levers are too far, you can play with the stem length.

YOUR LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE?

If you carry heavy panniers in traffic or you are still a beginner, I recommend you start with flat, butterfly, or alt handlebars because drop bars have less steering leverage and brake levers accessibility.

MATERIAL

The material used in the making of the touring handlebar is important because it dictates many of its important features.

  • Steel: steel handlebars are very durable, can be repaired and damage is easy to spot.
  • Carbon: carbon handelbars offer more damping, are lightweight but expensive and less durable. IF
  • Aluminum: aluminum handlebars are durable, low cost and heavy compared to carbon.
  • Titanium: titanium handlebars are less vulnerable in crash than carbon nad has a longer life than aluminum.

STEM CLAMP COMPATIBILITY

Matching the clamp diameters of the stem and the handlebar is essential.

Mountain and hybrid stem clamp diameter are 25.4mm, and regular road bikes stem clamp diameters are 26.0mm.

The stem length and height can also be played with in order to stretch your arms more comfortably.

Pop tip, which means stems with 2 or 4 bolts allows changing the stem or the handlebar without unwrapping the tape from the handlebar or removing the brake’s levers.

BRAKE LEVERS / SHIFTERS COMPATIBILITY

Brake levers and the shifter clamp diameters should also match the handlebar diameter.

You should consider the diameters of where the brakes and shifters are placed and not the diameter where the stem clamps.

TOURING HANDLEBARS FAQs

WHAT BIKE HANDLEBARS ARE GOOD FOR TOURING?

What bike handlebars are good for touring or crusing depends largely on how and where you ride, your weight, and many things. But for me, I prefer FSA Omega Compact Road Handlebar because it’s tough, lightweight with a less pronounced transition from hoods to drops, all that without being expensive.

ARE TOURING HANDLEBARS EXPENSIVE?

Not always. the market offer touring handlebars from $40 to $400 and that varies due to the material used.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A TOURING HANDLEBAR?

What makes touring handlebars good. is that they allow you to have multiple wrist positions to relieve stress on your arms, shoulders, and back which result in less body fatigue at the end.

Updated on October 13, 2021 by Ben

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Close