As a cyclist, having the right set of handlebars can go a long way in ensuring that anytime you ride your bike, you are guaranteed comfort and safety.
A lot goes into choosing a set of handlebars that would work exceptionally and give you value for your money. Above all else, the material they are made of can make a huge difference. That’s why carbon mountain bike handlebars have a lot of advantages over the conventional aluminum ones, making them totally worth it.
This article will highlight everything you need to know about carbon mountain bike handlebars to help you figure out whether or not they’d be the right fir for you.
Carbon Mountain Bike Handlebars- Pros
Carbon handlebars do a better job at absorbing vibrations from irregular trails, compared to aluminum handlebars. With aluminum handlebars, all the energy from a rough trail is transferred to your hands, and this can tire out your arms after a long ride.
Carbon handlebars absorb and dissipate some of this energy. This quality is called vibration damping and it helps to protect your hands from fatigue and a condition known as arm pump.
The steering stiffness of handlebars is defined by how much a bike frame twists as you ride it around a corner. Carbon handlebars offer higher steering stiffness, which makes it easier for you to handle your bike, especially in tricky terrains.
However, some people think aluminum bars offer more stiffness, but this is only because of the difference in vibration damping.
Carbon handlebars are hands down lighter than the aluminum ones by about 120 grams. Aluminum bars have added material to achieve a high level of stiffness, making them heavier. Although the weight difference is barely noticeable, this lightness might come in handy for competitive cross-country racers, but there are other areas where you can cut down more weight.
Carbon and aluminum handlebars are equally resilient when it comes to impact resistance. Carbon handlebars do not dent and bend like aluminum ones. Once they have reached the end of their lifespan, they break, which is not usually common. This mostly happens if you get in a lot of crashes or use a lightweight carbon bar in aggressive conditions.
Wheel control is the ability of your handlebars to control the front tire of your mountain bike. Effective wheel control helps to minimize accidents. Carbon bars have high wheel control as a result of their light weight and high stiffness.
Carbon Mountain Bik Handlebars Cost
Carbon handlebars cost more than their aluminum alloy counterparts, due to the added advantages they offer. Below are 15 carbon handlebars, their costs, and their features:
1. Renthal Fatbar Lite Carbon Handlebar
This handlebar was constructed from ultralight unidirectional carbon, and it weighs 180 grams, which is almost half the weight of aluminum bars. The bar also has a wide 740mm stature.
It has a 7° backsweep and a 5° upsweep, which give it an ergonomic feel. Additionally, the bar has undergone rigorous EN BMX test, which supports its claims of high strength.
Its clamp diameter is 31.8mm, and it Is available in 10 – 40mm bar rises. This bar is well suited for enduro, trail and XC disciplines. The product price ranges between $139.94 and $182.95.
2. Race Face Next 35 Low Rise Handlebar
This handle was built mainly for trail and XC use. The bar has a 35mm clamp diameter, which made it easier to reduce the material needed to make the bar.
An additional feature that makes this unit more attractive is that it comes in multiple colors, giving you a choice. This bar goes for $144.49.
3. Enve M6 MTB Handlebar
The Enve M6 is tuned for compliance, response, and high strength. The bar weighs 190 grams, and it is available in a low 10mm rise and the traditional 25mm rise. It comes with a 9° backsweep and a 5° upsweep which offers support and a classic fit.
The lowest price the bar goes for is $170.
4. OneUp Components Carbon Handlebar
This unit was designed to provide comfort to the rider. It achieves this goal through the oval shape that combines the 31.8 and the 35mm clamp diameter standards in one unit. It weighs in at 220 grams for the 20mm rise bar and 250 grams for the 35mm rise bar.
This handlebar is available in one color but there are decal kits for you to customize your handlebars available in 6 colors. The product retails at $138, but the decal kit comes at an additional cost of $5.
5. Deity DC31 Mohawk Carbon Handlebar
This handlebar was designed for enduro, Downhill, and all-mountain riding. The bar has a 31.8mm clamping diameter with a textured clamping surface to keep it secure.
Aside from these features, the deity handlebar is available in high gloss black carbon and graphics in 6 colors. The package comes with a set of deity Icon 3D end plugs that you can fit on the bar. The product is covered by a lifetime crash replacement policy, which makes the $168.99 payment for the bar even more worth it.
6. Easton Haven 35 Carbon Handlebar
This bar was made for use in aggressive and enduro trails. It is made out of carbon and partly of composite material that builds upon its durability, stiffness and vibration damping. Unlike previous versions, this handlebar is wider (750mm) and the tube has multiple narrowings to increase strength and durability.
The handlebar is available in black and blue, and it goes for $257.19.
7. BEIOU Carbon Fiber Handlebar
The BEIOU is made from full T700 carbon fiber, and it weighs about 130 grams and has a width of 720mm. This makes it ideal for riding on rugged trails since you have maximum control.
Like most of the handlebars reviewed, this one has a clamp diameter of 31.8mm, a 9° backsweep, a 5° upsweep, and the rise is about 20mm.
This bar makes a great investment and is likely to serve you for a long time. It costs $59.99.
8. PRO Tharsis XC Flat Handlebar
This is a full carbon handlebar produced by Shimano and was created for cross-country riders, particularly XC trails. This unit has a 720mm width and weighs in at 160 grams. This bar also has a 9° backsweep and a 4° upsweep.
The backsweep provides excellent positioning for your hands as you climb. The bar gives 5mm of rise, and you can maintain a more athletic position as you ride.
It costs $218.59.
9. Answer Pro Taper Carbon Bar
The company responsible for this handlebar, Answer, has been in the handlebars making industry since the early 90s. This handleber checks all the boxes for a quality set of carbon handlebars.
It is available in 2 colors, carbon and red and it costs between $49.99 and $222.77.
10. Pacenti P-Dent
This company has been involved in mountain bike products since 1989. the company majors in bike tires, but they recently decided to try their hand at handlebars. Their handlebars have a twist on the original concept. By dimpling the bar, the stem could remain short while keeping the bar low. The product has been tested on several bikes, and it promises quicker and more responsive steering.
When combined with the stem set, weighs 347 grams and retails at $219.99
11. Thompson MTB Carbon Cross Country Handlebar
The handlebars are made with three different carbon fiber types of varying tensile strength. The result of this choice is high impact-resistant handlebars.
The handlebar comes in two styles, 12mm riser and flat. This makes them ideal for competitive scenes.
The riser handlebars are 750mm wide with 6° backsweep, 4° upsweep, and 12mm of rise. This unit weighs 8 ounces and retails at $150.
12. Chromag Fubars Cutlass Handlebar
This handlebar doesn’t restrict its services to one category. It is made out of unidirectional carbon fiber, which makes it more durable and it can function optimally in XC and enduro environments.
The bar is available in 3 different colors to suit your style, for $181.
13. Enve Composites Downhill Bar
This handlebar was designed for downhill riding, as the name suggests. This bar is 800mm wide with a 23mm rise and a 31.8mm clamp diameter. This carbon bar has 7° backsweep and 5° upsweep.
An amazing feature of this product is its durability. The handlebar sustained no real damage after a crash from a serious height. To get your hands on this bar, you would have to part with $202.
14. Race Face Next High Rise Handlebar
This handlebar is built to maintain an XC weight and still meet the brand’s downhill requirements. The weakest part of the carbon bar, the stem, is reinforced. Like most handlebars made by Race Face, this one is light and it weighs 163 grams.
The bar has a 31.8mm clamp diameter, 3/4 inches rise, 8° backsweep, and 5° upsweep. This bar is available in 4 colors and it costs between $134.95 and $169.99.
15. Ibis carbon adjustable width handler
Unlike the other handlebars, this one comes as one 750mm wide bar and two inserts, each 25mm wide. The bar is made of carbon but the inserts are made of aluminum, which is easier to cut than carbon. The bar inserts allow you to try new trails and varying bar widths
The handlebar is covered by a 7-year warranty and it costs $169.99.
Carbon Mountain Bike Handlebar Sizes
Mountain bike bars all come with one diameter at the grip: 22.2mm. This isn’t the case at the clamp, however. There are currently 3 clamp diameters on the market: 24.5mm, 31.8mm, and 35mm. Larger clamp diameters provide more stiffness and strength while reducing the clamping pressure required.
Bar width depends on the rider, but wider is usually better. Wide bars provide added control and make it easier to breathe. However, wide bars can inconvenience you as you ride through dense forests.
Mountain bike bars are available in widths ranging from 600mm to around 1000mm. You should note that you can always cut down the bars if they’re too wide.
What Size Mountain Bike Handlebars Do I Need?
The handlebar size depends on your body features like arm, torso and leg length. The direction you are riding to also dictates the handlebar size. Going downhill, for example, will need you to use longer handlebars. Your riding environment also has a part to play. Long bars would inconvenience you as you ride along a narrow trail.
How Much Weight Do Carbon Handlebars Save?
Carbon handlebars weigh significantly less than aluminum handlebars, usually by a few hundred grams. Carbon handlebars are around 36% lighter than the aluminum ones.