Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Choosing the Right Handlebars for Your Bike

While steering wheels in cars tend to be pretty standard, bicycle handlebars come in a variety of shapes, bends, and sizes. Different handlebars affect your comfort, riding style, and cornering speed, so it pays to spend some time considering your bike’s handlebars. Here are some tips to find the right bars for your bike.

Handlebars Bike Cycle

Considering Comfort
When it gets down to it, if you’re not comfortable on your bike, you won’t ride to the best of your abilities. That extends to Cycling Clothes, the saddle, and, of course, the handlebars. The more you bend over your handlebars, the more pressure you’re putting on your hands. Too much pressure and you’ll find your hands and wrists aching or going numb.

With road bikes, you’ll be in that bent position constantly, though most road bikes have dropped handlebars, allowing you to move your hand positions if you need to. Mountain bikes tend to have flat or riser bars, allowing for only one hand position, but the generally upright riding position produces less pressure on your hands.

You shouldn't be leaning too far over your handlebars either. If you are doing this, consider installing a riser bar, moving your saddle forward, getting a shorter stem, or some combination of the three. Bicycle Shops in San Diego can figure out what would work best for you.

Lift
Lift is, as it sounds, all about raising your front wheel over potential obstacles. With road bikes, you don’t have much say in lift. You’re positioned in such a way that you have a low center and you’re leaning forward, giving you zero leverage if you need to pull up on your handlebars.

On mountain bikes, lift is an important part of the riding experience. The path is often uneven and strewn with potential obstacles. You’re set further back on a mountain bike. This grants you the ability to lift the front wheel of your bike fairly easily. Downhill bikes and some cross-country bikes feature riser bars, which place the rider even further back. If you’d like more lift and you’re riding a road bike, you may want to consider a bike trade in.

Leverage
Handlebars give you leverage when steering. In theory, wider handlebars should give you more leverage, but a lever only works well if you have a steady base. Wider arms weaken your base, leading to less leverage.
Don’t spread yourself out too much. Your arms should ideally be placed about shoulder width apart. You can go a bit narrower or wider, but no more than a few inches either way.

If you’re unsure if your bike fits you properly, see a professional. They can help you make sure you’re comfortable and as safe as possible on your bike—and that will allow you to continue to ride as long as you want.
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