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Why Mountain Bike Handlebars Are So Wide?

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Mountain bike handlebars have the biggest diameter compared to road bike handlebars. The two types of bikes have different purposes that require a different set of skills.

Road bikes are generally more specialized and narrower in design, which is crucial to the balance and performance of a road bike.

Mountain bikes, on the other hand, have wider handlebar diameters because they are designed to be ridden over rough terrain like dirt paths and mountains where narrow handlebars could easily topple over when hitting rocks or tree roots.

Mountain bike handlebars are wide so that you have a more stable stance and you can steer more easily.

What Are The Benefits Of Wider Handlebars?

Wide handlebars are more comfortable to hold onto. They are also easier to steer with.

The primary benefit of wide handlebars is that they make mountain biking easier and more efficient. The wider grip at the end of the bars allows for better control over their bike making it less likely that they will lose their balance. It also makes steering easier allowing them to be able to take on mtb trails with ease.

Why Do Mountain Bike Handlebars Need To Be So Wide Compared To Road Bicycle’s Handlebar Width?

Mountain bikes are built with sturdier frames which are heavier than road bikes. This is because mountain bike frames need to be strong to support the weight of the rider and the bike.

Road bike frames are made for speed so they have slimmer, lighter frames. Mountain bike handlebars are wider because they need to provide more grip to prevent the rider from falling off in extreme conditions like snow, gravel, water – all of which may cause you to lose your balance on a road bike.

Wide handlebars are more comfortable to hold onto

What Are The Advantages Of Wider Mountain Bike Handlebars Vs. Narrower Road Bicycle’s Handlebar Width?

The wider mountain bike handlebars have a few advantages over narrower road bicycle handles. They are more comfortable to the rider because they have a larger grip. This means that they can use their hands without having to stretch them out or keep them close together. They also offer better control because the hands are closer together and it is easier to brake and accelerate, which is important for off-road riding.

A wider mountain bike handlebar can be more expensive than narrower road handlebars, although it depends on the type and model of the bicycle.

How To Choose The Right Width For Mountain Bike Handlebars?

For mountain bike handlebars, there are three different widths to choose from: 8 inches, 9 inches, and 10 inches. The most popular mountain bike size chart is the 8 inch bar for people with smaller hands. The 9 inch bar is the most popular for people with average-sized hands. And the 10 inch bar is a good choice for people with larger hands.

The height of the bars also matters. For 8 inch bars, it should be about 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches from the ground to the top of your saddle when standing over it. When you have 9 or 10 inch bars on your bike, you need a little more clearance so it should be between 4 3/4 and 6 3/4 inches from the ground to the top of your saddle.

Are Wider Handlebars More Comfortable?

Riders will notice that the weight of their bike is distributed more evenly across their shoulders, which can make for a more comfortable ride. Some riders also find that they can keep their hands in a more natural position, and the extra space between the handlebars allows them to shift positions while riding.

The handlebars on road bikes are typically narrower than those on mountain bikes, and wearers of gloves might also find that these handles offer less friction than curved mountain bike handles.

A wide handlebar will give you more stability when riding over rough terrain

Which Width Is Right For Your Riding Style & Needs?

Choosing the correct size is important for your ride.

A wide handlebar will give you more stability when riding over rough terrain. However, it may not be the best option for your everyday commute in comparison to a more traditional road bike. Handlebars with a narrow width are better suited for racing and mountain biking, where you need to react quickly without compromising on maneuverability. This is because when you are riding with narrow bars, you can get in and out of traffic easier than when using wider ones.

There are many different types of bikes, but the width of the bike is the most important factor in determining how it will be ridden.

Bike widths range from 22mm to over 400mm. The width of the bike determines what type of terrain you will be riding on.

About the Author

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Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed