The Best BMX handlebars to Buy in 2020
Author: Tim Date Posted:29 January 2020
Handlebar Buyers Guide
Like all bike parts, it’s important to ensure you fit your bars to suit the rest of the parts on your bike. The wider your bars feel the more stable your bike will feel, the narrower the bars, the more “twitchy” your bike will feel when turning so the width and the height of your bars are just as important as frame or fork geometry.
As the name describes the width of your bars refers to the length from bar end to bar end. As you could imagine, the width of the bars has an impact on the way the bike feels. The wider the bar the less force is required to turn, however, the more movement is required to turn the bar. Therefore the larger the bar the more stable the rider should feel. On the end of the spectrum the smaller the bars the less stable the bile will feel and the less movement the rider needs to make to turn. However narrow bars can also mean less stability when riding at speed. As a general rule of thumb, the width of the bars should be similar to your shoulder width.
The height of the bars refers to the height from the top to the bottom of your handlebars. Unlike other bikes, BMX bikes run their handlebars substantially higher due to the nature of the sport. Handlebar height not only affects the way you ride but can have an effect on the way you feel riding your bike. IF your bars are too low, you will be likely to develop some lower back pain. Handlebar height is largely personal preference but keep in mind that the bars must “fit” you.
The rise of the handlebar is the distance from the bottom of the bar to the top of the handle grip. The rise works with the height, the height is dictated marginally by the rise, where the rise is decided by the angle of upsweep the bars have.
There are two different measurements of sweep: upsweep and back sweep. Upsweep measures the angle at which the bars bend up from the stem, and back sweep measures how far the bars bend back. This angle can have several effects on the rider. If the angle is too steep the rider may feel like his bars are too far up and less leverage on the bars. If the bars have too much back sweep the rider may feel uncomfortable or squished.
Bar weights range from scarily lightweight, more trusted thicker gauge steel, commonly bars weigh between 700 grams and 1 kg. The variance in the weight on handlebars is minimal, however, if you are watching your weight then some brands will be lighter than others.
Materials/ Heat treating
Most BMX bars are made from heat-treated 4130 Chromoly, however, the thicknesses, lengths and the machining process are always vastly different, resulting in very different shapes and weights. Like all BMX parts, it’s important to consider the durability of materials when choosing the right bars for you. 4130 Chromoly has become THE material for many freestyle BMX parts. What does 4130 Chromoly actually mean though? 4130 Chromoly is an alloy steel that is made up of two parts, combining two or more metallic elements, to give greater strength or resistance to corrosion.
With some brands boasting heat treating it’s another aspect to consider. Heat treating refers to the process of how the bars are made. Heat-treating is applied and the properties in the alloy are changed which can align different parts creating a stronger bond which then makes the material stronger throughout and able to withstand higher tolerances from impacts and stress put on it from riding. Heat-treated bars have had an extra step added to the manufacturing process and subsequently have an added cost.however the added strength is well worth the extra.
Bars come in all different shapes and sizes just the same as they come at all different prices. Naturally, material, manufacture, and brand will determine the ultimate price. Bars range between $49.99 all the way up to $189.99
Choosing handlebars for your BMX might seem like a light decision, however, the ramifications of the wrong bars can change the whole feel of your bike. This guide is aimed to give a little insight into what you're actually looking at when making those i