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Handlebars & Grips

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Bike handlebars & grips – great selection at

As they provide all-important bike contact points, having the right handlebars and grips makes all the difference for a cyclist. Of course, manufacturers such as KCNC, Profile Design et al. offer a large variety of each, but the correct models for you will widely depend on a mix of factors: what type of bike you have, your riding style and your common ride conditions.

Handlebar types

There are many types of handlebar designs, all optimised for specific types of usage. But we’ll just look at the pros and cons of the three most common ones available.

    Flat bars

    As the name suggests, flat bars are made from a near-flat hollow tube that run straight. They are considered the standard type of handlebar.

    Bike handlebars


    • A wider grip gives you better steering leverage – and enhanced control
    • Brake and gear levers are easy to reach
    • Upright position means you can make sure that traffic stays in your eyeline at all times
    • Cheaper and lighter


    • Flat bars can irritate the ulnar and median nerves – causing numb fingers
    • The upright riding position isn't very aerodynamic, so long-distance rides become more of a struggle with flat bars

    Drop Bars

    Drop bars have a straight middle, but curve downwards and towards the rider on the handle ends. They are more commonly associated with road cycling and racing.


    • Allow the rider to assume a position that offers better aerodynamics
    • Offers a variety of positions for the hands so you can relieve pressure
    • Provides better ergonomic positioning of shoulders than their flat counterparts


    • Provide less steerage control
    • Having your head down limits your awareness of traffic and your surroundings
    • Makes it harder to reach the brake levers

    Aero or tri-bars

    This handlebar form is used mainly in competitive tri or time trial events and is designed to put the rider in the most aero position possible – with armpads to rest their forearms upon and bar extensions to grip.

    Pros and cons

    Aero and Tri-bars offer similar pros and cons to drop handlebars. However they provide an even more aero position for faster times – and in events where every split second counts, this difference is the most important.

    Once you’ve chosen the perfect handlebars for you, you’ll also need to consider the type of grips that will suit you best.

Bicycle grip types

    Foam & silicone grips

    Brooks, Race Face and others all offer the classic round grip type most riders will be familiar with. However, the different materials used in these grips all naturally offer different advantages. Both foam and silicon types are light, grippy and comfortable in all weather conditions. However, the silicone version are easier to clean than most and offer good vibration dampening.

    Ergonomic grips

    Designed with a winged shape that’s kinder on your hands and forearms, and prevent discomfort and damage over time. Ergon are the big name in the production of this type of grip.

Bar ends

Bar ends from the likes of Ritchey, BBB and Lizard Skins are an extra option on top of your grips – and although they aren’t necessary they do offer many worthwhile advantages:

  • Extra positioning options are easier on your muscles and nerves
  • Better leverage in standing position
  • Protect silicone and foam grips from damage

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