A Guide to Choosing the Right Handlebar for You

Did you know choosing the right bike handlebars can greatly impact your biking experience? With so many options out there, it’s important to take some time to think about your riding style and what you need from your handles before making a decision. By doing this, you can ensure that you’re getting the best handles for you, which will help you reach your biking goals while keeping you comfortable and safe on every ride.


Types of Bike Handlebars

There are three types of bike handles: drop bars, flat bars, and bullhorn bars.

Drop Handlebars

Bike handlebars come in many different shapes, but the most common type is the drop bar. These handlebars are designed with a curved shape that resembles a drop, with the widest part at the top and the narrowest part at the bottom.

One of the key benefits of drop bars is that they offer a variety of hand placements, allowing riders to adjust their grip as needed and reduce fatigue during longer rides. With their ergonomic design and versatile hand placement options, drop bars are popular for cyclists of all skill levels and disciplines.

Here are some of the benefits of using drop handlebars:

  1. Aerodynamics:
    Regarding cycling, using drop handlebars can be highly beneficial as they allow you to assume a more streamlined and aerodynamic position, improving speed and overall efficiency. By adjusting your posture to be more aerodynamic, you’ll be able to cut through the wind with greater ease, ultimately resulting in a more enjoyable and efficient ride. So, drop handlebars are worth considering if you want to take your cycling to the next level.
  1. Comfort:
    If you plan a lengthy bike ride, you may want to contemplate transitioning to drop handlebars. They can enhance your riding experience by enabling a more comfortable and ergonomic position. Drop handlebars can significantly reduce fatigue and make your ride more enjoyable by reducing the strain on your back, neck, and arms. This design can also help alleviate pressure on your wrists and shoulders, keeping you in better condition for longer rides.                                                                                        
  2. Control: Drop handlebars can offer better control, particularly when riding in windy weather or going downhill.

Here are some of the drawbacks of using drop handlebars:

  • Weight:
    Drop handlebars can add weight to your bike, depending on the make or brand.
  • Reach:
    Drop handlebars can make reaching the brake levers and shifters difficult if you have short arms.
  • Training:
    Depending on what you’re used to, learning how to ride effectively with drop handlebars takes time and practice.

If you are considering using drop handlebars, it is important to ensure that your bike is properly fitted and that you have the necessary skills to ride them safely.

Flat Handlebars

Flat bars, which are straight bars that span beyond the width of a bicycle, are a practical and versatile option for many riders. They are particularly suited to those who prefer a relaxed and upright riding posture and are preferred for those who frequently find themselves riding while wearing a backpack.

Here are some of the benefits of using flat handlebars:

  1. Comfort:
    Flat handlebars provide a more relaxed and upright riding position, improving visibility, making it easier to see what’s coming up, and decreasing tension on the lower back and neck. This is especially beneficial for long rides as it allows riders to maintain a comfortable position for extended periods.

    Flat handlebars typically offer a wider grip, contributing to increased comfort as they distribute weight more evenly across the hands and reduce pressure points.

  2. Control:
    When riding in traffic or carrying cargo, having flat handlebars on your bike can provide you with increased control. This is because they allow for a more upright riding position, which can help you better navigate through crowded areas or maintain balance when carrying heavy loads.
  1. Versatility:
    Flat handlebars can be an excellent option if you’re looking for versatile handlebars to accommodate different riding styles. They work well for various activities, such as commuting, touring, and mountain biking.

Here are some of the drawbacks of using flat handlebars:

  • Aerodynamics:
    While flat handlebars may be more comfortable for some riders, it’s worth noting that they are less aerodynamic than drop handlebars. If you prioritize speed and efficiency, you may opt for drop handlebars instead.             
  • Reach:
    Flat handlebars can make reaching the brake levers and shifters difficult if you have long arms or if you haven’t made some simple adjustments to make them more comfortable to reach.

Hovsco Bike Handles

Flat bars are an excellent choice for a comfortable cycling experience. Moreover, flat bars are commonly used in hybrid and city bikes, making them a reliable and popular option for those seeking a practical and comfortable ride.

These reasons are among those that have influenced us at Hovsco to use this bike handle style in most of our bike designs. The HovRanger, HovCity, and the HovBeta, are great examples of how this bar style is utilized, covering a variety of riding styles.

And because our bikes are eBikes, the comfort of the flat bar style is appreciated further due to not having to be concerned about aerodynamics to reach and maintain high speeds. The powerful brushless hub motors installed in our eBikes ensure you can remain as comfortable as possible while getting to where you want to go as quickly and consistently as you choose.

Bullhorn Bars

For those passionate about cycling and who prefer a more assertive riding position, the curved bullhorn bars that protrude from the stem may be appealing. Unlike traditional drop bars, this type of handlebar provides several advantages, such as enabling riders to easily reach down for brake levers and maintain a faster pace.

This makes it particularly suitable for more aggressive cycling styles. Investing in curved bullhorn bars could be smart whether you are an experienced cyclist or just looking to change your riding position. They offer a unique combination of comfort, control, and speed that can greatly enhance your overall cycling experience.

Some of the benefits of using bullhorn handlebars:

  1. Aerodynamics:
    Bullhorn handlebars can help you ride more aerodynamically, improving your speed and efficiency.                                                                                     
  2. Comfort:
    Bullhorn handlebars can provide a more comfortable riding position, allowing the rider to change positions frequently.                                            
  3. Control:
    Bullhorn handlebars can give you more control over your bike, especially when riding in windy conditions or descending hills.

The drawbacks of using bullhorn handlebars:

  • Weight:
    Bullhorn handlebars can add weight to your bike.                                             
  • Reach:
    Bullhorn handlebars can make reaching the brake levers and shifters difficult if you have short arms.                                                                        
  • Expense:
    In most circumstances, Bullhorn Handlebars can be more expensive than other types. When on a budget, this may be a less appealing option.           
  • Not Well Suited for Long Rides:

The drops on bullhorn handlebars can put a lot of pressure on your wrists and hands, especially if you’re not used to riding in that position. If you plan on doing a lot of long rides, you may want to consider a different handlebar type.

Choosing the Right Bike Handles

When choosing bike handles, it’s important to consider the following factors:

Your riding style: Flat bars or drop bars with a shallow drop may be a good option if you ride mostly on smooth roads. If you ride on rough terrain or in a lot of traffic, then bullhorn bars or drop bars with a deep drop may be a better choice.

Your comfort: Make sure to choose a handlebar that is comfortable for you to hold. Some handles have more padding than others, and some have textured grips that help to prevent your hands from slipping.

Your budget: Bike handles can range in price from a few dollars to over $100. Finding a handlebar that fits your budget and needs is important.

Installing Bike Handles

Most bike handles can be installed by simply removing the old handles and installing the new ones. Sometimes, you may need to adjust the stem or the brake levers to accommodate the new handles.

Step One- Remove the old handlebars.

To do this, you will need to loosen the handlebar bolts. These bolts are typically located on the underside of the handlebars. After loosening the bolts, you can remove the handlebars from the bike.

Step Two- Install the new handlebars.

To do this, you must align the new handlebars with the stem and tighten the handlebar bolts. It is important to ensure the handlebars are tightened securely to prevent them from coming loose while riding.

Step Three- Install the handlebar grips.

Handlebar grips are available in various materials, including rubber, foam, and cork. To install the handlebar grips, cut them to the correct length and then slide them onto the handlebars. Once the grips are in place, you can use an elastic or some tape to secure them.

Step Four- Adjust the brake levers.

The brake levers should be positioned to be easy to reach and comfortable to use. To adjust the brake levers, you must loosen the mounting bolts and then move the levers to the desired position. You can tighten the mounting bolts once the levers are in the correct position.

Step Five- Test the handlebars.

Once the handlebars are installed, you should test them to ensure they are secure and that the brake levers are working properly. To do this, you can ride the bike slowly and ensure the handlebars do not come loose. You should also test the brake levers to ensure they are working properly.


In conclusion, many different bike handlebars are available, each with unique benefits and drawbacks. The best type of handlebar for you will depend on your riding style, needs, and budget. If you are still determining which type of handlebar is right for you, feel free to contact us at Hovsco for some tips and further advice.



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