Hard-working, subjected to high loads and full of responsibility - we are of course talking about the handlebar. The handlebar is the rider's central cockpit. It's where all of the functions that control the bike come together. A good handlebar should have an ergonomic design, a high strength to weight ratio and shock absorbing properties.

Which handlebar is the right one for me?

Each cycling discipline has its preferred type of handlebar and stem length - a racing cockpit differs significantly from that of a downhill racer. Race handlebars are designed for maximum rigidity and made of aluminum or carbon. For mountain bikes its the area of use that determines the width and shape: Wide handlebars for downhill disciplines, narrow handlebars for CC racing. The wider the handlebars, the more precisely you can control the bike, because more leverage can be achieved. A higher rise raises the overall height of the cockpit which has certain advantages on descents on steep terrain.

Stability and shock absorption

The bike cockpit has a significant effect on power transmission and shock absorption. High-speed cameras have shown that mountain bike handlebars "work" extremely hard on rapid downhill runs, absorbing shock and vibration. Carbon has different flex characteristics to aluminum and is lighter and stiffer. The handlebars should be checked after falls and replaced in case of doubt. Riders who cover a lot of kilometers should also check their handlebars at regular intervals and replace if necessary.

Course correction made easy

If you want to treat your bike to a new handlebar, you can always rely on RaceFace. Even slight changes at the front of the bike can have a significant impact. If you aren't getting enough pressure on your front wheel, for example, you might want to get yourself a set of handlebars with no rise. If you have problems with your wrists, you can adjust the angles. Most handlebars can actually be shortened, all it takes is a hacksaw.

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