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List of Comfort MTB Handlebars

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Don't let comfort come second to performance when you bikepack. Because the farther you ride, the more important it is that you look after your body. A comfortable handlebar is a great place to start, so here's our full list of swept back and riser models...

For the most part, modern mountain bikes come stocked with relatively wide and straight handlebars, typically with a 9-degree sweep or less and a subtle rise at best. Whilst this style of handlebar may well suit a trail rider’s needs, they’re not necessarily the best option for big backcountry rides and long distance bikepacking. After all, a comfortable setup allows you to cover more miles, recover more easily… and enjoy the scenery whist riding.

For those looking at alternatives to their stock handlebars – be it ones with more backsweep, more rise, or more width – we’ve collated our favourite ‘comfort mountain bike bars’, for want of a better term. By ‘comfort mtb’, we’re referring to handlebars that are suited to riding challenging terrain, be it on trails or dirt roads, rather than comfort bars in a more traditional touring sense, like butterfly or trekking bars favoured by many traditional long-distance tourers.

  • Jones SG Loop H-bar, bikepacking
  • Surly Moloko Handlebar
  • Tumbleweed Persuader Bar, handlebar

Exactly what rise, width, and sweep you prefer will likely boil down to personal preference, the terrain you ride, body type, and even your age. Just remember that muscle memory is a powerful thing, so allow yourself time with a new setup before deciding if it’s the right one for you. Initially, your sense of control and steering will feel markedly different with bars that feature more backsweep. Bear in mind too that changing handlebars will also affect weight distribution across your contact points, as well as your cranks and front wheel, and your reach, which may require a change in stem length too. This can have a knock-on effect on the position and angle of your wrists, arms and shoulders. Bike fit is a topic in itself and will be saved for another guide.

With so many variables around, nothing beats experimenting with different handlebars. Try and borrow handlebars from friends, so you can nail down the best one for you and your setup.

What’s with the sweep?

Given the caveat that the best amount of sweep for you is subject to personal taste, terrain, and how it fits in with the rest of your bike setup and its geometry… generally speaking, we think you’ll really start to notice a difference with handlebars designed around a 15-degree sweep or more, in terms of the pressure it takes off your wrists. Broadly speaking, this is the angle at which the ulnar nerve is allowed to have a more natural position – rather than being pinched and constricted as it can be with straight bars, often resulting in numbness over long distances. See these diagrams by SQ Labs for a clearer understanding.

More extreme angles exist, typically ranging from 30-45 degrees, which we highly recommend trying too, depending on the kind of riding you favour. Be sure to consider the shape of the bar too – some bend straight back, others curve forwards first – which may require experimenting with different stem lengths, depending on whether you also want to keep a similar reach across your cockpit or bring it in. Just to add to the potential data points, some manufacturers also list an upsweep, the angle at which the bars bend up from the stem, which can affect the position of your elbows.

What Bars is a very useful website that will help you visualise different forward and backwsweeps, allowing you to compare an ever increasing number of different handlebars as an overlay. Bear in mind that the bars listed aren’t always rated for off road use.

Why the Rise?

A lot of mountain bikes aren’t necessarily designed for touring. Their headtubes are often relatively short, or the steerer tube has been cut down more than you’d like. Options include stacking up a series of spacers like casino chips or running a stem with a steeper angle. Or, you can avail yourselves to the increasing range of handlebars that feature a significant amount of rise, which is especially good news for tall riders. This will help bring your cockpit up and make it more in line with your saddle – probably a good starting point in a long distance setup. A more commanding riding position also has the perk of being great for looking around and soaking up the sights. Note that you can also fine tune the amount of rise, reach, and your hand position if you rotate the bars forward or backwards slightly.

What Width?

Old school mountain bikers loved narrow bars. Modern trail bikes favour wider cockpits. We’re fans of wide bars on the whole, as they help offer a more control, especially on a loaded bike down rocky singletrack. The downside is that they can be tricky in tight corridors of trees or for the bike tourer, negotiating a bike up a flight of stairs or through a narrow doorway. Depending on your shoulder width and the kind of terrain you’re riding, a narrower bar may work better, though for the most part, wide bars can always be cut down. The handlebars listed below range from around 645mm to 820mm, which will suit different body types, preferences, and riding styles.

Materials

There’s a range of materials to choose from… aluminum, Chromoly, carbon, and titanium. Each has its own merits. Aluminum is popular, affordable and a good all-rounder, but will eventually suffer from fatigue. Chromoly handlebars are extremely hardwearing but tend to weigh a good deal more. Carbon is most compliant but less resilient to scratches and off-the-bike abuse. Titanium will last a lifetime and has some ‘give’ but is very expensive. Ask yourself if a light bar suits your build and riding style, or do you need crowbar like strength? Are you traveling overseas where bikes can be manhandled on flights or buses, or keeping to local rides? And consider that rigid setups benefit most from more compliant handlebars.

Full List of Comfort Handlebars

Here’s the list of comfort bars, specifically, bars for mountain biking, bikepacking, and dirt touring. These are all in the MTB variety, so we’ll get to drop bars in another Index. For the purposes of this guide, we’re keeping to bars with a 15˚ backsweep or more. Note that some of the gear listed hasn’t been reviewed on this site. Look out for the ‘T’ symbol that denotes items we’ve tested and can happily recommend. Also, be sure to scroll beyond the list to find additional thoughts and considerations…

  • Defiance Frameworks Arise Ti

    Defiance Frameworks Arise Ti

    • Width: 780mm
    • Sweep: 12°
    • Rise: 102mm (4")
    • Clamp: Shimmed to 31.8mm

    For Bjørn Olson, Defiance Frameworks’ Arise! Ti meets the three criteria for what an MTB bar should be: comfortable all day use, surgical control over the front end, and rad looks.

    In Bjørn’s words, “Beyond being comfortable for long rides, due to their upright and swept design; and beyond the powerful control and torque you can exert over the front of the bike, due to their width and perfect ergonomic arc; and even beyond them looking hella rad, which they do, these bars are also amazing expedition bars. The cross bar allows for some fantastic and very stable front-end packing arrangements.”

    These riser bars are also made in a 4130 Chromoly version for the very reasonable price of $100. The standard spec comes in with a 4″ rise, 12 deg backsweep, with a width of 780mm wide and a cool, clear powder coat finish. But given these are also made to order, everything can be made to spec.

    • Defiance Arise! Handlebars
    • Defiance Arise! Handlebars
    • Price: $100 (Chomoly)
    • Place of Manufacture: AK, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Fatback Sweet 16° Bar

    Fatback Sweet 16° Bar

    • Width: 780mm
    • Sweep: 16°
    • Rise: 30mm (1.1')
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    Fatback’s Sweet 16° Bar was designed specifically with winter ultra and endurance racers in mind. With a proper carbon layup, say goodbye to numb fingers and sore wrists! A generous 16° sweep, 30mm rise, and 780mm length when left uncut, the Sweet 16° bar can offer a great deal of comfort without effecting handling on the trail. Weighing in at just 225g, the added comfort won’t be adding any weight to your setup either.

    • Fatback Sweet 16 Bar
    • Fatback Sweet 16 Bar
    • Weight: 225 grams (7.9 oz)
    • Price: $160
    • Place of Manufacture: China
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Hunter Smooth Move Bars

    Hunter Smooth Move Bars

    • Width: 750mm
    • Sweep: 15°
    • Rise: 38-75mm (1.5-3.0")
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    Designed in California, Hunter’s Smooth Move aluminum handlebars are made by Nitto in Japan, always a sign of quality. Heritage wise, these bars are designed around the ‘Baja Bend’, pioneered by Renthal MX. The same bar is available in two variety rises; the High Rise (75mm), the Mid Rise (38mm), both with a 5˚ upsweep. There’s two finishes available; black and polished. Hunter also offers a Flat Sweeper, with no rise but a 20˚ backsweep instead.

    • Hunter Smooth Move handlebar
    • Hunter Smooth Move handlebar
    • Weight: 380 grams (13.4 oz)
    • Price: $100
    • Place of Manufacture: Japan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Jones Loop H-Bar

    Jones Loop H-Bar

    • Width: 660/710mm
    • Sweep: 45°
    • Rise: 13mm (0.5in)
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    The Jones Loop H-Bar is the iconic ‘comfort’ mountain bike handlebar, the blueprint from which many other designs have been based. Although designed for dedicated mountain biking with Jones’ own bikes, it’s also a great option for anyone seeking a more comfortable riding position with other brands of bikes too, by taking noticeable pressure off the wrists thanks to a 45-degree sweep. There’s an ever-growing range of options available, both with and without loops, in a choice of materials, widths and rises. All share the same 45-degree sweep and overall hand position.

    • Jones SG Loop H-bar, bikepacking
    • Jones SG Loop H-bar, bikepacking

    In addition to the SG (straight gauge) model shown here, Jones offers the custom butted original, as well as titanium and carbon versions, along with the Jones Bend H-Bar Bend, which does away with the loop altogether. This offers a lighter bar with a more compliant feel, at the cost of some hand positions and real estate (the Loop is ideal for lights and a GPS etc…). Note that Jones bars are designed specifically with long grips in mind, so you can slide up and down the bar for a more aggressive or upright riding position.

    • Weight: 625 grams (22 oz)
    • Price: $75 (SG)
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Jones Loop H-Bar SG 2.5

    Jones Loop H-Bar SG 2.5

    • Width: 660/710mm
    • Sweep: 45°
    • Rise: 64mm (2.5″)
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    The Jones Loop H-Bar SG 2.5 has the same proportions as the standard bar, albeit with a 2.5″ rise. This makes it perfect for bikes with a low stack, or a steerer tube that’s been cut short. As Jeff will tell you, modern mountain bike geometry is designed with racing as the main source of inspiration. The short headtubes and low front-ends that make it difficult for many riders to get their handlebars in a high and comfortable position. The Loop H-Bar SG 2.5 shares the same 45 degree sweep as the original Loop, but adds the equivalent rise of a standard H-Bar with 2″ of spacers underneath the stem. Also like the original Loop, it is offered in black or silver colors options, 660mm or 710mm widths, 31.8mm clamp diameter, and standard 22.2mm grip area diameter for flat bar/mountain bike controls.

    Jones Riser Loop H-Bar, Jones SG 2.5 Aluminum Loop H-Bar
    • Jones Riser Loop H-Bar, Jones SG 2.5 Aluminum Loop H-Bar
    • Jones Riser Loop H-Bar, Jones SG 2.5 Aluminum Loop H-Bar

    The 660mm 2.5 SG Aluminum Loop H-Bar weighs 635 grams and the 710mm version weighs 650 grams. Both retail for $79.00. The SG 2.5 Aluminum Loop H-Bars are available now for pre-order, so head over to the Jonesbikes.com online store to grab one. As for the grips shown in the photos, they are the Kraton Clear H-Grips…

    • Weight: 635 grams (22.4 oz)
    • Price: $79 (SG)
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Moonmen Moonriser Bar

    Moonmen Moonriser Bar

    • Width: 780mm
    • Sweep: 26°
    • Rise: 102mm (4")
    • Clamp: Shimmed to 31.8mm

    Made in the USA from titanium, the Moonriser is a wide handlebar with a 3.5in rise and a 26 degree sweep, which is likely to be a good compromise for many. Given that it’s built to spec, individual wishes can be accommodated too. Although it coms with a price tag, quality and finish are fantastic.

    • Moonmen Moonriser handlebar
    • Moonmen #M32 Tour Divide Rig, Lynne Slivovsky
    • Weight: 375 grams (13.2 oz)
    • Price: $395 (Titanium)
    • Place of Manufacture: CO, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Oddity Razorbar

    Oddity Razorbar

    • Width: 820mm
    • Sweep: 15°
    • Rise: 60mm (1.8")
    • Clamp: Shimmed to 31.8mm

    Oddity’s Razorbar is made to order in Colorado, USA, constructed from 4130 cromoly steel or titanium. The standard spec – 15 degree backsweep, a 1.8in (45mm) rise, and 820m wide – can be completely customised to suit your whims, without any upcharge. The straight section is about 30cm wide, so great for attaching bags too, while the ‘rise’ suits a set of feedbags. And there’s a choice of colors too. The ones pictured below are 800mm wide, with a posture friendly 45mm rise and a 30 degree sweep. This particular handlebar has seen action in Peru and Ecuador, both in and on top of bouncy buses, so we can definitely vouch for its durability. Note that there’s no forward sweep, so you may prefer a slightly longer stem, unless you like a shorter reach. The same bar in ti is available for $350 (see main image) and for a similar version with a ‘hook’, check out the Razorbar Plus.

    • Oddity Razor handlebars bikepacking
    • oddity razor steel handlebars
    • Weight: 700 grams (24.7 oz)
    • Price: $140 (Chromoly)
    • Place of Manufacture: Colorado, USA
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Salsa Bend 2 Bar

    Salsa Bend 2 Bar

    • Width: 710mm
    • Sweep: 17/23°
    • Rise: 5° upsweep
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    The double-butted AL-7050-T76 alloy Salsa Bend Bars are available with either a 17 or 23° sweep and a 5° upsweep.

    • Weight: 297 grams (10.5 oz)
    • Price: $75
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  Jenson  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • SQ Labs 30X16

    SQ Labs 30X16

    • Width: 780mm
    • Sweep: 16°
    • Rise: 15-45mm
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    SQ Labs have a wide range of ergonomically designed handlebars in both aluminium and carbon, sporting a broad spectrum of sweeps and rises, with a pedigree of ergonomic research behind them. The 30X 16˚ is really comfortable handlebar that’s likely to suit those who like the sense of control that comes with a more typical trail bar, but want to take some of the pressure off their wrists. These bars feature a 4 upsweep and are available in a 15mm, 30mm or 45mm rise. The carbon version weighs in at a paltry 235g.

    • SQ Labs 30X handlebar
    • SQ Labs 30X handlebar
    • Weight: 235 grams (8.3 oz)
    • Price: €200 (Carbon)
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Surly Moloko Handlebar

    Surly Moloko Handlebar

    • Width: 735mm
    • Sweep: 34°
    • Rise: 0
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    Surly’s take on the Jones bar is the Moloko, with a touch less sweep and two prongs for extra hand positions – which has proved surprisingly useful. Made from stout steel, it also offers a loop into which nests a stowage compartment (see below). Note that there’s more forward sweep than the Jones and no rise, so you may find yourself wanting to run a shorter, steeper stem. Similar to the H-bar, there’s lots of space for attaching gadgets, like a speaker, a GPS, and the like.

    • surly ECR Ethiopia bikepacking
    • Surly ECR 29+ 27.5+
    • Surly ECR review
    • Weight: 709 grams (25 oz)
    • Price: $95
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  JensonUSA  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
    ^ Close
  • Surly Sunrise Bar

    Surly Sunrise Bar

    • Width: 820mm
    • Sweep: 15°
    • Rise: 83mm (3.3")
    • Clamp: Shimmed to 31.8mm

    The Sunrise bar is Surly’s take on cruiser bar/trail bar/bmx bar rolled into one. Backsweep is a relatively conservative but noticeable 15 degrees, with a 6.7 degree upsweep. Typical to Surly, the Sunrise built with stoutness in mind, with a generous width that can be cut down to a more svelt 780mm should you find yourself mutilating your prized doorframe or the local woodland. The cross hatched centre is a nice touch that limit slippage in the stem and helps center the bar. Price is a very reasonable $60 too.

    • surly sunrise handlebar
    • surly sunrise handlebar
    • surly sunrise handlebar
    • Weight: 780 grams (27.5 oz)
    • Price: $60
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  JensonUSA  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Tumbleweed Persuader Bar

    Tumbleweed Persuader Bar

    • Width: 800/840mm
    • Sweep: 30°
    • Rise: 50mm
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    The triple-butted Chromoly, 800mm (and 840) Tumbleweed Persuader handlebars feature a 30-degree sweep, tons of grip area, and a couple more interesting features. We’ve only used the Persuader for a few rides at this point, but so far it seems quite special as far as handlebars are concerned. You may have guessed this considering we don’t review a ton of handlebars independently. It certainly lives up to its claims. The straight area fits handlebar packs with tons of room to spare and it also has plenty of real estate for non-traditional grips. As you can see in many of these photos, we fitted it with the massive 205mm long Jones Kraton H-Grips, which provide plenty of wiggle room to change hand positions.

    • Tumbleweed Persuader Bar, handlebar
    • Tumbleweed Persuader Bar, handlebar
    • Tumbleweed Persuader Bar, handlebar

    One thing is for sure, the finish, logos, and style behind the Persuader are aesthetically perfect. All in all, the Persuader is a beauty of a handlebar that seems suitable for a reeaallly long ride.

    • Weight: 599 grams (21.1 oz)
    • Price: $125 (800mm)
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Alpkit Love Mud Confucius

    Alpkit Love Mud Confucius

    • Width: 760mm
    • Sweep:
    • Rise: 15mm
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    The Confucius is UK-based ALpkit’s take on a bikepacking expedition handlebar. The Alpkit Confucious is made of 6061 aluminium.

    • Weight: 488 grams (17.2 oz)
    • Price: $38
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Bontrager Crivitz

    Bontrager Crivitz

    • Width: 690mm
    • Sweep: 25°
    • Rise: 0
    • clamp: 31.8mm

    The Bontrager Crivitz is the sweep bar that comes on the Trek 1120. It’s not currently available, but perhaps it will resurface.

    • Weight: 270 grams (9.5 oz)
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
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  • Crust Jungle Runner

    Crust Jungle Runner

    • Width: 800mm
    • Sweep: 45°
    • Rise: 0
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    The chromoly Jungle Runner is Crust’s take on the multi position flat bar, or Jones bar. This bar is 800mm wide at it widest point. The grip section is 190mm in length and at the “areo” position or hood position it is 480mm wide.

    • Price: $105
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • On-One Mary Bar

    On-One Mary Bar

    • Width: 645mm
    • Sweep: 40°
    • Rise: 38mm (1.5")
    • Clamp: 25.4 and 31.8mm

    Considered by the company to be their ‘extreme sweep riser bar’, On-One’s Mary is a budget swept back aluminium handlebar that also comes in a variety of colors and two clamp diameters. It’s long been a staple of UK riders looking for more comfortable alternatives to flat bars. Upsweep is listed as 21˚; width is a little on the narrow side at 645mm.

    • Weight: 300 grams (10.6 oz)
    • Price: €35
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Origin8 Space Bar Off Road 2 Bar

    Origin8 Space Bar Off Road 2 Bar

    • Width: 655-685mm
    • Sweep: 25-40°
    • Rise: 0
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    Amongst Origin8’s wide range of bars, Space Bar Off Road 2 bar is a popular budget model. It features a 40-degree backsweep with 50mm of forwardsweep. There’s used to be wider carbon incarnation too, the UL8, albeit with a 25 degree backsweep and 40mm of forwardsweep, but it’s currently discontinued. Note that the even more budget-friendly and slightly narrower Space Bar Off Road ($25) has a similar backsweep to the Off Road 2, albeit without the forwardsweep, in a 25.4mm clamp diameter.

    • Weight: 170 grams (6 oz)
    • Price: $51
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Origin8 Strongbow

    Origin8 Strongbow

    • Width: 760mm
    • Sweep: 15°
    • Rise: 0
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    If you like the idea of the Jones bar and its convenient loop, but aren’t convinced by the amount of sweep, check out the 6061-T6 Aluminum-constructed Strongbow. Amongst a vast range of options, this one sports a 15 degree backsweep and a ‘loop’ that offers potential mounting points for a light and GPS, as well as possible hand holds with a 120mm of additional reach.

    • Price: $65
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  Amazon  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Protaper 20/20 Carbon Bar

    Protaper 20/20 Carbon Bar

    • Width: 720/780mm
    • Sweep: 20°
    • Rise: 20mm
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    ProTaper 20/20 is named for its 20mm rise and 20° backsweep. These carbon bars are manufactured using PFL (Plastic Foam Lamination), which Protaper claims uses less excess resin and fewer plys, resulting in a 15% lighter bar. The Protaper 20/20 comes in 720 and 780mm widths and features cut marks and textured “Grit Grip” finish in the clamp area.

    • Protaper 20/20 carbon Bar
    • Protaper 20/20 carbon Bar
    • Price: $165
    • Place of Manufacture: China
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Ritchey Kyote

    Ritchey Kyote

    • Width: 800mm
    • Sweep: 27.5°
    • Rise: 35mm
    • Clamp: 31.8mm

    Featuring a 27.5-degree sweep and 35mm rise, the 6061 Alloy Kyote bar is designed for bikepacking and exploring near and far, according to Ritchey. “With a plentiful 800mm width, there’s lots of space for bags, lights and navigation, while the Kyote’s rise and sweep offer a natural hand position for comfort and control – even when loaded with gear.”

    • Weight: 355 grams (12.5 oz)
    • Price: $35
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • SIM Works Getaround Bar

    SIM Works Getaround Bar

    • Width: 700mm
    • Sweep: 20°
    • Rise: 10mm
    • Clamp: 25.4mm

    SIM Works Gataround bar is a CrMo Steel bar available in black or silver with skid proof and clear coating finish.

    • Sim Works Getaround Bar
    • Sim Works Getaround Bar
    • Price: $59
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Soma Clarence Bar

    Soma Clarence Bar

    • Width: 670mm
    • Sweep: 34°
    • Rise: 37mm (1.5")
    • Clamp: 25.4 and 31.8mm

    Even Soma agree that the 6061 aluminum straight gauge Clarence bar is inspired by the Jeff Jones H-Bar, albeit with less sweep and a little less width too. Note that there’s both a 31.8mm version and a 25.4mm one too, which will be useful for some riders. The official spec lists a 19˚ upsweep too.

    • Price: $60
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Soma Osprey Bar

    Soma Osprey Bar

    • Width: 710mm
    • Sweep: 40°
    • Rise: 12mm (0.5")
    • Clamp: 25.4 and 31.8mm

    The Osprey has more backsweep than the Clarence Bar, with a wider straight section (135mm) in the middle, for attaching accessories. Like the Osprey, it’s available in both a 31.8mm version and a 25.4mm one too. It’s made from plain gauge 6061 Aluminium.

    • Weight: 400 grams (14.1 oz)
    • Price: $60
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Buy local, or at  JensonUSA  helpWe highly encourage you to buy from a local shop when possible, but if you're going to buy online, you can use our affiliate links. We'll get a very small kickback that will help support this site.
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Stooge Moto Bar

    Stooge Moto Bar

    • Width: 800mm
    • Sweep: 17°
    • Rise: 38mm (1.5")
    • Clamp: 31.8

    According to Stooge, the 7075 aluminum Moto Bar is ‘inspired by 70’s California and the original klunkers and Motocross bikes’, accounting for the generous 800mm wide. Its 17-degree sweep is one that is likely to appeal to many, with enough rise to offer a noticeably more upright position than you would with a standard flat bar.

    • Price: £65
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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  • Velo Orange Crazy Bar

    Velo Orange Crazy Bar

    • Width: 666mm
    • Sweep: 45˚
    • Rise: 0
    • Clamp: 25.4mm

    Honestly named and following on from the pronged theme, the Crazy Bar is intended for touring on paved and unpaved roads, rather than singletrack. Made from 6061 Aluminium, the main section of the bar is 670mm wide, with the bullhorn section offers a streamlined position for smoother roads and headwinds. Velo Orange say the center portion replicates the top of a drop bar, and placing your hands at the junctions is not unlike riding on the hoods. The main bar is 22.2mm so MTB grips, levers, and shifters fit. The ‘horns’ are 23.8mm, so road levers – including inverse levers – fit, as do bar-end shifters.

    • Velo Orange Crazy Bars, Comfort Handlebarss
    • Velo Orange Crazy Bars, Comfort Handlebarss
    • Velo Orange Crazy Bars, Comfort Handlebarss
    • Weight: 450 grams (15.9 oz)
    • Price: $65
    • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
    • Manufacturer's Details: Link
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Bags and bars

Other factors to consider are the general shape of the bar, with regards to how your bikepacking bags will fit across the tops (before the bar begins to sweep back), and how the angle of your brake levers will affect cable routing. In some cases, you may need to change your cables out for longer ones, especially for wide bars with a significant rise. Look for loops and prongs as ways of fixing bags and navigational aids, too.

Loophole bags

There are various bags on the market designed in the loop of your Surly or Jones bars, making use of that nook. Pictured below, from left to right, are Surly’s Moloko Handlebar bag ($60), Jones’ Loophole H-Bar Pack ($89), and Randi Jo’s custom-colored Jeff ‘n Joan ($90) – note that the latter is deeper, so works best as a standalone bag or perfectly with a basket. UK bikepackers can check out the Wildcat’s Tom Cat (£52). Certain rollbags are designed to be used exclusively with Jones Loop H-Bars, like Carsick Designs’ Handee Randee, pictured as well.

  • Surly Moloko Handlebar bag
  • Randi Jo Jeff and Joan handlebar bag
  • Carsick Designs Handee Randee bikepacking
  • Jones Bars bikepacking

Variations on a theme (wrap up)

There are simply too many models to cover every permutation on the market. Note that Soma, Velo Orange, On-One/Planet X, Rivendell, Origin 8 (recommended for budget-priced options), and SQ Labs have a wide range of handlebars, in addition to the ones we’ve selected. Nitto make many bars for other brands and are always a good mark of quality. If you’re more of a gravel and forest road rider, you may want to check out the classic Albatross, which has seen a number of imitations over the years.

Check out What Bars for more options and use its clever overlay, allowing you to compare how a handlebars sweeps forwards and backwards. When choosing a bar, be sure to check their intended uses, as some are designed for urban commuting and gravel riding rather than off-road touring.

If you want to dig deeper into body ergonomics, this SQ Labs link has plenty of info.

These guides are subject to changes and updates. Please let us know if you’ve come across any related products that are standout options, and we’ll add them in.