Best Review on Choosing Your New Handlebar Material
Once you’ve determined your diameter, you’re faced with another choice:
Carbon, titanium or aluminum? This is also quite simple. Carbon MTB handlebars are more expensive, lighter and stiffer. Aluminum MTB handlebars are cheaper, heavier, and generally less stiff. Again, the difference here is subtle. Most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between carbon and aluminum by feel. So if you’re having fun or trying to build an ultralight bike, stick with carbon of course. But if you’re looking to spend that money on travel rather than parts, there’s no significant performance penalty on the aluminum handlebars. Either way, be sure to use a torque wrench and scrubber when setting up your body, grip, and controller. Over-tightening the bars can cause them to fail at the worst times.
What are the advantages of carbon MTB handlebars?
As with frames, carbon and aluminum dominate his MTB world when it comes to handlebars. Given the same dimensions such as width, rise and handlebar clamp, carbon handlebars are either stiffer for the same weight or lighter for the same stiffness than aluminum handlebars. In addition, high-tech materials improve self-damping, isolating vibrations and reducing hand fatigue. However, carbon is more expensive than aluminum. Please note the following points during assembly:
A torque wrench is needed here as this material is vulnerable to fiber compression and bending. Carbon assembly paste is also very helpful in reducing the required clamping force.
What are the advantages of aluminum MTB handlebars?
Why use aluminum when carbon is so much better? The short answer is:
Aluminum is also a great material for handlebars. Aluminum allows us to build very stiff handlebars with moderate weight, making them less susceptible to drops and heavy loads. For example, if you always carry around a bikepacking bag and tend to get dirt underneath your handlebar retaining straps, aluminum is definitely a better choice. Additionally, aluminum can be recycled almost indefinitely, making it a fairly environmentally friendly material despite the relatively high energy costs of manufacturing it. Last but not least, the price is hard to beat. Good handlebars like LEVELNINE risers start at €40.
What are the advantages of steel or titanium MTB handlebars?
Handlebars made of steel are used more in the lower price segment and in the touring sector due to their relatively high weight, despite their excellent stiffness and comfort values. However, exceptions like the Surly Cheater confirm the proverbial rule. Titanium handlebars such as the models from Thomson are, as with frame building, a much-beloved exotic: lightweight, beautiful, durable, desirable and expensive.