One of the key things we do to make our test bikes handle better is adjust the handlebar height. Often, the off-the-shelf bar height doesn’t lend itself to optimal handling, nor is it dialled in for fit. With that in mind, here’s our guide on how to lower or raise the handlebars on a bike.
Riders will often experiment with adjusting saddle height , changing tyre pressure , bar angle and suspension settings , but few are aware of the benefits of adjusting bar height, despite the handlebar playing a crucial role in the way your bike handles.
Bar height is also known as saddle drop, which is the measurement of how far the top of the saddle sits above (or below) the bars.
Generally speaking, a lower handlebar height reduces your centre of gravity. By placing more weight over the front wheel, you increase traction. Additionally, a lower bar height provides a more centred position between both wheels to improve bike control, especially during climbing. These traits are even more noticeable off-road.
There is a limit; going too low can make the bike difficult to control. A lower handlebar can also negatively affect handling in steep terrain.
On the road, elite riders normally have a significant drop, where their bars sit below the saddle. This is typically done to provide a more aerodynamic position.
Recreational riders are usually best served by a handlebar that is in line with the saddle or above it. This usually gives a very comfortable position and is a good […]
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