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Why Mountain Bikes Handle Bars Are So Low (Reasons Explained)

If you are wondering why handlebars on mountain bikes are so low and whats the purpose behind it all and why manufacturers tend to include low handlebars in mountain bikes here are some of the informal points on why it is so.

Low handlebars are beneficial in fast racings of downhills due to lower positions the air does not affect the speed.

  • You can feel comfortable due to their lower position in twisty trails feels much easier to move the handlebar right and left due to their flat positioning.
  • Mtb handlebars are low it provides a good grip of holding the bar in races riders will not lose awareness while moving through the single trails.
  • Spacers are present in the handlebar for adjusting the height of the handlebar.
  • You can remove some spacers by opening the stem of the handlebars and adjusting the handlebar according to your own body height where you feel comfortable while riding your bike.
  • A lower handle bard is also useful while climbing the uphills in a smooth position there should be no fear of returning back off.

Can I raise the handlebars on a mountain bike?

  • Yes, you can raise the handlebar:
  • The stem contains spacers add two or three spacers under the stem your handlebar will rise 7 to8mm above.
  • These spacers play role in height of the handlebar, you can add or remove these spacers for adjusting the height.
  • You have the next option to change the stem of the handlebar with a large degree riser stem.

  • Adding new spacers in the stem plus a riser stem will increase the height of the handlebar.
  • Increasing the height of the handlebar will give you a more upright position while riding.
  • Steerer tube and steerer riser is another option, but it is costly if you will arrange the budget then it would be the best option for you.
  • Steel and aluminum risers are of good quality as compared to carbon fibers.

the correct height for bike seat and handlebars:

  •  You can change the position of the seat and the handlebar for your upright body where you feel comfortable depending on your body height.
  • The saddle height depends on your paddling, often riders can do their seat high and low because of the paddling.
  • Mostly the height of the handlebar remains low from the saddle it makes a difference of 3-4 inches.
  • When you climbing the saddle height is different and vice versa for descending.
  • A low handlebar is typically good for pushing your weight forward while riding.

  • Handlebars are not repositioned often(not always) because the saddle height needs to be changed on climbing and descending trails.
  •  It depends on your comfort zone of pedaling. how much do you want to bend knees? how much do you want to have legs extended while pedaling? that’s the reason you can adjust the seat and the handlebar of your wish.

How to make handlebars more comfortable?

  • 25mm riser makes the handlebar more comfortable  Carbon bars are more comfortable than aluminum and steel bars because these are lighter in weight.
  • The comfortable handlebar for mountain bikes is SQ labs 30, with twelve degrees of back sweep.
  • handlebars of mountain bikes have been designed in a flat shape it means these bars cannot put any pressure on the wrist of hands.
  •  Higher rise bars: Higher rise bars are good for climbing and descending trails these provide much more stiffness in handling the bike through rough tracks.
  • Carbon fibers provide a good surface contact on the trails.
  • handlebar contains up and back sweeps which vary in different diameters, the carbon-made handlebars provide reliable sweeps.
  • Choose a handlebar related to the geometry of your bike hat that would be most suitable for you.

Why mountain bike handle bare are so wide?

  • Mountain bike handlebars are wide from 600mm to 800mm because you can twist and lean around the corners of the flowy tracks easily along the faster trails.
  • Wider handlebars are preferred especially for downhill trails.
  • wider handlebars provide you with much better-pulling force while riding through single flowy trails.
  • Wider handlebars depend on your height how many feet you are tall and the length of your hands where they feel

  • comfortable probably it would be best for your choice.
  • Choose a handlebar of your selected width like on which bar your hands be fitted for the steering purpose.
  • The great benefit of wider bars is that these bars hold your front wheel stable due to their wider nature. The wheel does not turn out left and right and remains stable on the trails
  • Wider bars are the purposed bars for the single trails.
  • For slower speed, narrow handlebars are recommended for single trails.
  • very narrow handlebars with a width of 670 and below are not good for single trails.
  • Modern mountains are launching with wider handlebars.

How to pick optimal handlebar width?

  • You can pick your comfortable sized bar by placing your both palms on the ground surface like you are doing the pushups with your hands and now adjust both hands in a comfortable position by moving your hands right and left note the distance between both and it would be the best width for your new handlebar.
  • Every rider has different shoulders which can differ you in choosing the optimal handlebar width. First, you can check and test different bars of your suitable size after the satisfactory you will choose your own width handlebar.
  • You have another option you can reposition the grips of the bar up to 1 or 2cm before cutting and adjusting the wider bar.
  • If your height is tall you can select above 750mm width bar, if you are small in height you can select the bar of low width.
  • Handlebar width starts from 500mm to 800mm some may choose above 800mm width bars depending on their higher heights.
  • handlebar lengths depend on your body fitness. how you ride? where do you ride? and the frame and geometry conditions of your mountain bike.

How wide should handlebar width be?

  • The wider handlebars are between 720 to 800mm. You can choose any bar depending on the comfort zone of your elbows, wrist arms, and back and your body height, and the width of your shoulder position.
  • The width of the handlebar is in such a position so that both ends of the bars will be in the perpendicular position to your shoulders.
  • The most important thing while riding is your breathing. you may tire early after pedaling for a long time while climbing and descending the proper method of holding the handlebar is that,
  • hold the bars with your wrist arms so that your chest and the bars do not come in contact with each other.
  • this is the proper handling position of the bar. many riders become tired due to the lack of information about the steering handlebars.
  • Look on the front bike wheel while choosing the better width.
  • Every rider has different width of length due to its totally depends on you to buy what you want for better gripping.

Are wider handlebars better?

Yes, wider bars are better because of their heavier weight. these bars provide grip to the steering in conditions if you want to ride at a faster speed the wider bars remain stable provides the best grip to the steering position.

  • wider bars are used for performing stunts on mountain bikes.
  • Wider bars are good for jumpy trails for wheelies, you can pick the front wheel and your bike does not lose balance.
  • Wider bars provide the best control balance because of their short stem.
  • Wider bars make you feel like you think I have a long bike and vice versa for narrow bars.
  • While riding a person’s body weight is totally dependant on the steering, wider bars make your upper body comfortable through flowy trails.
  • Wider bars provide you with good confidence through the trails.
  • Wider bars are wide so you can hold the grips in a good way as compared to the narrower bar. so it does not cause any pain in the wrist arms.

Wider handlebars have 2 parts:

Rise and sweeps


rise means the bar is extending a line down toward the stem from the holding position of the rider.

  • Choosing a bar with a good rise will give you the benefit to sit on the saddle after a prolonged standing position while riding and it is also most helpful in picking the front wheel for performing exercise stunts.
  • It is your own choice of choosing a rise of the wider bar by inspecting it where your wrist arms feel in a most comfortable position.
  • A much higher rise will create difficulty for you while climbing uphill.


A twisted line is coming from the inward stem upward toward the grip of the handlebar, it is called a sweep.

  • Rotate the upsweeps and back sweeps at an angle where your wrist arms feel more comfortable to grip that would be the best option to fit them typically.
  • Adjusting sweeps at a very high angle would not remain stable and it should bother you in riding conditions.
  • When you change your back and upsweeps it will make you feel like you are holding a wide pipe and you can adjust them also in your own angle where you can grip them properly.

Rise and sweep are different in their diameters depending upon the rider’s body figure and length of hands. A good rider chooses a bar and sweep of his own diameter in racings.

Conclusion :

Generally, handle bars should be low and you should not change them so much if you don’t know anything about your bike or you newly bought it, it would do more harm than good if you had like to change their height anyways well get it to a mechanic or a specific mountain bike store near you to ask them to do it for you.

Still the only time you would want to change the height of handle bars would be if your reach is more than average person or shorter than average person in both cases it is okay to raise or lower the handle bars but if you are getting an odd feeling leave it be it will sink down with time and you will feel much more comfortable after sometime.

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