Bike riders who like to keep their muscles active by commuting back and forth to work or school, particularly in large metropolitan areas, face unique challenges. One of those is finding the right bike handlebars for commuting.
Bikers who commute need handlebars that are responsive because of the challenges they face daily in traffic and crossing large streets and adapting from various types of terrain from actual concrete paved bike trails to blacktop highways and streets.
In particular, because of the hand positioning many riders adopt when commuting for safety reasons, it is important for bike riders who commute to select handlebars that won’t cause blistering or discomfort when picking the best handlebars for commuting.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best bike handlebars for commuting on the market, and explore a few of the pros and cons of each model and brand.
Top 5 Model Comparison Table
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Best Bike Handlebars for Commuting Reviews
#1. FSA Omega Compact Road Handlebar
Available in multiple sizes, FSA/s Omega Compact Road Handlebars provide the shape and quick responsiveness needed for most people who commute by bike.
These handlebars are both ergonomically friendly and help improve a biker’s reach while biking.
The handlebars are designed with very wide grooves for easy routing of your break and gear cables.
These bars are aluminum, meaning they are a bit more lightweight than carbon fiber handlebars.
These bars are considered shot reach, short drop bars, which means a great deal to bikers who commute back and forth to work depending on their stature and build.
These handlebars can help riders who often experience neck or back pain due to the positioning of their existing handlebars on longer commutes.
- Ergonomic design
- Light weight
- 21 speeds
#2. Sunlite MTB/City Steel Handlebars, 5″ Rise
Made of steel construction, these handlebars from Sunlite are preferred by many commuters because they don’t have the typical curving popular with most commuter handlebars, which works better for people with longer arms and a wider reach.
These are pretty standard handlebars, so they will work with nearly any model of bike.
On the downside, you may need longer break and shifting cables than you have now, which means more work and expense when coming to installing these bike handlebars for commuting. While the bars are economically priced, you will add cost when buying longer break and shifting cables.
- Long reach
- Fits most bikes
- May need longer cables
#3. Velo Orange Porteur 15mm Rise/Drop
With a 140mm reach and upturned handlebars, these bike handlebars for commuting will work for individuals with either a long or short reach.
Made of aluminum, they will be both light weight, super responsive, and durable.
These handlebars allow you to adopt multiple hand positions while commuting, which is great when you are switching from trail to small streets to larger, more busy streets, where various different hand positions provide different bike control you need.
- Moderate price
- Multiple positions for long/short reach
- Responsive handling
- May need to switch hand position often
#4. Wald 872 Low-Rise Cruiser
At 24″ wide, these handlebars are a very popular model for bikers who commute back and forth to work or school.
Moderately priced, these handlebars have a three-inch rise, and are made of steel.
These work for only one hand position, but remain responsive to the needs of the commuter in traffic.
The width of these handlebars make it easier to get the bike through the doors of your office or place of business, but these handlebars come with no grips, meaning you will have to ad those.
It is designed to fit most bicycles, including Schwinn and Huffy.
- Moderately priced
- Fits most bikes
- Easy to fit through office doors and in elevators
- Won’t work for multiple hand positions
#5. Soma Sparrow Bar
Made by Soma, one of the best manufacturers of bicycle handlebars, the Sparrow Bar is an excellent, high-quality handlebar that is among the best bike handlebars for commuting.
In hilly cities like Austin and San Francisco, these handlebars are often used to help convert a mountain bike to a commuter bike, because that extra oomph and those additional hears are needed gaily on a rider’s commute to and from work. These also work great for college students who commute across large, hilly campuses like Texas State or Truman State University.
With a usable grip area of about 18 centimeters, these handlebars will fit most any person of long or short reach, and do allow for multiple hand positioning.
This model also comes in several sizes to fit your needs as a commuting biker.
You can install these handlebars with the rise going up or down depending on how you position your hands for the majority of your bicycle commute.
- Great value for features
- Comes in multiple sizes
- Fits many hand positions
- Works well for converting mountain bikes for commuting
- A little pricey
- No pre installed grips
Commuting Bike Handlebars Buying Considerations
When considering what the best bike handlebars for commuting are for your specific commute, you’ll want to take a moment and consider your particular commute. Do you go up and down hills? Do you make sharp turns? How responsive do you need your handlebars?
You will also want to consider your hand positioning. If you change hand positions multiple times during your ride due to terrain or traffic, some of these bars simply won’t work for you. However, others facilitate multiple hand positions.
You will also want to think about whether or not the handlebars you are getting will actually fit on your bike. Every bike is different, and picking the best bike handlebars for commuting means you must consider if they will actually fit on your bicycle.
Breaks and Gears
Another important consideration is whether or not your bike’s break and gear pedals (if applicable) have any additional give in the cables. If they don’t, you will want to compare the size of your existing handlebars to the ones you are purchasing to determine if you will need longer cables for your bike to facilitate a change in handlebars.
You will also want to consider the responsiveness of the handlebars. If you live in a city like Dallas where you are constantly dodging cars weaving in and out of bike lanes, or in more bike-friendly cities where bike lanes are usually free of vehicle traffic, that may impact the type of stops and turns you must take, meaning handlebar position of your hands can change often.
Too, think about where you take your bike when you aren’t riding it. Do you lock it to a bike rack outside your building, or do you have to take it through a glass door, up an elevator, down a narrow hall, and through a door past a dozen cubicles to get to where you store it in your office. Long handlebars aren’t conducive to such environments, so consider if you can work with a shorter span. There is nothing like your boss getting a call from building management because you broke a glass door or scratched the walls with your bike handles because you bought a size much larger than you need that doesn’t fit the spaces you take it through very well. It could cost you your job.
Most handlebars that are after-market add-ons do not come with major warranties. Because they are simply pieces of metal, there is little mechanical to actually “fail.”
Instead, look for a return policy so you can return the item if it does not fit your bicycle.
When selecting the best bike handlebars for commuting for your bike, there are many factors to consider. However, there is no reason to become overwhelmed.
Keep in mind that you must simply remember things like your usual hand position when biking, how responsive you need the handlebars to be, the size and manufacturer of your bike, and whether or not you need a short or longer span of handlebar due to the wingspan of your arms when preparing to select the best bike handlebars for commuting that will work for you.