Road, Time Trial, Triathlon and Mountain Bike Carbon Handlebars

This site is designed to help you choose, find or buy carbon handlebars.

We cover the main advantages of using a handlebar constructed from carbon fibre and also cover the popular bars available on the market, from the main handlebar manufacturers.

We also list which of the top cycle shops stock the various models and brands; this should make it easier for you to review, compare prices and deals.

Its important to note that the term "carbon handlebar" actually refers to bars made from carbon fibre composite materials. You can find more explanation of this and other terms in our Carbon Bar Guide.

Looking for a particular brand ? - Use the left hand menu for lists & prices

Weight advantages

The main benefit in general as a result of using carbon in cycle components is that it enables a lighter weight, while still giving the strength required for top performance.

This principle applies to many cycle parts and is driven by the desire to use your energy more efficiently in cycling, by using a lighter bike. The use of carbon produces components that are still sufficiently rigid and strong to take the likely power applied by top competitors, while at the same time remaining stable.

However there are a number of other advantages of carbon fibre, depending on the component.

When it comes to handlebars two of the main issues for cyclists, comfort and shape, are more readily addressed by using carbon.

Road vibration damping

Carbon handlebars reduce the degree of vibration transmitted from the road surface through to your hands, arms and shoulders, which is very important in dealing with a long ride or stage fatigue. It is particularly helpful if you have very rigid front forks and wheels.

This is an area of constant development by manufacturers and some have their own advanced designs in the way they have used the fibre layers in the handlebar construction. Cyclists with wrist or hand injuries or strain can find Carbon handlebars and excellent alternative to alloy.

Cycling hand position and grip benefits

Most cyclists, especially on long rides like to change handlebar positions to get the most comfortable handhold, also reaching brakes and gears in the smoothest way possible.

This is best achieved by being able to change the cross sectional shape and radius of the handlebar. Carbon construction allows manufacturing to accommodate many bar shape variations. So for instance, on some handlebars in the Oval range, you will find the finger shaped indents on the top section.

You can also find many anatomically designed drops, where the bend is not a constant radius, but includes a straighter length halfway down.

Other variations include bar sections and radius on the top bend transition to give easier rapid access to breaks and shifters; obviously the importance of these features depends on your type of riding. Generally the manufacturers now make different handlebars for different cycling disciplines, so selection is helped by that.

Cycling aerodynamics

At the top levels of cycling at high speeds, aerodynamic design is a key factor in making cycling more efficient. Handlebars are also constructed with this in mind and the use of carbon fibre gives opportunities to build the optimum shape into the bar. In particular you'll often see oval cross-sections on the horizontal centre part of carbon handlebars.

The other advantage of being able to shape the handlebar in different ways is that cable routing grooves can be built into a carbon bar to keep them out of the way, for convenience, appearance and aerodynamic performance.

Issues with carbon handlebars

The first issue is probably whether you need a bar that will take clip on aero bars or not. Some carbon handlebars must not be used with clip ons as the clamping forces will destroy them, or cause them to crack. This particularly applies to some of the very light handlebars.

The second main issue is that you must check your bars regularly for any damage, gouges or scratches, particularly after any sort of fall. If the continuity of the carbon fibres is interrupted this could lead to sudden failure under heavy load.

In general though, carbon handlebars are very strong, but do not ever over tighten the screws or clamps, even on accessories.

Handlebar Guide

Handlebar Brands

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