How Wide Should BMX Handlebars Be?

How Wide Should BMX Handlebars Be?

What size and width do my BMX handlebars have? You can say that a handlebar is like the frame based on the size of the BMX rider. But since you have more leeway with the handlebars, it is no longer uncommon for small drivers to ride large handlebars.

1. In the past, BMX handlebars were rarely wider than 600 mm: Today, modern bikes come with an average of 720 to 760 mm wide handlebars.

2. A handlebar height of 8 inches is possible up to a height of 150cm: If you are taller than 150cm, you can drive everything upwards.

3. Here, you can find an overview of the sizes and recommendations:

  • 7 to 8-inch handlebars are ideal up to a height of 150cm
  • 8 to 9-inch handlebars are ideal up to a height of 150-180cm
  • Over 9-inch handlebars are ideal up to a height of 180cm

4. The width of the handlebar grows with the height: The width is automatically available to you, but it does not mean that you can also shorten the BMX handlebar if it is too wide for you.

Wide BMX Bars

Some manufacturers provide their handlebar ends with so-called cutlines so that we can adjust the handlebars accordingly if necessary. We recommend keeping the specified width of the handlebar as we optimally calculate the geometry concerning the height.

Another crucial aspect is the upward and backward bend. It is crucial for your driving style. If a handlebar is cranked back, it gives you less direct steering. Handlebars that are cranked up the drive just as more direct.

There is almost no part of a mountain bike that has not grown in recent years. It is the same as the handlebar width. In the past, BMX handlebars were rarely wider than 600 mm. But the industry and bikers out there have learned a lot. Today, we have an average of 720 to 760 mm wide handlebars.

Sure, there are still outliers up and down. But handlebars around 700 mm are the current standard, from race hardtail to all mountains, you can choose a bmx mountain bike. It is a good thing. After all, the handlebars are the lever on which the biker leans over and through which that transmits the steering impulses to the bike. Wide handlebars are helpful in technical terrain. It can only make sense to go a little narrower on very narrow downhill trails through dense forest.

The width of the handlebar should also be adapted to the stature of the rider. It means that you should choose the handlebars based on your shoulder width. It is so wide that your wrists do not buckle when you grasp it. Handlebars that are too wide become unwieldy and require more physical effort than is reasonable.

In addition, handlebars that are too wide that cause pain in the wrists because they are bent too much. The other extreme is MTB handlebars that are too narrow. They narrow the chest area and prevent you from being able to breathe freely. In addition, bike control suffers in technical terrain with handlebars that are too narrow.

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Only veritable giants or downhill racers need MTB handlebars over 800 mm. But even petite, women often get along very well with handlebars from 680 mm. If in doubt, take a slightly wider handlebar and try out different grip widths at your leisure. The handlebars can usually still be shortened.

The BMX handlebar is the control center

The BMX handlebar is still the control center of your cool BMX bike. It gives you the connection to your BMX bike and is ultimately crucial for feeling about the bike. The classic BMX handlebar is available in many versions. Famous brands like Backsweep and Upsweep always appear in connection with the BMX handlebar. Since the high handlebars have been trendy lately, every self-respecting BMX company also offers these high handlebars.

We have an SM brand that first came around the corner with such a monster and called it Perfect Ten. So, this handlebar was a full 10 inches high, completely new. At first, they laughed at you when you showed up with this handlebar in the skate park. Today, we know S&M once again looked to the future and was trendsetting for today’s BMX handlebars.

Today handlebars of 8.5 or higher are no longer uncommon. Such a handlebar has many advantages. Because of its height, it offers an enormous amount of space for tricks. The leverage is also completely different and bunny hops and jumps are easier to handle. It is the reason that these high handlebars can already be found on most BMX complete bikes today.

The right width is so important with the racing bar. It is because the parallel arm position in the STI and lower link position means that there is hardly any leeway for compensation. Unsuitable bars can cause tension and pain. And bars that are too narrow are also bad for breathing and aerodynamics. The formula handlebar width equals shoulder width has proven to be optimum for many drivers. It is perfect as a starting point for individual fine adjustments.

With the flat bar, the angle relationships in the arms are completely different, as the elbows point outwards and not downwards. It means you are much more flexible in terms of reach. There is no anatomical reason the hands should be placed shoulder-width apart. Except with handlebar end cones, then the formula, analogous to racing wheels, would be correct!

Important Key Figures for BMX Handlebars

Handlebars differ in their shape and bend. The curve to the rear is a Backsweep. This bending back affects the sitting position and is a matter of taste. Because one biker predominantly rides on flat stretches and has mostly almost stretched his arms. Other riders focus on the downhills and therefore have a completely different ideal posture.

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Riser bars are very popular and come in every imaginable increase. Enduro bikers often swear by BMX handlebars with a lot of rises. Flat bars are popular with sporty bikers. They make sense, especially on 29-inch bikes, to keep the front and the cockpit as low as possible.

BMX Handlebars Size Chart

Approximate ageUser Height (cm)Wheel sizeTop Tube (from)
3-595-11212 inches12 inches
5-7112-12614 inches13 inches
7-9126-13816 inches15 inches
9-11138-14918 inches17 inches
10-12145-16020 inches19.5 – 20.25 inches
11-13150-16820 inches20 – 20.5 inches
13-15160-17520 inches20.25 – 20.75 inches
15-17175-18320 inches20.75 – 21 inches
17+183+20 inchesOver 21 inches

BMX Handlebars for Tall BMX Riders

With a height of 190 cm, an 800mm handlebar enables me to ride in a super comfortable and stable position. In this way, we can build up body tension that benefits both my shoulder strength and flexibility. 800mm is the perfect BMX handlebar width for average height.

For taller or lankier drivers, a wider handlebar width can be an advantage. If you have long arms, the higher width ensures a more natural riding position and gives you more control on the MTB bike.

But if you are 175 cm tall and you ride your new BMX with a standard 800mm or 900mm BMX series handlebar, the chances are good that you have to compromise on handling, you can sacrifice the health of your shoulders. Although you were promised that the maximum handlebar width will improve the handling, stability, and ride quality of your rides.

So, the current debate about handlebar width starts with improving handling and ends with the health of your shoulders. Do you have a pain in your shoulders? If so, it is time to check your position on the MTB. First, it is vital to know that you are sitting strong on your bike when your humerus is in an external rotation and we incline slightly backward your shoulder blade and downwards.

BMX Handlebars for Kids

For kids, it makes ergonomic sense to use a narrower handlebar. You can think about push-ups. If you place your arms too far apart, it is extremely difficult to do a push-up. The same applies if the hands are too close together. You will feel that the position is very unstable.

For some years now, the handlebar widths for BMX bikes have been getting bigger. Most high quality BMX bikes for kids come with a width of around 800 mm. Why? On the one hand, we adapt them to the changing MTB frame geometries. A wider handlebar provides more stability, control, and better cornering behavior.

When planning their bikes, bicycle manufacturers do not consider who will end up sitting on the bike. No matter whether big or small, man or woman, leisurely touring, or aggressive trail riders. The handlebar is a standard component that is always installed and delivered in the same width. From an economic point of view, it is understandable, because as a manufacturer you save a lot of money if you only have to buy or manufacture one handlebar width for all bikes.

BMX handlebars are always straight. It supports direct steering behavior but leads to pressure peaks on the palms of the hands. The forearm and hand must be in a straight line. Then, the ulnar nerve and radial nerve run without distraction and therefore pain-free.