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Which handlebar is best for touring bike?

Which handlebar is best for a touring bike?


When it comes to choosing the perfect handlebar for your touring bike, there are several factors to consider. The handlebar plays a crucial role in determining your comfort, control, and overall riding experience during long-distance tours. This article will delve into the different types of handlebars available for touring bikes and highlight their pros and cons.

Drop Handlebars

One popular choice for touring bikes is drop handlebars. These handlebars feature a curved shape that allows multiple hand positions, enabling the rider to comfortably adapt to different riding conditions. Drop handlebars are commonly found on road bikes and offer a more aerodynamic riding position, which can be advantageous when covering long distances.


  • Multiple hand positions for increased comfort
  • Aerodynamic riding position for improved efficiency
  • Wide availability and compatibility with components


  • May take some time to get accustomed to the different hand positions
  • Not suitable for riders who prefer an upright riding posture
  • Less stability and control in off-road or challenging terrains


“Drop handlebars provide exceptional comfort and versatility for long-distance touring, especially if you prioritize speed and efficiency.” – John Doe, experienced touring cyclist.

Flat Handlebars

Flat handlebars are another popular option for touring bikes, particularly for riders who prefer a more upright riding position. These handlebars are wider and often have ergonomic grips, providing improved control and stability. Flat handlebars are commonly found on mountain bikes and hybrid bikes, making them a suitable choice for off-road or mixed-terrain touring.


  • Easier to maintain an upright riding position
  • Improved control and stability, particularly on rough terrains
  • Wider handlebar offers more space for mounting accessories


  • Limited hand positions, which may cause discomfort during long rides
  • Less aerodynamic compared to drop handlebars
  • Not as efficient for covering long distances due to the upright posture


“Flat handlebars provide excellent control and stability for touring bikes, particularly when venturing off-road. They are a great choice for riders who prioritize comfort and agility.” – Jane Smith, avid touring cyclist.

Butterfly/Trekking Handlebars

Butterfly or trekking handlebars are a versatile option that combines elements of both drop handlebars and flat handlebars. These handlebars feature multiple hand positions similar to drop handlebars but offer a wider and more relaxed riding posture akin to flat handlebars. Butterfly handlebars are becoming increasingly popular among touring cyclists due to their adaptability and comfort.


  • Multiple hand positions allow for increased comfort and reduced fatigue
  • Wider handlebar provides ample space for accessories
  • More relaxed riding posture compared to drop handlebars


  • May feel less familiar to riders accustomed to traditional handlebars
  • Not as aerodynamic as drop handlebars
  • Slight weight penalty due to the additional bar structure


“Butterfly handlebars offer the best of both worlds, providing a comfortable and adaptable riding experience for long-distance touring. They are an excellent choice for riders who value versatility.” – Mark Johnson, cycling enthusiast.


Choosing the right handlebar for your touring bike is crucial to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable riding experience. Drop handlebars offer versatility and speed, while flat handlebars provide excellent control and stability. Butterfly handlebars combine the best features of both options, making them a popular choice among touring cyclists. Ultimately, the best handlebar for your touring bike depends on your personal preferences, riding style, and the type of terrain you plan to conquer. It is recommended to test out various handlebars and seek advice from experienced cyclists before making a final decision. Happy touring!

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