Are Carbon Handlebars Worth It MTB?

You probably have found your mountain bike handlebars an undergrad, or you want to experience a smooth bike ride that does not make your arms tired. Someone has told you that switching to carbon handlebars is worth it, MTB. You already know that carbon handlebars are super lightweight. It is not the only reason why they cost a lot.

Are carbon handlebars worth it, MTB? Carbon handlebars are worth it due to added stiffness – which gives you more grip over your bike and amplified vibration damping in the carbon material – that does not cause aching in your arms or hands. Moreover, Carbon handlebars are super light and possess thermo-conductive properties which keep your hand warm during the cold.

Now, let’s take a deeper look at carbon handlebars’ benefits and drawbacks.

Are Carbon Handlebars Worth It MTB

Ways How Carbon Handlebars Worth It MTB

Carbon handlebars are worth it MTB due to:

  1. The added stiffness in carbon handlebars will give you more grip. This stiffness will result in safer rides. 
  2. The amplified vibration damping provided by carbon handlebars absorbs the vibration during ride movements resulting in a smooth ride.
  3. Keep your hands warm during cold conditions.
  4. Carbon handlebars are super lightweight.

What Are Some Pros Of Carbon Handlebars?

Added Stiffness In Carbon Handlebars

Some flexing (aluminum handlebars give a lot of flexions) is okay and helpful in absorbing the trail forces (a factor that tells you how easy or difficult a bike is when riding is known as a trail). 

When riding on the rough patches, you don’t feel confident about your handlebars, especially during the steering and cornering. It is where the role of carbon handlebars comes into play. 

The additional stiffness present in carbon handlebars will give you more grip and increase your confidence. Steering and cornering the bike during sharp edges is easy with a better grip. The better grip is the result of the stiffness in carbon handlebars.

Amplified Vibration Damping

Your feet and hands are your only body parts in touch with your bike. On rough terrain or longer rides, your arms and hands can get tired.

Here, the enhanced vibration damping of carbon handlebars provides you with one of the most unappreciated benefits. The carbon handlebars themselves absorb and scatter all the energy instead of transferring it to you.

Suppose you compare this case with aluminum handlebars. In that case, you will see that when your bike hits bumps on any rough trail, the energy of shock waves get transferred directly to your arms and hands.

Energy dissipation is the main quality pro that comes with carbon handlebars. 

Your arms will not fatigue anymore, and you will not end up with dreaded arm pumps (a medical condition in which young athletes get burning, aching, and cramping pain in the limbs) or hand fatigue.

With carbon handlebars, you will only ride more aggressively and enjoy longer rides. Still, you will also be safe from additional injuries on the road.

Saving your arms and hands from fatigue is a benefit that gives a satisfactory answer to your question are carbon handlebars worth it, MTB? 

Warm During Cold

One rarely talked about the benefit of Carbon handlebars is the heat in its material. Unlike other materials, carbon fibers have low thermal conductivity. Due to this low thermal conductivity, the aluminum and metal handlebars are far behind the carbon fiber handlebars in terms of warmness.

The ability of a material to draw heat towards it is known as thermal conductivity. Because your body also produces heat, it transfers this heat to the aluminum handlebars of your bike as the material is drawing heat towards it due to its high thermal conductivity nature. This higher conductivity nature makes steering and the ride of your bike more difficult.

If you take a close look taking into consideration the numbers, the thermal conductivity of aluminum is 210 W/m*k (watts per meter kelvin). The thermal conductivity of carbon fiber is 5 to 7 W/m*k.

These numbers clearly show that Carbon fiber is 30 times less conductive than aluminum. This distinctive difference shows how much heat is taken away from the material in your hand.

Low thermal conductivity keeps your arms warm.

Now, you may think that wearing thick gloves can sort this problem out. Why should I spend a lot on buying carbon handlebars? But if you believe that wearing thick gloves may make trouble for you in terms of navigation.

So, riding with numb hands is not a cup of tea for most riders like you if you take biking seriously.

Carbon Handlebars Weight Savings

You probably know how beneficial it is to have a lightweight bike. This helps you save time during the uphill climb and gives you a fast ride. 

Shedding the weight using carbon handlebars is the best decision you will make as they are super lightweight.

This lightweight makes carbon handlebars worth it MTB.

What Are Some Cons Of Carbon Handlebars?

There are a few cons of Carbon handlebars;

Carbon handlebars are very costly

This is due to the high-end and complicated manufacturing process of handlebars.

The damage is hard to detect.

The materials such as metal are ductile. “The material being ductile” means that such materials, before breaking apart, can bend. Suppose your bike is crashed somehow. You will immediately know that the metal handlebars are deformed or bent. 

mtb biker on the road

Metal damages are easy to notice, and you can replace your bike handlebars before they break. While Carbon handlebars do not bend, they only break during the ride, which can be dangerous. However, if you notice an uneven surface in your carbon handlebars, consider this as an indicator that there might be structural damage to your carbon handlebars.

You need to have a piece of special equipment to install carbon handlebars

A torque wrench is necessary to correctly install your carbon handlebars. Further, you have to follow the guidelines of the manufacturer strictly. Following guidelines will ensure the torque is set precisely as guided.

Titanium VS Carbon Handlebars

Titanium HandlebarsCarbon Handlebars
Titanium handlebars are highly desirable and high-end bike handlebars.Carbon handlebars are high-end, high-performance, and widely used handlebars among competitive bikers.
It is more popular in gravel riders, bicycle tourists, long-distance riders, year-round riders, and those who need custom-made handlebars.It is more popular among road bike riders and mountain bike riders.
The material is much more durable, lightweight, and strong than Carbon. It is 40 percent more light than steel.The carbon material is less durable, lightweight, and strong than Titanium. It is 40 percent lighter than steel.
The material is twice stronger than Carbon material.The material is twice less strong as Titanium material.
The strength to weight ratio is also very high for this material.The strength to weight ratio is also less for this material.
Unlike steel, Titanium is corrosion resistant.It is not corrosion-resistant.
Titanium handlebars are highly costly.Less costly than Titanium handlebars.

Best Carbon Handlebars MTB

In the table given below Best carbon handlebars are recommended with their pros and cons;

Carbon HandlebarsProsCons
RXL SL Carbon Handlebar Excellent ergonomic design and craftsmanship
High T700 quality of carbon fiber
Right Elasticity
It resists pressure and is highly durable
Absorbs Vibration and Vibration
It is a challenge to install the bar to achieve the right tightness.
EC90 Full Carbon Fiber Mountain HandlebarsStiff and light carbon fiber handlebar
Smooth edges, excellent craftsmanship, and quality details.
A classy and elegant finish due to 3K matte color pretty Affordable carbon handlebar
To get optimum performance, these carbon fiber handlebars need constant greasing of carbon.
RXL SL Road Bike Carbon HandlebarHigh T700 quality of carbon fiber
Excellent Resistor of Pressure and absorbs the stock
Available in three colors
No Cable router housing
RENTHAL Renthal Carbon HandlebarsPermits for Optimum control
Lightweight carbon fiber handlebars
Various Options for bikers to choose their desired one
Flexible and rigid
Too long handlebars for some riders
ONEUP Components Carbon HandlebarStiff and Lightweight that gives smooth control
Maintains mobility and stability due to their 800 mm reach
Two variations are available
It needs a 32 TPI while shortening down the bar’s width.

Do carbon handlebars make a difference MTB?

Carbon handlebars make a difference MTB as they offer you more grip due to added stiffness and absorb the vibration during ride movements due to amplified vibration-damping.

All these features are not present in aluminum bars and other metal handlebars. 

How long do carbon fiber handlebars last?

The carbon handlebars can easily last 7 to 8 years. They may last longer unless they are not poorly built or damaged. Sometimes, they outlast the riders as they are made strong.

How often should you replace carbon handlebars?

You can replace your handlebars if they get damaged or after every five years. One may say that you can quickly get more than ten years with your high-quality carbon handlebars, as investing in the right carbon handlebars saves you a lot.

How Wide Should XC MTB Handlebars Be?

If the cross-country rider is short in height, a 690 mm wide Handlebar will go fine with him. However, 750 mm Handlebar width is recommended for a tall cross-country rider. 

How Wide Are XC Bars?

XC handlebars are 700 mm to 780 mm wide on XC bikes these days. However, in the past, it was not very common to see handlebars as narrow as 600 mm. 

Why Do XC Racers Use Flat Bars?

XC racers widely use flat carbon handlebars because they are light. This lightweight makes their MTB bikes more aerodynamic which is MTB speeds worth it. 

Is 800 mm Handlebar Too Wide?

800 mm handlebar is not too wide for a six-foot and three inches tall rider. This width provides the rIder with a super stable and comfortable position whereas keeping up a pose that is conducive to the strength and mobility of the rider’s shoulders

Are Carbon Handlebars Worth It MTB Summary

This blog post has covered all of the advantages that carbon handlebars offer to your bike and ride. The cons are a few drawbacks to using carbon handlebars are also mentioned above.

I hope you have found your answer to whether carbon handlebars are worth MTB or not.

About Martin

I am Martin, I am the author of this blog. My main interests include cycling. That's why this blog was created. I have always been interested in technology and how bicycles are made, so I built one myself.

Leave a Comment