Can You Put Cruiser Bars on a Mountain Bike?

Do you want to know can you put cruiser bars on a mountain bike? Cruiser bars are common and can be a great choice. The upright position can add comfort to your ride. But before you go ahead, you must have some knowledge. Adequate knowledge would become helpful for mountain bike handlebar conversion. It will help to make the right choice and install correctly.

Yes, you can install cruiser bars on mountain bikes. However, you must ensure that the bars and stem have compatible sizes. This conversion would improve comfort but can change the geometry and affect its maneuverability. 

So, keep reading to find out more about if you are doing the right thing. 

Can You Put Cruiser Bars on a Mountain Bike

Handlebar and stem diameter: 

  • If you own a retro MTB that has the quail system, search for cruiser bars that have a 25.4mm diameter. 
  • For the modern MTB stems, designs with 25.4mm or 31.8mm can be valuable. 

However, if you have the thin cruiser bars for the stem, a shim can make up for it. These are the metal pieces that wrap quickly around the bars and offer extra diameter. 

Even when this would not be an aesthetic solution, it can work on bikes that are not for aggressive offroading. 

Saddle: Cruiser bars consist of a significant rise that puts the rider upright. Additionally, this would put more weight on sit bones. 

MTB saddles are most commonly designed with a forward lean. These are not always capable of offering the comfort required for upright riding. Thus, replacing the saddle for good commuting can become helpful. It ensures comfortable handlebars for a mountain bike.

Shifters and brake levers: Shifters and brake levers of the MTB bikes are commonly designed for flat bars. Thus, it is easier to install directly on new bars. However, to make a clean design, you might require lengthening or shortening its housing and cables. 

Grips: You can transfer the original grips into new cruiser bars. 

What are the advantages of converting into cruiser bars? 

Now that you have decided to include the cruiser bars on mountain bikes, you want to know in detail. Thus, here we will look at some of the significant benefits. 

  • Lower stress on your wrist: The stress on your wrist can be largely reduced by using cruiser bars. It is because it supports lesser weight and has a more neutral placement. 
  • Lower stress on your back: Cruiser handlebars are all about upright postures. It results in reducing pressure on your back. 
  • Relaxed riding: The cruiser handlebars bicycle encourages riders to ride every day. It can make sure to be less aggressive. 
  • Improved Visibility in Traffic: When you are in an upright posture, you will sit in a taller manner. It will result in offering more visibility. Not only you, but also drivers can see you. 

What are the disadvantages of converting into cruiser bars? 

There are some downsides as well to the cruiser bars in mountain bikes. You are required to have a complete idea about it before you choose to convert. 

  • Stress on Sit Bones: Including cruisers bars on your MTB can put riders into an upright position. It tends to shift more weight on the rear wheels. It can result in putting more stress on sit bones. 
  • No more an MTB: When you install the cruiser bars on the mountain bike, it no longer remains a mountain bike. Cruiser bars will not perform as expected in the off-road condition due to a lack of leverage. Risers or flat bars are considered the best.

Thus converting into cruiser bars is recommended to people who are not planning to use their mountain bike as MTB. You don’t want to invite accidents intentionally. 

However, you have options if you are looking forward to converting due to the existing low bars. You can switch to risers as it has more degrees of rising. This makes your bike appropriate for off-road terrain conditions. 

  • More Drag: When the rider is in the upright position, the body drags also increases. The reality is it is only about the aero, which puts the city bike sit perpendicular to the ground. For the cruiser handlebars bicycle on MTB, you can attain the position easily. 

So, if you intend to convert an MTB into a fast hybrid, you might be making the wrong choice. Cruiser bars are not an ideal choice. 

  • Less likely to work as a climber: Cruisers are bad climbers. It is because of the additional drag and low leverage that these bars provide while riding. If your home is in a place where there are hills, you might need to add low gears to reduce the need for going out-of-saddle. 

What are the alternative solutions for a cruiser handlebars bicycle? 

If you don’t want to convert using the cruiser bars, you should know about the alternatives. You would like to know that you can enjoy similar benefits in various ways. 

So let us have a look at the many options that you might find interesting. It would also ensure comfortable handlebars for a mountain bike

Look for the high-rise stem: If your mountain bike has flat bars and you want taller, switch to a more significant rise stem. 

Raising the stem: If your mountain bike has the quail stem. It becomes easier to lift. All you need is to loosen its stem bolt and then pull it up. You must follow the maximum height mentioned on your stem to prevent any failure. 

Look for alternate bars with different hand positions: Different bars are available if you are looking for upright handlebars for mountain bikes. You have the freedom to choose other handles, which can be better for your choice. One of the most common choices is a butterfly handlebar. 

Switch to BMX Bars: You can choose the riser bars; they can offer a reasonable degree of rising. Choosing the BLX bars, which have exclusive designs for MTB, can be beneficial. 

Vintage bicycle with cruiser bars

Are cruiser bars suitable for vintage mountain bikes? 

You must know that installing cruiser bars on modern MTB is definitely not a great choice. Modern bikes are available with an expensive price tag. These are created for the intended purpose. Thus, when you install a cruiser bar on modem MTB, you turn it into a commuter. 

Commuters are for asphalt riding. These are mostly locked outside. MTB with full suspension becomes a liability. It is primarily slow on paved roads. Additionally, it is too expensive to leave it outside your home. 

For this reason, you have to understand your purpose before you choose one. Make sure that you keep comfort as a major need. Hopefully, this will help you to decide on the cruiser handlebars bicycle.

Can You Put Cruiser Bars on a Mountain Bike Summary

Now that you have gained ample knowledge of the cruiser handlebars bicycle, you can hopefully choose. Remember that there are some downsides and upsides of these handlebars. Thus, you can make the right decision when you have complete knowledge. 

As the cruiser bars on MTB result in making it a simple commuter, it is not great for hilly regions. Thus, you require having an understanding of your needs first. One of the most significant advantages is in keeping your body upright. Therefore, comfort handlebars for mountain bikes can be beneficial in a simple city lifestyle. 

So without any further ado, if you want to enjoy a comfortable ride, you can convert with cruiser bars.

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.

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