Can You Put Straight Handlebars On A Road Bike

Can You Put Straight Handlebars On A Road Bike? Answered

Road bikes come with different styles of handlebars based on the model and speed range. Most experienced cyclists also prefer flat handles for their upright structure. Once you’ve decided to go for flat bars, the next question is – can you install flat handlebars on a road bike?

Can You Put Straight Handlebars On A Road Bike? The answer is a straight ‘yes’. It is absolutely possible to attach flat handles to your bike. In fact, this type of handlebar is the most convenient to set up and doesn’t require the addition of several new parts.

If you’re not comfortable with drop-style handles, you can always opt for straight or flat handlebars. Such handles are particularly suitable for beginners as they deliver a steady grip. But what does the process of installing handlebars involve? Let’s delve deeper and go into the details and find out. 

How To Install Straight Handlebars On Your Road Bike?

You can replace straight or flat handlebars to get various dimensions, which include 

  • Width 
  • Rise 
  • Upsweep 
  • Backsweep 

Handlebars are made of different materials such as aluminum, steel, titanium, etc. Each material comes with its share of unique properties. While selecting a handlebar, you must ensure that the diameter aligns precisely with the stem clamp diameter. The usually preferred sizes are 22.2mm, 25.4mm, 31.8mm, and 35mm.   

To accurately measure the bar’s diameter, use a metric calliper to measure from the point where the stem will clamp. Note that some clamp diameters are not cross-compatible and could be within fractions of a millimeter. 

I recommend using the BW Riser handlebar. The best thing about this bar is its versatility. You can use it for road, mountain, and hybrid bikes as well. 

In most cases, the clamp diameter is engraved on the stem itself. But if it’s not, you might want to get in touch with the manufacturer for accurate details.

Step-By-Step Guide For Flat Handlebar Installation on a Road Bike 

  • Before installing a new handlebar, you must wipe off any dirt from the stem body, bar, and faceplate with a damp cloth or tissue paper. After the surface is cleaned, apply a drop of grease or thread locker to the faceplate or compression slot bolt threads.
  • In case you’re installing a carbon handle, consider applying an assembly paste such as Park Tool SAC-2 at the meeting point of the bar and stem. This will increase friction at the component mating point, thereby preventing damage. 
  • After applying the paste, place the bars in the stem. (Check out this Nitto B2500 straight handlebar which is one of my top picks.) The next step is to place the faceplate over the bar and gradually tighten the bolts just enough to hold the bars. 
  • You need to thread the bolts an even number of times on the top and bottom for most stems. However, there are a few exceptions. In such cases, you need to first thread the stem in the top or bottom faceplate bolts before tightening the bolts on the opposite side. If you are not sure about the procedure, take help from a professional. 
  • When the stem bolt gets sufficiently loose, insert the bar. Tighten the compression slot bolt so that it properly holds the bars.
  • Your bike is now ready to be set on the ground. Stand over your bike to balance it and check if the bar is centered in the stem. You may then set the bars to the desired range of roll. 
  • When you tighten the faceplate bolts, you should thread them in a cross pattern to distribute the pressure equally. The bolts must be torqued to the appropriate specifications. 
  • For stems with a compression slot, all you need to do is snug and torque the bolt. 

Once you install the bars, you can reinstall the controls and grips. For reinstallation, you can simply reverse the process of removing the handlebars. Remember to click pictures of the measurements and positions of the controls during the removal process so that you can use them for later reference.

FAQs 

Are flat handlebars better than curved bars?

As straight handlebars are wider, they give you much better control and leverage. Flat handlebars are ideal for beginners because they help you steer easily and accurately. This is useful if the rider travels at a slow speed or navigates uneven terrains. 

Is it possible to convert drop handlebars to flat ones? 

Yes, replacing curved or drop handlebars with flat bars is pretty straightforward. You’ll need flat bar brake levers and shifters to install the handlebars. However, you must choose the right grip of the handlebar as per your comfort level.

How much does a new handlebar cost?

The ideal price range for a new handlebar lies somewhere between $20 and $200, depending on your preference and style.

Are flat handlebars better than curved bars?

As straight handlebars are wider, they give you much better control and leverage. Flat handlebars are ideal for beginners because they help you steer easily and accurately. This is useful if the rider travels at a slow speed or navigates uneven terrains. 

Is it possible to convert drop handlebars to flat ones? 

Yes, replacing curved or drop handlebars with flat bars is pretty straightforward. You’ll need flat bar brake levers and shifters to install the handlebars. However, you must choose the right grip of the handlebar as per your comfort level.

How much does a new handlebar cost?

The ideal price range for a new handlebar lies somewhere between $20 and $200, depending on your preference and style.

Can You Put Straight Handlebars On A Road Bike Summary

Hopefully, this guide has answered your queries and resolved your doubts regarding the installation of flat/straight handlebars of your bike. If you follow the steps I mentioned with precision, it shouldn’t be a Herculean task. Happy installing!

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