How much does it cost to change handlebars on a bike?

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It’s no secret that handlebars play a crucial role in determining comfort, performance, and overall riding experience.

In fact, they give you better control on the trails, and changing your bike’s handlebars can make a significant difference.

So, if you’re working on a bike project and wondering how much it will cost you to change handlebars on a bike, well, the cost will depend on several things. 

And we’ll get into all the details in a bit. 

How much does it cost to replace bike handlebars?

Replacing your handlebars may cost you as little as $50 or as much as $200, because the actual amount of money you spend on this will depend on the type of handlebar you purchase and whether you’ll fix it yourself or need professional help. 

If you’re a DIY enthusiast and know your way around bikes, then you can save a few bucks by doing the handlebar replacement yourself. But if you prefer to leave it to a professional, expect to pay about $20 to $40 for the replacement. 

How much is a bike handlebar?

Here’s a general cost breakdown for different handlebar types:

  1. Basic Handlebars: If you’re replacing basic flat handlebars or riser bars, the cost can range from around $10 to $50, depending on the materials and quality.
  2. Drop Handlebars: Entry-level drop handlebars can cost between $20 and $100, while higher-end models made from carbon fiber or other premium materials can cost $100 to $500 or more.
  3. Aero Bars: Aero bars used in triathlon or time trial setups can range in price from $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on the brand, materials, and features.

Any additional expenses?

Getting the handlebars you need is just one step. There are always additional expenses like the cost of actually getting it fitted on your bike, except you intend to do this yourself. 

But if you’re not comfortable or experienced in bike maintenance, you may need to consider the cost of having a professional bike shop install the new handlebar for you. 

Labor fees can vary depending on the shop and your location. This shouldn’t be too much, you can expect to pay anything between $20 to $50

Beside labor cost, you may have to purchase a few additional components to accompany the new handlebar. You may need some accessories like stem adapters, brake levers, shifters, bar tape or grips, cables, and housing.

It’s important to note that these cost estimates are general and can vary significantly depending on the specific handlebar brand or model, and your location.

Can I change handlebars on my bike?

Yes, you can change handlebars on a bike. 

Bike handlebars are a replaceable component, and many cyclists choose to change them to suit their riding preferences or to improve comfort and performance. 

In fact, changing your handlebars is a great way to adjust fit and feel. 

If you want to change the handlebars on your bike, here are some steps you can follow to do that:

CHOOSE THE NEW HANDLEBARS YOU WANT: There are various types of handlebars available, such as flat handlebars, drop handlebars, riser bars, and more. Choose the type that suits your riding style and preferences.

FIND THE NECESSARY TOOLS: You will typically need Allen wrenches, a socket wrench, or a crescent wrench, depending on the type of bolts used to secure the handlebars.

PREPARE YOUR WORKSPACE: Find a clean and well-lit area to work on your bike. Consider using a bike stand or a secure method to hold your bike in place.

REMOVE COMPONENTS ATTACHED TO THE HANDLEBARS: Before removing the handlebars, take note of any components attached to them, such as the brake levers, shifters, grips, or bar tape. You will need to remove these components to access the handlebars.

LOOSEN THE BOLTS: Locate the bolts that secure the handlebars to the stem. Use the appropriate wrench or Allen key to loosen and remove the bolts. Keep the bolts and any washers in a safe place for reinstallation.

REMOVE THE OLD HANDLEBARS: Once the bolts are removed, carefully slide the old handlebars out of the stem. Be mindful of any cables or wires that might be attached to the handlebars, such as brake or shifter cables.

INSTALL THE NEW HANDLEBARS: Slide the new handlebars into the stem, aligning them according to your desired position. Ensure that the handlebars are straight and even. Tighten the bolts securely, but avoid over-tightening, as it may damage the handlebars or the stem.

REINSTALL COMPONENTS: Attach the brake levers, shifters, grips, or bar tape to the new handlebars following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure all components are properly aligned and tightened.

TEST AND ADJUST: Before riding, double-check that all components are securely fastened and adjusted correctly. Test the handlebars by turning them from side to side to ensure smooth movement.

If you’re uncertain about any step or encounter difficulties during the process, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional bike mechanic or refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific bike model.

Do handlebars make a difference?

Yes, handlebars can make a significant difference in your performance, efficiency and overall riding experience. 

Bike handlebars significantly affect how your bike feels and handles, and the type of handlebar you have greatly contributes to your riding comfort. 

If you have had the pleasure of riding bikes with different handlebars, you will notice that each handlebar style offers varying hand positions and grip options, and this allows you to find a comfortable position that suits your body and riding style.

And speaking of comfort, the ability to change hand positions on handlebars, such as drop bars with multiple grip options, can help reduce fatigue on long rides, enabling you to maintain power and efficiency for extended periods.

A bike’s handlebar also plays an important role in steering and controlling a bike.  The width, shape, and rise of handlebars can influence how your bike responds to your inputs. 

For example, wider handlebars provide increased stability and control, particularly on rough terrain or technical trails. Handlebars with more rise or sweep may offer better maneuverability and control in certain riding conditions.

Your handlebars also help to determine your riding position, they affect your posture and aerodynamics. Drop handlebars, commonly found on road bikes, allow for a lower and more aerodynamic position, reducing wind resistance and improving speed on flat terrain. 

On the other hand, flat or riser handlebars provide a more upright riding position, which may be preferable for better visibility, comfort, and control in off-road or urban riding.

Handlebars are a personal choice, and finding the right one that matches your preferences can greatly improve your overall riding pleasure and boost your confidence on the bike.

Is it worth upgrading bike handlebars?

Upgrading your handlebars may be a great idea, but the real worth will be a question of what you already have vs what you’ll be getting. 

If you feel the need to upgrade your bike handlebars because the one on your bike isn’t quite giving you what you want, then by all means find a new and better one. 

But there are a few factors to keep in mind when looking to upgrade your handlebars. The first is comfort. We all know the importance of comfort on a bike, and handlebars actually help to determine how well a bike fits and riding comfort. 

For instance, if you’re experiencing discomfort or numbness in your hands, wrists, or back during rides, upgrading to handlebars that offer a better fit or more ergonomic design could greatly improve your comfort and overall riding experience.

Handlebars also influence your riding position and affect factors like aerodynamics, power transfer, and handling. 

So, upgrading to handlebars that allow you to achieve a more comfortable riding position can lead to improved performance and reduced fatigue, especially during long rides or races.

And lastly, you also have to think of the cost that comes with upgrading your handlebars. So, remember to weigh the cost of the upgrade against the potential benefits you expect to gain. 

If you do this and the upgrade is within your budget and aligns with your needs, then it may be worth considering.

Can any handlebar go on any bike?

No, they can’t because handlebars are not always compatible with every bike. 

While handlebars are designed to be compatible with specific types of bikes, it’s important to note that not all handlebars can go on any bike without potential compatibility issues. 

There are a number of factors that determine whether a handlebar will fit a bike. The most obvious one is the handlebar diameter. 

For a handlebar to fit a bike, the diameter of the bar must match the diameter of the stem clamp on the bike. The most common handlebar diameters are 25.4mm, 31.8mm, and 35mm.

So, when choosing a new handlebar for your bike, make sure it has the same diameter as your current stem or consider replacing the stem to match the new handlebar.

Another reason why a handlebar may not fit a bike is the geometry of the bike. It’s common knowledge that different bike types have handlebars that suit their intended riding purpose. Also, handlebars have different shapes and mounting requirements. 

For instance, handlebars, such as aero bars or bullhorn bars, may not be suitable for certain bike frames due to compatibility or interference with the frame design.

Also, drop handlebars are designed to be used with specific brake and shifter systems, while aero bars require specific base bars and extensions.

And finally, there is the issue with how the new handlebars will accommodate cable routing for your brakes and shifters. 

Since different handlebars may have different internal or external cable routing options, you need to ensure that the new handlebar allows for proper cable installation and smooth operation.

Wrapping up

The actual cost of changing handlebars on your bike can vary depending on several factors, however it will generally take about $20 to $200. 

Factors like the price of the new handlebars you choose, any additional components needed, and whether you seek professional help all play a role in determining the overall expense.

Basic handlebars like flat or riser bars can be quite affordable, ranging from around 10 to 50 bucks. If you’re into the sleek drop handlebars commonly found on road bikes, you might be looking at a wider price range. 

Entry-level options can start around 20 bucks and go up to a hundred or so, but if you’re after the cream of the crop made from fancy carbon fiber and such, be ready to shell out a few hundred dollars or more.

Keep in mind that additional components like stem adapters, brake levers, shifters, and other accessories might bump up the cost as well.

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BikeCrunch offers the best riding tips and guides to help you get the most out of your cycling adventures. We offer in-depth bike and accessory reviews, unbiased buying guides, how-to guides, and much more. Mountain biking, road biking, commuting, touring, and recreational cycling are some of the topics we cover.