Mountain Bikes

Installing Drop Handlebars On Your Mountain Bike

A fantastic option to spend time outside and breathe in the fresh air is mountain biking. Furthermore, changing your handlebars is a simple way to creating your mountain bike journeys more comfortable and possibly a lot bit faster. In fact, this is the main reason why several mountain bikers decide to install drop handlebars.

Short Answer

You might be thinking can you install drop handlebars on a mountain bike? Yes, it can possibly drop bars on a mountain bike. Purchase new stems and brake cables to ensure that they will work with the mountain bike drop handlebars. Drop handlebars increase the number of hand postures available, lessen downhill running aerodynamic drag, and simplify hill climbing.

In this article, you will get to know so much about drop bars for your mountain bike. You will also get to know how advantageous they are for you and your bike and what to look for while installing your drop bars.

What Are Drop Bars On A Mountain Bike?

Drop bars, commonly known as road bars or race handlebars, are a kind of handlebar commonly found on road bikes and some models of mountain bikes. They are not generally used on mountain bikes because they are not intended for the requirements of off-road bike riding.

Drop bars are specialized by their special curved shape, which enables bike riders to have several hand positions when they are riding. The bars are curved downward and then back up. This creates a drop below the middle section where the brake levers and shifters are attached. This dropping posture enables riders to have a much more aerodynamic position. Moreover, this is particularly helpful when cycling at greater speeds on flatter or downhill parts of the road.

Furthermore, the Drop bars come in a wide variety of widths and designs, with different varieties of flare in the drops. Moreover, they have varying levels of reach and drop. The width of the bars should be matched to the rider’s shoulder width for better posture, comfort, and handling. A broader bar can deliver more leverage and stability on descents. At the same time, a narrow bar can deliver better aerodynamics and maneuverability.

Essential Factors To Consider While Choosing A Drop Bar:

Essential Factors To Consider While Choosing A Drop Bar

When you are choosing a drop bar for your mountain bike, road bike, or cyclocross bike, there are several essential factors to take into account. Here are some of the most important ones mentioned below:

  1. Width of the bars:

The width of the drop handlebars should always be matched to the bike rider’s shoulder width for better posture, comfort, and handling. A wide bar can offer more leverage and balancing on descents. At the same time, a narrow handlebar can offer better aerodynamics and movement.

  1. Shape and design:

Drop bars are available in a wide variety of shapes and designs. The exclusive ones include classic round bars, compact handlebars having a shorter reach, as well as ergonomic handlebars having a flattened top part for extra comfort. The shape of the bar should also match the bike rider’s riding technique and preferences.

  1. Reach and Drop:

The reach is the exact distance from the stem clamp’s middle to the brake hood’s middle. At the same time, the drop is the distance from the top of the handlebar to the bottom of the dropping part. The reach and drop of the handlebar should be selected based on the biker’s body flexibility and riding techniques. A longer reach can offer you a more aggressive yet aerodynamic posture.

At the same time, a shorter reach can provide a much more comfortable and longer ride. Similarly, a deeper drop can offer a more difficult position, whereas a shallow drop can be much more comfortable for bike riders who take more time in the tops and hoods.

  1. Material employed:

Drop bars are generally made of aluminum, carbon fiber, and sometimes titanium. Aluminum handlebars are much more durable and affordable. However, they can be bulkier than carbon fiber or titanium. Carbon fiber drop handlebars are lighter in weight and provide a smoother ride but could be more expensive than aluminum. On the other hand, titanium handlebars are lightweight and more durable but can be the priciest option.

  1. Brake and Shifter Capability:

Different drop handlebars may need different brake and shifter systems than that found on conventional drop handlebar bikes. It is important to keep in mind that the handlebar is compatible with the bike rider’s preferred braking system and shifter setup.

  1. Brand and Reputation in the market:

Choosing a reputable and renowned brand can eventually make sure that the handlebar is made up of high quality and will perform well over the passage of time. Yet, it is also important to read previous reviews. Also, get feedback from other bike riders who use drop bars to ensure that it meets the rider’s particular needs and preferences.

Overall, selecting the right drop handlebar demands careful consideration and observation of the rider’s body type, riding techniques, and personal preferences. By taking all these important factors into account, bikers can easily find a drop bar that provides ideal comfort, control, and efficiency on the bikes.

Advantages of having drop bars on your bikes:

Advantages of having drop bars on your bikes

There are several prominent advantages to using drop handlebars on a mountain bike, road bike, or cyclocross bike. Here are some of the major key benefits which you are obvious to the eye:

  1. Multiple handling positions:

The first and foremost advantage of drop handlebars is that they offer different hand positions, which can definitely help avoid fatigue and uneasiness during longer rides. The top part of the bike handlebars offers a much more comfortable, straight posture for climbing or cruising. The drops provide an aerodynamic position for descending or biking into a headwind.

  1. Aerodynamics:

The shape and design of the drop handlebars enable riders to have a more aerodynamic position. This can be generally beneficial when riding into a headwind or on a flatter and downhill part of the road. The bike rider can decrease wind resistance and obtain greater speeds by fitting into the drops.

  1. Handling and Stability:

Drop handlebars offer a wide hand position, which can enhance stability and handling on descents. The wide grip enables the rider to have more leverage on the bike, which makes it easier to use and maneuver through tough terrain.

  1. Versatility:

Drop handlebars can be utilized for a wide variety of riding styles, which can range from long-distance biking to dirt racing. They are compatible with a wide variety of accessories, which may include bar-end shifters, aerodynamic brake levers, as well as clip-on aero bars.

  1. Customization:

Drop handlebars are accessible in a wide range of widths, shapes, designs, and styles, making it very easy to discover a set that fits the rider’s particular needs and preferences. This individual customization can help make sure to provide a comfortable and easy riding position.

  1. Weight balancing:

Drop bike handlebars tend to be lighter in terms of weight than some other types of handlebars, which may include flat bars and riser bars. This can help put down the overall weight of the bike and improve the total bike performance.

All in all, drop handlebars provide a quite versatile and comfortable riding posture that can enable riders to keep up with their goals. Whether those goals are in terms of overall speed, endurance, or level of ease, however, it is important to keep in mind that drop bars might not be ideal for all riders or riding techniques. And they are not always used on mountain bikes due to the requirements of off-road bike riding.


Is it true that drop bars are faster?

Drop bars are speedier when traveling at greater speeds since the available hand postures will encourage you to put your elbows in and lean ahead, giving your body a more aerodynamic form. Due to the narrower width, you will also experience a decrease in the frontal region of your body.

Why are drop bars popular among people?

You can also gain an aerodynamic advantage when using drop bars, especially in the drops or with hands on the brake hoods. Therefore, it might be simpler to maintain momentum if you ride with others. In addition, drop handlebars will help you if you are biking alone and wish to maintain a higher overall speed.

Does using drop handlebars hurt your back?

According to elite cycling Coach Andy Wadsworth, riding position and style are primarily responsible for and more likely to aggravate upper-back and neck problems. Long rides with drop handlebars will cause the neck to extend, adding to the pressure on the arms and shoulders muscles.

Drop bars, are they less stable?

Drop bars provide more efficient aerodynamics and more alternatives for hand placements, but they can be challenging to handle on bumpy roads. Although flat handlebars are much more sturdy and simple to handle, they can be less at ease during lengthy rides. Your riding techniques and preferences will ultimately determine which handlebar is best suited for you.

Why do you have to use tape on drop bars?

Start from the bottom of the handlebars on the right hand and wrap half its width from the end. The extra tape will be stuffed inside the end of the handlebar and finished off with a bar plug. This will help protect you if you fall off the bar and also holds the bar plugin in its actual place.


All in all, drop bars are not generally used on mountain bikes. Some bike riders might want to install drop bars on a mountain bike to employ them on gravel or cyclocross bicycles. However, it is essential to note that such bikes may demand other brakes as well as shifter mechanisms than those found on conventional drop bar bikes.

In Addition, the more difficult riding posture of drop bars might not be suited for all bike riders or all other types of riding. So what are you waiting for? Get your drop bars on your mountain or road bike in no time and have an amazing time of your life.

Yousaf Khan

Yousaf Khan is an experienced biker with over 10 years of riding experience. He has a passion for motorcycles and has traveled extensively on his bike, covering thousands of miles across various terrains. Yousaf is well-versed in different types of biking, including adventure riding, touring, and off-roading. He is an active member of several local and national motorcycle clubs, promoting safety and responsible riding. Yousaf's dedication to the biker community extends beyond his own riding, as he regularly shares his insights and experiences with fellow bikers around the world. When he's not on the road, Yousaf enjoys spending time with his family and sharing his knowledge through this blog.

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