All About Bicycle Touring Handlebars with Multiple Hand positions


We have already advised bike packers to stop touring with drop bars, and we have given reasons to that effect. However, it is a cycler’s duty and an explorer to know all the options available to you and how they come to play when you are cycling or touring. When it comes to handlebars, there are many handlebars available, and you have to pick the handlebars that work for you perfectly. You should think of your handlebar as a saddle, and you should treat it as a personal decision. This article outlined the factors you should consider when picking out a handlebar and the various handlebars that work for you. Enjoy!

Factors to consider when choosing bicycle touring handlebars

Hand positioning

If you plan to go on a tour with a bike with static hand positioning, you should consider changing to one that allows you to try out multiple hand positions at intervals. When you can change your hand position frequently, it helps your wrist and fingers remain flexible and rotates the stress on your back, hand, and shoulder muscles. If your hand is in a static position for too long, it can cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which leaves your hand numb, tingling, and weak.

Body posture and handlebar height

Another thing that is important when you are riding is to have the appropriate positioning on your bike. If you are not well positioned on your bike, you would likely be uncomfortable throughout your bike tour. Most of your bike positioning will depend on your bike frame. If your frame is high and stretched out, you would hold an elevated position, making it harder to react to obstacles. However, if your bike frame is low and compact, you would be able to move fast and maneuver your bike better. The handlebar height will be standard, and you can drive with ease on your bike.

Bike sizing

When it comes to bike sizes, they differ based on make and manufacturer’s brand. However, you have to make sure your bike size and the corresponding handlebar offer you a comfortable ride. When you are on tour, you would mostly be on a bike, which means you have to pick out your handlebar and bike size carefully.

Butterfly bars

When you are going bike touring, you can consider using butterfly handlebars. Butterfly handlebars are known to offer lots of different hand positions, and they allow you to split traffic easily. They also have access to the brake levers and mount mountain bike gear shifters and brake levers. However, the butterfly handlebar is also not as comprehensive as flat bars and tear relatively easily.

Drop bars

Even though we have advised you to drop the drop bars severally on this platform, they still have significant advantages. For example, using drop bars give you a high and low body position when riding. It also allows for more aerodynamic movement, and it is narrow enough to squeeze through traffic. However, they also have distinct disadvantages. They don’t have a stable feeling, and if you are a new cyclist, you might have a problem using drop bars. The narrow width of the bars can also put some strain on your wrist muscle which can lead to pain and numbness. Drop bars also have limited access to brake levers, and they utilize bar tapes.

Flat handlebars

If you plan to bicycle touring, you should consider using a flat handlebar. Aside from limited hand position and traffic navigation, flat bars have a lot of advantages. You have more control over the bike because of the additional steering leverage. You also have lots of space for accessories, and you can easily change the bar’s grip. This bar is best for beginner bike tourists.

Alt handlebars

When you use alt handlebars, you can easily customize them to fit your style and hand size. If you want to design your own, then go ahead.


If you are thinking about getting a touring bike, you have to consider the handlebar carefully. The handlebar will determine how effectively you control the cycle, and you don’t want to use a bike that will make you uncomfortable during your tour. If you’re going to choose a handlebar for your touring bike, we have outlined some of the factors you can consider during this process. Cheers!