Butterfly Handlebars: Everything you need to Know!


Bikes are awesome! Few things are more thrilling than wind rushing over your body as you cruise down the street with some kickass beats on your headphones.

Imagine the pump you get cycling uphill. Humans love mobility and bicycles can go anywhere.

Doctors and physiotherapists have crowned bike riding as one of the best whole-body exercises. They are easy to use, have low impact and help build strength and stamina.

These benefits get better with increased intensity.

One problem though, there are a ton of different bikes and the wrong one might end up hurting you.

Riding height and angle are the biggest determiners of comfort in bikes.

With the majority of bikes having adjustable saddle height and orientation, the type of handlebar remains the one determinant of your overall experience.

Fortunately, there are several iterations of the same including butterfly handlebars, drop handlebars, bullhorn handlebars among many.

The same goes for people’s height, posture and weight. Butterfly handlebars have been found to offer universal comfort for most users.

In this article, we will discuss the main features of the bar, how it contrasts with alternative types of bars, a buying guide outlining the factors you need to consider before purchasing one, a summary of customer reviews and a Frequently Asked Questions section for the same. Let’s ride!


Butterfly bars feature a two-sided curve that meets at the clamp center forming figure “8”.

For this, the bars offer more than four unique arm positions. They provide maximum comfort for your back and spine allowing you to make longer trips off-road and on highways.

Hence, trekking handlebars. They are stable at all speeds and make it harder for you to miss your pedals. They are good for all types of road bikes.

Regardless of where you hold them, the forward curving handles offer maximum grip on the bars.

Aside from increasing the force on the pedal, this allows you to engage your hands by pulling as you cycle.

To use them, riders may assume a curvature leaning towards the front or maintain a relatively upright posture in the flat position.

This reduces the wind resistance on the rider, thus the amount of energy expenditure.

Due to their robust design, they are heavy in weight and grant maximum control over the tilt and orientation of the bike.

This bar is good for people who wish to do long dynamic tours.

Butterfly handlebars are not suitable for inexperienced riders who might experience a problem finding the ideal hand position.

It’s also not fit for bikers who wish to do a lot of climbing and racing. Older iterations of trekking bars had short stems that hit the user’s knees while turning.

The length and placement of the mounting joint have since been adjusted to fit bikers of all height. Top models of these bars have angle-adjustable stems.


  • They offer several hand positions, perfect for maintaining comfort over long-distance rides.
  • The curvature maximizes grip for better handling.
  • Multi-terrain suitability.
  • They look sleek.


  • The breaking levers are located in one hand position. Meaning you will have to shift your hands from other positions when you wish to slow down which is annoying.
  • Curved handlebars tend to lack proper grip in wet conditions. Bar tapes are a short-term fix as they wear out with extended usage under high ambient temperatures.


For maximum comfort, longevity and the highest value for your money, understanding key handlebar aspects are of the essence.

While there is no generalization in the multitude of handlebar models available, regard the following pointers that cut across them all before you get one:

1. Width

This is the two-dimensional distance from one end of the bar to the other.

Although wider bars are known to be more comfortable, extremes are set to cause exhaustion.

Depending on your height, the distance you set your arms out should allow for maximum leverage on the pedals.

Narrow widths tend to cause soreness in the shoulder muscles while wider bars might hurt your wrists too.

2. Cost

As a rule of thumb, make sure you get the longest service from the bar of your budget. However, there are multiple players in the market offering affordable, quality bars.

3. Material

This is the single most important determinant of comfort and longevity. Bikes stay for a long time and so should the bar you chose.

Different metals have different feedback on the road.

Strong and light materials like reinforced aluminum and select steel alloys are a good fit for both practicality and service. Carbon fiber would be the best option although they are steeply-priced.

4. Intended Use

Different handlebars are better suited for specific applications.

For instance, butterfly handlebars perform best for a relaxed ride while bullhorn bars are best for climbing. If you are looking to buy a whole bike, a removable and adjustable handlebar should come standard. Check the compatibility in terms of the diameter of the clamp joint with your current bike if you wish to replace its bar.


1. Flat handlebars

Compared to the forward, raised curvature in butterfly handlebars, these are a horizontal and generally flat type of handlebars.

They are the most common in bikes and are suitable for long-distance riders.

Due to their design, they provide great modularity options to add extras such as lights, phone holders and smart gear.

They offer accurate steering, they are lighter than bullhorns and can fit in small spaces.

  • For maintaining a mostly upright position unlike the butterfly handlebars, we have sampled the best flat handlebars in the link below.

2. Riser handlebars

These are slightly curved flat bars that curve from the center of the clamp area, unlike butterfly bars that curve from the center all the way to the edges and back. They are best for trail bikers who wish to maintain an upright position. Due to their widespread nature, turning is easier and effortless. They are good for uneven terrain and meandering roads. They offer minimal stress on the wrists as they push most of the weight to the back by allowing riders to seat further backward.

  • The following riser handlebars will offer superior hand leverage over butterfly bars.

3. Drop handlebars

These are downward and inward curving bars with a flat middle pane. There are a ton of variations to this type of bar, unlike butterfly bars. The three variables used in their classifications are:

  • Reach-how much it curves forwards
  • Drop-how much lower it goes
  • Width-length of the bar from end to end

For instance, classic drop bars have a long reach and low drop while compact drop bars have a short reach and high drop.

Due to their tucked position, riders will generally experience a low coefficient of aero-friction. This also multiplies effort on pedals.

  • If you wish to keep a low riding height for better aerodynamics, check out these top drop handlebars.

4. Aero handlebars

These are tightly positioned, forward extending handlebars that extend inwards towards the ride and have minimal curves compared to butterfly bars. They allow the rider to maintain a narrow hand position, creating a streamlined angle of attack, best for riding through the wind at speed. They are best for timed riding and are meant for people who are flexible enough to remain stable with their arms tucked back to back.

  • If you are not interested in the modest rides butterfly bars offer and are after speed, then these premium aero bars are for you.

5. Bullhorn handlebars

These are an iteration of the flat bar that extend out on the edges in an upward curvature.away from the rider.

Unlike trekking handlebars, these require the user to lean forwards, Consequently, they are best for climbing and timed racing. Long-distance rides can be uncomfortable due to limited cycling positions.

If you are past the comfort cruise that come with butterfly bars and would like to challenge your riding skills, we have sampled the following high-performance bullhorn handlebars.


Most customers have claimed to like the overall aesthetics of butterfly bars above any other type.

They are comfortable as they allow a rider to assume several angles during a tour. For this reason, users enjoy long trips.

After switching to this bar, riders have reported a significant reduction in back pain associated with other types of bars. Former mountain bike riders have experienced better sitting angles and steering.


#What are butterfly handlebars used for?

They are for touring purposes as their overall design allows for numerous hand positions and posture.

#How do I make my bike more comfortable?

Adjust your bike seat to accommodate your body size and provide good posture.

#What angle should my handlebar be?

Handlebars should be mounted parallel or slightly angled to the ground.

#Are wider handlebars better?

Wider bars are better for mountain bikes. They offer more control and a better position for breathing and balance. As a result, you’ll experience less fatigue.

#Why are bike saddles so uncomfortable?

This is caused by increased pressure on the ischial tuberosities, the bones on which you sit, caused by a lower center of gravity. The tissues immediately to the saddle are not adapted to the reaction imposed by the saddle. Uneven terrain and worn out cushioning may also cause discomfort.


Discomfort during riding can ruin your entire biking experience. Finding the right handlebar will let you enjoy this efficient, cost-effective and healthy activity for much longer. We love butterfly handlebars for their beauty, flexibility, and solace. Check out some of our best butterfly handlebars in the link below.


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