I am starting to venture on longer rides using my KH 29er. Are handlebars worth having? What are the advantages / disadvantages of having them? How easy is it to keep your balance when holding them? If they are a good buy, what would you recommend for for what I have?

Thanks in advance for your responses.


One of the main advantages of a bar is that you can take some of the weight off your butt on longer rides which can certainly make the ride experience a bit more comfortable.

Some of the disadvantages are that the bar can be just another item to get tangled up in while dismounting or falling & it will add some extra weight to the uni.

As with all things uni related, using an extended handle is another skill set that you have to practice a bit before you become comfortable with it. You can’t lean really hard on them like you could a set of bike bars (or even your existing seat handle) as that will cause you to dump yourself over the front onto your face. The balance curve is also a bit tricky at first as you are probably used to having at least one hand free to compensate for balance issues when riding & using a seat handle (Try practicing your riding with both hands on your seat handle to get an idea how much control you lose by having both hands tied up)

As far as a bar recomendation is concerned, you might want to try using the “search” feature as there are a number of different factory built handles available (some will require seat modifications) and many really neat home built handle ideas that other members have invented that might interest you.

I feel I have greatly increased control when using a handlebar. don’t be too concerned with having both hands on the bar. when riding off-road I would have one hand on about 80% of the time, no hands 5% of the time (generally recovering from being way off-ballance) and both hands on maybe 15% of the time (only when relaxing).

The handlebar helps you “steer” the uni a bit and helps keep the uni from deflecting off your line when you hit something unexpected.

I like the KH T bar. My one broke recently and I bought another one. The Shadow handle is also good but I prefer the KH one as it is easier to access the adjustments and it includes the stiffener plate.

I just use a stiffener plate and no extended handle on my 29er since I use it for offroad sometimes and mostly ride distance on 36 or 28". If I had the luxury of a geared 29 I would get a handle and maybe mount it closer in.

One advantage I like about a handle is the ability to attach bells, horns, a light and a cycle computer. It all adds to the weight but also functionality.

When you crash the handle can take quite major impacts since it acts like an anchor, and there will always be trade-offs between weight and strength.

Thanks all for the replies. I really should have first used the search button, as there is a fair amount of info about this in the forum.

Thanks again