Bike handlebars and their positioning are unfortunately a commonly overlooked feature on bikes, and their role in providing a safe comfortable ride cannot be overstated. Handlebars offer support and stability to the rider, but also provide a mounting structure for various controls and toggles such as the brake levers, lights, and throttle.
The positioning of a handlebar is crucial to the riding experience. In this article, we will discuss the importance of finding a handlebar configuration that matches your needs and provides the most comfort for you.
A lot of times, consumers consider aesthetics of a bike; whether a bike looks great for them or which bike runs really fast. However, there are a lot of other features you should pay attention to. You don’t want to spend your precious cash on an ebike only to find that you are uncomfortable every time you ride it. One of the most important things you should consider is your ride position and body posture on an ebike.
Below we will detail a few of the common handlebar configurations we see on ebikes nowadays. We highly suggest test riding a bike before purchasing to ensure the bike offers a comfortable ride.
A handlebar style we highly recommend and have found to be the most universlaly comfortable for all riders is a curved set up. This cruiser styled handlebar can be seen on our Beach Babe womens electric bike. The Tower Beach Babe is a classic beach cruiser bike equipped with curved handlebars. The handlebars slick back towards the rider which helps keep the riders body position further back on the bicycle. Instead of being tucked forward and aggressively, the rider can put his weight on the back and have a more relaxed, straightened back, and comfortable ride.
Folding electric bikes tend to have straighter and flat handlebars in an attempt to save space when the bike is folded. Folding ebikes tend to focus more on being compact and easily stowed away and seldom will compromise some form of comfort. As such, the typical riding position on a folding ebike is a little more in the middle. It is not very far back like a cruiser bike, but it is not as aggressive as being so much in the front as well. The rider will be semi-upright and will seldom be a little leaned forward or have an arch on the back.
The last category we will discuss are the aggressive handlebars. These are the ones commonly found on Super 73 and moto styled ebikes. This handlebar configuration is harder for the rider to reach, thus pushes the rider's frame forward like a motorcycle. While the ride may look cool with these types of handlebars they leave the rider in a vulnerable, often uncomfortable position.
When you are getting an ebike, you will definitely have to factor in your use case for it. If you're looking for a nice and comfortable ebike to ride on, you might want to avoid some bikes with aggressive handlebars which will lead to more strain to your body and back due to your tucked forward and arched positioning.
At the end of the day its important to do your research on what each ebike provides. Don't just research battery capabilities and motor torque, also look at important aspects and components on bikes that will lead to more comfort and easier pedaling. Pay attention to the handlebars and the positions you are going to ride in. A lot of times, brands will have pictures of people riding their bikes, so you can pay attention to the body position. When applicable, test ride a bike before purchasing!