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How To Choose A BMX Bar In 2024

choose a bmx bar

Are you trying to figure out how to choose a BMX bar so it won’t mess up your riding?

I feel you.

But let me calm you down.

You’re on the SAFE side unless you make a drastic change (going from an 8.75″ bar to a 10″ bar?!).

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Why?

Because the bar height and width are adjustable for your convenience.

This post covers:

Note: You may also be interested in my in-dept guide on BMX bar dimensions.

What Size BMX Bars Should I Use?

I’m sad to say that there’s no right answer I could give you because it really depends on your height, but even more on your riding style.

However, here are two more general answers that work every time:

  1. Choose a bigger bar if you like to sit/stand higher (less strain on your lower back) – because you’re taller – and need more stability.
  2. And pick a smaller bar if you like a twitchier bike and are smaller.

BMX Bar Size Chart

Rider height Bar rise
4’8″ to 5’2″ 8″ – 8.5″
5′ to 5’4″ 8.25″ – 9″
5’2″ to 5’6″ 8.75″ – 9.25″
5’4″ to 5’8″ 9″ – 9.5″
5’6″ to 6′ 9.25″ – 10″
5’8″ to 6′ 9.75″ – 10.5″
6’+ 10.5″+

Note: The above recommendations are my findings after analyzing 100s of pro and amateur riders.

(Remember, choosing the ideal bar rise is a very personal, so what you like might be completely off compared to the above chart.)

How Tall Should Your BMX Bars Be?

Today’s standard height is around 9″ and up. For instance, I’m 5’11”, and I ride a 10″ bar – it fits me perfectly!

With every passing year, the height of the bar is slowly increasing, but the sweet spot will be between 9″ and 10″ (will it be like that forever?).

If you’re considering getting a taller handlebar, add spacers first to see how more rise feels.

You can also ask someone at the skatepark with a taller front end than you to try it out.

Downside: Once you get the bar, there’s no turning back (except removing all the spacers).

How Wide Should Your BMX Bars Be?

I already wrote a guide on the ideal BMX bar width where I get more in-depth on the topic.

Here’s a recap:

  • Standard bar width is anything from 28″ to 29″ (but some go below 28″ and some wider than 29″).
  • Using a narrower bar will help you with barspins. It makes the bar spin faster, and you don’t need to worry about hitting your knees.
  • But a wider bar is for all the dudes out there who enjoy more stability.

Are Higher Bars Better On BMX?

Yes, they actually are.

But you can read through my article on whether or not bigger bars are better for BMX to learn the ins and outs.

Two things to point out when it comes to bigger bars.

  • Fun fact: It’s easier to bunnyhop (and you’ll hop higher) with a taller bar.
  • Getting your bike into a manual becomes more effortless.

How To Make Your BMX Bar Last Longer

Ensuring your BMX handlebar lasts longer involves proper maintenance, careful riding and using quality equipment.

Note: Don’t forget to check my ultimate guide to BMX bike maintenance.

Here are some steps I follow and recommend you do, too, to extend the life of your BMX handlebars:

  1. Choose quality bar: Opt for handlebars from high-quality materials like Chromoly. (AVOID high-tensile steel bars!) Also, consider the geometry and width that suits your riding style and preferences.
  2. Proper installation: The main thing is to properly tighten the stem bolts to prevent slippage. If your bar slips too many times, the knurling will damage, weakening the stem-to-bar grip.
  3. Use bar ends: Install bar ends to protect the ends of the handlebars from impact damage. But also to protect you from stabbing yourself (like I stabbed myself once – not good).
  4. Don’t throw your bike (!): Avoid throwing your bike because it can land right on your bar, creating extra impacts and stress that can damage it.
  5. Land softer: Pay attention to how you land your tricks. It’s always better to land rear tire first or both tires. Avoid landing front tire first. Not only will it put more stress on your bars, but your wrists, too! In other words, develop a smoother riding style to reduce stress on the handlebars.
  6. Regular inspections: Regularly inspect handlebars for any signs of damage, such as cracks, bends, or rust. Pay attention to the areas around welds and where the handlebars clamp to the stem, as these areas are prone to stress.

Remember, no matter how well you maintain them, handlebars have a lifespan and will eventually need replacing.

If you notice any cracks, significant bending, or other severe damage, replace the handlebars immediately to avoid accidents.

Your safety is paramount, so never compromise it by using damaged or unsuitable equipment.

Conclusion: Find The Correct BMX Bar

Many say that choosing the right BMX bar is hard and challenging.

Let me tell you a secret: Everything in our life becomes tough if we start complicating.

So here’s how to pick the best bar to help you progress.

When it comes to height, as I mentioned earlier, just don’t make a TOO drastic jump. If you pick a half-an-inch higher bar, you’re good to go.

But it’s still better to first try adding spaces and maybe even getting a top load BMX stem. Or try someone else’s bike to see how it feels.

As far as the width goes, you can always cut the bars down to however wide you want them to be. But don’t cut too much of it right away.

Cut and test. Cut and test. Even though it takes a little more time, this is the only way to find the right bar width for yourself.

FAQs About Choosing A BMX Bar

Does BMX Bar Size Matter?

In short, yes. A bigger bar will give you more stability, you won’t be so hunched over and even your bunnyhops will improve. Not to mention, getting into a manual doesn’t require so much pull.

What Is The Most Common BMX Handlebar Size?

Regarding height, anything between 9″ and 10″ is the standard. As for the width, the most common is between 28″ and 29.”

How does bar geometry affect my riding?

Bar geometry, including factors like upsweep and backsweep, significantly affects your bike’s handling and comfort. Upsweep refers to the upward angle from the crossbar, affecting wrist comfort. Backsweep is the backward curve, impacting arm and shoulder positioning. Adjust these angles based on your riding style and comfort preferences.

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Are you looking for new BMX bars? Check out my lists of the best:

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About Author

Rok has been riding BMX for 20+ years, and when he's not having a session, he binges on videos, new product drops and works on creating the best content (sharing tips, tricks & more to make riding bikes easier for you) for The BMX Dude.