31.8 vs 35mm Handlebar: Which Improves Mountain Biking?

In this article, you will see overview of for 31.8 vs 35mm handlebar differences - we'll explain which material and width can give more control to your vehicle
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Last updatedLast updated: April 24, 2022
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Mountain biking extremists may already know their preferences but if you are just getting into the sport, there are a lot of decisions to be made. One of them is choosing between a 31.8 vs 35mm handlebar. Again, if you are an expert, you probably have already heavily research your decision. But those just starting out are probably utter confused and overwhelmed. Afterall, the difference doesn’t seem that great, so how much is really affected? The truth is that even with just a small measurement difference, your ride can be quite altered.

31.8 mm Handlebars Overview

Handlebars of both sizes come in carbon options. Here is how they stack up in comparing length and weight.

Carbon

Carbon is the lighter option here, and is reflected in the length vs weight categories.

Model Length Weight
Acros Popular Bar 780 mm 190 g
BEAST Components 31.8 800 mm 203 g
Levelnine Pro Team 785 mm 242 g
NEWMEN Advanced 318.25 800 mm 240 g
Race Face Sixc 3/4″ 785 mm 220 g
Ritchey WCS Carbon 2X 710 mm 183 g
SQlab 311 FL-X 740 mm 198 g
Syntace Vector Carbon High35 780 mm 265 g
Truvativ Atmos Carbon 760 mm 190 g

Aluminum

Although not quite as light as carbon, aluminum is still a decent option.

Model Length Weight
Chromag Fubars FU40 800 mm 330 g
Levelnine Race 720 mm 280 g
Newmen Evolution SL 760 mm 280 g
PRO FRS 31.8 800 mm 345 g
Renthal Fatbar 800 mm 315 g
Ritchey Comp 740 mm 380 g
Spank Oozy Trail 780 Vibrocore 780 mm 270 g
Spank Spike 800 800 mm 330 g
SQlab 3OX MTB 31.8 780 mm 335 g
Truvativ Hussefelt Comp 700 mm 347 g

35 mm Handlebars Overview

For those that want a 35 mm handle, these charts will help you understand a bit more about the dimensions.

Carbon

Now becoming a more popular option, carbon gives you a lighter weight for your bike.

Model Length Weight
Acros Popular Bar 780 mm 190 g
BEAST Components 35 800 mm 194 g
Bontrager Line Pro 750 mm 222 g
Chromag BZA 35 800 mm 235 g
OneUp Components 20 800 mm 220 g
PRO Tharsis 3Five Carbon 720 mm 130 g
Race Face Next R 800 mm 215 g
Renthal Fatbar 800 mm 225 g
Specialized Roval Traverse SL Carbon 800 mm 227 g

Aluminum

Strong and durable, here is how aluminum performs.

Model Length Weight
Chromag Fubars OSX 800 mm 312 g
ethirteen Plus 800 mm 280 g
Levelnine Team 800 mm 316 g
PRO Tharsis 3Five 35 800 mm 250 g
Race Face Aeffect 780 mm 335 g
Race Face Atlas 820 mm 320 g
Race Face Turbine R 800 mm 300 g
Renthal Fatbar 35 800 mm 305 g
Renthal FatbarLite 35 760 mm 270 g
Thomson Elite 35 800 mm 250g

Difference Between 35mm vs 31.8 Handlebar

Obviously, the main difference between a 35mm and a 31.8mm handlebar is the size, but what else makes these two options so diverse?

Weight

Weight is a tricky category to compare 35mm and 31.8mm handlebars because it also has to do with the material, either carbon or aluminum. Overall, however, you can expect 35mm handlebars to be slightly heavier than the alternative. This makes a lot of sense because with thicker diameter comes more material, which will then weigh more.

Price

Right now, the current standard for mountain biking is a 31.8mm handlebar. As a result, there are more bikes that offer this choice. When you have more choice, you have more competition and as a result, lower prices.

What’s more, you can find 31.8mm handlebars just about anywhere. From your local bike shop to an online retailer, and even to a large used bike selection, there are many 31.8mm options to be found.

You can still definitely find 35mm options but your choice may be limited. You may have to special order a handlebar in this size from your favorite bike shop, especially right now as there are multiple supply chain issues.

Those that want to purchase a bike that is already put together can definitely find affordable mountain bike options. As soon as you want to add your own modifications, that is when the price quickly skyrockets.

Clamping area

No matter how you ride your mountain bike, at some point it will need to be repaired. It’s no secret that mountain biking injuries Trusted Source Mountain Biking - Active & Safe Mountain biking, riding specially-designed bicycles off-road and over rough terrain, is a popular sport in British Columbia. activesafe.ca are more common than road biking injuries and when you fall over, there is a good change your bike will be injured, too. Thus, a clamping area is important. This allows you to keep your bike upright while you or a specialist looks at it.

Thanks to its larger size, a 35mm handlebar will have a larger clamping area. While this is definitely a bonus, because the standard is still 31.8mm, most repair shops are perfectly fine with a smaller clamping area.

Stiffness

31.8 vs 35mm Handlebar: Which Improves Mountain Biking?

The stiffer your bike the more responsive it is. If you are going downhill and need to navigate between two trees, you want to have the most control possible over your bike.

35mm handlebars really stand out in this category because they are much stiffer. With the thicker material, there is less flexibility so you can move exactly how you want to.

Just be a bit careful if you switch handlebar sizes as the extra stiffness can take a bit to get used to.

Those who go on longer journeys, such as if you need a mountain bike for hunting, may find a stiffer ride a bit harder to navigate as you will need to keep your arms at constant attention. However, stiffness is largely a personal preference and with both diameter options, you quickly adapt.

Length

The length of handlebar won’t change, even if the diameter does. You can still find both diameter sizes in a range of lengths, from 750 to 800mm.

Durability and quality

There’s a bit of disagreement within this category. 35mm handlebars are thicker and thus should be a bit stronger than a thinner bar. They can also hold a bit of extra weight, which may be a bonus if you are a heavier rider.

However, mountain bikes, regardless of the thickness, are meant to be durable. All of their components combines will ensure that you have a solid ride and no matter your size, your bike and its handles won’t spontaneously fall apart.

If you are concerned about durability, such as if you are looking for the best gravel handlebars, then there are a number of specific options you can look for.

Which Should You Choose?

If you prefer tougher riding patterns and desire more control over your bike – 35mm handlebar is an obvious choice. But lighter and more affordable 31.8mm handlebar can reduce road vibrations thus going lighter on your joints.

Final Thoughts

Getting out on your bike is an extremely healthy activity Trusted Source Cycling Benefits: 12 Reasons Cycling Is Good for You Cycling is a low impact exercise that can help you manage your weight as well as prevent health risks. It’s good for beginners and advanced athletes alike. www.healthline.com and the best ride on your mountain bike will be determined by how comfortable you feel. You want to be in control as you speed along rough terrain which is why it’s important to outfit your bike with all the necessary modifications. From your seat to your pedals to your handlebar, finding the right option may take a bit of time. We hope you now have a better understanding of what makes a 31.8 vs 35mm handlebar so different. The measurement refers to the diameter and while the 31.8mm handlebar is still the industry standard, there are becoming more options for both sizes.

References

1.
Mountain Biking - Active & Safe
Mountain biking, riding specially-designed bicycles off-road and over rough terrain, is a popular sport in British Columbia.
2.
Cycling Benefits: 12 Reasons Cycling Is Good for You
Cycling is a low impact exercise that can help you manage your weight as well as prevent health risks. It’s good for beginners and advanced athletes alike.
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