Handlebars are marketed primarily by their rise but most veteran riders have an up sweep and back sweep preference too. It’s important to experiment with different rise and sweep to find something that’s comfortable for you. Try riding buddies bikes so you are able see how the different measurements affect your riding and wrist positions.

The most important variable is going to be the rise or handle bar height. A few companies manufactured 9 inch bars as a joke and since then, 8” – 9” rise bars have been the standard. I believe this is because tall bars provide comfortable riding position where the spine is nearly neutral. If you go look at old PROPS videos you’ll notices most riders are hunched over compared to the riding posture of Stevie Churchill. Haaha. 

Left: Van Homan in Criminal Mischief – 2001
Right: Stevie Churchill in OSS – 2014

The width of the bars is the only measurement that can be easily adjusted. We personally think anything over 29” is way too wide but to each their own. Some feel that with wide bars they have better control over the bike. Ride on the outside of your current bars to determine if you’d like the feeling of wider bars.

Up sweep can help wrist strain with some. Up sweep can make throwing barspins a bit different too. Imagine, scooter bars have no up sweep. The up sweep can change your point of contact slightly, but not enough to be concerned.

Back sweep may also help some with wrist strain. Once again, this is solely a preference that doesn’t affect the bike feel all too much. To put it simply, just pick something that feels good on your wrist and back. If you have no clue what that may be, find some bikes to test ride at your local skate park.