The handlebars undoubtedly affect the look of a bike. There are even a few riders that won't accept a bike as a bona fide road machine, unless it has dropped handlebars.

However, there are different reasons for the various bar shapes, the bars affect both the comfort and handling of a bike. Flat or riser bars need not just be for town bikes or MTB. Many fixie riders and commuters use them as they prefer the upright position and easy access to the brake levers. North road or comfort bars also give the benefit of the upright position, but with a different hand position that many riders like. Drop bars give a bike a classic look and the lower position when riding in the drops has real aero benefits. Some riders find the lower centre of gravity helpful when descending, while others hate it.

Generally most of our handlebars are for traditional 25.4mm stem clamps. The binder diameter will always be stated, particularly with vintage handlebars there can be a lot of variation. In recent years the trend has been towards larger bars with a 31.8mm binder, which is still sometimes referred too as oversize.