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Bike Handlebars for Arthritis: Reduce Symptoms when Cycling

A hand showing glowing red areas on the joints and wrists highlighting arthritis pain.

Cycling can be a great way to get out of the house or get some exercise, and though you may not think it’s the best idea, cycling can sometimes even help with arthritis. Though cycling can in some ways be beneficial if you have arthritis, you need to help yourself in any way possible. Luckily, there are some guidelines and tips for the type of handlebars you need to reduce arthritis symptoms while cycling.

When choosing the right handlebars for cycling with arthritis, there are a couple of options, the most common being swept-back handlebars. Other popular suggestions for cycling with arthritis include riser handlebars, or a combination of the two to help put less strain on your wrists, if possible.

There are a couple of different handlebars you may want to consider using if you enjoy cycling, want the most comfortable and least straining options, and have arthritis.

However, you should always look for the best handlebars that suit your situation since not all handlebars will feel the same for all cyclists. If you are going out of your way to buy handlebars to help you, you don’t want to waste money.

What Are The Best Handlebars For Arthritis?

If you are looking for a way to reduce the symptoms or put less strain on your body while cycling with arthritis, it is essential to find the right handlebars for your needs. With this in mind, though many of these suggestions may help you, you should always test these handlebars before making a purchase, as you need to be comfortable using them.

Swept-Back Handlebars

Swept-back handlebars, like these available on Amazon, are one of the most highly recommended types of handlebars for people that want to cycle with arthritis. This recommendation is popular because the handlebars are made in a way that allows you to sit up straighter and helps reduce pressure on your wrists and other joints.

The way these handlebars bend at an angle allows a wider grip. Paired with softer bicycle grips, these handlebars can work very well and feel much more comfortable.

There are also various degrees of the curve in the swept-back handlebars style, so you should be able to find a shape that best suits your situation and comfort.

Riser Handlebars

Similar to the aforementioned swept-back handlebar style, the riser handlebar style (Amazon link), also allows you to stay more upright while on your bicycle, reducing the symptoms of arthritis when cycling and straining your wrists and joints in your hands.

Since one of the most painful symptoms for cyclists with arthritis is caused by leaning and putting weight on your hands and wrists, this can improve the symptoms considerably.

A general recommendation is to get softer handlebar grips, like these ones on Amazon, that sit well in your hands and allow you to move more comfortably. The addition of the grips may also help you reach the brakes and can help you reduce the symptoms that you may have from using straight or less padded handlebar grips.

A hand on a bike handlebar.
Comfort is key when it comes to choosing the right handlebars for arthritis

Jones H-Bar

Another type of handlebar that may help those who cycle with arthritis to reduce symptoms during or after riding, is the Jones H-bar, this one on Amazon is a good example.

This handlebar style comes highly recommended, though some people say it doesn’t help them as much as other types of handlebars. It is valuable to note again that you need the handlebars to be comfortable to work correctly.

Similar to others, this style of handlebars can help reduce the amount of strain put onto your wrists and joints while cycling by reducing the amount of weight on your hands.

NOTE: You will need to get padded grips if you want to use this style of handlebars to help you reduce arthritis symptoms while cycling.

A Combination Of Upsweep and Swept-Back

According to many, the ideal handlebar combines a swept-back and up-swept handlebar and allows you to reduce the cycling pressure.

This combination allows you to sit in a much more upright position when cycling, which helps reduce the pressure on your:

  • hands
  • wrists
  • back
  • knees

This type of handlebar is widespread and bends backward and upwards to achieve its shape.

There are many variations in this handlebar style, so it is essential to test them before you buy one, since the angles of the bends can drastically reduce or increase the comfort and strain on your body while cycling.

The Importance Of Handlebar Grips For Arthritis

If you are looking to get handlebars to reduce the strain of cycling if you have arthritis, it is also critical to note the importance of the grips on your handlebars, especially if you want to cycle on bad roads or off-road.

You may still experience discomfort or pain due to the terrain you cycle, though the handlebars can help reduce the weight and pressure you put on your:

  • hands
  • joints
  • wrists

Well-padded grips for your new handlebars can drastically reduce the stress on your hands when cycling over:

  • bumps
  • pebbles
  • rough terrain

TIP: Adding padded grips to your bicycle handlebars allows your hands to be cushioned instead of taking all the force of rough terrain, which can shake and impact your hands negatively during and after cycling.

A bike handlebar with brown padded grips.
Padded grips are another big part of comfort when cycling with arthritis

Finding the right handlebars for your bicycle is only half of the process. Finding grips that allow you to be comfortable and reduce the other impacts are just as essential to help reduce arthritis symptoms.


You can try or use several different styles of handlebars to reduce the amount of strain on your:

  • hands
  • joints
  • wrists
  • other parts of your body

Finding handlebar styles that allow you to be comfortable while also reducing the angle at which you need to bend to reach them can help you keep the benefits of cycling while also reducing the symptoms of doing so if you have arthritis.

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