Can You Ride A Bike With No Handlebars? (Explained)

Riding a bike with no handlebars can be scary, dangerous, and illegal in some places. However, with practice and courage, you can casually ride without both hands on your handlebars and above your head. 

Remember when you started riding a bicycle and tried the no-hands for the first time.

It was a right of passage for new bike riders back in the day. It seemed easier to do back then than now on your lightweight road bike.

Now that you’re no longer a beginner, riding the no-hands takes a lot of practice and courage. For you to get it perfectly you have to spend a lot of time learning the moves. 

In this article, we’ll look at what it means to ride a bike with no handlebars and the purpose of a bike handlebar. 

What Are Bike Handlebars Called?

Bike handlebars also known as flat bars are the handlebars that come with the different types of bikes available in the market. These flat bars are nearly straight tubes that are bent towards the rider in most cases.

These handlebars come in different sizes and shapes all of which offer numerous cycling positions which impact our level of comfort and control when riding. 

If you’re looking for which of these flat bars are the best, that depends on what riding you want to do and what brand you find ideal. 

To conclude on which flat bar is the best, you have to know what materials these bars are made of.

Recommended Bike Handlebar

What Does It Mean To Ride A Bike With No Handlebars

When you ride a bike with no handlebars, it means riding a bike with no hands. Being able to take your hands off the bars and sit up on the bike is a valuable skill. If done confidently, your balance and control should be as good as they are with your hands on the bars.

However, you don’t need to ride with no hands unless you’re riding at a high level where you may need to take in food or change to a rain cape. 

Riding with no hands would help you develop increased confidence while gaining more control of your bike. 

It provides a core workout system and teaches you how to engage your core rather than resting your weight on the handlebar.

How Do You Ride Without Handlebars?

If you want to start riding your bike without handlebars, you need to learn how to control your bike first. Learning this would help you position your body on the bike while you take off your hands.

To start learning how to ride with no handlebar, you need to learn how to control the bike. 

Here’s what you should do:

  • Moving your body around while riding controls the bike’s direction. At this point, your hips play a key role in your steering.
  • Once you’re able to master that body/hips movement, you can then try taking your hands off the handlebar. 
  • Start by taking off one hand to see how you fare. From riding with one hand, you can then extend to riding with both hands off.
  • The key to achieving this successfully is to sit upright in your saddle without leaning forward over the handlebars. 
  • While you’re riding you have to relax your mind. The more relaxed you are on the saddle, the easier the ride will feel without your hands on the handlebar. You will steer in the right direction when you’re relaxed. 

How Do You Start A Bike Without Falling?

To ride a bike without falling requires you to understand how your bike functions. Many riders don’t learn this and that’s why they don’t have a smooth start or stop. 

You might be wondering what becoming one with your bike means. It simply means knowing your bike to the point where starting and stopping comes without stress to you. 

To achieve this, you have to follow all the steps we would list here in sequence. None of these steps require knowing fancy bike handling skills.

You need to know and understand these steps :

  • To start without falling, lift your pedal to a power position while straddling your bike. Stand on the power pedal, lift your butt, and power forward. 
  • While your bike moves into motion, place your other foot on the other pedal and continue to pedal forward. 
  • If you want to stop, use the brakes while you slide your butt off the saddle and rest your weight on one leg. Lean the bicycle toward the other foot so it is outboard of the pedal.
  • Use your feet and hands to hold the bike from moving forward. And you use the other foot to lift a pedal into the power position for when you want to take your next ride. 

Do Handlebars Make A Difference?

Depending on your preferred riding style, finding the best handlebar that fits your bike can make a big difference to how you ride your bike. 

A change in width can improve your bike’s fit while also affecting its handling stability and characteristics. 

The addition of a carbon fiber handlebar can reduce weight, enhance aerodynamics, dampen vibration before it reaches your hands, and increase stiffness to maximize handling precision, depending on your preferences.

A lot of people might not see it now but you cannot ride for a long distance with no hands.

You can only cover a short distance while executing another action. Therefore, riding with handlebars is important and makes a difference.

What Is The Purpose Of A Bike’s Handlebar?

The different types of bikes all come with various handlebars that have their unique functions. These handlebars influence the stability, handling, and reliability of your bike so choosing the right type for your biking style is important. 

These handlebars come in many sizes and shapes, all of which offer a different cycling position that impacts your level of comfort and control. 

So depending on what you want to achieve with the handlebar, you can make your selection. 

When you want to make your selection, you need to consider

  • Handlebar material
  • Grip, lever, and stem diameter
  • Handlebar Rise/height
  • Handlebar width
  • Handlebar shape


Riding a bike with no handlebars is a matter of choice for casual riders and a matter of necessity for professional riders when they want to increase their energy level and protect themselves from rain. 

You must practice this style of riding before trying it out to avoid accidents and mishaps. 

When practicing, remember to sit upright and adjust your balance by squeezing your thighs against the bike frame and seat to steer the bike in the right direction and maintain the center of gravity.

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I’ve been riding (bicycles) my entire life and am passionate about everything that comes along with it. I wouldn’t call myself a true “roadie”. I’m just a guy that loves riding because of the pure joy it brings.

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