OneUp Handlebar Comparison | Carbon vs Aluminum

oneup components carbon and aluminum mountain bike handlebars on the concrete


OneUp is known for disrupting the space with their innovative components that approach design a bit differently from the rest. When they launched their carbon bars a few years ago, they were the first to pioneer an ovalized cross section to introduce compliance without sacrificing the steering responsiveness riders love from carbon bars. Now, that same ovalized compliance is coming to the aluminum world, with OneUp’s first aluminum handlebar.

OneUp Components Handlebar Specs

OneUp Aluminum Bar

  • 800mm Width
  • 35mm Rise
  • 35mm Clamp
  • 5° Upsweep
  • 8° Backsweep
  • 350g (35mm rise)
  • $89.50

OneUp Carbon Bar

  • 800mm Width
  • 20mm or 35mm Rise
  • 35mm Clamp
  • 5° Upsweep
  • 8° Backsweep
  • 220g (20mm rise), 225g (35mm rise)
  • $159.50

Stiffness and Compliance

Mountain bikes have come a long way since the floppy noodles of the past, and gone are the days of making everything as stiff as possible. With today’s technology, it’s all about making things stiff in the right places and compliant everywhere else to keep you from getting rattled off the bike. Carbon fiber has typically been the material of choice for tuning stiffness because of how easily you can change its layup and weave, while aluminum doesn’t have quite the same finesse to it. That’s exactly why it’s taken so long for OneUp’s to create an aluminum counterpart to the ever popular carbon bar.

OneUp has brought nearly the same performance to a lower price point of $89.50, compared to $159.50 for the carbon handlebars.

detail of oval oneup components carbon and aluminum mountain bike handlebars on the concrete

At the most ovalized cross section, I measured 10x15mm for both the aluminum and carbon handlebar, while their even more ovalized eMTB bar, the cross section measures 8x17mm. Both the standard carbon bar and the aluminum bar offer a noticeably more compliant and damped ride compared to standard handlebars with a boring cylindrical shape throughout, but don’t offer quite as much separation from the trail vibrations as the eMTB bar. All three of these handlebars do a great job of keeping that dreaded arm pump at bay for a bit longer, and it’s quite impressive how different all of these bars feel compared to a standard shape handlebar. By eliminating a lot of those small vibrations coming through the trail to your hands, trails feel a bit smoother and it almost feels like riding with one or two PSI less in your tires without adding the rolling resistance.

Weight Comparison

The biggest difference between the aluminum and carbon options is going to be the weight, with uncut 800mm 35mm rise OneUp aluminum bars weighing about 350g, and uncut 800mm 35mm rise OneUp carbon bars weighing about 250g. That wasn’t something I noticed out on the trail, but the most discerning weight weenies will definitely want to get the carbon option! But for the rest of us, the aluminum option does a great job of supplying the majority of the performance upgrade of the carbon bars by removing some vibrations from the trail without making your steering feel like a wet noodle.

oneup components aluminum handlebars set on a concrete jersey barrier
oneup components carbon handlebars with 35mm rise set on a jersey barrier

When riding both the carbon and aluminum bars back to back, the difference is definitely noticeable, albeit slight. After spending countless hours on the carbon bars before trying the aluminum version, I definitely expected there to be a more noticeable difference right away, but that wasn’t the case. It took a few rides on the aluminum bars, then switching back to the carbon bars, to realize that the carbon bars did remove more of the vibrations from the trail, albeit very slight. The difference between these two bars is not nearly as noticeable as the difference between an ovalized bar and a regular cylindrical bar.


So if you’re trying to change the vibes of the trail, these aluminum bars are a worthy upgrade for your mountain bike. You get all of the advantages of the steering stiffness of a 35mm handlebar but without the harsh feedback usually associated with them! OneUp has once again made an innovative product with their ovalized design, but now at an even lower price point than before.

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Tor Weiland



Bellingham, WA

Current Bikes: Transition Spire Custom Build

Bike Size: Medium

Favorite Trails: Oriental Express, Galbraith

About Me: Hailing from the sunny landscape of California, Tor headed north and landed here in the cloudy town of Bellingham, WA. His riding style is "PINNED" and he loves to scope out those seemingly impossible triples. He loves riding and also loves sharing his experiences with others. You can catch Tor in front of the camera or behind the keyboard, but best of luck catching him on the trail!