A guide to picking the ideal MTB handlebar:
The first thing to make sure of when picking out the perfect bar is that you have a compatible stem and bar clamp zone. The old standard is 25.4 mm. The new oversized is 31.8 mm, which is quickly becoming the new standard.
The next thing you want to check out is the material on your bar. There is carbon, steel, aluminum, and lots of different choices for your bars.
The three most important features of a bar are the rise, the sweep, and the width. The rise has to do with how much the bar comes up from the stem and can make up for the amount of drop you have on the bicycle. If you need to sit more upright you can get a bar with a rise. The sweep has to do with how much it comes back towards the rider. The width is how wide the bars are. More width will equal more leverage on the wheel. Keep in mind, you can always cut down, but you can’t add.
Grips are also very important. First option is a standard rubber grip. Another option is a foam grip, which are lighter weight and softer. Lastly is an ergonomic style, which is designed to support your hand better. Also available are bolt on bar ends for a second hand position.
Most importantly, get your hands on some and try it out.