BMX Specs: Bar Clamping Diameter - What size is right?

This question comes up a lot. What does bar clamping diameter mean? And it's pretty simple. For the most part, BMX handlebars have a 22.2 mm clamping diameter. However, this isn't always the case. In an effort to reduce bar slippage some companies have started to make 1" diameter bars.

That's really it. 90% of bars are 22.2mm and some are 1". If you want to switch to 1" you will need to get a stem that matches this. For example, the Cult DAK 1" bars only work with the DAK 1" OD Stem. Now if I left the post at this length google will not rank it. So for SEO purposes, below I'll be going a little more in-depth about the two diameters.

What's The Difference?

Bar Diameter Heavy or Light? Cons Pros
22.2mm Lighter bars might slip light weight
1" Heavy need a specific stem
Incredibly strong

1" Clamping Diameter

Who is it for?

A 1" Clamping diameter is for a dedicated street rider. Or someone who has an issue with slippy bars. No one likes having a good sesh, dropping down some stairs, and then hearing that dreaded sound of your pars slipping forward or back.

For a serious street rider, this might happen too often. So getting some bars and a stem with a bigger clamping diameter will virtually eliminate this from happening.


Having a 1" CD bar set will make your front end so sturdy. Now only does it keep your bars from slipping, but it also increases the overall strength of the bars/stem.


The only real downside here, is that by running 1" you are limiting yourself. In the long run you will only be able to choose between a small handful of bars that come in a 1". I think that eventually, most bars will be 1" but right now it's hard to switch something like that since most people do not want to change their ways.

22.2mm Clamping Diameter

Who is it for?

This diameter size if for literally everyone who does not have a 1" CD set up. Most riders choose this option because.. well everything else is this size. The 1" bar option is relatively new and only a few companies are working on that option.


Now the best part about 22.2mm is that most bikes already have this. So you won't have to worry about getting a different stem, or carefully selecting your new bars. This will save you a big headache later on. Another cool thing is that they are lighter. With the smaller tubing, this size diameter is going to save weight over the 1" diameter.


If you constantly snap bars and need something that is super strong, this is going to be the wrong size for you. Since these bars are smaller overall, they do not have the same strength as the 1".

What is right for you?

Realistically, whatever you choose is going to be 100% up to you. If you want my opinion though, 1" diameter is not worth it unless you are riding at a really high level, or doing Sean Burns type stuff. Which most people are not. If you have a good set of bars, and you tighten your stem correctly, the bars should not slip.