I have purchased a new MonkeyLite XC carbon bar about a week ago. I installed it on my bike, on a 2-bolt Raceface Prodigy stem. Since a torque wrench is not available in my area, I used an improvised lever/weight system to apply a torque of 10-12 N.m, following the stems' manufacturer instructions. Upon testing the screws, they were indeed not overtightened at all. After a 40Km ride on pavement, I inspected the bar and found two scratces in the stem clamp area. They are both shown in the photos attached. The big scratch has now peeled away, and it appears to be detachment of a very thin surface coat, revealing a jet black opaque surface below, with no carbon pattern. The small scratch seems not deep at all, but can be felt with a nail passing over it. My guess is that is was caused by a small scratch in the stem clamp (shown in a photo of the stem. Even though it seems sharp, the stem scratch is almost impossible to feel by passing a finger over it). The stem features no sharp edges. The large scratch, appeared on what would be one of the 4 corners of the stem.
Do any of these two scratches pose a risk? Are they enough to initiate a stress riser? If not, now deep should a scratch be to be compromise the bar strength?
I notice that the area which corresponds to the stems' perimeter, has lost the glossy appearance and became something that looks ready to become another 'peeling big scratch'. Is this failure of the outer coating normal?
In one of the photos, a bubble-like structure of a diameter around 0.5mm is shown. This is on the bottom of the handlebar, about 15cm from the edge. Is that just a surface problem or does it compromise the bar structurally?
I know I'm asking a lot of questions, some of them making me look like an anal retentive freak, but it's my first carbon bar, and I don't like worries holding me back from enjoying the ride.
I sent the same email to Easton, and they ignore it.
I'd appreciate your input!