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  1. #1
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    How long do handlebars last?

    Assuming they're not ultra lightweight and haven't been in any devastating crashs, how long can one expect a handlebar that sees normal but regular, even daily use to last?

    Has anyone seen handlebars fail under normal use(i.e not freeride, dh) that seemed to have nothing other than their age against them.

  2. #2
    Ferrous wheel
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    Zinn suggests two years. That's alloy bars, probably with regular use. Whatever that means.

    I have used 25-year-old Cinellis with no problems (yet), and I have used a 45-year-old steel bar on a Raleigh road bike.

    There are so many variables involved that there's no hard and fast rule about how long a bar will last. I've yet to see one fail personally -- but I have no doubt that it happens.
    One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach -- all the damn vampires.

  3. #3
    Young and unconcerned Treefox's Avatar
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    I would assume there are a great many other things that will fail long before handlebars... I imagine the frame would go first, but who knows... It would depend greatly on the material, amount of use, and even things like length.

    I can't imagine it being something you need worry about.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefox
    I would assume there are a great many other things that will fail long before handlebars... I imagine the frame would go first, but who knows... It would depend greatly on the material, amount of use, and even things like length.

    I can't imagine it being something you need worry about.
    Well, I don't think any reasonablely light handlebar will outlast a frame and, even it it might, failure has much more severe consequences. I've gotten 20,000 miles and more out of light-but-not-stupid-light bars (240 - 260 gms Al bars in 42 cm c-c length road type) and never had one break so I'm confident they will last that long.

  5. #5
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    I had a backward-angled touring-type handlebar that did not make it through the mounting. With an arm of force present, due to the backward placement of the grips relative to the end of stem, the torque from the hands would make the handlebar rotate within the stem. I continued to tighten the handlebar within the stem, without being able to prevent the handlebar rotation. Eventually I noticed that the handlebar already caved in in the area of its mounting. I switched to an identically shaped steel handlebar and was able to secure it without much problem.

  6. #6
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    They certainly are not wear items. Replace them when they bend or break.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
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  7. #7
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, there's a wide variance. I've had bars last 10-years and others that snapped after 2-years. The ones with a smooth bulge in the middle that doesn't use a sleeve with sharp-transition seems to be more durable. It depends upon the usage-pattern and the ones that's broke were stressed to high-levels with lots of sprint-practice. There's a reason track-bikes use steel bars....

  8. #8
    Senior Member SteakKnifeSally's Avatar
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    broke the bar

    I broke the alloy handlebar on my fixed '78 Schwinn Supersport. I was leaving a stoplight, doing a track style standing start (arms straight, weight forward, stomping for all I was worth.) The bar tore at the bottom right next to the stem. I didn't crash, but did have to walk the rest of the way to work.

  9. #9
    Young and unconcerned Treefox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    Well, I don't think any reasonablely light handlebar will outlast a frame and, even it it might, failure has much more severe consequences. I've gotten 20,000 miles and more out of light-but-not-stupid-light bars (240 - 260 gms Al bars in 42 cm c-c length road type) and never had one break so I'm confident they will last that long.
    Well I've seen plenty of broken frames (well, several anyhow), but never a broken handlebar on any 'real' bicycle...

    (including a really scary looking front fork that sheered right off when someone couldn't make a sharp turn and flew off into the ditch on the side of the road... I suppose the fact that the owner was getting it repaired boded well for the health of the owner)

  10. #10
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Until they snap, and not a moment longer.

    Enjoy

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