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Old 10-10-06, 06:03 AM   #1
TallRider
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dent/abrasion on Nitto handlebar from eBay - dangerous?

I recently purchased a bar/stem/shifters combo off of eBay; somebody had pulled it off a late-70's bike and sold it directly. (The auction said early-70's, but the construction of the Nitto stem and bar, and the shifters being Suntour's rachet design which I don't think was around in the early-70's, make me think late-70's or possibly even early-80's.)

The auction described the items as "in good to very good vintage condition" which I think was a bit misleading, though probably not intentionally.
I bought it mainly for the barcons, which had a fair bit of rust inside and took quite awhile to fully disassemble and overhaul, but they work well now. But that would qualify as "fair condition" in my book.
The Nitto forged quill stem is in good shape (those things rarely get messed up).
The bars are my main worry. They're Nitto Olympiade 114, and have some fairly deep scratches on the right drop, although I sanded them down and don't think they're a structural worry (I'd be worried about those scratches if they were further up on the bar, but they ain't). Though even that would qualify the bars as in fair condition.
The worry I have with the bars is that they have a dent/abraision on the bulged area at the top of the bar, directly to the left of where the stem clamps on and between the stem-clamp and the end of the bulged section. If the bar had sleeved construction, I wouldn't worry about this (and it probably wouldn't have gotten dented to begin with). But the dent is easy to see and feel, although somewhat harder to capture in photos. I'm wondering if there's any reason to think that the dent is a structural worry for riding with the bars, torquing on them for out-of-the-saddle climbs, etc.
See what you think:


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Old 10-10-06, 07:00 AM   #2
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I think you'd be alright if you were using it on a bike where you cruised around bike paths < 20kmh. But anything more vigorous and it seems kind of dicey.
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Old 10-11-06, 07:32 AM   #3
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^^^ I agree. I think it's unsound. Steel can take a hit like this and not be compromised, but alloy is much sneaky-er. It can develop fractures and weaknesses that are virtually invisible, yet they propagate until they fail catastrophically. I wouldn't take a chance on this bar if it's going to be subjected to any kind of major stress.
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Old 10-11-06, 10:16 AM   #4
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The damage is in the worst possible place. I'd throw them in the trash and leave negative feedback.
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Old 10-11-06, 10:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtdrop
The damage is in the worst possible place. I'd throw them in the trash and leave negative feedback.
Well, it's the kind of thing that could have easily gone unnoticed if the bar wasn't carefully inspected (it was sold as stem/bar/bar-end shifters, still all connected to each other). But I don't think the guy was trying to rip me off or anything, he was just careless to not notice or mention the dent. Again, it's not big, but it is in a bad spot and I don't plan on using the bars. As HillRider told me, "bars are much cheaper than dental work" so it doesn't pay to run iffy or old bars.

But I won't leave negative feedback until I'd tried to talk to the guy first. And in this case, it wouldn't be negative but only neutral (since the stem was in good shape and I was able to overhaul the shifters and get them working quite nicely). I'd only leave negative feedback if
a) I think the seller tried to rip me off
b) seller is unresponsive to communication or uninterested in working anything out
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Old 10-11-06, 11:18 AM   #6
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I'd expect to get negative feedback if I sold bars without disclosing that kind of damage.
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Old 10-23-06, 10:13 AM   #7
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I've not heard back from the seller after sending an email explaining the problems with the bar and linked to this thread (and the thread in the Classic and Vintage forum).

I don't think it's a very big deal, and the stem and barcons I got out of the deal are okay. But the bar definitely ain't. Here's a closeup shot of the gouging on the right drop of the bar. I sanded it down to try to take away stress risers, but if you look closely (esp. in the upper right of the picture) you can see that cracking has formed into the aluminum.

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