roadbike handlebars: fatigue, corrosion
What's the word on fatigue and corrosion limits if you want to avoid that dreaded scenario of snapping a handlebar at the worst possible time? Is it basically a wise idea to replace the bars every year if you ride a fair bit?
I don't often replace bar tape...so there gets to be quite a bit of white powdery corrosion under there when I do it. There were a few pits in the metal this time, but not as bad as I've seen before.
I've also accidentally discovered that wrapping the bar in duct tape before installing bar tape almost totally protects the bar from rusting. It must keep the sweat of it. I did this on one side only as I'd lost the rubber strip that fills the rear groove on the Ergo compatible bars, and filled it with a short section of empty cable holder/outer duct taped to the bar. When I went to replace the bar tape (MUCH LATER) I was pleasantly surprised to see almost NO corrosion compared to the other side. For the few extra grams of weight for the duct tape, I'll take the extra peace of mind and economy of bar life.
Of course, metal fatigue is still accumulating. But how serious a problem is that for average road bars? I expect super light weight metal bars may be more prone to failure in this regard?
And final question....CARBON BARS. Potentially excellent fatigue life, great vibration absorbtion, lightweight, won't delaminate or corrode on from sweat alone. The hood clamp could react with carbon and sweat tho? I don't normally spend $ on fancy stuff like this, but I'm wondering if even at the same weight as an alloy bar, if carbon bar offers more comfort, reliability and serviceable life?