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  1. #1
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    Titanium Handlebar?

    Anyone tried a titanium flat bar? I want to do a 25.4 mm flat bar to get away from the oversize center. I have found opposing info on Ti. Noodley and buzzy.

    Thoughts? I have aluminium now, and have been happy with it. But if I am changing, is "upgrade " worth while? And for reference, I cut bars as short as I can, current Al's are in a 530 ish park.

  2. #2
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    I had Titec 118.

    They flexed some which for me was a good thing (shock absorption). No buzz, smoother than steel or alloy but less durable. The ends are very thin and easily damaged if you drop your bike. You need to put B.E.R.T.s (bar end reinforcement thingies) in them if you want to use bar ends or else the barend clamp will crush them.

    The length is 555mm, I wouldn't try cutting them. They are very thin at the ends and I think a pipe cutter or hacksaw would damage them.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link. That is the exact bar I was oggling, and I hadn't seen the info about tapered wall thickness. Means that even if I could cut it without collapsing, the B.E.R.T's (reminds me of R.O.U.S.) wouldn't fit. And they have to cause I'd keep the GX-2's. Drat.

  4. #4
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    Haha! It's less than 22 inches. An inch, (only 12mm on each end) from what you prefer. You need a better excuse. It's too wide won't fly. You won't be able to tell the difference from 530 to 555. If you can tell the difference, you'll like wider better. You'll have better control and you'll breathe better.

    The middle of your grips will be closer than the brake hoods on an average width drop bar. You shouldn't go narrower than that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    Just got home and measured my current. My at work guess of 530ish was way off. They measure 527. The issue is that that is about 35 to 40 longer than I want. That is why I want to get rid of the chunky 31.8 OS stem blob in the middle. With a shorter tapered center, controls move closer to stem, and grips move in.

    Granted this is all theoretical, and may be uncomfortable as all get out. If I take the Ti plunge, I will get a cheapy Al 3 deg bar to do a mock up first. Or just try that length on my single speed that has fewer controls to sweat out.

  6. #6
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    Don't ride bars narrower than your shoulders. Shoulder width is the standard for drop bars. Flat bars should be shoulder width plus 4 or 5 inches so the middle of your grips are shoulder width, so your hands will be shoulder width apart. The key phrase here is "shoulder width". You can go wider, but you cannot go narrower than shoulder width. Trust me on this. I know what I'm talking about. Friends don't let friends ride narrow bars.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    I don't doubt your knowledge in the least, but I thought the saying was "Friend don't let friends ride steel framed drop bar European City Bikes".

    This is largely theoretical at this point, but I spend most of my rides with either my palms on the ends of the bars, or on the corners with my thumb in the crook of the bar / grip juncture. I shift by rotating my simian fingers as necessary to hit the triggers. So I was trying to narrow bars to get this juncture down to 450 ish. Which is an approximation of shoulder width. It means my grips would be inboard of this. Bad, I know.

    So to move things closer I thought 25.4, and if getting a new bar then should it be Ti? Consume... consume...

  8. #8
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    "I spend most of my rides with either my palms on the ends of the bars, or on the corners with my thumb in the crook of the bar / grip juncture."

    Clearly evident that your bars are too narrow. Case closed.

  9. #9
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I cannot fault your logic.

  10. #10
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    Hey you're welcome to your opinion, but it's wrong! I give a lot of free advice, but nobody has ever taken my advice. Think about it. You could be the first!

  11. #11
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    No, I honestly can't fault your Vulcan logic. I have continued to hack off tidbits of bar in the pursuit of a length I like, and I may have already passed it.

    But if I don't need to go shorter, then I don't need to ditch the oversize bar. Which means I don't need a new stem and handle bar. So the titanium question becomes irrelevant.

    If the American economy now goes to crap, I will blame you. Otherwise, prolly not.

  12. #12
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    And if you charged for advice, maybe more people would take it. I got diagnosed with meniscus damage in a thread a few days ago and have no clue where to send the co-pay. I thought I was just helping someone with KOPS but I got the eval.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Fiery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I don't doubt your knowledge in the least, but I thought the saying was "Friend don't let friends ride steel framed drop bar European City Bikes".
    What? My main (and only) bike for well over a decade was a steel framed drop bar Swiss city bike, and I loved it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiery View Post
    What? My main (and only) bike for well over a decade was a steel framed drop bar Swiss city bike, and I loved it.
    No offense meant. Was meant as a friendly poke at several contentious threads lately.

  15. #15
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    Hey you're welcome to your opinion, but it's wrong! I give a lot of free advice, but nobody has ever taken my advice. Think about it. You could be the first!
    I completely agree with your advice.


    However, it should be noted that I ride some pretty damn wide bars... 700mm. My road bike only has 42cm, but they're apples and oranges. I would love <600mm bars for tree clearance but I wouldn't like the control and twitchiness (is that a word? if not... is now).

  16. #16
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    Not exactly apples and oranges. Roll rides his hybrids on the roads, with roadies and I think he sets the handlebar height and reach to put him in a similar position as the roadies he rides with. So it makes sense that the distance between his hands should be similar as well. If his shoulders are 42cm wide, than sub 17" flat bars might make sense.

    Why are you guys measuring your MTB bars in mm? I understand why giantcfr or Aladaar might make such a gaff but you're Americans, dammit! Going metric means the terrorists won.

    Of course twitchiness is a word.

    I was just trying to talk him into some dull gray bling, but I don't think he's buying it.

    The fact that these bars are still in production 25 years after I bought a pair says something about the quality. The fact that my Titec 118s are long gone but I still have the steel Salsa bars they replaced says something about the relative durability.

    It was so long ago, I don't remember exactly why I gave them away, but I think they got bent near the end in such a way that they no longer worked well with barends but were still usable for someone like the friend I gave them to, who didn't use barends.
    Last edited by qmsdc15; 09-21-11 at 03:15 PM.

  17. #17
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    Why are you guys measuring your MTB bars in mm? I understand why giantcfr or Aladaar might make such a gaff but you're Americans, dammit! Going metric means the terrorists won.


    I just use the measurements the manufacturers do! I am proud to say that I don't own a metric tape measure, though. Considering I usually have to convert it, this is more laziness than making a statement about units of measure...

  18. #18
    I let the dogs out AlphaDogg's Avatar
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    Metric is so much better!

    Signed,
    An American
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
    Weird spell/word check. "***" is "***". I'll never understand this computer. Andy.

  19. #19
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    Dull gray bling? That sums up what I was going for...

    I with Colin on the "I go metric cause manufacturers do", but to me they are all interchangeable. A mm is essentially .040", so I can bang out that math easy-peasy. I think in imperial as scale, and I love the people that say they can eyeball mm to the tenth of an mm. Very few folks can eyeball .004" accurately.

    I was actually pricing the Titec 118's today, and am playing with the concept. Even though I only got one response on how they ride and lots of responses on I've cut them too short..

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaDogg View Post
    Metric is so much better!

    Signed,
    An American
    Mountain bikes and flat bars are American inventions and are traditionally measured in inches.

  21. #21
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    Q, did the Titec not hold up? I absolutely use bar ends, so the B.E.R.T.'s are a good piece of mind. But I kind of wonder about the interim positions if I ever tried something silly like add on aerobars. I assumed the end frailty came from the nature of an end, but I'm now wondering if the whole thing is so frail I might have other issues.

  22. #22
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    I crash a lot. The handlebar hit pavement with force and became..? I wish I could remember, I think it got crimped a bit. I remember it was not ruined, and I gave it to someone who used it. It was damaged in a way that made it undesirable for me to continue using but not unusable. I had these bars an embarrassingly long time ago. The fact that they still make 'em means they must be OK. Just don't throw your handlebars down onto the pavement and you should be OK.

  23. #23
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    Ok, so crash, not general use.

    Your dull gray bling comment sums up much of my interest. The guys at my LBS think I would hate it, and alternately suggest carbon or tell me to stop fussing with it. I can't picture carbon working well, so I was exploring this. Have been riding without gloves lately, and just wondered if Ti would feel different.

    I like my LBS cause many times they tell me not to buy something.

  24. #24
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    Carbon maybe better. Carbon was not available when I bought the Ti bars.

  25. #25
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    If you don't crash much and can afford it I would definitely suggest carbon bars.

    However I crash my hybrid a lot on singletrack. Not once on the road, knock on wood.

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