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  1. #1
    Junior Member balibiker's Avatar
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    Carbon handle bar on MTB

    Hi there everyone,
    Wondering why there is never a discussion about a carbon handle bar on an mtb.
    Safety issue? And when, please give some advice on brands etc.
    Rgds Josef

  2. #2
    Senior Member duckliondog's Avatar
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    They're great. I don't use one, but my friend does. He uses an Easton Monkeylite carbon riser bar. He's crashed it a bit with no problems.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    I've seen carbon wrapped bars, but not full carbon. Keeping score within my circle of friends in The Aussie Thread, there's been one cracked CF road bike frame, and one busted CF seat post. I prefer my custom titanium bars - the only CF I own is headset spacers. You can argue all you want, but to me it's not worth the risk.

  4. #4
    -- TREK RIDER -- Quadzone.com's Avatar
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    I've been really thinking hard about getting a Carbon Fiber monkeylite bar in the near future. They seem to be pretty popular and i've not read anywere about lots of broken bars or injured riders because of them.
    My drinking buddies have a racing problem !!!

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    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balibiker
    Hi there everyone,
    Wondering why there is never a discussion about a carbon handle bar on an mtb.
    Safety issue? And when, please give some advice on brands etc.
    Rgds Josef
    i have an ANSWER over sized carbon bar. yeah...it's pretty much like the BEST bar ever made

    (ProTaper OS Carbon Fiber)
    Last edited by mx_599; 11-25-05 at 10:46 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    There was an article in one of the bike mags about carbon fiber bike parts. The thing about carbon is that when it fails, it fails catastrophically. Because of that, Easton builds its carbon fiber handlebars 10 times stronger than their aluminum ones. Imagine how light they would be if they didn't have the huge safety factor built in!

    Still, I'm a retrogrouch and won't be putting any carbon fiber anything on my bikes. I've seen plenty of pictures of snapped carbon seatposts. Carbon seems like just the latest marketing ploy to remove cash from easily duped consumers. Its kind of like what happened to steel frames - aluminum was so sexy because of Klein and Cannondale so all the bikes became aluminum. Go ride an aluminum framed hardtail back to back with steel and you'll quickly see why this was just a marketing driven thing rather than an improvement.

  7. #7
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    ...latest marketing ploy to remove cash from easily duped consumers.

  8. #8
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    Its kind of like what happened to steel frames - aluminum was so sexy because of Klein and Cannondale so all the bikes became aluminum. Go ride an aluminum framed hardtail back to back with steel and you'll quickly see why this was just a marketing driven thing rather than an improvement.
    I agree with your comment about carbon fiber use in MTBs, but I'm having a problem about your comparison between steel and aluminum. We have two fairly high end, older Chro-moly (full frame and fork) MTBs (GF Hoo Koo and Nishiki Ariel) along with an 02 Trek Chro-moly MTB (820) and one 05 Rockhopper. The Rockhopper is the lightest of the group, has the best balance, and handles the best. And we all know the Rock hopper is not the top of the line, albeit a good bike. I guess I'm saying I think the trade off from aluminum to steel is worth it for the weight savings and I don't see any performance difference. If anything, the aluminum bike is superior.
    I know you can point out that the Rockhopper has better geometry and frame design than the older Chro-moly bikes, that has evolved through the years and I would readily agree. But, I don't see ANY high or mid-range MTB manufacturers returning to much less expensive steel. If it was truly superior or performed the same, someone would be re-introducing chro-moly MTBs. As it is, only a few still make chro-moly bikes like the Trek 820 and their all less expensive.
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  9. #9
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    I’m sure everyone has heard of the instant & catastrophic failures of carbon. Some manufacturers say; if you really “ding” carbon, even clamp it too tight, it should be replaced as the integrity of the material has been compromised and this will eventually be your point of structural failure.

    On a road bike, carbon bars absorb a bit of road vibration but on a MTB, I don’t believe it provides much effect especially off road. I think that carbon bars are OK on X/C applications but I don’t recommend carbon bars on DH / Free ride bikes. The forces on the bar are severe while pounding down a slope or when landing drops and the chances of a getting good “ding” while DH or FR is great.

    I’m not completely sold on carbon bars as they are not much (if any) lighter than aluminum bars and the risk of catastrophic failure would always be in the back of my mind thus making me timid to do some of the crazy things I like.

    T.J.

  10. #10
    Too Much Crazy
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike
    I agree with your comment about carbon fiber use in MTBs, but I'm having a problem about your comparison between steel and aluminum. We have two fairly high end, older Chro-moly (full frame and fork) MTBs (GF Hoo Koo and Nishiki Ariel) along with an 02 Trek Chro-moly MTB (820) and one 05 Rockhopper. The Rockhopper is the lightest of the group, has the best balance, and handles the best. And we all know the Rock hopper is not the top of the line, albeit a good bike. I guess I'm saying I think the trade off from aluminum to steel is worth it for the weight savings and I don't see any performance difference. If anything, the aluminum bike is superior.
    I know you can point out that the Rockhopper has better geometry and frame design than the older Chro-moly bikes, that has evolved through the years and I would readily agree. But, I don't see ANY high or mid-range MTB manufacturers returning to much less expensive steel. If it was truly superior or performed the same, someone would be re-introducing chro-moly MTBs. As it is, only a few still make chro-moly bikes like the Trek 820 and their all less expensive.
    Hold on there partner. Just because some of the major manufacturers don't produce steel framed bikes anymore don't assume steel is cheaper and/ or an inferior frame material.

    The list of frame builders and larger bike companies that are currently offering steel hardtail frames is too extensive to list. They are mostly high end frames with beautiful ride characteristics that aluminum can not produce. Aluminum frames generally are lighter and stiffer. Generally. Great for XC racing but a little less than forgiving on long rides. It depends on what you want to do with your frame.

    Each material has its benefits but you can not claim either is superior/inferior globally.

  11. #11
    -- TREK RIDER -- Quadzone.com's Avatar
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    This is a good thread and it's making me ponder the idea of actually getting a Monkeylite set of bars. I only do XC riding and no DH or big jumps.

    Can someone post that they have broke or cracked a carbon fiber bar????? No replies of cousins, uncles, best friends, neices, little buddy once heard of a bar cracking. I want a members of this site to state that they have broke these bars....
    Last edited by Quadzone.com; 11-28-05 at 07:18 AM.
    My drinking buddies have a racing problem !!!

  12. #12
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadzone.com
    This is a good thread and it's making me ponder the idea of actually getting a Monkeylite set of bars. I only do XC riding and no DH or big jumps.

    Can someone post that they have broke or cracked a carbon fiber bar????? No replies of cousins, uncles, best friends, neices, little buddy once heard of a bar cracking. I want a members of this site to state that they have broke these bars....
    I had a hairline crack along the seam on an Easton monkey lite carbon low rise bar about four years ago, it was promptly warranteed by Easton. It was actually a common problem at the time. Since then, carbon bars have improved. I just replaced the bar that I received from that warranty a few months ago. It wasn't cracked or dented or anything, it just had quite a few scrapes on it. It still performed great I just figured it was about time to replace it.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  13. #13
    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    I feel that carbon is a material, like any other it has it's good and bad. It is not for every rider, as titanium or aluminum or steel isn't either. Many times I've seen mention of carbon maybe breaking where it has been chipped or scratched, "like the old graphite fishing poles" but it's important to remember that carbon uses multi directional fibers in oriented layers, so that a nick or scratch shouldn't affect the integrity of the frame unless the damage is significant. I like the ride characteristics and stiffness of it, but know that it won't work for everyone. My race bike has carbon bars, seat, seatpost, and frame.You can bet I'm hoping for the best!

  14. #14
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadzone.com
    This is a good thread and it's making me ponder the idea of actually getting a Monkeylite set of bars. I only do XC riding and no DH or big jumps.

    Can someone post that they have broke or cracked a carbon fiber bar????? No replies of cousins, uncles, best friends, neices, little buddy once heard of a bar cracking. I want a members of this site to state that they have broke these bars....
    if you're only doing XC, than why not....?

  15. #15
    -- TREK RIDER -- Quadzone.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx_599
    if you're only doing XC, than why not....?
    I wreck alot...

    My fear is wrecking and damaging the bar and I don't see it. I"m hammerin down a trail and hit a rough section and snap. I had this happen on my ATV except I was in control of a 400 lb machine at 30 MPH with no steering..... It was aluminum bars and not carbon though.

    The carbon bars also look pretty dam good....
    My drinking buddies have a racing problem !!!

  16. #16
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadzone.com
    I wreck alot...

    My fear is wrecking and damaging the bar and I don't see it. I"m hammerin down a trail and hit a rough section and snap. I had this happen on my ATV except I was in control of a 400 lb machine at 30 MPH with no steering..... It was aluminum bars and not carbon though.

    The carbon bars also look pretty dam good....
    if you like carbon i would get them. they're not porcelain!! give them a shot...if they develop a problem than you can be anti-carbon in the future. i think you'll be fine. the oversized ones are pretty cool

  17. #17
    Senior Member duckliondog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadzone.com
    I wreck alot...

    My fear is wrecking and damaging the bar and I don't see it. I"m hammerin down a trail and hit a rough section and snap. I had this happen on my ATV except I was in control of a 400 lb machine at 30 MPH with no steering..... It was aluminum bars and not carbon though.

    The carbon bars also look pretty dam good....
    Yeah, aluminum scares me as much as carbon does. They both fail fast. A friend of mine was going downhill on pavement one night when the right side of his Al bar just came off. It didn't bend or fold first, it just popped off. Luckily he wasn't going fast and there was no traffic. The manufacturer later recalled that bar, which raises another point. If any part made by a major manufacturer was a real threat to the user, it would get recalled if it was released at all. No company wants to kill its customers. Except maybe those insane weight weenie companies in germany.

  18. #18
    bike rider jimmythefly's Avatar
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    Yeah, aluminum (or any material, really) can fail just as suddenly as carbon. I find the "catastrophic carbon failure" stories true, it's just that they're overreported compared to other mtb parts failures. Not sure about bars and posts, but carbon frames will generally let you know before they go. They creak, and if you ignore it long enough, sure they will fail in a more exciting way. I am running an Aerus mid-rise over-sized bar on my Enduro, which I regularly do 3ft drops on. Also have a friend using the same bar. No problems yet. I have another friend who has broken at least 3 seatposts, all aluminum. Each failed quite suddenly.

  19. #19
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike
    , I don't see ANY high or mid-range MTB manufacturers returning to much less expensive steel. If it was truly superior or performed the same, someone would be re-introducing chro-moly MTBs. As it is, only a few still make chro-moly bikes like the Trek 820 and their all less expensive.
    http://www.twofortythree.com/html/bi...6/frframe.html
    Some frames are steel for a reason.
    http://www.guava-jelly.jp/news_img/2...1085908017.jpg Also a frame I'm looking for.

    I want a Ritchey Niti -Nickle\Titanium\Chromoly as an XC bike.
    As far as being high end -not sure, costs close to 900 US for the frame.

    They are still made, and more expensive than you might think.

    Since the Balfa Minuteman frame is chromoly, I can probably buy a used one and safely ride it to hell and back without it snapping.
    I think most are used -the company closed.
    Last edited by jeff williams; 12-01-05 at 11:36 PM.

  20. #20
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    I'm a Clydesdale and I run Maxm carbon bars on both of my bikes. The thing I like about them is the aramid (read Kevlar) net structure that's bonded to the inside of the bar. Supposedly this adds strength to the bar. I don't know if this is true or not, but it makes me more comfortable as does the lifetime warranty they have for the bar. They rate the things for DH use so I'm pretty confident using them on XC trails.

    I still have an Aluminum bar for each of them, but that's more out of being a bike parts packrat than any real paranoia about the part

  21. #21
    Senior Member duckliondog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmythefly
    I have another friend who has broken at least 3 seatposts, all aluminum. Each failed quite suddenly.
    Ouch! Good thing I run carbon now, I think.

  22. #22
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckliondog
    Ouch! Good thing I run carbon now, I think.
    I'd rather run a Thomson post over a carbon any day. Lighter AND stronger

  23. #23
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    I'm keeping score of carbon failures on The Aussie Thread. One frame, one seatpost, a stem, and now a fork steerer. No thanks, I'll stick with titanium.

  24. #24
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriate
    I'm keeping score of carbon failures on The Aussie Thread. One frame, one seatpost, a stem, and now a fork steerer. No thanks, I'll stick with titanium.
    My big ol' self wouldn't be caught with any of those made of carbon.
    Now I'll take my bars and if I really wanted to get geeky and save a whopping 10 grams each over my current Profile Kages I'd swap them for the CF counterpart. On second thought I'd lose more weight if I took a dump before a ride

  25. #25
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    If you look real closely at my avatar, you can see the CF headset spacers.

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