Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-02-08, 11:02 AM   #1
bsyptak
Luggite
Thread Starter
 
bsyptak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 1,906
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do you trust your carbon handlebars indefinitely?

I've got a Specialized carbon handlebar on my 04 Stumpy and every so often I imagine going through a rock garden or somesuch other nightmare and having my carbon bars fail for no reason. The image is of me eating my Thomson stem with my teeth.

Do you trust your carbon bar indefinitely? Any evidence that I shouldn't? I'm sure I've dumped the bike a few times, though not sure what if any hit the bars have taken. I'm thinking about stepping up to a 31.8 stem/alloy bar combo since my setup is a 25.4 anyway.
bsyptak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 11:13 AM   #2
junkyard
Fourth Degree Legend
 
junkyard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: American Gardens Building
Bikes: 2005 Kona Cinder Cone & 2010 Cannondale SuperSix
Posts: 3,826
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't trust anything indefinitely.
junkyard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 11:28 AM   #3
grudgemonkey
26r
 
grudgemonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: merica
Bikes: road, hardtail, fs, streetbeater
Posts: 271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsyptak View Post
I've got a Specialized carbon handlebar on my 04 Stumpy and every so often I imagine going through a rock garden or somesuch other nightmare and having my carbon bars fail for no reason. The image is of me eating my Thomson stem with my teeth.

Do you trust your carbon bar indefinitely? Any evidence that I shouldn't? I'm sure I've dumped the bike a few times, though not sure what if any hit the bars have taken
. I'm thinking about stepping up to a 31.8 stem/alloy bar combo since my setup is a 25.4 anyway.
This has nothing to do with carbon, but 31.8 should be outlawed.
grudgemonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 11:34 AM   #4
rankin116
Senior Member
 
rankin116's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: ChapelBorro NC
Bikes:
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grudgemonkey View Post
This has nothing to do with carbon, but 31.8 should be outlawed.
Any reason for that?
rankin116 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 11:34 AM   #5
Chris_F
World's slowest cyclist.
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Londonderry, NH
Bikes: Cannondale CAAD5 and Cannondale Rush
Posts: 1,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think the best you can do is take the bar off and inspect it periodically for cracks.
Chris_F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 11:40 AM   #6
Rutnick
Senior Member
 
Rutnick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 2,892
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rankin116 View Post
Any reason for that?
because he doesn't realize that the 31.8 is actually stronger but hey...he's partying like it's 1990s.
Rutnick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 12:02 PM   #7
grudgemonkey
26r
 
grudgemonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: merica
Bikes: road, hardtail, fs, streetbeater
Posts: 271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rankin116 View Post
Any reason for that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutnick View Post
because he doesn't realize that the 31.8 is actually stronger but hey...he's partying like it's 1990s.
It might be stronger, but it's overkill. How often to 25.4 handlebars break or bend when their 31.8 counterparts would have survived?

For road bikes, the larger radius can add comfort. For XC and AM riders, there is no real benefit.
grudgemonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 12:16 PM   #8
bsyptak
Luggite
Thread Starter
 
bsyptak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 1,906
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutnick View Post
because he doesn't realize that the 31.8 is actually stronger but hey...he's partying like it's 1990s.
I do realize that 31.8 is stronger and I would go there if necessary. But I prefer not to spend the money to replace my s-works carbon bar & Thomson stem with new stuff unless it's really necessary. But if the consensus is that people replace carbon bars every X years as a rule, then I would go ahead and get a new 31.8 stem at the same time and be even more sure.

I think that the handlebar is the single worst component to fail on a bike. Your entire upper body is relying on the bars being there. If they fail, you're going down and hard. Unless you get lucky and your wheel turns and throws you sideways into who knows what, you'll go down right onto your stem and broken bars. That would not be good.
bsyptak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 12:22 PM   #9
Chris_F
World's slowest cyclist.
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Londonderry, NH
Bikes: Cannondale CAAD5 and Cannondale Rush
Posts: 1,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grudgemonkey View Post
It might be stronger, but it's overkill. How often to 25.4 handlebars break or bend when their 31.8 counterparts would have survived?

For road bikes, the larger radius can add comfort. For XC and AM riders, there is no real benefit.
Is there a potential, with the added strenght, to make the bars lighter?
Chris_F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 12:39 PM   #10
grudgemonkey
26r
 
grudgemonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: merica
Bikes: road, hardtail, fs, streetbeater
Posts: 271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_F View Post
Is there a potential, with the added strenght, to make the bars lighter?
Typically 31.8's are a little heavier.
grudgemonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 12:53 PM   #11
Maelstrom 
Wood Licker
 
Maelstrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whistler,BC
Bikes: Transition Dirtbag, Kona Roast 2002 and specialized BMX
Posts: 16,885
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by junkyard View Post
I don't trust anything indefinitely.
Ditto, there is no such thing
Maelstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 12:56 PM   #12
Rutnick
Senior Member
 
Rutnick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 2,892
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grudgemonkey View Post
It might be stronger, but it's overkill. How often to 25.4 handlebars break or bend when their 31.8 counterparts would have survived?

For road bikes, the larger radius can add comfort. For XC and AM riders, there is no real benefit.
wrong
Rutnick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 01:05 PM   #13
bsyptak
Luggite
Thread Starter
 
bsyptak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 1,906
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think the s-works bars on my bike now are 160g (claimed). Specialized has a 31.8 alu bar that is 208g claimed and $40. Their 31.8 carbon bar is 195g so negligible. Hard to beat on price and weight. Anybody know anything lighter?

Last edited by bsyptak; 06-02-08 at 01:14 PM.
bsyptak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 01:14 PM   #14
Cheeto
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Georgia
Bikes: Trek 3900
Posts: 1,831
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Carbon fiber is stronger than steel, or so they say. It is fine, until the Resin that holds it's integrity is cracked or chiped, then that becomes the weak point of the bar.
I'd say if you're truly bothered by the horrific images of your teeth becoming a thompson stem, then Inspect the handlebars throughly. try looking at all different angles in different lighting to make sure there are no cracks, chips, or stress marks/fractures.
Cheeto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 01:15 PM   #15
troie
:\ ping of death
 
troie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: La$ Vega$
Bikes:
Posts: 1,381
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsyptak View Post
I think the s-works bars on my bike now are 160g (claimed). Specialized has a 31.8 alu bar that is 208g claimed and $40. Their 31.8 carbon bar is 195g so negligible. Hard to beat on price and weight. Anybody know anything lighter?
$40 for a carbon bar? Show me.
troie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 01:23 PM   #16
bsyptak
Luggite
Thread Starter
 
bsyptak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 1,906
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"Specialized has a 31.8 alu bar that is 208g claimed and $40"

But, OK: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5250

the riser one is $60 today, but tomorrow or the next day it'll be $40 and this one will be $30. I actually bought the flat bar one a few years ago for my hybrid commuter and it works just fine. Seems like I paid low $20s for it after all the discounts and such.

Last edited by bsyptak; 06-02-08 at 01:39 PM.
bsyptak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 02:07 PM   #17
gfrance
Senior Member
 
gfrance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New York City
Bikes:
Posts: 1,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I never even think of my carbon bars. I guess I trust them enough.
gfrance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 02:13 PM   #18
scelia
Just rollin' thru...
 
scelia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: PDX, OR
Bikes: Gunnar Rock Hound (http://gunnarbikes.com/rockhound.php)
Posts: 275
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheeto View Post
Carbon fiber is stronger than steel, or so they say. It is fine, until the Resin that holds it's integrity is cracked or chiped, then that becomes the weak point of the bar.
I'd say if you're truly bothered by the horrific images of your teeth becoming a thompson stem, then Inspect the handlebars throughly. try looking at all different angles in different lighting to make sure there are no cracks, chips, or stress marks/fractures.
Thomson
scelia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 03:00 PM   #19
grudgemonkey
26r
 
grudgemonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: merica
Bikes: road, hardtail, fs, streetbeater
Posts: 271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grudgemonkey View Post
It might be stronger, but it's overkill. How often to 25.4 handlebars break or bend when their 31.8 counterparts would have survived?

For road bikes, the larger radius can add comfort. For XC and AM riders, there is no real benefit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutnick View Post
wrong
You have failed to answer how often 25.4 handle bars bend or break in situations when 31.8's would not.

Additionally no benefit for XC or AM riders was shown by your eloquent post.
grudgemonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 07:23 PM   #20
Cheeto
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Georgia
Bikes: Trek 3900
Posts: 1,831
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by scelia View Post
I know i know, I ride their damn trail.... at their factory.

I must of got happy fingers, and hit the P.
Cheeto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 09:52 PM   #21
scrublover
Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
 
scrublover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: East coast
Bikes: hardtail, squishy, fixed roadie, fixed crosser
Posts: 3,486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have had two carbon bars, neither of which failed. An older IRD Mosaic. Nice bend/sweep, sold the bike it was on, a rigid XC hardtail. Recently tried Titec carbon riser. Snap, crackle, pop noises greeted me from the very first.

Double checked that it wasn't overtorqued, checked for cracks and so on. No grease. No overtightening of the levers/grips/shifters. Had a local shop take a look as well, just to be sure I wasn't missing something. Nothing was slipping/moving that I could find, either. Maybe it's fine, but the noise annoyed and worried me enough that I found myself not trusting the damn bar. I hate that. It impinges on riding joy. No cracks or anything found upon removal.

Maybe it's only making nose, but it annoyed the hell out of me. Swapped back to an alu bar: Sunline V-1 OS. Great feel, bend, and sweep. Looooooove the width. It's quiet. I"m much happier, and don't give a rats ass that it's slightly more weight.
scrublover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 09:54 PM   #22
Dannihilator
User Title
 
Dannihilator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Annandale, New Jersey
Bikes: 2014 Surly Steamroller, 1989 Nishiki Altron
Posts: 19,422
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grudgemonkey View Post
Typically 31.8's are a little heavier.


My 31.8 gravity carbons are very light compared to what I used when I had 25.4, and trust them alot more.
Dannihilator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-08, 10:06 PM   #23
xcracer13
Nitro
 
xcracer13's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: canyon lake, tx
Bikes: Salsa
Posts: 829
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I trust them, I don't go any easier on them than I do on aluminum bars. Just check em' every now and then for cracks
xcracer13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-08, 06:05 AM   #24
grudgemonkey
26r
 
grudgemonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: merica
Bikes: road, hardtail, fs, streetbeater
Posts: 271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Smashy View Post


My 31.8 gravity carbons are very light compared to what I used when I had 25.4, and trust them alot more.
http://www.eastonbike.com/PRODUCTS/BARS/bar__top.html
http://www.raceface.com/components/handlebars/
http://mtb.fullspeedahead.com/fly.as...duct&taxid=141

When you compare any of the above manufacturers, the 31.8 version is always heavier than the 25.4.

So when I say, "Typically 31.8's are a little heavier.", I am correct.

Sorry, no stairway to fail.
grudgemonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-08, 08:45 AM   #25
kenhill3
use your best eye
 
kenhill3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Olympia, Washington
Bikes: '75 Bertin, '93 Parkpre Team 925, '04 Kona King Kikapu, '05 Bianchi Vigorelli
Posts: 3,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used a carbon Scott LFX (120 grams) straight bar on my hardtail for 8 years or so, no problems of any sort. I still have that bar and would use it again with no hesitation. My current hardtail has a straight FSA carbon and my FS has a Raceface carbon. I trust these bars.

A lot of people seem to fear catastrophic breakage of carbon bars, as if any little nick or scrape will propagate into full blown failure. I have yet to speak with ANYONE who has experienced this. CF does not snap off, as far as I know. While it can indeed fail, like in a crash, the fibers and resin still somewhat hold things together in a mushy kind of way. I know this from experience because I've ridden out of the woods with a mushy bar.

Now, aluminum is a material with a potential for catastrophic failure, gouges, scratches and stress risers being the causes and precursors to breakage. Many people who ride hard will replace aluminum bars every two years or even yearly depending. Aluminum indeed has a limited fatigue life (cycles to failure). Carbon fiber is known for it's very high/extended fatigue life. There must be something good about it if The Boeing Company is building it's Dreamliner out of the stuff.

Edit: To the OP, I probably would not trust CF bars INDEFINITELY, but, geez, I would for quite a while, barring any bad crashes.
__________________
"I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

Last edited by kenhill3; 06-03-08 at 08:50 AM.
kenhill3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:40 AM.