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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 09-20-02, 06:33 PM   #1
Alan Perkins
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Carbon Handlebars for Cross

Anybody doing or considered this? Specifically the Easton model. God, I love bike toys.
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Old 09-20-02, 09:06 PM   #2
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Considering the amount of abuse a 'cross bike typically sustains, I don't think it'd be a particularly good idea... especially since I'm not sure I see a heck of a lot of benefit there, except maybe in a marginal weight saving. And if you're a tech-worshipping weight weenie, 'cross probably isn't your sport...
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Old 09-21-02, 10:39 AM   #3
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I've told this story several times, but, after seeing a friend's carbon bar snap I'd never own one.
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Old 09-22-02, 05:52 PM   #4
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easton carbon bars work great and it's a good idea for a cross bike- never thought about it until now. I know a couple guys that have them on the road bikes and say good things. They certainly are comfortable.

I have a carbon bar on my xc bike and love it. The Monkey lite riser carbon is really popular too.

That might be a good idea! I think 3T or someone just came out with a full carbon road bar too.

oh yeah, I've seen alot of alloy bars snap- doesn't mean I won't buy one. Never seen a carbon bar snap but have heard of all kinds of bars breaking.

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Old 09-22-02, 06:34 PM   #5
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Originally posted by RacerX
I think 3T or someone just came out with a full carbon road bar too.
Deda has one that looks pretty close in profile to the Easton EC90 bar. It's an oversized design though so you need to get a matching stem. BTW, I have Easton bars on both my RB (EC90) and MTB (CT2... now called EC70) and I love them. I chose the EC90 primarily for its profile... particularly the angled transition from the tops to the hoods in lieu of the traditional curve. It suited me better. The only problem one might find with the EC90 is that there's only one possible clamp position for the brake levers... or so Easton claims.
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Old 09-22-02, 09:21 PM   #6
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My concern wouldn't be snapping, necessarily. But I've seen carbon bars become compromised to the point of unusability by having the surface coat scuffed and the beginnings of delamination. I'm not sure exactly what the advantage would be of a carbon bar -- the weight saving would be unnoticeable in cross and the vibration damping? I'm just not convinced it's worth the pricetag. But, hey, it's your money.
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Old 09-23-02, 12:07 AM   #7
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The only thing you have to worry about with carbon is not to score the surface- as in starting a stress cut where cracking may begin.
Scuffs and dings on the surface can be sanded or ignored. You only need worry about deeper damage or scoring (as you would with a lightweight alloy bar).
Carbon bars don't "de-laminate". I have seen carbon forks, steerer tubes, cranks, frames, seatposts and wheels take alot of abuse just fine. I don't see how even the superficial "aesthetic" layer of carbon weave could de-laminate. The ends of the bar are the weak point but that's what plugs are for. I don't like these old wives tales. Everything can break. So what.
Not only is the Easton light but try to compare the fatigue life, impact strength or stiffness to alloy. Not to mention the infinite "tuneability" carbon tubes have.
Weight (surprise!) does matter for cross. Unless you like carrying as much weight as possible for barriers and run-ups. Why do you think so many pros ride Antares, Zipp or Cane Creek deep V carbon wheels? Weight, mud shedding, acceleration? Yes to all the above. Full carbon forks are coming in now too. Why? Because they are frickin light and strong!

Easton carbon bars last at least 3 times longer than a comparable 180g alloy bar or even a 250g alloy bar.

Carbon bar for cross is a great idea. I think when the time comes, I'll try it. Thanks Alan!
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Old 09-23-02, 09:22 AM   #8
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Carbon bars don't "de-laminate...
Oh, that's good to know! I guess the bars that I saw that I had assumed [and been told] had delaminated, just had some of the wrapper left on -- several layers of it -- fraying out in all directions. I guess the distributor rep from Profile Design who said it was "delamination" was just having us on.

Good to know.
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Old 09-23-02, 02:40 PM   #9
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Carbon definitely delaminates. I only know this for a fact because I recently read an article about the Airbus that crashed in New York. It's entire tail is composed of Carbon Fiber, the fear is that a bubble formed during the lamination process, it was missed, and the tail detached in flight. There is now a push to use ultrasound to check composite parts for potential points of failure. The military, apparently, has been doing this for years. Dr. Anthony J. Vizzini, an expert on " ... delamination and compressive response, fracture and failure of composite structures,smart structures." was quoted in the article so, out of curiousity, I sent him an e-mail asking his opinion on carbon fiber bicycle components. If he chooses to respond I'll post it.
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Old 09-23-02, 03:19 PM   #10
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Well, he responded quite quickly.

Quote:
Return-Path:
<vizzini@eng.umd.edu>
Received:
from steinberg.umd.edu

Surface nicks and scratches have little effect on the overall performance. There is generally a resin rich zone near the surface anyway. However, after sufficient aging, there may be a problem. Thus composite components should probably be retired at regular intervals.


So, you are right about scratches and nicks racerx.
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Old 09-24-02, 08:45 AM   #11
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I currently run a carbon bar on my MTB, and don't think I'd worry too much about having one on a cross bike.

Could be a comfy option too, but to fork out that kinda money you'd either have to be some kinda bike candy nut nut, or have a bank balance as healthy as Lance Armstrongs media machine!

As to de-lamination, hopefully you'd be the sort of person that would inspect their bike after races to check such things...again, I haven't come across this happening...not to say that it doesn't

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Old 09-24-02, 09:46 AM   #12
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As to de-lamination, hopefully you'd be the sort of person that would inspect their bike after races to check such things...
The reason he recommends that you retire the components at regular intervals (as do most manufacturers) is that problems (delamination) occur where you can't see them. Thus, the use of ultrasound when inspecting composite aircraft.
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Old 09-25-02, 01:47 AM   #13
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The reason he recommends that you retire the components at regular intervals (as do most manufacturers) is that problems (delamination) occur where you can't see them. Thus, the use of ultrasound when inspecting composite aircraft.
Urgh! Where can I get an ultrasound machine from!!!

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Old 09-25-02, 09:28 AM   #14
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Personally, I think quality carbon fiber parts are beautiful ... right up their with Merlin titanium.
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Old 09-25-02, 06:55 PM   #15
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I haven't spent any time on carbon bars on a road or cross frame, but I do run them on my downhill bikes. They are light, and take a LOT of abuse. I own the easton DH specific model.

So far, so good!

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