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  1. #1
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    Strong Handlebars - Any suggestions?

    While out on a ride yesterday, one half of my handlebars broke off where they enter the stem. I was accelerating in the drops, and when they broke, I went straight to the asphalt, landing with my weight on my elbow. It wasn't a great way to land, but I was glad it wasn't my head and I wasn't in traffic. The bars were Modolo Q-Even. They were made of 6082-T6 aluminum and they list at 310 grams (mine were probably heavier since they were 46cm). So they weren't a light weight bar, and I think the T6 means they were heat treated. I am tall, but weigh 180 pounds. I only had about 1,500 miles on the bars. I have a Nitto Technomic stem (26.0). This is a quill stem on my vintage Serotta. I won't be able to ride again this year, but hopefully I will by next summer. Does anyone know of bars that have a reputation for being bombproof? I don't know what else to go by since some bars don't even list the type of aluminum, and I have no way of knowing how they might be built where they enter the stem. I just want a set of bars that won't break, and I don't care how heavy they are. I also broke the bars on my Cannondale touring bike a few years back, but I didn't crash since I was pulling up on the side that broke. I was able to keep my balance and come to a stop. I knew those bars had seen some miles of stress from the weight of panniers. On the other hand they were stock equipment on what was sold as a touring bike.

  2. #2
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    I'd bet good money that the problem is not weak handlebars, it's that you're over-torquing your stem bolt. At 180 lbs, you should NOT be breaking handlebars during normal riding, period.

  3. #3
    Cat 3 Meter - Don't Care fauxto nick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    I'd bet good money that the problem is not weak handlebars, it's that you're over-torquing your stem bolt. At 180 lbs, you should NOT be breaking handlebars during normal riding, period.
    This.

  4. #4
    AEO
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    usually there's some sort of prior damage in the bar before they fail like that.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  5. #5
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    You're either the strongest cyclist in the world, or you're doing it wrong.

  6. #6
    Slow down frankum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
    You're either the strongest cyclist in the world, or you're doing it wrong.
    Lol +1
    So you're not riding a Cannondale?

  7. #7
    juneeaa memba!
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    The old sleeved Cinellis were pretty bad for breaking. The vintage modolo stems were as well. Just as an aside, if they break while you are on the flats and not turning, you don't have to fall. Even if both sides come loose, you still have the brakes in your hands. Lean on a buddy until you get the speed down to a walk before bailing.

  8. #8
    Senior Member spinerguy's Avatar
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    Sounds like time to upgrade to OS. CX bars are even beefier which may work great for you.
    res firma mitescere nescit

  9. #9
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    For this last break, I was on the ground before I knew what happened. I had my weight forward on the bike and I was pushing down on the side that broke. With my other break, I had time to react and slow down. I guess it depends if you are pushing or pulling on the breaking side when it happens, and where you have your weight.

    It's a really good point to be careful not to over torque the binder bolt. I try to be aware of that, but I plan to be more careful about it. It has also been over the course of many years and many miles that this has happened twice. Keeping torque in mind, I'm still looking for the strongest bar I can find.

    I like the thought of OS bars on another bike, but this has a quill stem and I'm stuck with 26.0. Another biker who saw me after the crash suggested Nittos. I looked at the Nitto Noodles. They weigh in heavy, which I like, but I have no idea how they are engineered where they enter the stem. Few people probably do. They are sleeved construction, which I thought might be a good thing until lurker mentioned the problems with the sleeved Cinellis. I thought the sleeved construction might offer more material at the stem and keep the stem from potentially scoring the bar. But maybe the sleeve can introduce other weaknesses.

  10. #10
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    got any pics of those bars?

  11. #11
    cab horn
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    1) Time to go threadless
    2) 2x4 Thomson stem
    3) 31.8 something or other bars
    4) Buy a torque wrench
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  12. #12
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    While I agree with other posters that something else has to be going on other than the bars being too weak I will suggest that you look at Track racing handlebars, preferably steel. Your not going to break those, although this may not prevent something else breaking.

    Anthony

  13. #13
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    I'm lighter than the OP. I have broken a bar pulling up on it while accelerating from a stop sign. No real speed, so I was able to unclip and straddle the top tube. I examined the break. It was white on top and dirty on the lower third.
    I figured the crack had been caused by an earlier crash, and had slowly worsened.
    I now inspect periodically, and replace often if I'm using cheapo bars on any type of bike.

    Walrus, what does your break look like? Were the bars scratched at all near the stem? Crash history? You'd really need to have gone apeshot tightening a single bolt stem to create a bar failure.

  14. #14
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Deda Newton. / thread.
    BLOG of BOB: Old Guy Racer
    BDop Cycling Company Ltd.: bdopcycling.com, facebook

  15. #15
    Senior Member bigtea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    1) Time to go threadless
    2) 2x4 Thomson stem
    3) 31.8 something or other bars
    4) Buy a torque wrench
    +1....stem and bars are the last thing I think about failing on my rig. In fact I use heavy FSA Wing Pro bars because of their beefy reliability and large bar top surface area for big hands.
    I will make you suffer on the downhills with my superior body weight.

  16. #16
    Mountain goat go4gr8's Avatar
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    There are adapters you can buy from the quill stem to the now standard 31.5 threadless system. It's only $12 or so. I considered it until I found the Kestrel EMS in 26.0 off EBay. I used to have Profile deep drop handlebars. CF bars makes a big difference in responsiveness and lightness.
    Riding since 1987
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  17. #17
    Senior Member MONGO!'s Avatar
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    3T alloy bars and stop over torquing.

  18. #18
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    6000 series Al is the weakest...go with 2014 or 7075 bars.

  19. #19
    Senior Member clausen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    Deda Newton. / thread.
    +1

    3 shapes, mutiple finishes.

    But they lie about the weight.

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