Time for a change.
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
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Originally Posted by Co-Mo
Anyone using carbon bars? Wondering if the properties of carbon helps reduces fatigue after a days riding. W/kids around dont get enough time to work out, looking for some cheats so to speak.
True enough, carbon bars will be lighter, and a certain amount more flexible, However, there are downsides to using fibre- glass or carbon bars. Inherantly the material is strong, able to take higher strains and stresses than other materials that may be used, but they are not shock resistant. The material itself will shatter on hard knocks, and that level of knock is not that high. A normal bar may bend, but still be usable after the same strength of knock. Carbon will de-laminate with constant shocks of a lower force, that would not bother a normal bar, and will suddenly fail for no reason, or having had no visible sign prior to breakage. This may take several years to become a problem, but it will occur with enough use. Carbon will not take a crushing effect that can be caused by overtightening say a brake lever, or gear change lever. and finally, they can be so flexible, that in the twisting action of turning the bars, a delay in steering may occur.
Many people use carbon bars on mountain bikes without having these effects causing concern, but you are moving into new ground on a Tandem, where all these stress factors are multiplied. I used to be a Fibre-glass laminator, so I am talking with a certain amount of experience. If you want to get a bit of comfort, go for an alumium bar, but wider. Aluminium will flex more than steel, and if you go wider than you are currently using, then more flex will be possible, even if you play safe and go up bit on wall thickness.