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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 03-02-04, 03:28 PM   #1
Co-Mo
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Carbon Hbar

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.
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Old 03-02-04, 03:48 PM   #2
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Re:carbon bars

I have easton monkey lites on my MTB, and they are great. They came with the bike. I am way tougher on my MTB than road. I seriously considered getting a pair for the tandem because they just look so cool, but the practical side of me kicked in. I thought of upgrades that would actually improve the way the bike performs. Plus, not all are approved for aero bars if you ever decide on them (I am guessing I would never, but it just made a good rationalization). If you have the bread, they are cool....
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Old 03-02-04, 03:56 PM   #3
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We use them on our off-road tandem; they are quite nice.
http://home.att.net/~mark.livingood/...2/ecdm221b.JPG

Can't offer too much in the way of independent testimony relative to shock reduction given that our front fork provides 5" of spring/oil dampened travel. But, that said, they are incredibly light, incredibly strong, and have a virtually unlimited fatigue life. Well, they look pretty cool too. Speaking of strong, Easton has a very cool web-based demo on carbon bar strength... http://www.eastonbike.com/COMPONENTS/bar_test.html

I have thought about fitting some of the carbon road bars to one of our road tandems for the "cool" factor and some gram shaving but they are still too cost prohibitive to be an attractive choice and some of the features like recesses for under-tape cable routing haven't made it into Easton's molding processes. http://www.eastonbike.com/COMPONENTS/bar.road.ec90.html

Of course, some of the more expensive models (FSA, Deda, Stella Azzurra) do have these features:
http://www.bicycleexoticadirect.com....Handlebars.htm

Moreover, if I was in the market for something to give me a more compliant ride / less fatigue and didn't yet have a carbon fork on my tandem that's where I'd invest my scarce upgrade dollars. Given what a pair of carbon drop bars cost (well you certainly would want your stoker to have them too!), I believe you get a lot more bang for the buck with a carbon fork upgrade, e.g., significant weight savings, stiffness, and shock absorbing/fatigue reduction qualities.

Last edited by livngood; 03-02-04 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 03-03-04, 02:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
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.
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Old 03-03-04, 02:55 PM   #5
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Well I see I didnt clue anyone in that I'm speaking roadbike terms. Thanks for the scoop you guys but, a carbon fork is not in my wallet.
I've got a line on some kestral EMS Hbars for an AWESOME price. I can outfit the captain and stoker cheaper than I can get a carbon fork. That's why I asked the question as I'm wondering if I should outfit the bike with some very nice carbon hbars at a GREAT price. Or, if carbon hbars wont make that big of difference, should I just save the money for other things like rally expenses (even at a great price it's still more than a few bones)?
Thanks for the imput!

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Old 03-05-04, 05:45 PM   #6
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Carbon bars/road tandem

Howdy from Tucson!
We designed a full carbon tandem last year and went 'all the way'. ariZonatandems built our twicer and we spec'd as much carbon & ti as possible.
Including a pair of Easton EC-90 bars. Jensen's had 'em on sale last year; instead of $159 ea., paid 'only' $119 ea. But price went up again. Ours was a 'ganga deal' as we say in the southwest. They are comfy + light (180 grams) but as stated elsewhere, no cable grooves and not recommended to clamp on tri-bars. The bars are nice, made in Mexico, where labor is really cheap. Easton is making more than pennies on the dollar on this product!
You can see our twicer on BikeForums under Mark L's "what are you riding?"
So if you're getting a real price break: grab 'em!
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