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  1. #1
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    stiffer handlebars/stem recommendations

    figured i would ask here before i take it to the ss/fg forum...

    i'm into my first season of track racing and loving it... that said, i'm getting what i feel like is a ridiculous amount of flex in my handlebars. okay, maybe not ridiculous, but enough to annoy me for sprints and riding in the drops. the setup is a deda alum pista bars, stock felt alum stem..

    is it possible because the bars are 31.7 and the stem has a 31.8 clamp, if this could be causing flex..? or if it's just the stem itself? this would obviously affect my choice of a new stem because deda is the only company i'm aware of that makes a 31.7 stem.

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    aluminium flexes. I would say go steel or alloy bar and stem combo.

    S/F,
    CEYA!
    Strength and Honor!!
    Last edited by Ceya; 06-18-06 at 08:03 AM.

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    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Most of the flex your finding is in the stem. I know a few guys on Felts and the stems are useless if you plan on sprinting. Unless you weigh 220lbs the Deda alum bar is pretty stiff. Try a Race Face Duse or Thomson Stem. Both are pretty stiff. Another thing to check is how much spacer between the stem and the headset stack you have. Get it as low as you can, flipping the stem upward if need be.

    I run a Duse stem with a Nitto B123 NJS bar. Its dam stiff. IMO the crome look makes the bike look sexier but I also like the fact steel has a much longer life span. This coming from somone who would opt to chage his downhill bar 3 times a season. Plus is was cheap in comparison to other bars I looked at.

    If you a fan of the geo the Deda bar has check out upgrading to the steel version called the Velocita. Its about double the price of the Pista alum. version. If you scan thru world cup photo's there are 2 handlebars the top sprinters are using. The Deda Velocita and the Easton Carbon bar.

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    thanks for the info... i may check out the steel bars because i am a hair just under 220. i'm 6'4" though, so it's spread out evenly

    so you don't think the 31.8 clamp of a thomson paired with the 31.7 bars would be an issue?

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    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Well at yoursize definatly get the Velocita!! Youd be supprised how many 31.8 handle bars are closer to 31.6 or not even round. Dont worry about it, espessialy if your using a Thomson stem. They clamp very evenly.

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    The 31.7 and 31.8 diameter is actually the same. I think its is really 31.75 (its been a while since I looked up the actual diameter) and companies just round up or down.
    P.R.B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeRacer
    Well at yoursize definatly get the Velocita!! Youd be supprised how many 31.8 handle bars are closer to 31.6 or not even round. Dont worry about it, espessialy if your using a Thomson stem. They clamp very evenly.
    well, if i'm going to go steel, anyone have a preference between the velocita, 3t and nitto?

    *edit*
    looks like the 3T are approx 268g whereas the velocita are 680g...
    Last edited by transplant; 06-17-06 at 04:24 PM.

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    I've been dealing with the same issue for match sprinting and 500m. Most road stems just aren't stiff enough in their own right, they don't clamp the bars rigidly enough, and many track bars aren't anything to write home about anyway.

    The Nitto alloy bars are a lot stiffer than the 3T and so on, so don't knock out all alloy bars. However, the steel Nitto's are the standard on most tracks and most world cup events. Any time you see a world cup rider on a Look frame (which is the majority of them) with the original articulated stem, that stem only comes in a 25.4, so you pretty much know they're riding Nitto steel bars. The ferrule in the middle that you clamp on is only 35 mm, so you can't use a stem with a clamp wider than that (like some Thomson's, for example). The Nitto shims that allow you to use a 26.0 stem with 25.4 bars can be a pain to assemble but clamp just fine.

    The new trend in bars is carbon, and if you really want to see stiff, hunt down a deal on Easton carbon track bars. There are a lot of them around, and while they're a lot more expensive than steel or alloy, they are incredibly good. I ride them with a Thomson X4 MTB stem -- rock solid performance.

    If you want a super-stiff steel combo, try the Nitto steel bars with the Nitto chrome moly fillet brazed track stem in a 25.4 mm clamp size. They are made for each other and work beautifully. Frankly I don't see a lot of Deda chrome moly bars at the world cup level -- riders are either sticking with 25.4 Nitto steel bars or switching to carbon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 11.4
    I've been dealing with the same issue for match sprinting and 500m. Most road stems just aren't stiff enough in their own right, they don't clamp the bars rigidly enough, and many track bars aren't anything to write home about anyway.

    The Nitto alloy bars are a lot stiffer than the 3T and so on, so don't knock out all alloy bars. However, the steel Nitto's are the standard on most tracks and most world cup events. Any time you see a world cup rider on a Look frame (which is the majority of them) with the original articulated stem, that stem only comes in a 25.4, so you pretty much know they're riding Nitto steel bars. The ferrule in the middle that you clamp on is only 35 mm, so you can't use a stem with a clamp wider than that (like some Thomson's, for example). The Nitto shims that allow you to use a 26.0 stem with 25.4 bars can be a pain to assemble but clamp just fine.

    The new trend in bars is carbon, and if you really want to see stiff, hunt down a deal on Easton carbon track bars. There are a lot of them around, and while they're a lot more expensive than steel or alloy, they are incredibly good. I ride them with a Thomson X4 MTB stem -- rock solid performance.

    If you want a super-stiff steel combo, try the Nitto steel bars with the Nitto chrome moly fillet brazed track stem in a 25.4 mm clamp size. They are made for each other and work beautifully. Frankly I don't see a lot of Deda chrome moly bars at the world cup level -- riders are either sticking with 25.4 Nitto steel bars or switching to carbon.
    thanks!

    i found one website which states that the easton cabron bars are 15% stronger than steel... but they're quite outside my price range. that said, exactly which nitto stem are you using/referring to? the CT-80? if so, any other recommendations which have an open face and would accommodate the shorter clamp area? and be cheaper? (=

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    Yes, the CT-80.

    If you want a super-stiff, open-face inexpensive stem, just look at the Salsa Moto-Ace and similar models. Or you can find newer incarnations of the steel ones (with a removable faceplate) at times.

    What length and rise are you looking for in a stem? And 1" steer or 1-1/8"? I have a 11.5 cm steel Salsa with the open face, about 10 degrees positive rise, built extra strong with two clamp bolts on the steer (which means the stem doesn't twist on the steer as much), extra strong dimensions throughout, and finished gloss pearl white. It's virtually new. 1" steer, built custom for a BT.

  11. #11
    Biggity-bam
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    Yup as someone said, 31.7 and 31.8 are the same thing. It is really 1.25 inches which equals 31.75 mm. I found the Deda pista elementi bars to be somewhat flexy. My stem at the time could have been a part of that too though. I recently switched to nitto bars and thomson stem. So stiff it'll rattle your teeth out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 11.4
    Yes, the CT-80.

    If you want a super-stiff, open-face inexpensive stem, just look at the Salsa Moto-Ace and similar models. Or you can find newer incarnations of the steel ones (with a removable faceplate) at times.

    What length and rise are you looking for in a stem? And 1" steer or 1-1/8"? I have a 11.5 cm steel Salsa with the open face, about 10 degrees positive rise, built extra strong with two clamp bolts on the steer (which means the stem doesn't twist on the steer as much), extra strong dimensions throughout, and finished gloss pearl white. It's virtually new. 1" steer, built custom for a BT.
    thanks, but i have a 1-1/8"... i'll look into the salsa though

    Quote Originally Posted by Learn_not2burn
    Yup as someone said, 31.7 and 31.8 are the same thing. It is really 1.25 inches which equals 31.75 mm. I found the Deda pista elementi bars to be somewhat flexy. My stem at the time could have been a part of that too though. I recently switched to nitto bars and thomson stem. So stiff it'll rattle your teeth out.
    specifically which nitto and thomson combo? i'm mildly concerned now of finding the right combo because of what was said above re: the clamping area on the nitto bars being small

  13. #13
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    I use a thomson stem and steel nitto bars with the shim. Plenty stiff for me (215lbs masters nat's sprint champion). I use some scotch tape to hold the shims in place while I'm assembling the clamp. On my setup the clamping area is about 1-2mm narrower than the stem's clamp but there's still lots of clamping contact area.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenG
    I use a thomson stem and steel nitto bars with the shim. Plenty stiff for me (215lbs masters nat's sprint champion). I use some scotch tape to hold the shims in place while I'm assembling the clamp. On my setup the clamping area is about 1-2mm narrower than the stem's clamp but there's still lots of clamping contact area.
    awesome... looks like i'll be aiming for the nitto B123 and 25.4 thomson stem

  15. #15
    Biggity-bam
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    Why do you use a shim with your nitto bars? I'm assuming because you have the 26 mil clamp?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learn_not2burn
    Why do you use a shim with your nitto bars? I'm assuming because you have the 26 mil clamp?
    Yes, I think so. I originally got it for road bars that were 26.x.

    Don't forget a good seatpost. Lost of potential flexing there. I use a thomson for that too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenG
    Yes, I think so. I originally got it for road bars that were 26.x.

    Don't forget a good seatpost. Lost of potential flexing there. I use a thomson for that too.
    got that covered with a thomson already too...

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