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Carbon handlebars?

Old 09-24-12, 09:04 AM
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Carbon handlebars?

I'm looking at upgrading my 26.0 handlebars to beefier 31.8 and I am considering some Easton carbon bars. I am also starting to race this season.

Should I stick with aluminum or consider the carbon bars?
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Old 09-24-12, 09:49 AM
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Personally, I don't see any benefit of going from 26.0 to 31.8. I've used both and the only difference I've seen is that it's harder to mount accessories on the 31.8 bar (whether interrupter levers or lights or whatever).

As for carbon, I've never used carbon bars but my impression is that the main benefit is that they smooth out road buzz on surfaces like chip seal. CX surfaces are much rougher than that and so the benefit is lost. You might save a little weight, but you increase your chances of breaking an expensive part.

See also: https://www.bustedcarbon.com/search/label/cyclocross
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Old 09-24-12, 10:04 AM
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In cross you use the volume of air in your tires for cushion. I would get a sturdy set of Alu bars. Save the exotic carbon bits for your road bike.
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Old 09-25-12, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Cynikal
In cross you use the volume of air in your tires for cushion. I would get a sturdy set of Alu bars. Save the exotic carbon bits for your road bike.
I agree. That's what the tires are for. It's not really a question of if you will crash, but when.
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Old 09-25-12, 01:58 PM
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If Easton still offers free replacements if you crash, maybe ..
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Old 09-26-12, 11:17 AM
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You're going to crash if you race CX. Personally, I wouldn't want to unwrap my tape, and inspect the bars after every race.
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Old 09-26-12, 06:21 PM
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It's funny, this same conversation is going on right now in a mountain bike forum where they're talking about 2.25" tires and 4' drops. My MTB gets beat on a lot harder than my cross bike and the carbon bars have been fine. However the extra cush may very well be a placebo.
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Old 09-28-12, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jsqueri
It's funny, this same conversation is going on right now in a mountain bike forum where they're talking about 2.25" tires and 4' drops. My MTB gets beat on a lot harder than my cross bike and the carbon bars have been fine. However the extra cush may very well be a placebo.
One thing to consider is MTB carbon bars are going to be built heavy-duty enough for MTB riding. How do you determine if a carbon drop bar has CX in mind or if it was intended for road riding loads? (perhaps road riding creates greater loads since bumps will be sharper with small high pressure tires... but with road riding, you don't crash just about every time out... a CX bar would have to be made with impact resistance in mind)

If you can find a carbon bar designed specifically for CX, you could probably trust it without any reservation, but accept that it's going to cost more than aluminum.
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Old 10-01-12, 11:37 AM
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I've decided to go the safe route and get new aluminum bars. Thanks for all the input
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