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Handlebar flex, a good thing?

Old 12-10-06, 03:26 AM
  #1  
Gotte
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Handlebar flex, a good thing?

I put together a new tourer made out of an old but good 531 touring frame. I took it out for the first time yesterday on a 20 mile run, and the bike rides like a dream. the only trouble is there seems a lot of flex in the bars - they are the btterfly touring variety.
It's peculiar, as I didn;t notice it this badly on my old MTB with the same bars (which makes me think itmight be a combination of the bars an the 700 wheels?)
Anyway, I got to thinking, and was wondering if perhaps it might actually be a good thing. THey don;t flex unless I really haul on them, but if they are of the springy variety, won't they just be acting a bit like a shock, taking out the lumps and bumps from the road and saving my wrists?
Just wondering.
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Old 12-10-06, 03:43 AM
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What are they made of? if they're aluminum keep an eye on them for signs of cracking, especially near the stem. If they're steel you have nothing to worry about.
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Old 12-10-06, 05:11 AM
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If it doesn't flex, it snaps, pretty much...

True for aircraft wings as well, by the way...
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Old 12-10-06, 08:19 AM
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Everything has some movement but, if they flex so much that you noticed it on such a short ride, I'd be suspicious.

If it was my bike, I'd err on the side of caution and replace them. At the very, very least I'd give them a real close inspection, expecially on the underside, where they join the stem. If you see anything that looks like a hair, it's a crack.
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Old 12-10-06, 09:40 AM
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Yeah, flex is just the result of load. EVERY material and design will flex a certain amount due to load. The higher the load, the higher the flex amount.

If you want less flex in your bars, get something with larger diameter centre, higher wall thickness and from steel... Kinda like what the track guys use. However, on a tourer, I would think having some flex will absorb rough roads and provide more comfort on the long rides.
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Old 12-10-06, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
Not true. Wings don't snap BECAUSE they flex.

CE
That's what I said!!!

If they don't flex, they snap!
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Old 12-10-06, 03:18 PM
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Cause & effect... Flex is the effect of load. It's not possible to apply a load and have no flex.
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Old 12-10-06, 05:05 PM
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if the bar is not flexy on your mountain bike, then it could be your stem. especially if you have your stem up high. As a rule, quill stems are way flexier than threadless setups, and road stems are as a rule way flexier than mountain setups.
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Old 12-10-06, 05:57 PM
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Thanks for that.I'll check them, but I've changed the stem for a quill, so that might be it.
Again, many thanks.
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Old 12-10-06, 06:09 PM
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Ah yes, quill stems are definitely more flexible, especially if it's longer than the one you had on the MTB.
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