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difference between 26.0 and 31.8 handlebars

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difference between 26.0 and 31.8 handlebars

Old 07-06-08, 09:59 PM
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53x12
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difference between 26.0 and 31.8 handlebars

Besides the 31.8 being a wider diameter and thinner walls, and companies phasing the 26.0 to the 31.8 over sized handlebars, is there any real difference from what you have noticed? I am looking at getting a new handlebar/stem setup and have been able to find some good deals for the 26.0 and it seems to be a lighter as well. Anything wrong with going the 26.0 route?
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Old 07-06-08, 10:01 PM
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31.8mm require less clamping force.
31.8mm don't slip as easily as 26.0mm when you hit a pothole too hard.

26.0mm in a bend you want might be harder to find, depending on brand.
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Old 07-06-08, 10:06 PM
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Wrong? No. Nothing wrong with that route.

Just understand that you will find it ever increasingly difficult to find replacements.

If it ever gets too bad just convert over.

As you mentioned the intent of the 31.8 clamp is to use a little bit of area moment of inertia to allow for increased stiffness at a lower weight. Does it work? Does a I-beam work? Same principle. Ok a stretch.

Engineers....stop laughing....I'm speaking to mortals.

26 worked great for years. If you find a good quality setup that is actually lighter than what you would be getting in 31.8 then WTF....
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Old 07-06-08, 10:58 PM
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Most pros still prefer 26.0. I think the non-tapered bars look sleeker.
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Old 07-06-08, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ted ward View Post
Most pros still prefer 26.0. I think the non-tapered bars look sleeker.
Do they have a reason for this? I only prefer 26.0 because my favorite bar only comes in that size.
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Old 07-06-08, 11:21 PM
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havent had my 26mm slip at all... and i just did the Leesville RR yesterday...
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Old 07-07-08, 05:49 AM
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What's the difference between 26mm and 31.8mm?

Answer: 5.8mm !!

Serious, its just a marketing gimmick.

Every now and then manufacturers just change things for the hell of it in order to generate some sales interest. Tom Boonen won sprints with 26mm bars so I think they are strong enough for mere mortals.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 07-07-08, 01:14 PM
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26 works well for me. as mentioned, lots of pro's request the 26.

this oval concepts stuff is great




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Old 07-07-08, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DarrenCT View Post
Are those R701? Could you please post a photo of them from the side?
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Old 07-07-08, 02:29 PM
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Old 07-07-08, 02:44 PM
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31.8 bars are stiffer which for me translates into less comfortable.

Will 26mm bars and stems really become obsolete at some point?

I sure hope that is not the case.
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Old 07-07-08, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jwbnyc View Post
31.8 bars are stiffer which for me translates into less comfortable.

Will 26mm bars and stems really become obsolete at some point?

I sure hope that is not the case.
Stems with a -17 degree rise are already getting pretty rare.
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Old 07-07-08, 03:25 PM
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26 can help weight weenies, lighter.
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Old 07-07-08, 04:06 PM
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If slippage is an issue on a 26 bar, opt for a stem with the 4 bolt front clamp. Worked for me.
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Old 07-07-08, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by vic32amg View Post
26 can help weight weenies, lighter.
Not necessarily true. The whole idea behind oversized tubing in frames was to make them lighter because of the thinner walls you could use. Not sure how that translates over to handlebars, but I imagine there has to be more of a reason than manufacturers just changing it on a whim.
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Old 07-07-08, 04:11 PM
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I'm racing on 26.0 with no complaints. I doubt I'd complain about 31.8 either.
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Old 07-07-08, 05:06 PM
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As someone mentioned above Oval makes both, and based on a letter on cyclingnews.com from Oval, they are going to be keeping 26.0 around for a while.

26.0 bar/stem combos are often lighter than their 31.8 counterparts.
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Old 07-07-08, 05:12 PM
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btw, wasn't the 31.8mm oversized clamp designed with carbon bars in mind?
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