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Carbon Dropbar? Yay or nay?

Old 12-29-17, 03:07 AM
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SuperPershing
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Carbon Dropbar? Yay or nay?

i know a brand called Toseek. Its a Taiwanese brand dedicated to make carbon components. But regardless of brands (i know they make good quality carbon components)

is a carbon dropbar a yay? because it cost as same as one of the good alu ones. And i saw the GCN's review on carbon handle bars. But im still on convinced on their conclusion?? thats why im asking you guys

is a carbon dropbar a yay? for the long run? and if i crash. Would it have a cracked already for the first time? and would a thick bartape help to absorb the impact?
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Old 12-29-17, 06:48 AM
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Sure, plenty of people use carbon bars. Probably not many folks around here though. If you decide to use them, just make sure you don't over-torque your stem clamp bolts. In the event of a crash, look for signs of structural damage, or maybe have a good mechanic check for you. I wouldn't think any bar tape would save your bars from breaking if you go down hard.
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Old 12-29-17, 08:27 AM
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I have a 3T Aeronova Team Stealth on my Little Wing and it isn't functionally any different from the alu. 3t ergosum I have on my BMC roadie. It's marginally lighter, and more aero, but not so that you'd notice. I bought it almost entirely for the bling factor just because I could. If you can afford cf bars, and you want them, there's no reason not to get a set. I will repeat the above advice, though, an suggest that you get a torque wrench to be sure you're not over tightening ANYTHING when mounting them, and be sure to check closely anytime you crash on them to be sure you haven't cracked anything.
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Old 12-29-17, 09:31 AM
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One more thing. Make sure to get a stem that is certified by the manufacturer to be safe for use with carbon bars. These stems are designed with rounded edges in the clamping area so as not to cut into the bar when tightened. I had a carbon bar on my geared road racing bike and it survived multipled hard crashes without serious damage, although my carbon rimmed wheels did not fare so well.
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Old 12-29-17, 12:00 PM
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A guy that comes into our shop quite often brought in his carbon bars from his mountain bike, or what was left of them. He told us what happened. Purchased them on Amazon or eBay, can't remember but some knock off imported brand from Asia. Brought them in, he had the manager properly tighten them down using a torque wrench. Went to NJ to ride a bit, and on the small trail he was on, came up on a dip in the trail. Front suspension compressed on his bike, and the bars snapped like twigs. He was riding at about 5mph. He ended up taking the stem to the sternum because there was nowhere else to go. He brought them in for us and left them. They are in 3 pieces. Where your hands go and the piece that was in the stem.

Now, after seeing that, and holding those in my hand and hearing the story, I strongly advise anyone from purchasing carbon bars. There is little to no gain, maybe a few ounces if that. Take a poop before you go ride, there, you made up the difference between carbon and aluminum bars. We do show the remnants to customers if they are asking about carbon bars.
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Old 12-29-17, 12:04 PM
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if cost is no object, there are some strong carbon handlebars , don't go cheap, and replace after any crash.
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Old 12-29-17, 12:30 PM
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+1 I'll echo those sentiments.
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Old 12-29-17, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
A guy that comes into our shop quite often brought in his carbon bars from his mountain bike, or what was left of them. He told us what happened. Purchased them on Amazon or eBay, can't remember but some knock off imported brand from Asia. Brought them in, he had the manager properly tighten them down using a torque wrench. Went to NJ to ride a bit, and on the small trail he was on, came up on a dip in the trail. Front suspension compressed on his bike, and the bars snapped like twigs. He was riding at about 5mph. He ended up taking the stem to the sternum because there was nowhere else to go. He brought them in for us and left them. They are in 3 pieces. Where your hands go and the piece that was in the stem.

Now, after seeing that, and holding those in my hand and hearing the story, I strongly advise anyone from purchasing carbon bars. There is little to no gain, maybe a few ounces if that. Take a poop before you go ride, there, you made up the difference between carbon and aluminum bars. We do show the remnants to customers if they are asking about carbon bars.

This isn't the fault of carbon as a material but of the owner purchasing off brand parts from manufacturers with no experience and no quality assurance.

Carbon is used in aircraft and BMW makes a car chassis out of carbon. Lots of people use carbon bars with no problems. Just have to buy from reputable manufacturers, that's all, not knock off brands from ebay or amazon.


-Tim-
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Old 12-29-17, 02:05 PM
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I ride carbon bars on my MTB... They're Ritchey WCS so hopefully they don't snap on me
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Old 12-29-17, 02:25 PM
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Professional racing equipment has gone to carbon for matched Sprint races, where they used to use chro-moly bars ..

but I would not be surptised if they only used them for a year, then replaced them..

Aircraft has a flight hours log , then, when the use time hits that limit, they park them for scrap out in the desert..






....
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Old 12-29-17, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Aircraft has a flight hours log , then, when the use time hits that limit, they park them for scrap out in the desert.
Good point.

I'm logging flight hours for my Niner on Strava. What do you think the hours limit is?
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Old 12-29-17, 04:40 PM
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You need a lot of people with PhD in Mechanical Engineering AeroSpace and Materials Science, not this bunch's opinions..



back on that hamster wheel ..
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Old 12-29-17, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
You need a lot of people with PhD in Mechanical Engineering AeroSpace and Materials Science, not this bunch's opinions..



back on that hamster wheel ..
Or just buy aluminum and be done

Dave
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Old 12-29-17, 05:03 PM
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Yea, I have no Jones for Carbon stuff like you youngsters do..

I do own a carbon fiber mandolin. love its weather stability.. no swelling or shrinking with the relative humidity.
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Old 12-29-17, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
Or just buy aluminum and be done

Dave

Carbon doesn't corrode.

-Tim-
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Old 12-29-17, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Carbon doesn't corrode.

-Tim-
That's true, though I wasn't referring to any corrosion, just that aluminum can withstand lateral forces which could destroy carbon bars. You could probably buy 3 or 4 sets of aluminum bars for the price of 1 carbon bar.

Dave
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Old 12-29-17, 09:16 PM
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I says yeah if your stem fits and secures, go for it

I have road Taiwan carbon bar brand named UNO, got crashes multiple times, I am pretty sure my bar kisses the ground quite often.

It still strong, no crack, no deform, no scratch (because 2.5mm Lizard Skin covered it, yay!), I sprints and twists the bar so hard to test if this will be the end of my life on road.

Nope, apparently I am still alive til these days no snap at all, very good carbon bar!
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Old 12-30-17, 03:38 AM
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Different opinions different answers... I guess thanks for all the infos. Guess that bling factor or little gain ain't worth the risk even if it's almost the same price. But how bout seatpost?
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Old 12-30-17, 09:46 AM
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Since bling matters to you, go for carbon wrapped aluminum bars. Seatposts are made this way too. Trade off is they can be heavier than either aluminum or carbon bars. But if the look is what you want....go for it.
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Old 12-30-17, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
That's true, though I wasn't referring to any corrosion, just that aluminum can withstand lateral forces which could destroy carbon bars. You could probably buy 3 or 4 sets of aluminum bars for the price of 1 carbon bar.

Dave
You could buy three or four cheap alloy bars for the price of a decent carbon bar. I'll give you that.

Some of the better Nitto alloy bars can be over $150. Meanwhile, the Easton carbon bar on my gravel bike was $206. There isn't a 3x or 4x price difference when we compare apples to apples.

Carbon can damp vibrations pretty well so there is an advantage to the extra cost apart from weight. This is especially true of seatposts and my Niner carbon seatpost was less expensive than my Thomson alloy post, and a lot more forgiving.


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Last edited by TimothyH; 12-30-17 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 12-30-17, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperPershing View Post
i know a brand called Toseek. Its a Taiwanese brand dedicated to make carbon components. But regardless of brands (i know they make good quality carbon components)

is a carbon dropbar a yay? because it cost as same as one of the good alu ones. And i saw the GCN's review on carbon handle bars. But im still on convinced on their conclusion?? thats why im asking you guys

is a carbon dropbar a yay? for the long run? and if i crash. Would it have a cracked already for the first time? and would a thick bartape help to absorb the impact?
I'm a "yay" on CF bars.

I had an aluminum bar catastrophically fail on me just as I was getting out of the saddle, resulting in a broken frame when I went down (Giant Propel). Failed right at the stem due to stress cracks and fatigue after about 5 years. Snapped clean off. I ended up buying another identical bar to go on my replacement bike (Allez Sprint), but decided to pull the trigger on a Zipp Aero as the new bike's reach was about a CM too long and it was either a shorter reach bar, or a shorter stem, and I was comfortable with the position of the tops and hoods, just not in the drops.

So, long story short, having seen the GCN piece you referred to, I opted for a carbon bar, and really couldn't be happier. Has taken a lot of the buzz out of having a very stiff aluminum frame. I honestly couldn't see myself going back, for two reasons. One... comfort. Much easier on the hands and arms over long rides. Two... having had a carbon crank fail on me, I couldn't see a CF part just snapping clean off in my hand like the aluminum bar did (maybe that's me being optimistic).
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Old 12-30-17, 09:19 PM
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^^ Aluminum bars breaking at the stem is common. It happened to my Ritchie bar years back.

My experience is the same when adding a carbon bars to a stiff aluminum frame bike. It reduced road buzz noticeably. I deliberately chose a bar with a little flex for this specific reason.
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Old 12-30-17, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
You could buy three or four cheap alloy bars for the price of a decent carbon bar. I'll give you that.

Some of the better Nitto alloy bars can be over $150. Meanwhile, the Easton carbon bar on my gravel bike was $206. There isn't a 3x or 4x price difference when we compare apples to apples.

Carbon can damp vibrations pretty well so there is an advantage to the extra cost apart from weight. This is especially true of seatposts and my Niner carbon seatpost was less expensive than my Thomson alloy post, and a lot more forgiving.


-Tim-
Sometimes the decision comes down to cost. Not sure what the op's situation is, but sometimes you have to use what you can get. I can tell the difference between my 2 sets of drop bars. One is 30+ years old, and has more of a rounded drop section. The other set is a few years old, and has more of a compact drop to it. Can't tell any difference in damping between those aluminum bars, and the steel bar on my mtb.

Any material is going to have limitations. Steel rusts, Aluminum corrodes, carbon breaks. It's all a matter of preference, and what you enjoy on your bike. To me, a good set of handlebars is one that is stiff, and is durable. I have wondered about going to carbon bars for extra damping on my alumimum bike, but it is just too much of a jump in price.

For a fixed gear bike, steel and aluminum are nice and strong, and can handle the extra torque in my experience. When I pedal up a big hill, I tend to torque the bars a lot, and so far they haven't broken. As long as the handlebars can hold up to my riding style, it is a win. ymmv.

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Old 12-30-17, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
carbon breaks.
This is a gross generalization. Untold numbers of carbon parts will never break. Carbon parts breaking isn't a given.

Originally Posted by bonsai171 View Post
For a fixed gear bike, steel and aluminum are nice and strong, and can handle the extra torque in my experience. When I pedal up a big hill, I tend to torque the bars a lot, and so far they haven't broken. As long as the handlebars can hold up to my riding style, it is a win. ymmv.
Are you aware of the forces exerted on carbon bikes and components by pro riders? Ordinary mountain bikers?


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 12-30-17 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 12-31-17, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
This isn't the fault of carbon as a material but of the owner purchasing off brand parts from manufacturers with no experience and no quality assurance.

Carbon is used in aircraft and BMW makes a car chassis out of carbon. Lots of people use carbon bars with no problems. Just have to buy from reputable manufacturers, that's all, not knock off brands from ebay or amazon.


-Tim-
I wanted to wait to reply to this. Part of me was pissed off at you, part of me wasn't. In my post, I mentioned that he bought knock off bars. My statement regarding the use of the carbon bars was intended for the knock off carbon bars. And yes, I am fully aware of how strong carbon is. My Felt Z5 is a full carbon bike, carbon post, carbon fork with carbon steerer tube. I had carbon cranks on my Felt TK2 that is also equipped with a carbon post and carbon fork. Both bikes have been ridden hard.

For me, and so that I cover all bases and there is no confusion....carbon bars are just not worth it. If you do decide to get them, get some reputable branded bars from FSA, Zipp, Thomson, etc.
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