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So, first carbon bike build. Gonna dip my toe.

Other than frame and fork the parts I’m going to be torquing on for the most part are the handlebar, stem and post.

Is the trade to carbon for these worth it for weight and comfort over my “perceived” more prone to failure thinking?
 

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Matnlely Dregaend
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Depends on you, but for me I switched to carbon posts and bars over a decade ago. The comfort improvement is very noticable. For stems I don't think it really matters.
 

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How long is a piece of string?

You can get carbon bars that weigh significantly more than alum bars.
Yeah, I doubt even a "light" carbon bar would save a noticeable amount of weight. But, my wife and I both noticed an increase in comfort when we switched to carbon bars. I think they dampen small vibrations pretty well.


EDIT: Oops, I forgot what forum I'm on. My comment was with regard to MTB bikes/bars, not road bikes.
 

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So, first carbon bike build. Gonna dip my toe.

Other than frame and fork the parts I’m going to be torquing on for the most part are the handlebar, stem and post.

Is the trade to carbon for these worth it for weight and comfort over my “perceived” more prone to failure thinking?
My switch to carbon bars was to deal with the corrosion issues with aluminum bars. It works great for that but I cannot say there were any perceptible comfort differences.
 

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I switched to carbon bars over 25 years ago. I was using TTT Prima 199 bars on my bikes. I got a Reynolds carbon bar and was amazed how much stiffer it was. This was the old 26 mm clamp size. The TTT were light at the time (199 grams), so they were probably flexy in comparison to other bars. A couple years ago, I built my wife up a bike with aluminum bars and she complained incessantly how uncomfortable they were. Carbon bars are expensive, but I think they're worth the money. Not for weight savings, but for better riding bars (comfort and performance). Carbon stems and seatposts .... no. I've had both and I don't see any advantage to them over aluminum except that maybe they look cooler.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I haven’t heard a word about carbon failures so far...that’s a good sign. That’s my concern. Especially the front end. Bars and stems go through a lot of different torques put on them in all kinds of directions. Seatposts I’m not sure.

But if your running bigger tires and lower pressures doesn’t that negate all the compliance tactics at some point?
 

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I haven’t heard a word about carbon failures so far...that’s a good sign. That’s my concern. Especially the front end. Bars and stems go through a lot of different torques put on them in all kinds of directions. Seatposts I’m not sure.

But if your running bigger tires and lower pressures doesn’t that negate all the compliance tactics at some point?
As you can see, some say they notice a comfort difference between alloy and carbon bars, some don't. Since I have never tried carbon bars, I cannot comment one way or the other. But I think it's safe to say that wider tires and lower pressures will make MORE of a comfort difference than carbon bars.

And I have indeed tried alloy vs. carbon seatposts and I cannot say I notice a comfort difference.
 

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Good talk, thanks.

I’m still leaning towards the carbon bits are going to fail before the aluminum ones...negating any perceived comfort or weight savings...coupled with 32+ tire sizes around 60 psi maybe moots the whole thing.
 

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As you can see, some say they notice a comfort difference between alloy and carbon bars, some don't. Since I have never tried carbon bars, I cannot comment one way or the other. But I think it's safe to say that wider tires and lower pressures will make MORE of a comfort difference than carbon bars.
The two aren't mutually exclusive. You can have wider tires AND carbon bars. (y)

I've used both. I can't say I notice a considerable (if any difference). I can 'feel' the difference in a carbon bar. But I can't say that after 50-100mi "oh gee this bar is more comfortable".

I prefer carbon bars because you can get better shape options. Aero, if you're into that. I like a bar with an oval top.
 

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Good talk, thanks.

I’m still leaning towards the carbon bits are going to fail before the aluminum ones...negating any perceived comfort or weight savings...coupled with 32+ tire sizes around 60 psi maybe moots the whole thing.
To be fair, I would say chances of failure depend on the bars. If you buy some cheap no-name Chinese carbon bars, well, Russian roulette may be your thing. If you buy carbon bars that are a reputable brand, you probably have nothing to worry about unless you do something stupid like over torque your shifters down on them - which is possible to do on alloy bars too.
 

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I prefer carbon bars because you can get better shape options. Aero, if you're into that. I like a bar with an oval top.
Ummm, you do know that alloy bars come with oval tops too, don't you?
 

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Yes I have them. But there are not as many options. And they aren't as large as what you can get in carbon.
Large? You must have really big hands. I find the flat oval part of my gravel bars large enough.
 

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My switch to carbon bars was to deal with the corrosion issues with aluminum bars. It works great for that but I cannot say there were any perceptible comfort differences.
This isn't the first reference I have seen to corrosion issues with aluminum bars. I have never seen a problem when rewrapping my bars, including some very old Cinelli 66 bars. Is there something I should be looking for or am I good when I don't notice anything when I strip off the old bar wrap?
 

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This isn't the first reference I have seen to corrosion issues with aluminum bars. I have never seen a problem when rewrapping my bars, including some very old Cinelli 66 bars. Is there something I should be looking for or am I good when I don't notice anything when I strip off the old bar wrap?
Actually, the old anodized alloy bars (like your Cinellis, TTTs, ITMs, etc.) didn't seem to have the corrosion issue. It might have been the alloy as well. Flash forward to maybe the 1990s or 2000s and the bars with the black finishes (and "new" alloy compositions) and a life of maybe 50K miles became the limit. If you see no corrosion when you unwrap the bars, you're good to go.
 

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Matnlely Dregaend
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The shifter clamps dig in to the bar and take off the finish, that's where I had corrosion on my alloy bars. I think sweat collects there a lot if you ride the hoods, which most people do. I corroded holes into the bar after a lot of miles, but even after one season you could see corrosion in that spot. In terms of longevity I've had the same carbon bar on my daily ride for over a decade without issue.
 

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To me, the shape of the bar is more important than anything else. How it feels in the hands and on the wrists. How does it feel on the tops? Over the brakes? In the deepest part of the curve? At the ends? Do I like the amount of drop?
 
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