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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I am thinking of upgrading to a set of carbon bars (3T or Ritchey) but I am a bit wary and concerned as that is where a lot of torsion occurs. Has anybody had any experience with a pair of carbon bars just cracking on them? I know there is one offs but anything more than once? Mind you I dont race (maybe eventually). I also weigh 185 and am 6'1 so a little bigger. Thanks!
 

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Lemur-ing
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Nahhh.. No problems at all. Unless you crash them real hard of course.

More likely than carbon just snapping for no reason, aluminum bars are likely to corrode due to sweat/energy drinks etc over time instead.

Not that both are likely.
 

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info...

Well made carbons bars are amazingly durable. I've used several models of Easton bars and crashed three times on various models. Never damaged any of them. During my last wreck, the bars hit hard on the bend behind the brake hood, but still no significant damage.

As a test of strength, I've placed bars one the floor with the longest portion oriented vertically and placed all of my weight on the opposite side, creating a very large leverage force on the bend behind the brake hood. Carbon bars can take this with no problem and flex less than aluminum bars given the same treatment.
 

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c-40,
What's the typical torque settings for a carbon bar? I just built up a new bike with an Easton Ea-70 stem and EC90 Equipe bar. The stem's manual says 60 - 70 Nm, but that seems like alot to me.
 

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danielpj12 said:
c-40,
What's the typical torque settings for a carbon bar? I just built up a new bike with an Easton Ea-70 stem and EC90 Equipe bar. The stem's manual says 60 - 70 Nm, but that seems like alot to me.
I'll bet it said 6-7 nM. The torque is set by the fasteners on the stem, maybe with some guidance w/ the bar's instructions too. Check the installation instructions for both, I believe you'll find them on the easton website. Sometimes carbon friction paste is recommended (usually?) so that bolt torque can be lessened..
 

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To put your mind at ease about carbon bars:. You ride a carbon fork, don't you? ;-)
 

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OK I will take the other side.

Why do you want carbon bars? Sure the strength is nothing to worry about, but what advantage are you hoping to find?

I rode carbon bars for many years and now have switched back to aluminum on every bike except one. I still do not understand why so many people are spending the extra jack on carbon bars.

I recall long ago worrying about scratches killing the carbon...in ~5 years of riding carbon bars I managed to scratch only one set and it was during a crash in a rock garden on a MTB. I replaced them with aluminum bars and started wondering immediately about this myth of vibration damping I had been spreading for years...
 

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la dolce vita
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I had my LBS talk me out of carbon bars. Mind you I was ready to pay and he said he wouldn't buy them. Durability was the main issue. That always stuck in my head.
 

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I've never come across a set of carbon bars that are as stiff as my Pro Vibe 7S 7075alloy bars with very oversized tops.

I stopped using carbon bars and stems after I cracked a stem and I switched over to the Vibe bars and vibe stem and found they were waaaayyyy stiffer, especially while climbing.

If I was going to go with carbon I wouldn't go with Ritchey, I've never liked their bars and found them to have too much flex. I'd be looking at an oversized carbon with plenty of weight.

The only reason to use carbon is to absorb some road shock.

The 3T bars unless your going for the classic drops usually have shallow short reach. It might feel a little funky for someone who's 6'1".
 

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Lemur-ing
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unit said:
OK I will take the other side.

Why do you want carbon bars? Sure the strength is nothing to worry about, but what advantage are you hoping to find?

I rode carbon bars for many years and now have switched back to aluminum on every bike except one. I still do not understand why so many people are spending the extra jack on carbon bars.

I recall long ago worrying about scratches killing the carbon...in ~5 years of riding carbon bars I managed to scratch only one set and it was during a crash in a rock garden on a MTB. I replaced them with aluminum bars and started wondering immediately about this myth of vibration damping I had been spreading for years...
Absolutely agree about barely any advantage.

I say barely because yeah, some a lighter etc so that's an advantage if you look at it that way.

But, as for road buzz, I've always said: Use better bar tape, or gel tape, and wrap your bars better. Or, try the Bontrager Isogel layer that goes under the tape.

Hell, double wrap it if it's that bad.

If all those don't work, then well, HTFU! :D

I do wish aluminum doesn't have a fail issue with respect to time but that's not a problem if you regularly check for corrosion etc too. Plus, they're a lot cheaper as well.
 

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Lemur-ing
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ClassicSteel71 said:
What makes a carbon bar an upgrade?
The 'coolness' factor I suppose. I've seen a number of people who use carbon bars and as a result, refuse to use much bar tape at all just so they can expose part of the carbon. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the help on this. It definetly has opened my eyes on this. Thanks HeathB on the info on each manufacture. Any recommended brands then?
 

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TheHeadlessThompsonGunner
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TricksterG said:
Ok, so I am thinking of upgrading to a set of carbon bars (3T or Ritchey) but I am a bit wary and concerned as that is where a lot of torsion occurs. Has anybody had any experience with a pair of carbon bars just cracking on them? I know there is one offs but anything more than once? Mind you I dont race (maybe eventually). I also weigh 185 and am 6'1 so a little bigger. Thanks!
I wrote this a while ago on the CX board. Nobody read it. I'll paste it here:

Five years ago I raced 24 Hours of Moab on a rigid singlespeed, and I had carbon bars. No CX course dishes out anything even close to the abuse of the Moab course, and most rigid-SS riders don't ride tires that are all that much more substantial (and thus don't provide a whole lot of cush) than most CX racers. Carbon technology has come a long way since then, but even then I wasn't scared of it. I don't have a cross bike - not one that's not a commuter, anyway, and I have Ti bars on that - and won't pretend to jumping barriers on my road bike. But I have tackled some fairly stupid trails - proper trails, that started out looking like fire roads and turned into singletrack past the point of no return - on my road bike and not worried at all about my Easton EC90 Equipe bars. (In fact, I've worried much more about my NOS Tange Prestige fork!)

Am I flirting with disaster, or putting too much faith in a manufacturer? Maybe, and that's saying something considering I don't even ride a carbon fork. Will aluminum bars hold up better in a crash, or fail at a slower rate than carbon? No way, not even. Some would argue they'd fare worse. (But not me: I won't argue either way.) A 220g or 250g - or 350g - aluminum bar will shear exactly like a 200g carbon bar, and both could be unquestionably compromised in a crash, and you'll have an equally hard time spotting the damage that will lead to failure - and most professional, bike-washing mechanics wouldn't be much better at spotting it than your average agoraphobic amateur. Remember Hincapie's "safety of an aluminum steerer" failure? That was just a plain bummer, nothing more. Should I be riding a chrome-plated steel Nitto bar from the 1970s? There's a reason that pretty much the only steel bars on the market now are for trackies - and it's because they're stiff, not because they're strong (though they are strong).

My advice is to make smart choices and ride your bike, and ignore 99.9% of the pictures of utterly spontaneous, "JRA" failures you see online; and don't do anything because a professional does it. Most of those guys don't have a clue about what they're riding.*

*Which isn't to say there aren't plenty of exceptions.
 

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What about slippage between the stem clamp and carbon bar. I've never had a problem with metal bars slipping when using a matching stem, but carbon bars have slipped especially when climbing out of the saddle with my weight on the hoods.
 

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Most bars have matte finishes or an abrasive surface at the stem clamp. In conjunction, stems seem to have better clamps with larger clamping surfaces, 4 bolt fasteners, etc.

I seem to recall slippage issues even with alum bars (happend to a buddy last year) so I guess it can happen to anyone.
 

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I just received my 3T Ergonova LTD. bars. they're great. Now I know that some dont like the carbon bars or dont feel any difference for vibration and thats fine but I dont agree. Simply because I have personally noticed a difference on all my bikes and that may just be that my hands are different and they work for me. As far as durability I had a Raceface carbon bar on my mountain bike for about 1500 miles of abusive singletrack riding and no problems. This includes about 20 or more crashes on the trails and one on the street where I ran into my friend on his bike and hit the pavement hard. With one of the incidents on the trail I had to bail from a steep downhill by grabbing a branch and the bike tumbled down and out about 15 feet hitting rocks, roots and everything inbetween. Those bars never broke. But like I said, these are my experiences and thoughts..... not an absolute truth.
 
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