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· Banned forever.....or not
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If by Comfortable, you mean, costs more, is way more trendy, and gives higher profits to handlebar suppliers, then yes, they are more comfortable.

PS. With a carbon bar, no one will doubt that you're a great cyclist.
 

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Well, carbon bars do have some very anatomically designed features that you can't quite pull of in aluminum. The K-wing pictured below has little dips for you palms to sit in when you are riding on the hoods.

Aluminum bars can sort of get flat in places, but do not bend convexly like the carbon can.

Some people really like the K-wing. I find the modern aluminum bars to be just fine, esp. since they are about $150 cheaper.

Carbon K-wing= $230, 240 GRAMS


Ritchey= $70, 215 grams
 

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Carbon bars

We live in a hilly area with long climbs/descents. I switched to the K-Wing and could not be happier. I find that my hands are not as fatigued on the descents. This bar also gives you multiple hand positions when doing long rides (centuries) to cut down on fatigue.

If going to the K-Wing I suggest taping onto the flat part of the bar as the smooth carbon can become slippery.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
If by Comfortable, you mean, costs more, is way more trendy, and gives higher profits to handlebar suppliers, then yes, they are more comfortable.

PS. With a carbon bar, no one will doubt that you're a great cyclist.
Maybe you can lead us to the evidence that shows that the percentage of profit is higher for the manufacturers of carbon bars?

I'm reasonable sure these are not the rants of someone who longs for the failed, but highly adored, socialist economic systems--you know, where the people had it so much better.

Actually, carbon bars can be molded into a number of configurations which aluminum can not. Also, the flex and shock absorbtion can be varied to a much larger degree than with aluminum.
 

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I have a Stella Azzura knock-off. The tops are slanted slightly down and
have little grooves for fingers and thumbs. The hoods are flatter and much
better for me in terms of non-numbing. The drops have a inward curve that
fits my hands better. They also seem to dampen vibrations somewhat in
comparison to the aluminum bars I had previously, although this effect
is negligable. They are also slightly heavier and cost around $160.
Bling and image were not a factor in my purchase, just ergonomics
and comfort. I would never go back.
 

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If you are going to race or do fast pack training rides you may want to reconsider getting carbon bars. The velonews TDF issue comments that the pros use alloy bars and stems to increase their chances of riding the bike after a crash. I just watched the crit series in Austin. A rider on our club team broke his high tech, high dollar bar in half. When you crash often the bars take a beating. Your body protects much of the rest of the bike:D
Competitive Cyclist web site has a discussion as to why they don't recommend carbon bars. My concern would be trusting carbon bars after a crash where they took a hit, but look OK.
 

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My favorite part of the K-wing bars? the gull-"wing" part that raises the handlebars up about half an inch- I bet yer old, cheap aluminum bars would be more comfortable if you raised them up a half inch as well... higher handlebars=less pressure on wrists/palms=more comfort.

I love seeing expensive solutions to stupid problems with inexpensive solutions.

If you raise your stem, you will be more comfortable. You might not look as cool, but you will be more comfortable.

Once more, I will rant about how much threadless systems suck for just this reason- you really couldn't cut a steerer too short with the old threaded headets. It was kind of a pain in the @$$ to have to remove the tape on one side of the bar to replace the stem, but that's still a whole lot better than realizing you've cut your steerer too short and your only options are a new fork, turning your stem upside-down and looking like a dork, or ridiculous $230 k-wing riser bars with drops.
 

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This is not the exact answer you are looking for. specialized makes some aluminum bars with zertz inserts where the stem clamps on the bar.I have installed this type bars on my commuter bike and it seemed to make a difference, over the plain aluminum bars.
 

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velodog said:
carbon bars don't get as cold as aluminum bars in the winter!
A) bar tape.

B) Unless the carbon ones are radioactive and producing heat, they're probably at about the same temp.

C) OK, so they don't conduct heat away from hands quite as well, so seem 'warmer.' But that's not as much fun.
 

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Kestreljr said:
Well, carbon bars do have some very anatomically designed features that you can't quite pull of in aluminum.
Without chasing the link, what are these bars made of?
OR

A little portly at 315g, but dead solid. Half the price of the K-wings, too. Best yet, they also come with round hooks, instead of the hated (by me) 'anatomical' hooks.
 

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When I was building up my personal "Dream Bike", I had decided that I would ignore the price, and just find the bar that I liked the feel of the best. I spent a day or two driving to every high end bike shop around, and "grabbing" every bar I could get my hands on. Like a saddle, bars are personal, and I ended up with the FSA K-Force carbon bars, they felt best in my hands and on a bike, for me... On my road bikes I have Cinelli Alu, ITM Alu, and the K-Force. The FSA "feel" best to me. But you may hate 'em...
 

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TomBrooklyn said:
Are carbon fiber handlebars more comfortable than metal? I was wondering mainly in terms of shock absorbing on rough potholed streets.
To absorb the shock of potholes, they'd have to be flexible - too flexible to allow safe control of the bike.
 

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orthobiker said:
I switched to the K-Wing (snip) This bar also gives you multiple hand positions when doing long rides (centuries) to cut down on fatigue.
The irony is that most of these "anatomical" bars give you fewer hand positions than a traditional round bar.

K-Wing et al may offer 3 or 4 discrete hand positions, but on a round bar you can basically grab it anywhere you want; it's got an infinite number of hand positions!
 

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I have a set of carbon bars that came on my Cervelo. I wouldn't have bought them other wise. I do like them though, they have what I think is called a "compact drop", and for someone like myself who is not so flexible, it's a good fit. I'm sure there are alloy bars with that feature too.
 
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