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I am thinking about some carbon handlebars. Not sure which. I am leaning towards Modolo, Zipp, ITM or Ritchey.
So price is not really the limiter as much as the fuss. And worry. Weight is not an issue.
My main interest in getting the carbon bars are vibration damping and some of the nicer ergonomic features. Though I see that most companies offer their flattop/ ergo bars in Al as well.
Of course, I worry about them cracking in half after a late night monkeywrench session in the basment with the stem bolts. I'm not such a great mechanic...
But I figure if they can make a fork out of carbon and I never think about it a handlebar shoudl be pretty easy.

So the simple question is: are they worth the price and fuss?
 

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Standard tradeoffs

Whether CF bars are "worth it" is an unanswerable question. That said, they are likely just as durable as comparable weight aluminum bars. Vibration damping is an oft-argued point, with the consensus falling toward better handlebar tape or a couple of fewer psi in the tires having just as much/more effect. Partisans will chime in on both sides of this, but there's no real answer.
 

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Only if you want to impress people on how much you spent on your bars.
 

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not really worth it

if you are looking for vibration damping. At least that's been my experience (Easton EC90 Equipe bars). Good gel bar tape will do more.
 

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I got the Modolo K because of the intricate bend they are capable of getting with carbon. They fit my small hands perfectly. But as far as ride quality, etc, bar tape makes a bigger difference imo. The fact that they are ridiculously light doesn't hurt, though.

Mark
 

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I'd worry less about the material and more about if the bars' shape suits you. Get Al bars if you want to impress people with how little you spent on your bars or with your retro sensibilities.
 

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no difference to me times 3

have bought 3 bikes on ebay with carbon bars, subsequently sold them (bars). i like prima 199s for my bars and the carbons were as heavy or heavier and did nothing magical that i could feel so off they went to help defray the cost of the purchase.

of course they could look cool to you or go with the bike--i have a set of ebay carbon cranks that although stiffer and lighter i really bought for looks--there was nothing wrong with the alloy cranks i had

the only carbon thing i ever broke was a seatpost--that was because the idiot i bought the bike from used a post one size too small and so when he tightened it he crimped it. could have been deadly or at least grizzly, but i got lcuky and only had to pedal standing for 7 miles. if you think you will crimp carbon don't go there

jim
 

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vantongerloo said:
I am thinking about some carbon handlebars. Not sure which. I am leaning towards Modolo, Zipp, ITM or Ritchey.
So price is not really the limiter as much as the fuss. And worry. Weight is not an issue.
My main interest in getting the carbon bars are vibration damping and some of the nicer ergonomic features. Though I see that most companies offer their flattop/ ergo bars in Al as well.
Of course, I worry about them cracking in half after a late night monkeywrench session in the basment with the stem bolts. I'm not such a great mechanic...
But I figure if they can make a fork out of carbon and I never think about it a handlebar shoudl be pretty easy.

So the simple question is: are they worth the price and fuss?
After using several different carbon bars-Specialized S-Works and the ITM K-Sword bar/stem combo-I'm now riding a Ritchey WCS aluminum bar. A good old round bar with fat bar tape feels GOOD! They only weigh 20 grams more than the carbon bar it replaced. Honestly I've tried a LOT of products in the past 2 years and my C50 now has Campy cranks with that horrible obsolete square taper bb and aluminum bars!:D Rides beautiful and I can't feel any difference between the carbon bars and these.
Unless you're unapologetically into "bling" the price isn't worth it with so many great alloy bars. The fuss aspect is mainly proper torque values for the stem bolts or you do risk damage if you tighten too much and it's a pain and potentially dangerous when you hit a bump and your bars rotate because the stem isn't tight enough. Save some money and invest it somewhere else that you WILL feel the difference-like wheels.

[email protected]
 

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I have Kwing bars because I like the way they feel with ergo levers. With the lever at the right position for me, my hand fits perfectly on the hoods and the drops feel natural to me. There are several aluminum bars lighter than my Kwings, but I just like the way they fit my hands. I haven't really noticed any appreciable change in dampening. One down side is I have to use another bike to time trial since I cannot swap the levers over with the internal cable routing and I cannot clamp to the bars. I commute on a taiwanese steel frame (soma) 5-6 days a week with its Salsa short and shallow bars ($30), my race bike has the cool stuff.
 

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If you don't have a tourque wrench...

and you don't wanna worry, stick with aluminium. Sure you still have to be careful with superlight Al but there's a bigger margin for error. I crushed a bar just by slowly going tighter trying to remove a slipage problem.

More expencive, more fragile, actually stiffer than al by the way according to manufacturers, and more worry for the amature mechanic.

So I say No. Not worth it.
 

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I can't see any reason why it's worth the money.

P.S. That's speaking as someone who once had carbon bars and stem. Now I just have a carbon stem which came with the frame and Deda Newton Classic Italian shallow drops.
260 g for 46 cm (o-o) bars isn't a problem to me.
 

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rocco said:
I can't see any reason why it's worth the money.
I feel the same way about boutique bikes. Too many people get wrapped up about the bike and don't spend enough time working on the engine. I like my carbon bars because they fit my hands well. I cycle for transportation 5-6 days a week. When I ride the cool bike, I want to enjoy it.
 

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bigbill said:
I feel the same way about boutique bikes. Too many people get wrapped up about the bike and don't spend enough time working on the engine. I like my carbon bars because they fit my hands well. I cycle for transportation 5-6 days a week. When I ride the cool bike, I want to enjoy it.
Too many people get wound up worrying or kvetching about how much people spend on whatever it is that switches them on. Those people are usually identified by their use of the word "boutique" and phrases like "don't spend enough time working on the engine." Geez. What a bunch of nattering old hags.

Bikes are bikes. Components are compenents. Aluminum, cromo, CF, americium....there all good.
 

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Bullocks! I was of a similar opinion that the bars didn't make that much of a difference. My new Zipp SL's changed that opinions! I went from WCS's to these and am love. As a slight note doing rollers, I can't feel that super slight hum, they really smooth the ride out. That and I save 70 grams!

K
 

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alienator said:
Too many people get wound up worrying or kvetching about how much people spend on whatever it is that switches them on. Those people are usually identified by their use of the word "boutique" and phrases like "don't spend enough time working on the engine." Geez. What a bunch of nattering old hags.

Bikes are bikes. Components are compenents. Aluminum, cromo, CF, americium....there all good.
I have americium in my smoke detector but am thinking about upgrading. What do you think about plutonium or some nice einstenium? What are the advantages of each? I bet that I could take a few ounces off of the house.
 

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bigbill said:
I feel the same way about boutique bikes. Too many people get wrapped up about the bike and don't spend enough time working on the engine.
No offence or anything, but I see in your profile you have a pegoretti Fina Estampa, pretty boutique, it has record on it apparently, no exactly the economy option. Now I'm about to kick it up a notch, so bear with me, but you don't exactly seem like you have the most finely tuned motor, maybe I'm wrong.

These are just some observations.

As for Carbon bars, I don't like them, it has nothing to do with cost, I had some, I didn't like them, I sold them and went back to AL bars. YMMV
 

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One of those 'how much better can it BE?' things

I've never owned a pair, but I've ridden them on friends' bikes. To me, at least, a handlebar is one of those things that's already about as good as it needs to be, so I don't see any point in spending a lot more money on something that might be a tiny bit better. The $50 (or so) bars on my bike now fit my hands, feel fine, are stiff enough and work as well as I can imagine wanting them to work.
 

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FTF said:
No offence or anything, but I see in your profile you have a pegoretti Fina Estampa, pretty boutique, it has record on it apparently, no exactly the economy option. Now I'm about to kick it up a notch, so bear with me, but you don't exactly seem like you have the most finely tuned motor, maybe I'm wrong.

These are just some observations.

As for Carbon bars, I don't like them, it has nothing to do with cost, I had some, I didn't like them, I sold them and went back to AL bars. YMMV
If you want to get personal, don't expect me to stick with you. If the boutique thing offends you, it is probably about you. A red aluminum frame with yellow snakes that cost $1400 never seemed that "boutique" to me. I buy and ride what I want, but I am not a poser. Ask the people who rode with me in SD if there is a question about the engine. It works just fine. As far as the spirit of your post, this is the component forum, PO is down by podium girls. Leave your personal feelings there.
 

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in reference to the original post, it comes down to your own personal risk/benefit assessment. you already sound concerned about durability, so what would be your benefits? personally, carbon bars don't interest me. Al bars are stiff,strong, and weigh almost nothing. If it helps, look at what the pros use. I bet at least 80% use aluminium bars.
 

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Lightness is OK.

The must important issue is fit. Does the shape, reach and drop meet your criteria? If your comfortable on a certain bar you will ride with more comfort and confidence. Buy what works for you. If a ultra light carbon bar is what works, so be it.
 
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