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$4000 bike - two bit legs
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Discussion Starter #1
Probably a question asked almost as much as "when should I buy a new helmet??" I did a search but nothing came up.

Opinions...or....this question is based on a difference of opinion with a riding buddy. My friend, all 175lbs of him, replaces his bars every year. He puts about 4-5000 miles per year on them. I haven't done that. I kept one set for 7 years (too long) and my current ones are 3 years old next month. My bike has been in two minor wrecks during the last three years neither of which did any obvious damage to the bars. The wrecks were simple, flesh eating, slide outs on wet turns. Yes, these are aluminum bars. As a 6'1" 188lb (down from 202lbs Jan 1st...YEAH!!!) rider, I wouldn't trust CF bars.

I think replacing them every year is a waste of money. Heck, I oughta buy his old bars. But when is too long?? When do you replace your bars??
 

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Replace when needed

PaulCL said:
I think replacing them every year is a waste of money. Heck, I oughta buy his old bars. But when is too long?? When do you replace your bars??
Last year I replaced a set of TTT Forma bars on my bike after 7 years and 65 K miles. There was some corrosion at the open ends, but no signs of stress or scoring at the stem clamp or brake lever clamps. I have used one aluminum bar for as long as 16 years/90K miles. Obviously, I don't think annual replacement makes sense. YMMV.
 

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I don't think I've ever replaced any (shudder).

I've bought new bars to change the shape or width, but I can't remember ever replacing them because they were worn out, the way I do tires. Not that you should follow my example about bike maintenance, but I weigh 240 and live in big mountains, so I pull on the bars a lot, and I've never had a problem. Annual replacement is probably overkill.
The thought of breakage is so scary, though, that I'm going to go home tonight and check everything for cracks and stress risers....
 

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Bars aren't stressed as much as wheels, frames and forks. They don't bear much weight. If you're a powerful sprinter I suppose they can get stressed a bit but I've never seen one fail except in a crash (mountain bike). Aluminum bars are probably fine for many years. I'm more concerned with older carbon forks.
 

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$4000 bike - two bit legs
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Discussion Starter #5
thanks guys

Cory said:
I've bought new bars to change the shape or width, but I can't remember ever replacing them because they were worn out, the way I do tires. Not that you should follow my example about bike maintenance, but I weigh 240 and live in big mountains, so I pull on the bars a lot, and I've never had a problem. Annual replacement is probably overkill.
The thought of breakage is so scary, though, that I'm going to go home tonight and check everything for cracks and stress risers....
I'm not doing anything with my bars....OK...maybe I'll ask Santa for a new one in a year or two. Cory....at 240lbs, in the mountains, then I would take a hard look at them. Losing teeth 50 miles from home is such a bad, bad picture......
 

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Where does it say to replace bars once a year? I've only heard about that for mountain bikes.

Unless you've got a dangerous combo, like a 220lbs dude riding over potholes on a superlight bar, or there's corrosion, why would you replace your road bars every year?
 

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It depends on how light they are and how old they are and how many times that you have crashed in them.
Story #1. Back in the stone age, my bike had some bars that I had crashed on 5 or 6 times. I was out on a group ride, and had just finished a sprint. We came to a "T" in the road and had to wait for traffic before turning. I was resting my elbow's on the bars when my right elbow dropped down. Yep, bar was cracked and split. I can only imagine what would have happened if the bar broke in a sprint.
Story #2 Last week, while waiting to start a race, a rider fell over (snicker). When he got up, his bars were cracked (The bars had been in a big crash two years ago)
 

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$4000 bike - two bit legs
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Discussion Starter #8
No where

bg. said:
Where does it say to replace bars once a year? I've only heard about that for mountain bikes.

Unless you've got a dangerous combo, like a 220lbs dude riding over potholes on a superlight bar, or there's corrosion, why would you replace your road bars every year?
That's the whole point of disagreement. I think he's being overly cautious. In all fairness, this guy did have a bar crack on him while riding and went down. Luckily, it turned into a minor accident. So I can understand his concern, but I think it's over the top. His response: For $50 per year for the bar, he gets peace of mind. Can't fault him for that. Here's a recommendation: Every January, go to EBAY and look for the guy selling the one year old aluminum handlebar. You'll get a deal.
 

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I have an older bike dedicated to the trainer and have not changed the tape for a year or so. Last Tuesday got on the bike went down on the drops and the bars snapped off! Took the tape off. Tape still looked pretty good, bars in the middle looked newish but the bars had major corrosion and a bunch of almost dime sized holes in it where it snapped off at the bend. Glad it was a "trainer bike". Lesson for those who use their bikes both on the trainer and road is change tape often and check bars for corrosion.
 
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