carbon fiber handlebars

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by alex001, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. alex001

    alex001 New Member

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    what are the benefits of carbon fiber handlebars? Are they worth the extra money? Also, are the easton ec 90 cf handlebars any good?
     
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  2. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    They are light and stiff (but so are good aluminium bars)

    And they look cool and you can boast about them:D
     
  3. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    The Easton bars are the only CF ones I've looked at closely. Agree they are cool looking, and 200 grams is very light. But, I went with Ritchey WCS OS bar and stem instead....decided I didn't need to spend twice as much just to save a few grams.

    Dan
     
  4. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    They lighten your wallet if you have a problem there that needs attention.
     
  5. rollers

    rollers New Member

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    cf handlebars are a good step on the way to integrated cf bars and stem.

    But before you go there, have you purchased several AL bars in various sizes yet? Do you have a sufficiently large collection of stems to cover nearly all the possible variations in height, length, bar diameter and fork tube diameter? It's best not to skip too many steps along the way or you'll have money left over at the end of the day.

    It's all part of a steadily escalating need for elegance and ever lighter weight that afflicts all of us cyclists. Embrace it. Welcome it into your life. There is no point in feeling guilty about it because you're not alone.
     
  6. Waldo

    Waldo New Member

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    Some people will tell you CF bars do a good job of deadening road vibration...I can't really tell the difference when comparing a light alu bar to a CF bar.
     
  7. Binky

    Binky New Member

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    I've got a set of Easton EC90s and like them a lot. I got them new on eBay for $85 about 6 months after they hit the mainstream market. I've probably got 4000 miles on them.

    One thing that I really like about them that wasn't something I was aware of when I bought them is the shape of the bars. They have a much flatter top section. "Normal" bars start to curve downward much sooner than the EC bars do so what you get is more flat real estate on the tops of the bars. Some people don'y like this attribute, but I spend more time on the tops and hoods than in the drops, so they fit my riding style well.

    Another thing I've noticed about them is that they add a bit of reach to your setup. Your stem will feel 5 to 10mm longer in my humble opinion.

    As far as road vibration goes, its really going to depend on what you're riding now. If you have an AL bike with an AL stem, my guess is that you'll notice a difference. If you've already got a carbon fork with a carbon steerer tube, you'll be wasting your money--unless you just can't get enough of the stuff like some of us carbon obssessed types.
     
  8. BaCardi

    BaCardi New Member

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    Crack! Boom! CRASH! Rider face plant into road at 30MPH! Culprit: Carbon Handlebars.
     
  9. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Oh,pleeze!! Ya think it does not happen with aluminum bars?? :rolleyes:
     
  10. BaCardi

    BaCardi New Member

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    :rolleyes: No doofus.
     
  11. Feanor

    Feanor New Member

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    "worth" is never really a good word to use in a public forum of any type :) Since it's definition is completely variable depending on who you talk to, what their means are, what they value, what they don't value, what their body temperature is at the time etc etc etc..... :)

    Carbon Fiber bars (or anything CF) are worth ALOT if you want or like them, and worth nothing if you don't, that's the straight dope on that...

    One thing that does make some sense though is that it is a definite step in the direction of lightening your bike if that is your desire. Strengthwise, I have little data...

    By lightening, I mean its one part of many that you can replace, the end result being that you'll be looking perhaps at a significant weight reduction.

    No one goes "I got new CF bars that are 35 grams lighter than my AL one's Yeehaw!" but Bars, stem, seatpost, pedals, wheels, BB, cranks, saddle even the danged bottle cages! and its not uncommon to be looking at a weight savings of over a pound, which starts to enter the realm of "worth something"

    Of course, mere mortals like me will never avail themselves of the advantages of even a pound or two off the bike, but at least I could never blame poor performance on the "tank" I was riding :)

    If it rings your bell somehow, do it, if it makes you want to ride your bike more, and you end up doing that than yes, it is "worth" alot...
     
  12. msrw

    msrw New Member

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    The only operative issue I see which may be a downside is that carbon bars MAY be subject to catastrophic failure more than would aluminum bars.

    When carbon fiber is used for components the failure of which would be dangerous, they need to be inspected on a regular basis for any sort of impact damage. If there is inpact damage--even, say, a small stone thrown from a truck--the potential for catastrophic failure exists. Inspection can be a problem since it is obviously difficult to pull your bars off, remove the tape etc. to check for any impact damage.

    Aluminum can also fail, but when it does, it usually doesn't do so in a catastrophic manner.

    The bottom line on carbon fiber seems to be that whatever its truly outstanding merits for certain applications, it is used more for fashion than for improved function in handlebars.
     
  13. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Aren't you overthnking this one.? Small stone/bar tape. What's the chance?? Be sure not to ride a CF frame without thick pipe insulation on all the tubes,as well as on your CF fork!
     
  14. Feanor

    Feanor New Member

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    Aren't you being a bit harsh? I ride a CF framed bike and I regularly inspect it for not only small object impact damage, but stress fractures particularly around the BB area and the chainstays... I don't use CF bars (yet) but can understand how ,if they failed, they would crack and break as a characteristic of their failure over say Aluminum yielding and bending away less violently, perhaps giving you more time to recognize and recover...

    Its no secret that riders on CF frames have to be a bit more diligent with the inspection of their equipment, but in truth all riders who value their health should make regular inspections a well.... regular thing regardless of material. CF riders just need to be a little more careful... One example is scoring of the CF seatpost... a scratch from "twisting" the seatpost in the top of the seat tube could easily develop into a stress fracture. Kind of a "break along the dotted line" thing :)

    Such is the nature of CF as compared to something like steel... CF is tremendously strong at 100%, but at 98% integrity it gets iffy... With Steel its tremendously strong at 100% but also at 80% integrity :) (integrity being things like scratches, dents, scores, cracks etc...)

    Have a good one!
     
  15. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    You seem to be overthinking it too. The myths that CF generates.
     
  16. Feanor

    Feanor New Member

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    Hmm...

    Overthinking? I just told you what I did with my bike... If its overthinking, than I'd rather spend those few extra seconds thinking, then a few weeks in hospital...

    Myth of Carbon Fibre? There aren't any...
     
  17. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    I'm not sure what the argument here is about. I never thought it was in dispute that carbon components and tubes failed in a different fashion than steel or aluminum ones, and that it was important to keep an eye out for cracks or fissures.

    At the same time, feanor isn't insisting that carbon fiber is a disaster prone material. He said he rides a carbon frame.

    Don't let damage go unchecked, and you'll be fine with carbon stuff. We're in agreement here, aren't we?
     
  18. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Yeah,I forgot I see folks lying about bleeding to death from flying shards of catastrophically failed CF all the time. Try and tell me an ultralight aluminum bar won't fail just as fast and with no warning.
     
  19. BaCardi

    BaCardi New Member

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    PULEEZE! :rolleyes:
     
  20. Mario Jr.

    Mario Jr. New Member

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    I really have to comment about the failure properties in CF.
    It IS a myth that carbon breaks suddenly and violent. In fact is has a more gentle and warning way to break.
    I found out last month, that my Cinelli RAM bars had been broken on the flat part on top, both sides, for a couple of months. (Probably due to a bad crash). It had two vissible cracks, that went from the middle to the bends. I only discovered it, because it felt a little soft when sprinting...
    This shows how much strength carbon has, even if the integrety is gone.
    In a very thorough test done by the german "Tour" magazine, tests showed, that carbon forks after a dynamic load test, to the point, where a visible crack appeared, it still had very high strength reserves when applied to a static load test.
     
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