carbon fiber handlebars

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

  1. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Can you provide more details about your failure? Where exactly did the break occur, was the bar under very high load when it snapped, what kind of miles/road conditions, etc? Did you look at it afterwards, and if so, did the fracture area look jagged or just like a clean knife cut break?

    Dan
     


  2. msrw

    msrw New Member

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    I'd also be interested in the details of this.
     
  3. Feltup

    Feltup New Member

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    CF will last longer than aluminum(barring any scratches to the clearcoat which can be covered with touch-up paint.). Most manufactures that make light aluminum bars tell you to replace them after 2 years of use. The Easton EC 90 has a 5 year warranty. Show me an aluminum bar with that. It all comes down to fatigue stress. Aluminum will fatigue and fail long before carbon. The advantage to aluminum is price. It is a quality building material at a low price. However carbon is better
     
  4. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    Not on the road it don´t .

    Simple solution : don´t buy bars that are too light ( or replace them at least once a year to avoid metal fatigue )
    2 ) buy a torque wrench or learn not to overtighten aluminium .

    Carbon can delaminate after a sharp blow and leave no visible sign of damage , aluminium bends before it breaks .
    You can ride home with a bar that´s bent ( or is the polite word gay ) but carbon breaks and your a pedestrian .
    Either way don´t be too obsessed with weight / hi-tech if you don´t have a support car , it can be a long walk home . :p
     
  5. Corsaire

    Corsaire New Member

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    This is an update on my recently installed Carbon EC90 for the Al stock which came with my Vigorelli. I just finished my second official outing (2 hrs ride) of hilly and patches of rough out roads,
    the carbon bar gives me a smooth ride, even with the Vittoria 23C tires, my arms were fresh after both rides, something that didn't happen with AL. Mind you, that combined with a carbon forks and good padded gloves.
    Corsaire
     
  6. Ciaran

    Ciaran New Member

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    May advise would be check out how many riders use them in the pro peloton? Very few and they get them free. Chris Boardman recently commented that he could not understand carbon bars and more particularly stems, I agree.
    There is minimal weight saving (if Any) also if you crash Carbon shatters and also they seem to flex more than alloy.

    others view will of course differ but at they end of they day they seem a bit of a gimmick with no real performance advantage, not like a frameset or wheels, but if it works for you who am i to comment
     
  7. JJJameson

    JJJameson New Member

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    I'd have to agree. I've raed a handful of reviews and thh consensus seams to be: very good vibration damping qualities, but vertical flex is an issue (for racers).

    If you ride an aluminum frame carbon bars and seat post might help soften up the ride, but it's kind of silly to put tem on a steel or ti (or carbon) bike IMHO.
     
  8. Corsaire

    Corsaire New Member

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    I have the Easton EC90 on my Vigorelli 2003, combined with the carbon fork, what a sweet ride! ...no, I don't think it's silly, not everybody is a racer and certainly not trying to cut seconds here and there, to me that's silly....it's a matter of perspective, isn't it?
    Corsaire ;)
     
  9. Feltup

    Feltup New Member

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    I was able to put a 100 miles on the bars this weekend.(nice weather) I will say the bar is a lot less harsh on rough patches. I had a heavy aluminum bar so the difference is noticable.The design is a lot more comfortable too. More hand postions. Now it does flex in sprints but only when sprinting in the drops. Any climbing on the hoods or tops are stiff as aluminum. I love the bar the only complant I have is there is no notch for the brake cable. I wonder if they could drill a hole in the bar for the cable and keep the strength?
     
  10. funknuggets

    funknuggets New Member

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    Alu bars fail just as catastrophically as carbons. If you are torquing on them, you need to replace them periodically.... like every year or year and a half. If you are racing hard. Check your documentation if you dont believe me, however most people do not still have, or ever get handlebar documentation. Most have a limit to the number of miles and/or wont warranty them if racing.

    Chris
     
  11. funknuggets

    funknuggets New Member

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    Alu bars fail just as catastrophically as carbons. If you are torquing on them, you need to replace them periodically.... like every year or year and a half. If you are racing hard. Check your documentation if you dont believe me, however most people do not still have, or ever get handlebar documentation. Most have a limit to the number of miles and/or wont warranty them if racing.

    Chris
     
  12. Moser

    Moser New Member

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    Interesting debate. You guys are scaring me. I have a late 70’s custom bike with the original alu bars with lots of miles on them. Carbon has been used in other sports for quite some time such as xc skiing. I have used both carbon and alu poles for skate skiing for a number of years. Carbon is light and stiff but breaks catastrophically. I have broken more carbon poles than I care to remember. Alu on the other hand, is heavier and more flexible than carbon but does not break. I have a alu pair of poles that are ten years old, a bit bent, but still working. Carbon skating poles get quite a bit of impact damage from hitting the skis and seem to be able to take quite a bit of abuse without failing. How the carbon is coated seems to make a big difference in durability.
     
  13. jmocallaghan

    jmocallaghan New Member

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    Carbon fiber bars are cool but that is really about that. If you have a balanced frame (i.e. good fork to a good frame w/out some whacked out Cannondalesque set up, life be good with a set of ITMs, 3Ts, Cinellis.

    Carbon will also deaden the road feels as well but so will also a good wrap of Cinelli tape.
     
  14. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    At the end of the day, though carbon can fail in ways that aluminum can't, both materials can be constructed or abused in a way that leads to early failure. A well-designed set of carbon bars can last ages; a well-cared for set of carbon bars can last just as long.

    There are plenty of 'cross teams abusing beefier carbon componentry as we speak. There are 'cross teams using the EC90.

    Do your homework, inspect your stuff from time to time, and enjoy your setup -- be it carbon, aluminum, steel, or pultonium. Whatever tickles your pickle!
     
  15. JuneBug

    JuneBug New Member

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    yeah that is what kept me from getting them. I worry about carbon failure. its true that aluminum bars and such fail too. I saw my hubby's handlebars cracking and we replaced them right away. the difference here is that there is no warning 'cracks' in carbon. when they go they just GO.
    I drool over the catalog and carbon fiber is a fetish I have. But as for handlebars..they are too critical a part of the bike to be practical for me.
    If I had a time trial bike though and it was JUST for time trialing and not for every day use. ...oooh.... I might splurge for the stiffyer lighter and flashy aerodynamic time trial bars. YOu can spend a lot to shave a gram. HA!
    oooh. what about some of those on the tour. THey look invisibly tiny.... like they'd snap clean off. Very cool looking. Very purposeful for their purposes. but no way they'd want those for an every day bike.
     
  16. cycleboy

    cycleboy Guest

    I believe there is a significant difference between ski poles and cycling handlebars. Ski poles are not heat-treated and so can bend to absorb lateral forces. Handlebars are heat-treated alloy to give strength to very thinwall tubing. The heat-treating adds brittleness hence the catastrophic failure under some conditions.
     
  17. Feltup

    Feltup New Member

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    I crashed the other day and the handle bars hit the ground hard. I have the Easton EC90 bars. Well I had to replace the wrap and I inspected the bars. No cracks.
     
  18. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    No need to fear. Millions of us are riding carbon forks, with carbon steer tubes...they don't just go snap. Aircraft and F1 cars use CF composites in critical places like wing panels, rotor blades, front suspension arms. With proper design, manufacturing and inspections, these are very safe and strong, and allow plenty of time to detect failures before they become unsafe.
     
  19. EoinC

    EoinC New Member

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    Aaahh, steel! The greatest material since sliced bread - actually that white bread bike didn't handle too well, should have gone for hi-fibre. Steel frame, steel bars, steel rims, woollen jumper (steel doesn't insulate so well - it's only downfall). The only catastrophic failure is likely to be a heart attack pushing the beast out of the garage.
    Isn't it funny how the bikes used in European Pro' Races (other than TT's) are often a lot less exotic than the bikes you see plonking around on the roads?
    I'm wondering whether adding CF handlebars to my steel clunker might keep the cardiologists at bay? No, I'm not getting rid of the woollen jumper - lycra is banned at the pub.

    Have fun.
     
  20. saso

    saso New Member

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    Sorry to break it to you guys but pound for pound Carbon is still the strongest.
     
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