oversize handlebars



Athlita

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Feb 8, 2004
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What are the advantages (if any) to having oversize handlebars? I'm building up a bike and can't decide whether or not to put on regular or oversize handlebars. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

Cipher

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Sep 7, 2002
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Originally posted by Athlita
What are the advantages (if any) to having oversize handlebars? I'm building up a bike and can't decide whether or not to put on regular or oversize handlebars. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

I believe they (31.8 diameter) will be slightly stronger/stiffer with only a very slight weight penalty vs. 26.0 diameter bar.
 

lokstah

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Sep 30, 2003
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For better or worse or no real change, it's the direction things are heading. Slightly stronger/stiffer and with a more stable clamping surface is the pitch I've heard as well, but those are pretty difficult improvements to quantify on this scale.

Oh well; just bought some.
 

tafi

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Jul 31, 2003
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You can quantify them easily. Just check any engineering text.
 

lokstah

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Sep 30, 2003
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Originally posted by tafi
You can quantify them easily. Just check any engineering text.
Well, of course it can be done, but not being an engineer for Deda or Ritchey, I couldn't offer specific numbers illustrating what makes the Newton OS stiffer or less flexy than the Ritchey WCS 26mm bar. In other words, 7 minutes of Googling isn't going to give you a real quanitification of anything -- just a basic sense of what OS clamps are like versus standard clamps.

And besides, the discussion gets into the same quagmire that the debate about frame materials devolves into: it's difficult to draw really meaningful comparisons of finished products because different manufacturers are employing different construction techniques with different variations of different alloys and resins and different forging, welding, or machining processes.

In the end, most of us are subjects of the great mutant god of magazine reviews, annecdotes, the occasional whitepaper, and a good dose of hype... which I've got no problem with, having just bought a pair of 3T More carbon bars.
 

fushman

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Feb 13, 2004
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i think they look cooler, although some times i guess you might have a problem fitting your computer to the os diameter.
 

DiabloScott

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May 15, 2003
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Originally posted by fushman
i think they look cooler, although some times i guess you might have a problem fitting your computer to the os diameter.

Trouble fitting clip-on aero bars too with some model combinations.
 

pudster

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Aug 20, 2003
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I guess that I don't think that you really need something stiffer for handlebars for most people. I think that most folks are looking at comfort and a stiffer bar is not more comfort but maybe more power for someone like a big sprinter.
 

lokstah

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Sep 30, 2003
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Originally posted by fushman
i think they look cooler, although some times i guess you might have a problem fitting your computer to the os diameter.
Cooler looks have something to do with it; no apologies here!

Personally, I also figured that it wasn't a trend worth resisting. More and more stems and bars alike are going OS; may as well make it easy on myself and go with the flow. I'm not using a quill stem any more, either!
 

Cipher

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Sep 7, 2002
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Originally posted by fushman
some times i guess you might have a problem fitting your computer to the os diameter.

Planet Bike for one is just getting around to addressing this problem...
 

dhk

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Sep 1, 2003
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Originally posted by lokstah
Cooler looks have something to do with it; no apologies here!

Personally, I also figured that it wasn't a trend worth resisting. More and more stems and bars alike are going OS; may as well make it easy on myself and go with the flow. I'm not using a quill stem any more, either!

Agree it's not a big deal. I also made the OS choice for my new bike build kit for a few more bucks. For a given weight, believe the OS center section should provide a bit more stiffness, plus a stronger clamp-joint to the stem as well. Just one of many component choices, and probably a minor one at that, eg, the OS BB frame was a bigger choice....that one can't be changed.
 

Beastt

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Sep 19, 2003
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I have one bike with standard size bars and one with the oversize. My computer mount had to be attached farther out with the offset running toward the center of the bar and though it's not a big problem, it does use up some hand space on the bar. When I decided to change my stem, I found that I had a more limited choice, though this is likely changing at a fairly rapid pace. I don't really see an advantage to the oversize bar and from a cosmetic stand, I didn't really like it when I first saw it. Now that I've had it a few months I agree that it looks better than the standard size bar but still offers more drawbacks than advantages.
 

BugMan

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Jul 4, 2003
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There is no weight penalty for OS - quite the opposite. The larger diameter tube allows the tube walls to be made thinner (i.e., lighter) with no loss of stiffness. It's the same principle as the oversized downtubes on aluminum frames that has become almost universal.
 

lokstah

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Sep 30, 2003
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Originally posted by BugMan
There is no weight penalty for OS - quite the opposite. The larger diameter tube allows the tube walls to be made thinner (i.e., lighter) with no loss of stiffness. It's the same principle as the oversized downtubes on aluminum frames that has become almost universal.
Mostly true, if I understand correctly. You're absolutely right about weight penalties where oversized tubing is concerned, but in general, OS stems are a tad heavier than their standard counterparts -- the OS tubing manufacturing tricks don't exactly apply when it comes to forging an actual clamp.

We're only talking 10-20 grams, but it's a valid point where weight weenies are concerned. In most cases, I bet the total effect versus standard stems and bars is a wash.
 

scituatejohn

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Aug 3, 2003
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The ability of a thin-walled tube to withstand bending is proportional to the radius raised to the third power, and the ability to withstand torque has a similar relation. If two tubes have the same lengths and wall thicknesses, but one of them has twice the radius, then the larger tube will flex (and twist) an amount approaching one eighth of the flex of the smaller tube with the same applied load and assuming that the thickness of the tube is small compared to the radius of the tube. The mass of the larger tube will be four times the mass of the smaller tube. If you keep the mass of the tubes the same by decreasing the wall thicknesses, and you assume that the walls are thin, then a large tube with an outer radius that is twice as large as a small tube will have a strength that approaches 4 times the strength of the small tube.
 

hwttdz

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Sep 28, 2003
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Slightly off topic. I think it would be great to have handlebars that are bigger the full length of the bar rather than just at the clamp. Not for weight savings or anything but just because it would be more comfortable. Don't suppose these exist though, and don't know if the shifters would fit on them.
 

RBS

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Aug 7, 2003
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Athlita said:
What are the advantages (if any) to having oversize handlebars? I'm building up a bike and can't decide whether or not to put on regular or oversize handlebars. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

more carbon bar are going os, especially the new flat top bars. os stems mostly come in 6 degree or 10 degree drops. if you need to get your bars higher or lower than that angle will allow - you're out of luck if your steer tube is cut. 26.0 stems come in many more flavors. that might change as more folks go os.
 

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