road bars/stems: safety vs. stiffness



F

Fred Clydesdale

Guest
it's been a number of years and a BIG number of miles, and i'm
starting to eye my old stem & bars (3ttt forgie & forma sl) with
a little suspicion. they may have years left in them, but i'd
rather not find out that's not true while pulling like hell to
get up a hill.

so...looking at what's out there now, i find that everybody seems
to be pushing the 31.8 (or 31.7 if you're deda) stuff. and that
causes my natural suspicion to kick in: if they're able to keep
something with that diameter lightweight, how thin are the walls
of the tubes? and while they're probably stiff as hell (as if
i ever had a problem with my 25.4 or 26.0 bars) i worry that it
might come at the cost of longevity and safety. they may be fine
for someone who's (1) 150 pounds or (2) gets a new bike every
year. but i'm closer to 200 pounds and replace my bikes every
20 years or so.

so what's the, uh, skinny? what's a good, solid bar/stem combo
that can deal with the miles without putting me at risk? or
does that even exist any more?
 
K

Ken

Guest
Fred Clydesdale <[email protected]> wrote in news:fred-F94767.21453516072005
@news1.west.earthlink.net:
> so what's the, uh, skinny? what's a good, solid bar/stem combo
> that can deal with the miles without putting me at risk? or
> does that even exist any more?


You should replace super lightweight racing bars once a year or so. Anything
else should last for as long as the rest of your bike (unless you crash).
 
R

Robin Hubert

Guest
Fred Clydesdale wrote:
> it's been a number of years and a BIG number of miles, and i'm
> starting to eye my old stem & bars (3ttt forgie & forma sl) with
> a little suspicion. they may have years left in them, but i'd
> rather not find out that's not true while pulling like hell to
> get up a hill.
>
> so...looking at what's out there now, i find that everybody seems
> to be pushing the 31.8 (or 31.7 if you're deda) stuff. and that
> causes my natural suspicion to kick in: if they're able to keep
> something with that diameter lightweight, how thin are the walls
> of the tubes? and while they're probably stiff as hell (as if
> i ever had a problem with my 25.4 or 26.0 bars) i worry that it
> might come at the cost of longevity and safety. they may be fine
> for someone who's (1) 150 pounds or (2) gets a new bike every
> year. but i'm closer to 200 pounds and replace my bikes every
> 20 years or so.
>
> so what's the, uh, skinny? what's a good, solid bar/stem combo
> that can deal with the miles without putting me at risk? or
> does that even exist any more?


Plenty of stuff from 3ttt, FSA, Salsa, Deda, etc. Just avoid the stupid
light ****.


Robin Hubert
 
K

Kinky Cowboy

Guest
On Sun, 17 Jul 2005 07:04:35 GMT, Robin Hubert <[email protected]>
wrote:

>Fred Clydesdale wrote:


>> so what's the, uh, skinny? what's a good, solid bar/stem combo
>> that can deal with the miles without putting me at risk? or
>> does that even exist any more?

>
>Plenty of stuff from 3ttt, FSA, Salsa, Deda, etc. Just avoid the stupid
>light ****.
>


Easton (EA50), ITM (Super330 bar/RoadRacing stem), Profile Design
(H2O) too. The bottom of the range from any of these big name brands
will have plenty of good metal in them :)


Kinky Cowboy*

*Batteries not included
May contain traces of nuts
Your milage may vary
 
A

A Muzi

Guest
Fred Clydesdale wrote:

> it's been a number of years and a BIG number of miles, and i'm
> starting to eye my old stem & bars (3ttt forgie & forma sl) with
> a little suspicion. they may have years left in them, but i'd
> rather not find out that's not true while pulling like hell to
> get up a hill.
>
> so...looking at what's out there now, i find that everybody seems
> to be pushing the 31.8 (or 31.7 if you're deda) stuff. and that
> causes my natural suspicion to kick in: if they're able to keep
> something with that diameter lightweight, how thin are the walls
> of the tubes? and while they're probably stiff as hell (as if
> i ever had a problem with my 25.4 or 26.0 bars) i worry that it
> might come at the cost of longevity and safety. they may be fine
> for someone who's (1) 150 pounds or (2) gets a new bike every
> year. but i'm closer to 200 pounds and replace my bikes every
> 20 years or so.
>
> so what's the, uh, skinny? what's a good, solid bar/stem combo
> that can deal with the miles without putting me at risk? or
> does that even exist any more?


Any competent LBS which commonly builds bicycles to spec
will have a range of sizes, shapes and styles at hand. 31.8
to many of us seems just another (expensive) gimmick. It is
on no way essential and may easily be avoided/ignored.

--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971
 
D

Dan Lenski

Guest
What counts as "super lightweight racing bars"? Are you thinking of
carbon fiber only, or aluminum too?

I'm just wondering cause I'm relatively new to racing... I'm using an
old 1990 ITM stem that *appears* to be in great shape, and some Nashbar
ergo bars that weigh 242g.

I shudder at the thought of a stem/handlebar failure...

Dan
 
S

Steve Blankenship

Guest
"Fred Clydesdale" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> it's been a number of years and a BIG number of miles, and i'm
> starting to eye my old stem & bars (3ttt forgie & forma sl) with
> a little suspicion. they may have years left in them, but i'd
> rather not find out that's not true while pulling like hell to
> get up a hill.
>
> so...looking at what's out there now, i find that everybody seems
> to be pushing the 31.8 (or 31.7 if you're deda) stuff. and that
> causes my natural suspicion to kick in: if they're able to keep
> something with that diameter lightweight, how thin are the walls
> of the tubes? and while they're probably stiff as hell (as if
> i ever had a problem with my 25.4 or 26.0 bars) i worry that it
> might come at the cost of longevity and safety. they may be fine
> for someone who's (1) 150 pounds or (2) gets a new bike every
> year. but i'm closer to 200 pounds and replace my bikes every
> 20 years or so.
>
> so what's the, uh, skinny? what's a good, solid bar/stem combo
> that can deal with the miles without putting me at risk? or
> does that even exist any more?


Few things to consider:

A) OS bars are generally a bit heavier than the same, non-OS bars. Check
the mfgr stats. So they haven't gone nuts on wall thickness.
B) Keep in mind that the OS part is actually pretty short, while the rest of
the bar is the same as non-OS bars.
C) Anyway, the wall thickness wouldn't really affect how they hold up from
daily use, for the same reason a large-tube, thin-wall 3lb aluminum frame
will outlive an older small-tube, thicker wall 3lb one, at least as far as
not breaking from normal use. Thin walls do become more prone to localized
buckling from impacts, but that's mainly in much bigger tubes than bars.
That's why you tend to see more small dents in modern AL bikes than back in
the day. Bike falls over against a sharp corner and there you go... Bars
are much less vulnerable to that sort of thing, and stiffer ones will hold
up longer under normal pushing and pulling.
D) Bottom line, if you've been doing OK with Forma SL's you'll be fine with
OS bars in the same weight range. And there's a wide weight range of OS
bars to choose from.

SB