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  1. #26
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    I have 2 titec hellbent ti bars...

    1 flat and one low riser. Got them both really cheap off of ebay years ago. Their 25in wide. I ride these and two 26in wide Salsa pro moto carbon flat bars. Both carbon and ti are significantly more comfy than any alu bar I have tried. I will never go back to alu. Also I don't notice any significant loss of steering precision either and I am much bigger than most guys on this forum.
    Than being said, I do ride ht's on xc and woodsy singletrack with no really big ups or downs. So others may be putting their bars through a lot more challenging situations than I am putting mine..
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  2. #27
    Missouri sucks...
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    I understand the OP wants a specific bend/rise but for the most part, isn't carbon cheaper and just as comfortable as ti for handlebars? I can see looks being a disadvantage because most ti bars end up being on a fancy ti frame so they go better with the theme of the bike but from a sheer performance/cost/comfort comparison, isn't carbon the winner?

  3. #28
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    How about Steel

    I read through this thread and saw opinions about Alum, Ti and Carbon, but not Steel. I want to try the design of the Groovy Luv Handles, but was thinking of trying the steel version (85 vs 250 bucks) to see if I liked the hand position (carpal tunnel problems). Going on a front suspension ti 29er. Anybody ever use a steel bar?

  4. #29
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    I dunno...

    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHaq
    I know Ti Cycles out of Washington will do custom swept flat bars for $120 @ 24".

    Cost... there are a number of places online you can get source cost on 22.2 titanium tube. It's marked up quite a lot. I can tell you a 31.6 x 650mm tube runs $55-$70 which is common seat tube size. 22.2mm x 450mm runs around $30... that is common MTB handlebar size (7/8").

    So I have to think raw material for 700mm is about $50. In bulk it's probably cheaper. Titanium can be worked at room temp on the same equipment as steel. Just takes more time. Can't just bend it and expect it to stay. So there is "wait" time built in there. I'm guessing no more than 1hr of labor. Not sure what they are paying folks to bend tubes, but the guys in our metal shop vary from $10/hr to $22/hr. So now there is a max of $72 in it. Add a $5 shim... $77 total.

    Retail: $150
    Approx max cost: $77
    Approx profit: $73
    Profit Margin: 94.8%

    Over-priced is in the eyes of the beholder... and I'd say that is over priced.
    I'm sure it's not like anybody at Blacksheep is rolling a new AMG Benz back to their 5000 square foot house in an exclusive gated community, and lighting their cigars with $100 bills.

    50 points markup from a manufacturer is about average. My wife has about 50 points markup to her wholesale price on her towels, and we aren't exactly rolling in cash. Heck, she still has a part time job outside of her towel biz.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cibob113
    I read through this thread and saw opinions about Alum, Ti and Carbon, but not Steel. I want to try the design of the Groovy Luv Handles, but was thinking of trying the steel version (85 vs 250 bucks) to see if I liked the hand position (carpal tunnel problems). Going on a front suspension ti 29er. Anybody ever use a steel bar?
    Honestly the steel bar would most likely be perfect on a suspension fork. I talked myself into the first ti. bar I got, now I want just one more.

    Actually I have had two ti. bars, but a Titec 118 from 1995 doesn't seem to really count.

  6. #31
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    3 bikes 3 bars
    bonty alu bigsweep on hardtail
    easton carbon low rise on hardtail

    blacksheep ti on rigid, had the BS bent similar to the easton and with mustache ends, I love it. It may flex a little on the climbs but not something i've given a great deal of thought to as it climbs so well comparatively. It's my keeper
    wherever you go, there you are

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    So, we go to oversize-bar standards for more stiffness, and then to titanium for more flex. Seems like spinning our wheels.
    Your forgetting one other IMPORTANT advantage IMO to oversize bars. More clamp area, so it's less likely to rotate in the stem on a rigid bike.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cibob113
    I read through this thread and saw opinions about Alum, Ti and Carbon, but not Steel. I want to try the design of the Groovy Luv Handles, but was thinking of trying the steel version (85 vs 250 bucks) to see if I liked the hand position (carpal tunnel problems). Going on a front suspension ti 29er. Anybody ever use a steel bar?
    Like any metal, the feel will depends on the tubing used. For this particular bar, the builder states on his site (and has repeated on this forum) that he built the steel version to be quite stiff and it is intended for bikes with suspension forks.

  9. #34
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    No denying the resale end of your comment... that is 100% fact as far as I am concerned. Put "titanium" in the title of an Ebay ad and yea, a person will definetely get some bidders. Rightfully so... second-hand Ti parts are the cheapest way to go.



    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk
    That is a very valid way to look at it. $10 vs $150 calls a lot into question. That is a big price difference. A some of that price difference can be justified, how much $$ depends on the individual. For me, the following things were worth spending a little (ok, a lot) extra:

    Custom Made - I have been riding long enough to know what I like. Sure you can find off the shelf bars that get you very close but custom gets you exact.

    Comfort - My Ti bars have noticable give. Scary at first. I still have my teeth, so far so good. The amount of flex provides a good deal more comfort and a ridgid bike. After riding Ti bars, I am in no hurry to go back to aluminum. Coupled with a Ti fork and a 2.4" RR, my bike is unmatched by other ridgid bikes for its compliancy.

    Resale - Used Ti bars always seem to sell for waaay to much money on eBay.

    For me, a bike is the sum of all parts and the Ti bars contribute in a very positive manner towards the ride of my bike.

    On the other hand.......

    Ti bars on a suspended front end are purely for taking your bike to the next level of bling. I am guilty here. Unless some crazy custom size is needed, I do not see any gain in performance on a suspended bike.

  10. #35
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    We are in the manufacturing biz. 2010, adjusted profit margin was a 49.7% average for us. That's with aggressive pricing due to the very poor economic conditions in our sector over the past 24 months. I can say that we have a product line / project service that regularly goes above the 140% profit range. But we also have had $300K projects we took a total bath on... - 25% some times. Cost of getting business in the door and keeping the shop running.

    I still think for a bent piece of tube, 94.5% is really high. And that is the minimum profit margin in my above example. I am guessing that quantity purchasing of material will drive down material cost. And that the "tube-bender" guy doesn't make $22/hr. It may even be automated since it is a standardized "make to stock" item, which takes almost all human cost out of the mfg process. Just maintenance to keep the line running, which is usually outsourced in an annual contract manner.

    Remember... a plain, flat bar is just a bent piece of pre-drawn / forged tube. Nothing more. And yea... I'd bet someone is driving an expensive vehicle of sorts. Nothing wrong with that in my eyes.


    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    I'm sure it's not like anybody at Blacksheep is rolling a new AMG Benz back to their 5000 square foot house in an exclusive gated community, and lighting their cigars with $100 bills.

    50 points markup from a manufacturer is about average. My wife has about 50 points markup to her wholesale price on her towels, and we aren't exactly rolling in cash. Heck, she still has a part time job outside of her towel biz.

  11. #36
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    Spinning our wheels... here is an interesting example. I love Jeff Jones and his design ideas, but he has a doozy.

    Put a huge tire on the front of a rigid bike, on a titanium frame, to simulate / create a version of suspension. Then top it off with a generally flexy (at least mine is) titanium bar. That idea confuses the he!! out of me. But whatever works for his customers.

    I subscribe more to what Walt @ Waltworks has stated numberous times. Tire pressure and suspension adds more comfort than any bar or frame material will. Heck, I am talking myself out of my titanium frame right now... what the heck is wrong with me? haahaha.

  12. #37
    bucking the fends
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    oh the stupid, it hurts

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHaq

    So I have to think raw material for 700mm is about $50. In bulk it's probably cheaper. Titanium can be worked at room temp on the same equipment as steel. Just takes more time. Can't just bend it and expect it to stay. So there is "wait" time built in there. I'm guessing no more than 1hr of labor. Not sure what they are paying folks to bend tubes, but the guys in our metal shop vary from $10/hr to $22/hr. So now there is a max of $72 in it. Add a $5 shim... $77 total.

    Retail: $150
    Approx max cost: $77
    Approx profit: $73
    Profit Margin: 94.8%

    Over-priced is in the eyes of the beholder... and I'd say that is over priced.
    thats not how you figure margin, your example is actually a 48.6% margin.

    you also forgot shipping, tool amortization, and in your example, sales staff. if you want to distribute through a bike shop, you have to start with something that costs $20, add 15% in amort costs for $23. Then, you gotta make a 40% margin to keep in place so sell it to the shop for $38, and then a shop has to make 50% margin to make any money, so the end product is $76. Now, back to the start, if it cost $20 to make, there is labor in there, so material costs are probably around the $5-$7 mark.

    i know you are all entirely baffled and think its a rip off, but just to keep people employed at middle class levels, $7 of material has to be sold for $75 at retail. if you think that sucks, shut up and make it yourself.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeindustrydude

    i know you are all entirely baffled and think its a rip off, but just to keep people employed at middle class levels, $7 of material has to be sold for $75 at retail. if you think that sucks, shut up and make it yourself.
    We can all shut up, but sadly, that's why Americans don't make anything anymore and most of it comes from China. Not sure who will be left to buy it all in 20 years though.

  15. #40
    251
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    I had a Titec Ti bar on my Eriksen, but it only lasted a couple months before I tore one of the ends off at Moab. Titec didn't respond to my warranty inquires, but I can't really fault them since I damaged the bar in a crash. I replaced the Titec with a new (and wider) Eriksen bar, and it has been working well for the past few years and has held up admirably in a few crashes.

    FWIW, I wouldn't put an aluminum or carbon bar on a Ti bike. I have aluminum bars on my steel and carbon bikes and they're all fine.

    Sorry, no photos of Ti handlebars, they aren't very photogenic.
    Dave
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  16. #41
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    If Eriksen showed that he sold bars on his website I would have bought my last one from him. Stupid me, I should have figured if he makes frames and seatposts, he could probably make a handlebar.

    Quote Originally Posted by 251
    I had a Titec Ti bar on my Eriksen, but it only lasted a couple months before I tore one of the ends off at Moab. Titec didn't respond to my warranty inquires, but I can't really fault them since I damaged the bar in a crash. I replaced the Titec with a new (and wider) Eriksen bar, and it has been working well for the past few years and has held up admirably in a few crashes.

    FWIW, I wouldn't put an aluminum or carbon bar on a Ti bike. I have aluminum bars on my steel and carbon bikes and they're all fine.

    Sorry, no photos of Ti handlebars, they aren't very photogenic.

  17. #42
    251
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk
    If Eriksen showed that he sold bars on his website I would have bought my last one from him. Stupid me, I should have figured if he makes frames and seatposts, he could probably make a handlebar.
    I bought a frame and seatpost from him and it didn't occur to me either. I stopped by his shop with my recently damaged Titec bar, and he offered to make a new bar for me. Couldn't turn that one down!

    While I was there I saw this:


    Oh, and here's a shot of my bar being made. This is super secret lemon pledge treatment:
    Dave
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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHaq
    No denying the resale end of your comment... that is 100% fact as far as I am concerned. Put "titanium" in the title of an Ebay ad and yea, a person will definetely get some bidders. Rightfully so... second-hand Ti parts are the cheapest way to go.
    If second hand ti parts are the cheapest way to go, then resale value is clearly not as good as it's made out to be. It's not nearly so impressive that a used Ti bar gets bidders or fetches a 100 bucks when you realizeit costs 400 to have made. Resale value is about holding a high percentage of original price, not about attracting eBay bidders.

    Keep in mind also that he was claiming great resale value while also claiming great value in full custom. This is an oxymoron. A full custom part, by its very nature, has a limited market for resale. You can either get good value out of custom or good value out of resale, you don't get both. Odds are you get neither.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHaq
    So I have to think raw material for 700mm is about $50. In bulk it's probably cheaper. Titanium can be worked at room temp on the same equipment as steel. Just takes more time. Can't just bend it and expect it to stay. So there is "wait" time built in there. I'm guessing no more than 1hr of labor. Not sure what they are paying folks to bend tubes, but the guys in our metal shop vary from $10/hr to $22/hr. So now there is a max of $72 in it. Add a $5 shim... $77 total.

    Retail: $150
    Approx max cost: $77
    Approx profit: $73
    Profit Margin: 94.8%

    Over-priced is in the eyes of the beholder... and I'd say that is over priced.
    I think that you missed a lot of the costs. Material is only a portion of.

    How much did the machine to bend the bar cost? Is it paid for? Does it need maintenance?
    Was there welding involved? How much is filler rod and gas going for these days?
    Is this work being done in a shop, if so what's rent cost? If the building is owed, what are the maintenance costs?
    Does the building need to heated or cooled? That's not free.
    Does the welder need health care, if so that's a big cost?
    Does the welder need insurance in case he's sued by a buyer? That costs money too.
    And what about pay role taxes that the government wants? That needs to be factored in.
    And what about advertising costs... the cost of a web site... the cost of design software/// the cost of billing software?
    And what about labor costs? There's time spent setting up machines to do this work.
    And for small builders, time spent making bars, is time not spent making frames. There's an opportunity cost associated with everything.

    Materials are a portion of the costs, but that is only a portion of the cost of doing business. The actual "profit" is nowhere near the 94% that you list. If it were a software company would always be profitable, because their "raw material cost" is $0 - correct? Why does software cost money, there's no cost at all to "building" it.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    I think that you missed a lot of the costs. Material is only a portion of.

    How much did the machine to bend the bar cost? Is it paid for? Does it need maintenance?
    Was there welding involved? How much is filler rod and gas going for these days?
    Is this work being done in a shop, if so what's rent cost? If the building is owed, what are the maintenance costs?
    Does the building need to heated or cooled? That's not free.
    Does the welder need health care, if so that's a big cost?
    Does the welder need insurance in case he's sued by a buyer? That costs money too.
    And what about pay role taxes that the government wants? That needs to be factored in.
    And what about advertising costs... the cost of a web site... the cost of design software/// the cost of billing software?
    And what about labor costs? There's time spent setting up machines to do this work.
    And for small builders, time spent making bars, is time not spent making frames. There's an opportunity cost associated with everything.

    Materials are a portion of the costs, but that is only a portion of the cost of doing business. The actual "profit" is nowhere near the 94% that you list. If it were a software company would always be profitable, because their "raw material cost" is $0 - correct? Why does software cost money, there's no cost at all to "building" it.

    Finally someone who gets what it is like to own a business!!

  21. #46
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    251 I would love to see some pictures of your Eriksen bars.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by 251
    I bought a frame and seatpost from him and it didn't occur to me either. I stopped by his shop with my recently damaged Titec bar, and he offered to make a new bar for me. Couldn't turn that one down!

    While I was there I saw this:


    Oh, and here's a shot of my bar being made. This is super secret lemon pledge treatment:

    Eriksen Bars are Sweet!!! I think I'm up to 3 pairs now. That must be my Chad in the Pic clean your bars. Yes Lemon Pledge is the Secret to keeping Ti clean and shiny. Well as shiny as a media blasted Ti frame and parts can be. I love ti

  23. #48
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    Some of you guys are missing the point. Anyone with a brain understands that material and labor are just the starting point--then there's all the other costs such as warehousing, distribution, marketing, etc. But most of those 'other costs' are in principle approx the same in dollar terms for a Ti vs Al bar.

    In practice, the industry has not managed those costs to be equal. Blacksheep etc are small operations, relatively inefficient compared to raceface pumping out tons of alu bars.

    If ti bars became high volume and mainstream, price would drop significantly.
    Originally posted by bucksaw87
    I still fail to see how mustaches, fixies, and PBR are ironic.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy66
    Hello,

    I am looking for another handlebar for my ti hardtail. At the moment i am riding with an easton carbon low riser 685 mm with 9 degrees backsweep.

    Does a ti handlebar from moots or Kent Eriksen make sense? I am looking for a 28" with a sweep of 12 degrees. Is ti comfy, reliable and stiff enough as handlebar? The other bar that has my interest is the syntace carbon or the 7075 aluminium low riser bar with 12 degrees backsweep.

    Please advice the pro's en con's .

    Thanks.
    The only handle bar I have ever broken has been a Ti handlebar. I switched to carbon. On the plus side, the Ti bar had a uniform outside diameter and allowed me to slide it over to ride home.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bdombrowski/911076243/

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdombrow
    The only handle bar I have ever broken has been a Ti handlebar. I switched to carbon. On the plus side, the Ti bar had a uniform outside diameter and allowed me to slide it over to ride home.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bdombrowski/911076243/
    yikes. what brand of bar was it?

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