Upgrading the cockpit: Pay the man or go for the deal?
I'm upgrading my cockpit (HB+stem) to go from 660/110 to a 700/90 because I find myself climbing with 1/3 of my hands off the existing bars (mostly on climbs) just to be comfortable. I've been doing lots of research lately and I'm not sure where the investment $$ should be made. Bars? stem? doesn't matter?
I don't mind dropping the money if it's worth it, but I can get a 740mm mtb HB with the right geo and weight on Nashbar for $20, and cut it down. The branded (Truvativ T30) bar is the same weight but costs double. I don't care about brands or graphics but I do care about performance and engineering. If a cheap bar is going to somehow make an XC ride uncomfortable over an oem bar, then I'll spend the money.
I'd love to have a Thompson but I can't justify $100 for a stem. Is this the place to spend when upgrading a cockpit? Will 7050 function or feel better than 6061? Again, Nashbar has a mountain stem for $15 that is 20g more than a Truvativ T30 stem but $35 less.
I'll pay the $$ for an upgrade if there is a performance/comfort reason for doing so, but I won't do it for bling. I'd rather save my money for moving parts (i.e shifters, brakes, cranks, etc) that would be worth the upgrade.
Buy the cheap ones to test out the new dimensions. Once you've settled on the sizing, then maybe consider fancier ones, but you might just find the cheap ones will do the job.
I bought a cheap Sette bar a few years ago , just to see if I liked the rise & sweep. Still on there a few thousand miles later! But, now that I know what I like, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a carbon bar! I can wait for a deal to come up too!
If you are going to spend on one item, i'd make it the bars. I've never seen a stem failure, but maybe that's just me. If you set the stem up correctly and evenly troque the bolts there shouldnt be an issue whether the setm cost $20 or $100. Also, you don't like the stem length, you can buy another without being out alot of $$$.
--If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.
Thanks for all of the responses. All good advice.
You should be able to find a happy medium.... not super expensive, but not bottom-of-the-barrel cheap. Check out UniversalCycles.com, you might be able to find one of the better options from last year's line for less money. I'd expect to pay around $30 for a decent bar, and around the same for the stem (maybe a little less).
Honestly, you'll never feel the difference between stem (or bar) materials. The only thing that might matter is weight.
Honestly, you'll never feel the difference between stem (or bar) materials. The only thing that might matter is weight.[/QUOTE]
I notice a big difference between bar materials. Carbon vs aluminum vs Titanium, all very different feels imo.
Lynskey Pro 29 SL brushed etched.
I agree that material can make a difference. Also you may want to keep in mind that rise and sweep can make a big difference, especially when it comes to climbing. If I were you I would get the cheap bars until you are 100% certain you like the sweep and rise then take the plung on a sweet carbon or ti bar.
"Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth"