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  1. #1
    Kiwi that Flew
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    Broken Carbon Handlebar anyone?

    Anyone broken a carbon handlebar?

    The reason I ask is that I have.

    I came down after an 'off' and got up to find my handlebar had snapped half an inch in-board of the brake level. The bars have been sent back and I have just now received an assessment back from the UK distributer stating that the brake leavers must have been over-torqued. However, the fact is that the brakes have been on the bike untouched for over a year. Surely if they were infact over-torqued, then they would have broken way before now??

    Or am I being fed some BS?
    (adding that this is my third carbon bar since 2006 and the first failure)
    Any thoughts?

    Cheers,
    deano

  2. #2
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    It's hard to say deano. Carbon isn't known for its crashworthiness... overtorquing or not. If you set the torque on your lever to the recommended amount, it would be pretty easy to refute the claim of overtorquing. If you overtorqued your brake lever, I would be concerned about overtorquing your bars at the stem as well. I suggest getting a torque wrench and being mindful of the recommended settings from the bar and component manufacturers.

  3. #3
    Kiwi that Flew
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    Dump, thanks for your comments.
    Good point about the stem. I'm not one for over tightening and in the past have had to retighten my stem as it slipped after reassembly after flying to the Alps (didn't have a torque wrench with me).


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  4. #4
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    I did once too, really nasty crash.

    Its possible I couldve overtorqued my bars as I didnt own a torque wrench back then, but I've never been hamfisted and knew better than to over tighten things. Nothing on my bikes was ever close to being particularly tight.
    This bar also broke about an inch inboard from the levers. Ive never bought carbon bits since then... not even

  5. #5
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    I have crashed pretty hard on my Carbon Heavens. One really bad at Fort Duffield, TN. I broke the brake, but the bar has been stellar.

    What kind of bar was it?
    14 S-Works Epic WC
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  6. #6
    Kiwi that Flew
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpitbull View Post
    I have crashed pretty hard on my Carbon Heavens. One really bad at Fort Duffield, TN. I broke the brake, but the bar has been stellar.

    What kind of bar was it?
    As I have asked the manufacturer to reconsider their assessment, I thought it would be polite not to name them (yet - pending some good news). That said if I was you irishpitbull I would be very (very) concerned. I had a big crash 4 months before the bars actually broke in a relatively small crash.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanopatoni View Post
    As I have asked the manufacturer to reconsider their assessment, I thought it would be polite not to name them (yet - pending some good news). That said if I was you irishpitbull I would be very (very) concerned. I had a big crash 4 months before the bars actually broke in a relatively small crash.

    --- deanopatoni ---
    Thanks for the concern.
    14 S-Works Epic WC
    14 Yeti ARC
    14 S-Works Crux Disc
    15 Echo Big Deal

  8. #8
    Kiwi that Flew
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    Thanks Hongzheng.
    Worth noting that the handlebar installation instructions have NO advise on torque settings.


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  9. #9
    BMF
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    I had a carbon bars on two bikes that I've since sold. Crashed multiple times, broke brake levers on two separate occasions, but never had any issues with the bar breaking. It seems weird that the distributor would be making the call as to the cause in your case - I would be more comfortable with a verdict from the manufacturer who would have purposely broke many bars during design and testing and would understand from the broken bar probably quite a bit about why and how it failed. I'm not saying the distributor isn't qualified, but it seems less likely that they would be.

  10. #10
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    I've never broken a carbon bar. However when
    I was a kid I broke quite a few steel ones.

  11. #11
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    I have only broken Alum bars, never carbon ones and I use carbon bars for DH, and AM and have crashed many times hard on them and I am not concerned. The brake lever could have been over torqued if you check the bolts every so often and move the bolt just a little bit it will add up over time, there was an article on it that most bolts are way over tightened due to the checking of bolts and not people reefing on them when installing

  12. #12
    nocturnal oblivion
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    I broke my carbon monkeylite bar in a wash out type crash. Snapped it halfway into the ODI grip (which shattered and tore as well).
    Definitely wasn't from torque spec, it was from me using it as a plow. I am 145lbs though...
    "...like sex with the trail." - Boe

  13. #13
    GAME ON!
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    they say you overtorqued, you say you didn't. how can they prove you did or didn't? well, they don't really have to. they can't prove you did, you can't prove you didn't. the only deciding factor is that they are the deciding factor and they tend to favour their own best interests.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  14. #14
    Kiwi that Flew
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine View Post
    they say you overtorqued, you say you didn't. how can they prove you did or didn't? well, they don't really have to. they can't prove you did, you can't prove you didn't. the only deciding factor is that they are the deciding factor and they tend to favour their own best interests.
    This is exactly my predicament.


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  15. #15
    Kiwi that Flew
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Beater View Post
    I have only broken Alum bars, never carbon ones and I use carbon bars for DH, and AM and have crashed many times hard on them and I am not concerned. The brake lever could have been over torqued if you check the bolts every so often and move the bolt just a little bit it will add up over time, there was an article on it that most bolts are way over tightened due to the checking of bolts and not people reefing on them when installing
    Your point about overnighting over time is very interesting. I guess that is why Easton state that you should use 'carbon friction paste' on their stems to help with slippage?


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  16. #16
    Kiwi that Flew
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristatos View Post
    I had a carbon bars on two bikes that I've since sold. Crashed multiple times, broke brake levers on two separate occasions, but never had any issues with the bar breaking. It seems weird that the distributor would be making the call as to the cause in your case - I would be more comfortable with a verdict from the manufacturer who would have purposely broke many bars during design and testing and would understand from the broken bar probably quite a bit about why and how it failed. I'm not saying the distributor isn't qualified, but it seems less likely that they would be.
    I agree. On seeing the response from the uk distributed I forwarded it on to the US manufacturer for comment. No response yet.


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  17. #17
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    Carbon paste is always worth it the fsa stuff claims you can use 30% less torque or something like that

  18. #18
    Kiwi that Flew
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    Here are some interesting comments from PinkBike on carbon bars and paste.

    Pinkbike Product Picks - Pinkbike

    Easton recommends using both a torque wrench and a carbon friendly friction paste during installation, and it is well worth spending a few minutes to make sure that there are no burrs on any of the aluminum control's clamping surfaces. Our single complaint stems from having our brake levers rotate a little too easy when crashing, even when tightened down quite snug. Having them rotate from a crash isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the marks that the clamps left in the bar's clear coat certainly are, even if they weren't deep enough to compromise the bar in any way. Despite the slippery surface, the Havoc Carbon is still one of our favorite bars due to its light weight, high stiffness and great comfort. - Mike Levy

  19. #19
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    Why doesn't Easton put torque specs in the manual? Anyone know what they are?

  20. #20
    Finally stateside again
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    Quote Originally Posted by trap121 View Post
    Why doesn't Easton put torque specs in the manual? Anyone know what they are?
    my 35 carbons came with torque specs.

    my guess why they broke is either over torquing which is very easy to do with them or a defect in the molding process. i am hoping they are not Enve because i know of a few people who broke them. but its was due to over torquing then when they crashed they broke like yours.

  21. #21
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    I have havens and havocs and neither came with torque specs. Makes no sense while they would sell carbon bars with no specs?? That being said, Im very happy with mine and have not had any issues with numerous ugly crashes. If they do fail, I will gladly buy new ones.

  22. #22
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    Never broken mine, but that sounds unlucky

  23. #23
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    I've been riding and crashing a bontrager Trekking carbon bar for 6 years now. It has survived crashes on asphalt, a broken clavicle on a downhill bomb, and numerous trees/rocks/other stupid stuff. It's a 620mm so it's too short for my new bike build so it will stay on my xc bike. Brand name carbon is where its at.

  24. #24
    Kiwi that Flew
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    The thing I donít understand is, if I had over-torqued them (possible but very unlikely as the carbon bars I have from 2006 and 2007 are still going strong with the same torque settings), why did they take over 12 months to fail? This does not make sense to me. I would have thought they would have broken after a big crash I had in May or maybe during 6 days heavy riding in the French alps in July. But it was a medium crash in Wales 12 months after the leavers had been installed.

    I guess if I have had at least 2 years use of them I would just be happy to get a new set, but 12 month is just not long enough. I thought also that a BIG name brand that specialises in the best bars on the market would be keen to give me the benefit of the doubt. This is why I forwarded my claim directly to the manufacturer for their comment, and not just the opinion of the UK supplier who donít specialise in design and manufacture but specialise in selling stuff.

    Still no response from them.
    Last edited by deanopatoni; 10-18-2012 at 01:57 AM. Reason: spelling error

  25. #25
    FX4
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    Well you know how it goes, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I would keep after them.

    I know CF is stronger but when it fails it's frequently a catastrophic failure. I probably have an unrealistic fear of the handlebar or fork failing at the wrong moment and getting seriously hurt. So I don't see using CF parts in my future. There are just a few too many gory failures floating around the net for my taste.

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