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Thread: Carbon Bars

  1. #1
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    Carbon Bars

    I'm thinking of switching to a new carbon bar. Are they worth the money? I have only found a few that I am interested in but it seems that the new Al bars are just as light so weight is not a factor. Is the ride feel and quality far superior to the Aluminum.

  2. #2
    MattSavage
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hangtime
    I'm thinking of switching to a new carbon bar. Are they worth the money? I have only found a few that I am interested in but it seems that the new Al bars are just as light so weight is not a factor. Is the ride feel and quality far superior to the Aluminum.
    Might just be a placebo effect, but I like to believe that carbon bars dampen a little better providing less hand and arm fatigue after several hours of riding. If not, they look cool! They are stiffer though. My Remedy came with a Bontrager RL that I could flex pretty easily on hard hits and bottoming. My new carbon bar is stiff as stuff... No flex.

    I'm pretty stoked on the new Answer Carbon AM bar in 1/2" rise, 720mm width. $120 though... I chose it over the Aluminum version cause it doesn't come in 1/2" rise. Worth the money.
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

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  3. #3
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    I also think that carbon bars are easier on
    the hands and arms.

    Best, John

  4. #4
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    I have found a bar sweep that works well for me, and have bars of that design in both AL and Carbon - I find the material does not make a noticeable difference. I would much rather have a set of bars with the angle/sweep that is comfortable for me then get a set of bars based on the material.

  5. #5
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    I just recently purchased the spec enduro riser bar for my pitch. I have not gotten a chance to hit it hard yet, but my initial impressions are that it is much more solid than the stock one and I can tell a difference in the weight once I switched. I blundered when I bought the bike a few years ago and cut the stock bars too short. After riding like that for a few years I couldnt take it anymore and needed to get longer bars. I paid around 130 for the bars at the LBS. I think it is worth it cause I will just keep the bars on whatever bike I get down the road.

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    I don't want to turn this into an argument about the strength of carbon vs other materials. I know that the chance of carbon failing is next to nothing for most of us. I just have this fear in the back of my head because I know that if it DOES fail... it fails catastrophically. One second you will have bars, the next second you won't. If steel or aluminum were to fail it would typically just crack a little or crack and bend. So since the weight difference isn't really there and the comfort difference is barely noticeable, I'll just stick to aluminum, especially since I'm just a casual rider on gnarley root laden single track. This is just my opinion and comfort level, and I may get over it in the future. Carbon is dang sexy though.

  7. #7
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    I think the properties of aluminum vs carbon can make a difference in road bikes, but think the difference is next to nothing in mountain bikes, where most people are running between 30-45psi (low pressure) and suspension. The damping effects from tires and suspension is way huger then the potential difference between carbon and aluminum.

    The only thing I can think of as a selling point is that you can potentially feel that certain (depending on how they're made and with what materials) carbon bars might flex less.

    The downside is, unless you have access to an xray machine, you wont have the faintest clue whether or not your latest crash did real damage to them.

  8. #8
    MattSavage
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007
    I have found a bar sweep that works well for me, and have bars of that design in both AL and Carbon - I find the material does not make a noticeable difference. I would much rather have a set of bars with the angle/sweep that is comfortable for me then get a set of bars based on the material.
    Definately, fit is most important. Fortunately there's plenty of options out there.
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

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  9. #9
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    Having had both aluminum bars in the past and now CF bars on both of my rides I think CF dampens a little better, is a little lighter, and looks a little better. Are any of these factors enough by themselves to warrant hypothetically replacing perfectly good Al bars with CF? No. But if you're starting from scratch and have the choice, I'd say CF.

  10. #10
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    Might just be a placebo effect, but I like to believe that carbon bars dampen a little better providing less hand and arm fatigue after several hours of riding. If not, they look cool!
    Tomorrow's going to be my first day on a bike that has carbon bars, so I can't really comment on the subject with complete confidence, but I think that hand/arm fatigue is more related to whether or not you have a deathgrip on your handlebars and keep your arms too stiff. Loosen up a bit when you're going downhill and you'll feel much better.

  11. #11
    fan of maple syrup
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    Quote Originally Posted by d2mini
    If steel or aluminum were to fail it would typically just crack a little or crack and bend.
    False.

  12. #12
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    if you want a more damped ridding, go to 25.4mm instead "normal" 31,8mm bars, and if possible, titanium bars.
    in the weight department, how many of is worried about 30/40/50 grm difference?
    In winter we can have at least 100grm (or more!) in gunk!

    Carbon has a great advantage in fatigue (compared directly to Aluminium) and weight compared to steel.
    The thing is metal (al) has a +++ years of R&D compared with carbon, but without any doubt Carbon will be the future.

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