1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Carbon Handlebar Question

    I was wondering what it takes to snap a carbon handlebar?

    i was thinking of going carbon riser. i ride agressive xc and take small jumps and drops. nothing over 3 feet.

    someone just talked me out of a carbon seatpost. so maybe i shouldnt have a carbon bar either.

    im looking at a Ritchey WCS Carbon Riser on Ebay which could be fake i have no idea. and have no idea what the difference in strength is between a fake and a real ritchey...

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    The Ritchey is made for XC, light trail riding.

    I don't see why it won't take a light beating...excluding jumps and big drops though.

    There a new bars being made that are made for that while maintaining a very low weight.

    Also....don't cheap out on carbon bars...Really not a good idea.

    For ex:

    Answer Pro Taper Carbon
    ENVE Carbon bars...although super pricey
    Easton Haven or Havoc
    Race Face SixC
    My Bike: http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...3&postcount=49

    On-One Whippet 650b XC machine

  3. #3
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    Im 225 and ride the same way on a 29er ht.



    Bar is very stiff and very light, I highly recommend it. From what I have read you can tell if its real or fake by the weave quality and the end will have aluminum supports for bar ends inside.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    thats a super sexy fly team! is it 19 lbs?

  5. #5
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    i assume the point of going carbon is for lighter weight? how much weight does changing to carbon fiber handlebars save?

  6. #6
    Huckin' trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by xycose View Post
    i assume the point of going carbon is for lighter weight? how much weight does changing to carbon fiber handlebars save?
    Carbon bars, stem and seat post (mainly) also allow better vibration dampening then traditional aluminum or steel (in general). Plus as you mentioned, it's lighter.

    For the bars, weight difference is quite noticeable. For stem, it's almost no difference in weight, but many roadies use them to absorb road vibration. For seat post, you can get full carbon or alu core wrapped in carbon. First one will be lighter then standard alu post and lot more expensive while the second one will be pretty much the same weight and cost, but both will absorb vibrations and add the bling factor.

    I find it cheaper also to get some Chinese carbon headset spacers to replace the alu or steel ones when trying to shave weight. I didn't had much expectations for those spacers, but they turned out to be great and didn't had a problem yet after more then a year and 1 000's km of XC. I'm pretty light too btw. But they didn't cracked, even at -30 degree Celsius. And you get the bling factor and light weight for not to expensive.

    I'll post the link.

    David
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Carbon Handlebar Question-imageuploadedbytapatalk1321338258.416967.jpg  

    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  7. #7
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
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    Don't risk running fake look-a-like carbon stuff off of eBay. When it comes to carbon, buy from names you trust, since crappy carbon is so much worse than well made carbon.
    Last edited by Varaxis; 08-30-2013 at 07:09 PM.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyHuynh View Post
    thats a super sexy fly team! is it 19 lbs?
    Nah, that is the 26" XX spec that weighs that much I think. Mines just a bit over 25 lbs. Needed to make sure it would take the abuse so didn't go super light on all parts picked.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    man i guess i should just go aluminum for piece of mind... i guess i was just wanting to see that carbon weave LOL Ritchey carbon looks damn sexy

  10. #10
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    As usual, it depends on how smoothly you ride and how much you weigh, plus how lucky you are. A smooth lightweight rider can air 5' drops on a weight weenie XC bike every day without breaking it whereas other riders have been known to break heavy duty parts while riding off a curb.

    If you've never bent an aluminum handlebar riding the trails on your bike, you'll be fine on a carbon fiber bar of the same class. In other words, if you're using an XC handlebar now, you'll be fine with a carbon bar that's made for XC riding, but don't go from a DH aluminum bar to an XC carbon bar.

  11. #11
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    so....do carbon bars have any type of standardized "strength rating" indicating how much abuse or force they can take before they let go? i have a carbon bar that came with the used bike i purchased. i keep looking at it and wondering if it could be trusted to endure my 225 pound, lacking in finesse, self. but so far i have been happy with the aluminum bar. OT: i know from my windsurfing days that carbon fibre pieces held up very well to all the abuses mother nature and myself could throw at them. but many of those pieces were carbon composite / not 100% CF. and i can still hear the almost deafening CaaaaaRACK when the CF hull of a built-for-world-record-speed sailboat let go in intense conditions in the channel at Hart's beach in bodega many years ago. the sound of dollars being thrown to the wind

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by raleigh5 View Post
    so....do carbon bars have any type of standardized "strength rating" indicating how much abuse or force they can take before they let go?
    Not that I know of, though in the earlier days of carbon someone tested a whole bunch of bars for impact strength and fatigue. I think, think being the key word, that it was done by one of the bicycle magazines with the help of one of the manufacturers (Easton?). It's out there somewhere, but I can't seem to find the article & charts. Easton also had a tech page where they showed how they loaded up the ends of the handlebars with weights, then clamped it in the middle and did a drop test to measure impact strength. I can't find that page anymore, I don't know if they got rid of it or if it's just buried where I can't find it.

  13. #13
    Trail Ninja
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    I trust the companies with the big sophisticated machines that do their testing that test beyond what the independent labs do.

    Syntace uses their own VR-3 machine and a SSM machine (imaging magnetic fields), which sounds like an MRI machine for metal parts. Testing their products in house makes it certain that they can pass the international standards. Could also make certain that it barely passes international standards too, so I'd be more willing to trust the company with the best warranty.

    VR-3 machine:
    Syntace



    Syntace corrosion testing:



    ----

    Oh, it seems like there *are* Ritchey fakes on eBay, in additional to FSA and Bontrager. Sold from China should be a big give away.

    The Ritchey carbon bars seem to have unidirectional carbon without a weave too. If you want a weave and lightweight, there's the Loaded Xlite carbon (not really personally recommending them), but that's only 680mm wide and only a 1 year warranty. Syntace has a 10 year no questions asked warranty, but hard to find them in the US.

  14. #14
    offroader
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyHuynh View Post
    I was wondering what it takes to snap a carbon handlebar?

    i was thinking of going carbon riser. i ride agressive xc and take small jumps and drops. nothing over 3 feet.

    someone just talked me out of a carbon seatpost. so maybe i shouldnt have a carbon bar either.

    im looking at a Ritchey WCS Carbon Riser on Ebay which could be fake i have no idea. and have no idea what the difference in strength is between a fake and a real ritchey...
    I bought a richey carbon bar off ebay. If it's from china it's probably fake. The difference is the fake ones use cheaper polymer (at least from what I've noticed) which caused to to make creaking noises with my WSC stem. The finish is not as good either and it doesn't come with bar end plugs which I believe the real bars come with. I would buy from a reputable dealer.

  15. #15
    offroader
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    Carbon bars are way better than Aluminum. They reduce vibration and are lighter. Durability wise I would say they're about equal with carbon being more resistant to fatigue. One this is to never ever over tighten your stem on a carbon bar. Use just enough to get it tight so it wont move. I've use carbon bars for years and never had one break on me.

  16. #16
    Trail Ninja
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    I agree with CupofJava.

    The place where most carbon bars snaps is where it's clamped, typically where it's clamped by the brake levers, shifters, and grips (if you are using lock-ons).

    Avoid looking up the site: Busted Carbon

    Also avoid googling "broken [brand name] carbon handlebar"

    I personally like carbon. Anything of significant weight on my bike I'd like to upgrade to carbon, but I tend to overspec and not try to do it to be weight weenie and do it more for the great str to weight ratio, getting something stronger than alu. Hence why I spec DH carbon on my XC bike.

  17. #17
    Picture Unrelated
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    If you've never bent an aluminum handlebar riding the trails on your bike, you'll be fine on a carbon fiber bar of the same class.
    There's your answer.

    Carbon's only major difference is that it is a bit easier to damage the surface. Once you damage the surface of something you drastically reduce the life of that object (metal or carbon). If you're not afraid of your aluminum bar (or frame) then you shouldn't be afraid of a carbon one.

    Just keep an eye on it and replace it when it is damaged. The same thing applies to metal.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  18. #18
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    Nice....

  19. #19
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    Aluminum doesn't really bend either, it breaks. I wouldn't use bend/break to make any sort of decision unless you are considering riding with a steel handlebar.

    I love my Easton Monkey lite XC handlebar, almost 3 years of "all mountain" riding and it's still going strong.

  20. #20
    Trail Ninja
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    Ah yes, good point. My bad. That's another myth that should be busted. Alu cracks and snaps too.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom93R1 View Post
    Aluminum doesn't really bend either, it breaks.
    Depends on the aluminum alloy. 6061 will almost always bend before breaking, 2014 usually bends, and 7075 can be a bit of a crapshoot depending on how well they're manufactured.

  22. #22
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    This thread needs more pictures.

    20111108115410 by Andrew183, on Flickr

    Personally I think that the business about carbon absorbing vibrations and trail chatter is silly. If you look at the size of the stuff involved in trail chatter, your handlebars would have to be deforming quite a lot to absorb that. Try a little less tire pressure.
    Last edited by AndrwSwitch; 11-15-2011 at 10:45 PM.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
    Trail Ninja
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    ^ Ouch

  24. #24
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    I've personally bent aluminum handlebars, aluminum seatposts, and an aluminum stem. When aluminum fails it's possible for it to snap, but it frequently just bends. With carbon you're almost always looking at a catastrophic failure, often leaving jagged edges.

    Seeing how a handlebar, stem, steerer, or crown failure at speed is horribly painful event, I choose not to use carbon at any of those locations.

  25. #25
    I4NI
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    This thread needs more pictures.

    20111108115410 by Andrew183, on Flickr

    Personally I think that the business about carbon absorbing vibrations and trail chatter is silly. If you look at the size of the stuff involved in trail chatter, your handlebars would have to be deforming quite a lot to absorb that. Try a little less tire pressure.
    That's where mine failed also.
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

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