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.
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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
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    Carbon Handlebars

    Im trying to lighten up my bike a little bit and decided to go to get some carbon parts....so Ive been trying to zero in a couple of handlebars...ok one question I have is...would going the ebay route and getting a used bar be a bad thing?..j/c..and what handlebars do you like?..Im shooting for a 27" bar with a high rise to them.
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  2. #2
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    Despite what marketing departments might try to convince you of, handlebar height, width, style, etc are more of a personal fit/preference thing.

    Different carbon bars are made for different amounts of strength and weight.

    There are lots of great brands out there. Make sure you are not getting a knockoff bar.

  3. #3
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    First off - how ready for carbon are you? If you are a relative newbie who still crashes occasionally, carbon may not be a wise investment. Carbon is strong under normal use - but repeated impacts with trees, rocks, the ground, etc, renders carbon significantly weaker, with each successive, unplanned dismount of the bike. I too, wanted carbon from the very beginning, but my lack of bike handling skills back then, simply made my investment of carbon bars a short-lived experience. Buying used carbon is typically not a good idea, because you have NO IDEA what they previously underwent.

    If you want to lighten your bike - start with the wheels. A reduction in rolling mass offers the most significant performance improvement, per dollar spent. Here is my Weight Weenie sliding scale of parts upgrades and cost factor:

    $=0-50
    $$=50-150
    $$$=150-500
    $$$$=500-up
    1) Wheels - up to 2 pounds of weight saved $$$$
    2) Tires - up to 1 pound weight saved $$ (traction may suffer)
    3) Fork - up to 1 pound saved $$$$
    4) Crankset/BB - up to 1/2 pound saved $$$
    5) Cassette/Chain - up to 1/4 pound saved $$$
    6) Saddle - up to 1/4 pound saved $$ (comfort may suffer)
    7) Brakes - up to 100 grams saved $$$
    8) Seatpost - up to 100 grams saved $$
    9) Bars - up to 100 grams saved $$
    10) Stem - up to 75 grams saved $$
    11) Shifters - up to 75 grams saved $$
    12) Pedals - up to 60 grams saved $$$
    13) Derailleurs - up to 50 grams saved $$$

    With the above - you can drop close to 7 pounds of bike weight...and that's not even including frame upgrade weight savings!
    Last edited by Zachariah; 08-05-2013 at 09:58 AM.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  4. #4
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    If you have a cheap fork now then upgrading the fork would be the best bang for the buck - drop a bunch of weight and gain performance. Unless you have a steel bar, you'll never notice the carbon difference.
    Otherwise, wheels and tires.

  5. #5
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    BlueSkyCycling.com - Giant Contact SLR Carbon Riser Handlebar
    These are 690 175g for $65.
    They have others.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Carbon is strong under normal use - but repeated impacts with trees, rocks, the ground, etc, renders carbon significantly weaker, with each successive, unplanned dismount of the bike.
    Are you sure about that?

    This debate comes up all the time. As far as I know, carbon bars can have much better fatigue life and ultimate strength than aluminum. People seem to think its more fragile in crashes but I've never seen any definitive evidence of that.

  7. #7
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    Not sure about carbon bars to lose weight, but they definitely helped take "some" vibration out of the small fast bumps.

    As for bar width, I cut mine to fit me personally (they were 720).

  8. #8
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    Before I would drop the coin for a carbon handlebar, I would make darned sure that I knew what I wanted in a handlebar as far as backsweep, upsweep, rise, and width.

  9. #9
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    Not a fan of carbon, its not recyclable!
    You wont drop that much weight, maybe 100grmsgrms
    Just ride harder! Wear spandex!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by superj101 View Post
    Not a fan of carbon, its not recyclable!
    You wont drop that much weight, maybe 100grmsgrms
    Just ride harder! Wear spandex!
    Carbon fiber is not biodegradable, but carbon fiber IS recyclable. If you put it in a landfill, it will be there a long, long time.

    It has it's issues with the cost to recycle being among them, but it's possible, and it is being done.
    Last edited by jeffj; 08-13-2013 at 05:32 PM. Reason: correct a typo

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dresdenlock View Post
    Im trying to lighten up my bike a little bit and decided to go to get some carbon parts....so Ive been trying to zero in a couple of handlebars...ok one question I have is...would going the ebay route and getting a used bar be a bad thing?..j/c..and what handlebars do you like?..Im shooting for a 27" bar with a high rise to them.
    What else have you done to reduce weight? HB is not the first place I'd look. The weight savings will be negligible.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    $=0-50
    $$=50-150
    $$$=150-500
    $$$$=500-up
    1) Wheels - up to 2 pounds of weight saved $$$$
    2) Tires - up to 1 pound weight saved $$ (traction may suffer)
    3) Fork - up to 1 pound saved $$$$
    4) Crankset/BB - up to 1/2 pound saved $$$
    5) Cassette/Chain - up to 1/4 pound saved $$$
    6) Saddle - up to 1/4 pound saved $$ (comfort may suffer)
    7) Brakes - up to 100 grams saved $$$
    8) Seatpost - up to 100 grams saved $$
    9) Bars - up to 100 grams saved $$
    10) Stem - up to 75 grams saved $$
    11) Shifters - up to 75 grams saved $$
    12) Pedals - up to 60 grams saved $$$
    13) Derailleurs - up to 50 grams saved $$$

    With the above - you can drop close to 7 pounds of bike weight...and that's not even including frame upgrade weight savings!
    I also was considering starting with carbon bars for a weight upgrade until I saw this. Thanks for the feedback.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    First off - how ready for carbon are you? If you are a relative newbie who still crashes occasionally, carbon may not be a wise investment. Carbon is strong under normal use - but repeated impacts with trees, rocks, the ground, etc, renders carbon significantly weaker, with each successive, unplanned dismount of the bike. I too, wanted carbon from the very beginning, but my lack of bike handling skills back then, simply made my investment of carbon bars a short-lived experience. Buying used carbon is typically not a good idea, because you have NO IDEA what they previously underwent.

    If you want to lighten your bike - start with the wheels. A reduction in rolling mass offers the most significant performance improvement, per dollar spent. Here is my Weight Weenie sliding scale of parts upgrades and cost factor:

    $=0-50
    $$=50-150
    $$$=150-500
    $$$$=500-up
    1) Wheels - up to 2 pounds of weight saved $$$$
    2) Tires - up to 1 pound weight saved $$ (traction may suffer)
    3) Fork - up to 1 pound saved $$$$
    4) Crankset/BB - up to 1/2 pound saved $$$
    5) Cassette/Chain - up to 1/4 pound saved $$$
    6) Saddle - up to 1/4 pound saved $$ (comfort may suffer)
    7) Brakes - up to 100 grams saved $$$
    8) Seatpost - up to 100 grams saved $$
    9) Bars - up to 100 grams saved $$
    10) Stem - up to 75 grams saved $$
    11) Shifters - up to 75 grams saved $$
    12) Pedals - up to 60 grams saved $$$
    13) Derailleurs - up to 50 grams saved $$$

    With the above - you can drop close to 7 pounds of bike weight...and that's not even including frame upgrade weight savings!
    That's a nice chart. Being a manufacturing operations guy my whole career, though, I'd rather see it stated in grams/$

    I'm sure some weight weenie has put that data together.
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  14. #14
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    If u want to lighten up your bike, before buying stuff u should find out what different parts of your bike weigh that way you'll know what u r getting for your dollar when shopping.

    A handle bar upgrade could be big bang for your buck IF u have 700g steel bars like my Hardrock had... etc. I ended up buying Easton Monkey Lite 25.4mm carbon bars for 36 bux on sale which saved me a ton of weight. However, that was just MY situation.

  15. #15
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    I have considered picking up a light scale for my build.

  16. #16
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    That's a nice chart. Being a manufacturing operations guy my whole career, though, I'd rather see it stated in grams/$

    I'm sure some weight weenie has put that data together.
    LOL....I'm the weight weenie!
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  17. #17
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    I take pictures of all my parts on the scale and file them on my server under "Bike Weight"

  18. #18
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    I take pictures of all my parts on the scale and file them on my server under "Bike Weight"
    I've weighed so many bike parts...I can estimate an approximate, complete bike weight, based on what is weighed/stored inside my internal flash drive(ie; brain)...
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I've weighed so many bike parts...I can estimate an approximate, complete bike weight, based on what is weighed/stored inside my internal flash drive(ie; brain)...
    haha...i'm getting there...

  20. #20
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    Re: Carbon Handlebars

    In would buy a Chinese brand over a used bar. A used bar already comes with a history of crashes behind it. Hylix has had a bunch of positive reviews here.

    Carbon stems are just too dangerous, and wouldn't go there.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    I've weighed so many bike parts...I can estimate an approximate, complete bike weight, based on what is weighed/stored inside my internal flash drive(ie; brain)...
    Zachariah, what do you estimate my Titus Rockstar build weighs? Just curious. My wild guess is around 27lbs. Your guess might be more educated than mine.

  22. #22
    Redcoat
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    Quote Originally Posted by superj101 View Post
    Not a fan of carbon, its not recyclable!
    You wont drop that much weight, maybe 100grmsgrms
    Just ride harder! Wear spandex!
    Id rather chop my leg off to save weight

  23. #23
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    When it comes to carbon bars weight is just a bonus, the real reason I get carbon bars is because they ride better.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luis M. View Post
    Zachariah, what do you estimate my Titus Rockstar build weighs? Just curious. My wild guess is around 27lbs. Your guess might be more educated than mine.
    Need more info: size, stock, or upgraded?
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    When it comes to carbon bars weight is just a bonus, the real reason I get carbon bars is because they ride better.
    Please explain?

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