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  1. #1
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    Carbon stoker bar?

    What do you think? I know that we bang ours on trees all of the time, but they are a bunch lighter than standard aluminum bars. Something like this is what I'm thinking: Easton EC90 XC Flat Handlebar > Components > Handlebars and Stems > Mountain Bike Handlebars | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

  2. #2
    PMK
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    If it never hits the ends on trees or hits the ground you'd be fine.

    PK
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  3. #3
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    Dang, that is not what I wanted to hear. What am I up against? Will it fail instantly or is this just a durability issue?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by clj2289 View Post
    Dang, that is not what I wanted to hear. What am I up against? Will it fail instantly or is this just a durability issue?
    YOu can read some of the many threads on Mtbr on carbon. Unfortunately theres tons of misinformation on carbon fiber so it may not help you any.

    The problem with carbon is that it fails differently than metals, and that tends to scare people. The reality is it is every bit as strong or stronger than other materials under some circumstances, and more vulnerable under others.

    I've been riding a carbon mtb for over 15 years with no problems, and have had a carbon bar on it for the last 2 or 3 years. The stuff is designed for mountain biking, so it should be able to take a fair amount of abuse.

    That said, when you look at replacing a single flat bar on a mountain tandem for weight savings, I'm not sure you're really gaining anything noticeable. And if you are regularly hitting the stoker bars on trees, it may not be the best choice (nor would an ultralight aluminum bar).

    I'll also add that although I've had a good experience with carbon for many years, It still makes me a little nervous. I've very comfortable with the frame at this point as long as I'm not crashing it on rocks, I'm ok with the bars as well (though I'm real nervous tightening anything that clamps on them), but carbon seatposts and cranks still scare me and I don't really understand the point of carbon stems.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville View Post
    That said, when you look at replacing a single flat bar on a mountain tandem for weight savings, I'm not sure you're really gaining anything noticeable. And if you are regularly hitting the stoker bars on trees, it may not be the best choice (nor would an ultralight aluminum bar).
    We have an FSA xc180 stoker bar, which at 600mm comes in at something approaching 200g. The linked carbon bar is 113g. 87g is 2/10ths of a pound. The nubbies on a our new 2.5 Dissent probably weigh .2lb.

    Of course, not everyone runs high-volume DH tires, but the second part of trailville's advice is probably more important anyway.

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    I know what trailville means about not noticing the weight on the tandem, but it seems like if you don't watch every gram on a bike it starts to add up fast. We're running pretty light tires as well, Racing Ralphs. I just like the way a light bike feels.

    Thanks for your inputs.

    Chris

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    CLJ, yes watch the grams and the pounds take care of themselves.

    The main reason to not run a carbon stoker bar is impact damage. The stoker bar is hard mounted to the frame and does not swivel. When the bar hits trees or the ground, damage may be created that is not detected. This could result in failure while in motion.

    Granted the same could happen with an aluminum bar, but hopefully the aluminum bar would show itself damaged by bending.

    On your road tandem, a carbon stoker bar is fine. I will probably swap one onto our Co-Motion soon. Earlier this year, in an effort to keep up with Team Judd, it cost me a lot, buying titanium fasteners for the Co-Mo. While not tens of pounds, the total saved was noticeable while in hand. I still have more fasteners to change out, just need to order them.

    Sometimes you also need to get creative when removing weight from the bike. Sometimes stupid, like polishing rather than paint. It all does add up.

    PK
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  8. #8
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    I'll chime in. We have run carbon bars (captain and stoker) for the past couple of years, on two different bikes with great success.. I'd like to think that we don't bump into too many objects or the ground for that matter, but it happens.

    I think the bigger issue is that when you do need to replace, it's a significant outlay. Notice that I said "when" and not "if". I feel the same way about buying an XX or XTR derailleur, at some point you will clip it on a rock and the few grams that you saved will be quite spendy to replace.

    All this said, we have a sub 43 lb full suspension 29er tandem that we ride hard.

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    The road bike is a place where we've totally given up on to save weight. The Trek is lighter than the Co motion, but they are both still pretty heavy. I would also like to get a light weight, stiff, road tandem that would help us get a road group that we would be comfortable with. Seems like we're always a little too fast for one group and a little too slow for another. Oh, well and a different topic.

    Thanks for your input and compliment, Paul.

  10. #10
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    I was hoping someone might chime in with some experience running carbon bars! Even after all of the non-endorsement from the others, I was pretty sure I would give it a try. I think I may switch the bars out for our races or when we are riding trails that are open where I'm not as likely to bang the bars. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  11. #11
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    Alex Nutt also emailed me and suggested the idea of Ti bars. The advantage is they pretty durable and light. Lynskey makes a bar which priced like carbon Lynskey Titanium Handlebar Flatbar - Lynskey Performance | Titanium Bicycles. I heard Thompson is coming out with a Ti bar as well, I think the price is around $250, which is just too rich for my blood. The only thing I don't like about the Ti bars is they are not offering them in black. I've got a black and red color scheme going on the bike and I'm pretty committed to that.

  12. #12
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    Chris, ride the carbon bars and know the risks. The risks are small but are crash or strike related.

    The race idea is sound, but a pain. Buy them, ride them and enjoy. Change them when suspect.

    FWIW, where Jeanne and I ride, The trees grow about 24" apart on many trails. On a technical trail typically a couple times I have to realign the captains seat since it does move slightly when the stoker bar gets clipped.

    PK
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by clj2289 View Post
    The road bike is a place where we've totally given up on to save weight. The Trek is lighter than the Co motion, but they are both still pretty heavy. I would also like to get a light weight, stiff, road tandem that would help us get a road group that we would be comfortable with. Seems like we're always a little too fast for one group and a little too slow for another. Oh, well and a different topic.

    Thanks for your input and compliment, Paul.
    Compliment, you two deserve it, please, the pair of you carry the mail. If we want to keep you insight, our salvation is we need to ride terrain outside your comfort zone and within ours.

    Otherwise, we have a blast going pretty darn fast slinging dirt everywhere and slowing you down. Then again, I'm old so I have an excuse, I mean reason.

    FWIW, I often think about the Dragon video and how the ahole single riders got stuffed hard. Remember, "if your so fast then pass us", wrong thing to say to me, I will find a hole, and you followed. He did have a choice, hit the tree or hit the tandem, or as he did, just stop. That was a great day riding, and is a keepsake video.

    Awesome when Phil says, something like my computer says 20 mph and they are pulling away. For those that don't know what I'm talking about, Team Judd and us were helmet cammed by a single rider and his son at an event. I know the guy indirectly so we got a copy. The trails at the location can be ridden comfortably around 18 /20. The two tandems were having a blast and tearing it up.

    Team Judd, let's make plans for this falls event and next springs. I'll ride even if I shouldn't.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  14. #14
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    Paul, I know, I love that video too. Its awesome.

    Heck yeah, we're up for doing something soon with you guys. I'll send you an email here shortly.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by clj2289 View Post
    I've got a black and red color scheme going on the bike and I'm pretty committed to that.
    I was going to say get a Ti bar. As for colour... get them ceramic coated (as powder coating just isn't going to cut it )?

    Over at the Framebuilding forum, there's this thread: Ceramic Coating

    There are various shades of black plus "stoplight red". Costing thickness is measured in microns, so isn't going to add much/any weight...

  16. #16
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    Titanium should also be anodized.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

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