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  1. #1
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    Replace stem and handlebars every four years?

    Zinn & the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance: Lennard Zinn, Todd Telander: 9781934030592: Amazon.com: Books

    I was looking through "Zinn and the Art of MTB Maintenance" and came across this on p. 262:

    "Do not look at the handlebar on your bike as a permanent accessory. All aluminum handlebars will eventually fail. ... Some manufacturers recommend replacing stems and handlebars every four years. If you rarely ride the bike, this is overkill. If you ride hard and ride often, every four years may not be frequent enough."

    This surprised me a little, but it makes sense in terms of material fatigue I guess. The "four years" number is pretty much useless; riding hours would be a lot more useful.

    Thoughts? Any anecdotes of bars or stems breaking?

  2. #2
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    Don't know that I'd ever replace any part that wasn't showing signs of failure but if I did it would probably be the QR skewers. I've got bars and stems that raced for several seasons that are now more than 10 years old and they seem fine. If I took some real hits with them or rode all-mountain I might think hard about swapping. Thus far, they seem more durable than that. My brother-in-law used to break frames at the BB from climbing his road bike hard and he never twisted a stem or bar apart.

  3. #3
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    if you are riding XC RAce weight components i would replace them every few years. seen too many light parts develop cracks, especially stem face plates.

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