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  1. #1
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    Goal of the 30.8 mm bar size

    So what really is the reason behind the new standard --strength? Less stress on carbon bars? Marketing?

    Another question: will the larger size ultimately lead to lighter bar/stem combos at a given strength? I'm not really all that dissatisfied with the current, smaller standard. Also, all else being equal, smaller = lighter.

  2. #2
    espresso lover
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    IMHO it's just a marketing thing. Everybody has the cockpit of his bike sorted out and nobody buys something new anymore. So the marketing guys are now trying to tell us that the 30.8 / 1 1/8" stuff is the best there is!
    Try to mount your speedometer and your HR monitor on that weird shaped bar!
    No cool signature...

  3. #3
    Recovering couch patato
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    31.8mm, right?
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  4. #4
    espresso lover
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    so correct! 31.8 thanks cloxx!
    No cool signature...

  5. #5
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    it stiffer for sure

    as i said before im riding a thomson stem x bontrager race lite bar in 25.4 diameter. i tested a ritchey wcs x fsa flat bar in 31.8 and the difference in stiffness was very noticiable. im a 85kg rider running a sid wc and i really dont need a flexy stem. the ritchey wcs in 130mm x 31.8 size comes in less than 120 grams with steel bolts. i dont think there are any 25.4 stem out there with that weigth that is at least as stiff. at least the syntace f99 that i tested last week wasnt. so thats the set up i will be riding/racing next year:

    ritchey wcs 31.8 stem
    bontrager xxx carbon flat bar (31.8)
    post moderne bar ends (light and cheap).

    i ask people who says its just "marketing hipe", have you guys ever tested the 31.8 setup on your bike? not on another persons bike, but on your bike?whats your conclusions? that will be a much valid point than just say its a "marketing hipe" without have tested before.
    hey
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  6. #6
    jonny_mac
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    i ride

    a ritchey wcs carbon bar and stem(31.8). it is noticeably stiffer than my
    past 25.4 and i like it's better steering precision.

    100mm stem 111 g's
    bar was 136 g's

  7. #7
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    Marketing hype

    It's marketing hype. Poor quality bars benefit most from the oversized standard since they become stiffer. Stiff bars at the smaller diameter gain less. Poor quality bars benefit, but if you already have a stiff, quality bar then it's just hype.

  8. #8
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    Funny, at the LBS's storage cleaout, an Italian "oversiye bar came up. Narrow, flat, and a decade old at least. 31.8mm. They tried, but it didn't become a success. Now, same siye, same arguments, it does. Good thing about it, for me, is that road and MTB get standardized. I like -17º stems to get my bars down.
    I have a 25.8 WCS now on the Fisher, and the stiffness doesn't bother me. If I could have it much stiffer (read : find a 31.8 WIDE flatbar), that'd be cool.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  9. #9
    jonny_mac
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    hmmm

    then why dont you "design" a thin diameter aluminum frame
    and be the first to end the marketing hype on oversized aluminum.

  10. #10
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    Definitely marketing.

    I posed this question to several reps last year. They all explained that it was simply a marketing ploy. Just like any industry, change in technology creates new products, that must be sold. Thus, all the companies make the switch to 31.8 mm bars and stems, and make the older standard obsolete. This has a clear effect on the consumer consciousness and those that dont have it, feel they must.

    Technological benefit? Im sure that the industry has put out 'tests' claiming how much stronger 31.8 is. Anyone that is brought in by this is a tool. How many people have snapped a handlebar at that point? I ve been riding and working in a bike shop for years, and the only kind of catastrophic damage to a handlebar is usually done by intense jumping/freeriding. Is it necessary for roadies and xc riders to have their bars strengthened? Absolutely not. But hey, its the industry that leads the way, and the consumers usually chose to follow....and in this case, in a few years you wont have an option...change or upgrade to 31.8 or continue riding your 80's era EdCo alluminum road handlebar untill it breaks in a heroic manner, like I plan on doing.

  11. #11
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    two reasons

    Quote Originally Posted by awai04
    So what really is the reason behind the new standard --strength? Less stress on carbon bars? Marketing?

    Another question: will the larger size ultimately lead to lighter bar/stem combos at a given strength? I'm not really all that dissatisfied with the current, smaller standard. Also, all else being equal, smaller = lighter.
    A tube's rigidity increases with the cube of its radius. That's the principle behind fat tube aluminum frames like Klein. A larger diameter tube is more rigid than a smaller diameter one of the same weight, as increasing tube diameter is a more weight-efficient way to add rigidity vs increasing the tube wall. So no, smaller does not necessarily equal lighter.

    That said, marketing is the other reason.
    Don't pay the $85 fee to ride land you own! Resist!

  12. #12
    jonny_mac
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    your 80's

    era bar may be as strong as a new 31.8 bar,and as stiff, but it will be heavier and will have very thick walls(thin walls would be flexy in a 25.4). glad some of you aren't engineers, as we would have no new technology
    since the original is the best. as light weight is pushed, to achieve the same strength
    and stiffness you must get a bigger diameter, plain and simple. so "toolbox" go ahead
    and believe that it is all marketing.

  13. #13
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    Marketing: why not 50.37?

    Quote Originally Posted by awai04
    So what really is the reason behind the new standard --strength? Less stress on carbon bars? Marketing?

    Another question: will the larger size ultimately lead to lighter bar/stem combos at a given strength? I'm not really all that dissatisfied with the current, smaller standard. Also, all else being equal, smaller = lighter.
    Complete marketing ploy, it is not even true that the bar would be "stronger" for the same weight since tube wall will need to be thinner ...

  14. #14
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    Definitely an advantage to standardization.

    Having road and mountain being the same seems like a definite advantage to me. We should end up with more bars and stems to choose from. They could have done the same with 25.4 or 26.0 though. I don't have a problem with bar stiffness with 25.4. Oversize will make mounting things to bars a real headache until everyone adapts.

  15. #15
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    I think that part is obvious to most, but...

    why 31.8 mm? What is the magic diameter? Personally I think a stiffer bar solves another problem that didn't really exist in the first place. In fact, it could be argued that some flex is nice to absorb shock. Some flex could also make for a safer bar. I do like the idea of having the size standardized between road and mountain though.

  16. #16
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    Marketing: why not 50.37?

    Quote Originally Posted by awai04
    So what really is the reason behind the new standard --strength? Less stress on carbon bars? Marketing?

    Another question: will the larger size ultimately lead to lighter bar/stem combos at a given strength? I'm not really all that dissatisfied with the current, smaller standard. Also, all else being equal, smaller = lighter.
    Complete marketing ploy, it is not even true that the bar would be "stronger" for the same weight since tube wall will need to be thinner ...

  17. #17
    jonny_mac
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    a thinner

    walled bigger diameter tube WILL be stronger than a thicker walled(or even solid) tube
    of a thinner diameter. i think 31.8 came about to standardize road to mtb. davide where did
    25.4 come from, why did they choose to make it exactly an inch? complete marketing?
    i think davide should be a professor in marketing, and he shouldnt even own a bike, because it was marketed for him to buy it. davide why a 68mm or a 73mm bb shell,
    davide why are wheels round? marketing? davide why have handlebars in the first place?
    this guy is brilliant!

  18. #18
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    That's not an apples to apples comparison....
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  19. #19
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    Quantify it! The saying it will be stiffer means absolutely nothing. How stiff is a 25.4? In what test? In what load condition? How much does it deflect? Everything deflects. Theoretically, when you take a step on a concrete driveway, it deflects under your wieght. How much? Hardly measureable. Use steel reiforced concrete and it'd probable deflect less. Does it matter, no! Before people start a war over something as trivial as the stem/handle bar clamp dia they use, put some numbers to it.
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  20. #20
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    i dont need nunbers to feel this diference in stiffness. as i asked before and NO ONE answered. have any of you guys that are saying its marketing have already tested a 31.8 setup on your bike? if you dont, you cant answer if its worth or not.

    but if you guys feels that a syntace f-99 stem with a 600mm wide handlebar is stiff enough, thats great for you, just dont say its stiff enought for everybody like some people here says because its not. is it strong? yes. is it stiff? for me no. i just dont think so.my thomson is much stiffer than the syntace, i tested and i feel it. in my opinion, wider bars are not compatible with ultralight 25.4 stems. at least the syntace f99 in 135mm with my bontrager race lite 600mm wasnt stiff enought.
    Last edited by carlos; 12-21-2004 at 11:52 AM.
    hey
    ho
    lets go!

  21. #21
    jonny_mac
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    a few yrs ago

    rockshox provided data that their fork tested as stiff as zoke's xc fork on a test machine.
    the magazine verified this and commented about how much more the sid flexed out on the
    trail regardless of a certain test. 1 test cannot replicate real world, it just gives you a
    guideline in which to design to. certain people here believe a 50g stem will be as stiff
    as a 200g stem just because it is lighter. if you ride back to back a 31.8 to a 25.4
    you will certainly feel the diff, will it make you faster? doubt it. people win world cups
    on sids, and they aren't stiff. fox claiming their forks to be stiffer isnt just marketing.

  22. #22
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    save some weight

    Since this is the save some weight forum, it is important to point out that so far 31.8 mm bars are heavier than their 25.4 mm competition. So are most of the 31.8 mm stems when compared to the same model at 25.4 mm. Nobody went to large diameter al frame tubes and built heavier frames! So far manufacturers are not delivering on the promise of lighter weight and stiffer/stronger bar/stem combos. It should be possible, but it is not here yet.

  23. #23
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    Really?

    Actually, Vitus used to make road al frames that featured tubing diameters the same as steel, and yes they were very flexy. I am well aware of the material and engineering properties associated with this discussion. My point was that large diameter tubing allows the wall thickness to be reduced to achieve the same strength and stiffness in a given material. Because of this, I would like to see oversize bars/stem to achieve lighter weights.
    I do not believe that the Ritchey WCS stems are that light. The 25.4 versions weigh 140 grams in reality, not the claimed weight though. The problem with trying to get reduced weight in a bar with a larger diameter is that the wall thickness in the center of the bar cannot be reliably reduced to take advantage of the increase in stiffness associated with the larger diameter. The wall thickness cannot be reduced because the stem clamp would crush the bar, therefore the 31.8 mm bars cannot be made to a lighter weight than the 25.4 mm bars. BTW, I ride an Easton monkeylite SL that weighs 128 gms actual at a 24" width with 1/2" of rise, there is no 31.8 mm bar that comes close to these dimensions at that weight. Ritchey wcs carbon bar claimed weights: flat=134 gms, rizer=167 gms and those are the claimed weights. Ritchey has been optimistic about weights in the past. Ritchey 31.8 mm stem claimed at 125 gms, actual is more like 140.
    I just wanted to point out that the oversize trend is one that is not saving weight, if increased bar stiffness is desired, then oversize is the way to go, but there is a weight penalty at this time. I also like the idea of all bikes standardizing in the future (road and mountain) and 31.8 seems to be leading us in this direction.

  24. #24
    The Riddler
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    Quote Originally Posted by barrows
    Actually, Vitus used to make road al frames that featured tubing diameters the same as steel, and yes they were very flexy. I am well aware of the material and engineering properties associated with this discussion. My point was that large diameter tubing allows the wall thickness to be reduced to achieve the same strength and stiffness in a given material. Because of this, I would like to see oversize bars/stem to achieve lighter weights.
    I do not believe that the Ritchey WCS stems are that light. The 25.4 versions weigh 140 grams in reality, not the claimed weight though. The problem with trying to get reduced weight in a bar with a larger diameter is that the wall thickness in the center of the bar cannot be reliably reduced to take advantage of the increase in stiffness associated with the larger diameter. The wall thickness cannot be reduced because the stem clamp would crush the bar, therefore the 31.8 mm bars cannot be made to a lighter weight than the 25.4 mm bars. BTW, I ride an Easton monkeylite SL that weighs 128 gms actual at a 24" width with 1/2" of rise, there is no 31.8 mm bar that comes close to these dimensions at that weight. Ritchey wcs carbon bar claimed weights: flat=134 gms, rizer=167 gms and those are the claimed weights. Ritchey has been optimistic about weights in the past. Ritchey 31.8 mm stem claimed at 125 gms, actual is more like 140.
    I just wanted to point out that the oversize trend is one that is not saving weight, if increased bar stiffness is desired, then oversize is the way to go, but there is a weight penalty at this time. I also like the idea of all bikes standardizing in the future (road and mountain) and 31.8 seems to be leading us in this direction.
    if you check weight weenies, the 2004 WCS O/S stem is pretty much on the money for weight. A 110 weighs about 113g.

  25. #25
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    You are right

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaparzo
    if you check weight weenies, the 2004 WCS O/S stem is pretty much on the money for weight. A 110 weighs about 113g.
    Just was at weight weenies and you are right. That is impressive that they have cut the weight from their 25.4 mm stems, WCS 31.8 is going to end up just a couple of grams heavier than F99 25.4. But the WCS carbon rizer bar weighs in at 174 gms! Definately not light, a 46 gm weight penalty vs Easton Monkeylite. So who is going to make a 24" wide lowrise bar at 31.8 mm?

  26. #26
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    Yea

    The Ritchey WCS flat bar at 550 mm wide is still narrower and heavier than the Easton monkeylite rise bar at 128 gms. If stems actually loaded a handlebar all the way around the clamp area I would agree that a manufacturer could reduce wall thickness in the clamp area of a 31.8 mm bar, but most stems point load the bar, especially four bolt stems tightened by ham fisted wrenches. I doubt that manufacturers are reducing bar wall thickness in the clamp area of 31.8 mm bars because of fear of what stem a bar may encounter, and what mechanic might be tightening it. Sorry I did not make my thoughts about this clear in the previous post.
    After a little searching I found that Titec makes a low rise bar at 25+" wide for 31.8 stems, and claims 145 gms for it. If that weight is close I might decide to go with that on my next bike build-only a 17 gm weight penalty for the increase in stiffness-which I do agree is a plus.

  27. #27
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    Quote Originally Posted by B R H
    why 31.8 mm? What is the magic diameter? Personally I think a stiffer bar solves another problem that didn't really exist in the first place. In fact, it could be argued that some flex is nice to absorb shock. Some flex could also make for a safer bar. I do like the idea of having the size standardized between road and mountain though.
    To be different from what motorcycles and tioga were already doing, going to 28.6 bar clamp zone stems and bars. MX risers have been available in a 28.6 clamp for a few years now. About four years ago there was an attempt at pushing the 28.6 size and it didn't really catch on for mtb's.

    Also its only the center part of the bar that's larger diameter, the ends are still the same diameter, and also because of how much of a taper transition it is to go from 31.8 to 22.2mm O.D., you end up with either wider bars to have the same space for levers, shifters, grips, bar ends, or a bar the same width, but such a short and extreme taper angle that it makes it really tricky to mount bar mounted lights, and computers and so on (if they even have room to clamp around that much bar in their clamp mechanisms).
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  28. #28
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    Wow, I must be hitting a nerve, and I'm glad I asked this question.

    Seems like the arguement comes down to answering one basic question: Will I benefit from a stiffer bar?

    If I weigh 275 lbs. and freeride/downhill, then yes, then benefits of a bigger bar are clear.
    On the other hand, If I'm 145 lbs. and just do XC, then why do I need a bigger bar? Are there hordes of horror stories of XC racers shredding their handlebars??

    I'd chuckle if, say, the 31.8 mm bar becomes industry standard and then ten years later, somebody introduces the slightly smaller, svelte bar that (for all *practical* purposes) does all the same things that the bigger bar does but weigh less.

    Really though, I hope both diameters stick around, as I can see different uses for the different sizes with both people of varying weight and bikes of different types.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Scary
    I only weigh 125 lbs. and race Expert XC. It is not about breaking a bar, since I have never done that. It is about steering accuracy, the stiffer bar actually makes your front fork feel better and track straighter. There are three people here using them-me, jonny mac, and carlos. We all swear by them and we all race xc, none of us are free riders (as far as I know anyways). The other commentors have never tried the bar diameter, and seem to take the "reps" word for it (if a rep was so stupid as to even chalk it up to marketing hype). Salesmen, the most honest and noble of professions...
    Puleeeeeze.
    I weigh 200lb and compete Expert Trials. I changed my bar/stem from an Answer/Thomsom 25.4mm to a Monty/Thomson 31.8mm and have noticed a HUGE increase in stiffness at a similar weight.

    Someone asked about breaking bars at the clamp area and wrote an anecdote about how long he's worked in a shop and that he's "never" seen a bar that was installed properly break at that point. Well sir, I have managed and worked in shops for ten years and I have seen a fair share of bars broken near the clamp. Contrary to what most people assume, ALL of the bars I've seen broken at or near the clamp, failed when the rider pulled UP on the bars, not upon landing some "extreme" drop.

    I've played a large part in developing business in the trials niche, at the many shops where I've been employed. I can tell you from my experiences with the two different standards, that we are a user group who can benefit from this new standard.

  30. #30
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    o/s bars and stems

    If you know anything about engineering you will know that the 31.8 is stiffer.
    Do you need it? Maybe, maybe not.
    The real advantage is that shops can stock 31.8 stems for both road and mountain bikes and be able to fit more bikes with less total stems.

  31. #31
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    darn...you already said it!!!!

    "MARKETING"

    I got a better idea, how about 31.943mm ? That's better, right?

  32. #32
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    There is a point where the wall is too thin to use as a clampin surface. You can't deny that. And you don't need an engineering degree to understand that. Take a soda can for example. It doesn't take much effort to crush it. It is very strong as long as it stays round (it was an old party trick for us to stand on one w/o crushing it, and then have someone take a pencil and ever so slightly tap the side, where it would immediately crush).

    Here's the problem. People again are throwing around opinions w/o any facts. Anyone whoes taken an engieering courses has probably heard from some instructor that unless you can assing a number to it, you don't really know anything. How much thinner does a wall need to be (on a 31.8 bar) to be the same weight as a 25.4 bar? I don't know how thick the clamping area of a 25.4mm bar is, but for the sake of the argument, lets assume 3mm (.118"). then the 31.8mm bar would need a wall thickness of 2.2mm (.086") to weigh the same, aprrox. 24.13%. If the 25.4 bar had a 2mm wall, then the 31.8 would have a wall of ~1.5mm, aprrox. 22.65% thinner. The question lies in, how thin of a wall can you clamp on (reliably)?? And that could vary as much with bar manufacturer and process than anything. So here's your homework assignment. Get your carbon bars, hacksaw them in half right through the stem clamp, measure the wall thicknesses, and end the discussion...

    A smaller diameter bar with a thick wall will be harder to crush. I'll try to illustrate the example with some extremes. Compare a 25.4 tube, with a 6mm wall to a 101.6mm tube, with a 1.15mm wall. If you had a 10' lenght of each, the larger bar would be pretty stiff, and the smaller one would bend a lot under its own wieght. The larger one would be able to carry a higher torsional load (hence driveshafts in cars and large dia, thin walled tubes), but the larger one would be a lot easier to dent and crush.
    Last edited by Ultra Magnus; 07-29-2009 at 11:09 AM.
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  33. #33
    Trying to find Flow
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    Quote Originally Posted by barrows
    The Ritchey WCS flat bar at 550 mm wide is still narrower and heavier than the Easton monkeylite rise bar at 128 gms. If stems actually loaded a handlebar all the way around the clamp area I would agree that a manufacturer could reduce wall thickness in the clamp area of a 31.8 mm bar, but most stems point load the bar, especially four bolt stems tightened by ham fisted wrenches. I doubt that manufacturers are reducing bar wall thickness in the clamp area of 31.8 mm bars because of fear of what stem a bar may encounter, and what mechanic might be tightening it. Sorry I did not make my thoughts about this clear in the previous post.
    After a little searching I found that Titec makes a low rise bar at 25+" wide for 31.8 stems, and claims 145 gms for it. If that weight is close I might decide to go with that on my next bike build-only a 17 gm weight penalty for the increase in stiffness-which I do agree is a plus.
    Factor in your riding style as well. Yes, Titec does make an oversize bar that weighs 145 grams. I have that bar and their Rip stem on my singlespeed. Having a stiff bar/stem combo is more important on a singlespeed, where a good percentage of your power transmission in low cadence, out-of-the-saddle climbing is generated by pulling on the bars.

  34. #34
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    You put words in people's mouth.

    I never said it wouldn't make a difference.

    I only stated this is a trivial argument. Of course 31.8 theoretically will be stiffer. But that varys as much as anything on the manufacturer's process than anything else. The question I posed is how much, and does it matter to most people? the only 31.8 bar I've ridden was on a knolly v-tach so it's hardly a fair comparison to the mokeylite on my blur. The #1 reason I won't be riding one is because I wont have anywhere to mount my hrm. It's hard enough to mount it cleanly to a riser bar in the first place.
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  35. #35
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    Taper & adapters.

    The little bit of taper that regular size bars already have is a little irritating sometimes when mounting stuff. My computer is a little crooked as a result. Perhaps they will start making adapters for all these accessory mounts! What about bar adapters (25.4 and 26.0 to 31.8 mm)? Oh no, more adapters! I can just see it coming. I hate adapters!

    So was that 28.6 mm intentionally almost the same as 1 1/8"?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Scary
    Once again, I can't believe this argument continues...

    Am I the only one that sees the irony of this statement?

    Arguing with you is like arguing with my wife.

    I never suggested that anyone should make bars out of a soda can. Just made the extreme example ot illustrate how a large od with thin wall would make it less resistant to crushing. You did however, provide another example of twisting people's words.
    Last edited by Ultra Magnus; 12-22-2004 at 11:17 AM.
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  37. #37
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    Indeed: it is nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by bmadau
    Quantify it! The saying it will be stiffer means absolutely nothing. How stiff is a 25.4? In what test? In what load condition? How much does it deflect? Everything deflects. Theoretically, when you take a step on a concrete driveway, it deflects under your wieght. How much? Hardly measureable. Use steel reiforced concrete and it'd probable deflect less. Does it matter, no! Before people start a war over something as trivial as the stem/handle bar clamp dia they use, put some numbers to it.
    Especially with composite construction (where you can do many more things to a "tube").

    The question is: how stiffer (and resistent to impacts) is a 30.8mm bar vs a 25.4 for the SAME weight? Where are the numbers and how significant are the differences?
    I have seen none, and it is just ridiculous: the tests should come BEFORE the marketing.

    There is a good parallel: windsurfing booms. They used to be "large diameter" until people started to produce "small diameter" because they are much more confortable. For a while aluminum small diameter where less "stiff", than composite construction came about and guess what: now there are manifactureres that build competition booms in small diameter that are as stiff as "large diameter" and weight the same ...

  38. #38
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    Do you have a pic of that stem on a scale?

    Ritchey never seems to come that close to claimed weights with thier stems among other things.

    Syntace's 31.8 F-111 due out this spring is claimed at 125g (105mm) with steel bolts. Syntace claims 106g for the 105mm F99 and delivers. Ritchey claims like 120s for the WCS and those things are 20+g heaveir and stiff as a wet noodle. Now they make a 31.8 stem that is almost dead on in weight and stiffer than Syntace that is know to be one of the stiffest stems out there? I need to see one on a scale to believe it. I have riden many stem is 25.4 and the syntace and Extralite's stems are as stiif as any thomsom is the same length for me. I run around 165lbs + gear. Extralite UltraBar UL with all them stems and I feel NO change. Thosebars are stiif to as well as the syntace bars, FRM carbon or FSA's carbon bars.

    Now is concept 31.8 should be a stiffer bar, but they are not lighetr now. Will you feel it? Maybe, subjective? Kinda like the flex in cranks right?

    I am sure that bigger riders in the long run will find these stiffer, but for the most, 25.4 will do.

    I am going to test the different combos later this month. I tried it out on a road bike and found NO differenc what so ever. Yes It might be more worth while on a MTB but we will see...

    Also don't always believe the weights you see posted on weight weenies.
    Last edited by DIRT BOY; 12-22-2004 at 06:37 PM.
    DIRT BOY
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  39. #39
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    Just rememer ISIS was supposed to be better too...

    Stiffer and better than squre taper and Octalink right? These same comapnies that are pushing 31.8 pushed ISIS band now are leaving ISIS behind. Sure there are no beraing problesms with 31.8 .

    XTR was said to be stiffer than and lighter than XT right ?

    Nino! where are those crazy German tests....
    DIRT BOY
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  40. #40
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    To sell new stems?

    Quote Originally Posted by awai04
    So what really is the reason behind the new standard --strength? Less stress on carbon bars? Marketing?

    Another question: will the larger size ultimately lead to lighter bar/stem combos at a given strength? I'm not really all that dissatisfied with the current, smaller standard. Also, all else being equal, smaller = lighter.
    I haven't broke a pair of carbon or aluminum bars yet and welcome the flex/bump absorbtion of my EC 90s.

  41. #41
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    Imho

    Some of you might find this interesting - http://www.desperadocycles.com/The_L...g_Rigidity.pdf

    I think 31.8mm has come in to increase stiffness & strength without gaining too much strength. A bit of bar flex helps comfort with rigid bikes but with modern suspension forks this is probably not as important as having less flex in terms of steering and greater strength (especially with more people doing 'extreme' riding).

    If the tube diameter increases by k and the wall thickness remains the same then the stiffness increases by k cubed and strength increases by k squared with the weight approximately increasing by k.

    If the tube diameter increases by k and the wall thickness divided by k then the stiffness increases by k squared and strength increases by k with the weight approximately the same.

    So basically if you compare 25.8 to 31.8 bars of the same weight then the 31.8 bar will be approximately 25% stronger (in bending) and 50% stronger (in bending).

    The increased clamping area of a 31.8mm bar & stem will spread the clamping force over a greater area.

    The problem in lightening 31.8mm bars too much is that the wall thickness will be very thin and more prone to damage from clamps.

    Fluff

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRT BOY
    Stiffer and better than squre taper and Octalink right?
    Right. And it is stiffer and better.

    But unlike unlike increasing stem clamp size, they failed to promote an increase in BB diameter, unfortunately, and a different solution happend to come along. ISIS is constrained by an entrenched interface that is harder to change then stem to bar interface.

    But I would rather have had larger BB with ISIS, then outboard bearings solution.

  43. #43
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    Is there a moderator?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Scary
    The tests did come before the marketing, you idiot. You have obviously never been involved in launching a product to production. If it concerns you that much, contact Easton, they manufacture both sizes and I'm sure they can suply the relevant data (like you could interpret it anyways).
    I am very tired having to deal with people that act like this "Mr Scary".

  44. #44
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    little man syndrome.

    puts others down to lift himself up.

    I'm sorry.. I shouldn't have said that, but couldn't resist. But, I haven't clicked post reply yet... Does that mean I'm not really sorry if I still click it? If you are reading this, then I guess you know...
    "I've come to believe that common sense is not that common" - Matt Timmerman

  45. #45
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    [QUOTE=.As for Davide, he thinks products go to production without testing, so who is the idiot?[/QUOTE]

    Believe it or not, in my 6 or 7 years in the bike biz I have seen products go into production without testing....more than once.

    B
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  46. #46
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    big shooter........

    hehehee - that's getting close to being funny.....Keep em coming.
    There's nothing like having the world under your wheels......

  47. #47
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    Marketing is not evil...

    Oh and I'm sorry but I did not realize I was on the ENGINEERS argument forum...

    Go ahead and say I am stupid, that I dont know anything about engineering (I don't), that I should'nt talk because I have not tried the new 31.8 standard on my bike(I have'nt) and that I am blind because I dont see a reason for standardization between road and mountain bikes (I dont own a road bike) - whatever, I dont get upsets by silly insults...

    STILL, NONE OF YOU that are arguing in favor of the new standard have said why I or anybody else NEED a new bar/stem combo. A few have said their is a noticable stifness increase in real world applications - great! If you felt you needed that then I am glad you are happy with your new toys. Yes if you ride a Sid or some other flexy fork mabye making up a little of the difference with a bigger stem/combo is great for you.

    I ride a Thompson stem and Marzocchi fork and never have I thought while riding my bike -"Man what I need right now is a stiffer bar to help me from deflecting off these rocks" Actually I switched to a carbon bar to gain a bit of vibration dampening as compared to a stiff aluminum bar. Now in principle I am all in favor of trying something new and I like all things bike related, and can see the benefits in some applications. If this was going to be like the whole 1.5 HS thing no big deal, if you want it buy it, if not dont.

    However here the industry has introduced a new standard and in a few years you will not be able to buy 25.4 bars and stems. (I have already heard from Thompson that there is a good chance that they will not make anything but 31.8 stems next year) So then what? You do finally break the bar on your old bike and guess what - go buy a new stem as well...buy a new frame and want to change the length of your old stem, oops that $125 h-bar thats still in perfect condition that you bought this year, sorry cant use it. Go buy a nice new $125 fatty bar. This is what I think is crap - tell me any one of you why I NEED to go through this. Just like the miraculous switch from 8 to 9 speeds that was soo necessary (no its not apples to apples, I am aware of that)

    This is just another way to make money without inventing something new and worthwile, just like dual control. The bike industry is looking for something new and different (notice I did not say better) for the WOW factor instead of going out and really developing something so cool/interesting/better that everyone would WANT to buy it. Its much easier to redesine a standard and MAKE everyone have to buy it.

    Anyways, its all just IMHO...

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Scary
    Like what? Name some products, big shooter. Don't just make some random statement and then hope it goes by the wayside...
    Huh, my mom always told me to be nice when asking people for something. Also, I hardly think that an internet forum is worth risking my job and reputation over.

    Look it up yourself "big shooter".

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    I'm glad to see that the majority of you realize that the 31.8 dia. is a marketing ploy. It may make the front end a tiny tiny bit stiffer and with that you get the added weight, yippy! Just my 2 cents. We (Sytnace) wil have our 31.8 stem out very soon, we did so because of market demand and OEM spec demand. We still feel that a good quality bar and stem at the 25.4 size is stiff and strong, but for the ultimate in stiffness and strength go to a VRO set up. It is a lot more stiffer than a 31.8 and is lighter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffbomb
    Some of you might find this interesting - http://www.desperadocycles.com/The_L...g_Rigidity.pdf

    I think 31.8mm has come in to increase stiffness & strength without gaining too much strength. A bit of bar flex helps comfort with rigid bikes but with modern suspension forks this is probably not as important as having less flex in terms of steering and greater strength (especially with more people doing 'extreme' riding).

    If the tube diameter increases by k and the wall thickness remains the same then the stiffness increases by k cubed and strength increases by k squared with the weight approximately increasing by k.

    If the tube diameter increases by k and the wall thickness divided by k then the stiffness increases by k squared and strength increases by k with the weight approximately the same.

    So basically if you compare 25.8 to 31.8 bars of the same weight then the 31.8 bar will be approximately 25% stronger (in bending) and 50% stronger (in bending).

    The increased clamping area of a 31.8mm bar & stem will spread the clamping force over a greater area.

    The problem in lightening 31.8mm bars too much is that the wall thickness will be very thin and more prone to damage from clamps.

    Fluff
    ]
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  50. #50
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    demand makes products, not other way around

    While I'm not claiming that hype doesn't exist, the plain and simple truth is that bikes have become tougher, "more extreme" and more technologically advanced because the largest portion of the market are non-racing aggressive XC weekend warriors. Why are 5x5" or so trailbikes all the rage right now? Not marketing - those just happen to be what fits the style of the most paying customers right now, and they have spoken by choosing comfort/do-it-all ability over saving weight.

    I'm a DH/FR guy here just looking around for fun, and in your own personal quests to shave grams some of you seem to have forgotten that markets cater to the people spending the money. If the lightest weight/performance ratio isn't what's selling right now, tough toenails. You are officially no longer the target market (for the time being, until as someone else mentioned that the svelte, "do-it-all" bar will come back in a couple of years).

    That's not called hype, that's called capitalism. You can bet that when the "do it all" smaller bar comes back it will be better than it was before, if only in some small way. The technology that's in the hands of the pros (road and trail) doesn't come for free. That research is funded by customers. There are a lot of products that are unnecessary or that have benefits that to the average rider would be negligible. However, in the hands of the elite are the best-performing bikes that have ever been made. Period. And in ten or twenty years they'll be racing on stuff that makes our stuff look like dino eggs. It trickles down to the customer and is ultimately for the best IF you do the type of riding that's currently hot. If you don't, don't buy the products. Its that simple. Just because your style of riding doesn't match up with the majority of the market doesn't mean that the value of the new technology is bunk.

    Bottom line- OF COURSE the oversized bar is stiffer and potentially lighter as long as it isn't manufactured by autistic weasels. Is that what your own personal riding style needs? Maybe, maybe not.
    I rode XC for several years but finally gave it up and focused more on backpacking, skiing and mountaineering because there was no bike equipment that struck a balance between ride-ability and durability. At 6'3" 260 there wasn't really any equipment that would both let me put the hammer down and feel that my power wasn't being lost in flex or worse yet that I was going to break something (and break stuff I did). I've been overjoyed with the stuff put out in the past 3-4 years and since '02 mtb has been by far my favorite sport.

    For a lot of the market, the small weight penalty that may or may not exist doesn't really matter. The benefits of stiffer and tougher components far outweigh the penalty, and the standardization of the clamp size is just a convenience for LBS, etc and a function of keeping the market current.

    PS- This is in no way meant to start a long travel v minimalist argument or whatever. I understand the quest for light gear perfectly well as a backpacker and have mega respect for the guys doing epics on sub-20 lb bikes.

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