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  1. #1
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    carbon or alu handlebar

    trying to find a long flat 25.4 [clamp] handlebar have allways road aluminum what are the ride quality differences between alum and carbon? thanks

  2. #2
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    I own Easton bars made of both materials. Easton claims that the carbon bar is stronger. The carbon bar is slightly lighter. Unless you look at the bar, you'd have no idea what it was made of based on the way it rides.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    I own Easton bars made of both materials. Easton claims that the carbon bar is stronger. The carbon bar is slightly lighter. Unless you look at the bar, you'd have no idea what it was made of based on the way it rides.
    Having owned both a Monkey Lite and a EA 70 bar with the same rise, width, and clamp diameter...I would whole heartedly disagree.

    Besides being lighter, I noticed a definite reduction in hand fatigue (using the same grips). Its not that you can "feel" anything on the trail but at the end of the day my hands, wrists, and forearms were less fatigued.

    I'm using a Salsa Pro Moto alloy currently due to budget constraints but am hoping to get a carbon version (or possibly a carbon Carnegie's Bar) down the road.

  4. #4
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    I ride as light as i can on my arms, which leads to hard landings when not skilled enough to stay light, the carbon bars forgive some of my inadequacies, ti moreso.

    Fit is such a larger part of the equation though, as has been stated
    wherever you go, there you are

  5. #5
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    I love my Easton carbon bar. I just dont feel as beat up at the end of the day compared to alu bars. I tighten mine down with a torque wrench so you might want to take that into consideration as it could be an added cost.

  6. #6
    ballbuster
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    I dunno....

    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    I own Easton bars made of both materials. Easton claims that the carbon bar is stronger. The carbon bar is slightly lighter. Unless you look at the bar, you'd have no idea what it was made of based on the way it rides.
    I'm pretty convinced that my carbon bar is dampening out some of the tooth-rattle factor when I ride, and I'm not talking about being flexy.

  7. #7
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    I ride a EC70 in the 25.4 clamp. I love it. It does have a tad flex, more so than the EA70 I was on for a while, but is only noticeable when I pay attention to it, or showing others the flex. It has very little sweep, but is kinda narrow for some tastes. Personally I like a narrow bar.

  8. #8
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    I agree with what some have stated above. I ran the aluminum Richey bar on my Monocog for about a year. I came across a great deal on a Monkey Lite and decided to give it a shot. I don't really notice a huge difference when riding (a rigid fork has a tendency to beat the crap out of you on the rough stuff regardless of which bars you run) but I do notice that I feel less fatigued at the end of the ride.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orlock
    I love my Easton carbon bar. I just dont feel as beat up at the end of the day compared to alu bars. I tighten mine down with a torque wrench so you might want to take that into consideration as it could be an added cost.

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  10. #10
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    I love my CNT monkeylite xc. That being said the main reason I purchased it was because I could not find a reasonably strong alu riser bar in the same ballpark weight. If I needed a straight bar, I'd probably go alu.

    All you guys specifying fatigue factoring into the equation are definately suffering a placebo effect if you are not riding rigid because your fork will dampen more than your bar ever will.
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  11. #11
    I like to ride my bike.
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    I don't like carbon bars too much. I can feel the bars flex and it freaks me out. I'm only 165lbs and the steering rigidity of aluminum bars gives me more confidence.
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  12. #12
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    You could get a Seven custom Ti Bar for $150 and solve all your problems. Custom sweep, lightweight, vibration dampening, won't bust on ya when ya crash.

    http://www.sevencycles.com/accessories/hndlbar.php

  13. #13
    San Diego County
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazz46
    trying to find a long flat 25.4 [clamp] handlebar
    Salsa Pro Moto carbon flat for you.
    http://www.salsacycles.com/handlebars_mtn.html

  14. #14
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    get the carbon bar if you are into cutting and pasting retarded cliches and/or feel its important to fit in with the other sheep. If for a fully rigid bike however, there may be something tangible to having a bar with properties that allow it to "flex" a bit in which case get a Ti bar. Perhaps the cheapest Ti bar is from Dean and you can get custom length/sweep for next to nothing.

  15. #15
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    I went from a Titec H-bar (alum) to a Syntace Vector Carbon bar on my steel hardtail recently (both with ESI grips) and was surprised at how much it muted the vibrations - in fact, I had to pause, and ask myself if I wanted to feel less of the trail (it felt a bit "disonnected" at first). I haven't noticed anything resembling flex.

    Mountain Bike Action did a blindfold test 1-2 years back and all their riders easily felt the difference between FSA's aluminum versus carbon bars.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1
    Mountain Bike Action did a blindfold test 1-2 years back and all their riders easily felt the difference between FSA's aluminum versus carbon bars.
    yes, that "proof" from that well-respected peer-reviewed magazine is the definitive say on the matter. unless i read differently on some random internet blog that article will serve as my Gospel on the matter

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=Ryder1]I went from a Titec H-bar (alum) to a Syntace Vector Carbon bar on my steel hardtail recently (both with ESI grips) and was surprised at how much it muted the vibrations - in fact, I had to pause, and ask myself if I wanted to feel less of the trail (it felt a bit "disonnected" at first). I haven't noticed anything resembling flex.

    Really???? I switched from a Seven ti bar to the Syntace Vector and found it to be too stiff.

  18. #18
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    Ti bar

    I would like to know the prices of a Ti bars. Checked the Dean site and seems a custom bar would be around $200. That would be a lot for me to spend but if that is the only bike you ride on the trails and you want to ride rigid it would be the ticket.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cottonball
    I would like to know the prices of a Ti bars. Checked the Dean site and seems a custom bar would be around $200. That would be a lot for me to spend but if that is the only bike you ride on the trails and you want to ride rigid it would be the ticket.
    that cant be even my Seven Ti bar wasnt $200. My Dean, cut to custom length I think was only ~$125 which is more than fair.

    not sure where you are looking, but here is the corresponding text:

    Features:
    Cold Worked 3/2.5 Seamless radial titanium
    Weight: 150grams

    Length: 585mm (23") Sweep 3 degree
    Price: $100.00 (custom length, rise and sweep available +$25.00)

    You are probably looking at the "riser" bar, $175 base...do you want flat or riser?

  20. #20
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    bars

    Riser

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1
    I went from a Titec H-bar (alum) to a Syntace Vector Carbon bar on my steel hardtail recently (both with ESI grips) and was surprised at how much it muted the vibrations - in fact, I had to pause, and ask myself if I wanted to feel less of the trail (it felt a bit "disonnected" at first). I haven't noticed anything resembling flex.
    Quote Originally Posted by sparkie
    Really???? I switched from a Seven ti bar to the Syntace Vector and found it to be too stiff.
    Yes, which is why I said it was stiff. Vibrations is a whole nother matter.

    I had a ti bar and liked it. Going from ti back to aluminum was rough at first, but steering and standing climbs improved. I didn't think I'd ever try a carbon bar, but Syntace's carbon Vector looked amazing on paper, and I love it so far. But I don't think I'd put it on a rigid bike on rough trails.

  22. #22
    NardoSS
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    I don't notice a single bit of difference between my bike with the carbon monkeylite handle bar and a Kore aluminum one. Hell, I felt like I overspent after a few rides on the "upgrade" carbon bar. Going forward, I'll stick to aluminum.

  23. #23
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    Switched to a carbon bar a couple years ago- I'll never go back to Al.
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1
    I went from a Titec H-bar (alum) to a Syntace Vector Carbon bar on my steel hardtail recently (both with ESI grips) and was surprised at how much it muted the vibrations - in fact, I had to pause, and ask myself if I wanted to feel less of the trail (it felt a bit "disonnected" at first). I haven't noticed anything resembling flex.

    Mountain Bike Action did a blindfold test 1-2 years back and all their riders easily felt the difference between FSA's aluminum versus carbon bars.
    So they went mountain biking blind folded?

  25. #25
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    Ryder1: Mountain Bike Action did a blindfold test 1-2 years back and all their riders easily felt the difference between FSA's aluminum versus carbon bars.


    thaphillips: So they went mountain biking blind folded?

    Ryder1: They covered the bars up so the riders couldn't visually identify them.

    What I don't think was noted above is how much carbon designs can differ in stiffness and compliance - at least as much as the other materials. Its very possible for one person to try a one carbon bar and feel no difference, and another person try a different carbon bar and notice a big difference. And of course, it depends what bar you're coming from. Coming from a 400g Titec H-bar held by a Thomson stem (stiff combo), I didn't think of the Syntace P6 as stiff, but certainly noticed the high-frequency vibrations had largely disappeared.

  26. #26
    247
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    I'll get a carbon bike, but the 3 things I would not want to be carbon on my bike are:

    1. Handlebars
    2. Seatpost
    3. Stem

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 247
    I'll get a carbon bike, but the 4 things I would not want to be carbon on my bike are:

    1. Handlebars
    2. Seatpost
    3. Stem
    4. Crankset
    You forgot one so I added number 4 for you. The carbon cranks could break and thus break the boys. Personally I don't understand the carbon fiber paranoia but..to each his own.

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