carbon vs aluminum handlebars advice- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    carbon vs aluminum handlebars advice

    recently started riding more including some light trails and bought a nicer bike (at least for me). Its a 2 year old Specialized Chisel (alu frame). Nice and light, perfect for me. The prior owner put Envy M5 carbon flat bars on it. They are very nice but I don't ride anything serious and can save some money by going down to aluminum bars (lots of stock bars for sale as folks upgrade the other way).

    Is it worth it $50 or so I would save?

    I sense most of the folks go the other way and I will probably get derided for it but just being honest. I can afford the bars but just don't think I need it. Don't want to be that kid on a basketball ground in latest Nike's and jersey that can't shoot. That's me on my bike.

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
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    So you want to sell the M5 bar and get an aluminum one?

    I personally like the feel of carbon bars. At the end of a long chattery run...my hands feel a bit better. All my bikes have carbon bars. All 31.8. The only 35mm carbon bar I've tried is the Raceface SixC...and that made my hands hurt like no other bar I've tried...including aluminum.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bojan4444 View Post
    recently started riding more including some light trails and bought a nicer bike (at least for me). Its a 2 year old Specialized Chisel (alu frame). Nice and light, perfect for me. The prior owner put Envy M5 carbon flat bars on it. They are very nice but I don't ride anything serious and can save some money by going down to aluminum bars (lots of stock bars for sale as folks upgrade the other way).

    Is it worth it $50 or so I would save?

    I sense most of the folks go the other way and I will probably get derided for it but just being honest. I can afford the bars but just don't think I need it. Don't want to be that kid on a basketball ground in latest Nike's and jersey that can't shoot. That's me on my bike.

    Thank you very much.
    If you want to save some money, sell the current bars, and pop some cheap Chinese carbon bars on. Plenty available around the $20 mark, I test them before installation, no failures yet, over 3 or 4 different sets. I much prefer the feel of a nice carbon bar. Being so cheap, I don't mind replacing them after a monumental crash, simply fit the peace of mind.

  4. #4
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    Carbon does feel nice. I took the grips off and rode like that but it felt fragile a little. That is why I thought about replacing with aluminum ones. Would Chinese carbon feel even more fragile?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    So you want to sell the M5 bar and get an aluminum one?

    I personally like the feel of carbon bars. At the end of a long chattery run...my hands feel a bit better. All my bikes have carbon bars. All 31.8. The only 35mm carbon bar I've tried is the Raceface SixC...and that made my hands hurt like no other bar I've tried...including aluminum.
    Good point about feel and comfort - I am tall but not that strong so I wonder if I switch to aluminum would that affect my hands and cause pain for the $50 I save.

  6. #6
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    I would just keep the bars. No sense trying to sell them, just to buy a cheaper pair. Save yourself the time and effort

  7. #7
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    OP, Good carbon bars like Enve ride really nice. Yes, you will immediately notice a difference if you downgrade to cheap aluminum bars.

    Quote Originally Posted by bojan4444 View Post
    Carbon does feel nice. I took the grips off and rode like that but it felt fragile a little. That is why I thought about replacing with aluminum ones. Would Chinese carbon feel even more fragile?
    Wait what? You're going to remove good carbon bars and install cheap Chinese carbon ones?

    Yeah, I just lost interest in this conversation.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  8. #8
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    appreciate the honesty, that is what i was looking for.

    There are people on the forum like myself that don't know what they are doing, so feedback is great.

    Thank you

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    OP, Good carbon bars like Enve ride really nice. Yes, you will immediately notice a difference if you downgrade to cheap aluminum bars.



    Wait what? You're going to remove good carbon bars and install cheap Chinese carbon ones?

    Yeah, I just lost interest in this conversation.
    Why? Is brand name butt jewelry that important to you?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedygz View Post
    Why? Is brand name butt jewelry that important to you?
    Quality Control.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedygz View Post
    Why? Is brand name butt jewelry that important to you?
    Nope, I've owned and ridden both. I'm speaking from experience.

    You got any useful input to add based on your personal experience?

    I gave a useful response that the OP appreciated, you apparently just came here to talk trash and add nothing to the conversation? Thanks for contributing to the forum!?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Quality Control.
    Mine get a quick non destructive test before fitting. Hasn't failed me yet. I've got a set I want to test to destruction in our test bed with load cells, just out of curiosity. They ended up wedged under a 4wd, and me in the operating theatre, and never failed. Broke about 1/2 an inch off one end under the grips, curious to see just how much load required to properly fail.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Nope, I've owned and ridden both. I'm speaking from experience.

    You got any useful input to add based on your personal experience?

    I gave a useful response that the OP appreciated, you apparently just came here to talk trash and add nothing to the conversation? Thanks for contributing to the forum!?
    I think your comprehension skills need a little bit of work. How is owning and using, long term, 4 different sets of CF carbon bars, without failure, not personal experience of input? Perhaps actually read what I wrote, rather than get all offended

  14. #14
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    I seem to have upset the princesses, never mind, here's my highly scientific & well researched non destructive load testing method for Carbon handlebars All 205 lbs bouncing up & down on them. Not a sound out of them. No crackles, pops, pings or untoward noises. If there was, straight in the bin. If they survive that, you're not going to break them riding along on your MTB. Unless you end up under a 4WD, as mentioned earlier, & then you have bigger issues to worry about. Believe me.
    I find I actually like the lighter ones better, as they seem to have a tiny bit more flex in them, & take that sharp, uncomfortable bite out hits. Which is what I'm looking for, after a lifetime of earning a buck out of using power tools has done its damage to my joints.
    carbon vs aluminum handlebars advice-carbon-load-test.jpg

  15. #15
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    I like bars with some rise like 15mm. You get sweep and tip angle. Options for wrist comfort. So I see why you want to swap out the flat bars. I'm still using Easton carbon bars. RF now. Based on the above info and my experience with Chinese carbon rims I'd carefully shop for some Chinese bars. Finding a honest quality seller is the challenge.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bojan4444 View Post
    recently started riding more including some light trails and bought a nicer bike (at least for me). Its a 2 year old Specialized Chisel (alu frame). Nice and light, perfect for me. The prior owner put Envy M5 carbon flat bars on it. They are very nice but I don't ride anything serious and can save some money by going down to aluminum bars (lots of stock bars for sale as folks upgrade the other way).

    Is it worth it $50 or so I would save?

    I sense most of the folks go the other way and I will probably get derided for it but just being honest. I can afford the bars but just don't think I need it. Don't want to be that kid on a basketball ground in latest Nike's and jersey that can't shoot. That's me on my bike.

    Thank you very much.
    If you spend the time and money swapping the Enves out to "cheaper" bars, then trying to recoup the cash by selling the Enves...

    No brainer. No way. Keep and enjoy what you've got. You'll be downgrading for very little in return.

    The market for selling used carbon bars is not very good. I would buy neither used nor cheap carbon bars. Its probably the last place I'd skimp on my bike.

  17. #17
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    I have never been involved in a vehicle accident, so I guess there is no reason to wear a seat belt?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    I like bars with some rise like 15mm. You get sweep and tip angle. Options for wrist comfort. So I see why you want to swap out the flat bars. I'm still using Easton carbon bars. RF now. Based on the above info and my experience with Chinese carbon rims I'd carefully shop for some Chinese bars. Finding a honest quality seller is the challenge.
    i was going to get aluminum bars with rise as a replacement. That was another consideration in this, but I may just raise the handlebars a little for comfort instead.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    If you spend the time and money swapping the Enves out to "cheaper" bars, then trying to recoup the cash by selling the Enves...

    No brainer. No way. Keep and enjoy what you've got. You'll be downgrading for very little in return.

    The market for selling used carbon bars is not very good. I would buy neither used nor cheap carbon bars. Its probably the last place I'd skimp on my bike.
    seems like majority agrees with this. I took the grips off and realized they were cut a little and there are some scratches from the grips. If i was buying them it may bother me. So probably not end up savings that much $$$ after all. Decided to keep them and ride them. Was trying to avoid the brand name thing, but then realize my bike is chump change compared to what else rolls around in my park so that made me feel better as well.

    Thank you everyone for all the feedback, very so much helpful.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedygz View Post
    I seem to have upset the princesses, never mind, here's my highly scientific & well researched non destructive load testing method for Carbon handlebars All 205 lbs bouncing up & down on them. Not a sound out of them. No crackles, pops, pings or untoward noises. If there was, straight in the bin. If they survive that, you're not going to break them riding along on your MTB. Unless you end up under a 4WD, as mentioned earlier, & then you have bigger issues to worry about. Believe me.
    I find I actually like the lighter ones better, as they seem to have a tiny bit more flex in them, & take that sharp, uncomfortable bite out hits. Which is what I'm looking for, after a lifetime of earning a buck out of using power tools has done its damage to my joints.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Carbon load test.jpg 
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ID:	1338023
    I'm not sure I can take the judgement of someone who wears socks with thong sandals seriously.

    Back to the real discussion. I just couldn't pass it up.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerpss View Post
    I'm not sure I can take the judgement of someone who wears socks with thong sandals seriously.

    Back to the real discussion. I just couldn't pass it up.
    Ha ha ha. You're not the first, & certainly won't be the last to make comment. There's more than one person who can't help themselves, when I go riding in my typical attire. T shirt, shorts, baseball cap & flip flops/thongs for warmer weather carbon vs aluminum handlebars advice-img_20200212_184440201.jpg

  22. #22
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    selling your current handlebar and buying a cheaper one is not going to "save" you any significant amount of money. even if you're REALLY broke right now, the $50 or so is not going to go very far. not worth the effort. Enve stuff is rad, I see no wisdom in downgrading.

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