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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mckeand13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Broken aluminum bars anyone?

    I've got some old Titec hellbent bars on my SS that I'm a bit concerned about. They are pretty old, I don't even remember when I bought 'em. I don't mean some nasty yardsale crash or a 10 foot drop, just fairly normal cranking.

    Steel has an infinite fatigue life if the cyclical stresses are kept under it's UTS. Aluminum on the other hand has a number of cycles it can undergo before breaking regardless of stresses. They are bound to break someday.

    I've never broken any handlebars, I was wondering if others have.

  2. #2
    The man who fell to earth
    Reputation: Ziggy-Stardust's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I've heard of a few nightmares with composite bars. Handlebar ends + grips coming off during gnarly descents (or jumps) due to over tightened brake lever clamps and/or stems and/or from post crash stressed junctures....OWWW.

    Never heard of that happening with metal bars though. And if you have the boat anchor Titec one I have, I seriously doubt you'll be snapping it with normal riding....after a bad crash, you might bend it, but I doubt you'd ever break it. Hellbents are known for being cheap and heavy...but not for being fragile.

    Quote Originally Posted by mckeand13
    I've never broken any handlebars, I was wondering if others have.

  3. #3
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    I have seen broken and severely bent Al bars. It does happen.
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  4. #4
    Misfit Psycles
    Reputation: nogearshere's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    guidelines at all?

    aside from common sense. does anyone use as a table or overly complicated matrix to decide when to replace alum bars/seatposts before a trip to the DDS is req'd?

    i have the attention span of a nat so mine are generally sold before fatigue hits them...
    Expert of the Internet.

  5. #5
    Candlestick Maker
    Reputation: baker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    I've broken an aluminum bar. A few years of use including an unknown number of minor crashes. Then, one day I'm riding to the store at about 5mph, hop a curb, and I'm on the pavement wondering what happened. The bar had cleanly broken right next to the stem clamp edge.

    I've primarily used ti and carbon bars since that incident and haven't had any more issues. I'm now also fairly paranoid, retiring bars as soon as I see any significant markings from the stem clamp...


  6. #6 first
    Reputation: TubeSSnapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Light XC bars break....
    Totally talking out of my a$$ here but I think bars made with the 7005 Al tend snap when they fail. while heavier 6005 Al bars are more likely to bend when the fail.
    When my 7005(Ritchey...if you can believe that...ha ha ) Al bars broke it was without warning and on a not too big bump. put ??? bars on the town bike.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    They do "wear out" and can bend over time. When in doubt, replace'em... cheaper than hospital/dental bills. Cut your old ones in two and toss'em in the recycling bin.

  8. #8
    Cubicle Fugitive
    Reputation: czardonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    IIRC, Zinn posits a vague-ish lifespan of 2-3 years for lightweight AL bars. Only the manufacturer can tell how their bar can be used safely, and even then it would vary by use.

    99% of the time you could probably bar almost indefinitely with no issues. But it seems crazy to me to skimp on such a relatively low cost component, given the potential aftermath of a broken bar.

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