Carbon bar/stem in Racing
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    409

    Carbon bar/stem in Racing

    I'm getting a new bike this next week and I'm trying to decide whether to upgrade from my 3T Ergonova alum. bars to something carbon, maybe a Ritchey or 3T team level. I'm just wondering if anyone has any reservations against using carbon bars or stems in racing due to crashes typically involving bar ends hitting the ground hardest.

  2. #2
    waterproof*
    Reputation: Creakyknees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    41,598
    Yes, I do. I switched out the carbon bars that came with my bike for alloy bars.

    But I'm a retrogrouch. Lots of guys do just fine on carbon bars.
    * not actually a Rock Star

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: jsedlak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,799
    I do have reservations without any logical reason. I imagine that the pros put similar (if not a lot more) amount of forces into their bars as I do on my aluminums without problems.

  4. #4
    Still waiting......
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,321
    Can you afford to replace the CF bars if/when you crash? If so, go for it.
    AKA - Go Dot

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Matador-IV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    289
    I see no reason to replace unless it's for fit. I replaced my alum bars with Zipp sc/sl carbon bars, BUT only because I needed less drop & reach to my bars. Got the Zipps for 75% off retail so it was an easy decision.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,745
    I wouldn't say I'm 'against' carbon bars and stems as much as I don't see any meaningful reason to be 'for' them. Carbon stems just don't make any sense IMO. They aren't lighter (usually) so what's the point other than to spend more?

    My carbon bars are fine.......so are my cheaper aluminum bars. Unless you're a gram counter I don't see the point of carbon bars either. Some people swear they are more comfortable on the hands. I use both on a regular basis and I'm not one of those people. They feel the same to me.

    For some perspective I'm NOT a retro grouch. I love carbon frames and would go for crank arms and wheels if I had the money. Stems and bars though.....I just don't get it.

  7. #7
    Pack Fodder.
    Reputation: Alaska Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,869
    I have carbon bars on my training bike and aluminum on my race bike, with similar profiles. The carbon bars knock down some of the vibration on longer rides. That's about it for me, but YMMV.

    I've been known to drool over blingy carbon bits, but cost and practicality usually keep me from buying.

  8. #8
    vexatious enigma
    Reputation: waldo425's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    4,696
    If you need to upgrade them then go for it; but if you don't then I see no real need to do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio
    Unlike Roebuck, you do "do" people.
    Maybe Judas did it for a Klondike bar.

    Life in the fast lane with no brakes

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: spade2you's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    12,085
    I never paid much attention to the stem, other than the length/angle of it. I didn't know that the aluminum were about the same weight. That'll save me a few bucks of my next bike.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: 32and3cross's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,135
    I removed my set of Carbon bars and sold them for one main reason when carbon fails it can do so dramaticly and without notice, case in point.

    My friend with Ritchey Carbon bars crashed on a group ride - on inspection his bike seemed fine and so the group rode off as he elected to return home by himself since he was a bit skinned up. While he was riding easy back home he hit a shallow pot hole at which point the ride side of his bars seperated completely, sending him down hard. The guy is a experienced cyclist and decent wrench and did a pretty good job of looking his bike over, post crash and still missed any signs prolly because there were none to be seen. He rode the bike for a few miles after even getting out the saddle and noticed nothing.

    Now one could say thats fine just be sure to switch you bars out if you crash, but - and this is the point of why I got rid of mine - I race crits, when I crash I tend to get back in the race, I don't want bars that might fail after I crash (I realize Alu can fail to but it tends to bend first and show damage more). So after that I went back to alu bars and alu stem.
    Last edited by 32and3cross; 04-26-2011 at 03:21 PM.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    3,239
    I just bought a new bike in January that came with Deda 100 alloy bar and stem. All my other bikes have carbon bars of a similar bend, but not Deda. I honestly can't tell any difference in performance, road buzz, etc. If I crash the Dedas, its less than $100 to replace them vs. $300 or so for the carbons. If you like the Alloy bars you are using now, save the $$ difference and spend it somewhere else on the new bike.

  12. #12
    chamois creme addict
    Reputation: Eric_H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,479
    For a race bike I say alloy bars all the way. Mostly from a cost/benefit/crash analysis as handlebars are almost guaranteed to take some impact in any crash either directly or transferred via the shifters. As others have mentioned, a carbon part can look perfectly fine and fail catastrophically without warning, therefore I would probably want to replace a carbon handlebar after any signficant crash and I would be hesitant to ride them at all. An alloy bar will either bend and bounce back, or bend and stay bent - either situation is safer to ride than carbon if you have to/want to finish the race. I would still change out alloy bars that took a significant hit as well.

    Note that almost all top pro riders use alloy bars for this exact reason - chances are higher that the bars will be rideable after a crash with alloy than carbon. Even if they are only riding a few km until they can get a bike change, they will be better off on alloy bars.

    As for carbon stem, I don't have quite as much the same fear of catastrophic failure post-crash but considering how light most top-end alloy stems are these days there is not much reason for a carbon stem. And if the stem has a carbon face-plate I think that is really asking for trouble as there is a fair bit of stress on the face-plate. I have seen quite a few carbon face-plates that crack around the bolt holes, notably some older 3T stems and some FSA stems.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.