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Carbon handlebars

Old 11-04-13, 04:41 PM
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Carbon handlebars

I wonder if the carbon bars would help me. I have rheumatoid arthritis and sometimes I hurt pretty good after my rides. Mostly elbows and wrist. Thanks.
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Old 11-04-13, 04:58 PM
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Probably not enough to make a difference. I've had carbon bars in the past but switched back to aluminum a couple years ago. I really couldn't tell the difference. Of course my frame and fork are carbon. For a fraction of the cost, you might try some handlebar gel inserts, such as these:

http://www.artscyclery.com/Fizik_Bar...FdJZ7Aoddn0AoQ
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Old 11-04-13, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bikepro View Post
Probably not enough to make a difference. I've had carbon bars in the past but switched back to aluminum a couple years ago. I really couldn't tell the difference. Of course my frame and fork are carbon. For a fraction of the cost, you might try some handlebar gel inserts, such as these:

http://www.artscyclery.com/Fizik_Bar...FdJZ7Aoddn0AoQ
Thanks for the reply bikepro. I am using the gel inserts already and I was really hoping the CF bars would work. I did read where someone else tried the CF bars and had the same results as you. Thanks again.
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Old 11-04-13, 05:37 PM
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I put carbon on 3T Ergonova handlebars on my bike. I noticed a slight difference. More so in long rides (35+ miles). I bougnt them on clearance and I got a really good deal, otherwise I would say they were not worth it. For overall comfort, going from 23s to 25s softened the ride a lot more.
Good Luck[h=1][/h]
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Old 11-04-13, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by lenny866 View Post
I put carbon on 3T Ergonova handlebars on my bike. I noticed a slight difference. More so in long rides (35+ miles). I bougnt them on clearance and I got a really good deal, otherwise I would say they were not worth it. For overall comfort, going from 23s to 25s softened the ride a lot more.
Good Luck[h=1][/h]
Thanks Lenny, I did order 25s last week. I should be getting them shortly. I'm also thinking about moving the saddle back a little, to take some pressure off my hands.
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Old 11-04-13, 09:12 PM
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My wife was having wrist and shoulder issues when we went to Seattle to pick up a tandem last summer (she rides captain). At the last minute, she mentioned this to the shop owner. He told her he had the same issues and had some success by changing to carbon bars. She figured $300 was a lot less than the medical costs she might be looking at, so it was worth a try. The next day, we got on the bike and rode 450 miles home over the weekend. She didn't have any issues at all and credits the bars. She used to put all sorts of padding on the bars, but is happy with just a bit of cloth tape on the carbon bars. (By the way, we run 26X1.25 tires, which is approximately 32mm wide)

I just picked up a pair for half that price on Chainlove for our other tandem. Maybe I'll put some on for me when I find a wide enough set on sale.
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Old 11-04-13, 10:28 PM
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The main advantage of carbon fiber is to reduce weight, and considering I am a bit clyde and can take a bit of weight off my arse, the carbon would be most effective at lightening my wallet.
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Old 11-05-13, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
The main advantage of carbon fiber is to reduce weight, and considering I am a bit clyde and can take a bit of weight off my arse, the carbon would be most effective at lightening my wallet.
Can agree here--I got a pair of CF bars at a sensible price and they weighed in at 210 grams. Fitted them and they felt OK. Weighed the alloy bars I was taking off and they were 210 grams.
Comfort wise and I don't think there is a difference from the material. No weight loss but the CF bars felt a bit better but that was due to the aero shape on the flat and that they were 44 cm instead of the 42 of the alloy. I was just as happy with the alloy bars.
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Old 11-05-13, 07:23 AM
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Thanks for the replies everybody, it sounds like a little more adjusting is in order.
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Old 11-05-13, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
The main advantage of carbon fiber is to reduce weight, and considering I am a bit clyde and can take a bit of weight off my arse, the carbon would be most effective at lightening my wallet.
Not at all. Aluminum bars (higher end, higher price) are as light as CF. The reason to get CF are other than weight.
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Old 11-05-13, 07:43 AM
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George,
Maybe re-looking at her bike fit would help? It might be possible to transfer some of the weight to her feet and saddle by shifting the saddle back in its seatpost. Of course, and assuming that her fit is correct now, you'd have to shorten her stem by the amount that the saddle shifted back. Or, if her current fit is a bit cramped, do nothing with the bars. Although she'll feel more stretched out, her balance point will actually be farther back.

Also, by moving back, her distance to the pedal will also have increased. You'll have to adjust the saddle height accordingly. This change will be small.

I may also be that she'll have to try to "hold" her torso more upright to unload the hands and wrists. You know that this is done by engaging core muscles and relaxing arm/wrist/hand muscles.

Have you had anyone look critically at her fit while riding?
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Old 11-05-13, 07:44 AM
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CF bars can be very comfortable. They also can be very stiff like what sprinters use. Someone can't generalize about them because the characteristic vary so much. Your best bet is find a good LBS that knows their business or call one of the online stores like Excel and talk to an experienced person. Get a pair for comfort and it makes a difference.

Last edited by StanSeven; 11-05-13 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 11-05-13, 08:08 AM
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Carbon bars, fat tires & 100lbs. of tire pressure. This and a light grip will work wonders.
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Old 11-05-13, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
The main advantage of carbon fiber is to reduce weight, and considering I am a bit clyde and can take a bit of weight off my arse, the carbon would be most effective at lightening my wallet.
Actually CF is supposed to have a little more give to it, then AL, which it does, but you should get the same effect by dropping tire pressure by 10PSI...
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Old 11-05-13, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Not at all. Aluminum bars (higher end, higher price) are as light as CF. The reason to get CF are other than weight.
True, I have a DEDA alloy Pista bar on my track bike that is pretty light. It wasn't really expensive. Not sure how much as it was part of the deal I made with he LBS guy I bought the bike from. If I remember correctly, he had it marked at $80. Carbon bars can be made ridiculously light, but those can be pretty expensive, involving meticulous layups of prepreg materials and careful post curing.
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Old 11-05-13, 12:24 PM
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... but the operating pressure of wider tires can go down, and usually is indicated on the tire itself.


True, I have a DEDA alloy Pista bar on my track bike that is pretty light.
suppose its a pursuit type track race part not a matched sprint bar , which were often steel for strength./
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Old 11-05-13, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by George View Post
I wonder if the carbon bars would help me. I have rheumatoid arthritis and sometimes I hurt pretty good after my rides. Mostly elbows and wrist. Thanks.
I don't have arthritis but I did have a problem with my hands getting numb as I rode, losing feeling that is, for many years and I just thought it was some defect in my body when cycling so I just put up with it. After I got carbon bars though, it totally went away.

That was on a carbon bike, so I wasn't sure it was the bars (could have been the frame) but then I got the same bars on my Ti bike (FSA K-Wing) and numb-hands-syndrome went away on that bike too.

Still have it a bit on my steel bike (with alloy bars) but I just use that bike for commuting, so no big miles (16 round trip) and I just live with it on that bike.

Of course YMMV, but that's my experience.

Rick / OCRR
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Old 11-05-13, 01:17 PM
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You might try chain saw gloves. The ones you want aren't much bigger than regular cycling gloves. They have really good gel inserts that do a great job isolating the hands. I get mine at the shop that sells and repairs chain saws, not at the local box store.

Also, you might try some focused physical exercises. Lots or really small muscles in the hands and feet that have voices all out of proportion to their size. Once you get the mucslces built up it won't matter what handle bar or whatever else you use.

Last edited by ModeratedUser150120149; 11-05-13 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 11-05-13, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
I don't have arthritis but I did have a problem with my hands getting numb as I rode, losing feeling that is, for many years and I just thought it was some defect in my body when cycling so I just put up with it. After I got carbon bars though, it totally went away.

That was on a carbon bike, so I wasn't sure it was the bars (could have been the frame) but then I got the same bars on my Ti bike (FSA K-Wing) and numb-hands-syndrome went away on that bike too.

Still have it a bit on my steel bike (with alloy bars) but I just use that bike for commuting, so no big miles (16 round trip) and I just live with it on that bike.

Of course YMMV, but that's my experience.

Rick / OCRR
Thanks Rich, that's the bars I'm looking at. I did pretty good on a 30 miler today. I relaxed my upper body so much, I must of had my back rounded to much and I started to feel it in my neck. Anyhow I moved my saddle back 5 mm and that really helped a lot. I'm still thinking about getting the CF bars though.

Thanks HawkOwl for the suggestion. I'll have to work on my core more. It just catches up to you I guess. Old age that is, lol.
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Old 11-05-13, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by George View Post
Thanks Rich, that's the bars I'm looking at. I did pretty good on a 30 miler today. I relaxed my upper body so much, I must of had my back rounded to much and I started to feel it in my neck. Anyhow I moved my saddle back 5 mm and that really helped a lot. I'm still thinking about getting the CF bars though.

Thanks HawkOwl for the suggestion. I'll have to work on my core more. It just catches up to you I guess. Old age that is, lol.
Sorry I wasn't more clear. When I said "focused" I meant focused on the hands and wrists. Also, on the feet and ankles. Those are the attach points that have to cope with all the stresses from bike and body.
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Old 11-05-13, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
... but the operating pressure of wider tires can go down, and usually is indicated on the tire itself.




suppose its a pursuit type track race part not a matched sprint bar , which were often steel for strength./
I use the DEDA track bars on my track bike.

No, the DEDA track bar has the classic track shape...deep drop and almost no place to put your hands on the tops except next to the stem. This gives you wrist clearance when you sprint or jump in the drops.
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Old 11-05-13, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by George View Post
Thanks Lenny, I did order 25s last week. I should be getting them shortly. I'm also thinking about moving the saddle back a little, to take some pressure off my hands.
I'd suggest going bigger than 25mm tires if you can fit them. And more supple tires definitely reduce the road buzz that comes through. I am really loving the Grand Bois tires we use in a variety of sizes. FWIW, I only use 100 psi in a 26mm GB on the back of my wife's bike. My 28's are 75/90 frt/rear, and the 30's (31 measured) are 65/70. I'm sure I could go if lower if desired.
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Old 11-05-13, 03:24 PM
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My experience has been that carbon bars make no difference. Carbon bars are made with a wider diameter than traditional aluminum bars, making them just as stiff if not stiffer, although today just about all handlebars come in a 31.8mm center width rather than the older 26.8mm.

Because you tape over the bars, you're now hiding potential damage which could result in sudden catastrophic failure. If you crash on the carbon bars, it might be a good idea to inspect the bare carbon when you retape the bars. But then, aluminum bars could also fail catastrophically. Years ago, I once made the mistake of drilling holes in a set of alu bars so I could run internal brake cables. Of course, the holes formed stress risers, and guess where the bars snapped?

For the longest time, I understand that pro's were sticking with alu bars. But I'm seeing more carbon bars being used by pro's now, even on the track. But then the pro's get new equipment every season.

I've used/am using carbon bars, but the last bars I bought were aluminum. I think carbon forks provide more resilience, as does going to a wider tire.

Luis
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Old 11-05-13, 03:40 PM
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Ive got a C&V pair of chromoly Cinelli steel Sprinter's Bars *

Yours .. maybe they are the same bend , same company serving a variety of special velodrome
event, components.

but a Sir Chris Hoy going from 0 to 30 MPH in a half lap would be needing more beef to pull against
where a steady pace ride faster than the competitor other side of the track, for 10,000M

is a whole different specialty set of kit. though may be made superlight. stresses differ.

*not on a bike, so FS
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Old 11-05-13, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
My experience has been that carbon bars make no difference. Carbon bars are made with a wider diameter than traditional aluminum bars, making them just as stiff if not stiffer, although today just about all handlebars come in a 31.8mm center width rather than the older 26.8mm.

Because you tape over the bars, you're now hiding potential damage which could result in sudden catastrophic failure. If you crash on the carbon bars, it might be a good idea to inspect the bare carbon when you retape the bars. But then, aluminum bars could also fail catastrophically. Years ago, I once made the mistake of drilling holes in a set of alu bars so I could run internal brake cables. Of course, the holes formed stress risers, and guess where the bars snapped?

For the longest time, I understand that pro's were sticking with alu bars. But I'm seeing more carbon bars being used by pro's now, even on the track. But then the pro's get new equipment every season.

I've used/am using carbon bars, but the last bars I bought were aluminum. I think carbon forks provide more resilience, as does going to a wider tire.

Luis
Thanks for your viewpoint Luis. By the way thanks for the tip on the San Marcos Regal'E. I've got over 2000 miles on mine and I'm loving it.
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