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Are there CX specific handlebars?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Are there CX specific handlebars?

Old 12-29-14, 04:19 PM
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Alias530
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Are there CX specific handlebars?

Are road bars strong enough for CX usage? Are there CX specific bars?
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Old 12-29-14, 05:04 PM
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Yes and yes.

Salsa's Cowbell handlebar is supposedly CX-specific because of it's flared drops, but I find the flared drops screw up the angle/placement of the hoods, especially if you mount the levers high. IMHO a better choice is a reasonably wide compact-bend road bar.
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Old 12-29-14, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by flargle View Post
Yes and yes.

Salsa's Cowbell handlebar is supposedly CX-specific because of it's flared drops, but I find the flared drops screw up the angle/placement of the hoods, especially if you mount the levers high. IMHO a better choice is a reasonably wide compact-bend road bar.
I should have clarified I was more concerned with the strength aspect. Geometry aside, is there a strength reason I should go for CX-specific? Thanks.
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Old 12-30-14, 12:10 PM
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Just don't use carbon fiber bars and you'll be fine.
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Old 12-30-14, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
Just don't use carbon fiber bars and you'll be fine.
Carbon road bars not strong enough? I was considering carbon actually...
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Old 12-30-14, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
Carbon road bars not strong enough? I was considering carbon actually...
Don't go carbon. They're less strong than aluminum and you can use the money saved on something more worthwhile, like tires or brakes.
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Old 12-30-14, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
Don't go carbon. They're less strong than aluminum and you can use the money saved on something more worthwhile, like tires or brakes.
I'm pretty happy with the bike but it is quite heavy. 21lbs before pedals/bottle cages while my road bike is 15.5lbs before pedals. I got it as a winter beater but the winters here aren't even harsh and I'm finding I'm riding it a lot so I wish I had gotten a nicer bike to begin with.

I'm replacing the wheelset and the handlebar is a full pound so that's an easy place to save weight. The crank is 800g and the fork is 775g. Some opportunity for savings there but there aren't many options for cranks on a BB386 bottom bracket and a good full carbon fork isn't cheap.
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Old 12-30-14, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
a good full carbon fork isn't cheap.
The Spot Brand CX Fork is pretty good, and not too expensive (<$400) assuming you're using disc brakes.

Seriously, for as often as we go down on CX bikes, carbon bars are a bad idea. But it's your money.
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Old 12-30-14, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
The Spot Brand CX Fork is pretty good, and not too expensive (<$400) assuming you're using disc brakes.

Seriously, for as often as we go down on CX bikes, carbon bars are a bad idea. But it's your money.
Yeah that's a good point. I have carbon bars on my MTB but due to less materials it's a lot cheaper to get a carbon MTB bar. My aluminum choice is the Bontrager Race Lite VR... $90 for ~230grams. I don't want to break it if it's too light duty for cross though.

I was looking at the ENVE fork at about $500. Ease of resale would be enough to get me to pony up the extra cash up front. The Spot fork looks nice though.
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Old 12-30-14, 12:53 PM
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I think I can run GXP cranks with an adapter. It was looking like there were only two options for BB386... the FSA Gossamer (what I have--heavy as a pig) or the FSA SL-K at 200g less but over $500.

If I can run GXP cranks I can run a SRAM CX1 crank that is 300g less and only $200
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Old 12-30-14, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by flargle View Post
Yes and yes.

Salsa's Cowbell handlebar is supposedly CX-specific because of it's flared drops, but I find the flared drops screw up the angle/placement of the hoods, especially if you mount the levers high. IMHO a better choice is a reasonably wide compact-bend road bar.
Not for me. I have the Cowbells on my Merckx.

Hot set up, no issues whatsoever.

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Old 12-31-14, 02:53 PM
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If you want carbon bars how about the Thomson KFC which is Katie Compton's signature model? Personally I lean toward the Salsa Cowbell for the flared drops.
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Old 12-31-14, 02:58 PM
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I think I decided I don't want to spend 2-3x as much for maybe 20g of savings.

I'm looking at the Bontrager Race Lite VR, which is in the road bike section. $90 for 230g seems reasonable. Is this going to be too light duty or will this work?
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Old 12-31-14, 07:43 PM
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Race On the Brifter Hoods All the time?
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Old 12-31-14, 07:58 PM
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Ya I probably don't even have 5 miles in the drops, road or cross. ALWAYS the hoods
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