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Old October 1st, 2008, 12:25 PM   #1
Butcher
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Default Handlebars snapped!

I'm licking my wounds today as a result of my using some handlebars I should have tossed out. Years ago I took off an aluminium flat bar as they had a few seasons on them. Instead of throwing them out I've just kept them for some reason. Well the other day I was wondering how a pair of flat bars would feel on one of my bikes so I decided to test it out with this old bar so I had an idea what sweep and length I would be best. Big mistake as the first and only ride resulted in the right side snapping off right at the stem when going through some rough in the middle of a single track down hill. No bending and no warning - they looked perfect.

Now I'm never going to trust aluminum bars again and I definitely don't trust carbon bars. It's steel or Titanium only. Same for Stems as I snapped a Ringle Zooka stem climbing this summer too... The ultra light aluminum stuff from the aftermarket in the 90's was not always up to the task. BTW - I'm a big dude at 6'3" 190, but I know others on this site are as big or bigger.

While hiking out last night I kept thinking...Steel is real!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 6:32 PM   #2
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I'm licking my wounds today as a result of my using some handlebars I should have tossed out. Years ago I took off an aluminium flat bar as they had a few seasons on them. Instead of throwing them out I've just kept them for some reason. Well the other day I was wondering how a pair of flat bars would feel on one of my bikes so I decided to test it out with this old bar so I had an idea what sweep and length I would be best. Big mistake as the first and only ride resulted in the right side snapping off right at the stem when going through some rough in the middle of a single track down hill. No bending and no warning - they looked perfect.

Now I'm never going to trust aluminum bars again and I definitely don't trust carbon bars. It's steel or Titanium only. Same for Stems as I snapped a Ringle Zooka stem climbing this summer too... The ultra light aluminum stuff from the aftermarket in the 90's was not always up to the task. BTW - I'm a big dude at 6'3" 190, but I know others on this site are as big or bigger.

While hiking out last night I kept thinking...Steel is real!
surly torsion bars... if i didn' t like my LP B5 so much i would get the surly.
ah... and tioga t bone stem for me. heavy? no, solid.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 7:49 PM   #3
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surly torsion bars... if i didn' t like my LP B5 so much i would get the surly.
ah... and tioga t bone stem for me. heavy? no, solid.
So the LP bars are OK then? I was wondering about them.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 7:59 PM   #4
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So the LP bars are OK then? I was wondering about them.
they have kevlar interlaced or something which makes it tough. seems it won't snap. plus they are comfortable. i have the B5 on my rigid wicked.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 8:22 PM   #5
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Hmm, good to know. I need a new flat bar for the Yo!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 8:27 PM   #6
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Hmm, good to know. I need a new flat bar for the Yo!
they have 2 models. one is straight carbon and the other has kevlar. slightly ugly w/ kevlar being puke green but it's tough and not too light which feels good.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 11:52 PM   #7
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I've got a White Brother's ti riser bar that I'm going to put on there for now. Very burly for sure! But I'm still looking for a flat bar, thinking Ti, even w/ the Kevlar in the LP I just need the reassurance that I get from the materials, the plastic feel is not confidence inspiring to me.

I've been looking at the Dean web site and their ti bar can be set up any length, any bend. Dean knows how to make sweet ti bikes and the extra vibration damping you get with a ti bar over aluminum is significant. Another company with sweet ti bars is Black Sheep here in Ft.Collins, the one that wraps around on the ends would be sweet on a single speed.

The steel Surly bar would be another bullet proof option. I'm putting the flat bar on my Yo and it's got a ti stem, so a ti bar would be pretty sweet.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 8:56 AM   #8
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Rody makes me one, a ti bar. According to my specs.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 10:03 AM   #9
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hmm. catastrophic failure. I would also check out a bar from Rody. He will take your size into consideration and use appropriate tubing so your bar doesn't feel like a noodle(DEAN). Heel quickly Butcher!
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 1:14 PM   #10
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I've got a White Brother's ti riser bar that I'm going to put on there for now. Very burly for sure! But I'm still looking for a flat bar, thinking Ti, even w/ the Kevlar in the LP I just need the reassurance that I get from the materials, the plastic feel is not confidence inspiring to me.

I've been looking at the Dean web site and their ti bar can be set up any length, any bend. Dean knows how to make sweet ti bikes and the extra vibration damping you get with a ti bar over aluminum is significant. Another company with sweet ti bars is Black Sheep here in Ft.Collins, the one that wraps around on the ends would be sweet on a single speed.

The steel Surly bar would be another bullet proof option. I'm putting the flat bar on my Yo and it's got a ti stem, so a ti bar would be pretty sweet.
I don't know where people get this belief that Ti is indestructable. It absolutely is NOT. Scratch it and it will snap. We saw several broken Ti bars at the shop, and Ti frames with snapped chainstays from sometimes mild chain suck damage. Didn't Jeff Jones rejigger how you clamp his Ti H-bars because he was seeing them come back broken?
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 1:17 PM   #11
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Those bars from Rody look very nice, I'd need a stem with a face plate or a bar combo as those Love bars would not slide through my old school stem. Ti or steel that bar would look awesome with a Yo Eddy Fork - probably the coolest bar for a bike with a Yo or BOI fork i've ever seen. A bar stem combo, one piece set up would be extra light because you'd eliminate the extra mounting hardware and it would be extra strong too for the same reason. The only catch is you better get the specs right the first time.

I can see another eBay sale coming up to raise some funds.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 1:32 PM   #12
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I don't know where people get this belief that Ti is indestructable. It absolutely is NOT. Scratch it and it will snap. We saw several broken Ti bars at the shop, and Ti frames with snapped chainstays from sometimes mild chain suck damage. Didn't Jeff Jones rejigger how you clamp his Ti H-bars because he was seeing them come back broken?
Indestructable (within reason) - That's always been my impression about Ti... based on the press and backing you see from company's putting out the product. I thought that a Ti bar would bend before it snapped off, same as a steel bar. I've done that to a steel bar a long-long time ago on a cheap trek...bent the bars down about 3-4 inches landing huge air - but they did not break and I did not wreck.

Same with scratches - I know carbon bars are extra sensitive to scratches. But I did not think a ti bar would be sensitive to a scratch.

I'd rather go Steel if Ti is as sensitive as you state to stress risers resulting from a scratch. I can get that Surly steel flat bar and never look back.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 8:22 PM   #13
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I'm not saying Ti sucks, I'm just saying it isn't this wonder metal people make it out to be. Gouges and deep scratches can lead to failure. I have seen it. Jeff Jones started selling his bars with a shim so they work with a 31.8 stem because people were screwing up installing the bars and they would snap off. Sounds similar to poorly installed carbon.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 8:26 PM   #14
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I'd rather go Steel if Ti is as sensitive as you state to stress risers resulting from a scratch. I can get that Surly steel flat bar and never look back.
It's called notch sensitivity. It is an issue with all materials, and can vary in Ti depending on alloy and how it is handled in manufacturing.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 8:27 PM   #15
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It also doesnt help that most ti bars are weight weenie pieces that aren't really meant to take abuse or even the torque that bigger riders can put on them. I love ti bars. but I'm a lightweight and have never really broken anything.

Steel has the safest mode of failure of any of the cycling materials.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 10:29 PM   #16
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Yea, most ti bars are built to be very light, but not all. That White Brothers Ti riser bar I have is a 300 gram bar, which is as heavy as the Surly steel flat bar. As such in does not ride like a noodle and even with a scratch or something it would probably never break - even on a DH bike as that was it's design intent. I'd probably just ride that one forever except I would like my hands a little lower when climbing out of the saddle and it's already on a zero rise stem. That and those White Brothers bars were not bent symetrically, which bugs me too - probably why they are not produced anymore.

It's a good thing to know about failed Ti parts, it drives home the lesson that no mater what material your bars are made out of you better keep an eye on them and replace them if they ever become compromised. Just like any bike part I guess, but the cost to your body when/if a part fails should dictate which areas on a bike you try to save weight and which ones you don't.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 3:28 PM   #17
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I never saw a Bontrager 135 or Moots bars ever bend or brake under normal riding conditions. Current way of riding with big drops and full suspension is sure to put a lot more stress on old bars than they ever had or were designed for. The original Fat bar was one of the lightest and best for strength.
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