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Does Carbon Handlebar make sense if....

Feb. 2, 2019, 9:06 p.m.
Posts: 74
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

You have an Aluminum frame? Is there a big difference between carbon and aluminum handlebar to warrant the cost, if so what? I think I'm just going to get another aluminum bar, but wanted to hear about your experience first.

Thanks

Feb. 2, 2019, 9:27 p.m.
Posts: 163
Joined: May 11, 2018

Given most bikes have 6" of travel and large volume tires with 15-23 psi in them, I don't think you would notice a difference except for weight. I suppose some may argue that carbon bars are less cold in the winter although I think most grips mitigate that. The last aluminum bar I had was three stem clamp sizes ago so I really cannot comment on stiffness as it is unfair to the older alloy bars. I would say that if you are trying to find a place to take $100 off the price of your bike, you have found one of the best places. All the arguments for increased stiffness and comfort are more to make people like me feel better for having shelled out so much for mine.

Feb. 2, 2019, 10:11 p.m.
Posts: 878
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

I vote "meh". Less weight & slightly mutes vibration. Sure, you can feel the difference, but not sure it helps in any way.... 

Kind of like carbon in general for mtb I suppose.

On my road bike however I just swapped back to a carbon bar after running aluminum for a few months, the difference is profound. Feels like going from a rigid front end to suspension.

For mtb, I've run both and given a choice I run aluminum. One less thing to think about for me.

Feb. 3, 2019, 10:32 a.m.
Posts: 808
Joined: June 26, 2012

It may be without base since many people run carbon bars without issue, but I don’t trust them. Bars are often in the line of fire, and having bars snap would be pretty terrible. So that is one place I stick with alloy.

Feb. 3, 2019, 10:51 a.m.
Posts: 74
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

Posted by: D_C_

It may be without base since many people run carbon bars without issue, but I don’t trust them. Bars are often in the line of fire, and having bars snap would be pretty terrible. So that is one place I stick with alloy.

I have those same concerns!

Thanks for your input guys, it confirmed the thoughts I was having.

I'll just stick to aluminum. Now I just need to figure out the amount of rise. How do you guys figure that out? Seat close to the same height as bars? What feels right when riding down? 

I currently have 25mm riser handlebars and the seat is about 1½" higher than the handlebars.

Feb. 3, 2019, 11:09 a.m.
Posts: 443
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

no formulas, benchmarks, or rules. only how you feel on the bike. my bikes have low stack and i like to preserve the reach of the frame as much as possible, so i'd rather use fewer spacers, higher rise bars. 40mm on one bike 50 on the other.  i'm tall and older and want a more upright front end.  there's every possible argument in between.  'low for speed and cornering', 'high for steeps', etc,  it's just what you prefer.

Feb. 4, 2019, 10:58 a.m.
Posts: 1310
Joined: July 11, 2014

I got the most benefit out of carbon bars riding in the bike park, made a noticeable difference in hand fatigue (RF SIXC 35). Don't think it makes much of a difference trail riding.

Feb. 4, 2019, 5:18 p.m.
Posts: 2176
Joined: Sept. 5, 2012

I run carbon bars and carbon cranks on my aluminum framed bike. I love the feel of them , helped with my sore hands. I run non-lockon grips as well.

Feb. 4, 2019, 5:50 p.m.
Posts: 627
Joined: March 18, 2017

Using Renthal carb0n bahs on me steel hardtail and me aluminum squish bike. 

Using alloy Renthal on me carb0n DH bike

Feb. 4, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Posts: 74
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

35mm diameter bars seem to be the standard, but I've heard that they are harsher than the 31.8mm diameter. I'm talking about Aluminum.

Anyone have this experience? Is there any difference between the 2 diameters?

Feb. 5, 2019, 9:56 p.m.
Posts: 74
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

Posted by: Endur-Bro

Using Renthal carb0n bahs on me steel hardtail and me aluminum squish bike. 

Using alloy Renthal on me carb0n DH bike

Do you notice a difference between Aluminum and carbon?

Feb. 6, 2019, 5:36 a.m.
Posts: 8
Joined: Dec. 1, 2008

I was considering the same question recently. Decided against carbon. I travel with my bike and that requires removing the handlebars. With carbon bars i would need to bring a torque wrench and carbon paste on every trip. Not being able to ride (confidently) because i forgot the torque wrench would annoy the hell out of me.

The weight savings aren't huge either unless one goes for the super fancy highest end carbon bars with prices to match.

Feb. 6, 2019, 8:59 a.m.
Posts: 1157
Joined: April 25, 2003

I've paid a high price for front-end equipment failure in the past so I replace my fork and handlebar frequently for peace of mind.  The price of carbon bars would prevent me from being able to do that so I go aluminum.

Feb. 6, 2019, 11:31 a.m.
Posts: 74
Joined: Dec. 6, 2017

Posted by: tashi

I've paid a high price for front-end equipment failure in the past so I replace my fork and handlebar frequently for peace of mind.  The price of carbon bars would prevent me from being able to do that so I go aluminum.

That must be quite the story?

Feb. 7, 2019, 9:20 a.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan. 10, 2019

Motorcycles tried bigger bars, and went back to a smaller bar. The general consensus was that the bigger bar allowed the same strength at a lower weight, but the added fatigue riders experienced outweighed any potential weight savings. Tuned flex is a real thing and stiffer stops being better at some point. I think our industry is really embracing that at the moment. I personally have pulled back from 35mm bars, and I'm perfectly happy with my aluminum and carbon bars, though I wonder if that's a placebo.

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