Carbon bars for the road bike

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  • Carbon bars for the road bike
  • Gary_M
    Member

    Thinking of replacing my aluminium bars on the road bike with carbon. Mainly to do with me replacing the stem so I need* matching collar and cuffs.

    What are the benefits in carbon over ali? From what I’ve read carbon isn’t as stiff, which is why most of the pros still use ali, but carbon bars do seem a fair bit lighter, around 80-100g and I suppose will dull down road buzz. But a carbon stem would do that.

    *I don’t really but I’m funny like that.

    aP
    Member

    I don’t really think there are any significant benefits to carbon bars apart from shinyness. Admittedly my best bike has 3T carbon shallow drop bars which replaced Deda shallow drop aluminium bars which in turn replaced WR Compositi carbon bars.
    If you want them – buy them 8)

    Gary_M
    Member

    I don’t really think there are any significant benefits to carbon bars apart from shinyness

    I think much the same myself to be honest, but if carbon is more flexy then I’d rather have ali, the trade off being the weight difference.

    twohats
    Member

    Major benefit for me was comfort, gets rid of a ton of road buzz.

    Gary_M
    Member

    But doesn’t a carbon stem do that? So I’m thinking carbon stem and seatpost with aluminium bars. Probably zipp.

    andyl
    Member

    I’d sooner use carbon bars with an aluminium stem than a carbon stem and aluminium bars.

    Bars are better suited to carbon and stems are better suited to metal IMO (unless you have a novel carbon stem design and not just a copy of a metal one).

    Carbon bars can also be stiffer than aluminium but still provide good damping of road buzz. You wouldn’t dream of using an alumnium fork would you? But if people want weight reduction then they have to accept some flex.

    aP
    Member

    I may have slightly overdone my road bike – carbon cranks, pedals, seatpost, saddle, rear derraileur, bars, stem, ergos, and hubs…. 😳

    Gary_M
    Member

    I’m fairly sure zipp and enve for example have carbon stems that are a unique design and not just a copy of a metal stem. Thanks for the feedback though.

    boxfish
    Member

    I recently got some Control Tech Carbon Comp bars from Germany at a reduced price. They look a bit bonkers but they definitely mute some of the vibration from the road compared to the alloy bars they replaced. They also have cunning internal routing for that tidy cockpit look. 😀

    It probably varies more from manufactuer to manufacturer than it does material to material.

    I went for matching Ritcheey WCS evocurve bar and 260 stem, both aluminium. Weight wise there’s fek all in it, certainly not 100g. On mine it’s about 30g between comparable ritchey bars.

    My only experience of carbon bars were some bontranger race-x-lite’s. Hated the shape, and the drops just felt vague and wobly, almost to the extend the left hand didn’t feel parralel to the right hand cornering on the drops!

    radoggair
    Member

    carbon over anything alu anyday. Apart from the lightness, the looks, they also are more confortable and very stiff.

    Gary_M
    Member

    Mmm I thought carbon bars weren’t as stiff as aluminium

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    depends how they’re made dunnit.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    they also are more confortable and very stiff.

    + 1

    Mostly about comfort for me, but they make the bike feel more like a single object as well – rather than a collectuion of bits bolted together.

    Hope that makes sense.

    fhendry1
    Member

    I’d sooner use carbon bars with an aluminium stem than a carbon stem and aluminium bars.

    Opposite to nearly every pro then?

    oldgit
    Member

    I prefer alu on the race bike, everything feels wonderfully stiff. Though I have carbon bars and stem on the training bike, these though are as heavy as alu otherwise I found them too flexible.
    I’m not exactly a lightweight pro tour rider though, someone two stone lighter might not twist them.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    A lot of carbon stems are still a bit of a con – essentially a carbon wrap over an aluminium core. Renders most of the advantages carbon might have over aluminium pretty redundant. I got to have the if-carlsberg-did-tours of tours around the F1 McLaren Technology centre a couple of years ago and their take on this sort of component being composite was that it was a waste of time (we were expressing some surprise at the number of CNCed Aluminium components they were still using).

    Premier Icon parkesie
    Subscriber

    Got some carbon bars with the aero flattop purely for the extra hand position and comfort nothing in it weight wise or stiffness that I could tell. Wasn’t an issue with the ritchey alloy bars or the carbons that replaced them.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I’m fairly sure zipp and enve for example have carbon stems that are a unique design and not just a copy of a metal stem.

    And they’re both heavier than a decent alu stem!

    I’ve had several carbon stems, but alu makes more sense IMO. I’d definitely go carbon bar with alu stem rather than the other way around.

    I have to say I like Bontrager stuff, won’t necessarily suit your frame though.

    Roter Stern
    Member

    Although I have carbon bars on all my mountain bikes I have looked into getting carbon bars for the roadie but for the weight factor carbon bars are often heavier than alu and are three times the price. On this alone it has become unjustifiable for me.

    Gary_M
    Member

    Decent carbon bars certainly aren’t heavier – zipp for example have around 100g difference between the carbon and aluminium in favour of carbon. Maybe twice the price.

    I’m leaning towards a full carbon set up.

    toppers3933
    Member

    you could get a good deal on Zipp contour sl trad drop carbon bars at the moment.

    contour sl bar and an sl145 stem weigh 190 and 135g respectively dependant on size. £365 brand new posted email in profile.

    andyl
    Member

    Opposite to nearly every pro then?

    and they don’t have different requirements and obligations?

    esher shore
    Member

    its weight savings really? at a big expense..

    Personally I would save carbon fibre for frame and fork on a road bike

    and keep the aluminium alloy for the bar, stem, seatpost, rims and cranks, but what do I know?

    Gary_M
    Member

    Personally I would save carbon fibre for frame and fork on a road bike

    Well I e already got that, and saddle and cranks.

    Gary_M
    Member

    Thanks for the offer toppers3933 but that’s only a £7 on wiggle price before any vouchers deals they’re doing.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    and keep the aluminium alloy for the bar, stem, seatpost, rims and cranks, but what do I know?

    Not singling you out, but I’m going to bite… why? Carbon seatposts are just about the norm these days on top end bikes. Plenty of advantages to carbon rims too, although I don’t see the point in carbon clinchers really.

    Why cranks? It’s more a function of which brand you go for after all. Shimano or Rotor will be alu, virtually everything else will be carbon, why would carbon be inferior?

    The pro analogy falls down due to the weight limit I mentioned on the other thread, plus their different requirements, different properties in crashes etc.

    I do agree on stems, as I said above, having had several they’re just a bit pointless, either marginally heavier than alu and no stiffer (Ritchey WCS), or stiffer, but far far heavier (Bontrager XXX Lite etc).

    toppers3933
    Member

    fair enough. i am a shop not a private sale. probably should have mentioned that. 😀

    toppers3933
    Member

    im currently running contour sl bars and a service course sl ali stem and it is a great setup. plus the stem is miles cheaper than the carbon version.

    some people dont trust carbon. not entirely sure why. ive seen more failed ali posts and stems than i have carbon.

    moonwrasse
    Member

    I fitted a Williams elan CCS bars and matching stem.
    Saved a shed load of weight. The bars really have quietened down the road buzz compared to my old alloy bars.
    The trade off is they are a bit flexy on the drops. But i only ride on the drops to escape the wind so thats ok.

    http://www.williamscycling.com/lan-CCS_p_87.html

    sputnik
    Member

    Carbon bars every time for me, definitely more comfortable.
    Don’t see the point of carbon stem to bee honest , but mine works for me 🙂

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    carbon bars do seem a fair bit lighter, around 80-100g

    Ooh – I need to know where I get my 100-120g carbon bars?

    carbon over anything alu anyday. Apart from the lightness, the looks, they also are more confortable and very stiff.

    Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant?

    Gary_M
    Member

    Ah that makes a difference toppers3933 although I’m looking at the short n shallow bars.

    Ooh – I need to know where I get my 100-120g carbon bars?

    Not sure what you mean but I’m comparing zipp carbon and aluminium bars where there is a 100g difference.

    Are you saying you’ve got 180g aluminium road bars?

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Ooh – I need to know where I get my 100-120g carbon bars?

    Schmolke TLOs are 130g 😉

    Not sure what you mean but I’m comparing zipp carbon and aluminium bars where there is a 100g difference.

    He has some 200g alu bars, so for carbon ones to be 80-100g lighter they’d need to be 100-120g

    Gary_M
    Member

    Schmolke TLOs are 130g

    And more than twice the price of zipp or enve. Bar, stem and seatpost would be seriously spendy.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Note the winking smiley, was the lightest I could instantly think of.

    Edit: that said they’re on sale for €370, so not that much more than Zipp ones.

    toppers3933
    Member

    i can do 46cm (44cm c-c) shallow drops at a good price but for some reason the other sizes aren’t on offer with supplier. i have the short and shallow and they’re comfy.

    Shibboleth
    Member

    I’ve recently got some carbon 3T ergonova bars. Light as a feather and really stiff laterally for climbing.

    The only ‘flex’ seems to be if you hold both hoods or the extremities of the drops, you can sort of ‘twist’ them fore and aft.

    Feels a bit weird at first, but you soon get used to the fact that this is how they dampen road bumps.

    There’s no noticable flex when honking out of the saddle…

    Also, got to say, the Ergonovas are the nicest profile of any bar I’ve used and I love the flattened aero/ergo section on the tops…

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    I’m an alu bar fan myself, you have to be careful with carbon bars in that a cheap or poorly designed one is often as heavy (or heavier) and more uncomfortable than an alu bar. There’s also the issue of crash damage being difficult to spot (bars tend to take knocks in road crashes), I know someone that had a crash, had the bike checked out after (inc. some bits replaced) and the next ride the original carbon bar snapped when he was on the drops. now you could easily argue that’s the shop’s fault or it would have been the same with an alu bar but I’m not convinced.
    There’s a lot of very good carbon bars out there but there are a lot of shite ones to, buying a carbon bar doesn’t automatically mean you’re getting a better bar than an alu one, you need to do some googling for reviews etc.

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