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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on switching to 35mm handlebars/stem because my current setup is too way flexy. I'm running a whisky 7 carbon 740mm bar with 70mm thomson 4x stem on my trail bike. It flexes so much that it took me a while to not be scared riding it. Grabbing a handful of brakes on a downhill throws my weight into the bars and they clearly flex, perhaps even a centimeter deflection. Meanwhile, the 35mm easton havoc setup on my DH bike is 800mm wide and has no perceivable flex. If anything it is too stiff.

With that in mind, i'm hoping that the 35mm raceface next bars will be far less flexible than the 31.8mm whisky 7 bars. They're almost exactly the same weight. Soon we will see... can a 180g bar withstand aggressive riding without flexing?

But I will have to wait to find out. Right now I don't think there are any 70mm long stems available for 35mm bars. However a few were recently announced.

Raceface should be releasing a 35mm version of the turbine stem at some point. There are a few pictures online and it is available for pre-order from a couple shops.

Yesterday at SeaOtter, Easton has announced a 35mm version of their haven stem, hopefully due later this month.

They appear to be about the same weight and lighter than the current 35mm stem offerings. But more importantly, because they're designed for xc or all-mountain use, they will come in lengths longer than 50mm.

They look about the same to me. Whoever gets theirs to market first gets my money!
 

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35mm is far larger than what motocross bikes use, but if you've got horrible flex issues, go for it.

Are you certain it's the stem/bar interface, though? How are you riding, such that you create these levels of flex?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
35m is used in motocross too, but just like bikes, it is less common. Moto uses the original measures rather than the metric conversions: 1", 1-1/4" and 1-3/8". They're less concerned by a quarter pound of weight though. So for them, a heavier 1-1/4" bar is fine.

It's definitely the bars flexing. The whisky carbon bars even flex under pedaling load. Riding a singlespeed puts a ton of torque on the bars with each standing pedal stroke. Pushing down on the right pedal is countered by pulling up with the right hand and pushing down with the left hand. You can see and feel the bars twist with each pedal stroke. With flimsy frames, the entire frame twists too. But for my current setup, just the bars flex.

That kind of flex isn't bad or even perhaps desirable. It is bar flex on gnarly sections of trail that worry me. On steep descents, grabbing the front brake slows the bike and the riders weight is transferred forward through the bars. If the descent is choppy, with holes and drops, the bars bow forward quite a bit when the bike is momentarily held up.

I could be weird, but I sold my old nimble9 to get the new version because the new version is a pound heavier. The old frame flexed too much and I am quite happy with the new one. Both frames are excellent. The old one is lighter and better for sitting and spinning with normal XC riding. The new frame is better for more all mountain type stuff, or even just aggressive XC.

In other words, stiffer bars really are needed. In the past I used downhill bars and happily paid the weight penalty. But as I get older and my toys more expensive, my equipment is getting lighter. It seems I went to far in the weight-weenie direction. This is where 35mm bars and stems come in. They can be lighter yet still strong enough for my preferences. Or at least that is what I hope.

Here's how 800mm wide 35mm bars look on my DH bike:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNdpOp87GuM
Here's how 740mm wide 31.8 bars look on my trail bike:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rgtYKaMlkQ
 

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The old MX standard was 7/8", the new standard is 1 1/8", Harley's run 1" bars.

Check out the Spank Oozy LTD bar. Aluminum, 740mm, 5 or 15mm rise, 210g, 31.8mm clamp, around $80.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've already bought the 35mm bars.

Since I was buying both bars and stem anyway, it made sense to choose the bigger bars which have a better strength to weight ratio.

Edit: check out Easton's exp product family. They're the ones pushing 35mm motorcycle bars.
 

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So now you have bars you can't use, was just trying to give you a simple solution. I see no point in inventing new proprietary components that can't be interchanged when there is no need for them. I am only aware of one set of 1 1/8" dirt bike bars that have been bent, it was a KTM 950 pre running in Baja that went end over end at 70 mph. The guys couldn't find a spare set of bars from anyone since they were considered indestructible.
 

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I'm planning on switching to 35mm handlebars/stem because my current setup is too way flexy. I'm running a whisky 7 carbon 740mm bar with 70mm thomson 4x stem on my trail bike. It flexes so much that it took me a while to not be scared riding it. Grabbing a handful of brakes on a downhill throws my weight into the bars and they clearly flex, perhaps even a centimeter deflection. Meanwhile, the 35mm easton havoc setup on my DH bike is 800mm wide and has no perceivable flex. If anything it is too stiff.

With that in mind, i'm hoping that the 35mm raceface next bars will be far less flexible than the 31.8mm whisky 7 bars. They're almost exactly the same weight. Soon we will see... can a 180g bar withstand aggressive riding without flexing?

But I will have to wait to find out. Right now I don't think there are any 70mm long stems available for 35mm bars. However a few were recently announced.

Raceface should be releasing a 35mm version of the turbine stem at some point. There are a few pictures online and it is available for pre-order from a couple shops.

Yesterday at SeaOtter, Easton has announced a 35mm version of their haven stem, hopefully due later this month.

They appear to be about the same weight and lighter than the current 35mm stem offerings. But more importantly, because they're designed for xc or all-mountain use, they will come in lengths longer than 50mm.

They look about the same to me. Whoever gets theirs to market first gets my money!
I don't believe you.
 

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I'm planning on switching to 35mm handlebars/stem because my current setup is too way flexy. I'm running a whisky 7 carbon 740mm bar with 70mm thomson 4x stem on my trail bike.
Why not try a stiffer 31.8 bar? Renthal, Chromag, even Easton still make bunch of wide and stiff carbon/al bars.

My experience of 35mm Havocs was numb palms and a sore left wrist, there's such a thing as too stiff (I had this problem with 31.8 Chromag bars too, yay for old injuries!).
 

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I've already bought the 35mm bars.
Ha! You're nuts. You could've just bought stiffer bars with a 31.8mm diameter but instead now you've got to buy a stem too. Way to burn that money for no good reason. Sure, "in theory" 35mm bars would be stiffer, but obviously that depends on how they are made and there are plenty of stiff 31.8mm bars out there already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow, there's some negativity in a few of these replies!

Doesn't anyone have any curiosity if it is possible to build lighter stronger bars? If anything you should be encouraging me to experiment and report back. That way you don't have to spend the money while someone else weighs in on if the new diameter makes a worthwhile difference.

Remember when 31.8 bars started coming out? They weren't necessary either. There were plenty of strong, smaller diameter bars on the market. ;)

I'm building a new bike and need another set of bars and stem anyway. Depending on how they work out, they may end up finding a permanent home on my current trail bike or the new fatty.
 

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Wow, there's some negativity in a few of these replies!

Doesn't anyone have any curiosity if it is possible to build lighter stronger bars?
No. What's available in 31.8 is plenty strong, stiff, and light without introducing another new standard that doesn't offer much true advantage.

I'm not negative. I'm a realist.

You'll have to "upgrade" to 40mm in few years if you buy 35mm today.

dfiler said:
The whisky carbon bars even flex under pedaling load.
You're doing it wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well that's just great, some jerk doesn't have any desire for lighter stiffer bars so he belittles another person who does. If every component on my bike can be, let's say, 20% lighter and still a bit stronger, I want that. Who doesn't want a 20% lighter bike? Or maybe in this case it's 10%. With your attitude, we would never know.

Also, if you've ridden single speed and not felt bar flex, you don't pedal very hard and have no business commenting on flex.
 

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I ride a single speed up hills. I run Answer Alumilite bars and have no discernible flex. They are 25.4mm. I guess the laws of physics don't apply to me.

I'm a forward thinker and inventor myself but in this case the gains just don't outweigh the hassle for most of us. There are so few parts available in that category, and most are likely to be DH stuff so there will be no weight savings. Just limited options and no compatibility.

You are going from apparently one of the worst, most flexible bars possible if they are truly deflecting 1/2", to extreme overkill with all the inconveniences associated with it, and skipping over countless useful options in between. It's like finding a .22LR insufficient for deer hunting, so you choose to use a .500 Nitro Express, then complain about lack of ammo availability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There is no criticism of people preferring the existing standard for the obvious reason of liking standards and everything they have to offer.

At the same time, larger bars shouldn't be considered overkill. With carbon bars now becoming common, it wouldn't be surprising to learn that the optimal strength to weight ratio comes from a different diameter than we have historically used. For people who don't mind additional expense and fewer options, 35mm bars are not just reasonable but also preferable.

I can see how it would be contentious if someone were proclaiming that everyone should change. But that's not what is going on. Instead it is just curiosity and theorization that larger diameter bars can be lighter and stronger at the cost of currently being nonstandard.

The race face next bars seem to fit the description. I'm willing to be the guinea pig despite the online ridiculing for running bars that are *gasp* nonstandard.

Edit: if the answer aluminite bars are the ones I see on jenson, they're only 685mm wide so that would explain perceiving little if any flex. Also, they're 325g for that width. The RF next bars are 760mm wide and 180g. Each are decent products but it should be obvious why someone might want to run the next bars.
 

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Well that's just great, some jerk doesn't have any desire for lighter stiffer bars so he belittles another person who does. If every component on my bike can be, let's say, 20% lighter and still a bit stronger, I want that. Who doesn't want a 20% lighter bike? Or maybe in this case it's 10%. With your attitude, we would never know.

Also, if you've ridden single speed and not felt bar flex, you don't pedal very hard and have no business commenting on flex.
I can win state level Cat 1 races against geared riders, so yeah, I'm pretty weak. I'm riding Niner carbon bar with a Thomson stem, and can't say that bar flex has ever been an issue, fwiw.

How have you determined it's not your stem that's flexing, btw? Or the steerer tube on your fork, or the entire front triangle of your bike? By what means did you narrow it down to the bars? I'd love to see a picture of your test fixture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I can win state level Cat 1 races against geared riders, so yeah, I'm pretty weak. I'm riding Niner carbon bar with a Thomson stem, and can't say that bar flex has ever been an issue, fwiw.

How have you determined it's not your stem that's flexing, btw? Or the steerer tube on your fork, or the entire front triangle of your bike? By what means did you narrow it down to the bars? I'd love to see a picture of your test fixture.
It sounds like you're a strong rider. If you don't feel flex though, do you assume it is not possible? That it is impossible for someone else to feel too much flex?

You're right, it could be the stem. I'm running a Thomson 70mm 4x stem. It's not the burliest but also doesn't have the reputation of being weak.

Lol, are you serious about demanding to see a test fixture? I assume not. While you are apparently are a strong rider, it seems that you don't want to really discuss the subject. It seems you're hoping that the frame could be flexing instead merely to win a debate.

You ask how I narrowed it down to the bars? I already replaced my frame because it is wasn't stiff enough. My new nimble9 is one pound heavier and I no longer feel the frame flex. There is probably still some flex, but I no longer feel the bottom bracket wallow sideways when landing a bit crooked or powering though roots. It could still be flexing but it's not enough to distract me while riding.

Put simply, it isn't that crazy to buy bigger diameter handlebars when building a new bike. It honestly surprises me that people are worked up about it.
 

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Really? How stiff do you need? Most feedback I've heard is that 35mm stems are too stiff. There's inherent flex and vibration damping in every material, and you want some unless you ride jackhammers all day. Why on earth would you run carbon bars if you want the stiffest components available? Do you run your tires with 90psi too?

Finally...
Oh sweet! The sixc 35mm bar weighs 10g less than the 31.8mm bar! Weight savings!
Oh wait...the atlas stem in the same length weighs 10g more in 35 than 31.8. Moot.

I'm just not sure this is anything more than an attempt at forced obsolescence, and up until raceface's adoption of it, I was hoping it would die with biopace and the marzocchi direct mount.
 

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You are the one getting worked up about the topic. People are just voicing their opinions because you asked. It just happens in this case they don't jive with yours. It's your cash, do what you want.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Really? How stiff do you need? Most feedback I've heard is that 35mm stems are too stiff. There's inherent flex and vibration damping in every material, and you want some unless you ride jackhammers all day. Why on earth would you run carbon bars if you want the stiffest components available? Do you run your tires with 90psi too?

Finally...
Oh sweet! The sixc 35mm bar weighs 10g less than the 31.8mm bar! Weight savings!
Oh wait...the atlas stem in the same length weighs 10g more in 35 than 31.8. Moot.

I'm just not sure this is anything more than an attempt at forced obsolescence, and up until raceface's adoption of it, I was hoping it would die with biopace and the marzocchi direct mount.
The goal isn't to get the stiffest possible setup. But rather to get a lighter setup without sacrificing stiffness. If everything on the bike can be 10 to 20 percent lighter (or more), many people are interested in that.

The atlas stem is indeed overkill for my needs. That is one of the reasons why I'm waiting on the turbine 35mm stem, or an equivalent from another brand.

There seems to be less interest in lighter stronger components than I had expected. It will be interesting to revive this thread in a few years to see if opinions have changed. To throw a random number out there, it will be interesting to see if having a quarter pound lighter bike is enough to sway consumers to larger diameter bars.
 
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