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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if this has already been posted in here but I thought that this might be of interest in this sub-forum.

The german Bike magazine has tested some carbon parts on their last two issues. The tests consisted of laboratory tests where they try to simulate the forces which the parts are subjected in real life. So far they've tested carbon handlebars and seatposts. On both tests they tested 3 specimen of each model in the laboratory.

Here are the summary's of the test results.

Carbon handlebar test (Bike 10/2008):

On the carbon handlebar test they tested the bars in combination with a stem from the same manufacturer.

FSA K-Force Riser (178 g) = super
Ritchey WCS Carbon Riser (187 g) = super
Specialized S-Works Pro (151 g) = super
Syntace Vector 31.8 (184 g) = super

Easton Monkeylite XC (175 g) = very good

Race Face Next SL Carbon 3/4 Riser (170 g) = good

6th Element Indium X (150 g) = weak
Maxm M1 (112 g) = weak
Progress PG-202 (200 g) = weak
Syncros Bulk CF (204 g) = weak
Titec Pluto Riser Bar (164 g) = weak

6th Element, Maxm and Specialized were straight bars, other riser bars.

Note that Bike has tested aluminium handlebars on laboratory previously and as far as I remember even higher percentage of the aluminium parts broke on that test compared to carbon bar test.

Carbon seatpost test (Bike 11/2008):

FSA K-Force Carbon Lite (350*31.6 mm, 260 g) = super
FSA K-Force Carbon Lite (350**27,2 mm, 232 g) = super
Syntace P6 Carbon (400*31.6 mm, 229 g) = super
Truvativ Team Carbon Double Clamp (350*31.6 mm, 259 g) = super
XLC Composite Pro (350*31.6 mm, 264 g) = super

Race Face Next SL (400*31.6 mm, 255 g) = very good
Ritchey WCS Carbon 1 Bolt (400*31.6 mm, 224 g) = very good
Ritchey WCS Carbon 1 Bolt (350*27.2 mm, 177 g) = very good

Pro Vibe Vollcarbon (400*31.6 mm, 194 g) = good

Easton EC90 Zero (400*31.6 mm, 198 g) = weak
 

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Seeeriously easy Livin
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Did the test provide any numbers? How mush stress did they put on the bars. Easton sure didn't fair too well, I guess I'll check out fsa for my next handlebar. Do you have any of the results from the aluminum test, did they happen to test a thompson post?
 

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Ridin' dirty!
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Yeah, I'd really like to know too!
I had a Monkey lite XC as well and it was the worst POS handlebar I ever had.
I'd rather stick with light weight Alloy parts in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In both tests they tried to simulate the real life stresses to which the parts are subjected. They had measured the forces subjected to the parts with data recording equipment on a test route in Lake Garda in Italy. Then they tried to create a test pattern on a test bench which would simulate the stresses.

They tightened the bolts on the parts in the test bench with 1.5 times the force compared to the manufacturers recommendation to simulate real life situations where many user tighten the bolts too much.

Then they did a huge number of test cycles on each part. On the handlebar test the part had to last 150,000 test cycles with all three specimen to get a Super-result. On the seatpost test the part had to last over 180,000 test cycles for the best result.

In addition they did some kind of a static test for the seatposts where (I think) they subjected the posts to static forces for a while.

On the seatpost test one Easton post broke on the static test and one on the dynamic test after 29,533 test cycles ie. only one of the posts survived the whole test. Therefore the test result was weak.
 

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Portti said:
They tightened the bolts on the parts in the test bench with 1.5 times the force compared to the manufacturers recommendation to simulate real life situations where many user tighten the bolts too much.
This is ridiculous! If the manufacturer specifies a maximum torque, why should you measure at 50% beyond this? The parts were probably partially damaged by this. If a customer is too dum to follow the instructions, then that's his problem. I want to have my part as light as possible, rather than having a 50% tolerance for ham-fistedness.

Ole.
 

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Ole said:
This is ridiculous! If the manufacturer specifies a maximum torque, why should you measure at 50% beyond this? The parts were probably partially damaged by this. If a customer is too dum to follow the instructions, then that's his problem. I want to have my part as light as possible, rather than having a 50% tolerance for ham-fistedness.

Ole.
I agree it's a bit much, but you would be surprised about how many people dont see spending $40-50 for a torque wrench. Out of my 3 riding buddies, I'm the only one with a torque wrench. We all have higher end bikes too. In fact, Im the only one with an Al frame. So, I could see someone over tightening it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
With the overtightening of the components they tried to simulate the fact that most users don't have torque wrenches and they overtighten the bolts very often.

The magazine had a small follow-up article after the first test where they wrote that they had received critisism towards the overtightening when they had presented their test results on the Eurobike. They did however defend their position by stating that overtightening happens quite often and therefore the test was relevant in their opinion.
 

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Agree that it'd be more interesting to see how they do with proper tightening.

I don't know why people over tighten anyway... you want them just tight enough to hold them in place when using. The idea is that if you crash, it's better for the ground to just knock the lever out of position than break it. Well, we did that in mx, when a falling bike is heavy enough to break levers, but it's logical for mtb too.
 

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Legend
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Am I reading this correctly, that they tested the handlebars (say, for example, the FSA) with an FSA stem ... and a RaceFace with a RaceFace stem? If so, that seems pretty much completely odd ... maybe I am just reading it improperly.

The Easton seatpost appears to be disappointing. I am no fan of carbon posts for MTB, but i'd definitely be wary.

I am questioning the credibility of the publication as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ettore said:
Am I reading this correctly, that they tested the handlebars (say, for example, the FSA) with an FSA stem ... and a RaceFace with a RaceFace stem? If so, that seems pretty much completely odd ... maybe I am just reading it improperly....
Yes you are reading it correctly. They tested FSA handlebars with FSA stem etc. I find this very logical however maybe they should have called it a handlebar/stem test instead of just handlebar test.

The magazine has a small article of the handlebar test online. It doesn't contain the test results. The article does however contain explanations on the test methods and a nice video of the test bench and a test cycle. The article can be found here:

http://www.bike-magazin.de/?p=1385
 

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Legend
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I just wonder because everyone I know dislikes Easton stems ... too twisty. It would have been nicer to not use a stem at all or, if anything, use a DH stem or something that is insanely strong. Whatever, it's nice that they're attempting to test things in a remotely scientific manner. However, with the handlebar test, it (to me) merely affirms that the Easton stems are poop ... which I agree with.

Still, the seatpost one seems to be a better test.
 

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The MTB Lab
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At Interbike I did a test and played around with a $300 torque wrench. It is amazing sometimes during my test torque (used various torque and normal wrenches) using this special machine that recorded the actual torque being given to a bolt how bad my over tightening was and how bad most torque wrenches are. It's the micro acceleration just before the torque wrench tells you it reached it's setting that's the culprit.

From my Interbike daily coverage:

I did see a very high tech torque wrench later in the day that is incredibly precise and expensive ($280-350). It was not a click type of wrench but used a sensitive strain gauge and would warn you if you applied to much torque. You can search the internet for the ‘1/4 In Dr Computorq3 Electronic Torque Wrench’. It is made by CDI Torque Products.

Per their blurb “The COMPUTORQ3 Electronic Torque Wrench is a simple to use digital readout wrench that displays real time torque values in any of fourtorque units, ft.lbs., in.lbs., Nm, kg.cm. Simply set the desired torque value and apply force until the green LED illuminates. Great for light industrial, automotive, motorcycle, watercraft and aircraft applications.”
 
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