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bikerbert
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had one for two years without any crashes of note, and it seems to be in good shape. I'm concerned about some wear near the stem clamp, but other than that it looks alright. It is a RaceFace Next SL riser.
 

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Natural body armor
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GuruAtma said:
You should replace it every year and give the old one to me ;)
Don't listen to him, just wait until it snaps in two: that's the sign it's time to change it. :p

I replace handlebars on my bikes every 2 years (and that's another reason I don't buy carbon ones, too expensive). May sound too much, still a lot cheaper than dentist...
 

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A picture is worth a thousand words.

A picture would be helpful. "Wear @ the stem clamp", is LIKELY just discoloration of the clearcoat over the carbon fiber itself, and nothing to be too concerned about. I've got carbon bars that are older than yours that I still trust - it's amazingly tough stuff these days. That said, what's your peace of mind worth? If you have any serious doubts, replace the bars.
 

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I broke an aluminum handlebar after not too many years of normal wear and tear. I have even heard of titanium bars breaking. Like JMS said it's all about peice of mind. The aluminum bar just snapped with no warning on the little chute at the bottom of Overgrown that dumps out on Alma Bridge. I survived but my hand went all the way down parallel to my quick release..quite scary.
 

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Carbon fiber components are weakened by exposure to UV rays. So, the older it gets, the more time it spends in the sun, the weaker it gets. If you ride everyday or leave your bike in the sun a lot, I would definitly ditch the old bars.
 

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Birthday Collector
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Good quality CF is amazingly durable and strong. The resins that hold the fibers in matrix can sometimes be affected by UV, but most of the resins in higher-quality products have UV inhibitors in them that keep the sun from weakening the plastic. Deep scratches or cracks appearing near the stem, brake lever clamps, etc... are warning signs, but otherwise they are probably good for a long time. Your call though - the CF bars should outlast Aluminum bars many times over.
 

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Pete Fagerlin said:
What do you base this advice upon?
Years of ownership of many CF components, going back to the early nineties. Many owner's manuals and instruction books have warnings about leaving CF components in the sun.
Maybe ATBScott is more up to date than I am. Hopefully most of the newer products use the UV inhibitors to prevent damage. But if you don't know if your CF component has those inhibitors or not, why risk it?
 

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Here's a novel thought. Ask the manufacturer about the life-span of your bar. Send them photos of the clamp area, tell them if you've ever crashed, let them know your concern. They will be the most qualified to let you know the real details about your bar rather than relying on 20 different "internet" opinions.
 

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Urban Ninja
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I kinda think it depends on your application. My XC, AM bikes all have carbon bars and have several nicks and cuts in em and I'm not too worried. However, on one of my Whistler trips a buddy of mine had a carbon bar on his DH bike. He crashed on our first run on the entry to Dirt Merchant, didn't notice that his bars had got a chunk taken out then kept going. The bar snaps on the next high speed step down. Needless to say it was a real bad crash on his first run of our week long trip. Ever since then I don't run carbon on my DH bike. I guess what I is trying to say is for XC the penalty for bars snapping is likely going to less severe than if you were hitting jumps or bombing down hills all day.
 

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Master of '80s BMX tricks
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Not only application but also brand and size i think would be a factor.
i've got a pair of Forte (performance) 25.4 carbon bars ($50) that have a lot of flex in them and i wouldn't trust them much farther than the first time i dumped the bike. i just retired that bike and the bars are getting donated. when i get around to it.
meanwhile i have 2 bikes with s-works carbon 31.8 bars on them and they are way stiffer. i have alot of faith in the specialized brand and feel pretty confident that, barring accidents or overtightening, they will last a good long while. i'm still going to ask my shop on what they think but my guess is that they will probably agree with me on the subject.
 

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Master of '80s BMX tricks
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w00t! said:
because it's great to see underprivileged kids eat shiz, right? Way to keep 'em in their place.
Touche'
But what should i do with them then?
i can't sell them in good faith and woot!'s right, donating them would be just as bad. tossing them in the garbage doesnt' seem right either.
Anyone got any suggestions?
 

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rsquared28 said:
Years of ownership of many CF components, going back to the early nineties. Many owner's manuals and instruction books have warnings about leaving CF components in the sun.
Maybe ATBScott is more up to date than I am. Hopefully most of the newer products use the UV inhibitors to prevent damage. But if you don't know if your CF component has those inhibitors or not, why risk it?
Your claims are just plain silly to folks that have been using carbon products that have to perform in high UV environments year after year.

So how many of these alleged CF components that you've owned going back to the early nineties have failed due to UV exposure?
 

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ballbuster
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Heh, I've owned 3 of those bars...

Biker_Scout_Sparky said:
Not only application but also brand and size i think would be a factor.
i've got a pair of Forte (performance) 25.4 carbon bars ($50) that have a lot of flex in them and i wouldn't trust them much farther than the first time i dumped the bike. i just retired that bike and the bars are getting donated. when i get around to it.
meanwhile i have 2 bikes with s-works carbon 31.8 bars on them and they are way stiffer. i have alot of faith in the specialized brand and feel pretty confident that, barring accidents or overtightening, they will last a good long while. i'm still going to ask my shop on what they think but my guess is that they will probably agree with me on the subject.
... and the two that I still own are still in service. The third was a flat bar without enough sweep, and I cragislisted it for $20. I think they are pretty good, especially considering the price. The difference in stiffness is probably due as much to being oversized. I had a carbon seatpost fail on me from overtightening, but never a carbon bar. I inspect it from time to time, but never find anything wrong with it.

I expect it to last basically forever... or until it gets trashed in a crash... or I do a bonehead maneuver and overitghten it.
 
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