Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
The Dude Abides
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking about buying a carbon handle bar for my Enduro, but wanted to get some input from people who already have them.

What brand, whether it's an "XC" or "DH" bar, whether or not you've ever had any fail, and any other info/insights that might be useful.

Thanks a lot,
Eric
 

·
Custom User Title
Joined
·
1,282 Posts
I use the Monkey light XC because it is thicker than the SL and not as heavy as the DH. Other people swear by the FSA bars and others will not touch a carbon bar.

My experience with the monkey is 2.5 years then broke the frame and broke the Z1FR SL. New frame and fork and 1.5 years the same bar is still going strong.

I am considering replacing it soon. If and when I do another carbon bar will be put on.

On another note I wouldn't use another carbon post on my rig. Had one and it didn't last.


Yea I can't figure it out either.
 

·
Life is Good
Joined
·
1,494 Posts
I use a Race Face Next carbon riser. I put it on just over a year ago and its still going strong. I really really love it, I'd never go back to an aluminum bar. I recently took everything off of the bar to inspect for damage and theres not a mark :)

I'd recommend it! The titanium "anti-crush" zone where the stem clamps to the bar adds a little bit of security, for me at least.

 

·
Desert Saildier
Joined
·
52 Posts
I am running a Performance Forte XC carbon riser bar. The bar is a little wide for an XC bar, but it is just fine on my current setup. It is reinforced on the ends unlike my old Easton CT2 carbon flat bar that I ran a few years back. About the only issue that I have with my Forte bar is that I can't run a pair of the Brooklyn Machine Works Pimp caps on my bar ends because the set screws would damage the bar. I have them on my singlespeed and they don't damage the titanium bar that I have on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,624 Posts
Most people will tell you how wonderful their carbon bar is - unless it actually broke of course! I suggest you read the reviews section of this website to get the bigger picture. There are a worrying number of broken carbon bar stories. Enough to keep me firmly on an aluminium EA70 monkeybar for total peace of mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
xc vs dh

I was completely happy with a Easton Monkeylite XC for well over a year of abusive treatment. I used a new Race Face Deus stem and damaged it within a few rides. The wimpy stem has inadequate clamping faces and a narrow overall width, which I think are larrgely responsible for the problem. It never broke, but made popping noises and showed some tiny bubble delams under the clamp area.

I've since switched to a FSA Kforce downhill bar and am very happy with it so far. The wall thickness is WAY more than the Easton, and it still doesn't weigh very much.

I like the feel of the carbon bars too much to give it up completely
 

·
Custom User Title
Joined
·
1,282 Posts
I also think it has a lot to do with your riding abilities and terrain. When I started out I broke a couple of aluminum bars, mind you that was in the late 80's early 90's.

I am fairly light on the front end and use my fork to do most of the work. As for alum? I run a RF Diabolus on my DH/FR bike. I don't think it makes me feel any better to not have carbon but its on there none the less.

I do like the way the carbon takes the high frequency vibrations out of the ride though.
 

·
noMAD man
Joined
·
12,220 Posts
I use a Monkeylite XC on my Nomad and an Answer Protaper carbon on a Bullit. The extent of my drops is generally about 3-4 feet. I'm more concerned with durability in downhill rock gardens and ledges at speed where I get the most bottoming. I've had no problem with either bar. That vibration damping quality in carbon bars mentioned here is the real deal...very nice on long rides.
 

·
The Dude Abides
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks

now this is what these forums are all about!

Thanks for the different insights and stories. I'm not sure whether I'll go carbon or not (money is tight), but this has been very enlightening.

Thanks again!

Peace, and happy riding. :thumbsup:

Eric
 

·
Oh, So Interesting!
Joined
·
5,801 Posts
Use a torque wrench to install. Overtorqued stem = CRACK!!! ---Broken Carbon Bar

The crush zone reinforcement on the race face seems like a great idea.

Carbon is stronger at the same weight, and actually takes crashes better than metal, too.

I'd run a carbon bar, but don't want to spend the $$$
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,624 Posts
davec113 said:
Carbon is stronger at the same weight, and actually takes crashes better than metal, too.
With all due respect, carbon does not take crashes better than metal. It can be made stiffer for the same weight (or lighter for the same stiffness) but during a crash it will fail catastrophically rather than yield and bend out of shape first.
 

·
Oh, So Interesting!
Joined
·
5,801 Posts
uktrailmonster said:
With all due respect, carbon does not take crashes better than metal. It can be made stiffer for the same weight (or lighter for the same stiffness) but during a crash it will fail catastrophically rather than yield and bend out of shape first.
Easton states their cf riser bar has the highest impact strength of ANY riser bar. It's not just my opinion... They actually yield elastically quite a bit (vibration absorbtion), but there is no plastic region where permanent deformation occurs. It takes a lot more to break a cf bar than a 7000 series Alum Bar, so in the instances where cf bars fracture, you can bet an alum bar would have failed as well.

7000 series Aluminum does NOT yield much at all before it fractures (elastic or plastic), and it will fail at significantly lower forces than cf. It is stronger than 6000 series, but more brittle

6000 series will yield more before fracture, but will generally start yielding at lower forces than 7000, 6000 is used because it is inexpensive and easily welded, which is why most frames are made out of it. It is not considered a high strength alloy.

Some bars are made of 2000 series Alum. My Deity bars are made of 2014, but weigh 325g, maybe 50g more than a 7000 series bar needs to be to have the same yield stregnth. This is because these bars will bend A LOT compared to others before fracture. So, I have an extra 50g on my bike because I wanted bars that will bend before they break. They are a dh bar, so it'll still take a lot to bend them. This alloy is a lot stronger than 6061, and is commonly use for Aircraft Frames.

Tensile strenght of 6061 is about 115 MPa, cf ranges from about 250 - 350 Mpa, both are forces required to fracture the material, however plastic yielding (bending) occurs at only 48 MPa for 6061. 2014 and 7075 take about 1/3 more force to bend, 7075 is a bit stronger than 2014.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,624 Posts
davec113 said:
Easton states their cf riser bar has the highest impact strength of ANY riser bar. It's not just my opinion... They actually yield elastically quite a bit (vibration absorbtion), but there is no plastic region where permanent deformation occurs. It takes a lot more to break a cf bar than a 7000 series Alum Bar, so in the instances where cf bars fracture, you can bet an alum bar would have failed as well.

7000 series Aluminum does NOT yield much at all before it fractures (elastic or plastic), and it will fail at significantly lower forces than cf. It is stronger than 6000 series, but more brittle

6000 series will yield more before fracture, but will generally start yielding at lower forces than 7000, 6000 is used because it is inexpensive and easily welded, which is why most frames are made out of it. It is not considered a high strength alloy.

Some bars are made of 2000 series Alum. My Deity bars are made of 2014, but weigh 325g, maybe 50g more than a 7000 series bar needs to be to have the same yield stregnth. This is because these bars will bend A LOT compared to others before fracture. So, I have an extra 50g on my bike because I wanted bars that will bend before they break. They are a dh bar, so it'll still take a lot to bend them. This alloy is a lot stronger than 6061, and is commonly use for Aircraft Frames.

Tensile strenght of 6061 is about 115 MPa, cf ranges from about 250 - 350 Mpa, both are forces required to fracture the material, however plastic yielding (bending) occurs at only 48 MPa for 6061. 2014 and 7075 take about 1/3 more force to bend, 7075 is a bit stronger than 2014.
Well, none of that fits in with my experience of using carbon wishbones on race car suspensions. Although I would admit that most of my comparisons have been against steel or titanium versions, which both fare much better in crashes and general fatigue life than carbon.

I use an Easton EA70 monkey riser (41 reviews here, 0 broken). Compare that with the Easton Monkey lite (42 reviews, 9 broken). All for 100g.
 

·
I already rode that
Joined
·
1,632 Posts
I still have my Monkey Lite after 4 years and yes I would buy another without flinching! er ok maybe at the price but it is well worth it. Unless like others pointed out if you dont know your own strength and totally reef on the allen keys when installing it (or a bike shop mechanic) or put a 4 bolt on with 1 side closer then the other.

Plus hearing about something breaking and someone posting about it online doesnt mean it is crap. You do hear the complaints more then anyone actually saying they are satisfied with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,624 Posts
SuperNewb said:
Plus hearing about something breaking and someone posting about it online doesnt mean it is crap. You do hear the complaints more then anyone actually saying they are satisfied with it.
Exactly, that's why I went for the EA70 because nobody has posted a review saying it broke on them. You can't say the same for the carbon bars. Obviously if you rode one for 4 years with no issues you're going to be happy. Hope your next one lasts as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
I've been running an '04 Easton Monkey Lite XC for a couple seasons with no problems on my XC/trail bike. The shock absorbtion seems better than my old aluminum bar and is better for winter riding (less cold on the hands).

From what I've read, most carbon bars break from stress risers caused by incorrect tightening or use after some impact damage where it should've been replaced. At any rate, I'm going with a new Easton CNT for the improved strength in the clamping areas... and will use a torque wrench, religiously. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,624 Posts
sus13 said:
I've been running an '04 Easton Monkey Lite XC for a couple seasons with no problems on my XC/trail bike. The shock absorbtion seems better than my old aluminum bar and is better for winter riding (less cold on the hands).

From what I've read, most carbon bars break from stress risers caused by incorrect tightening or use after some impact damage where it should've been replaced. At any rate, I'm going with a new Easton CNT for the improved strength in the clamping areas... and will use a torque wrench, religiously. :D
I think that's fair comment. Despite my posts, I'm not totally against carbon bars. My wife uses one for a start (Race Face low riser). But then she weighs 110 lbs and doesn't do any jumps or drops. She doesn't race either, but she does benefit from a light bike at her weight. I was also very careful installing it on her bike i.e using torque wrench, checking for burrs on all the clamps etc. I'll also replace it immediately if she has a heavy crash on it, even if it appears fine. I'll replace it anyway after 3 years normal use.

I weigh 190 lbs, ride more aggressively and prefer the insurance of a slightly heavier quality aluminium bar. I'm not racing afterall and 100g makes no difference to me. A good pair of gloves helps with vibration too, so that's never been an issue. So I've been using an Easton EA70 riser for the last 2 years and it's stood up very well to a couple of big crashes. I'll probably replace it next year to be on the safe side. I know only too well from my work that everything has a finite fatigue life and will break eventually. You never know how far you've eaten into the fatigue life of your bar. You might be only one crash or impact load away from failure!

When some people say that carbon bars are actually inherently safer than aluminium bars, I disagree totally. When people say they've been using the same carbon bar for a decade, they're either not riding much or skating on very thin ice!

At the end it comes down to risk assessment and whether or not you think the weight saving etc is worth the small risk. For my wife it's worth it, for me it isn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
I've had good luck with FSA Gravity Carbon Riserbars (formerly FSA K-Force Carbon DH Riser). They weigh 220g (230g claimed) at 31.8 and 710mm wide. They are DH rated, yet very light. They've seen pretty tough abuse so far with no ill effects.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top