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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks--

I'd like to see some discussion about steel handlebars and rigid set ups.

I am running a Singular rigid fork (Reynolds 520). 28mm wide rim, and a 2.3 Exiwolf tire. About 25-30 PSI. I currently use Salsa aluminum bars, and am intigued by the possibility that Surly steel bars might offer a little more cushin' for the pushin'.

I run Ergon GR2 grips.

What are your thoughts on the Surly bar (or even other steel bars). Is it a similar difference as an aluminum frame vs. a steel frame? Steel is more compliant and heavier. Aluminum is stiffer and harsher and lighter. I DO NOT want krabon fiber bars. Thanks!
 

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I don't huck.
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2,543 Posts
What makes you say that steel would be more compliant? It depends on the way the material is used IMO.

In any case, I tried some of the alt bars, the Groovy Luv bars, in steel. Really neat in many ways (I did not keep them on the bike) but the ride was way harsher than the carbon XC Easton bars I use.

Heavy too.

EDIT: Oh, I see what you were saying...I misread it. I think that a steel bar could be a nice ride, but I am not sure if it works out that way...it did not for me. Ti bars seem like they would be killer for a rigid front bike...save your pennies.
 

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Needed Less ~ Did More
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celluloid hero said:
If you want compliant then why not buy titanium bars?
...Or let some air out of your front tyre and send me the $$$?

SSP
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A little more info...

Ti would be nice, but I am not in to spending that much cash on a handlebar. Convince me that it is better...then I'll get serious about Ti.

I can run lower pressure, but I am running tubes. I don't like tubeless. I'll keep my money and run the pressure I currently run.

I think steel bikes ride nicely. I'm thinking that the qualities that I like in a steel frame would be present in steel bars, too. Correct? I know that steel is heavier...but I am willing to overlook weight if it makes a noticeable difference in ride quality over my current aluminum bar.

Thanks.
 

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The Human Arrow
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Sorry to give you the $$ nudge... but I'd go Ti. It gives you the best characteristics of carbon and steel with the confidence you'll need and want on a full rigid build.
Don't skimp on your contact points -- Seat, shoes/pedals,grips/bars. They can make all the difference in the world.

YMMV,
Denis
 

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So is your face
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badgermtb said:
Ti would be nice, but I am not in to spending that much cash on a handlebar. Convince me that it is better...then I'll get serious about Ti.

I can run lower pressure, but I am running tubes. I don't like tubeless. I'll keep my money and run the pressure I currently run.

I think steel bikes ride nicely. I'm thinking that the qualities that I like in a steel frame would be present in steel bars, too. Correct? I know that steel is heavier...but I am willing to overlook weight if it makes a noticeable difference in ride quality over my current aluminum bar.

Thanks.
I've never used steel handlebars before so I can't really say anything about them. I've had titanium bars on two different rigid steel bikes and I like how forgiving they are, in that they soak up trail chatter and flex just enough. Granted, don't expect them to feel like a suspension fork, but they do take quite a bit of the edge off. And, yes the one drawback is obviously price.
 

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My brother is running the Surly bar with Ergons on his rigid El Mar and loves them. His front end feels a bit more substantial than mine with carbon bars and fork but his is also funning a larger volume tire so who knows. It doesn't mean better but feels more solid I think partly due to the weight vs carbon on some rougher terrain.
 

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Abby Normal
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534 Posts
The Surly Torsion bar is nice - I've got that + Ergon grips on my KM and it's a comfy setup. Given how wide they are they seem to have enough give / flex to soak up some vibes. I've never ridden with Ti bars, but a KM is bit too ghetto for Ti bars in any case ;-)
 

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badgermtb said:
Ti would be nice, but I am not in to spending that much cash on a handlebar. Convince me that it is better...then I'll get serious about Ti.

I can run lower pressure, but I am running tubes. I don't like tubeless. I'll keep my money and run the pressure I currently run.

I think steel bikes ride nicely. I'm thinking that the qualities that I like in a steel frame would be present in steel bars, too. Correct? I know that steel is heavier...but I am willing to overlook weight if it makes a noticeable difference in ride quality over my current aluminum bar.

Thanks.

The trick is with steel is the wall thickness vs the length of the tube used. Handlebars are 23-28" wide. To get the kind of "softness" out of steel, I think the walls would have to be pretty thin on such a short span. And if they are thin, I would be concerned about clamping pressure and possibly bending them in a crash. ???? don't know??

Jeff Jones recommends using a shim so that the clamp doesn't directly interface with the bar, possibly causing damage. So even Ti bars suffer from the same probability of steel because of wall thickness.
 

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anyone else smell that?
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i've got some steel mary bars. they are the least compliant bars i've ever used.
 

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Expert Crasher
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I much prefer a stiff control setup - too much flex and you can get a vague feeling (i.e. former use of a Ritchey 4axis and Easton EC70 - lots of twist). I get some compliance through my 2.4 Ardent (tubed) at 20 psi. Alt bars come in to play here too since the sweep of these facilitate riding loose IMO.

<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/cRCxLwXeiCKgWGRc4Geh_Q?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_2W6rELw9q40/SmJuVZWIIKI/AAAAAAAADZc/e52aOkNXZo0/s800/updated%20grips.JPG" /></a>

Ti has it's place though (even on a Karate Monkey ;)).....I wish I would have picked up a Ti seatpost much sooner!
<a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/LAV0H89IPf-xiC34Z-1xbg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_2W6rELw9q40/S6SkrszxenI/AAAAAAAAD4Y/6y9Baw_0mFg/s800/IMG_6041.JPG" /></a>
 
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