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Easton Carbon Handlebars(17 posts)

Easton Carbon HandlebarsDog
Mar 14, 2001 5:44 AM
I installed my new Easton carbon handlebars last night, replacing my Prima 199, and went for a short ride.

They look great around the exposed portion, showing the carbon fiber. Matches my bike and seatpost (ok, laugh at me). I weighed them at 184 grams, compared to 207g for the Prima. (laugh again) Very light, indeed.

Several problems, though.

First, with the Record shifters, I have huge lumps under my tape, as the bars have no channels for the brake and derailleur cable housings. I routed them one in front, one in back method. Any better way to conceal them?

Second, the bends are very strange, and don't seem to fit me very well. Either the brakes are too far down to be comfortable riding on the hoods, or too far up to easily reach from the drops. Any solutions? I like the rounder Prima bends much better.

Third, the bars extend forward more than most bars (at least 1cm), meaning you effectively need a shorter stem to maintain the same reach on the hoods or forward part of the drops. Just fyi.

Fourth, the center of the bars got gouged just tightening the stem clamp (Colnago/ITM Millenium). That has me a little concerned, but even more so, I'm really worried about attaching clip-on aerobars. Any thoughts?

Bottom line: I'd probably wouldn't buy these sight-unseen and getting a feel for them, maybe even comparing dimensions with your existing bars. This may be a case where the weight savings is not worth it (blasphemy).

re: Easton Carbon HandlebarsDG
Mar 14, 2001 1:32 PM
I had my apprehensions about Easton and Kestrel carbon handlebars because they don't have the channel to route the cables since I have a campy set-up. I want the Kestrel real bad but not until they design something that will address the problem for campy users.

Doug, it looks like you conducted an expensive experiment. I hope you are able to return/sell it.
Mar 14, 2001 1:56 PM
I've had mine now for a little over a month and almost 1000 miles. It took some time to get used to the bends and the drops, but now they feel great to my hands. At first I felt like I was always sliding forwards on the tops and the drops were strange, but now I really like the drops - even more than the Prima 220s it replaced.

Didn't feel the reach was longer than the TTT, but I ran the levers a little higher on the bar than normal. The ends are pointed towards my rear brake calipers.

You're right to be apprehensive about attaching aerobars. My Syntace clip-ons have scuffed the finish.

Bottom line: As I've said before, the EC90 is about stiffness for an extremely low weight...period. They feel amazingly solid when cranking out of the saddle in the drops or on the tops. Plus there are less issues with aluminum fatiguing after a season. Then again, I view my bike primarily as a tool for racing - the cosmetics are secondary.
re: Easton Carbon HandlebarsTsunami
Mar 14, 2001 2:47 PM

1) I routed both cables in the front, It is a little awkward at first, but I got used to it. I also tried one cable front and one back and that position was very uncomfortable for my palms.

2) I ran into the same problems that you had with positioning of the hoods. I run the hoods up as far as they would go for a more upright postition, but when I do this, the reach to the brake levers is farther when in the drops. With the way I have it setup now, I cannot use the Ergo bend at the drops because I cannot reach the levers if I do, so I have to place my hands (thumb and index finger) at the arc when in the drops if I want to be able to reach the levers, which is kinda uncomfortable. However, the Ergo bend at the top I really like, I use it alot and it gives me a different and more upright position than when I am on the hoods.

3) It's funny you mentioned the reach is longer with these, I noticed that too but thought it was just my imagination.

4) My LBS told me that once you gauge it, or score it, it is very dangerous because carbon fiber is like glass, and it can easily snap/separate where you score it. I was told to be very careful when clamping down and only use a removable face clamp. They also warned me once I score it I cannot take it back, so I was extra careful when I installed it.

5) Overall though, even though the bar is not perfeect I still like it more than the Deda 215's that I had before. I adjusted to the longer reach, and the carbon fiber does seem to dampen the road more. Another plus is I went wider and I like that also. Also carbon does not fatique (from what all you techies tell me), this thing is way light, and they look so cool.

Doug, on the aerobars...bigdave
Mar 15, 2001 6:25 AM
Why not try a thin piece of rubber underneath the mounts? You know, like the rubber that goes under a cyclo computer mount. That should protect the carbon bars nicely, and when sufficiently tight shouldn't slip.

And where there are scratches, just put some clear nail polish over them. In all reality, it's not as good as brand new, but it will help prevent any contaminents from getting in the fibers.

Nail Polish?grz mnky
Mar 15, 2001 3:17 PM
Contaminants in the fibers? Be real, the stuff is locked in an epoxy matrix, and anything that could affect the fibers would have to deal with the epoxy also. What kind of contaminants are you trying to protect against?

It really won't matter and will just make the finish look goofy. Something like Pedro's Bike Lust will work quite well at hiding small scratches. That said I wouldn't put gasoline or other harsh chimcals in contact with the CF bars. I'd save the nail polish for cross dressing. Opps, did I say that?

BTW - I use, abuse, build and repair lots of CF components for wave sailing: boards, masts, booms, fins, etc. The stuff gets absolutely beaten to crap in the surf, rocks and in the back of trucks and vans - yet it still keeps going. Minor surface scratches shouldn't affect it - deep gouges that cut into the fibers are a problem. Although I have numerous components with all sorts of nicks in them - a failure on the water isn't normally as painful as a failure on speed. I assume that the Easton boys have done their home work and have learned much from their carbon MTB bars. Talk about a rough environment and the absence of good nail polish.....
I *knew* you cross-dressed, Grz Mnkybigdave
Mar 15, 2001 3:50 PM
Aw, come on Grz Monkey... admit it... the shaved legs, the nail polish. :-)

As for the nail polish, I had heard that it was good to try and keep the carbon stuff sealed... ok, I know it's not bamboo or something.

I had simplu heard clear nail polish put a coating over it to protect the carbon scratches a bit. If it's not worth the effort, than so be it.

Well, that's what I get for spewing misinformation... thanks for setting me ahem, straight. :-)

Aerobars and other concernsIan
Mar 15, 2001 3:32 PM
Let me address a few of the concerns stated here.

Aerobars, do not use them. There are a couple of reasons. One, they have a gradual taper towards the stem. That taper results in the aerobars not clamping onto the bar evenly. One side of the clamp digs into the bar while the other side barely touches the bar. The other reason is that aerobar clamps vary wildly, even within a particular manufacturers line. Carbon is strong when clamped by a round, uniform clamp, like a stem. But is susceptible to crushing, or scarring the epoxy when not clamped by such a clamp. Most, and I think I would be safe to say all, aerobars use more of a half-moon, sandwich type clamp. These should not be clamped on any carbon. So, Easton's final answer is that there are no aerobars on the market that should used with the EC-90 road bar.

Scratching or gouging. A cosmetic scratch is not a problem. These bars are clear coated and it would be hard to clamp any stem to these bars and not leave a mark. A gouge is a different story. The epoxy is what holds carbon together. If that epoxy is damaged, the integrity of the bars is compromised. And as was suggested about nail polish, don't even think for a minute that will work. If the bars, or any carbon is gouged down to the fiber, discontinue use immediately.

Cable grooves. Well, these bars are already expensive, imagine how much more expensive they would be with these. If it would have even been possible.

Hope that clears things up.

cable routing...dave
Mar 15, 2001 4:56 PM
I've always routed both cables on the front side of the bar. There's a groove in the ergo lever, for this purpose. I use strapping tape to hold the cables tight to the bars. I also place two layers of 1/8" self-adhesive foam around the shift cable, near the brake hood to improve comfort, before I tape the bars. For me, the cable runs under a fold in my palm, so I get little contact with it.

Glad to get a report on these bars. I thought they looked real long in the pictures. Might be good for someone who usually uses a 130 or 140 stem, but would like something shorter.

Also noticed the sharp bend at the top of the drops. Doesn't sound like it works well.

I'm also a C-40 owner, but don't get obsessed with the weight of components. I use 215 or 225 gram bars, speedplays, and Ksyrium wheels. Even at my weight of 138, I know the largest potential weight savings is still on my body. I've been as low as 130, briefly, but can't maintain it for long. That much weight reduction does make a measureable difference when climbing. A few ounces will never be noticed.
re: Easton Carbon Handlebars - Stella*Azzurra????Roger in PA
Mar 16, 2001 2:41 AM
Has anyone tried the Stella*Azzurra Profi Carbo bars?

I understand Navigators is using their Magnesium stem and alloy bars, but at a claimed 180gms these have me interested...

re: Easton Carbon Handlebars - Stella*Azzurra????Phil
Mar 31, 2001 3:25 AM
Bulltek Sports has them listed. Don't know anything else about them, but they do have double grooves in the picture.
eager to get mineDuane Gran
Mar 16, 2001 7:29 AM
I have these bars on order, but my LBS seems to have poor channels with Easton and it is taking a while. I appreciate your info on the bars, and I actually find the length issue to be good news. I have been debating getting a longer stem, so a change in the bar might solve two issues. It is a sweet bar and I can't wait to get mine.
Reason for the wait.Ian
Mar 16, 2001 7:43 AM
Veltec is the United States distributor for Easton Cycling Components. Easton has only shipped two batches of bars to Veltec. The first batch was only 100 bars, not sure about the second. So the shops that got those were the shops that ordered them back in September. Another shipment should be in around the beginning of April and should clear up most backorders. So, don't be to hard on your LBS, there is nothing they can do.

Pulled them off; anyone want to buy them?Dog
Mar 17, 2001 9:57 AM
I rode again on them. I just don't like the bends nor the cable lumps. Back to the Prima 199's.

If anyone wants to buy them, email me. Thanks.

Pulled them off; anyone want to buy them?Skip
Mar 17, 2001 11:57 AM
Are you changing out the SLR too? I'd be interested in that if you are.

Love the SLRDog
Mar 18, 2001 3:22 PM
Just rode a very hard training century today with three 2,000+ foot in the saddle climbs and the SLR was very comfortable. Best saddle I ever had. Couple things I like about it, other than the lightness. First, the surface is smooth, so if you are moving around on it won't bunch up your shorts; that contributes to comfort. Second, the carbon shell flexes a little on hard bumps, sort of a suspension. Best saddle on the planet (for me).

I'm a lot happier with the Prima 199's, though.


Love the SLRSkip
Mar 18, 2001 5:06 PM
Thanks, guess I will have to order one from CC, Excel, etc. then.
BTW, do you have the padded 135 g or the non-padded Evolution 125 g?