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Stem & bar life(3 posts)

Stem & bar lifevarmit
Nov 13, 2002 5:29 AM
Folks, anyone have any facts/opinions on the safe usable life span of stems and road bars that haven't been crash damaged. I am not paranoid, but I have 5 or 6 years on a couple of bar/stems. A bar failure would be really nasty on a decent and I would hate to die just to save $50 - $60.
Too many variablesKerry
Nov 13, 2002 5:55 PM
Not the least of which is your bar and stem. Stems are much less prone to failure. The longest I have used a bar/stem combo is 16 years/90K miles. Some would have you change your bars every year. My wife, at 125 lbs., has had her TTT Superlegerra bars (ca. 240 gm) for 14 years with no signs of problems. If you're hard on equipment and hit lots of curbs and potholes, then frequent inspection is recommended. There is no rule of thumb on replacement.
Miles will matter more than years ...Allez Rouge
Nov 14, 2002 6:22 AM
... since the bars and stem on a bike that's ridden 2000 miles/year will be subjected to the rider's weight a lot less than a bike that's ridden 5000 miles/year. Next you would need to factor in how much you weigh, and the type of terrain over which you ride. A light rider who spends all his time spinning on the flats with his hands resting lightly on the tops will stress the bars and stem a lot less than a Clydesdale who does a lot of climbing out of the saddle with his hands on the hoods.

If you're hearing creaks and ticking noises that haven't been there in the past, and careful assembly doesn't eliminate them, that might provide a good reason to be concerned.