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Handlebar material(13 posts)

Handlebar materialLC
Feb 26, 2002 10:25 AM
What are the advantages of 6061 aluminum vs 7075 for the purpose of handlebars? I see advertising that brags that they have one or the other, but they never explain why it helps me. Also are the newer Easton CF bars really worth it?
re: Handlebar materialxxl
Feb 26, 2002 10:56 AM
The numbers refer to heat-treatments and such given to the aluminum alloys (I'm sure some of the more metallurgically-minded posters can be more specific), and 7075 is supposed to be "stronger" than 6061, but it's sort of like the frame steel debates-it's all good. Seriously, a 6000-series alloy should be plenty strong for you; plenty of pros have used them without incident.

Easton CF bars are really cool, but pretty costly for the actual weight saved. We're talking a couple of ounces. I can't speak to any CF damping making for a better ride, etc., but you never know. If you're swimming in money, what the heck, but it seems to me that the cash would be more effective used elsewhere, e.g., to trim fat off the wheels, buy better shoes, etc.
CF barsdsc
Feb 26, 2002 11:31 AM
I can't speak for the Easton's, but I will give a big thumbs up for the Kestrel's.

And you're right, CF bars are NOT the place to put your money if your concern is trimming grams off your bike.
There are lighter AL bars than mine (220 grams for 42 cm),
but where I notice the difference is in overall (less) hand/shoulder/neck fatigue after about 4 hr's on the bike.

So, depending upon what kind of riding you do, the damping qualities of CF bars can be a big plus - but don't buy them just to try & save weight.

My .02

CF barsJekyll
Feb 26, 2002 5:55 PM
After watching my ride partner snap his Easton CF bar off at the stem (which he probably over tightened) I really have my reservations. Probably just my bugaboo but after watching that bar snap I'll stick to AL.
CF barsdsc
Feb 26, 2002 7:10 PM
I agree that CF bars are not for everyone.

At 5'10", 150 lb., I am bigger than the avg. female, but I don't put nearly the stress on my equipment that a 190-200 lb. male rider might. Plus I don't race, I ride long distances, so taking advantage of CF's damping qualities makes sense for me (and yes, your friend probably did over-tighten his stem).

One other note; those Easton bars are a lot lighter than the Kestrel EMS Pro bars (180 g vs. 220 g), have a limited warranty (5 yrs. vs lifetime) and prohibit the use of clip-on aero bars, where the Pros do not. The things are actually pretty tough; I like 'em and feel safe riding with them.

CF barspmf1
Feb 27, 2002 5:59 AM
Do you notice a big difference? Are they flexy in the drops? What kind of bike are you riding?

I'm thinking about getting a set for my wife. She's had shoulder and wrist injuries in the past that are irritated by long bumpy rides. I'm leaning towards the Kestrel bars because they seem to be tougher. Do they have ergo bends? I think the Easton bars do.
CF barsdsc
Feb 27, 2002 11:49 AM
Hi pmf1,

I ride a 55 cm Lemond Zurich ('99). The bars are mated to a Forgie stem and an Ouzo Pro (1" steerer). When I first got the bike (bought it used), it had Cinelli Eubois (sp?) bars on it. I hated the drops on those bars- too deep for my hands, and the ergo bend made it difficult to reach the levers. By comparison, the drops on the Kestrel's feel much more comfortable. Although they are advertised as having an ergo bend, the look and shape of the drops tend to be more
'classic', and more comfortable for me, as it brings the brake levers closer. The reach is also a bit longer (85 mm) than the Cinelli's, but I was able to set up my levers along the curve for a comfortable position on the bike.

As far as how they feel, I can definitely tell the difference in the ride, vs the Cinelli's. The Kestrels transmit a more 'damp' feel (some might say dead) than do the Al bars. For my style of riding, this is fine. As far as flexiness goes, yes, there is more flex when riding in the drops; even I, an only mildly aggresive rider, can feel that. Again, though, this suits my riding just fine. BTW, I ride the 42 cm width.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the bars; they are tough, comfortable, and as long as you take the normal precautions installing them (check for burrs inside your stem, tighten to mfg. specs, etc.) everything should be just fine.

Also, if you've never dealt with them, Kestrel's customer service is superb.

Thanks ...pmf1
Feb 27, 2002 11:57 AM
Looks like I have the perfect birthday gift for my wife. Might even get a set for myself while I'm at it.

I'm a Kestrel believer. I've had a Kestrel 200 Sci for over 8 years. Its been a great bike (similar ride to my C-40).
How do like their forks?dsc
Feb 27, 2002 12:10 PM
I keep going back and forth on this...

I love the Ouzo Pro, but with a 1" head tube, I am limited as far a spacer height goes. If I ever want to lose the (mild, + 10 degrees) riser stem, I will have to go with a CroMo steerer, and Reynolds is discontinuing their steel-steerer Pro model.

I take it that your Sci has an EMS fork on it. How does it handle? Much flex while cornering, etc?

How do like their forks?pmf1
Feb 27, 2002 12:20 PM
I've got 3 road bikes and they all have carbon forks: Kestrel EMS, Look HSC2, Colnago Star. Its hard to feel any big differences in them. Its pretty subtle. The Colnago and the Look are the extremes. The Colnago corners better (stiffer), but rides harsher than the Look. The Kestrel falls in between. It is a heavier fork and I do use a threaded HS on that bike. Frankly, the difference in the three is not huge.

You can use 2 cm of spacers on a carbon steerer fork. I guess more on one with a steel steerer.
Feb 27, 2002 12:38 PM
I'm not planning on making major changes to my setup anytime soon, just gathering opinions from those in the know. I appreciate your responses.

re: Handlebar materialLC
Feb 26, 2002 12:00 PM
Weight is my last concern as long at they are not over 280g. Are some materials better for crash and fatigue failure? I am beginning to understand all the little differences in shape make the biggest difference. Some of the ergonomic bars seem to put my wrists in a uncomfortable position. I have two ergonomic bars that look similar and are the same width, but one is comfortable and one is not, but it is hard to see differences without actually riding them on a long ride.
re: Handlebar materialJimP
Feb 26, 2002 2:13 PM
If you are planning on using any clip-on aero bars don't go with the CF bars. I talked with Easton about them last year and they said not to use any aero clip-ons and that they were working on something aero but I haven't seen anything yet.