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bar fatigue life(15 posts)

bar fatigue lifevarmit
Aug 4, 2003 5:06 AM
O no I'm gonna die! Was my first thought as one side of my bar sheared off at the stem, on my road bike. Luckily I had just crested a grade and was only going 16-17 MPH. I managed to keep everyting under control and stop without crashing. Then I walked a ways to a store and had to call my wife to pick me up. The real concern then hit me: 3 miles from this site, in either direction that I would have rode, has a 50 MPH downhill with some serious curves - If the bar had broke there, the result would probably have been really ugly. The root cause of this is my cheapness. This bar was 6 years old and should have been replaced sooner as much as I torque on it on the hills around here. Bar cost- a few dollars vs. possible hospital costs- thousands.

Oh well a Monday morning pointless story.

Not a pointless storyPaulCL
Aug 4, 2003 5:41 AM
A good message.

Personally, I hemmed and hawed whether to replace my seven year old bars. Then my frame cracked and I bought bars with the new bike. My LBS owner chided me for riding seven year old bars. He said with my size (185lbs) and the hills in my area (northern KY) that I had been flirting with disaster for a couple of years. From this point on, I'm switching them out every 3-4 years....'cause I like my teeth, my neck, etc. Its' cheap insurance.
Not a pointless storyvarmit
Aug 4, 2003 6:15 AM
I live in Northern Kentucky also.
Aug 4, 2003 7:00 AM
I rode yesterday from home thru Burlington, to Big Bone, thru Rabbit Hash with a stop at the general store for a drink, then to Petersburg, then home. Around 75 miles.

Where do you live?? I'm trying to organize a group ride for early Sunday mornings, any interest??

Aug 4, 2003 8:32 AM
I live in northern Pendleton County, off of 177. A lot of Sundays I make attempts at racing, but I might make some of your rides. In Pendleton, Bracken, and southern Campbell counties, there are lots of low traffic roads to ride. You just need to watch for dogs.

Shoot me an emailPaulCL
Aug 4, 2003 9:14 AM
I'm at

Through the Cinti cycling club, I've been trying to organize a Sunday AM 75-90 mile ride. I average 18mph+ solo, so I hope a group will be able to exceed that. Even though I offered to lead a CCC ride, I haven't had many takers.

I was in Campbell Co on Friday afternoon. Down 177, crossed at the Visalia bridge, then a right just after the bridge. I did a loop on unknown roads with LOTS of dogs. There is a killer steep hill near the end of the loop. I think I left some muscle tissue on the hill somewhere...

At least three times per year, I'll ride from home to Maysville. I follow 177 until it ends, then get onto 10 which takes me to my destination just short of Maysville. You're right - very few cars and great scenery. I'm riding down that way the second weekend of September and I'm planning to detour over toward Lake Kincaid (sp?) park just to add some miles. I'll bet I'll encounter a few big hills too.

I'm not racing anymore these days - too old (41), too many kids (3), not enough time. Email me and we'll hook up some day. I'm always into finding new lightly traveled routes.


P.S. The above email address is for my home, so I won't be able to respond until evening.
Aug 4, 2003 6:00 AM
brian n "handlebar breaks causing bad crash" 4/30/03 11:51am

This rider was in a full rigid neck brace for nearly 14 weeks. Just got it off.

Second time this monthjtolleson
Aug 4, 2003 7:07 AM
I've heard a bar fracture story. The other was a fellow club rider who had just stood up to power through traffic (yes, this was in town) and it snapped at the stem.

Lucky all in all, he only got stitches no broken bones. But between the mental freakout and the soreness, he still missed Triple By Pass. His bars were likewise 6-7 years old.

I have Easton EC90s and frankly have been giving serious thought to dumping them (carbon) out of paranoia.
Why carbonfiltersweep
Aug 4, 2003 10:28 AM
I have carbon bars... if anything, they should be better than Al for this sort of issue.
Aug 4, 2003 10:51 AM
Well, feel free to educate me away from any hysteria risk. But I've always understood that carbon bars main downside is the risk that when failure comes it can be catastrophic, yadda yadda
Aug 4, 2003 12:05 PM
I could be wrong- so don't trust your life to this info, but my understanding is that if you have any alloy and subject it to continual stresses (effectively bending it) eventually it can weaken and break at the stress points. I just don't see this happening to carbon. I could give you the "I read it somewhere" reference, but I doubt that reassures anyone.

Another analogy is the failures that aluminum forks were subject to, vs. carbon forks (where it is almost unheard of, unless by impact). Good luck even finding an AL fork today.

Do you really see aluminum bars breaking in a non-catastrophic manner? That they will start bending to give you ample warning? I think any failure will be a disaster, regardless of the material.

I will say this: my carbon bar is much stiffer than the aluminum bar it replaced. It leads me to believe that not only is it lighter, but also stronger.
re: bar fatigue lifeboyd2
Aug 4, 2003 8:51 AM
I have a set of bars that are about 9 yrs old, but they do not have any miles on them. I have considered a replacement because of the age, but there have been no fatigue cycles. Opinions on replacement?
Is $40 worth your health?PaulCL
Aug 4, 2003 9:24 AM
Intact teeth?? No broken bones?? Etc.

Buy a new bar. Besides, its' always nice to buy new stuff.
re: bar fatigue lifedotkaye
Aug 4, 2003 9:28 AM
Aluminium does not decay as such.. they should be fine.
I'm riding 14-year-old bars. But they were lightly used for the first 3 years, then not at all for 7. Hasn't been a problem. But now I come to add up all those years, it's probably time.. hem.
re: bar fatigue lifedave woof
Aug 4, 2003 1:02 PM
I crashed on snapped bars a few months ago. They creaked for a few weeks beforeand, I thought it was creak from stem clamp. Whoops. They were aluminum, about 3 years old.

I had Cinelli bars on older bikes I rode for 10+ years, no problems. This new crap (starting 2-3 years ago) is just worthless. I've broken bars, a crank, and levers in just the last 2 years. What happened to durability?