31.8 vs 26.0

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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jer
Posts: 558
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

by jer

It is time to retire my prima 199 road bars and I am looking at my other options. It seems that everyone is switching to 31.8mm clamping diameters. The companies all say that this is stiffer and stronger, but I was never aware of the handlebar clamp was a weak link on the bicycle, and I never felt like significant flex was coming from this interface. The 31.8 stuff is all marginally heavier (maybe 25g for bars and stem,) and it means everyone has to buy new stems too. :roll: Are the benefits real or is it marketing?

by Weenie


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cadence90
Posts: 1694
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 1:52 am

by cadence90

Well, you could have bought my Deda Newton bar/stem, but I just sold the stem. I'm actually going the other way, back to 26.0 clamp.

I don't feel the 31.8 bars add that much stiffness, and where I find them a pain in the a** is that my hand position near the stem is compromised. Also, the Deda reach/drop are on the small end. Finally, certain computer mounts, etc. come only in 26.0, so to fit a 31.8 they have to be modified. But, that being said, a ton of pros do ride them....

In all, after riding 26 bars for years, I personally didn't really notice a really postive difference on the oversize stuff. And I'm not keen on the 4-bolt stem. Also, the Deda weights are significantly higher than claimed.

Why not just keep the Prima 199? That's a great bar.
"Gimondi è un eroe umano, che viene sconfitto ma che continua la sua corsa fino a tornare a vincere." - Enrico Ruggeri

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Superlite
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 9:01 pm

by Superlite

In most cases 31.8mm bars are just hype and a marketing gymick at best.

With the advent of carbon bars becoming a standard 31.8mm size is pointless, as carbon is by nature a much stiffer material. The only thing the larger diameter bar does is add weight in both the stem and handle bar.

Unless your using an aluminum bar ( in which you would have "noticable" improvements), or if your a sprinter or just heavy on your bars, oversized is just a good way to add weight to your bike.

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jer
Posts: 558
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

by jer

That’s kind of what i thought would be the case. I imagine pros use 'em because that's what's free. If I stick with 26 then i won't have to mess with modifying my aero bars too.

I'm retiring the primas because they have 3 1/2 good years on them and a few minor spills. After a while I imagine light gauge aluminum will fatigue, yes? Plus the new Easton EC-90 Equipe is clip-on compatible...

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cadence90
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 1:52 am

by cadence90

I'd say if you've got a stem you like, and aerobars, it makes no sense at all to switch.
Check the weight on the EC90 Equipe before giving up on alu, esp. with clip-ons. You might find a better, lighter, less expensive alloy bar.
"Gimondi è un eroe umano, che viene sconfitto ma che continua la sua corsa fino a tornare a vincere." - Enrico Ruggeri

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zoey
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 12:01 am
Location: California
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by zoey

If you are going to replace them then just go with another pair of the 199's.... GREAT BARS!!!

My 46cm pair weighted in at 205g and once trimmed down one inch per side weighed 192g 8)
Cheers,
:lol:

"Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

Click Here to see my Scott CR1.

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asphaltdude
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Location: Holland
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by asphaltdude

I use a 31.8 combo (Modolo CNC stem en cheap but great quality PRO XLT-OS (www.pro-bikegear.com) bar) and I really like it! Really stiff, acceptable weight.
Whow! That's a pretty damn nice garage door!

by Weenie


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