Do you trust carbon handlebars for gravel?

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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by AJS914

This week I took two giant hits on potholes. One even made my bars slip in my stem. On my mountain bike with suspension these potholes would normally feel like nothing.

To make me feel even worse about my bars I have these super lightweight Deda Supperleggera bars rather than some beefy carbon bar. Maybe a lightweight bar isn't he best for a gravel bike?

And I have to get better at dodging those big potholes in the first place. I just find that I get up to speed and then quickly come across a sea of potholes and there is nowhere to go but straight through.

Any thoughts?

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by nickf

I have a bontrager xxx integrated carbon bar on my dirt/gravel/cx bike. I'm not worried about it nor do I think about it. My bike comes in around 7.4kg with 28 gravel Kings and it holds up to everything I throw at it. Not feather light but better then many of those full carbon disc tanks people are buying at 8+kg. Gotta have eagle eyes on some of these roads. Have a 80 mile (20 miles dirt) ride tomorrow, I try to not be behind anyone when we enter a dirt sector. Some of those dudes just can't pick a line. Look way ahead. Sometimes you just can't avoid it, shift weight to the back and lighten up on the front end.

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by eliflap-scalpel

I am riding a carbon combo

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by Miller

I do trust carbon bars, yes, I have not had any hassles with them. Potholes go with gravel rides. My approach is to try and pick a line round them and unweight the saddle if there's no alternative to crashing through bumps and rocks. If your bike is going to take a big hit it needs to be able to move beneath you.

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by jeanjacques

I asked Ritchey about the choice between carbon WCS and Superlogic handlebar for harsh gravel use. They said no problem with Superlogic one.

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by FIJIGabe

I started using my Bontrager RXL IsoSpeed bars for gravel and CX this year, and no issues (knock on wood). I wouldn't hesitate to use them, if they're quality pieces.
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by AJS914

I have a set of Zipp SL70 aluminum bars in the garage. I may throw those on just for piece of mind. I'm not sure I trust a 180gram bar like the Superleggera.

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by cerro

Am using a Deda Superzero on my winterbike and a Specialized S-Works shallow on my summerbike. Got no problem in trusting in quality carbon bars. But would never buy a cheap Chinese carbon bar
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by fromtrektocolnago

I do. unless you are worried about a crash, carbon is very strong.
an aluminum bar won't add much weight, so if you are concerned no real weight penalty.

i use an aluminum stem though. not sure why
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by Juanmoretime

I have a set of Kestrel carbon bars on mine, not the SL’s. Weighing about 220 grams so not light but they will take abuse including clip on aero bars.

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by jfranci3

Keep in mind that the stem/bar connection and hood clamps are weaker than the bars, so if you hit something those two points will give first before the bars should break.

I'm 85kg using 3T Ergonova Team Carbon. I've hit some potholes so hard the bars rotated in the clamp and the hoods moved. They're superior in comfort vibration/impact comfort to my bikes standard AL bars. I wouldn't have a doubt if I needed to buy another.

Moving from an AL seatpost and AL bars to CF on my Trek Crockett made a very very noticeable ride quality difference; big impacts hurt my body far less and I wouldn't be as sore after the ride. I put the Specialized CG-R post on my bike and it made it very clear how rough the front rode. I then put CF bars on it and the ride was balanced again - not soft, but the harshness of impacts mellowed a touch.

Also, remember that high performance AL parts are every bit as delicate as CF. Both are usually overbuilt to steer clear of failure in the marketplace. CF can flex without giving up service life, AL cannot. If the bars can handle hitting a rock or pothole on road tires, hitting some bumps off road on softer tires should be EASIER on the bars.

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by IrrelevantD

The only bars I've ever broken were aluminum, snapped right at the stem. I replaced them with carbon. So yea, I'd trust them if they were from a good reputable source.
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by Tamu8104

Absolutely, been running carbon bars on my gravel bikes and wouldn’t think twice about doing it again but wouldn’t run boutique ultralight or no name carbon bars.
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by cpark

Yes, I think they are safe.
I only use Enve SES handlebar for all my road/gravel bikes.
I don’t think they are the ightest CF bar out there, but I really like the fit.
The only negative thing is that there is little to no room for any sort of mount, but I use the barfly face plate mount for 3T/Fizik.

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by nickf

I just finished up a 80 mile gravel event last Sunday with no issues from the Bontrager XXX Integrated bars. First time punishing these, my old easton carbon bars never gave me problems either. I was bouncing hard off pot holes when i was chasing the group, can't avoid everything when you doing 27+ on unknown dirt roads.

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