Bar-Stem combo: alloy or carbon?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
MiddMan
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:54 pm

by MiddMan

I'm not really a sprinter, but I am same weight and height as Marcel Kittel. A few kilos heavier in fact and a few cm taller. Anyway, I'm looking at either Deda RHM or 3T, though I'm open to other ideas or setups. Obviously alloy would save me money, but what about stiffness?

Let's be realistic: I'm not throwing my bike around putting out 1000 watts... but as a tall and 90kg rider, even low wattage will cause more stress than lighter riders. So:

Stick with all alloy and save money, or do alloy bar and carbon stem combination? (Or vice versa?)

Prefer a flat resting position at hoods hence interest in the above mentioned (and, I admit, trying to keep it all Italian), but other suggestions are welcome too.

by Weenie


charlieboy52000
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:43 am

by charlieboy52000

MiddMan wrote:I'm not really a sprinter, but I am same weight and height as Marcel Kittel. A few kilos heavier in fact and a few cm taller. Anyway, I'm looking at either Deda RHM or 3T, though I'm open to other ideas or setups. Obviously alloy would save me money, but what about stiffness?

Let's be realistic: I'm not throwing my bike around putting out 1000 watts... but as a tall and 90kg rider, even low wattage will cause more stress than lighter riders. So:

Stick with all alloy and save money, or do alloy bar and carbon stem combination? (Or vice versa?)

Prefer a flat resting position at hoods hence interest in the above mentioned (and, I admit, trying to keep it all Italian), but other suggestions are welcome too.


I have Thomson carbon and Easton EC90sl stem with a 3t funda pro.
If you have the money do carbon all around in te cockpit. If you don't save it and do it. I will never find back to aluminum bars and stems. The road buzz is 70-80% reduced. It feels like a Cadillac vs my old aluminum set up.
I'm 5.11. 200lbs


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MiddMan
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:54 pm

by MiddMan

Thanks @charlieboy52000 and that's a really good point: carbon cockpit eliminating road buzz is a HUGE plus to me and worth the extra investment, since I find that for me my fatigue on long rides is caused more by road buzz than it is by tired muscles.

charlieboy52000
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:43 am

by charlieboy52000

MiddMan wrote:Thanks @charlieboy52000 and that's a really good point: carbon cockpit eliminating road buzz is a HUGE plus to me and worth the extra investment, since I find that for me my fatigue on long rides is caused more by road buzz than it is by tired muscles.


Yep big impact on that. If you are a big guy I commend the Easton ec90sl. I have had it for over 5 years and still going strong. As a matter of fact I just bought another for another build.
I went with Thomson handle bars because they are made of a whole carbon piece. I have seen many carbon bars break at the joints. I have got mine in two fall. One of those the bar cracked the frame. Bar is still going on.
I bought another a couple days ago for my new build.
Good luck


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ODC
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:40 am

by ODC

The past 2 years i ride with Zipp sprint SL carbon stem and Zipp SL 88 alloy handlebar.
In the past i had a opposite combination, a 3T stem and an carbon 3T rutondo handblebar. The bad roads in Belgium have broken the carbon handlebar while riding with a heavy fall as a result
So for me: carbon stem YES, carbon handlebar NO
Maybe i had bad luck but i'm scared like shit to make a same crash like then. I know there are a couple of pro's, like Greg Van Avermaet, that ride with a carbon handlebar.

jever98
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:02 pm

by jever98

I am 2m, 88kg, and ride a Deda Superleggera alloy stem and carbon bar without problems.
----
No longer in the industry

hannawald
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:28 pm

by hannawald

Saving money with alloy stem is a safe bet, carbon has very limited advantage with stem, if any..
With bars, go with carbon, if you can afford and don´t fall..because in case of falling, you should change them. The gain is better weight and comfort with carbon.

Shimano Pro bars and stems are known for their stiffness...not italian but they may match your gears so no harm in terms of cleanliness:)

jemima
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:36 am
Location: Perth

by jemima


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rossjm11
Posts: 171
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:09 pm

by rossjm11

I am a decent sprinter, and a Zipp Sprint stem with a Pro Vibe Carbon bar are perfect for me. Flex is minimum, plus it is a good looking combo
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3Pio
Posts: 884
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

ODC wrote:The past 2 years i ride with Zipp sprint SL carbon stem and Zipp SL 88 alloy handlebar.
In the past i had a opposite combination, a 3T stem and an carbon 3T rutondo handblebar. The bad roads in Belgium have broken the carbon handlebar while riding with a heavy fall as a result
So for me: carbon stem YES, carbon handlebar NO
Maybe i had bad luck but i'm scared like shit to make a same crash like then. I know there are a couple of pro's, like Greg Van Avermaet, that ride with a carbon handlebar.


Hmm.. Very strange for handlebar to be broken like that. U was the first owner of that handlebar or u bought it second hand?

And any history of crashing with the bike who had that handlebar? And how the breakage happend? I hit the pothole, or in the middle of the ride without any reason?

I was riding alloy handlebars and here very bad roads as well, so on long rides i feel road buzz and imperfection on my arms, and that was making me more tired. Switched to Carbon Handlebar, much much better.. Smooth. Also i got stiffer front end, since my EC90SLX3 is stiffer then Zipp Service Course SL-80 which replaced. I have about 4500 km since i installed (few months ago), hit few times very big potholes, road imperfections.. No problems for now...

Using alloy stem (Fizik Cyrano R1 110mm), since can not see any gain with Carbon stems.. Weight is even more, much more expensive..

topflightpro
Posts: 828
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:35 am

by topflightpro

I've done aluminum and carbon bars. I really haven't noticed a difference in road buzz.

I've also had mixed results regarding stiffness. The FSA K-Wing I had was the least stiff bar I've every used. My Easton EC70 Aero bars seem about as stiff than my Deda Zero 100s.

For weight savings, carbon bars will save you grams over aluminum, but most carbon stems are heavier than the aluminum versions.

I don't think carbon bars are as fragile as some have suggested. I've been running an Easton EC90 flat bar on my mountain bike for 12 years now. It's been crashed plenty, without issue.

Carbon does offer the benefit of improved shaping and cable routing. So, if that is something you are after, carbon would be nice.

Really, I think it mostly comes down to your budget. If you can afford a nice set of carbon bars, go for it. If stiffness is what you are after, you can find aluminum bars that will offer what you are looking for. The big carbon stems, however, tend to be the stiffest options.

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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

Carbon.
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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

Have always used carbon bars and have rows of stems. From alu to carbon. Beefy and super light.
Anyway, the stiffest combo i have used is Pro Sprint stem and Salsa Cowbell 2. That's an aluminium bar.
This a very stiff combo. I just tried another beefy alu stem (MSC 175 gram), but the Pro stem is much stiffer.
I can easily say that all other carbon bars i have used are way more forgiving.
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kgt
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by kgt

A good carbon bar is a big upgrade in comparison to an alu one. The stem not so much but carbon stems are much sexier than alu ones.

by Weenie


MiddMan
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:54 pm

by MiddMan

Thanks all, this is super helpful!

I'm leaning toward 3T Ergonova Carbon for the bars, to use with my Campy levers. I have big hands so would like the egg shaped, or else double-wrap. @Jemima thanks sir for that link, and I will look at some of the Easton and Pro options, seems like a lot of good things said about those.

As for the stem, I'll stick to alloy and sort out brand later as I've got to dial in the right angle/length.

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