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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:43 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:07 pm
Posts: 1901
Location: brighton
I was reading a post online the other day from a guy who needed $10k worth of dental / facial rebuilding after his alu bars cracked. Seems obvious now but it never occurred to me before. Riding my 92 Marin today with alu bars it was all I could think of!

But it's had a life of light use - very little off-road - and the thing with alu is amount of stress rather than age - right?

I'll certainly replace alu bars on a bike that's had a hard life but what do others think on this issue?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:48 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:09 pm
Posts: 554
Location: cheshire
i would say your more likly to faal off an do that to your self than the bars snap if only doing light stuff


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:21 am 
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:18 pm
Posts: 2373
Location: California
I really would not worry about it. The vast majority of bars are either aluminum or carbon and carbon is far more likely to fail that aluminum. In 30 plus years of riding I have had the bars fail once and it was more of a slow motion drooping as they came apart at the stem. Funny story though, I had to ride all the way from the Golden Gate Bridge to my home in San Francisco's Mission District steering the bike with one hand while braking with the now detached right half of my bars.

If you still have any concern just inspect you bars for cracks every time you inspect the frame for cracks.


Steven


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:31 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:21 am
Posts: 794
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Things break. If concerned stop riding bikes.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:12 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:33 am
Posts: 5487
Location: WI, USA
Have had two 20yr or older aluminum bars develop cracks after years of riding. I guess the thing to remember is whether or not you ever had a bad bail, crash or over the bar that may have resulted in them becoming compromised in the first place. It does happen.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:14 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:21 am
Posts: 794
Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Oh I mean of course, check them, make sure the bar clamp has a chamfer on it etc, but don't ride around with it in the back of your mind niggling away.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:00 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:07 pm
Posts: 1901
Location: brighton
Ok, that's reassuring, thanks. The responses to the guy on the other thread were mostly along the lines of 'well what do you expect from ali handlebars? You must be crazy riding them'

Which I was surprised by but then I thought 'well yeah, ali is known to crack eventually.'

I kinda thought I would be told it was a remote possibility but I figured it would be worth throwing it out there with you knowledgeable lot.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:15 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 16748
Location: Yorkshire, England
Given the amount of people who ride around on them, their failure is probably negligible.
Get some thick heavy steel bars and feel safe ;-)

Now what other parts have you got on your bike?


For the reference I have a pair of ritchey prolite bars (retro, top end thin stuff bitd) for about. I had used them for quality riding back in the early 90's, thrown them on the ground (paper round), quarries, races, etc.. Well used. Then into gentle riding late 90's/turn century.
They developed a creak in the early 00's. That continued over the years, only used for commuting style of riding.
Roll on Retrobike I strip the bike and find a hairline crack going through the bar. Creak found, still it hadn't gone yet.

So they do go if they had a hard life and over time.

I still ride similar bars now of course.
Search on bar cracks for Aluminium and Carbon. Then Titanium and Steel.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:20 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:42 am
Posts: 2383
lewisfoto wrote:
The vast majority of bars are either aluminum or carbon and carbon is far more likely to fail that aluminum.
:lol: Fatigue properties of carbon are orders of magnitude better than aluminium. Carbon fails when its abused, misused or damaged. Aluminium has all these issues as well, plus it fails when you use it. Eventually.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:38 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:15 pm
Posts: 523
jaypee wrote:
The responses to the guy on the other thread were mostly along the lines of 'well what do you expect from ali handlebars? You must be crazy riding them'


Odd response given the vast majority of bars out there are ali.

Going back to the original question as to are they safe, I'm of the opinion that the chap who had the accident was extremely unlucky and has my sympathy. Whilst I don't have any hard evidence (based purely on my observations & experiences) I would hazard a guess that the majority of accidents are user error and equipment failure counts for a small percentage. Obviously is it a good idea to check your kit regularly to make sure it's OK but I would loose sleep over will it fail when I'm out riding tomorrow.


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