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Carbon bars

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,351
1,192
01776
Anybody have a favorite set of carbon bars? I sold off my DH pig and one of the things I'd like to do is get a more appropriate set of bars for my trailbike. I'm running RF atlas bars which are OK, but they're a little wide and flat for my tastes. I have my eye on the Answer Pertaper carbon am bar, @ 720mm and 220g and $105, or the Easton EC70 @ 680 and 155g and $85 at hwheel hworld. Are these anybody's favorites?
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
I'm not sure who would buy 680mm bars now. I can't even ride 710s anymore. My wife is on 740s.

I have 745s on my trail bike and I'm looking for something a tad longer.
And no, it's not a trend. It's people finally realizing that they won't hit trees with proper width bars.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,661
958
Seattle
Well I like moar widez than those but I've had a few pairs of Answer bars and like the shape.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,351
1,192
01776
I'm not sure who would buy 680mm bars now. I can't even ride 710s anymore. My wife is on 740s.

I have 745s on my trail bike and I'm looking for something a tad longer.
And no, it's not a trend. It's people finally realizing that they won't hit trees with proper width bars.
I constantly punch trees on my atlases. I suppose i need to measure and go from there. I like wider bars, but unless you're carving huge turns, the need for them is significantly less. Of course, I run a front derailleur and don't believe a 65* head angle is worth a damn on anything besides a DH bike, so I guess I'm "out of touch"?
 

JustMtnB44

Monkey
Sep 13, 2006
779
65
Pittsburgh, PA
I agree that 680mm is too narrow, but I have 710mm bars on my trail bike (Spitfire) and they feel perfect to me. I tried 760mm bars but they are just unnecessary and too wide for northeast trail riding.
 
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kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,723
1,581
Tustin, CA
I run the RF Atlas now on one bike and the Chromag Fubars on another uncut and they are fine. Trees aren't really an issue here though....
 

CBJ

Turbo Monkey
Mar 19, 2002
11,055
1,345
Copenhagen, Denmark
I agree that 680mm is too narrow, but I have 710mm bars on my trail bike (Spitfire) and they feel perfect to me. I tried 760mm bars but they are just unnecessary and too wide for northeast trail riding.
Rode a 29r ht with 785mm bars and it worked really well. I was able to ride the bike like a dh bike and get it to turn really well. Felt strange but once I got it I loved them. Just got a 29r fully and it's getting wide bars too.
 

Polandspring88

Superman
Mar 31, 2004
3,075
0
Broomfield, CO
The wider the better IMO. Well, within reason of course. The biggest advantage I have noticed is actually during climbing and slow speed technical riding. They just provide so much more leverage to keep things planted and moving in the right direction.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,351
1,192
01776
Huh. Well, no; nope, nuh uh, and "nah". I measured my RF bars at 28.5", which is 720, and I solidly punch a tree @ about twice ever 5 miles. I haven't ever had that problem before switching to these bars. I find them to be about an inch too wide on either end. I think a 700 would be about perfect and still give me some room to cut. I do believe Hbars are personal preference, so just because I need to dance around trees on my XC bike and am not trying to power last years DH bike up a climb because the DH forum told me it was cool, doesn't mean it should hold you back.

Regardless, does anybody have any CF handlebar input?
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,565
423
Groton, MA
But on a serious note, I see 2 main factors to determine what width bar you should use; upper body strength and the type of trails you ride. Like PS88 said, wider bars give you better leverage and help keep the front wheel grounded and hold your line, at the expense of less responsive (slower) steering and decreased clearance through tight trails. Conversely, narrow bars are much more responsive and give more room for tighter trails, at the expense of less leverage and a twitchy ride than can be hard to hold a line.

Whereas I ride tight NE trails and have plenty of upper body strength, narrow bars work just fine for me. I hardly ever smack my bars on trees, and can muscle the front end to hold a line when I have to. YMMV.
 
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boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
4,257
1,761
Yakistan
I've got two pair of the Answer pro taper carbon bars, picked them both up used for 110.00. Got about a year on the carbon bars now. I've been running their Aluminum bars for a long time and wanted to try out the vibration dampening of the carbon. I am sold and don't think I'll ever run Aluminum bars on a trail mtb again. They're on both my bikes, which are single speeds. They get thrashed and I reef on them when standing and pedaling. I don't notice any flex and they don't beat my arms up.
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
But on a serious note, I see 2 main factors to determine what width bar you should use; upper body strength and the type of trails you ride. Like PS88 said, wider bars give you better leverage and help keep the front wheel grounded and hold your line, at the expense of less responsive (slower) steering and decreased clearance through tight trails. Conversely, narrow bars are much more responsive and give more room for tighter trails, at the expense of less leverage and a twitchy ride than can be hard to hold a line.

Whereas I ride tight NE trails and have plenty of upper body strength, narrow bars work just fine for me. I hardly ever smack my bars on trees, and can muscle the front end to hold a line when I have to. YMMV.
I don't think strength has much to do with it at all. In fact, weaker riders benefit more from wide bars as they now have a longer level to work with.
Arm length, and not just shoulder width, play a huge part in how wide a bar "feels".
My wife is 5'8", with average shoulders. She has the arm length of a chimp.
With 745 bars, the included angle of her arms is about the same as mine on 780s. If you put her on 680-710, which one would based on shoulder width, you can tell right away they aren't wide enough.

I would buy bars that are at least 745-760 for a trail bike and run them as wide as you can. Cutting is easy. I do cut my DH bars to 780. Ran the 800s for a couple months and they were jsut too much (for my body)
 
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norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,686
391
Warsaw :/
I don't think strength has much to do with it at all. In fact, weaker riders benefit more from wide bars as they now have a longer level to work with.
Arm length, and not just shoulder width, play a huge part in how wide a bar "feels".
My wife is 5'8", with average shoulders. She has the arm length of a chimp.
With 745 bars, the included angle of her arms is about the same as mine on 780s. If you put her on 680-710, which one would based on shoulder width, you can tell right away they aren't wide enough.

I would buy bars that are at least 745-760 for a trail bike and run them as wide as you can. Cutting is easy. I do cut my DH bars to 780. Ran the 800s for a couple months and they were jsut too much (for my body)
You should also adjust it to your frame and stem length. It will limit your max and min length you feel comfortable at. Right now my trailbike uses 710mm bars but it has a really long stem for xc and road rides because I live in the flats and use it for fitness training. As soon as I want to go trailriding I go into short stem + 760mm bars mode.
 

AngryMetalsmith

Business is good, thanks for asking
Jun 4, 2006
14,880
2,582
I have no idea where I am
I've run bars as narrow as 19 in. on an xc bike, but that was in the '90s. Like a friend told me, the better you can ride the wider the bars can be. Here in the Southeast we have lots of tight singletrack with ample opportunity to smack trees.

My current bar, on my Spitty, is a 685mm. I would like to try a 711 carbon some day. I could use just a wee bit more width.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,351
1,192
01776
I'd rather not cut down my perfectly good bars since they're worth more uncut, and I'd rather just swap them out for something like carbon bars, which is why I started this thread.

They're also purple, which is rad, but my frame is red and my fashion queeniness is leaking out.
 

J-Dubs

Monkey
Jul 10, 2006
702
0
Salem, MA
I'm 5'9" and run Haven carbons on my trailbike which are 711mm and perfect for me. I have the ProTaper carbon 720mm on my hardtail and notice I choke up on them a little bit.
 

4xBoy

Turbo Monkey
Jun 20, 2006
5,009
314
Minneapolis
I have the new 35mm carbon easton thing, to wide and only one stem length right now, found out they are useless to me.

I do miss my Haven carbon bar though.
 

CBJ

Turbo Monkey
Mar 19, 2002
11,055
1,345
Copenhagen, Denmark
Bumped up the handle bars from 700mm to 760mm. I think I could go wider but got this for free from Kidwithbike aka PJ. Rode it yesterday with the 700 and it felt strange and not as controlled as I am used to.



The bike is a GT Zaskar 100 29r.
 

jdcamb

Tool Time!
Feb 17, 2002
16,298
3,564
Nowhere Man!
I've got two pair of the Answer pro taper carbon bars, picked them both up used for 110.00. Got about a year on the carbon bars now. I've been running their Aluminum bars for a long time and wanted to try out the vibration dampening of the carbon. I am sold and don't think I'll ever run Aluminum bars on a trail mtb again. They're on both my bikes, which are single speeds. They get thrashed and I reef on them when standing and pedaling. I don't notice any flex and they don't beat my arms up.
Whats on the Covert?
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
4,257
1,761
Yakistan
I traded the Covert frame about 6 months ago for a squishy SS frame, the Kona A. It was a fair trade, considering the condition of the Covert. The concentric BB is cool too. The geometry is weird for what I want to do on it though and I've been thinking about having my buddy weld up a new front triangle for it. We'll see. The A frame and my Simple both have the Protapers.



Here is the A frame with carbon bars in some bastardized state of build