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When to start replacing parts

bagtagley

Monkey
Jun 18, 2002
223
3
VA
Recently, the subject of metal fatique and component life has come up in discussions among friends and such. As my bike gets older, my concern for some sort of failure increases. Cut to last night when I see the result of a broken handle bar on another forum.

I'm basically on my 4th season on the same bike, w/ many of the same weight bearing components (bars, cranks). It would suck to ditch the bars, as they're the best fitting bars I've ever owned. But if there's a potential for them to maim or kill me, then I'm all for getting rid of them.

I realize there's no exact formula, but how do you know when it's time to give up the old and bring in the new?
 

dhkid

Turbo Monkey
Mar 10, 2005
3,359
0
Malaysia
as long as the bars aren't carbon, you will be alright. coz metals would almost all the time deform before failing.
edit: just reading what the other have said, what i have said is only correct for steel, for alu, it may still fail.
 

1soulrider

Monkey
Apr 16, 2002
436
10
nor cal
At very least replace your bars. I have seen handlebars fail, and at best it is painful. A friend of mine had his stanchions fail off a little drop (like 2'), it was very ugly. The stanchions basically exploded and the sharp fragments sticking out of the fork lowers sliced his face open. He was very luck not to have lost an eye and it took a fair amount of plastic surgury to fix his face.
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,157
1
SB
I would also be concerned about your pivots in your frame, headset, and BB. Those bearings are probably in bad condition after 4 years.
 

preppie

Monkey
Aug 30, 2002
379
0
Europe
bagtagley said:
I realize there's no exact formula, but how do you know when it's time to give up the old and bring in the new?
I replace my handlebars every 12 -18 months and replaced my cranks after 2 years.
These components are the ones that I NEVER want to break while riding.
The rest stays until they break or when I just want to upgrade something (that's unnecessary 9 out of 10.)
 

Pegboy

Turbo Monkey
Jan 20, 2003
1,142
27
New Hamp-sha
Kinda on the same subject, the lab for the company I work for has A B foam. Basically it is a two part mixture that turns into expandable foam and then hardens. I have considered using it to reinforce handlebars, especially carbon, which I think may create the "paper around a crayon" effect, thus strengthening the bar quite a bit and possibly eliminating catastrophic failure. The foam is cheap and I believe you can get similar stuff at home depot. It also would take less than 10 grms to fill such a small area. Has any one else tried this? Or, do you think it would even make a difference?
 

_bp

Monkey
Apr 20, 2004
220
0
Annandale
I had a set of two-year old aluminum bars snap in half while dirt jumping the other day. Quite painful!
 

PatBranch

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2004
10,460
8
wine country
I am riding my steel bontrager bars from my gary fisher level betty. My friend told me thy were slightly bent down. Have they been stresses and do I need new bars?
 

Ciaran

Fear my banana
Apr 5, 2004
9,844
11
So Cal
mtnbrider said:
I am riding my steel bontrager bars from my gary fisher level betty. My friend told me thy were slightly bent down. Have they been stresses and do I need new bars?
Well, the nice thing about steel is that it bends before it fails. Aluminum can just fail... as in snap off.

Since bars aren't that expensive I would replace them.
 

bagtagley

Monkey
Jun 18, 2002
223
3
VA
Bicyclist said:
I would also be concerned about your pivots in your frame, headset, and BB. Those bearings are probably in bad condition after 4 years.
BB gets replace twice a season (gotta love ISIS) and the headset is relatively new. I check the pivot bearings periodically (okay, yearly) and surprisingly, they're in great shape. It's a Bullit, so I don't have a lot of checking to do.
 

proanti1

Chimp
Sep 24, 2005
61
0
if they are aluminum bars, just replace em after like a year. replace and do a major rebuild like every 2 years (bearings, bb, derailers, etc.)
 

OGRipper

back alley ripper
Feb 3, 2004
9,917
339
NORCAL is the hizzle
It's pretty unlikely you are going to have a catastrophic failure from a worn out bearing, but if you ride often and hard, I suggest replacing aluminum bars every two years. Cranks are less of a concern for me, expecially if it's a full suspension bike.

Interesting to note that you get a lot of different answers when you ask these questions to the companies that sell bars. Some want to tout the longevity of their products and others...well, others want to sell you new bars every two years.
 

mandown

Poopdeck Repost
Jun 1, 2004
14,786
2,206
Transylvania 90210
preppie said:
I replace my handlebars every 12 -18 months and replaced my cranks after 2 years.
These components are the ones that I NEVER want to break while riding.
The rest stays until they break or when I just want to upgrade something (that's unnecessary 9 out of 10.)
do you sell your used parts or just trash them? i have wondered about selling aged parts and how others feel about the topic. i would never sell anything without telling the buyer the background of the item. thoughts?
 

Spunger

Git yer dumb questions here
Feb 19, 2003
2,258
0
805
I'm a big guy, 240+ with all gear on etc...and I don't replace things until they break. Bars might be the only thing I'd think about changing but otherwise if it spins smooth, doesn't come loose, then forget it.

I'm also not doing drops or "hucks" of any sort. This is just trail riding in our local mountains and such. If I was to be the type to do drops and such I could see bars/wheels/cranks/BB and what not. Again though I've seen more broken bars and BB's on videos and around on the net then anything else.

If anything I'd check to make sure things like the headset, wheel axles, brakes, seatposts, bar clamps and such to make sure they stay tight. That's about all I do is make sure nothing loosens up.
 

nh dude

Monkey
May 30, 2003
573
16
Vt
replace dh bars every year retire them to your hardtail run em there for a year or so and repeat the cycle
thats playing it pretty safe im not a big heavy rider but i ride often and the season is long

usually replace rims when the seam (pinned/welded) is split up the sidewall and into spoke bed hopefully you dont procrasinate like me

tires when the knobs are no longer sharp and start to fall off and

i've never broken a crank but snapped a couple square taper bb but the isis or similar cranks have been bombproof as long as you keep em tighten down.

send you frame into the manufacturer in december get new bearings
doesn't hurt to send in your back shock also
 

bagtagley

Monkey
Jun 18, 2002
223
3
VA
MisterMental said:
if you like your bars get the same again
I'm pretty sure they don't make them anymore, or I haven't been able to find them anywhere.

They're the Easton Scandium DH bars. What would be the comparable bar now? The EA70?
 

dhkid

Turbo Monkey
Mar 10, 2005
3,359
0
Malaysia
bagtagley said:
BB gets replace twice a season (gotta love ISIS) and the headset is relatively new. I check the pivot bearings periodically (okay, yearly) and surprisingly, they're in great shape. It's a Bullit, so I don't have a lot of checking to do.
my head set,(king) its ran out of grease after 2 years of riding and it started making creaking noises. repacked it once and didn't last long coz the seals weren't placed porperly. just done it again and seeing how long it would last. about the bearings, i have a bullit too, for 3 years, and i have never checked the bearings untill it was time to change them, they were out of grease, rusty and loose. so when you check them, you might want to regrease them too.