Snapped bars

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Gattonero
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby Gattonero » 8 Apr 2017, 10:48am

cycle tramp wrote:There's a company called Humbert which produce reasonably inexpensive steel handle bars in most styles, and another by the name of nitro who produce some damned expensive items...
..have to admit that I will only use steel 'bars...although I'm not sure how effective my caution is, as I still have alloy cranks and stems...


What about the weight?
If you are to make alloy handlebars with the same quality of material and as heavy as a similar steel model, then trust me it will take a hell of a lot to break a 500gr alluminium handlebar :wink:
It's no mystery that high-stress use like bmx/DH would use some rather heavy alloy bars, and they get replaced "when needs to" for peace of mind, just as you would do with a steel bar of the same weight. It doesn't make any sense to suggest "this Y bar is stronger than X bar" when is 2 times heavier
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

PH
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby PH » 8 Apr 2017, 11:01am

mercalia wrote:so the morale is dont put too much strain on alloy bars? then they wont break?

No, I don't think there is a morale. Brucey called it rotten luck and I'm inclined to go along with that. There are things I could have done to stack that luck more in my favour - remove and examine the bars after every knock, replace at regular intervals, periodic examination - but the same could be said for many other cycle components and I'm not sure I have the time or inclination to get obsessive about it. I do a bi-annual service on my most used bike, this one with the snapped handlebars, I expect I'll pay more attention to the bars during those, but I'm not convinced even that would have helped.
As for not putting too much strain on the bars, I don't have a clue how you would judge that, bars do break, as does everything else, thankfully not very often, rotten luck.

fastpedaller
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby fastpedaller » 8 Apr 2017, 12:20pm

PH wrote: bars do break, as does everything else, thankfully not very often, rotten luck.


Indeed - I reported here a while ago about the story (many years ago) when my nice,shiny Stronglight chainset was cleaned and polished one day. The next day I cycled to the local post box (all of 600 yards) and as I went to gentle lift the front wheel and roll up the pavement with foot on ground to avoid dismounting, I noticed a 'hair' on the crank. On attempting to remove it I found it wasn't a hair, but a crack ...... not there 600yds earlier! I was riding fixed wheel (certainly different forces to freewheel) but it shows how rapidly something can 'break'. I did put (limited) force on it but it didn't yield any more - I replaced it of course.
Last edited by fastpedaller on 8 Apr 2017, 2:11pm, edited 1 time in total.

irc
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby irc » 8 Apr 2017, 2:01pm

Sometimes it might just be bad design. A current thread on singletrack forum where a stem failed. It was replaced wih an identical stem which not too long afterwards had an identical failure.

http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic ... acked-stem

Samuel D
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby Samuel D » 8 Apr 2017, 4:21pm

Hmm. I have the same Ritchey Classic stem. At least I weigh less, have a shorter model of the stem, and have made sure the steerer tube extends above the stem (using a 5 mm spacer above the stem).

Nonetheless, worrying.

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horizon
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby horizon » 8 Apr 2017, 10:33pm

PH wrote:No, I don't think there is a moral. Brucey called it rotten luck and I'm inclined to go along with that. There are things I could have done to stack that luck more in my favour - remove and examine the bars after every knock, replace at regular intervals, periodic examination - but the same could be said for many other cycle components and I'm not sure I have the time or inclination to get obsessive about it. I do a bi-annual service on my most used bike, this one with the snapped handlebars, I expect I'll pay more attention to the bars during those, but I'm not convinced even that would have helped.
As for not putting too much strain on the bars, I don't have a clue how you would judge that, bars do break, as does everything else, thankfully not very often, rotten luck.


I'm not so sure. It''s still not clear exactly why the bars broke (what caused the fracture). Yes, you could be blamed for not doing a regular inspection or replacement after a long service life so that's not luck. But most of us don't do that and don't really expect to have to. I would still like an explanation or at least a consensus that bars need to be stronger perhaps. It reminds me of rim breakages and then someone saying that Mavic had been making their rims thinner to save weight. You have my sympathy on this and I don't think that you should feel especially unlucky or responsible for it. Maybe it's time the manufacturers came clean but then all we have at the moment is Rose claiming a two year life - sublime to ridiculous.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

PH
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby PH » 9 Apr 2017, 12:22am

horizon wrote:I'm not so sure. It''s still not clear exactly why the bars broke (what caused the fracture).

I don't think there would ever be a way to know for certain what started the damage. Some sort of impact seems a likely trigger, I wouldn't like to guess how long ago that could have been. I came off on ice Jan 16, could that have been it? Or when the loaded bike blew over in the wind when lent against a fence in Aug 15. They're the only two knocks I recall though there may well have been less memorable ones. Neither seemed sufficient to warrant any concern, the sort of thing I see all the time, pick the bike up, it all looks OK, carry on riding...

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CREPELLO
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby CREPELLO » 9 Apr 2017, 11:01am

PH wrote:
mercalia wrote:so the morale is dont put too much strain on alloy bars? then they wont break?

No, I don't think there is a morale.
My morale would certainly be better if I didn't have to worry about putting too much strain on the bars! That shouldn't really be necessary though. However, if you're a powerful rider (or one who is taller or who likes to use wider bars), you would be wise to choose your bars carefully.

Wider bars will exert more leverage to the stem interface. I've also noticed that Nitto offer their wider bars with a special heat treatment, which I suppose, in theory, should make them more fatigue resistant, or is it just to make them more stiff? Wider bars will more likely be used be taller, more broad shouldered people, who will tend to put more twisting force through the bars.

I've had several bad experiences with butterfly bars. This started with Humpert butterfly bars that came with my Dawes Galaxy. They became distorted around the stem clamp, with scoring markes around the edges, where the stem clamped them. I actually got through 3 of these bars!!! (replaced by the bike shop FOC), before deciding to install drops. Looking back, I wonder whether my LBS may have mis-sold me the ITM road Race stem, which AFAIK, was only ever sold in 26mm (anyone know?). The butterfly bars were 25.4 stem dia.

Apart from this uncertainty, I'm pretty certain that using wide bars, such as these, on a tourer, was inducing more twisting force,and so fatigue. They also felt 'noodly' - well, the whole set up did TBH.

More recently (5 years ago :0), I built up what I call my trekking bike, or gravel bike, to use modern parlence. Because I'd enjoyed the ride comfort and position of the butterflys, I choose to try out the original Modolo Yuma Butterfly bars. This time, I've only got through 2 of these bars! This time the guilty component was a Nitto bar shim, which unbelievably, was sold with a sharp edge which scored the bars after a year of service :evil: At ths point I deceided to use the proper 25.4mm stem.

Anyway, although I continue use these bars, the mileage they undertake is low and I don't use the bike as a loaded tourer. I will periodically check these bars because of my experiences.

One final point, I always check the edges of the stem clamp area any of stems I use. If they look at all sharp or hard edeged, I just file a little of the edges, if only to reassure me that this stem won't contribute to any wear.

PH
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby PH » 9 Apr 2017, 11:39am

CREPELLO wrote:However, if you're a powerful rider (or one who is taller or who likes to use wider bars), you would be wise to choose your bars carefully.

I chose the Nitto straight bars, though disappointingly the packaging says not for MTB use.
I almost chose the Ritchey Classic bar and stem, the stem of which is the one mentioned upthread...
It's hard to know what choosing carefully entails.

cycle tramp
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby cycle tramp » 9 Apr 2017, 3:28pm

Gattonero wrote:
cycle tramp wrote:There's a company called Humbert which produce reasonably inexpensive steel handle bars in most styles, and another by the name of nitro who produce some damned expensive items...
..have to admit that I will only use steel 'bars...although I'm not sure how effective my caution is, as I still have alloy cranks and stems...


What about the weight?
If you are to make alloy handlebars with the same quality of material and as heavy as a similar steel model, then trust me it will take a hell of a lot to break a 500gr alluminium handlebar :wink:
It's no mystery that high-stress use like bmx/DH would use some rather heavy alloy bars, and they get replaced "when needs to" for peace of mind, just as you would do with a steel bar of the same weight. It doesn't make any sense to suggest "this Y bar is stronger than X bar" when is 2 times heavier


What about the weight? - generally a bicycle will weigh as heavy or as light as the rider expects the bicycle to weigh, given the function of that bicycle :-)
The reason for choosing steel over aluminum is not down to the mass of the material, but how each material behaves under stress, and how (usually) the material fails. Whether we like it or not, aluminum has a finite life span, and each and every flex (such as bending of the handlebar between the stem and the riders hand) will reduce its life (although we may be talking thousands of thousands flex cycles) and when aluminum reads the end of its life is likely to snap. Steel does not have a finite life, so provided the flexing of the handle bar does not overcome the strength to bend the handlebar, should last indefinitely, providing no corrosion has taken place.
Thus while I accept that my handlebars do weigh more than other persons, I accept this with good grace, as I believe steel is a more resilient material. And if weight was really important to the enjoyment of cycling, I would have to ask myself 'why am I going grocery shopping on my bicycle?' :-)

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Re: Snapped bars

Postby Samuel D » 9 Apr 2017, 5:14pm

PH wrote:I almost chose the Ritchey Classic bar and stem, the stem of which is the one mentioned upthread...
It's hard to know what choosing carefully entails.

That’s the problem. I chose Ritchey Classic bars and stem and thought I was buying the safe choice!

If suitable steel drop bars and stems were available, I might well choose them. They don’t seem to be.

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Gattonero
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby Gattonero » 9 Apr 2017, 6:59pm

cycle tramp wrote:
Gattonero wrote:
cycle tramp wrote:There's a company called Humbert which produce reasonably inexpensive steel handle bars in most styles, and another by the name of nitro who produce some damned expensive items...
..have to admit that I will only use steel 'bars...although I'm not sure how effective my caution is, as I still have alloy cranks and stems...


What about the weight?
If you are to make alloy handlebars with the same quality of material and as heavy as a similar steel model, then trust me it will take a hell of a lot to break a 500gr alluminium handlebar :wink:
It's no mystery that high-stress use like bmx/DH would use some rather heavy alloy bars, and they get replaced "when needs to" for peace of mind, just as you would do with a steel bar of the same weight. It doesn't make any sense to suggest "this Y bar is stronger than X bar" when is 2 times heavier


What about the weight? - generally a bicycle will weigh as heavy or as light as the rider expects the bicycle to weigh, given the function of that bicycle :-)
The reason for choosing steel over aluminum is not down to the mass of the material, but how each material behaves under stress, and how (usually) the material fails. Whether we like it or not, aluminum has a finite life span, and each and every flex (such as bending of the handlebar between the stem and the riders hand) will reduce its life (although we may be talking thousands of thousands flex cycles) and when aluminum reads the end of its life is likely to snap. Steel does not have a finite life, so provided the flexing of the handle bar does not overcome the strength to bend the handlebar, should last indefinitely, providing no corrosion has taken place.
Thus while I accept that my handlebars do weigh more than other persons, I accept this with good grace, as I believe steel is a more resilient material. And if weight was really important to the enjoyment of cycling, I would have to ask myself 'why am I going grocery shopping on my bicycle?' :-)


Same old story...

Alluminium alloy has a shorter fatigue life, but once you make the handlebars the same weight as comparable steel ones, you will have a very safe point before the metal will run into "fatigue" zone, being actually so strong that it won't flex.

I'll never get tired of saying this: people does not know -or deliberately forgets about it- that the steel bike used by Eddie Mercx for his hour record attempt, was so light that is was believed it could break during the attempt, and Ernesto Colnago himself was on the track with an identical spare bike.
Everything can break by bad luck or abuse or bein under-engineered; please stop this myth that steel is eternal and alluminium (or worse, carbon) is crap and will always crack. Make things weight alike, then we'll talk.

p.s.
go at 5:00 and see what a relatively heavy carbon frame can take, then try do do with the "eternal" steel :wink:
https://www.pinkbike.com/video/243228/

and by the way, the vast majority of my bikes are steel and I do not own a carbon bike! :wink:
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

cycle tramp
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby cycle tramp » 9 Apr 2017, 8:24pm

Gattonero wrote:Same old story...

Alluminium alloy has a shorter fatigue life, but once you make the handlebars the same weight as comparable steel ones, you will have a very safe point before the metal will run into "fatigue" zone, being actually so strong that it won't flex.

I'll never get tired of saying this: people does not know -or deliberately forgets about it- that the steel bike used by Eddie Mercx for his hour record attempt, was so light that is was believed it could break during the attempt, and Ernesto Colnago himself was on the track with an identical spare bike.
Everything can break by bad luck or abuse or bein under-engineered; please stop this myth that steel is eternal and alluminium (or worse, carbon) is crap and will always crack. Make things weight alike, then we'll talk.

p.s.
go at 5:00 and see what a relatively heavy carbon frame can take, then try do do with the "eternal" steel :wink:
https://www.pinkbike.com/video/243228/

and by the way, the vast majority of my bikes are steel and I do not own a carbon bike! :wink:


Good Lord! Is everything made of Aluminum or carbon, less well made as steel, and is doomed to failure? I sincerely hope not as my stem and cranks are alloy!

However dispute all the assurances, I don't believe there is any engineer out there, who would disagree that alloy and carbon is more easily damaged than steel (depending of course on the grade of material) and that once damaged the affects may be felt more suddenly...

..in your previous messages, you spoke of comparing the mass of handlebars. Permit me, if you may, to change the unit of measurement to something more dearer to our lives. That of pounds sterling. I summit to you that I can purchase a stronger steel handle bar than you can find made of aluminium, for the same price. If you can, find a stronger aluminium handlebar, then please let me know, I may even buy one ;-)

Does steel last forever? No, of course not. Despite our best efforts with wax oil, corrosion will occur. And it is good for our bike shops that this happens. However if we are lucky corrosion will advance at the exact same pace that it will take for us to save for our next bicycle ;-)
Last edited by cycle tramp on 9 Apr 2017, 8:40pm, edited 1 time in total.

cycle tramp
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby cycle tramp » 9 Apr 2017, 8:39pm

Gattonero wrote:I'll never get tired of saying this: people does not know -or deliberately forgets about it- that the steel bike used by Eddie Mercx for his hour record attempt, was so light that is was believed it could break during the attempt, and Ernesto Colnago himself was on the track with an identical spare bike.


Sorry, no idea who this fellow is. Clearly though, the fact that you do, does indicate that we may see cycling from two different aspects... I view cycling as a mass transit solution for minor distances, as well as a useful piece of touring equipment.. Weigh therefore is not all important..how do you view cycling?

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Gattonero
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Re: Snapped bars

Postby Gattonero » 9 Apr 2017, 8:52pm

No idea who Eddie Mercx is? Well, ok... put it this way, no other cyclist has won so many road races and he was so talented that would excell in grand tours, track racing, classic one-day races, hour record, and more.
Like may other in that day, he would keep the weight of his bike as low as possible. Given that materials and technologies weren't as good as today, weight reduction was done by drilling and reducing the parts. For his hour-record he had a special bike that, like pretty much all the others in that day, was made out of steel, and IIRC weighted less than 6kg.

What this has to do with touring?
The less weight you carry, the less effort you need -or the faster you go-, which means you arrive at the pub earlier and less tired 8)
I don't see why should I cycle on a bike that weights nearly 20kgs when I can cycle with one that weights just over 10kgs. We're not splitting hairs and talking of a handful of grams here, when you have a bike that is at least 5kgs lighter, the difference is obvious.

I view cycling as a mass transit solution for minor distances, as well as a useful piece of touring equipment.. Weigh therefore is not all important..how do you view cycling?


I view cycling on a 360º view, a bicycle can have many different tasks to do on different roads and different circumstances.
That's why I have mountain bikes, a folding bike, road bikes, and a light-touring bike. Had track bikes and BMx too. I don't really believe in "one does all", when you want the best, you need a dedicated tool :)
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...