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Carbon Handlebar/ Arm pump

turnercraigturnercraig Posts: 537
edited November 2008 in MTB general
I suffer from really bad arm pump on longer rides or very bumpy sections. I have tried relaxing my arms and I am getting better.

Some people say that Carbon handlebars take a lot of sting out of a rough trail and can help with fatigue in the forearms.

Does anyone have any experience of this?


  • ddraverddraver Posts: 26,241
    Yes - Yes they do - but I will be honest i have snapped two in crashes (as a result of my ineptitude not because of the bars themselves)

    The dampening effect of the carbon is instantly noticable when you switch back to alloy though
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Ouch! It could work out pretty expensive to keep replacing carbon bars, I,ve been known to have the odd crash too.

    Do you still use carbon bars, if so which ones do you use or did you use?

    Has anyone had any experience with Azonic Double Wall bars? I saw them on Chain Reaction earlier, they are aluminium but have an inside sleeve in the bars which is supposed to reduce arm fatigue.

    Is there anything else I can do to help?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Some carbon bars can still be very stiff.

    Could try thicker grips (Poshbikes nitrile grips are good) or larger softer tyres.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Yeah - I'd go for a bigger fatter tyre. Not a fan of carbon bars.
  • I have fairly big and fat tyres fitted to my Genesis Core 40 hardtail, they are Panaracer Cinder's 2.25.

    I currently run them at 40psi, I might try a lower pressure, maybe about 35psi to see if that will help.

    Is this a good idea? Anymore suggestions?
  • Hi guy's I've got a post going at the moment about carbon bars too - trying to decide which to get. I've been looking at Easton ec70's and ec90's but don't know whether to get oversize or normal and have just been told that the main difference between buying normal and oversize is strength and weight. I was gonna stick with normal size, but after reading this I'm tempted with oversize (and stem) as they will be stronger. Is there a huge difference in strength between the 2?
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 26,241
    I'd go with whatever you have already unless you need to buy a stem too, otherwise your "old" stems won't match......
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Isnt the main difference stiffness ?

    They wont be selling bars that arent strong enough.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    i used fsa kforce on my oldest stumpy (now used by the wife) and they were good but if i was hauling on the bars up hill, they would feel quite flexy.

    i had a pair of specialized sworks carbon bars on my last stumpy and they were very light and absolutely rock solid

    the fsa are 25.4 but the sworks were OS so i would always go for OSnow, that said, i am a big old 19 stone unit though.

    the sworks bars are available from endinburgh bike coop for about 80 quid and i am sorely tempted to get a pair for xmas
  • Because you have used alu and carbon bars in different sizes would you say carbon reduces trail judder and helps arm fatigue?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    sorry, i forgot the reason for my own post!!

    yes, i would definately say that carbon bars reduce the trail buzz (even with front suspension) and i would definately say OS carbon is the way to go for general good behaviour, regular sized ones are too flexy.

    beware when looking at bar weights by the way as often low weight =narrow width. the fsa ones in OS are at merlin for about 45 quid and that is why i am tempted by them at such an awesome price. and they are 630mm, not bad i reckon, my current bars are 640 so i reckon they would do.

    the spesh bars are 640mm so the same size as mine but at 80 quid, its gonna have to be a real treat for myself.
  • I was gonna buy a stem too because I want to try a shorter one but whicht stem all depends on which bar I get. I'm sure normal size bars would be fine because I mainly ride xc, so they shouldn't be subjected to anything too extreme. Although I don't think bendy bars will fill me with confidence :cry:
  • Thanks.

    Just had a look at the OS bars on Merlin, seem like a bargain!

    VERY, VERY tempted. :D
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    most folk would be fine on normal xc and trail riding with 25.4 kit but fter having tied both in both materials i know that for me, os is the way to go and i deffo want a new carbon bar, its prob gonna be the fsa because the price is ace but the spesh bar was absolutely amazing, properly stiff, perfect shape and very light.

    infact, i might have just convinced myself!!, now, what seatpost...............
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    just saw these too: ... uctId=1138

    the figures look good, 660mm and 160g for 65 quid, this might be the one so far for me, m amazed by the weight to length ratio,
  • That is a bargain!

    Hmm, my mind is tilting towards oversize now for preservation purposes. Trouble with carbon is it snaps and I think feeling it bend would freak me out all the time because when carbon fails, it fails big time unlike aluminium!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    well, i am as big as they come i would say and i did feel like 25.4 was too flexy, other manufacturers might make much stiffer kit though, i notice easton make a 25.4 dia, 700 mm wide DH carbon bar, i would imagine they are awesome as they are easton and very expensive.

    the os bars i had were streets apart, very stiff even with me hauling on them., what folk do is their business but i am about to buy the ritchey ones, i hope they are as light and wide as merlin claim (or else they are going back!!)
  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    Aluminium can fail without warning too.

    I've had no issues with carbon bars at all (Easton EC70 Monkeylite)
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    well, its done now so happy xmas to me (from me), bars and thomson seatpost for 119 quid inc discount for 15% vat.
  • Well done, great deal. :D

    Please keep me posted on what you think of the bars, very interested myself.
  • gcwebbyukgcwebbyuk Posts: 1,926
    You know you want the Specialized S-Works :P


  • I reckon Sheepsteeth might be a bit gutted when he see's that! :lol::lol:
  • gcwebbyukgcwebbyuk Posts: 1,926
    Not as gutted as I was when I went out on it the other day and noticed a scratch on them!

    Ah well, they were gonna get a little tatty at some point and the scratch is only about a cm long! :P
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    gc, those bars are lovely but the ritchey ones are on the way now so hopefully they will be just as good, i will report back and let everyone know.
  • Ye they look good, great price too. :D
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    New bars and seat post turned up today and I am very impressed. The seat post is a Thomson and weighs about the same as the spesh post I already had, maybe a few grams more actually!!

    The new bars are absolutely gorgeous, I have done a quick flex test on a slope on the airfield where I live and they are super stiff, I am very happy, also, they look the absolute business. I don’t know if I could have justified the full price but for 65 quid, what an absolute bargain.

    The new post and bars have completely adjusted the cockpit of the bike, I sit a bit further forwards (the old post had a setback of about 20 mm) and the new bars are lower and wider and each of these little differences have added up to a much nicer feel for the bike.

    I am very happy with merlin for the price and very quick delivery. They might have become my new fave bike retailer.

  • Chaka PingChaka Ping Posts: 1,451
    Seconded - get OS not 25.4. You'll reduce trail buzz and probably improve the steering at the same time.

    See if Merlin are doing any deals on bar stem combos - I got a Truativ bar and stem for £50 a while back.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Hmm, my mind is tilting towards oversize now for preservation purposes. Trouble with carbon is it snaps and I think feeling it bend would freak me out all the time because when carbon fails, it fails big time unlike aluminium!

    Yeah, but it doesn't fail any easier- a blow or drop which snaps a carbon bar would have bent a comparable ally bar like a banana anyway. Assuming good carbon here, it's not all good. I love my monkeylites...
    Uncompromising extremist
  • Thanks for the post Sheepsteeth.

    They look the business, big decision time! Shall I, shan't i, that is the question.

    Well it is nearly christmas after all! :)
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    it is expensive but i am very happy with them. like i say, the whole bike feels different but that can be done with a much cheaper and same shaped bar!!

    that said, there is alot of satisfaction to be had with gucci bike bits. the thomson post is a pure indulgence item really, lets be honest, its just a seat stick, a 10 quid jobby would do the same job. i dont even like the fiddly head on it to be honest but i do like the way it looks and there is something to be said for the strength it promises.
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