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Integrated carbon bar and stem - worth it?

scotthunterscotthunter Posts: 140
edited May 2019 in Road buying advice
What are people's thoughts on integrated carbon bar and stems?

Been looking at this one:
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/gb/giant ... bar---stem

In consideration of weight saving, potentially increased comfort (vibration dampening) and potential aero advantages, is it a worthwhile upgrade from a slightly heavier separate aluminium bar / stem setup?

I don't race so I'm not that bothered about durability, but stiffness yes.

Posts

  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    At the end of the day, if you like the look of it, and can afford it, then go for it, but it's largely a vanity purchase.

    Weight saving is not a lot at all against a decent alu stem & bar combo. Aero benefits are probably measurable but unlikely to make much difference, similarly comfort might be slightly better, might be slightly worse, especially if you need to tweak the position and find you can't ;-)

    I'm assuming the bike it's going on is already fairly high spec?

    Be aware that the linked model is for a 31.8mm steerer (1 1/4 inch) so might need a shim for your bike if it has a conventional 1 1/8 steerer.
  • alanyualanyu Posts: 73
    If you want stiffness, DO NOT choose Giant SLR Aero. It's some kind of softness. Vision 5D is stiffness, costing more and weighing more. Maybe you want more stiffness, then a heavy round bar such as Pro Vibe Sprint.

    Intergrated system has a big disadvantage: size. It's easy to change a stem if you feel uncomfortable for Gran Fondo or unaggressive for Ronde, but the intergrated one is not, and then you need a totally new one, killing your wallet.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    why don't you consider a separate carbon bar/stem set up instead?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Unless it's part of a dedicated aero fuselage set up, I wouldn't bother for all the reasons above.

    I'd you want a good looking and mega stiff set up, Pro Vibe bar and stem as suggested, or perhaps Deda Superzero combo if you want a kind of aero look bit with added adjustment flexibility and a fraction of the price
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Unless it's part of a dedicated aero fuselage set up, I wouldn't bother for all the reasons above.

    I'd you want a good looking and mega stiff set up, Pro Vibe bar and stem as suggested, or perhaps Deda Superzero combo if you want a kind of aero look bit with added adjustment flexibility and a fraction of the price

    look at that AMAZING S3 on the "readers rides" thing for Superzero stem & bar & opinion if you want.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 735
    I got the Superzero Alloy bar and visually it looks identical to the carbon. Plenty stiff enough, not an anchor at 300gs though carbon would undoubtedly be lighter.
    For the £40 it cost me pretty pleased, thought I'd try it for a bit then shift to the winter bike when funds allow for carbon.
  • step83step83 Posts: 4,162
    Unless it's part of a dedicated aero fuselage set up, I wouldn't bother for all the reasons above.

    I'd you want a good looking and mega stiff set up, Pro Vibe bar and stem as suggested, or perhaps Deda Superzero combo if you want a kind of aero look bit with added adjustment flexibility and a fraction of the price

    look at that AMAZING S3 on the "readers rides" thing for Superzero stem & bar & opinion if you want.

    It really is, messed my trousers an everything (dropped toast)

    Also bear in mind the angle is obviously fixed so you need to take into account that. For the cost though a normal bar stem combo will cover most.
    I did look at the Cinelli RAM bars, but came to the above conclusion. Plus the price!
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Step83 wrote:
    Unless it's part of a dedicated aero fuselage set up, I wouldn't bother for all the reasons above.

    I'd you want a good looking and mega stiff set up, Pro Vibe bar and stem as suggested, or perhaps Deda Superzero combo if you want a kind of aero look bit with added adjustment flexibility and a fraction of the price

    look at that AMAZING S3 on the "readers rides" thing for Superzero stem & bar & opinion if you want.

    It really is, messed my trousers an everything (dropped toast)

    Also bear in mind the angle is obviously fixed so you need to take into account that. For the cost though a normal bar stem combo will cover most.
    I did look at the Cinelli RAM bars, but came to the above conclusion. Plus the price!

    ah shucks! thank ypu!

    if anything the superhero stem is slightly upward pointing - i don't know why they didn't make it utterly levely or minus degree......
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • scotthunterscotthunter Posts: 140
    why don't you consider a separate carbon bar/stem set up instead?

    So that would be these two then:

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/gb/giant ... arbon-stem

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/gb/giant ... p-bar-2019

    These two are spec'd on the top end TCR SL 0. I have the oversized Overdrive 2 steerer on my TCR Adv. Pro 1 so the stems are compatible without the adaptor. I think the consensus here is that it's not worth it over ally?
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    does it have to be giant branded? lots out there.

    i only suggested carbon/carbon as you mentioned ali/carbon above but then said a full carbon intergrated.

    i also wouldn't say that general consesus is that its not worth it - this forum will bicker over the price of fish. anything is worth it if you want it.

    i have bikes with carbon/carbon, carbon/ali and ali/ali and there is basically no difference - maybe carbon bars take a bit of buzz out of it but if you have decent tape and/or gloves it'll all be the same tbh. then wheels, tyres, frame etc all add to reducing/adding buzz. run tyres at 90psi and it'll be a lot less harsh than 900psi.

    aesthetics obviously play a part in all this - and price....
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    I've never heard a compelling argument for Carbon Fibre stems - weight saving is often non existent and in some cases actually a fairly large weight gain. Comfort/stiffness might be better but also sounds like the sort of thing that can be attributed to placebo with such a small item.

    Carbon bars on the other hand can achieve a decent weight saving, neater/easier cable routing, and should give more noticeable comfort/stiffness benefits, if they exist.

    I had some hand me down Pro carbon handlebars, and they were lovely, it's fair to say, but I ended up selling them on as part of a bike build and have never regretted it - would rather spend the money on other parts of the bike.

    If I were building a dream bike, sure, I'd have them again. Perhaps I'd even buy the bar and stem combo....
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 10,153
    I have considered it many times, but never actually went for it.

    They aren't cheap, and as already mentioned, they are totally inflexible, and generally pretty pricey.

    Also, depending on where you are in your cycling journey you may well find that your requirements change a lot.

    To give you a personal example, I used to ride an inline seatpost, with a 90mm inverted stem, with max spacers underneath.

    Over the last couple of years of mercilessly battering myself on the turbo, and working on core strength and general flexibility, I am now able to ride with a setback seatpost, 100mm stem (Soon to be 110) and with the stem the correct way up, and I've even dropped a few spacers and plan on continuing to do so.

    Having said all that, I now do have a bike that came fitted with an all in one bar and stem combo - it's a little longer reach (10mm) wise than I currently am, but I have been working to go lower and longer over the last year, so I believe once I move to the 110 stem on the roadbike and the turbo bike, that I will then be on a par with the new bike, so I'm basically forcing myself to fit it if that makes sense!
    I appreciate that is likely an oxymoron, but I love the bike, and it makes me want to go out and ride :D
    And bl00dy hell those bars do look lush 8)
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Bars are consumables. If your bike falls over the bars will take a hit and you should at least think about replacing them.

    This gets very expensive with one piece carbon. Leave it to the pros.

    It's much more about looks than anything else. Why do you need your bars to be so stiff ?
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Daniel B wrote:
    I have considered it many times, but never actually went for it.

    They aren't cheap, and as already mentioned, they are totally inflexible, and generally pretty pricey.

    Also, depending on where you are in your cycling journey you may well find that your requirements change a lot.

    To give you a personal example, I used to ride an inline seatpost, with a 90mm inverted stem, with max spacers underneath.

    Over the last couple of years of mercilessly battering myself on the turbo, and working on core strength and general flexibility, I am now able to ride with a setback seatpost, 100mm stem (Soon to be 110) and with the stem the correct way up, and I've even dropped a few spacers and plan on continuing to do so.

    Having said all that, I now do have a bike that came fitted with an all in one bar and stem combo - it's a little longer reach (10mm) wise than I currently am, but I have been working to go lower and longer over the last year, so I believe once I move to the 110 stem on the roadbike and the turbo bike, that I will then be on a par with the new bike, so I'm basically forcing myself to fit it if that makes sense!
    I appreciate that is likely an oxymoron, but I love the bike, and it makes me want to go out and ride :D
    And bl00dy hell those bars do look lush 8)

    what a load of condasecnding bollox.

    cycling journey. bollox schmollox. years of mercilessly battering ....... blimey. someone has been at the local club.

    essentially buy what you want when you want - you don't need anyone else's approval.

    You work for your money, you can spend your money exactly how you want.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    alanyu wrote:

    Intergrated system has a big disadvantage: size. It's easy to change a stem if you feel uncomfortable for Gran Fondo or unaggressive for Ronde, but the intergrated one is not, and then you need a totally new one, killing your wallet.

    This. I had an integrated FSA Plasma on my Basso Astra. It was fine at first, but as time pressed on, I couldn't adjust the bars to a more negative set up.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 10,153
    philthy3 wrote:
    alanyu wrote:

    Intergrated system has a big disadvantage: size. It's easy to change a stem if you feel uncomfortable for Gran Fondo or unaggressive for Ronde, but the intergrated one is not, and then you need a totally new one, killing your wallet.

    This. I had an integrated FSA Plasma on my Basso Astra. It was fine at first, but as time pressed on, I couldn't adjust the bars to a more negative set up.

    Did you then go to seperate stem and bars, and flog the all in ones on?

    I'm hoping that does not happen to me, a lot of people will certainly stumble into this potential situation, as a fair few of the Canyon's have the all in one cockpit don't they, I guess it's more of an aerobike thang.

    Not sure how good resale is, I saw someone who bought a Foil trying to sell the brand new 110mm\420mm (He knew it was too short when he bought it, so sourced a longer stem version to replace it) setup, and they cost a whopping circa £450 new, but he couldn't shift it even for £250, which is still a shed load of cash, but also a big saving on the new price :?
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    Daniel B wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    alanyu wrote:

    Intergrated system has a big disadvantage: size. It's easy to change a stem if you feel uncomfortable for Gran Fondo or unaggressive for Ronde, but the intergrated one is not, and then you need a totally new one, killing your wallet.

    This. I had an integrated FSA Plasma on my Basso Astra. It was fine at first, but as time pressed on, I couldn't adjust the bars to a more negative set up.

    Did you then go to seperate stem and bars, and flog the all in ones on?

    I'm hoping that does not happen to me, a lot of people will certainly stumble into this potential situation, as a fair few of the Canyon's have the all in one cockpit don't they, I guess it's more of an aerobike thang.

    Not sure how good resale is, I saw someone who bought a Foil trying to sell the brand new 110mm\420mm (He knew it was too short when he bought it, so sourced a longer stem version to replace it) setup, and they cost a whopping circa £450 new, but he couldn't shift it even for £250, which is still a shed load of cash, but also a big saving on the new price :?

    Yes I did. Went to a 6' negative flip and FSA wing bars on the Basso. Some mug from Australia paid more than I did for the Plasma bars on eBay though. Auction not a buy it now.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    well he/she wasn't a mug if he/she saved money on what he/she would have had to pay for them otherwise

    #don'tbeabogan
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    well he/she wasn't a mug if he/she saved money on what he/she would have had to pay for them otherwise

    #don'tbeabogan

    Yes of course; more than list plus carriage. :roll:
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • mugensimugensi Posts: 559
    cougie wrote:
    Bars are consumables. If your bike falls over the bars will take a hit and you should at least think about replacing them.

    This gets very expensive with one piece carbon. Leave it to the pros.

    Most pros actually use alloy stems and some even alloy bars for increased stiffness etc
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    cougie wrote:
    Bars are consumables. If your bike falls over the bars will take a hit and you should at least think about replacing them.

    This gets very expensive with one piece carbon. Leave it to the pros.

    It's much more about looks than anything else. Why do you need your bars to be so stiff ?

    :lol::lol: In tests carbon is as strong as aluminium at withstanding impacts.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    philthy3 wrote:
    well he/she wasn't a mug if he/she saved money on what he/she would have had to pay for them otherwise

    #don'tbeabogan

    Yes of course; more than list plus carriage. :roll:

    whats the australian list?

    he/she would have had a reason

    #don'tbeabogan/clubbie
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • protoproto Posts: 1,483
    philthy3 wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    Bars are consumables. If your bike falls over the bars will take a hit and you should at least think about replacing them.

    This gets very expensive with one piece carbon. Leave it to the pros.

    It's much more about looks than anything else. Why do you need your bars to be so stiff ?

    :lol::lol: In tests carbon is as strong as aluminium at withstanding impacts.

    I know of one pro team that sent all their carbon bars back to the makers, as they broke a few in crashes, and asked for alum replacements. I could send you photos but I’d get someone in trouble.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    philthy3 wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    Bars are consumables. If your bike falls over the bars will take a hit and you should at least think about replacing them.

    This gets very expensive with one piece carbon. Leave it to the pros.

    It's much more about looks than anything else. Why do you need your bars to be so stiff ?

    :lol::lol: In tests carbon is as strong as aluminium at withstanding impacts.

    Which tests ??

    Carbon is great where it's used properly but it's not usually designed for impact. Alu will dent. Carbon won't.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    cougie wrote:
    philthy3 wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    Bars are consumables. If your bike falls over the bars will take a hit and you should at least think about replacing them.

    This gets very expensive with one piece carbon. Leave it to the pros.

    It's much more about looks than anything else. Why do you need your bars to be so stiff ?

    :lol::lol: In tests carbon is as strong as aluminium at withstanding impacts.

    Which tests ??

    Carbon is great where it's used properly but it's not usually designed for impact. Alu will dent. Carbon won't.

    You need to use the internet more. Carbon being brittle when constructed properly, is a myth.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    philthy3 wrote:
    well he/she wasn't a mug if he/she saved money on what he/she would have had to pay for them otherwise

    #don'tbeabogan

    Yes of course; more than list plus carriage. :roll:

    whats the australian list?

    he/she would have had a reason

    #don'tbeabogan/clubbie

    Well without my time machine to go back to 2012, its difficult to tell. :roll:
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
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