Author Topic: Carbon bars, seatpost  (Read 537 times)

LivingProof

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Re: Carbon bars, seatpost
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2012, 06:53:07 am »
My road bike came with carbon fork and steerer, and I did upgrade the handlebars to a carbon-fiber reinforced with Kevlar handlebar. It is a bit damper, but I did it because of the comfort factor for my hands.  The top of the bars is flatter which is where my hands are most of the time, and there is an indent in the bend that also makes that position more comfortable than a pure round bar. 
http://www.fullspeedahead.com/products/183/K-Wing-Compact

For over a year, I've been fighting a very sore left hand at the base of the thumb joint. Research, via the net, indicated arthritis as the most probable cause, and, I just had that confirmed via x-ray. Damn the aging process. >:(  It's surprising how much a small jolt can inflict a fair amount of pain. My thumb can also become very weak, no problem on a road bike, but, this fall I will need to change the thumb shifter on my cross bike to permit shifting with my hand grip. I can ride both in the drops and on the hoods of my shifters without pain, although after a couple of hours on the road, my thumb will be sore.  I do have aero-bars and use them just to get all pressure off my hand. Not a fan of extended riding in that position.

While road biking, I've become pretty adept at looking for bumps in the road, then, getting my left hand off the handlebar. I've been considering transitioning to carbon bars. My net research seems to indicate that they will be damper, but, there is no magic to cure my problem.

Any thoughts?

Liam

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Re: Carbon bars, seatpost
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2012, 07:32:27 am »
Carbon Bars:  I have used the Race Face Next Carbon low rise bar for four years on three different bikes...still going strong, no complaints. 

Carbon Seat Post:  That is one product I have seen (and been part of) multiple failures of...I had an older Easton EC 90 the frayed and split on a ride, and I've seen them sheared clean on friend's bikes as well. 

I'm a Thompson seatpost and stem man for life.  It's the gold standard no matter what the criteria is-there are some products that are just the best-THompson Seatpost and Stems are one of them.

I own (and I am looking to sell) a USE Alien Suspension Seatpost-27.5.   You can check the mtbr reviews on this product, it is very highly regarded.  It does add a ton of 'comfort' and seated control with little fuss to a hard tail....if that's what you're looking for.


Bigger tires run tubeless are one of the keys to comfortable all mountain bliss.  Josh is right about that 100%.


I also use Ergon grips (small)---Some folks love 'em, some hate them, they're not for everyone, but for me, they added a ton of comfort, reduction in arm, wrist, and neck pain.  I won't ride anything else for grips.

Liam


jim-ratliff

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Re: Carbon bars, seatpost
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2012, 07:59:41 am »
For over a year, I've been fighting a very sore left hand at the base of the thumb joint. Research, via the net, indicated arthritis as the most probable cause, and, I just had that confirmed via x-ray. Damn the aging process. >:(  It's surprising how much a small jolt can inflict a fair amount of pain. My thumb can also become very weak, no problem on a road bike, but, this fall I will need to change the thumb shifter on my cross bike to permit shifting with my hand grip.
Living Proof: I hear you. I had a blast injury to my left hand back in 1972 that almost severed my left thumb. I still have very limited range of motion, little strength, and only about an inch of web space between the thumb and first finger (but I can hold a ski pole). The damage was my biggest reason for the K-Wing bar, longer rides with round bar became quite uncomfortable in the web space. The flatter top section allows me to get more of my palm on the top of the bar with fingers wrapped around and under. Much more comfortable for me now that I've gotten the pressure off of the area between the thumb and finger.

For my mountain bike thumb shifter, I reach across and shift the left thumb trigger with my right hand, and that works just fine for me. In fact, I'll bet I'm smooth enough at it that Lynn has never even noticed.

My son had grip shifts on an old, upper end Cannondale bike, and I really didn't like the feel. I would certainly test ride grip shifters before making that transition.

PS.
The FSA K-Wing Aero bar is a wing shaped bar (as opposed to round), not aero bars like tri-athletes ride. They are also a more compact drop, so riding in the drops is more comfortable than the drops on standard road bars.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 08:35:13 am by jim-ratliff »
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Svend

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Re: Carbon bars, seatpost
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2012, 10:50:42 am »
LP -- re. the shifting troubles on your cross bike; are you using flat bars with mtn. bike shifters? If so, what part of the shifting motion is causing pain? Just the movement itself, regardless of how much resistance is presented by the levers? Or only on one of the levers, which happens to be very stiff and hard to move (ie. the upshift lever, left hand, large paddle)? If you elaborate a bit, perhaps I can suggest a fix.  I am thinking that if it's only when you apply a lot of pressure to the big lever (upshift), and we can ease the resistance, then you might be good (?).  Specifically what I am getting at is that there is can be significant resistance at the lever that is caused by friction in the entire line from shift mechanism to derailleur, and alleviated that friction can make shifting much smoother and lighter. 

For example, when I ride my father-in-law's bike, or test ride my daughter's bike, both of which have identical derailleurs and shift levers to mine (SRAM X9), they are both super smooth and effortless to shift, requiring only light pressure on the left-hand upshift lever.  My own bike, OTOH, requires a lot of thumb force and can be a bear to get it to upshift.  The difference? Better cables on the other two bikes -- quality Jagwire, vs. OE cheap cables on my bike.  That, and when lubing the shifter and derailleur mechanisms helps some too, but better cables are really where it's at.  Needless to say, if I keep my bike for next season, I will be swapping cables and going with Jagwire.

Liam -- thanks for the insight.  As I mentioned, I am really impressed by Thomson's stuff, and would not hesitate to buy any of their components.  I will definitely be putting one of their stems on my wife's bike, and it would make a nice combo with a Race Face Next low-rise or flat bar.  The more I hear and read about carbon seat post failures, the less inclined I am to go there, esp. given the marginal benefits.  I think I'll stick to working with a larger rear tire and tubeless conversion to ease the impacts back there. 

I should add -- she is not finding the bike uncomfortable, per se, so this is not the impetus for these upgrades.  She loves the bike, and rides it hard over rough terrain without a word of complaint.  But since I want to upgrade some middle of the road components anyway, the opportunity to make an aluminum hardtail 26er more of a plush ride is certainly worth taking advantage of, and paying attention to this aspect in our choice of parts.

Next thread will be about forks....
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 01:39:04 pm by Svend »

LivingProof

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Re: Carbon bars, seatpost
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2012, 06:30:56 am »
LP -- re. the shifting troubles on your cross bike; are you using flat bars with mtn. bike shifters? If so, what part of the shifting motion is causing pain? Just the movement itself, regardless of how much resistance is presented by the levers? Or only on one of the levers, which happens to be very stiff and hard to move (ie. the upshift lever, left hand, large paddle)? If you elaborate a bit, perhaps I can suggest a fix.  I am thinking that if it's only when you apply a lot of pressure to the big lever (upshift), and we can ease the resistance, then you might be good (?).  Specifically what I am getting at is that there is can be significant resistance at the lever that is caused by friction in the entire line from shift mechanism to derailleur, and alleviated that friction can make shifting much smoother and lighter. 

  My own bike, OTOH, requires a lot of thumb force and can be a bear to get it to upshift.  The difference? Better cables on the other two bikes -- quality Jagwire, vs. OE cheap cables on my bike.  That, and when lubing the shifter and derailleur mechanisms helps some too, but better cables are really where it's at.  Needless to say, if I keep my bike for next season, I will be swapping cables and going with Jagwire.

Svend,
My cross bike (not a cyclocross) is currently configured with road drop bars, using road-style brake levers and the 7 speed mountain bike shifters. You are quite correct that the friction is a function of older equipment and shift cables. I don't have power at the ends of thumb range of motion, plus, the pain can be intense.  I did the conversion from flat bars to facilitate climbing on tours in hilly regions. I've always liked the ability to use narrower tires on the road and wider tires for light trail use, which is why I still have the old frame.

As Jim does on his bike, frequently, I need to do the shifting on the left side with my right hand. I've been fighting poor shifting for too long, but, it was not much of an issue as the trails I ride can be done mostly in the middle chain-ring.. I plan on converting back to a flat bar and have some XT gear for the brakes and shifters. I like your thoughts about using better cable and will give that a try.

Svend

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Re: Carbon bars, seatpost
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2012, 07:15:44 am »
Yeah, it's definitely worth checking out. I would guess that it takes about half the thumb pressure to upshift the front derailleur on the other two bikes than it does on mine....same equipment, just better cables.  Do you have the opportunity to try another bike with lighter shifters, to see if the pain is still there? Might be worth a short ride. Otherwise, swapping cables is cheap and easy to do, and should be done anyway on older bikes as routine maintenance, as it can fix a number of shifting problems -- missed shifts, sluggish shifts, skipped shifts....that sort of thing. It's only $30 for a full cable kit; $20 for a cable cutter tool; and a half hour under a shade tree with a frosty beverage :-)

Let me know if you need advice on kit and method - glad to help. 

I sure hope this does the trick for you.  It would be an easy solution and save you some hassle.  Even if you do decide to revert back to flat bars and older shifters, new cables may help significantly.  Good luck with it. 

« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 12:37:31 pm by Svend »

epic

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Re: Carbon bars, seatpost
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2012, 01:07:30 pm »
For a flat bar bike, you might want to check out Shimano's (discontinued) dual-control stuff. The thumb is not involved as the brake lever is your shifter. It works a treat.

For road-style shifters, I'd think most anything except Campy would be good, but Di2 would have to be the best. Mouse-click shifting and you can put satellite shifters anywhere - tops, drops, aerobars, whatever.