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Carbon cockpit/seat post suggestions?
 

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sjm845
Joined: 28 Mar 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Haskell NJ

5/2/18 9:43 AM

Carbon cockpit/seat post suggestions?

Hi- looking to maybe upgrade to carbon post/stem/bars. Concered about my weight, not components! Im 62, 225 and wondering if im too big for carbon? Currently ride a litespeed T5 with thomson post (9 showing), fsa stem 130mm, ritchey wcs 46cm bars. I would make the switch for comfort and stiffness. At my size a few grams dont matter! Any suggestions? Thanks.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16337
Location: Portland, OR

5/2/18 11:09 AM

If you want the carbon one piece cockpit for looks, just do it. Don't try to justify it for compliance I say. ;)

Posts:
Syntace P6 HiFlex is lifetime warranty and no weight limit, not to mention MTN use does not void warranty. It Flexes a bit and adds about 1/2 the movement of a Domane roughly. My ISP Scott does not seem to be overtly non compliant FWIW.

I have one, pricey but IMO nice, clamp excellent, looks good IMO, about as well made as you'd expect it could be. Another route, I have a 27.2 shimmed to a 25.4 CADO C2 post. Both show a good amount of post, the P6 is more compliant. [insert snickering Muttley gif]

If your fit has only a few inches of post showing, save your money on the P6 as it will flex very little if only 3" is above the frame in your riding position.

Unless you sprint a lot, stiff bars make no sense. I still sprint some and it is a strength of mine, always been. Not as useful as it was dicing with 25 year olds back when I was 40-45 ;).

Bars:
Just having new VS old carbon bars probably a good idea. I replaced all the bars on my most used bikes in the last few seasons. Well a few are only one/two season old builds at this point on the plastic bikes...

I have EC90SLX Eastons on one carbon bike, and Control Tech TUX on another. Considering the TUX was the flexiest carbon bar in a test I saw, I can barely notice a difference, but can. Each cost me $120-5.00 on sale.

What has made a difference is the Tranz-X Flex stems on both of those bikes. $75.00 each overseas. But I have to lube them to stop noises. I literally turn the bike upside down and douse with water from my bottle when the noise starts up. A little annoying, but some compliance is there.

Probably fitting bigger tires on wide rims will net as much if not more than both these things. But as said tires and these flex compliance parts together add the most if compliance is what you are after.

I am currently running these parts and 28-30mm tires including some tubeless. These parts allow for higher pressures and the 'parts' do the compliance. This way I get back from my 50 mile rides almost a minute faster from the lower rolling resistance.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4007
Location: Nashua, NH

5/2/18 11:56 AM

Post yes, bars maybe, stem no

As sparky said, you can gain significant compliance with a carbon seatpost. While I love Thomson seatposts and have them on multiple bikes, they are really stiff. I have both a Cannondale Carbon SAVE post and a Niner RDO seatpost, both of which do seem to offer a noticeable degree of compliance. It's not a magic carpet ride, but it's an improvement.

Most carbon bars are also stiff as hell, so I stick with aluminum. Carbon bars will save you 50 grams or so, but the lack of comfort and crazy prices aren't worth the weight savings to me. I've been using 3T Ergo Sum Pro bars and find that they're stiff enough for good control, but flex a bit to take the edge off rough road surfaces. I typically find them for around $50. I always double wrap my bar tape, which probably makes more difference than the bars do. I've grown quite fond of Cannondale Synapse 3.5mm tape, both for comfort and durability.

Carbon stems are a complete waste of money, IMO. They're not any lighter than alloy stems, they cost a LOT more and they're very stiff. Since the switch in standards to 1 1/8" steerers and 31.8mm bars, I haven't seen any alloy stems that I would categorize as flexy and I ride 130mm stems, too. Unless somehow your current stem is a real noodle, stick with it and keep some cash in your pocket.

I agree with Sparky that wide rubber is really the key to comfort on a bike without any special compliance features. The other issue is tire pressure, which most people tend to overdo. I'm typically in the 170-175# range and run 25mm tires at 72/82, front rear. I never get pinch flats. At your weight, you probably want to run around 90/100, but you should experiment to see what works best for your local road conditions and your riding style.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16337
Location: Portland, OR

5/2/18 1:42 PM

"which most people tend to overdo."


I am usually 100kilo coming out of winter and some what closer to 90 in about 1000+ miles in. I eat too much, and in winter... yada

Being our size is near same, I will say what I have settled into with a little more detail.

Bigger 25s to normal sized 28s, which are about the same. Conti GP4 and Michelin 25s run big. Pro 4 SC on wide rims are 28.5, GP4 same pretty much.

If you like the high pressure on rails feel, you probably can get away with narrow rims with the same tires max.

I really like these tires above on 17min/19/21Cx622 rims. My Pacenti SL23s being the widest Rim brake set I have. Before fitting the flexy bars, gel pads, tran-x stems and posts mentioned I ran 80/85 lowest. Now with the parts and either the WH-6800/Sector 28 tubeless or latex tubed GP4 [fav fair weather tire] I am running a little more, 85/90. And on the Domane or steel bike 90/95+. Which to me feels most like a 23mm Tubular @ 100+ than anything not sewup.

For a century or double [as I recall] I'd drop 5+lb per tire.

But agree; Tires pressures 10-15% maybe. Stems/post/bars 3-9% perhaps. Wide rims is more about feel IMO. Like when you went from bias to radials on your car I guess.

The 85 Nago redux is 25.4 bars and a 135mm Titanium Stem. Same on the Reynolds 753 OS steely, 125mm but longer reach bars. Difference being one is quill, one ahead. The Ti quill is flexier. I grab the bars and yank and bank to watch other riders faces when they see just how much that moves. ;)

Out for a mid 70s^ ride after a few days of 45-50 and rain.... Later....

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sjm845
Joined: 28 Mar 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Haskell NJ

5/2/18 3:43 PM

Thanks for info...I'm currently running 26mm tires on a wide HED Belgium + rims. My seatpost is big--30mm. Run the tires low and do as much as I can for comfort. Still get after it a bit climbing and sprinting but just really want as plush and stiff a bike as possible, hence asking about the upgrade. Ritchey makes a hybrid alum/carbon stem I was thinking about. The FSA stem I have now at 130 gets flexy when I get going. I was actually more worried about the bars and snapping them.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4007
Location: Nashua, NH

5/2/18 7:03 PM

You're not going to break bars

Unless you crash on them or damage them with an ill-fitting stem, carbon bars are not going to break. The one exception might be Chinese knock-offs, but you can avoid that problem by buying a name brand from a reliable source.

Aluminum bars can fatigue over time (years), but modern Al bars are stiff enough that it's not really an issue (if it doesn't flex, it doesn't fatigue). Again, they could be damaged by an ill-fitting stem that gouges them and creates stress riser where cracks could form, but that won't happen with quality components.

There are plenty of riders who are stronger than any of us here who ride both types of bars without incident.

The Ritchey carbon stem looks nice but I fail to see where it offers any functional advantage, especially compared to Ritchey's aluminum offerings, which are excellent (I have them on multiple bikes).

As for your seatpost, you may end up having to use a shim and a 27.2mm post if you want something with reasonable compliance. They don't seem to be made in many diameters.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 16337
Location: Portland, OR

5/2/18 8:11 PM

Agree, shim the post to 27.2 And just get a stem of large diameter forged AL and 4 bolts 31.8 if you want stiff. Less taper on the bars from the stem section to the first bend should be stiffer. Tube diameter x 3.14 et al, stem and bars wide part as big diameter as possible.

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