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Greetings Everyone!

Anybody using carbon bars for CX? I know, something the CX "elites" seem to avoid. But, plenty of pro MTB racers using them. What 's your take?

Although I realize the “risk” in running carbon bars for CX, as a “lightweight” rider (125 lb) I think I may be able to safely get away with using them (aside from crashes, etc.). Considering carbon K-Force Compact Bar (40cm) with OS-99 Stem. But, am I pushing my luck? Hate to “waste” a nice bar (plus $$$ and performance). But, K-Force very tempting.

(Currently running FSA Omega Shallow Drop Bar (40cm), and OS-150 stem (90mm) – Love everything about the design and feel, just lightening up.)

Thoughts? – Insight into the strength/durability of the K-Force Compact Bar? OS-99 stem?

What's been your experience with carbon bars for CX?


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I don't know about your K-Force's durability, but I'm sure it's a good bar. And I don't think your weight is the issue with carbon bars, it's just the fact that in 'cross the bars will certainly be banging the ground once in a while, and maybe end up being sat on, etc., which is what might eventually break or damage carbons bars. I ran a Ritchey carbon bar for a couple of years with no problems (and a bunch of crashes) but I finally decided that I'd pushed my luck as far as it could go and went with WCS alloy bars. I'd hate get taken out of a race because an insignificant slip turned into a big mechanical problem like snapped bars. With alloy bars it's one less thing to worry about. I don't think you see as many carbon bars in the pro ranks today as you used to, which could be economic, as well a durability issue.

Saving weight is great, but if you want to do well in any race you've got to have a bike that can make it to the finish line.
I think Surly Bastard nailed it on the bars.

As for the OS-99 stems, nice and light and from a durability standpoint they will hold up fine (really just an aluminum stem wrapped with some pretty carbon graphics)..... The carbon faceplate worries me with its lack of overall surface area contact on the bar. If I were to cross this I would drop some locktite on inside face of the clamp to ensure you don't end up slipping the bars landing bunny hops, jammin ditches, etc. You don't want to over torque the bolts, the faceplate doesn't like that.
The standard OS-99 is super flexy. I would not recommend it unless you are going for absolute lowest weight.

I have not tried a OS-99 CSI (carbon wrapped version) I would assume it would be a bit stiffer.
Yep, I agree on the carbon bar - too susceptible to CX carnage and abuse. Decided to put it out of mind.

Going with the 90mm FSA OS-99, stem - alloy-only version (NON-carbon wrap), Ti face plate, hardware. So far, have not detected any flex. But, at 5'5" 125 lb, not sure I will.

Thanks for your thoughts.
I have seen carbon seat posts and bars break...don't do it- it's ugly, especially if you are participating in a series or race that you are invested in.


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