It can be really tough to stay away from the trails for long periods. There can be many reasons, not only the weather or the season. Although, sooner or later, everyone has to deal with a forced break.
To kill the time, why don’t you take care of your bike? There is alwayssome small or big improvement on your waiting list – either purely esthetic or a modification to improve performance. This is the best moment to spend some time in your garage and work on it.
The carbon handlebar is becoming very popular among MTB lovers and its benefits can be easily identified. Luckily, you do not need great mechanic skills: compared to traditional aluminum, carbon boasts greater elasticity and lower weight.
A carbon handlebar bends much more than a light alloy one. It better absorbs part of the vibrations that wheel and fork are not able to soften. This means higher comfort and less stress to your arms.
Although, mounting a valuable material like carbon fiber requires further attention compared to other metal accessories.
Many handlebar stems are designed with sharp edges, ideal for the coupling with a carbon handlebar. To mount it properly, it is recommended to use thin abrasive paper, like P280, to file the sharp corners in the clamping area. This way, the straight angle is slightly smoothened, reducing the blade effect the stem could put on the carbon fiber in case of impact.
It is extremely important to clamp with the right torque on the handlebar, usually 4 to 6 Nm. For now and for the future, get a torque wrench and stay away from those who say they have it in their wrist!
Please notice the clamping sequence of the four screws of the handlebar stem: these should be bolted in a cross, starting from the up left, then the lower right, then up right and, last, the lower left. This procedure enables the front plate to put a homogenous pressure and to evenly stress the handlebar.
Be careful also to the positioning and the clamping of controls. Do not tighten too much the brake and seatpost levers, leaving them free to turn in case of impact.
Go and enjoy!
It might not take off five seconds from your training program or, all of a sudden, give you the courage to jump that road gap you usually ride on the side. Although, superior technical gear gives you more confidence. With some training, this enables you to always push your limits and keep on improving.