|There are people out there who will never run a carbon fiber anything out of fear. That sort of thinking is unsound, for the most part, and is usually the result of them having seen a failed carbon component that didn't seem justified. There being a ton of photos online of broken carbon stuff, most of it with the owner either not realizing why it failed or not explaining it at all, doesn't really help the case for carbon. I've seen a lot more broken aluminum bars than carbon bars in the last twenty years (although aluminum surely outnumbers carbon 100 to 1 over that time) and I'd personally trust a carbon bar so long as it was looked after. And that's where there really is a difference... nearly anyone with a hex tool can install an aluminum bar and not mess it up, you can scratch the hell out of it without worrying as much, and you don't have to be concerned about things like tie-down hooks on it.|
Bottom line: an aluminum bar is better for a rider who is ham fisted, rough on their stuff, or doesn't inspect their gear every now and then. Carbon components can be made to be stronger, no doubt about it in my mind, but they can also more susceptible to damage. As for carbon's damping abilities, I wouldn't be too concerned given that you have eight inches of travel, a massive tire with about 25 PSI in it, and are a recreational downhiller. To be honest, most of the new carbon handlebars out there, and especially those that feature a 35mm stem clamp section, are very stiff and unforgiving. My advice would be to find a handlebar with the geometry that you prefer and then go from there, and spend the extra coin on a carbon bar if you look after your stuff and wouldn't mind the weigh savings. - Mike Levy
Deity's DC31-Mohawk looks like a great carbon handlebar, but that doesn't mean that carbon bars are great for everyone.
|During my time living in the Pacific Northwest I've tried all manner of waterproof / breathable jackets, with prices ranging from inexpensive to astronomical, and in your price range the Marmot PreCip ($99) is one of my favorites. It's not designed specifically for cycling, but the hood will still fit over a helmet, and the arms have enough length and articulation to keep them from riding up or hindering your movement on the bike. It also has long pit zips, which are a necessity for those warm and wet days where maximum air circulation is required to avoid feeling like you're wearing a plastic bag, a common occurrence no matter how breathable a jacket claims to be. In addition to all that, the PreCip will pack down into its own pocket, making it easy to toss into your bag just in case those threatening dark clouds decide to start pouring down rain. - Mike Kazimer|
|Enduro racers must be self-sufficient during their race runs and some tape their essentials, like a mini-tool, some tire levers, a CO2 kit, and a spare tube under the top tube, and use a frame-mount water bottle. Tuck food into your pocket and you should be ready to go for a bit more than an hour of racing. Specialized makes the SWAT (I think that stands for, "Spandex With A Twist") bib shorts, which are a PB favorite. SWAT shorts have slim pockets sewn into the back, designed to be secure storage for water air and tools. You won't be jeopardized by having 60-percent of your body covered by skin-hugging Spandex in public, because the comfy bibs are intended to be worn under baggy shorts and a loose-fitting jersey. - RC|
Anneke Beerten simply tapes her essential tools and spares to the top tube of her frame - a simple solution perhaps, but nothing rattles and it keeps everything organized in plain view for a quick track-side repair. Specialized's SWAT bib shorts are much less cumbersome than a hydration pack and store similar items in a more convenient manner.
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