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Having analysed many broken handlebars in my engineering office one thing became very clear: The major part of failed handlebars, ie, stems was caused by incorrect assembly.
Therefore, adhere to some advice: Always assemble handlebar and stem of the same manufacturer and the same quality line. Comply with the torques indicated for the bolts by using an adequate torque wrench and regularly control the torques. Assure yourself at the manufacturer’s whether the torques indicated also apply to carbon handlebars. Since with fittings the torques printed on, often are too high for carbon handlebars! Therefore assemble parts like brake levers, bar ends and stems with some special carbon-assembly-paste within the marks printed on by the manufacturer. This paste increases friction – thereby achieving safe hold of the parts already with low bolt forces (material-gentle torque).
If you want to cut short your handlebar, check with the manufacturer where the reinforced parts for bar-end-clamping, brake- and shift levers are. If these parts are not clamped on the reniforcements, a break is preprogrammed.
Author: Dirk Zedler, graduate engineer, BIKE writer and bike expert
bike-magazin.de, April 24, 2020