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Our first lightweight carbon handlebars

Introducing the Litebike x Pro superlight carbon handlebars. 176g.



Litebike pro carbon handlebars



Over the past few months we’ve been working with a factory to create comfortable, super lightweight carbon handlebars for road cycling and bikepacking.


We wanted something ergonomic and indisputably lightweight.


We have learned a lot and enjoyed it.



How are your carbon handlebars made?


The manufacturing process starts with designing the handlebars using computer-aided design (CAD) software. We wanted a handlebar that was both ergonomic and lightweight. This is where the choices start. While I doubt this will settle the round v aero carbon handlebar debate, we went for a round design which we find are more comfortable over longer distances (50km+). Using high grade carbon fibre is a bit of a no brainer because of its strength, stiffness and lightweight properties. Carbon fibre handlebars also do much better at sucking up road buzz compared to alloy ones.


Sheets of carbon fibre, pre-impregnated with epoxy resin, are then cut and laid carefully into the mould. This mould then needs to be put into a vacuum to remove any air pockets and help ensure a uniform pressure distribution during curing. Precision at this point was critical to getting the handlebars to 176g. It relies on every piece of carbon fibre being cut and layered just right.


The curing process involves applying heat and pressure to the mould, allowing the epoxy resin to harden and bond the carbon fibre layers together. Once the curing is complete, the carbon handlebars are removed from the mould and are sanded and then polished to create a smooth finish.


carbon handlebar lightweight
Getting ready for the first test ride

We then put the carbon handlebars through a series of rigorous tests. This included what they call ‘destructive testing’ which in simple terms tests the strength of handlebars by seeing what it will take to break them.


It’s not just about the stats. What’s really important to us is how the handlebars perform in the real world. We had the first batch shipped to our workshop and gave them to our cycling buddies to test out. We got great feedback.


Where are they made?


We work with a small manufacturer in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China. We chose to partner with them because of their decades of expertise and how they promote and sustain fair labour practices, safe working conditions and environmental responsibility in the finished-goods.



Litebike pro carbon handlebars


Are carbon handlebars more comfortable?


Carbon handlebars are more comfortable because the carbon fibre absorbs road vibrations that cause fatigue, especially over long distances. This is known as “viscoelastic behaviour” where the carbon fibre handlebars deform and recover under the influence of vibrations, generating heat that dissipates the vibration energy.


Carbon handlebars are lighter meaning you can cycle faster and further with less effort. Our Litebike x Pro superlight carbon handlebars are 176g. Pretty epic.


Are carbon handlebars worth it?


Yes.



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