sleeved handlebars ..... occasionaly they may fail

I had a little incident that I thought might be worth highlighting: handlebars with centre sleeved section seemed to split it’s bond so that the inner portion could rotate freely from the outer central sleeve. I’ve always been a fan of these style bars thinking the beefier centre section with more material to be superior. Cinelli, 3TTT, Nitto and many others have used this popular method of construction. These bars were mid 80’s vintage and clean as a whistle on the outside showing very little use. Luckily I wasn’t hurt and I caught this without incident … the bars rotated about 90 degrees.

I’ll still happily use these style of bars and I don’t think it’s design flaw but I write here to remind us all that every now and then to check your handlebars. This goes without saying for any bicycle component :wink:

I’ve got two sets of this style on my bikes. Do you think this would have been visible prior to the slip? I’m not sure what to look for when I check my handlebars.

Nittos (well teh nuudles have a little slot cut through the sleeve at the stem clamp location so the sleeve is effectively acting as a shim which might prevent this problem?

I have heard of it happening but never seen it,
I think some are even a 3 piece design
As a preventative you could probably put a small rivet in the bottom?

I had a clean instantaneous snap of a sleeved handlebar late 80’s or early 90’s whilst leading the pack in the last lap of a crit at Lakeside.
The sleeve was carbon, and the bars alloy. I believe the sleeve didn’t alloy any flex in the bar, putting a lot of stress where the sleeve finished.
Did I crash? No, I held it up, the pack baulked and slowed down, so I rolled off the front and time trialled to the finish for a win.

Just try to move them. Stand over the front wheel facing the bike from the front and give the bars a heave. If the don’t move then great.

I’ve never had an issue with these types of bars before. It is very rare that this happened which Is why I posted … good to double check :wink:

Had it start to happen to me with some older cinelli bars overseas. was informed it wasn’t common for bars of this vintage/type. more of an, if it starts creaking, double check. in my case you could see the bars had started to ‘slip’.