Video: ENVE DH Minnaarbar Impact Test

Video

The video below will shows just how strong the Minnaarbar is.

YouTube Preview Image Video: This impact test illustrates the strength of the new signature edition ENVE DH Minnaarbar. Impact is totally rigid with 16lb. weights affixed to both ends of the bar. Minnaarbar is 808mm wide, 245 grams, and was the same bar Greg Minnaar rode to his second World Championship victory.

Impressive huh? But what does it mean? How does the Minnaarbar compare to others and how do those impacts translate to trail riding? We caught up with Jake Pantone of ENVE for some insight.

Mtbr: What is this test and how does it translate to the trail?
Jake: The test is an industry baseline test. The impact is to a damper that is completely rigid on initial impact. So it’s pretty unrealistic to compare it to the real world where suspension, wheels, tires, arms, wrists, shoulders, etc… are absorbing the majority of the impacts. The force at max drop height is over 2000lbs of force which we have determined using math J and some fancy accelerometers.

Mtbr: How does 150 drops at max height compare to others?
Jake: We tested a popular Brand A aluminum bar at 345 grams and a Brand B carbon bar from a competitor that was 785 wide and 225 grams. The Brand A aluminum bar at nearly 100 grams heavier bent to unrideable proportions after 40 or so drops. The Brand B competitor’s carbon bar broke at 32” or after 5 drops and never made max height.

Our ENVE Sweep Bar and Riser bars will take the 44” drop but will display damage. There are no other carbon bars that we’ve tested that will take that hit. They usually display damage before we get to that height.

Fact of the matter is that this impact is more than anyone could hang on to. Carbon doesn’t fatigue like alloy, if you crash or impact alloy it remembers it. Carbon can take impact like the one in the video forever as long as the resin/fiber bonds aren’t crushed or broken. The only damage we have ever seen in the field has been associated to lock on grips that use set pins and over tightening certain stem models that are sharp edged. The ENVE Direct Mount stem we used for the testing really helps prevent damage to the clamp zones.

Specs

The Minnaarbar is an 808mm wide, 245 gram, full-carbon downhill specific handlebar that is produced and manufactured in Ogden, Utah. The Minnaarbar is an exact replica of the handlebar Greg ran throughout the 2013 World Cup season.

The Minnaarbar is now shipping and will retail for $225.

Video: ENVE DH Minnaarbar Impact Test Gallery
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Minnaarbar Angle

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World Champ Detail

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Enve Drop Test

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Disappointing says:

    “Carbon doesn’t fatigue like alloy, if you crash or impact alloy it remembers it. Carbon can take impact like the one in the video forever as long as the resin/fiber bonds aren’t crushed or broken.”

    Science, bitch!
    Except, where is the science? By being so loose with the truth you reduce (or lose completely) your credibility with an educated reader. Not only is it poor form, misleading and wrong, it is also irresponsible. Carbon composites may not fatigue in the traditional sense however they are subject to ageing and crack propagation with end results not unlike fatigue (although often in a harder to observe and more catastrophic manor). By your own (implied) admission – the aluminium bar bent, the carbon composite bar broke. By implying that a carbon bar is impervious to impact you encourage people to use impacted components with impunity, consequences be damned.
    Carbon composites are great materials with serious, inherent problems with regard to impact damage and failure modes. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand this and your disinformation campaign does us all a disservice.

    • Sevo says:

      Disappointed-he never their bars broke, just displayed signs of damage at a certain drop. He did say a competitors brand broke. The alloy “bent” which essential meant it’s broke/ unrideable. Not sure where you get the idea “bent” is good. It still means you crash and probably end up breaking something worse.

      But alas, you’ve made it quite obvious to those of us with real world experience and understanding of the material that you have not. Kinda funny you’re crying for numbers with none of your own numbers.

      Carbon, made well, is quite nearly impossible to make a bad product. And really, alloy bars these days can offer a value for those looking for one. Plus, the world DH circuit has been all alloy bars until ENVE really….which is of no surprise as they were the first to bring carbon DH rims to the podium. Lots of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place on their products over the years. Hard to argue with those numbers.

      I’m sure we’ve never heard of your name in the industry, and had you given it…well, I guess Disappointed was after all an appropriate psyeudonym?

      • Disappointing says:

        Dearest Sevo,

        I feel as though I have angered, offended or otherwise aggravated you. Believe me, my good fellow, this was not my intention. Unfortunately, it seems not only that you have misinterpreted my intent but also misunderstood my arguments. Of course this is a common occurrence with written media, however I am a somewhat disturbed. I could not recall nor see where I asked for numbers. I would appreciate it if you could help an old-boy out and show me where I did. Rather embarrassing when I cannot even correctly read what I have written. I did enjoy your comments though, indeed “Lots of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place on their products over the years. Hard to argue with those numbers” is certainly a tough challenge. Perhaps because there are no numbers present. Perhaps also because racers with sponsorships and mechanics subject their components to different lifetime conditions to the average consumer.

        Something which you have almost correctly understood is my position on bending vs breaking. Given the choice between bending and breaking, of course bending is preferred (and could almost be called “good” depending on the circumstances). In fact, a relatively small but observable bend would probably not result in a crash, although even if it did, I would much rather a bent bar than a broken one passing me by, all else being equal. Broken carbon is not known for its comfort and those pesky fibres are not the best thing for one’s health.

        I was also very sorry to disappoint you with my disappointing pseudonym. I am but a humble consumer; no doubt you neither know me nor have heard of me. Despite revealing this shocking revelation I must ask you to brace yourself for I have more disturbing news: this does not invalidate my points. It does lead one to question why you attack me for my use of a nom de plume, when you yourself have taken one. Should I infer that you are an “industry insider”? You don’t make a scientific argument, which leads me to assume that you are not an engineer or scientist. You do make some wild conjecture, so perhaps you are in marketing or sales.

        The bicycle industry has not yet managed to change material science and they are not alone in implementing them in the “real world”. I merely attempt to remove the cloak of marketing to enable consumers with somewhat less experience and/or knowledge to make an informed decision. Statements such as, “Carbon, made well, is quite nearly impossible to make a bad product”, are unfortunately as far removed from reality as I am from winning next year’s downhill world championship. It is such fallacies which I rail against. Nevertheless, even if that were the case (which it isn’t, just to be clear – I don’t want any more confusion), today carbon composites have an issue with non-visual inspection and damage tolerance.

        When considering carbon composite components consumers should make an educated decision, considering their personal selection criteria and relative importance thereof. As it stands, I choose not to run carbon composites on safety critical components (and on environmental grounds try to reduce the amount of composite components generally). If others choose differently, then so be it. I only hope to help make those decisions better informed.

  • Ray says:

    Would a crack not be a crushed/broken resin/fiber bond, the exact caveat in the quote you chose to tear apart? Old carbon might be weaker, but no one, including yourself and the experts, know exactly how fast the structural integrity degrades. There are too many variables in play to even guess. There are, however, carbon products from the 80′s still around, just as light and strong as ever as far as most can tell (so long as they are undamaged, of course).

    I believe his statement holds true, so long as the structure remains uncompromised, no strength is lost. This is an attribute not held by alloys-abuse with no physical signs (like crushed or broken fiber or resin bonds, because alloys can’t show that type of thing) can still result in a structure not capable of withstanding the same impact a second time.

    I’ve broken my share of alloy parts, most of the time, it was not the biggest hit or hardest crash, it was a random impact I’d been through dozens of times. Heck, I snapped a cro-mo pedal spindle jumping a curb, about a month after using the same equipment to hit 3-5 foot drops to flat on pavement for hours. Snapped chains doing a dinky wheelie in my driveway, not hammering up a hill. I bet you’ve had a similar experience with a part or two, maybe even a frame.

    You seem like you know what you’re talking about, but this is a 3 minute commercial showing fantastic performance in a simple test, not a white-paper study on structural integrity. Further, who the heck would think they can use carbon with impunity after they proved the other stuff out there performed worse than average aluminum?

    You can ride with impunity with those bars, they’ve proven tougher than anyone could need, and they’re pretty light to boot. Not all cars perform like a Ferrari, and not all carbon performs like this, and this is the most scientifically sound test of that I could think of to show just that.

  • Disappointing says:

    Hi Ray,

    I think I probably wasn’t clear enough in my initial post.

    Often (most) damage to carbon composites cannot be observed through non-destructive testing. The damage to resin and or fibres lies beneath the surface. This damage is often the result of a point impact (as opposed to the dynamic loading shown in the video) or is present due to manufacturing flaws. Aluminium and steel alloys typically display signs of damage (bending and/or cracking) before failure. To be fair, these are often overlooked but are typically present if the components are examined closely and much easier to observe than with carbon composites.

    An aluminium or steel alloy part which fails after two impacts (as you suggest) are not failing due to fatigue as such but due to the loading exceeding the part’s strength. This either means the part was damaged and weakened in the first impact which should result in visible damage or else the second impact was simply in excess of what the part could support. Thus, your claim “This is an attribute not held by alloys-abuse with no physical signs (like crushed or broken fiber or resin bonds, because alloys can’t show that type of thing) can still result in a structure not capable of withstanding the same impact a second time.” is very dubious. The only part I could agree with is that of course metals don’t have resin or fibres, however as mentioned above, damaged carbon composites are notoriously difficult to identify.

    “You can ride with impunity with those bars, they’ve proven tougher than anyone could need, and they’re pretty light to boot. Not all cars perform like a Ferrari, and not all carbon performs like this, and this is the most scientifically sound test of that I could think of to show just that.”
    Parts fail, whether through poor design, poor manufacturing or use outside the design cases. The problem is with statements such as yours or that from Enve’s Jake is that they imply or even state that certain manufacturers are able to overcome the inherent materials science. Have an off where the bars hit a rock and you may not be able to observe damage present within the composite structure. Do the same with a metal bar and a scratch, dent or bend should indicate damage. What happens next? If your carbon bars are damaged but don’t display it on the surface, then crack propagation within will lead to a catastrophic failure with further use and herein lies the biggest danger.

    As I said, carbon composites are great, however suggesting that they are perfect is irresponsible. There are inherent dangers with impacts, damage tolerance and unobservable damage and thus, buyer beware.

  • Diego from Lilburn says:

    This is perhaps the most verbose and polite flame war in the history of the internet. Kudos, gentlemen.

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