barkbuster, the good, the bad and the ugly

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barkbuster, the good, the bad and the ugly

Postby scheckaet » 10:22 pm Dec 16 2006

I am seriously reconsidering the use of my barkbuster. Don't get me wrong I like'em 'cause they save my fingers almost everyride but I'm having 2nd thoughts.

Here is why: today I went for a ride with 5 other guys on some new trail. Everything was good (weather, trail, bike...), we were almost done with our 1st 14 miles loop and hauling a$$ when the guy in front of me crashed really bad coming down a 2ft drop (stupid lip almost kick me like a wild horse too :evil: )
He went over the handlebar and you probably know how that goes so I won't go into the details :kick: .

To make a story short, when he managed to catch his breath and recover he checked his wrists, right 1 was skinned a bit, and his left one was cut really bad. I mean REALLY bad, you could see the bones and tendons or sumthin. The barkbuster on the left was all the way up and covered with blood, so you put 2 and 2 together...

I haven't heard from him yet, he probably cracked some ribs and hopefully did not break anything, he'll definitly need stiches on his wrist (he didn't think it was broken and could move his hand pretty well)


I have aluminium barkbuster right now and the edge seems pretty sharp to me, WAY too sharp :blink: .
I don't know what I'll do, smooth out the edge (grinder) or replace them with some platic one, i've heard they're not that expansive and pretty strong. i'm thinking that it won't cut me as bad as aluminium...

Did anyone had the same misfortune?
What are you all using? plastic or aluminium?
Comments?
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Postby Rick » 10:40 pm Dec 16 2006

Sounds to me like he cought them just right. Probably pinched his hand between the lever and the barkbuster. I would say that the plastic ones break too easy, if you do alot of heavy woods riding, or lay it down alot. It wouldnt hurt to grind off the sharp edges of the busters, then leave your controls and busters just a hair loose, so if you do lay it down, they will spin.
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Postby Colorado Mike » 10:57 pm Dec 16 2006

for every story like that, there are ten or more about how they save your hands. I'm a strong believer in having rigid bar guards on my bike, due to the numerous hand injuries they have prevented me. Can they do harm? sure, if you are somersaulting over the bars and can't or don't get our hands off the grips. Is that the type of scenario they were designed for ? Hell no. It's a dangerous sport, and bar guards save you from the more mundane collisions with trees that happen far more frequently. Sometimes you have to know when to bail, and do it with total commitment. Sometimes things happen too fast , and you're gonna get hurt bad.
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Postby kawagumby » 01:12 am Dec 17 2006

Yeah,
I've had 'em catch my hands on get-offs and do damage, including a dislocation - but it was always the plastic guards that got me, not the bars themselves. I never use wrap-back type plastic anymore (so my hands don't get so easily caught), I only use vertical flat (I make my own now) and always file the sharp edges off the bars.
I couldn't ride my trails without them.
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Postby krazyinski » 08:23 am Dec 17 2006

you still need good quality gloves even with bark busters. and positioning of the bark busters is key. I have seen some riders running them so high there useless.
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Postby IdahoCharley » 01:28 pm Dec 17 2006

Checkaet - I have to agree with most of the comments given so far. i.e. Handguards have saved many more crushed fingers, wrists, and hands than they injured.

A few years ago there was a bunch of talk on the internet forums about handguards causing broken wrists and people were going to the fastway type mounts. They loop down and then back up in the outer bar mounting area to give you an 'side exit' area to where you can quickly remove your wrist/hand during your crash.
(I personal think it may have been started by the patent owner)

Although the loop down guards look good - I did not change my aluminum reinforced straight type guards because whenever I have crashed, I've either death grasped the grip to the 'end'; or have let go of the bike prior to the bike crashing. -i.e. the idea that I would have the presence of mind to remove my hand out the side of the handguard during a crash just did not compute!! And why is the side removal better then pulling the wrist straight back?? I only bring this up so that you can perform your own search and determine if there is any merit for you.

I would not go back to the SOLID plastic (non-metal reinforced) handguards since I HAVE seen numerous broken plastic guards over the years. Which would be a crushing/cutting injury on the fingers. (Broken stiff plastic does also have good cutting abilities IMO.) This combined with my tendency to hang on until the bitter end would surely damage my pinkies.
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Postby skipro3 » 05:20 am Dec 18 2006

I use guards that bolt to the upper t-clamp pinch bolts. The guards do not rotate like those that bolt to the bars. I consider guards that bolt to the bars to be dangerous just for the reason stated in your accident report. Cyra is the brand I think. I'll look it up for sure.
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Postby Colorado Mike » 09:41 am Dec 18 2006

they are Cycra. Sounds like a company that makes sports bras.
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Postby it175 » 12:55 pm Dec 18 2006

>|<>QBB<
krazyinski wrote:you still need good quality gloves even with bark busters. and positioning of the bark busters is key. I have seen some riders running them so high there useless.


My used bike came with acerbis gaurds. What would be the best position to have them at :mrgreen: I don't know. Curently thottle side gaurd comes of at 3 o'clock , clutch side too.
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Postby krazyinski » 04:45 pm Dec 18 2006

I like mine just below 5-10 degrees below straight forward with the acerbis guards. they seam to rotate down when hit that keeps the fingers out of harms way, not that they have ever been close. I tend to bash trees with mine but not as much after I but the CR high mini bars on and cut them down to 29 inches so with bark busters my bar width is 30 ". this with the KX forks really lets me fly through the rugged tight stuff with out bashing trees I just have to watch my shoulders now.
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Postby scheckaet » 05:48 pm Dec 19 2006

Sounds to me like he caught them just right

I guess that's right, it's one of those time were you're not lucky
They were in the "correct position" and he was indeed wearing gloves, but got cut just were the glove ends

I only use vertical flat (I make my own now)

Do you have pics, I'm kind of confused with the vertical part.

leave your controls and busters just a hair loose, so if you do lay it down, they will spin

I've either death grasped the grip to the 'end'; or have let go of the bike prior to the bike crashing


There was no time to bail out. I believe that was part of the problem, he was most likely cut when he landed and the barkbuster twisted around the bars. But it's mostly speculation went too fast to be sure.

I use guards that bolt to the upper t-clamp pinch bolts

The bark buster I have are 2nd hand and served me well but they are beat up and the edge looks way too sharp too me now. I will grind them down for the time being but I will try the cycra 1 next.

The guy was OK, nothing broken, just 12 stitches on his wrist and a bruised ego :mrgreen:

Thanks for the input.
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