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Rocket Science Handlebar

Rocket Science entered the bicycle market with a great deal of promise. It was said to have been founded by an alienated space or defense engineer/designer. Their carbon fiber implementations were unusual and seemed to be respected by other designers and riders. As with many people in the bike industry, hobby interest in bicycles do not make a sucessful business. The bike industry more than any other is populated with hobbyist riders that think they can run a business. The last throes of Rocket Science had them acting as the exclusive distributor of Joe's Components. They went out of business with no notice leaving a vacated building.


In 1992, the Denver Bicycle Design Center adopted the brand name "Rocket Science" for marketing their products. The first with any real success was their Wingz flat style Mountain handlebar. Wingz are a carbon fiber/epoxy re-inforced handlebar, but rather than have the carbon fiber on the outside, in this instance, it's placed inside the outer aluminum sleeve of the handlebar. The outer sleeve, which has the appearance of a standard handlebar, is made of 6061-T6 straight gauge aluminum alloy that has a 7/10ths of a millimeter wall thickness. This sleeve is bulged at the center raising the outer diameter to the standard 25.4mm. The bulged, center area is 2 1/2" in length, then the outer diameter reduces to 22.2mm, which it remains at, until the aluminum outer sleeve ends, on both sides. Carbon fiber, covered with epoxy, is placed around the outside of a partially inflated sheet plastic tube, which is inserted into the outer aluminum sleeve. The sheet plastic inner tube is fully inflated to hold it firmly against the outer aluminum sleeve, while heated to cure. One of the concerns in composite work of this sort is the creation of what are known as "voids". Voids are in fact, trapped air pockets. To allow any residual air to escape while the inflated tube is under pressure, a very tiny hole has been drilled through the aluminum sleeve in the center bulge area. This hole not only allows air to migrate out, but once the inner chamber is fully inflated, a small amount of the epoxy passes through the hole. The rate of cure for this excess epoxy through the hole is used as a measure for the rate of cure of the epoxy impregnated fiber between the inner plastic sleeve and the outer aluminum sleeve or tube. Some thought has been given to the placement of the carbon material inside the outer sleeve. It is made considerably thicker in the "bulged" area, because the greatest amount of stress is raised in this area. The thickness of the carbon material decreases to the point where there is little to none in the six inches toward the ends, on both sides. The variation in thickness mimics the tapering of the tubing walls in handlebars made only of aluminum alloy. The use of the carbon/epoxy on the interior is said, in Rocket Science literature, to make a considerably stronger handlebar by weight, over the competing technique of wrapping the exterior of an aluminum handlebar form. The ends of the Wingz bar are plugged by a CNC machined aluminum cap which is snug fitting and bonded in place. This aluminum cap, holds apart, and re-inforces the thinner and un-carbon/epoxyed ends, which prevents the ends from crushing when cinch type bar ends are used on it. The outermost surface is extremely smooth, from fine sanding. Wingz are available with the outer aluminum tube anodized in six colors, Blue, Black, Gold, Green, Lavender, or Silver. The aluminum end caps are always Silver. Wingz are 577mm in length, and are available in a 3 or 5 degree bend. Wingz weigh 126.5 grams. No longer made, this handlebar sold for $64.99

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