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Old 05-28-08, 10:59 AM   #1
cccorlew
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custom drop bars possible? Mod bars?

My left arm is almost 2 inches shorter than my right, which causes issues when I ride my drops.

Is there a custom drop bar maker somewhere?
Do any of you know a bicycle oriented machinist that might be able to fabricate something kind of like a mountain bike bar ends that I could attach to my existing drop bars to make teh drop shorter?

I could get a compact drop bar, but I really am looking to have asymmetrical distances in the drops.
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Old 05-28-08, 11:08 AM   #2
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Bike Friday make bars for their folding bikes. Often they are split for folding which opens the possibility for mounting one side higher.
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Old 05-28-08, 11:10 AM   #3
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I would love to know the answer to this one. I have a couple ideas for a snazzy integrated stem/handlebar.

It looks like Vanilla has done some custom handlebar work but I can't really tell if they just used existing bars and modded them or if they have the means to create them from scratch.

At any rate, Vanilla seems to be backed up for a few years so they might not be an option whether they can do it or not.

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Old 05-28-08, 11:16 AM   #4
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Look at the road bikes at Walmart (Denali or Lamborghini). You could use that method for fitting the halves of 2 different bars.
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Old 05-28-08, 11:25 AM   #5
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I wonder if a shop that does pipe bending could safely bend (within limits of course) aluminum handlebars?

I'm kind of curious too because there's a slight modification I'd like to make in the curve of my traditional curve handlebars. Now that I think of it, I might take an old set of bars around town and see if there's a shop that thinks they could do it.
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Old 05-28-08, 01:24 PM   #6
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What about two separate stems and a half handlebar to each, the left side connected to the upper stem? You could also choose a shorter stem for the upper. The bars would have to be cut outside to the area at the stem (and for this I would choose the larger clamp area of a 31.8mm bar, for strength.)
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Old 05-28-08, 07:45 PM   #7
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Maybe you could find a handlebar that has a relatively wide 26.0/31.8mm center section (before it tapers to 23.8mm). Then you slide the bar to the right to the point that it evens out your arm length discrepancy (may not be a bar out there with a wide enough section to fix the problem--use old-fashioned trigonometry or trial-n-error).
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Old 05-28-08, 08:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
My left arm is almost 2 inches shorter than my right, which causes issues when I ride my drops.

Is there a custom drop bar maker somewhere?
Do any of you know a bicycle oriented machinist that might be able to fabricate something kind of like a mountain bike bar ends that I could attach to my existing drop bars to make teh drop shorter?

I could get a compact drop bar, but I really am looking to have asymmetrical distances in the drops.
Sam Whittingham at Naked Design makes custom bars and stems.
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Old 05-29-08, 08:46 AM   #9
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A local framebuilder might be able to make you some to your specifications. I suggest contacting some amd asking.
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Old 05-29-08, 08:58 AM   #10
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From your post it sounds like you just want to change the position of the drop, correct?

A competent frame builder or anyone else experienced with bending aluminum tubing should be able to help you with this. I'd have a little reservation working with aluminum, you might want to think about working with steel tubing, it would be much more forgiving.
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Old 05-29-08, 01:01 PM   #11
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I've always wanted to make myself custom bars, but handlebars are surprisingly weird and subtle. They have two separate diameters and are full of compound curves, not to mention fairly large-diameter tubing, making bending a distinct challenge. Does anyone know of a site that discusses how they're made?
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Old 12-09-15, 04:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Sam Whittingham at Naked Design makes custom bars and stems.
No, Sam does not. I just got an email back from him. He does not bend custom bars.
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Old 12-09-15, 06:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Bike Friday make bars for their folding bikes. Often they are split for folding which opens the possibility for mounting one side higher.
I think they mod existing bars by cutting them in half and adding a support tube in the middle. Their stems (which they do custom make) may give a little extra support over the stock stems.

The split brs would be easy enough to make if you found two bars with the desired profiles. "Compact"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua A.C. New View Post
I've always wanted to make myself custom bars, but handlebars are surprisingly weird and subtle. They have two separate diameters and are full of compound curves, not to mention fairly large-diameter tubing, making bending a distinct challenge. Does anyone know of a site that discusses how they're made?
I saw a great YouTube video about making a flat bar with a fairly complex shape. They started with a short, thick piece of aluminum pipe, softened (annealed), and used about a dozen mandrels to form it to shape, followed by heat treating it.

If you started with a 30 year old drop bar style, then the basic design is rather simple. The raised part in the middle is probably formed by sliding on a piece of tubing over the top of your bars, and perhaps spot welding it into place. Then the curves could be put in with a mandrel bender. Then, presumably heat treated.

All you would need would be two different mandrel formed curves.

A quality machine shop or custom bike frame builder might have the mandrel bending equipment.

Then it should be heat treated.

There is one style of drop bar that adds an extra curve raising the sides slightly. One could do that asymmetrically.
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Old 12-09-15, 08:34 AM   #14
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Here's a video where 1-1/2" Al tubing is bent to make furniture.
Making handlebars yourself or even by a custom build presents some problems.

1) The Al has the be annealed to be bent. After that, it probably needs to be heat treated to be safe for a bicycle.
2) the 31.8 part in the middle is usually done with a mandrel and is more complicated effort than just bending.

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Old 12-09-15, 10:03 AM   #15
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FYI - this thread is SEVEN years old.
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