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  1. #1
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    aluminum pipes as handlebars

    handle bars are expensive.

    I was thinking of just going to home depot and picking up an aluminum pipe, cut it down and mount it.

    I do ride up hill as I pull on my handlebars...the one I have now.


    bad or good, anybody have experience?

  2. #2
    ...if you say so... xander k's Avatar
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    I wish you a memorable Festivus.

  3. #3
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    Post about your wreck once it's over.

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    I am not sure HD sells any aluminum pipe. They sell copper, black iron, pvc, abs, galvanized steel and brass. You could try shower curtain rod.

    You may run into problems with stem diameter and brakes/shifter diameter.





    Before your 1st ride with this idea, could you call your life insurance agent and name MikeWinVA as the primary beneficiary?
    Last edited by MikeWinVA; 12-12-09 at 10:18 PM.
    The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Stock aluminum round comes in just about any variety and spec you can think of. Do your research and purchase stock tubing of appropriate alloy, walthickness, and diameter. I'm afraid Home Depot may not cut the mustard. Try material suppliers or McMaster-Carr.

    Do your research. find out what handle bar makers use for an alloy, what wall thickness they use, the outside diameter, anodized/hard anodized, etc. DO NOT just buy some round stock and throw it on your bike. big mistake.
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

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    According to Frank Costanza, it must have a high weight to strength ratio.

  7. #7
    Gear Hub fan
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    One problem will be that standard stem clamp diameters are 1", 26mm or 31.8mm (1 1/4") while the area that brake levers clamp to are 7/8" (22.2mm) for MTBs or flat handlebars and 15/16" or 23.8mm for road style drop handlebars. Trying to use a bar that does not match stem diameter is considered a poor idea and most current flat bar brake levers and shifters cannot be opened up to fit a bar as large as the stem clamp diameter.

    With a little looking on Amazon or other places relatively inexpensive aluminum MTB type bars are available. IMO with diameter hassles as pointed out above, and heat treating required for some alloys, this is not an easy DIY project. Bar makers typically swage the diameter needed into purchased tubing but swaging is not a home hobbyist activity.
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  8. #8
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    No actual pictures? Darn!

    Thanks guys. I'll go look for a junk bike shop instead then.

  9. #9
    Retro-Direct Fan TwoShort's Avatar
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    "handle bars are expensive."
    Actually, no.
    Basic MTB bar via nashbar, right now - $15
    You might get something at home depot for $10 will be the wrong diameter, and if you solve that may or may not fail at a horrible moment.
    I've yet to tour yard sales on a spring saturday and not find a lousy bike (with a perfectly good handlebar) for $5.

  10. #10
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FOBx530 View Post
    No actual pictures? Darn!

    Thanks guys. I'll go look for a junk bike shop instead then.
    This is your best bet. I found a titanium handlebar at Citybikes (Portland, Orygun) in their bin o' bars. They cost me $4, plus a 7/8" to 1" shim to fit them in the stem. They hold up the forward portion of my 215 pound carcass pretty well. Have a look: http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/...es/bike035.htm
    Jeff Wills

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  11. #11
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    I can't beleave you asked this.
    Try solid peice and use electrical tape for grips. mist likely will cost more than a cheap bar.
    What kind do you want I'll send you one if I have it you pay shipping!
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

  12. #12
    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    The prices I've seen on metal stock aren't any cheaper than a set of cheap bars from one of the on-line suppliers.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FOBx530 View Post
    No actual pictures? Darn!

    Thanks guys. I'll go look for a junk bike shop instead then.
    This is a lot smarter. If you're really intent on improvising a handlebar, some kind of back alley aesthetic, use steel pipe. Much less chance of breakage compared to, say, aluminum EMT. McMaster-Carr is an amazing resource, but cheap is not one of their characteristics. What they offer is YOU CAN FIND WHAT YOU WANT, not that they give it to you cheap.

  14. #14
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    As with many of these "money saving" ideas, you will spend far more time, effort and, yes, money trying to make an unsuitable substitute material work in place of a properly designed, sized and specified component. Spend less time and money and get the right thing.

  15. #15
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    One other problem: Home Depot only carries Cinelli aluminum pipe (i.e. ,oddball outside diameter).

  16. #16
    Bikaholic blamp28's Avatar
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    Remember - it's often the cheapskate that pays the most. High end bike parts may be expensive but basic handlebars do not even begin to get pricey. If your focus is on "cheap", at least make sure you are buying a used component off of a decent bike but I still can't imagine doing much better than $15 mentioned above. Do you have dental and medical insurance? One trip to the emergency room will pay for a very nice handlebar many time over. I'm just sayin!
    Trek Fuel XC MTB, Giant OCR Road Bike, Rans Screamer - Tandem

  17. #17
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    if you are riding a fixxie and have no need for brake levers, then a 1" dia pipe of anything can be clamped in a 25.4 stem.
    a broomstick can be used too.

  18. #18
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FOBx530 View Post
    Thanks guys. I'll go look for a junk bike shop instead then.
    Try jensonusa.com and cambriabike.com They have all types of handlebars from about $12 up.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  19. #19
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Actually, it's cheaper to buy a generic bicycle specific stem pipe (handlebar) than a length of stock aluminum piping. Also, safer to use too.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
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  20. #20
    Upstanding member. Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xander k View Post
    I wish you a memorable Festivus.
    With the airing of the grievances?

  21. #21
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Only if you have good dental insurance.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  22. #22
    cab horn
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    Flat bars can be had for $10 or less. seriously?
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  23. #23
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoShort View Post
    "handle bars are expensive."
    Actually, no.
    Basic MTB bar via nashbar, right now - $15
    You might get something at home depot for $10 will be the wrong diameter, and if you solve that may or may not fail at a horrible moment.
    I've yet to tour yard sales on a spring saturday and not find a lousy bike (with a perfectly good handlebar) for $5.
    +1 Handlebars are cheap. Your local dealer might even have take-offs and make you a deal on them. Or pick up the typical $5 donor bike. I have routinely picked up $5 bikes for pedals, seats, tires and tubes.

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