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Thread: Bent handlebars

  1. #1
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    Bent handlebars

    I was hit by a car yesterday. Fortunately I just suffered cuts and bruises but my road bike handle bars faired alittle worse. The top of the left handle bar was bent in 90 degrees from about the place where the palm of your hand sits.

    I took it to my local bike shop and he just bent in back using his hands. Still in a daze I thanked him and headed home. I am now thinking that the metal is probably weakened and should I be riding on them?

    Any thoughts much appreciated. I have got a 70 mile early season ride on Sunday and am not sure how safe things are!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    If it was my bike I'd definitely replace the bar.

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    That sounds like good advice! Thanks.

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    It's a road bar so it already has about a 90° degree bend. Did it really bend 90° from where it started? Of so, I'd scrap it. But if it bent much less, it depends on what the bar was made of, where exactly it bent and how knowledgeable the mechanic was.

    Many grades of aluminum can tolerate reasonable crash damage and straightening very well, but some grades cannot. If the mechanic knows his stuff it could be a judgment call, but the old standby rule also applies, -- if in doubt, throw it out.
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    Yes replace the bars and don't go back to that LBS.Bars which have been bent and straightened will break and when they do they will cause a very nasty accident. I think it's pretty irresponsible of that bike shop to let you ride on a dangerous machine.

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    It really did bend 90 degree inwards - the advice seems pretty clear - scrap it! Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fidelista View Post
    Yes replace the bars and don't go back to that LBS.Bars which have been bent and straightened will break and when they do they will cause a very nasty accident. I think it's pretty irresponsible of that bike shop to let you ride on a dangerous machine.
    That's a strong indictment, coming from someone who doesn't know the facts.

    For all you know it's a skilled, knowledgeable, experienced mechanic who knew what the bar was made of (we don't), exactly how much it was bent (we don't), whether there any any localized hard bends or buckles (we don't) and who then made an informed judgment call and saved his client the unnecessary expense of replacing it. OTOH - he could be a hack as you say.

    I'm often willing to second guess others or back seat drive, but tend to defer to the guy with the advantage of actually being there.
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    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

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    Similar thing happened to me, got doored and bent my handlebars, managed to bend it back and it was riding fine but now has an annoying creak and moves a tiny bit when i press hard on it, will be taking it to my LBS for a free safety check sometime this week.

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