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Old 03-28-07, 02:08 PM   #1
Niles H.
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Bending handlebars

What if someone wants to customize the bends of a handlebar? --change an angle here, or an angle there?

Surely there must be a way(s) of doing this.

How?, is the question.

It should also be possible to start from scratch, making all of the bends oneself, beginning with a straight piece of the appropriate tubing.

I wonder if the aluminum is usually hardened after bending?

Also, where can you get the right tubing for this? Will conduit bending tools work? Are there other bending tools that are not overly expensive?

(Maybe there are instructions somewhere? Perhaps in an article online, or in a framebuilding book?)
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Old 03-28-07, 07:51 PM   #2
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How extreme are the bends you are contemplating? Are we talking drops? those are 3" radius bends and less. To get those kinds of bends in 7/8" material, you need a madrel bender, if you want to bend really light materials. I gather they can also be bent in slightly heavier walls with a bender that has a contoured die and a whipper die. Those machine are fairly easy to build. I have a home made one for chopper frames, and hope to get aroung to making dies for bars, sometime this year.

It is also harder to build left and right sides contiguously. It would be advised to come up with some reason to make the left and right bends seperately. My current reason is that I am building for a rohloff system where the grip shift has to be able to slide on, so I am using a compression joint at the riser. Other reasons are for integral stem aero bars.
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Old 03-29-07, 02:56 PM   #3
Niles H.
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I wanted to experiment with this on different bars, including drop bars.

I'm just not completely satisfied with any existing bars. Plus, I like to experiment with and modify things. And I'm hoping I can come up with something that works better for me.

One idea is to have a floating-steering-wheel-like arrangement -- not a steering wheel, but bars that have the ability to be moved on the fly, in the way a floating steering wheel can be moved. I've had cars with this feature, and it is a good one. On long rides, it really helps to be able to achieve different positions.

Something similar could be done with the grips -- each grip could attach to the bar at a ball and socket joint that would allow for a variety of positions and adjustments. And the joints could be secured (tightened) or loosened easily and on the fly (like most floating steering wheels, and certain higher-end tripods).

Back to the bending: that is a somewhat different avenue, though the two can be combined.

If flat bars aren't putting one's wrists in the right position or angle, and it is possible to bend the bar so that the angle is right, why not try it? One could go ahead and purchase some other bars, if bars with just the right angles could be found -- but why not modify existing bars (if it is possible and safe, and not too difficult a job...)? Or make one's own bars?

(Also, there is something about creating or modifying things for oneself that gives a new sort of fit and relation....)
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Old 03-29-07, 06:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niles H.
One idea is to have a floating-steering-wheel-like arrangement -- not a steering wheel, but bars that have the ability to be moved on the fly, in the way a floating steering wheel can be moved. I've had cars with this feature, and it is a good one. On long rides, it really helps to be able to achieve different positions.
Look at the 2006 Arctic Cat F series snowmobiles.
They have a system sort of like what you are describing that could possibly be adaptable to a bike.
Sort of like the adjustable comfort stems, but with a quick release.

2005 Polaris IQ RMK's had something similar too, but their system is totally different from what I think could work on a bike.

The Cat method would probably work much better, but will require some fabrication too.
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Old 03-30-07, 08:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Peterpan1
How extreme are the bends you are contemplating? Are we talking drops? those are 3" radius bends and less. To get those kinds of bends in 7/8" material, you need a madrel bender, if you want to bend really light materials. I gather they can also be bent in slightly heavier walls with a bender that has a contoured die and a whipper die. Those machine are fairly easy to build. I have a home made one for chopper frames, and hope to get aroung to making dies for bars, sometime this year.

It is also harder to build left and right sides contiguously. It would be advised to come up with some reason to make the left and right bends seperately. My current reason is that I am building for a rohloff system where the grip shift has to be able to slide on, so I am using a compression joint at the riser. Other reasons are for integral stem aero bars.
Would these help you out with the rohloff?

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/cid/QST19...etc.-11348.htm
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