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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-17-05, 06:28 PM   #1
Mr. Shadow
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Cutting down handlebars...

...any best way to chop them to length? They are old chromed steel and have already been flipped to create bullhorns.
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Old 05-17-05, 06:31 PM   #2
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A vice (or a friend holding the bike with the bars in the stem) and a hacksaw or pipe cutter has always worked for me.
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Old 05-17-05, 06:32 PM   #3
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I would guess a pipe cutter, but I could be wrong...
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Old 05-17-05, 06:35 PM   #4
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1 - Use a hose clamp as a cutting guide.
2 - Use a nice new hacksaw blade
3 - A nice vice is helpful for clamping them in a workable position
4 - Make a couple practice cuts further down from the intended final cut

I chopped my bars this past winter

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Old 05-17-05, 06:38 PM   #5
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The pipe cutter option is definitely the cleanest way, and less chance for slipping...But I love dobber's idea of using the hose clamp as a cutting guide...probably cheaper than buying a pipe cutter.

Have fun cutting!
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Old 05-17-05, 06:42 PM   #6
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I'm wondering - would a shallow pan of water be useful to make sure that the cuts were exactly the same on both sides?
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Old 05-17-05, 06:42 PM   #7
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i used a grinder with a cutting blade and eyed one longer than the other, i was going to fix it but now im used to it. dont listen to me
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Old 05-17-05, 07:00 PM   #8
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Thank you. I'll go buy a new hacksaw tomorrow.
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Old 05-17-05, 07:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HereNT
I'm wondering - would a shallow pan of water be useful to make sure that the cuts were exactly the same on both sides?
Once the first side is cut you can simply hold the severed portion up against the remaining section to get good matching cut. Remember to account for the miniscule amount of blade kerf.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:09 PM   #10
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i just eyeballed the bars and put electrical tape on the bars so it looked even and so i had a straight line to guide my cutting and i hacked at it..
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Old 05-17-05, 08:28 PM   #11
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How do you plug them once they are cut?
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Old 05-17-05, 08:29 PM   #12
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I'm going to second the hose clamp saw guide suggestion. Hose clamps are only like $.79 or something, and if you cut carefully, you can still use the hose clamp after on your kitchen sink or hose or something.
Use plenty of oil when cutting; it makes things much smoother and easier. I used 3in1 oil, real cutting oil would work, as would motor oil, and maybe even chain lube!
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Old 05-17-05, 08:30 PM   #13
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How do you plug them once they are cut?
Uhh- Handlebar end plugs?
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Old 05-17-05, 08:31 PM   #14
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My sarcasm yet again goes unappreciated
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Old 05-17-05, 08:39 PM   #15
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i used tape and a hacksaw. a bit rough, but very functional
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Old 05-17-05, 08:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
Uhh- Handlebar end plugs?
I have the original bar plugs. I am running into a snag though.
I was hoping to use a time trial type brake lever, but the tubing
is just a bit too small in diameter for it to seat into the bar end.
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Old 05-17-05, 09:27 PM   #17
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i used a friend's rotary grinder. Worked great. And I got the added bonus of lots of sparks.
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Old 05-17-05, 09:31 PM   #18
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A couple notes regarding pipe cutters. If you get one, get a decent one. I have one that I used to cut a steerer tube and handlebars and that's about as far as it got before massive chunks came out of the blade. Also, be light-handed and careful using one to cut aluminum bars - it is a lot easier than you think to ovalise the end that you just cut. Finally, if you do ovalize the end of your bars, fix it before you jam a bar-end lever in there or you will NEVER get it out again without about 90 min of work, some spilt blood, and a lot of swearing.
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Old 05-17-05, 09:44 PM   #19
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Finally, if you do ovalize the end of your bars, fix it before you jam a bar-end lever in there or you will NEVER get it out again without about 90 min of work, some spilt blood, and a lot of swearing.
I gave up. Bar-end levers weren't intended to be crammed into the curving section of chopped bars. Keep in mind that what you come up with might end up being permanent. And in my case that includes a stem as part of the permanent configuration.
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Old 05-17-05, 11:32 PM   #20
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Thank you. I'll go buy a new hacksaw tomorrow.
wouldnt a new hacksaw cost about as much as a new set of cheap e-bay bullhorns?
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Old 05-17-05, 11:52 PM   #21
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For machining aluminum, the best cutting agent and lubricant is kerosene.
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Old 05-18-05, 12:13 AM   #22
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1. get a pipe cutter at a flea market for five bucks...
2. cut your bars...
3. throw away the pipe cutter cuz it's now toast...
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Old 05-18-05, 12:28 AM   #23
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no need for a vice, I just held the bar against the ground and went at it with a hack saw, then filed it a little. The saw went through the bar real easy.
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Old 05-18-05, 12:55 AM   #24
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I used electrical tape and a jigsaw.
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Old 05-18-05, 07:47 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugazi Dave
A couple notes regarding pipe cutters. If you get one, get a decent one....
I have found that a pipe cutter works superbly and is super easy (a hacksaw?!? ugh!). just adjust the tension a little at a time (as per package instructions) and you should be able to get a nice clean cut and still be able to use it again and again. I cut my steerer tube and my bars and it still works/looks fine... just make sure you get a decent/name brand one. they are only about 4 to 8 bucks.

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