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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 04-08-10, 01:43 PM   #1
ironpuppy13
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Chopping Drop Bars

I was going to use the saerch function, but why do that when i can pester you guys.

What is the best method and tools to use when chopping your drop bars into bullhorns. the bars i'm chopping are just the aluminum stock ones off of my kilo tt. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:44 PM   #2
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Go to the hardware store and get a pipe cutter. It will leave a nice smooth edge and is very precise. Just get the small one, like $8 or so.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:46 PM   #3
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Pipe cutter. I even see them at big boxes.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:53 PM   #4
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Problem with a pipe cutter is that it only works on a straight flat section of pipe, so I think you will either have to use a hacksaw or bandsaw.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
Problem with a pipe cutter is that it only works on a straight flat section of pipe, so I think you will either have to use a hacksaw or bandsaw.
Not true, I've used them on all types of bars, the small ones dont have a large enough footprint to be effected by the bars curvature. USE A PIPE CUTTER!

Hacksaw= Uneven cut and time consuming + needs to be sanded or filed afterwards

Bandsaw= Hard to get the right angle on a curved bar, also they are expensive or hard to get ahold of if you dont already have one.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:55 PM   #6
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Not true, I've used them on all types of bars, the small ones dont have a large enough footprint to be effected by the bars curvature. USE A PIPE CUTTER!
Agreed
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Old 04-08-10, 01:56 PM   #7
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hacksaw.
the trick to getting a straight cut is to clamp the bars so they don't move and work slowly. You'll be surprised how fast a hacksaw with metal cutting blade will go through aluminum tubes.
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Old 04-08-10, 02:01 PM   #8
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Hacksaw method is not time consuming dude. Push harder.
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Old 04-08-10, 02:06 PM   #9
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I can get through a handlebar, both sides, with a pipe cutter in less than 1 minute, and there is no cleanup after. I dont need any clamp or any other tools except a sharpie to mark my cuts. There is no way you are chopping a bar with a hacksaw and cleaning the edges in less than 15 minutes.

BTW, you are not supposed to "push" any saw through any medium, what shop class did you attend.
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Old 04-08-10, 02:18 PM   #10
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Whatever dude. The point is that a hacksaw will work fine. Who gives a crap if it takes you 2 minutes or 20? If you already have a hacksaw on hand (which more people will than a pipe cutter), then the time difference is completely negated.

Anyway, everyone know they're called flop n chop because you're supposed to do it with an axe.
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Old 04-08-10, 02:23 PM   #11
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Ironpuppy13 here is the original post from OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpuppy13 View Post

What is the best method and tools to use when chopping your drop bars into bullhorns. the bars i'm chopping are just the aluminum stock ones off of my kilo tt. Thanks in advance for your help.
He wanted to know the BEST METHOD. If he doesnt care how it looks afterwards then he can use a cutco knife from his kitchen drawer or a cutting torch or a file or any other tool that can cut its way through aluminum, but the BEST method is with a pipe cutter.
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Old 04-08-10, 02:26 PM   #12
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Anyway, everyone know they're called flop n chop because you're supposed to do it with an axe.

Finaly someones talking sense in here
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Old 04-08-10, 02:27 PM   #13
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The only pipe cutter I have looks like it's from the 1800s, weighs about 15 lbs, and leaves edges like a razor blade. Whatever man, I'm not here to argue.
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Old 04-08-10, 02:35 PM   #14
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If you do go with a pipe cutter I would advise making sure it is on there 90 degrees to the pipe, I do known a bmx kid at our little flop house a while back destroyed some new bars trying to cut them down with a pipe cutter.
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Old 04-08-10, 02:48 PM   #15
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my $.02.

Any bar with indent for cable routing under bar tape will require a saw.

A pipe cutter designed for copper water pipe may not cut deep enough for some aluminum bars.

A hacksaw cut can be sloppy or neat, depending on your patience.

A sawzall will cut a bar in seconds.

Filing the sharp ends is a must.

Measure 3 times, cut once.
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Old 04-08-10, 02:52 PM   #16
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@wounedknee
They make pipe cutters that are like 3 inches long and weigh less than 1/2 pound for small diameter copper pipes. If the blade is sharp it leaves a perfectly smooth edge.

@cZa
Yeah of course with any tool you need to use it correctly, you are just as likely(if not more likely) to ruin a pair of drops with a hacksaw if you are not carefull. Can a hacksaw be used, of course, its just not the best tool for the job.

Guys, a pipe cutter is a purpose built tool designed to CUT PIPES. Pipes are tubes made of metal(sometimes plastic). Handlebars are also tubes made of metal, in other words they are pipes that have been bent into shape for use on bikes. A Pipe cutter is the proper tool for the job, unless you are talking about CF handlebars.

OP- take whatever advice you like.
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Old 04-08-10, 02:58 PM   #17
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@ianjk

Your advise is pretty good. Better than most of the others here.

The reason i have suggested a pipe cutter is that I know for a fact that it is the perfect tool having cut upwards of 20 handlebars of every type both alloy AND steel with one over the years, I've cut through 1/4 inch walled alloy bars w/o problems. The benefit to the pipe cutter is that it cuts a perfect cross section to the bar there is very little "cleanup" needed afterwards, and it is very hard to screw it up.
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Old 04-08-10, 03:01 PM   #18
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Pipe cutter is the best method, and not IMO, it is just the truth.

Superiority of a pipecutter:
- Cuts in under 30 seconds per side
- Straight edge, no need to file
- Far less effort required compared to hacksaw
- No metal shavings everywhere, like a hacksaw would create

Some cons:
- You'll need a good pipe cutter to achieve the above mentioned results. (I spent $20 at home depot)
- The cheaper the pipe cutter, the longer it takes to cut
- More expensive than a hacksaw
- Cannot cut bars where there is cable routing curvature.

Proper cutting technique with a pipe cutter:
1. Begin by attaching the pipe cutter at the appropriate length on the handlebars.
2. Screw the blade into the bars, but not too deep or you'll break the blade or the whole pipe cutter.
3. Turn the entire pipe cutter around the handlebar until the bar gives little resistance and then screw in the blade soem more. Repeat the turning of the pipe cutter around the handlebar until it gives little resistance. Repeat until the bar is clean off.
4. Use the cut out piece as a template to mark the spot you want to cut off on the other side.

Okay, now that you've learned the techniques, go forth and show everyone your masterful handlebar cutting skillzzz!!!!
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Old 04-08-10, 03:06 PM   #19
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THANK YOU SHUBONKER! +9999999

Finally someone who knows what they are talking about has responded here.
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Old 04-08-10, 03:10 PM   #20
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I offer the simplest solution of all.

buy cheap bull horn bars from 8inch, rather than chop drop bars.
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Old 04-08-10, 03:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sooprvylyn View Post
@wounedknee


@cZa
Yeah of course with any tool you need to use it correctly, you are just as likely(if not more likely) to ruin a pair of drops with a hacksaw if you are not carefull. Can a hacksaw be used, of course, its just not the best tool for the job.

.
Right I have plenty of experience using pipe cutters at work I know how to use it, just knew this kid didn't do it right so just cautioning. I still can't figure how someone would mess it up. it's rather straight forward.
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Old 04-08-10, 03:32 PM   #22
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I cut mine with a hack saw.

Proper cutting technique with a hack saw
1. Use a guide. An automotive hose clamp will help you get a nice square cut.
2. Use a vice to hold the handlebar while you cut.
3. Deburr your cut. I used the wire brush in my bench grinder.

Is it better than a pipe cutter? I don't own a pipe cutter but I have a hack saw so that's what I used. For me it was cheaper and quicker because I didn't have to buy anything. If you can't cut an aluminum handlebar in less than 30 seconds per side with a hack saw you're doing something wrong. I took more time deciding where to cut than I did cutting. I'm thinking the end result would be equal.
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Old 04-08-10, 03:34 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEO View Post
I offer the simplest solution of all.

buy cheap bull horn bars from 8inch, rather than chop drop bars.
I guess it would be even simpler to buy a whole new bike that comes with the kind of handlebars you want, but that defeats the whole idea of doing it yourself.
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Old 04-08-10, 03:38 PM   #24
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That kid must be kinda dodo if he has trouble chopping the STRAIGHT bar end off a bmx bar with a pipe cutter.

@ Retro Grouch
Not that your method doesnt work, there is simply more room for error with a hacksaw.

@ OP
bet you didnt think this simple question would spark such a debate!
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Old 04-08-10, 03:45 PM   #25
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I guess it would be even simpler to buy a whole new bike that comes with the kind of handlebars you want, but that defeats the whole idea of doing it yourself.
how do you plug the ends or use reverse levers if the bars were grooved for cables? doesn't the inner diameter and curvature change enough to cause problems with the plugs?

or am I missing something?
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