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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 01-19-05, 01:07 PM   #1
c-town
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Bending Bullhorns Inward

I saw a messenger in NYC today who had bent his Profile Airwing bullhorns inward, making the total bar shape more triangular than rectangular. I want to do this to my Profile Airwings because they are quite wide and I'm afraid of snagging in tight traffice.

I asked the guy about the process for bending the bars. Basically he said he used a torch to heat them up, but not too hot since the metal is aluminum. Then he pressed them on the ground to bend to the correct angle.

Has anyone else bent their bullhorns inward? Any tips for tools to use, problems to watch out for, etc?
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Old 01-19-05, 01:13 PM   #2
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I always wondered why bullhorns aren't designed in that fashion. It seems like a much more natural position for your hands to be in. I posed this exact same question about a year ago here, about bending bars.... Got a lot of negative responses.
I have one-piece mtb bars (w/bar ends) that are shaped in that exact way....but of course, these bars are way too wide.
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Old 01-19-05, 01:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-town
problems to watch out for, etc?
The aluminum is heat treated. Heating the bars with a torch will anneal the metal.
The bars will then have the physical properties of a beer can.
Never, never, never heat any aluminum part on your bike with a torch, and never, never, never shake a baby.
Enjoy
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Old 01-19-05, 01:24 PM   #4
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Edit:

powers2b answered my question.
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Old 01-19-05, 01:24 PM   #5
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The airwings on my bike have one side bent slightly inward. This happened when the bike dropped on the same side two or three times. So maybe you could just drop your bike on the horns a few times or get something to slowly apply pressure to them. Granted it wouldn't be much and you might compromise the strength and integrity of the aluminum...
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Old 01-19-05, 01:38 PM   #6
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Edit:

powers2b answered my question.
Let me guess: you wanted to know if it was OK to shake a baby?
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Old 01-19-05, 02:43 PM   #7
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I would put one side in a vice, hold on to the other side and lean back with your weight. Repeat for the other side.

If they break or you fall, I'm so not responsible. Good luck.
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Old 01-19-05, 02:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powers2b
The aluminum is heat treated. Heating the bars with a torch will anneal the metal.
The bars will then have the physical properties of a beer can.
Never, never, never heat any aluminum part on your bike with a torch, and never, never, never shake a baby.
Enjoy
Knowing pretty much bugger-all about the properties of aluminum, could you take it to a muffler shop and get them to bend it for you? Or would the radius of the bend too tight and it would harden and fail?
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Old 01-19-05, 02:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by South Fulcrum
I would put one side in a vice, hold on to the other side and lean back with your weight. Repeat for the other side.

If they break or you fall, I'm so not responsible. Good luck.
Actually you would be better off using a cheater bar either slid into or over the bar. You would get more leverage. OF course, I have no idea how brittle the heat treated Al is. Seems like you might not be able to bend it very much without cracking it.

If you do heat it up, you could always re-heat treat it to its original T6 condition.
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Old 01-19-05, 02:58 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=ofofhy] I have no idea how brittle the heat treated Al is.


Very

Last edited by powers2b; 01-19-05 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 01-19-05, 02:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ofofhy
If you do heat it up, you could always re-heat treat it to its original T6 condition.
not likely without special equipement $$$$
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Old 01-19-05, 03:05 PM   #12
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not likely without special equipement $$$$
all you need is a zippo, a hammer, and a bottle of scotch.
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Old 01-19-05, 03:07 PM   #13
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all you need is a zippo, a hammer, and a bottle of scotch.
Oddly enough the same tools I use to shave my legs with.....I'm still wondering what the hammer is for though.
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Old 01-19-05, 03:08 PM   #14
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for making stylish ingrown hairs, duh!
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Old 01-19-05, 03:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powers2b
not likely without special equipement $$$$
The first step requires a furnace or oven that can reach 990 F (controllably!), so you would need access to that. Then it is water quenched to T room. Then you heat it at ~350 F (trying to remember) for 18 hours for aging.

If you know someone in industry ot research with that type of furnace you can do it.
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Old 01-19-05, 03:31 PM   #16
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There is a pet crematorium down the street.
So I asked if I could throw in a couple bars with the next run of stray cats.
The guy says 'sure'.
Well when I opened the box there weren't any cats in it but there was a 60 foot sea monster from the paleozoic era...it was the loch ness monster...I said 'g**da** monster, what do you want?'...well you know what he said??
He said "I need about tree fiddy"
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Old 01-19-05, 03:35 PM   #17
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There's your problem, crematoriums run at over 2000 F!

That Loch Ness thing almost sounds like the lyrics to an RL Burnside song.
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Old 01-19-05, 03:36 PM   #18
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Tree fiddy
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Old 01-19-05, 04:00 PM   #19
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All of this advice says that it can't be done. I've seen a number of bar modifications like this before. Hopefully someone out there has advice not involving funeral homes.

Maybe I should just eat some spinach and bend them by hand.
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Old 01-19-05, 04:20 PM   #20
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Bad scene, dude.

Do it with heat and you anneal as mentioned. On the other hand, alu is prone to snapping. It can't be cold set the way steel or ti can.

And they're not this shape to begin with because it puts the arms across the chest which constricts your breathing. Not what you want in a TT or pursuit.
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Old 01-19-05, 04:22 PM   #21
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Tree fiddy
http://www.jahozafat.com/cgi-bin/spm...=303_alien.mp3
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Old 01-19-05, 04:28 PM   #22
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You can go to your local metal supply place and get some AL welded. I have had things such as this done for the Jeep. AL is hard to weld, so you'll have to pay out the nose ring.

Or you could get some lightweight tubing and have that bent and all.
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Old 01-19-05, 04:32 PM   #23
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My cheapo chuck's bullhorns are bent inwards. I always found it a little tacky looking. I guess it's functional though.
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Old 01-19-05, 04:32 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Karsten
You can go to your local metal supply place and get some AL welded. I have had things such as this done for the Jeep. AL is hard to weld, so you'll have to pay out the nose ring.

Or you could get some lightweight tubing and have that bent and all.
Welding also degrades the heat treated properties (strength) in the region around the weld. Don't do it, unless you plan to heat treat again.
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Old 01-19-05, 07:37 PM   #25
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I'll disagree, welded AL if done right, can be decent. But very few will even try.
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