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  1. #1
    Disgruntled grad student beingtxstate's Avatar
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    Homemade accessory bar?

    Anybody try to make one? If so what materials? I was considering trying to make a cheapo with some old PVC I have lying around and some random bike mounts.

    Maybe I'm too cheap?

    I know I could get a swing grip or something similar, but I like to tinker, so there.

    Oh, and it is to free up space for a handlebar bag and relocate my old school garmin.
    1990 Trek 330
    2006 Trek 7.2FX
    2006 Trek 7.3FX (Wifey's Steed)

  2. #2
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    Yep, I made a couple for last summer's tour.

    This may be more details than you're looking for, but here goes...

    I bought a 26mm aluminum seatpost from the junk bin at an LBS (a straight handlebar would've done, too), and cut it to length (about 4.5"). This was to be mounted about 1.5" inches in front of the handlebars.

    Then I took a piece of aluminum stock, about 1"Wx1.5"Lx3/8"thick. Used a 1" hole saw to cut both ends so that each end had a "C" shape (to fit the handlebars/seatpost piece). Along with the aluminum piece, I cut a similar piece of oak (dense, hard) in the same shape, although the oak was about 1" thick. The aluminum piece is the strength, the oak keeps it rigid.

    So for one handlebar extension, I made two of the above aluminum/oak mounts.

    Took the 4.5" piece of seatpost and two aluminum/oak mounts and fixed it tight to my handlebars with hose clamps (the screw-tightening type). It's easy to adjust high/low by loosening the hose clamps, then re-tightening.

    Very solid. I made two of these, one for me, one for my wife. We crossed the continent with them, never had any issues. Now the oak is kind of weathered, looks cool.

    If I were going to do it again, I'd look at getting different material for the mounts. My local hardware store has hard rubber pieces about 1.5" thick. I'd try these instead of the aluminum/oak mounts. All these materials (aluminum, oak, hard rubber) are easy to cut with a hole saw in a drill press.

    I didn't want to go through this much work, but I never found anything ready-made that came close to what I wanted. I wanted to mount both our handlebar bags an extra 1.5" away from the handlebars, and Swing Grips are just too flimsy. As I said, the homemade extensions were perfect for this, they're strong and never slipped.

    Putting a handlebar bag mount on the handlebars means it's even harder to find room for a computer. This extension solved that problem, I mounted our computers on the extension.

    I'll try to take a photo, if it'll help. I have the tools (and the time), so it was worth the effort. If all you want is to mount lights, computers, lightweight stuff -- I'd say it might not be worth the effort, and a Swing Grip would be the choice.

    -- Mark
    Last edited by EmmCeeBee; 05-24-09 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Updated the dimensions of the extension piece and bracket mounts.

  3. #3
    Senior Member aidy's Avatar
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    Could you provide pictures of your construction?

  4. #4
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    I had a problem with my light not clearing my handlebar bag, so I cut a piece of PVC, drilled a couple of holes in it and used wire ties to secure it to the fork.

    Recently I added a second stem. The part that fit on the steering tube was too tall, so a friend that does body work cut the mount in half. It works really well.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    apocryphal sobriquet J.C. Koto's Avatar
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    Those space bars are a rip-off

    PVC is fine. I like the cut of your jib! Just be sure that the diameter of the PVC tubing will allow you to mount your gear (sure, sounds obvious, but sometimes the first step goes un-done in an effort to get the final product, right?!). You can even do the second stem that spinnaker mentioned with PVC parts and hose clamps. You could probably do a professional looking job, too, for less that $7. Just be sure to leave it bare so people can bask in your ingenuity

  6. #6
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Someone in the Commuting forum turned a wood one on a lathe. I can't find the thread though

  7. #7
    Disgruntled grad student beingtxstate's Avatar
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    Very, very awesome. I would love to see pics of your creation if it suites you to post them!

    I'm leaving in 1.5 weeks for a week tour of the MI upper peninsula, so I honestly think I'll hold off on this elaborate setup, but down the line...

    Quote Originally Posted by EmmCeeBee View Post
    Yep, I made a couple for last summer's tour.

    This may be more details than you're looking for, but here goes...

    I bought a 26mm aluminum seatpost from the junk bin at an LBS (a straight handlebar would've done, too), and cut it to length (about 8"). This was to be mounted about 1.5" inches in front of the handlebars.

    Then I took a piece of aluminum stock, about 1"Wx2"Lx3/8"thick. Used a 1" hole saw to cut both ends so that each end had a "C" shape (to fit the handlebars/seatpost piece). Along with the aluminum piece, I cut a similar piece of oak (dense, hard) in the same shape, although the oak was about 2" thick. The aluminum piece is the strength, the oak keeps it rigid.

    So for one handlebar extension, I made two of the above aluminum/oak mounts.

    Took the 8" piece of seatpost and two aluminum/oak mounts and fixed it tight to my handlebars with hose clamps (the screw-tightening type). It's easy to adjust high/low by loosening the hose clamps, then re-tightening.

    Very solid. I made two of these, one for me, one for my wife. We crossed the continent with them, never had any issues. Now the oak is kind of weathered, looks cool.

    If I were going to do it again, I'd look at getting different material for the mounts. My local hardware store has hard rubber pieces about 2" thick. I'd try these instead of the aluminum/oak mounts. All these materials (aluminum, oak, hard rubber) are easy to cut with a hole saw in a drill press.

    I didn't want to go through this much work, but I never found anything ready-made that came close to what I wanted. I wanted to mount both our handlebar bags an extra 1.5" away from the handlebars, and Swing Grips are just too flimsy. As I said, the homemade extensions were perfect for this, they're strong and never slipped.

    Putting a handlebar bag mount on the handlebars means it's even harder to find room for a computer. This extension solved that problem, I mounted our computers on the extension.

    I'll try to take a photo, if it'll help. I have the tools (and the time), so it was worth the effort. If all you want is to mount lights, computers, lightweight stuff -- I'd say it might not be worth the effort, and a Swing Grip would be the choice.

    -- Mark
    1990 Trek 330
    2006 Trek 7.2FX
    2006 Trek 7.3FX (Wifey's Steed)

  8. #8
    Disgruntled grad student beingtxstate's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies all!

    I think I will fool around with the pvc later this week...we'll see what I come up with. Actually, just the simple zip-tied idea may wok fine!
    1990 Trek 330
    2006 Trek 7.2FX
    2006 Trek 7.3FX (Wifey's Steed)

  9. #9
    cyclist
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    when I got a second set of brake levers, I needed to make more room for my light (I mainly commute). Super simple. Three hose clamps and a tube (mine was a section of retired handlebar). One hose clamp goes around the stem. Two hose clamps go around the first hoseclamp and the spare tube. I insulated everything with inner tube. You end up with a tube perpendicular to your stem and parralell to your handlebar.

  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by beingtxstate View Post
    Very, very awesome. I would love to see pics of your creation if it suites you to post them!...
    Took me a day to get back to my computer....

    Here's a few pics of what the extension looks like on my bike. The hose clamps cover the aluminum bracket piece; the oak pieces provide lateral rigidity.

    My handlebar bag uses a Clickfix attachment -- if you're familiar with those, they use a steel cable to wrap around the stem to keep the handlebar bag from slumping. The stock cable was too short (naturally, since I added 1.5" inches to the reach), so I bought a longer piece of cable.

    Mount01.jpg

    Mount02.jpg

    Mount03.jpg

    Here's a pic of one of the oak pieces I cut (actually a reject, since I chipped this one...). It was originally about 1.5"Lx1"Hx1"thick before I cut the circular pieces out.

    Mount04.jpg

    A little bit of work. But it served well on a cross-country tour. The heavier the item you want to mount on the extension (like a full handlebar bag), the sturdier the extension needs to be. This works great.

    (I updated some of the dimensions in my earlier post, my memory was off...)

    -- Mark
    Last edited by EmmCeeBee; 05-24-09 at 01:19 PM.

  12. #12
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    I have a Topeak tourguide bag, and I had the same problem especially when I tried to ride with my amfib mittens in winter. Not enough space between the interrupter levers and the back of the bag. My wife was throwing out a 1/2" thick plastic cutting board so I cut a piece large enough to extend the bag 1/2" further out from the mount, drilled the appropriate holes, mounted it between the mount and the bag, and my thick mitten/gloves reach the interrupters perfectly now. I didn't have to tip the levers down, but they were down a little from horizontal anyway.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    I cut a piece of 1/2" plastic cutting board to match the mount on my Topeak Tourguide bag, drilled it and installed it between the mount and the bag. This extended the bag out the 1/2" making room for my thick winter mitts to reach the interrupters without tipping them down more than they were already.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    Just add a 2nd handlebar, like Sheldon Brown did to his Thorn.
    Hey, I'm just this GUY...you know?
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