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Problem with the handlebar that rotates and the grips go down 10 cm or more

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Problem with the handlebar that rotates and the grips go down 10 cm or more

Old 04-12-17, 12:04 AM
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simplex1
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Problem with the handlebar that rotates and the grips go down 10 cm or more

Problem with the handlebar that rotates and the grips go down 10 cm or more, in the most unexpected situations, also I do not press on them with great force.

On April 9, 2017, I bought this bicycle: Supercycle Classic Cruiser Men's 26" Comfort Bike.

According to the Owner's Manual for Cruiser Bicycles - Huffy (see page 12, fig. 08 and page 13), if necessary the Handlebar Clamp Nut (marked D on fig. 08) can be loosened, the handlebar rotated into the most comfortable riding position and then the nut must be tightened back.

After buying the bicycle and riding it for about 5 km, while I passed over a bump in the road, that was no higher than 1.5 cm, the handlebar rotated down and I lost my equilibrium, without falling.

I adjusted the handlebar, according to the instruction in the manual, and I tightened the bolt more than before.
After riding another 5 km (2 days later) while braking the bicycle the handlebar rotated down again. This time I had a 2.5 kg bag hanging down from one of the two grips.

I adjusted the handlebar again and tightened its bolt even more. I am afraid that I will damage the bolt or the clamp if I turn the nut further with my wrench.

The problem of this kind of handlebar is its very long moment arm which creates a great torque even for relatively small forces that press on the two grips. I am afraid of another sudden rotation.

Question: What should I do to fix this handlebar and by sure that it will no longer move in the future.

Note:
I am not allowed to post internet addresses. You have to search on the net with the bolded strings to find the bicycle and its manual.
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Old 04-12-17, 03:48 AM
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Take the bike to a LBS and have them tighten to what they believe is a proper spec. If it rotates again take it back to the point of purchase for a full refund.

If you are really sold on the bike and want to keep it, I would replace the stem with one that uses a better bar retention system.
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Old 04-12-17, 04:49 AM
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Get Aluminum bars and Aluminum stem
not the heavy and slippery chromed (thus hard to clamp down) steel ones that it currently has.

Also, cut the bars shorter, less leverage that way.
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Old 04-12-17, 05:02 AM
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Either tighter on the bolt or cut a beer can shim for between the stem and bars.
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Old 04-12-17, 08:07 AM
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22.2mm bars in a 25.4mm stem?
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Old 04-12-17, 06:29 PM
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Steel bars usually depend on the Knurl to provide enough traction against torquing.

Unfortunately once the slip and the knurl wears, it only gets worse. Ultimately the fix is a new bar with a good knurl, and keeping the stem tight enough that it never slips the first time.

Short of that, here's a fix you might try. Go to your favorite car mechanic, or an engine rebuilder and borrow a teaspoon of the coarsest lapping compound (grease with grit mixed in) he has. Apply it to the bar and inside the stem's clamp area, slide the bar in and tighten to where you're afraid that any tighter would snap the bolt.

An alternate method is to collect dome fine sand, and borrow some nail polish. Sprinkle the sand onto a length of sticky tape. Paint the clamp area on the bar, and when it's tacky wrap the tape to transfer the and and here it in the nail polish. Press hard, and leave the tape in pace until the polish is dry, then peel it off. No worries if the tape won't release, just trim it. When the stem is clamped, the sand will engage into both the bar and stem locking them together the same way sand allows your car tire to bite on ice.
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Old 04-12-17, 08:36 PM
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...do not do this ^^^^
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Old 04-13-17, 05:54 AM
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That is a Canadian Tire brand, so if you have issues with it, you should take it up with the store you bought it from. Canadian Tire is usually pretty good about making things right.
FB made a good point about the knurling on the bar. A steel bar with a good deep, sharp knurl should resist turning when gripped in an aluminum stem.
If by some chance you are unable to get satisfaction from the retailer, and you are local to me, I am equipped to enhance the knurling on the bar which should improve the situation.
One other point. Riding around with bags of groceries dangling from the bar is never a good idea. If you are using the bike as a grocery getter, I strongly advise getting a pannier or basket to mount on the rear rack.
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Old 04-13-17, 04:56 PM
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Check your dental coverage if you're going to hang bags (or sweatshirts) from your bars.
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Old 04-13-17, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelreason View Post
Check your dental coverage if you're going to hang bags (or sweatshirts) from your bars.
Right, because if one of those bags happens to swing into your front wheel you will be kissing pavement
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Old 04-15-17, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Short of that, here's a fix you might try. Go to your favorite car mechanic, or an engine rebuilder and borrow a teaspoon of the coarsest lapping compound (grease with grit mixed in) he has. Apply it to the bar and inside the stem's clamp area, slide the bar in and tighten to where you're afraid that any tighter would snap the bolt.
This is a good idea. I will try it if the handlebar rotates again.

For the time being, I no longer keep my hands on the grips but much closer to the middle of the handlebar to reduce the moment arm. The problem is that the handlebar feels much colder than the grips, which is unpleasant.
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Old 04-15-17, 02:56 PM
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Buy a better bike. Seriously; Huffy makes only cheap junk bikes sold at mass-market stores. You bought cheap, and this is what you get. Any repair at a bike shop will cost you more than the bike cost. You can try a "kludge" repair, like adding a 'beer-can shim', but short of that, all you can do is take it back to the Wal-mart you bought it from and demand a refund. Then go to a bike shop and buy a real bike.

Sorry, but that's the best solution. Hate to rain on your parade, but when you buy these kinds of bikes, you have to expect a lot of sub-standard workmanship.
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Old 04-18-17, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
Buy a better bike. Seriously; Huffy makes only cheap junk bikes sold at mass-market stores. You bought cheap, and this is what you get. Any repair at a bike shop will cost you more than the bike cost. You can try a "kludge" repair, like adding a 'beer-can shim', but short of that, all you can do is take it back to the Wal-mart you bought it from and demand a refund. Then go to a bike shop and buy a real bike.

Sorry, but that's the best solution. Hate to rain on your parade, but when you buy these kinds of bikes, you have to expect a lot of sub-standard workmanship.
Unfortunately I can not return the bicycle because the store will not take it back. They can just make basic adjustments for a period of 30 days and nothing more. Most of the things you buy from a Canadian Tire store you can return but not the bicycles.

The bicycle cost 207 dollars. I had three bicycle stolen (all of them Supercycle 1800 Men's 26 bought with 115 - 125 dollars). One of them was vandalised a few month before being stolen. I had to replace both wheels which fortunately I had from a previous out of order bycicle.

Less than 2 hours after I bought this last bike with 207 dollars I chained it 50 meters from a store and while coming back I saw a man, looking like an itinerant, who was circling it, carefully studying it, while his girlfriend or possible wife was also looking at the bicycle. I watched them from a distance for a few minutes and when I was like 15 meters from them, without looking at me, they started walking.

I can buy a more expensive bicycle but the danger to found it destroyed or not to find it at all is too great.
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Old 04-18-17, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by simplex1 View Post
This is a good idea. I will try it if the handlebar rotates again.

For the time being, I no longer keep my hands on the grips but much closer to the middle of the handlebar to reduce the moment arm. The problem is that the handlebar feels much colder than the grips, which is unpleasant.
Remove the grips
hacksaw off any handlebar length that protrudes beyond your new hand position
Reinstall the grips.
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Old 04-19-17, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
Remove the grips
hacksaw off any handlebar length that protrudes beyond your new hand position
Reinstall the grips.
I will not do it because I can irreversibly deteriorate the handlebar or end up with a bigger unexpected problem. If, for example, I cut each of the two sides of the handlebar in half, the grips, once reinstalled, will make a 45 degree angle to the horizontal. They will have a quite uncomfortable position for me. If I shorten the handlebar more I will end up with a too short one and if I remove just 25% of it, the moment arm (and in consequence the torque) will still be 80% or even more of what I have now.

Note:
(My new hand position is actually moving continuously.)
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