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Replacement Handlebar for Vintage English 3 Speed with 23.8 Clamp?

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Replacement Handlebar for Vintage English 3 Speed with 23.8 Clamp?

Old 01-08-15, 01:24 AM
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Velocivixen
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Replacement Handlebar for Vintage English 3 Speed with 23.8 Clamp?

I am overhauling a 1955 Phillips 3 speed, internally geared bike and the steel handlebars have a large area of chrome worn or flaked off. I could just leave it or get a replacement. It has the obsolete English 23.8mm clamp area & 22.2mm grip area. Most "cruiser" or "North Road" style bars have 25.4mm clamp area.

In this photo you can see a little gap at the clamp area.




All of the usual places who sell vintage type components sell handlebars with 25.4, so I am presuming that the difference is small enough that it should fit alright. I would like to know if any of you have done this? How'd it work? Other ideas?

Thanks for your observations & suggestions in advance.
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Old 01-08-15, 01:35 AM
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jyl
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Oh, very interesting. No pics of the complete bike? Are you "holding out" on us? :-)

No experience with that bar size. 2 mm difference in diameter is substantial. Can you wrap the bar in leather instead? Oregon Leather on 2nd Street Downtown sells scraps and you'd for sure find a suitable piece. Cut and stitch. I happen to have the necessary stitching wheel and awl, needles and thread - you can borrow them.
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Old 01-08-15, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post

All of the usual places who sell vintage type components sell handlebars with 25.4, so I am presuming that the difference is small enough that it should fit alright. I would like to know if any of you have done this? How'd it work? Other ideas?
In a word, no. That would not do the stem any good, and I wouldn't feel confident riding a bike where I'd bent the stem clamp out that far. I'll ride some pretty sketchy stuff, too...

I'd say somewhere like eBay is your best bet, unless you're also OK with replacing the stem or you can find a bike co-op or an old bike shop who might have a set of the bars lying around. Here in the UK, we get plenty of bits of old 3-speed on eBay, seeing as we've got so many of the damn things still kicking around, you might find a seller who's willing to ship to wherever you are.

Alternatively, you might try shimming out a bar that's got a 22.2mm clamp area, that'll most likely be easier to get hold of. Not common, by any means, but you might find one.
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Old 01-08-15, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Oh, very interesting. No pics of the complete bike? Are you "holding out" on us? :-)

No experience with that bar size. 2 mm difference in diameter is substantial. Can you wrap the bar in leather instead? Oregon Leather on 2nd Street Downtown sells scraps and you'd for sure find a suitable piece. Cut and stitch. I happen to have the necessary stitching wheel and awl, needles and thread - you can borrow them.
Thanks. That's an interesting thought. That would certainly protect the original bar. The rubbed off chrome is only on the right side about 3" long. Also I've got a thread on the C & V subforum called something like "1955 Phillips 3 Speed". Just added a bunch more photos.
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