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Bent handlebar?

Old 07-14-09, 11:24 AM
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Bent handlebar?

Hey all,

I'm definitely a newbie when it comes to maintaining a bike, so I figured I'd ask here before I try to fix this.

I own a road bike with normal drop handlebars. I've been riding a lot lately and I noticed that the right hand brake lever and shifter are significantly lower than the left hand. Just looking at the handlebars my initial impression is that the handlebar is bent. But after thinking about it, this impression is due to the assumption that the placement of the brake lever and shifter is static. I wouldn't be able to figure this out on my own unless I take the handlebar tape off.

So my questions are:

How does the brake lever and shifter attach to the handlebar? Is it static or attached in a way that would allow it to slip down a little?

Is it possible that the handlebar is bent?
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Old 07-14-09, 11:35 AM
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Either is possible. I'd go for the easiest-to-check possibility first. Eyeball the tops of the bars, maybe by holding a ruler over them. The tops should be straight across. Then look from the side to see if the brake levers are mounted at the same angle along the curve. It's unlikely that the curves themselves will be bent. It should be easy to see if they're not mounted equally. To re-position them, pull on the levers and look in from the front, into the gap past the cable. You'll see a screw or allen bolt. Unscrewing that will loosen the clamp mechanism. Repositioning them significantly will require unwrapping the tape.
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