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Manufacturing a custom touring handlebar

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Manufacturing a custom touring handlebar

Old 08-17-13, 04:53 PM
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Manufacturing a custom touring handlebar

I've had an S&S bike for over 6 years now. About 3 years ago I switched from drop bars to a horn bar with mtb bar ends configuration. The main motivation was to make the bike easier to pack into an S&S back(it's a 62cm frame). After 3years of riding this setup, I'm convinced this is the best setup for me and would like to get a more refined version of such a handlebar. Can anyone suggest how to go about getting a custom aluminum handlebar manufactured? Would anyone else be interested in such a beast? I imagine it would be helpful to have a few people go in on a small batch of these to reduce the cost.

The bar setup proved to be very addictive once I started bike camping. Adding in a cargo net made it super-practical. It works better than normal racks for the following extreme uses: 40lb of cement, watermellons, tents because the weight is centered, so it doesn't screw up handling similarly to panniers. There is also no pannier-style weight-penalty. I love this setup for bike-commuting, grocery runs, etc.

This is also functionally equivalent to a triathlon/time-trial bar setup except that there is an open space in the middle(and the bar itself is less aero). I installed elbow pads under bar tape. This means that even when my bike is fully loaded I can do the tt-tuck and effortlessly ride into the wind(compared to drop-bar friends).

So in summary this setup is lighter, faster than any other bike configuration I tried. The main downside is that the clamps on bar ends introduce an uncomfortable bend near the default-holding-brakes position. This can get irritating when riding bumpy singletrack as hands keep sliding forward and bruising against it.

Benefits to a custom bar based on this design:
  • Less weight
  • Easier to install
  • More refined geometry to better match tt-bars-with-a-hole-in-middle goal, better curve near brakes
  • Hooks under bar for cargo net to avoid cargo net vs hands conflict

It's a practical bar for both city-riding and touring. This should be a cheap alternative to rack/pannier combos for bikepackers. Any thoughts on how to get this manufactured? In the ideal world an existing bike manuf would pick this up. I just wanna buy this.
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