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Bending your handlebars on purpose

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--- Quote from: Zenermaniac on March 20, 2023, 09:44:56 PM ---Iíd like 2 or 3 degrees less pullback on my handlebars. Anyone re-bend their bars? Would it weaken them or be too hard to control the bending? Crack the chrome plating?
Most pressure is on the heels of my palms and Iíd like to make it more even across my hand if possible. Itís not enough of an issue to pursue the expense of new bars at this time - just a thought if I can do it myself.

--- End quote ---

First, there shouldn't be any pressure.  You should be light on the controls.  Your core and legs are supposed to hold your position on the bike.

Second, watch this video from Fortnine on hand position.

I have reshaped bars in the past and here is the technique I used and got good results.

-take measurements as to where you want the bars to be during your desired reach at your most comfortable seating position.
-remove the bars from the bike
-fill the bars with sand or lead shot (this will reduce the chance of kinking the metal or cracking the chrome)
-place the bars in a heavy solid mounted vise and rap the bar with leather where itís in the vise to prevent damage.
-with a heat gun, not torch, get the metal hot where you want the bend to be accomplished from.
-using a long enough pipe to put enough pressure on bar to bend the bar. (Be sure to also rap the bar with a protective material to prevent damage as well as distribute the area of the bend more.
- check your measurements frequently until the measurement you want is accomplished.
-if the location of the bend canít be reached with a pipe over the end of bar, a rubber mallet or hammer with a block of protective wood can be used to accomplish the bend.
- keep in mind any attempt to bend chrome steel is touch and go and things can go wrong, damage to the bar can occur.

I think the factor which determines whether bending handle bars will be determined by how much bend is needed.
Give it much thought before attempting to bend handle bars as a lot of things can go wrong.
If you mess up and damage the bars then your problem is solved, youíll have to replace them.
This has worked for me a couple times in the past however I definitely request a disclaimer 👍
Good luck.

Danny makes good sense on this one.  Itís easy to bugger things up. 

The only thing Iíll add is that weíve always kept some of the conduit bending heads (that screw onto a pipe for a handle) to address bends from crash or for modification.  Using just a pipe over the bars creates the possibility of quickly creating a sharp crease where the edge of pipeís open end contact the handlebar as you apply pressure.  The conduit bender is more likely to collapse the tube/bar than create a sharp crease.  By simultaneously using both conduit bender and pipe (such as an old fork tube..) over bar in conjunction with each other, the energy/stress applied to the item being bent is spread out better.   This makes it easier to bend or unbend things without creating damage from sharply focused force.  Get the end of the pipe over bar close to the conduit bender, then pull carefully as needed on both at same time.

Padding, going slow, being realistic about how much to bend, etc all help as well.  But if the tube being bent loses a consistent circular cross section, donít trust it. Get different bars.

John A:
If you do use the triple tree as a clamp, the problem is if your bending is against the stop which is an iron piece from the frame to a bump cast into the lower tree. Check to make sure the iron is not going to hit the aluminum too high which could shear it off. The iron can be bent closer to the stop with a pry bar from the bottom. Itís a good thing to check anyway, I like to put them as close to the base of the aluminum as I can. Then make sure the bar bends before the triple yokes do. Some are stronger than others.

All good suggestions. What I envisioned was clamping it down flat (front down) so only the ends stick up and bending the ends down a little bit to change the angle of the pullback. Nothing would really bend - the riser section would have to twist a little bit.


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