Author Topic: Bending your handlebars on purpose  (Read 554 times)

Offline Zenermaniac

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Bending your handlebars on purpose
« 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.

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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2023, 10:14:55 PM »
I never had any luck rebending bars . Finding a place to clamp them is the first problem, it would hurt the triple tree to use that. Once you got them clamped I think you could stick a rod in the end or over the end and tweak them. Getting them even is the next thing. I always thought the were off from each other even if they werenít. I'm thinking of compound bends, Itís easier to try a different set of risers, either taller or shorter. Hold a pencil in each hand and hold your hands in front and you can get an idea how the ends should be bent for you.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2023, 12:55:29 PM by John A »
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Offline frozengoose

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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2023, 10:49:25 PM »
When I bought the T, it had low, narrow bars. After a few years, age and arthritis intervened, so I wanted a more upright position that would take the weight off my wrists. So I found an old Triumph handlebar in my parts stash and mounted it on the bike, took a piece of pipe 3-4 ft long that fit over the bar ends and then while holding one side, pulled the pipe back on the other. After several tries, got the angle I wanted. Still riding the bike that way after maybe 10-15 years. So I think you could do it the other way, pushing the bars forward. Probably be easier with some help, but I did it myself by guess and by golly, so it does work.



« Last Edit: March 21, 2023, 02:30:47 AM by frozengoose »
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Offline Dukedesmo

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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2023, 05:18:09 AM »
I've straightened bent (from a crash) bars successfully before but never deliberately tried to bend them.


Probably depends on what they're made from; ally or steel as to how easy it is but if it's a minor bend and you don't kink them I would think it should work OK, maybe use a bending spring (like in copper water pipes) inside to assist if you can find one of the right size?
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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2023, 05:18:09 AM »

Offline Zenermaniac

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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2023, 06:37:08 AM »
Thanks, all. Iíll give it a try.

Offline twowheeladdict

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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2023, 06:40:49 AM »
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.

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPsjr7jxO0o
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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2023, 10:51:54 AM »
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.


« Last Edit: March 21, 2023, 12:12:34 PM by Ncdan »

Offline cliffrod

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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2023, 11:16:09 AM »
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.
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Online John A

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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2023, 12:31:14 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2023, 09:42:20 AM by John A »
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Offline Zenermaniac

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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2023, 04:21:37 PM »
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.


Online n3303j

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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2023, 07:36:31 AM »
When I bent up thin wall aluminum tubing for a recumbent bicycle seat I filled the tubes with water and corked the ends. Then they spent a night in the deep freeze. Next day it was an easy task with the conduit bender and nothing distorted or collapse.

OTOH When I didn't like the bars on the V11 I slit them mid rise and made a close fitting internal plug on the lathe. Glued the plug into the lower half with Loctite RC680. Played with rotating the upper half until I was satisfied with the feel. Then bonded it in place with the same Loctite. The bike has been lifted through the bond joint with no movements.
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Offline LowRyter

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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2023, 07:59:56 AM »
order some new bars?  I mean for $75 why go through the aggravation?  heck, you might save the old ones if you change your mind
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Re: Bending your handlebars on purpose
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2023, 08:09:52 AM »
When I went looking for new bars I never found enough manufacturers descriptions to show me exactly what I would receive. After 3 bars I resorted to fabricating the desired configuration.
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