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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Custom Bar-Stem Material

    Hi - on sort of a whim I decided to build a custom bar-stem combo. I used some pretty thick (1.5mm I think) chromoly tube for most of it, and it turned out pretty heavy, but I wanted to err on the side of strength. The main bar is just 3/4 inch tube, with a couple of sleeves in the middle to step down to this from the stem tube. I am curious if anyone has any experience for what material thickness to use for either the main bar or the stem piece itself? What about safety in general, is there anything to worry about? With this first overbuilt one I doubt there will ever be a problem, but the weight is kind of a bummer, and moving to thinner tubing I want to be sure that it is safe. I would really appreciate your thoughts!

    Custom Bar-Stem Material-lugged-gemuffte-mountain-bike-791.jpg

  2. #2
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Any stem/bar setup made from steel is going to be quite heavy, so if weight is your main concern, just buy off the shelf parts. Even cheap ones will be much lighter.

    IMO you can safely use .049" wall for most of what you are doing. Not sure what the goal of all the extra tubing at the stem/bar joint is, but you can ditch that if you want to as well.


  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Eric Malcolm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Hey, nice over-all work. Like to expand on your build technique? I see the thematic approach used through-out and I am into that.

    I do make bar/stem and integrated combo's and the longest I ever made was 170mm long using 28.6 x .9mm 4130, never had a problem with it, the stem survived a 35mph crash better than I did.


    Edit: Jointing was by Tig on the above one. Weight will always be more than alloy/carbon. how much are we talking here? Somewhere around 600g for what you have would be fair.
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  4. #4
    Most Delicious
    Reputation: dr.welby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Based on a popular 90's steel stem, I can tell you 0.049" is a known safe wall thickness (at 1.125" OD).

    Also, as an aside I should mention that sharp transitions like your two sleeves on the bar is not a good thing from a fatigue standpoint. Ideally they would have some taper on the wall thickness.

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