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  1. #1
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    Tubing bender for handlebars

    I know this isn't a frame building question but I figured this would be the best place to ask about bending tubing.

    As a result of a series of shoulder injuries, I have one arm that is about 1/2" shorter in reach than the other. After a ride I find that my head and neck are misaligned due to keeping my head artificially balanced throughout the ride and my head effin hurts bad!!

    How can I find someone to bend some bar stock that would have more sweep backwards on one side?
    Bicycles don't have motors.

  2. #2
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    Groovy cycles makes their own bars.

    Another idea: if you're okay with having different sweep left and right, why not just put the stem on crooked?

  3. #3
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    One half inch should be attainable by hand bending using a suitable anchor point. That's how we used to put some flare in drop bars for off road duty.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldybikes View Post
    Groovy cycles makes their own bars.

    Another idea: if you're okay with having different sweep left and right, why not just put the stem on crooked?
    I looked at that idea but I believe that would create a twist at the wrist that could cause fatigue or even steering difficulty.
    Bicycles don't have motors.

  5. #5
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    I was thinking that if I start with some 800mm bars I could add a back bend and have left/right symmetry and a straight or slight back sweep and maintain my desired 740mm overall width. I have an old 740mm bar I might just experiment with...
    Bicycles don't have motors.

  6. #6
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    The way I interpreted your original message, I thought you just wanted to put in one bend and would end up with two different angles anyway, but if you want put in an S bend, then that wouldn't work. OTOH, you could use a askew stem + a single back bend for symmetry. Though not necessarily a simpler solution...

    I guess my other recommendation if you're set on symmetry with the exception of the reach would be to try to do this with flat bars because once you start with the compound angle of up and back sweep things are going to get complicated really quickly.

  7. #7
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    It is hard for me to accurately describe what I am trying to do. I see, as you say, where trying to modify already bent bars won't work easily.

    Assuming I have some flat bars, is there any reason I can't have the length of the S bend longer on the left side of the bar and maintain symmetry of the sweep and rise? I can't think of one....I doubt I can do this by hand however.

    One hack I thought of was to cut my old bars around the end of the grip and insert an offset aluminum plug. Just kicking ideas around, and wondering if the custom handlebar business might be good basement hobby to support my MTB addiction! Thanks for the replies.
    Bicycles don't have motors.

  8. #8
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    You *can* maintain the same sweep and rise on both sides with an uneven reach, but I'm thinking it's not going to be simple if dealing with a compound bend. I'd go for a single bend on the long arm side and an S bend on the short arm side. Keep the bends in the same plane. You'll also need to cut the single bend side a little shorter to get the same width since the S bend will eat up a bit of length.

    You could make this out of 7/8 x 0.058" chromoly with a shim in the middle and it'd probably be plenty strong. Likely you could go down to 0.049" thinner since 0.058" is used for BMX and they are super hard on their bikes, but thicker is going to be safer.

    One other thought: is it just that one arm is shorter or is your shoulder actually narrower, too? Maybe just having the grips be asymmetric placed in width would help some?

  9. #9
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    Both of my shoulders have had grade 3 to grade 4 AC separations- the left got set high, the right got set low. My right hand is about 5/8" in front of my left when I hold my arms at chest height. The resulting twist in my posture creates a sublaxation in my cervical vertebrae which is, literally, a pain in the neck.
    I am going to try to bend a good for nothing set of 680mm straight bars and see what happens...I am also going to try to manufacture an offset plug of round bar stock. I would be willing to pay someone who could bend some bars if I can't get 'r done.
    Bicycles don't have motors.

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't mess with bending an aluminum bar.

    Personally I would run a 1/2" shorter stem and learn to bend you long arm a bit more.

  11. #11
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    bending an aluminum bar is a reallll bad idea.

    All those foco guys make a lot of bars. I would hit them up. Blacksheep, Moonmen, Oddity...
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  12. #12
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    Anything I do with aluminum would be a prototype that would never see dirt...I was just trying to figure out if anybody had some ideas on how to do this on the cheap- I've got five bikes that need modification!

    Thanks for the names, i guess I really was looking for a custom bar builder.
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  13. #13
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    Buy 2 bars with different rise to them. Cut each of them in half. Use a solid aluminum cylinder insert to bridge them and weld the 2 halves together like they do aluminum bike rims???
    Ridley CX, Stumpjumper Carbon HT, Surly Wednesday

  14. #14
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    Just pay Rody to build you what you need (or one of the other handlebars guys).

    Modifying existing aluminum (or obviously carbon) bars is not going to be safe.

    -Walt

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad_M View Post
    Buy 2 bars with different rise to them. Cut each of them in half. Use a solid aluminum cylinder insert to bridge them and weld the 2 halves together like they do aluminum bike rims???
    That's brilliant, you must be a farmer!!! If I had thought of that I wouldn't have a sore neck right now. I am going to see how much custom costs but if I can't swing it, I am going to use your idea!
    Bicycles don't have motors.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Modifying existing aluminum (or obviously carbon) bars is not going to be safe.

    -Walt
    No you can totally bend carbon. Super easy.

    Lock one end firm in a vise, put a long cheater bar on the other end.

    When you hear that first little "crack" just go a bit further and it bends like butter.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    No you can totally bend carbon. Super easy.

    Lock one end firm in a vise, put a long cheater bar on the other end.

    When you hear that first little "crack" just go a bit further and it bends like butter.
    And then..........
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  18. #18
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    As Adarn pointed out above, Moonmen, Oddity and Blacksheep are all pretty good at building bars. I have no doubt that any of the three could build you a flat bar with a bend in it that would allow for the same sweep on both sides but have one side back 1/2" farther than the other. You'd need to put an s-bend in it to do it.

    Maybe a bar/stem combo?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad_M View Post
    Buy 2 bars with different rise to them. Cut each of them in half. Use a solid aluminum cylinder insert to bridge them and weld the 2 halves together like they do aluminum bike rims???
    I had my first ride with my new bars today....25mm rise on the right and 40mm rise on the left, manufactured like Chad suggested.

    I felt an immediate improvement in the weight distribution on my arms and wrists and felt that my head was better balanced and looking more straight ahead. With the insert there's no shortage of strength...

    Thanks again for the great idea!
    Bicycles don't have motors.

  20. #20
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    Do you know any electricians?

    They have a tool for bending conduit (soft aluminum tubing) when running wires.

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