Can you bend bars?

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Can you bend bars?

Post by frogatthefarriers » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:09 pm

I seem to have accumulated a few sets of rather straight handlebars over the years. I was wondering if I could bend the handles on a set to try to find the ideal (for me) sweep angle. Then I could shop for some - to take the expense out of finding the right ones.

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Re: Can you bend bars?

Post by BigdummySteve » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:40 pm

No worries, what’s the worst that could happen?
I’d prefer a steel bar for the experiment and bend them with proper forms/ sand fill them possibly to prevent folding, if it’s just temporary to get a feel and you take it easy I can’t see any major problems.

Just don’t be tempted to keep bending a set of ally bars then ride a World Cup downhill course repeatedly :-bd
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Re: Can you bend bars?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:02 am

If they're aluminium then no. If they're steel then you stand a better chance but ideally you'll need heat - lots of heat but even then, they're still likely to crease.
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Re: Can you bend bars?

Post by freddy_tanner » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:44 am

Pretty sure I've read about folks back in the good ol' days bending drop bars, cold setting without heat, out in order to add a flare. Think I remember them being filled with sand too

No idea of bar material though. Steel I can imagine.

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Re: Can you bend bars?

Post by Charliecres » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:19 am

I think I’d see if anyone on here has some bent bars you could try. Or head over to Planet X and grab some of their not very spendy offerings.

I’ve got some Fleegles and a matching 25.4 clamp stem you can have for postage.

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Re: Can you bend bars?

Post by htrider » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:34 pm

Steel with a proper pipe bender and mandrell, not ally under any circumstances. Most ally bars will be heat treated post bending and will not then take another bend safely.
Even Cro-mo bars, being hard and thin wall are going to be a challenge to bend and will need to be normalised post bending (heat evenly to a very specific temp and cool in a specific way). There is stuff on the net about doing this but you need to know your sh*t as having a broken bar end go into your wrist as your face hits the stem is not likely to be a positive experience. My advice? buy some more bars and don't take the risk.

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Re: Can you bend bars?

Post by middleagedmadness » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:38 pm

Same as what stu and Phil say ,plus it'll probably cost more for you to get the kit pipe benders and access to oxy acetylene than it would to buy a couple of different cheap bars
And I would have thought you'd want to temper the steel to keep its strength which can be a dark art in itself

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Re: Can you bend bars?

Post by frogatthefarriers » Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:56 am

Thanks for all the replies chaps.

I've got access to some pipe bending stuff, so they'd probably not just crumple and I don't do death-defying stunts - too old - so no heavy loadings in use. I just thought I could give 'em a bit more sweep and try them on my run-around bike and see what angle is best. Then I could shop around and get the right ones first time - and only buy once.

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