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Can you bend bars?

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:09 pm
by frogatthefarriers
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.

Ta! :???:

Re: Can you bend bars?

Posted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:40 pm
by BigdummySteve
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

Re: Can you bend bars?

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:02 am
by Bearbonesnorm
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.

Re: Can you bend bars?

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:44 am
by freddy_tanner
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.

Re: Can you bend bars?

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:19 am
by Charliecres
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.

Re: Can you bend bars?

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:34 pm
by htrider
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.

Re: Can you bend bars?

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:38 pm
by middleagedmadness
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

Re: Can you bend bars?

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:56 am
by frogatthefarriers
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.