handlebar hacking

The crash course I’ve been getting in bicycle handle bar diameters is a real drag. There’s 1/7th of an inch difference between most roadbike bars and BMX so, as I describe in my last post, the stem on my new cutter won’t work with my new bull horn bars. The old FBM bars I had kicking around are super wonky but since I haven’t used them in a few years I figured I’d try cutting them to fit. Any reason to throwing a cutting wheel on my die grinder is a good reason 🙂

First off I cut down the forks and pressed a star nut so that’s been progress since my last post. These bars have the right shape but they’re way too tall:

First thing was to throw them into a vice and cut off the bottom part which makes the bars about 1/3 of the original height:

At this point they’re still too wide so I trimmed off two inches at the end of each handle. Notice the angle at the end of the bar. This is from a previous cut I made with a hack saw and never cleaned up:

That’s pretty much it. Here’s the final product:

So two points: First, if I have to remind you to wear safety gear when you’re cutting metal it’s already too late for you. Second, I’ve probably weakened the bars significantly by making these cuts. By cutting out the bottom of the bend I’ve effectively made these three piece bars and any weight that’s put on them is going directly onto the welds. Since this is a road bike I’m not worried but I’ll be keeping an eye on them just in case.

Now all I’ve gotta do is sand ’em down and get some white paint. Then some brown bar tape to match my seat.

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