Mandrel-bending handle bars

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by M Powell, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. M Powell

    M Powell Guest

    I'm looking for an elegant solution to what is probably an odd problem with my bicycle. I'm in
    Houston, and the bike is a hybrid.

    Here's the deal -- I was born without a left hand. I have my wrist, but the umbilical cord had
    wrapped around, just outside my wrist, so that part got cut off from blood flow... Anyway, lately
    I'm doing the old guy thing & riding for exercise. Now that I'm putting more miles on, the
    difference in my reach --about 1.5 to 2 inches-- is being felt in my back. I need to make up this
    difference, so that my shoulders are squared back up. But I don't want a clunky solution of using
    tape or a riser block....

    So far, I've just mis-aligned (cocked) the bars to favor the left side. That's certainly simple &
    elegant, but is looks & feels wrong -- two guys have even offered to show me how to properly align
    the handle bars to the front wheel. Sigh.

    So, where might I go in Houston to get someone to work with me on mandrel-bending the handlebar,
    which I figure would be easier & neater than cutting & TIG'ing it. I'm assuming the bars is aluminum
    -- the bike is a Motobecane hybrid, purchased about a lear ago.

    Many Thanks, --M Powell

    (I'm cross posting this to Rec.crafts.metalworking)
     
    Tags:


  2. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    This ain't anywhere as easy as you seem to think it is. Welding very light aluminum tubing is
    completely out of the question. As for mandrel bending - you probably can't use a present bar
    because it's been relieved.

    You can probably get some really light steel tubing and have it bent to your specifications without
    too much trouble and with some paint it would look good.

    There must be a frame builder in Houston that could help you with the problem.

    Good luck. tom

    "M Powell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I'm looking for an elegant solution to what is probably an odd problem
    with
    > my bicycle. I'm in Houston, and the bike is a hybrid.
    >
    > Here's the deal -- I was born without a left hand. I have my wrist, but
    the
    > umbilical cord had wrapped around, just outside my wrist, so that part got cut off from blood
    > flow... Anyway, lately I'm doing the old guy thing & riding for exercise. Now that I'm putting
    > more miles on, the difference in my reach --about 1.5 to 2 inches-- is being felt in my back.
    > I need to
    make
    > up this difference, so that my shoulders are squared back up. But I don't want a clunky solution
    > of using tape or a riser block....
    >
    > So far, I've just mis-aligned (cocked) the bars to favor the left side. That's certainly simple &
    > elegant, but is looks & feels wrong -- two guys have even offered to show me how to properly align
    > the handle bars to the front wheel. Sigh.
    >
    > So, where might I go in Houston to get someone to work with me on mandrel-bending the handlebar,
    > which I figure would be easier & neater
    than
    > cutting & TIG'ing it. I'm assuming the bars is aluminum -- the bike is a Motobecane hybrid,
    > purchased about a lear ago.
    >
    > Many Thanks, --M Powell
    >
    > (I'm cross posting this to Rec.crafts.metalworking)
     
  3. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Guest

    On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 15:13:01 GMT, "M Powell"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >So, where might I go in Houston to get someone to work with me on mandrel-bending the handlebar,
    >which I figure would be easier & neater than cutting & TIG'ing it. I'm assuming the bars is
    >aluminum -- the bike is a Motobecane hybrid, purchased about a lear ago.
    >
    >Many Thanks, --M Powell
    >
    >(I'm cross posting this to Rec.crafts.metalworking)
    >

    I know nothing about Houston, but some places come to mind to start asking your question-

    motorcycle shops. architectural metal workers- railings, bannisters, etc. medical supply houses
    local bicycle frame builders a prosthesis maker or university hospital

    Remember- the issue isn't just putting a bend in tubing. I can do that with a conduit bender from
    the hardware store or fabricate my own mandrels. Handlebars breaking can be very ugly. You need to
    deal with tubing benders who are experienced with what metals can be bent safely, put under loads
    like you will be applying, etc.

    In the meantime, ignore the 'helpful' people who want to straighten your handlebars.
     
  4. Don Demair

    Don Demair Guest

    Just a quick thought... is it possible to use a bar-end? You know, the kind
    they use on mountain bikes. I'm thinking that maybe it could slide on the
    bar backwards inboard of the shifters and then rotate towards you. If you
    can get the position right, you can even mount the brakes and shifter on the
    bar end itself. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Here's
    just one example:
    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.cfm?SKU=2027&Store=Bike

    One question comes to mind. Can you use the brake lever on the left side? That's normally for the
    front brake (at least in the USA). If not, and as long as you can brace yourself with both arms, you
    may consider swapping brake levers since it's probably better to have front-brake only rather than
    rear-brake only. Of course, that depends on your skill level, riding conditions... etc.

    It's not the typical use of a bar end, but hey, if it let's you ride on.

    -Don

    "M Powell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I'm looking for an elegant solution to what is probably an odd problem
    with
    > my bicycle. I'm in Houston, and the bike is a hybrid.
    >
    > Here's the deal -- I was born without a left hand. I have my wrist, but
    the
    > umbilical cord had wrapped around, just outside my wrist, so that part got cut off from blood
    > flow... Anyway, lately I'm doing the old guy thing & riding for exercise. Now that I'm putting
    > more miles on, the difference in my reach --about 1.5 to 2 inches-- is being felt in my back.
    > I need to
    make
    > up this difference, so that my shoulders are squared back up. But I don't want a clunky solution
    > of using tape or a riser block....
    >
    > So far, I've just mis-aligned (cocked) the bars to favor the left side. That's certainly simple &
    > elegant, but is looks & feels wrong -- two guys have even offered to show me how to properly align
    > the handle bars to the front wheel. Sigh.
    >
    > So, where might I go in Houston to get someone to work with me on mandrel-bending the handlebar,
    > which I figure would be easier & neater
    than
    > cutting & TIG'ing it. I'm assuming the bars is aluminum -- the bike is a Motobecane hybrid,
    > purchased about a lear ago.
    >
    > Many Thanks, --M Powell
    >
    > (I'm cross posting this to Rec.crafts.metalworking)
     
  5. M Powell

    M Powell Guest

    Hmmm.. I'll go to LBS & check this out. Could be on to something.

    "Don DeMair" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    > Just a quick thought... is it possible to use a bar-end? You know, the
    kind
    > they use on mountain bikes. I'm thinking that maybe it could slide on the bar backwards inboard of
    > the shifters and then rotate towards you. If you can get the position right, you can even mount
    > the brakes and shifter on
    the
    > bar end itself. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Here's just one example:
    > http://www.performancebike.com/shop/Profile.cfm?SKU=2027&Store=Bike
    >
    > One question comes to mind. Can you use the brake lever on the left side? That's normally for the
    > front brake (at least in the USA). If not, and as long as you can brace yourself with both arms,
    > you may consider swapping brake levers since it's probably better to have front-brake only rather
    than
    > rear-brake only. Of course, that depends on your skill level, riding conditions... etc.
    >
    > It's not the typical use of a bar end, but hey, if it let's you ride on.
    >
    > -Don
    >
    > "M Powell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > I'm looking for an elegant solution to what is probably an odd problem
    > with
    > > my bicycle. I'm in Houston, and the bike is a hybrid.
    > >
    > > Here's the deal -- I was born without a left hand. I have my wrist, but
    > the
    > > umbilical cord had wrapped around, just outside my wrist, so that part
    got
    > > cut off from blood flow... Anyway, lately I'm doing the old guy thing & riding for exercise. Now
    > > that I'm putting more miles on, the difference
    in
    > > my reach --about 1.5 to 2 inches-- is being felt in my back. I need to
    > make
    > > up this difference, so that my shoulders are squared back up. But I
    don't
    > > want a clunky solution of using tape or a riser block....
    > >
    > > So far, I've just mis-aligned (cocked) the bars to favor the left side. That's certainly simple
    > > & elegant, but is looks & feels wrong -- two
    guys
    > > have even offered to show me how to properly align the handle bars to
    the
    > > front wheel. Sigh.
    > >
    > > So, where might I go in Houston to get someone to work with me on mandrel-bending the handlebar,
    > > which I figure would be easier & neater
    > than
    > > cutting & TIG'ing it. I'm assuming the bars is aluminum -- the bike is a Motobecane hybrid,
    > > purchased about a lear ago.
    > >
    > > Many Thanks, --M Powell
    > >
    > > (I'm cross posting this to Rec.crafts.metalworking)
    > >
    >
     
  6. roadntrail

    roadntrail New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    12
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    0
    Interestingly enough, I have nearly the same issue -- I was born without a right hand, and also have a wrist. I've been biking for 40+ years, and now I'm looking to modify my equipment instead of changing my posture, to eliminate back and shoulder pain. I've considered the bar-end idea for my MTB -- just a matter of finding the right size and shape. For my road bike, I was thinking of a custom-made handlebar, because I'd like to keep my Ergopower setup, but that's probably $$$$.

    If I find a solution, I'll post it, with pictures.
     
  7. roadntrail <[email protected]> wrote:
    >M Powell wrote:
    > > I'm looking for an elegant solution to what is probably
    > > an odd problem with my bicycle. I'm in Houston, and the
    > > bike is a hybrid. Here's the deal -- I was born without
    > > a left hand. I have my wrist, <snip>
    >

    >Interestingly enough, I have nearly the same issue -- I was
    >born without a right hand, and also have a wrist. I've been
    >biking for 40+ years, and now I'm looking to modify my
    >equipment instead of changing my posture, to eliminate back
    >and shoulder pain.

    Have you considered an internally-geared bicycle with a coaster-
    brake and positioning the front brake lever and shifter (I'd
    recommend a twist-shift) on your handed side?
     
  8. roadntrail

    roadntrail New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good suggestion, but shifting and braking has never been a problem. The problem I'm trying to solve is more of a fit problem. If I set the bike up to properly fit my left arm, my right arm doesn't reach the handlebar unless I 1) twist my shoulders or 2) bend my left elbow. It wasn't a problem when I was younger, but I'd like to start riding "square".
     
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