Hey everyone, it's Josh from Cry Baby Cycles
again! Today we're talking handlebars! Everyone needs them, and there is a sea of options out there. If you're having trouble finding what you like or the last 10 bikes you have seen have the same pair, then maybe it's time to build some! I will walk you through the process of making some killer custom bars for your bike. Remember, be creative and push yourself to go outside the box and you will have the raddest pair of bars in the hood! Let's get started!
Depending on what you want and the size you need, you have to start with the right material. Usually, bars are either ⅞ inch or 1". Today we are building ⅞ inch bars. I always use ⅛ inch DOM tubing. There are no seams in this material, it's solid and welds nicely!
You can see that the OD "outside diameter" is ⅞ and the wall thickness is ⅛.
The first thing I do is figure out the bends that I want for my bars. This is where the possibilities are endless. In this case, I'm building a lower style for a tracker style bike. So I'm bending them a little over 90 degrees. This is a Baileigh Industrial bender that shows the degree marks on it. This is key to getting both sides the same.
Now that I have both sides bent I can put them on top of each other, and they should match perfectly.
I lay both sides on the table now so that I can start to see the design I want to build.
Now I need to figure out how the bars will mount. In this case, they are mounted by risers. I want to make another piece that connects the bottoms of the bars and attaches them to the risers. I'm going to put a knurl on the piece so that when it goes in the risers, it bites good, and the bars won't move. There's various tooling that you can get for lathes that allow you to knurl different sizes of tubing.
As you see in this pic, we now have a nice knurl for our bottom piece.
Now I cut my bars to the height that I like, and I can set my bottom piece and start to see them come to life. Now I need to make an upper connecting piece that will add strength and style.