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A bike is a good form of transportation for many reasons: it’s convenient, fun, and freeing when you get your heart rate up.
But riding a bike does come with a price in the form of maintaining them. When they begin to break down, some cyclists will opt to replace their old handlebars with ones from new bikes.
These new handlebars, however, don’t come cheap. This is the perfect example of a situation where many people will stay away from their bikes for too long.
The cost for replacing your handlebars is anywhere between $70 and $200 dollars. But you can get a good deal if you do a little bargain or bidding.
How do you replace bicycle handlebars?
If you’re having problems with your bicycle’s handlebars, look no further than this blog post! I’ll go over everything from how to identify the type of handlebars on your bike to what you will need in order to replace those bars.
Let’s get started!
The first thing to know is that there are two basic types of bicycles. The first type is the BMX/mountain bike.
The handlebars wrap around the front wheel to form a “U” shape. If your bike has this type of handlebar, you’ll be able to see them from the front of your bike.
The second type is the road bike, which features “drop bars” that curve down and away from you. To have easy access to them, these bars are placed on top of the front wheel.
The second thing to know is that the names for the types of handlebars vary depending on who you ask. For example, BMX/mountain bike handlebars are also called “bullhorn” handlebars.
Road bike handlebars are also known as “drop bars.” To add even more confusion, road bike handlebars come in two varieties: flat and drop. Flat bars have no bend while drop bars have a slight curve.
When you’re interested in replacing your handlebars, you should first consider the type of bike you have. The following is a list of common types of handlebars and their names:
- Bullhorn Handlebars are also known as “mountain bike handlebars” (BMX)
- Flat Handlebars
- Drop Handlebars come in two varieties: shallow & deep/deeper drop (road) handlebars also known as “drop bars” that curve down and away from you.
- Shallow Drop Handlebars which tend to only be found on older road bikes. These handlebars curve down but are not as steep a drop as the deep drop.
- Brazed Handlebars (braze-on) are used on many older bikes, such as Schwinn bikes or Sherbrooke bicycles. The handlebar is bolted on and cannot be removed. This type of handlebar is also prone to failure over time (especially in the area around the bolt).
- Bicycle Handlebars: What You’ll Need to Replace Them
To replace your handlebars, look for the right tools. The two most important tools to have when replacing handlebars on your bike are a set of screwdrivers and wrenches.
You’ll also need a few other smaller tools that you will find handy, depending on what you’re attempting to do. They are needle-nose pliers, a flat head screwdriver, and a hammer. You should also have some rags around to help protect the finish on your bike as you work.
You will need the following tools:
2.5mm, 3mm & 4mm Allen wrench (aka hex key or hex wrench). A set of these is useful when you’re working on bikes since they are used for getting your bike wheels off the ground when changing a tire, as well as fixing other parts of your bike.
Also, the Hex Key Set, Disen 36-Piece Allen Wrench does a wonderful job. These wrenches are used for tightening or loosening nuts on your bike, as well as securing fixings to handlebars (such as bolts holding your stem into place).
5/8″ & 11/16″ Open End Wrenches. These wrenches are used for tightening or loosening nuts on your bike, as well as securing fixings to handlebars (such as bolts holding your stem into place).
A hammer – to help you turn the handlebar bolt out. A hammer with a flat head such as the OX Tools 28 oz. Framing Hammer is best but a pipe wrench can work in a pinch also.
Watch this video;
A set of screwdrivers. Flat-head screwdrivers are useful to get you started on removing the handlebars. To remove the handlebars, you will need a 5mm, 6mm, and 8mm Allen wrench or a Phillips screwdriver. Don’t forget your chain whip to help remove your old handlebars!
Other Tools For Replacing Handlebars: Tools that are nice to have but not absolutely necessary include a Crescent wrench and needle nose pliers for removing the old handlebar clamps.
You will also need a few other tools that are nice to have around but not absolutely necessary for replacing handlebars on your bike:
Crescent Wrench – used to tighten the stem into place. Also helps loosen stubborn nuts and bolts.
Needle nose pliers – used to remove stubborn parts of your bike, such as the screw that holds your handlebar onto your stem.
Allen Wrench – this is used to tightening or loosening your handlebar.
Brake lever – used to tighten the stem clamping screw, which holds the handlebars on.
Tire levers – Used with a Crescent wrench (or any 1/4-inch wrench), these are used to force the old tire out of place so it makes working on it much easier. You may also need a pair of pliers to remove the old tire’s bead.
Why won’t my handlebars tighten?
If you’re trying to adjust your handlebars and they won’t tighten, it may be because the plastic piece of the stem is loosening.
This little plastic piece controls how tightly or loosely your handlebars can turn in a given direction, so if it’s lose you’ll need to tighten those bolts on each side with an Allen key.
It’s possible that this little piece has shifted out of place, which could be why it’s resisting the tightening force.
You can adjust the position of this little piece by removing your stem and loosening the two black bolts that hold it in place.
Then, after finding a point which you’d like to have the handlebars turn past, loosen those bolts again and then tighten them to that point.
Once you’ve done this, you can tighten the bolts again and get the handlebars closer to where you want them. If you still can’t get them tight enough, keep tightening until you do.
Can you put flat handlebars on a road bike? – Conclusion
Your handlebars can be any style to suit your needs.
Many road bikes have flat handlebars, which provide a more aerodynamic position for the rider and allow them to get their arms out of the way when turning.
They’re also much more comfortable than their mountain bike counterparts, which typically have around handles that give the rider more leverage to climb steep inclines on their bikes.
One of the downsides to flat handlebars, however, is that they don’t provide as much support for the rider’s hands; a rider will find it more difficult to hang on to the bike while riding and may have some hand numbness after a long ride.
In addition, riders will find it difficult to grab the brake levers while riding at high speeds on sharp curves or corners with flat handlebars.