Handlebar discussion - How to?

I’m looking at building a handlebar for my uni. From the threads on the forum, it seems the most logical way to start would be to modify existing bike parts. I’ve checked and local shops apparently don’t have stoker stems (or know what it is) so I guess welding a curvey and a straight piece of metal to form a T-base to work with would be a good start instead.

A lot of you guys have probably experimented with customising ur handlebars… is there any particular configuration (eg angle, distance between handles, distance of seat from handles) that you found most comfortable with? Also, since more stress is on the stem, does having a handlebar weaken your frame?

Please do share photos - I’d love to get some design ideas too.

I’ve outlined my design a few times here on the forum. Here’s a post:


here is mine, I like my handle a bit further away than most. It is made out of a T7 the top tube from an old road bike.

Heavier and doesen’t look as nice as Corbins but it does not require a stiff seatbase

The first time I used the top-tube to hold a handle I used the quill stem and handle bars from the bike, I cut the handlebar short and used mountain bike bar ends. It worked farily well and was adjustable but I like the T7 stuck in there, It is lighter and alows the handle to be further out. I lucked out and had a bike with an inner diameter of the top tube almost exactly 1" or 22.2mm

If you have access to a welder (the person or the equipment), this would be a great start, and it’d save you quite a bit of moolah! Those stoker stems are expensive, whereas some steel tubing can be found for free, when cut from a discarded bike.

I have a KH rail adapter and simply welded my handlebar stem onto the end-plate, after grinding off the brake post. This has been working well for me.

An alternative design that doesn’t involve the adapter makes use of an extended baseplate (the plate at the end of the seatpost that bolts onto your seat). Add some more plate to allow bolting onto the existing handle, then weld a curved stem onto that plate. This is how Corbin designed Louise’s handle.

Since everyone has different length arms, torsos, etc., the design is really dependent on you.

If you can, start by making a handle that’s adjustable, or just tack your handle together (instead of doing full welds) and take it for a quick ride. You’ll need to do a few iterations of build-test-adjust to get something that works for you.

As for me, I made a stem that gives me enough clearance to still use the KH handle… you’ll need some handle very close to the seat to help you torque up or down steeps and handle bumps. The handle, well, it’s still a work in progress. I’ll put some pics up after my next build.

Depends on how hard you torque on your handle. I wouldn’t worry about this until you start doing trials on your big wheel :smiley:

Here’s mine, a cut up road handlebar and MTB bar ends. The nice thing is that you can adjust the angle on the ends. Only cf bases are probably strong enough for this kind of mount.


That’s sweet! What handlebar did you cut up for it? Did you weld it yourself?


I forgot totally about this thread.

I’ve seen MuniVision’s handle in a prev thread and I’d love to do that if only for how it seems the easiest option. However, I haven’t a carbon fiber base nor access to it so thats not possible.

saskatchewanian: That’s a HUGE handle - doesn’t leaning your weight on it throw you off balance? Also, I’m kinda worried about stress breaks.

An idea I had while looking at bike parts was to have a regular bike stem and a set of bar ends with a plastic pipe acting as what would be the handlebar in a regular bike setup. I’m talking about those pipes that bring water to homes and toilets. Would that sort of plastic be strong enough to hold up to the weight/

Wait, what?

You’re worried about stress, then you think about using plastic?

That’s a bit of a contradiction there.

Assuming the welds are decent, all the handlebar setups you see in this thread should easily tolerate a ~100 lb load… so you could forego the seat and ride on the handlebars you see here. There should be no worries about breaking, unless you throw the uni off a cliff and it happens to land on the handlebar.

Plastic piping, on the other hand, isn’t designed to bear loads. I’d be willing to bet a pair of plastic handlebars wouldn’t withstand anything more than a few UPDs before it starts to deform.

If you’re worried about weight, you can use some thin-walled tubing to achieve weight comparable to that of plastic… of course, then, you may lose some durability.

If you’re worried about cost, think that you’ll be spending more time and money replacing broken handlebars than if you spent the extra few dollars to do it right the first time.

good points.yea plastic sounds dumb in retrospect.

Another question for those with custom handles - Do they weigh down your uni or alter the balance? As in if you’ve long handles, do they pull you forward?

Not really, you might notice a bit getting on because you are holding onto a part of the uni that is farther infront than your old handle, but if you leave on the KH handle then you can just use that to mount and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Some things I have noticed with my long handle

It is really nice to get in a tucked position and basically ride it like a bike once you are up to speed but when going slow you need to be more upright. When not using the handle the handling is definitely a little slower than if the handle was not there, and changing your riding position really changes the saddle angle. My saddle is not angled up at all on my 36er.

I use either the saddle handle or the middle handle (where my brake is) when mounting.

I’m tempted to build my own handle - shipping for a T7 would cost anything from 1 - 3 T7s depending on where I ship it from.

T7 Costs

I purchased a T7 from UDC (USA)

On top of the purchase price it cost me shipping ( $24.00 ) + Canadian Customs ($40.00) + Rail Seat post ($20.00) + handlebar grips ($7.00) + Bumper pads for rear ($4.00) + reflective tape ($4.00)

So an extra $99.00

Cost of extra confidence going uphill and tucked position to go fast …


Correct me if I’m wrong, you’re Singaporean? I think I saw you post something about your nationality before.

Yes I am.

The T7 is on sale on UDC UK now btw

Probably your best bet for building a handle cheep would be finding an old road bike at a garage sale (like $10) or even better at a garbage dump (free if you can sneak it out, depends on what the rules are).

Try to find one with a quill stem and a seatpost that is as close to your seatpost size as possible. Chop it up and use the top-tube and part of the seat-tube for the boom, stick the quill in the end of the top tube, cut the handlebars short and add some mountain bike bar ends.

That is how I made my first handle and it worked great. Heavier but more solid than a T7. It is also fully adjustable and a whole lot cheaper.

Any visual guide to put it togeter?

If you can find a way to get it from Paris back home to Singapore, I can buy it for you. You can pay me back via POSB transfer or something.

I would be glad to email you more photos and dimensions on my handle, with the carbon base it is actually lighter than the stock seat/handle and does not alter balance at all. If you can get a broken or bent handle bar from a bike shop, I paid only $16 for the bar ends and $20 to have it welded. Since it is aluminum, I could not do it myself. The mounting plate was some free scrap.

I really like the way it works and would not want to ride with out a handle.

I’ve seen ur handle and it’s great but the only problem is I dont think my plastic base can support it (if I’m wrong tell me and make me happy).

Pembar - i think it’d cost more for postage from paris to singapore. it’s hopeless.