Parts & material for a homemade handlebar

I am planning to build a handlebar for long distance riding.

But I have the question about which material should be used.
Steel? What diameter and the thickness of the steel pipe should I use?

My seat post is 22.2mm and my verticle frame (under the seat post) is round 25.4mm. I have two choices to mount the handle bar but I don’t know where I can get the joint (shown in the attached photo). I know that the stem of a bike is similiar but the size is only equal or larger than 25.4mm. And the one I can find is made of Aluminum which I can’t weld it with steel.

Any recommendation for the joint & the handlebar’s material?

Thanks a lot!



Do you have welding/brazing experience?
How are you planning on building it?

I’ve made lots of handlebars. I’d suggest looking at my archives:

I can answer specific questions you have after you look at my pictures/info. I ordered all my stock from


…except for the used bicycles we got from My handle was made from the down tube + drop bars of an old road bike, and it’s still in great shape after 1000ish kms of riding (and many UPDs).

Why not find yourself a couple old beater bikes and disassemble them for parts / materials?

I don’t know about your handle being in “great shape”–the WHO has declared that people traveling on your unicycle need a tetanus booster.

I don’t have the welding experience. But my friend has. I’ve seen your great collection of handlebars. And want to build a handlebar like the attached one.

I need to find the materials/parts and instruction, and tell my friend how to do.

I don’t have any old bicycles to use. I have checked your suggested “” but I don’t know what I should look for. And it is not too convenient for me to order from aircraftspruce from here (I live in Hong Kong). But I can order/buy some bicycle parts easily from local bicycle shops if they can be used.

Cool - that’s somewhere to start from. FYI – Jason is right; I did use bike parts for some handlebars, but not all of them. The red one above uses a bike seat post top tube that happens to fit over the KH seat post.

My other handlebars (like the black one on my KH24) have small steel tabs that I brazed on. After brazing, I drilled and tapped the holes. So far, that has worked quite well. An alternative is to get “braze on” bolt clamps from a bike fabrication shop (or order them online).

Most my handlebars I now make with 22.2 mm (7/8") x 0.035" thick CroMoly (steel) tube stock.

Here are the parts I last ordered from, and the prices I paid:


03-05300-3 4130 STEEL TUBE 7/8X.035 3FT 2.00 0.00 9.419 18.84
03-06400-1 4130 STEEL TUBE 1X.065 1FT 1.00 0.00 3.060 3.06
03-06900-1 4130 STEEL TUBE 1-1/8X.035 1F 1.00 0.00 3.956 3.96

The first part is 6’ (total) of 22.2 mm tube that I use as the primary stock for my handlebars. It is pretty light, but also pretty thin. I have crashed a bit with my bars, but it has yet to bend. That isn’t to say that it might not bend in the future. If it ever does, I’ll have to move to something thicker.

The other two parts are slightly larger diameters than some seat post tubes that I work with. With my lathe, I can bore out the centers to be the right diameter for the seat post that I’m trying to get it to attach to.

Overall, the easiest approach to building a handlebar:

  1. Find a bike that has the same seat post diameter as your seat post tube (for a 22.2mm tube, that may not be possible – you might be able to get someone to turn a shim on a lathe to make it work with something larger)

  2. Cut the top tube off, and weld on a T for bar ends (using 22.2 mm stock, so they can attach).

On my handlebars, I now prefer to fabricate the entire thing, as it it ends up being lighter.

I prefer to braze them handlebars together as opposed to weld. I use a bronze filler and a standard Oxy-acetylene torch setup. I think I use a #0 or #1 tip.

good luck! Feel free to ask more questions.


Also, some notes. Here is a sketchup file for danger_dog’s handlebar (the original one you posted):

I created it off his specs. Sketchup is free, and runs on macs and windows. Search for it, if you don’t know what it is.

Also, looking at my red handlebar, I now make the top tube go down instead of sticking up horizontal; this avoids it catching water. I’ll post a pic.

And…here are more pictures of the new way I prefer to make the bars. This one was for my RTL teammate, AJ.

Corbin, thanks a lot!! You give me some useful information to start with.

Hey Corbin,
I’ve been riding with my new handle for about a week and I absolutely love it. It’s so nice having somewhere to put my hands when I’m just cruising around town. After having the Wygonowski handle and the T7 it’s funny that the weight of the bar ends far outweighs the rest of the handle. Great job.


p.s. I’ll get some pics taken today and send them this weekend.

Hey, I described the way I put my handle bar together in another thread. I just copied and pasted it here for you, in case you want to to make something up without having to weld parts:

The handle bar is an improvisation of all aluminum bicycle parts that happened to fit together perfectly.

I found a threadless (head-set-style) stem that had exactly the right inside diameters to go onto the Nimbus frame instead of a seat clamp and to put a 27,2 seat post in as a boom. I modified the stem by sawing off the front part and adding a slit in order to be able to squeeze it tight with a large (I think 32mm) single bolt seat clamp. The seat post had a large enough inside diameter to fit around the quill stem. Then I cut up a regular steering bar and added some nice bar ends.

Oh and I put the brake lever on sideways, in order not to break it in a fall, which of course had happened to me before. I could only fit it to the bar after the clamp part had snapped on the opposite side of the screw. Otherwise the handle bar would have been way too thick for the brake lever to go on. With the spooner on it works like a charm now.

So if you feel like making one like this, go for it. I highly recommend it. It is probably not cheaper than buying a KH t-bar, although you don’t have to get the new seat then… But it is a fun little project.

As far as stability and rigidity is concerned, it doesn’t show any signs of fatigue until now. No flexing issues either. I hope it’ll stay that way for a while.

Thanks, Munirocks!
It is also another direction I have considered. Just need to find some parts “matched”. (of course, it is not easy too). I also found some difficulty to connect the parts tightly. Your seat clamp is a good idea.

I got my booster before Uninam… should be good for at least 5 years!

Really, though, you can’t beat an oxide finish. It’s incredibly tough and does well to protect the metal underneath… provided the metal is thick enough.

I dare you to find a scratch on my handle! :stuck_out_tongue: