In this article I’m going to explain how to extend or lengthen bicycle handlebars. I found almost zero information on the internet on how to achieve this so it made for a nice restoration project for my Koga Miyata Adventure.
I’d polished my Sakae MT handlebars and brought them back to life, but looking down on it I noticed them being rather small. There were deep scratches in the bend areas, because that’s where the brake levers had been. And because they’d been in that area they’d cut into the handlebars.
When I looked at the original Koga Catalog I found an image with the original handlebar setup. I definitely didn’t have that much length to accommodate the shifter, lever, and grip.
I compared mine with a version I found on the internet the difference was clear.
As it turned out my handlebars had been crudely sawed off. Original handlebars where 27 inches or 68.6 centimeters in length. Mine were just 55 cm., which meant over 5 inches or 14 cm. had been cut off. Exactly the amount of space I would normally have needed to accommodate the shifter and levers on the straight parts of the handlebars.
I contemplated buying a new handlebar, but they don’t come cheap and I really loved the original one. Buying NOS was out of the question, since they weren’t readily available and the one I found sold for $79 from the U.S.
The handlebar has the following dimensions
- Diameter: 22 mm.
- Wall thickness: 4 mm.
- Opening: 14 mm.
Strategy for lengthen bicycle handlebars
I don’t have any tools for machining aluminum or anything, so I was left with using parts you could get from any hardware store.
The general strategy was to insert steel rods with a desired length into the handlebar ends. Use a pipe with the same diameter as the handlebar and fill up the difference between the pipe and the relatively thick walls of the handlebar.
I found 14 mm. steel rods and a steel pipe with a 22. mm. diameter. The filler in between the rods and pipe turned out to be more difficult. In the end I chose spring washers. Because they are cut they could be more easily manipulated into place and they were thin enough to fit into the space between rod and pipe.
Measuring and sawing
I added about 5.5 cm. on each side, making sure that when measured from the middle each bar was the same length. It was clear that now the bars would be able to accommodate the shifter, lever and grip.
The spring washers wouldn’t fit onto the rods. So the threads had to be filed. The washers were also too big for the pipe to go over. So they themselves needed to be filed.
When they barely fitted, I tapped them into the pipe using a flat-headed screwdriver. My custom bar ends were finished.
Since I had a riser bar I could simply hammer the rods into the handlebar. They wedged themselves tight in the curve of the handlebars.
And that’s how you lengthen bicycle handlebars! If you like this article give it a thumbs up. If you have any questions or suggestions for new articles, let me know in the comments below. Cheers.
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