Vintage style "cruiser" handlebar options!

Discussion in 'Antique Motorized Bicycles' started by Hoodoo, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    I like the upright sit of the early handlebars and with the long loop frame I need they need to be very long. I found the Wald 867's but they are about ten inches too short. I don't really like the 30" type, too wide and too flare although comfortable for upright riding on my special which of course is a normal industrical frame size and not looped.

    Any suggestions, custom makers, proper bar diameter and metal type for making my own, or perhaps anyone out there might know of a close match already available, would be appreciated.

    Right now my "Choctaw" (looks sort of like a 1910 Indian--it's also red) has an ersatz wood tank cover that looks good at a distance but of course that will be an improvement (and of course conventional handlebars just don't fit. I will be posting pictures from our saturday air fair soon as soon as the pics start coming in, personally I was having too much fun riding my trusty special, trying to get the newly put together Choctaw's chain to stay on (didn't work), and also having a hoot driving model T's and a Nash Quad, and as a special treat getting to ride a 1921 Triumph single cylinder model H, a 1917 Indian powerplus (both in the sidecar and in the saddle). The experiences
    are such that my appreciation for the originals and also the tribute motorized bikes are deepened.

    Al

    Al
     

  2. chuckbuck

    chuckbuck New Member

    i like looking through the used bins at my local bike shops to find some cool bars.... sometimes it just doesnt do though. a japanese company called Nitto makes alot of really cool bars. dont think they sell directly... BUT... check out Rivendale cycles online for the albatross and dove bars.. nice lookin. and also the site VeloOrange cycles has lots of cool minimalist french style bars. good luck IMO the most important thing besides the frame/fork.
     
  3. DougC

    DougC Guest

    Below is a page from a 1919 Harley-Davidson bicycle accessory catalog, showing some handlebars and with dimensions. Save this image if you like it, I don't remember where I found it online and it will not be posted on my web space forever.

    (image below)
    [​IMG]
    (image above)

    For the first MB I built I copied the Shelby-style handlebars (without the cross-bar). The end result looked nice, but steered very poorly at slow speeds. Once you got going at full-speed it worked fine though.

    (image below)
    [​IMG]
    (image above)
    ~
     
  4. skrufryder

    skrufryder Member

    why not bend your own?
     
  5. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    I haven't found the tube stock and it appears hard to bend.
     
  6. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    Just found a guy tonight at our local gearsheads weekend show that is going to weld straight bars cut from an ape hanger to the Wald 867, this should work. Might end up having several of these.
     
  7. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    Saved, this is quite interesting, thanks.

    Al


     
  8. DougC

    DougC Guest

    I used some 7/8" 4130 steel tubing from a local metals supply place, walls were .120" I think. Cut some slices in it with a angle grinder w/cutoff wheel, heated the remaining metal red with a welding torch and bent it by hand, and then welded the slits back up. It wasn't great but looked right from a few feet away, and it was still pretty stiff when finished.

    I had to do the cuts because with only one torch, I found that I couldn't heat the tubing all-the-way-around enough to bend it. If you cut 2/3 of the way through, then you can get the other 1/3 red-hot, and also the cut provides room for the tubing to bend into. ....I don't think you could bend the same tubing with a conduit bender, the 4130 is a lot stiffer and no conduit benders I've seen looked real strong.

    I do not advise using electrical conduit for handlebars as it isn't very stiff and cracks rather easily. Even the cheaper Wald handlebars are probably way safer.
    ~
     
  9. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    Thanks. I abandoned the conduit and solved my problem by accidentally running into a guy who was admiring mine and others bikes at a local Saturday night get together of gearheads and he took my Wald 867 and some ape hangers I just bought and cut from the ape hangers the straight portion and welded them to the wald in about 20 minutes on Sunday. They look great and I am going to make (going to get my cuz to make as he has a welder) a second pair for my short frame bike also. Not super pretty at the weld but more than good enough for my purpose...it is really going to backdate this bike and from a short distance is going to make one take a second glance.


     
  10. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

    Opted for the Shelby style

    They are actually ride pretty good. I was surprised at how comfortable they are. You get to sit up straight like in a chair. Caught a lot of looks and positive comments, the only issues with these bars is that they might impale you in a wreck and not great for handling your bike when you are just pushing it around.
     

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