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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I almost ordered some Midges and got to thinking maybe I could just shape some of the old bars I already have. I took an old pair of TTT Formas that I'll probably never use, I like Morphes on the road bike, and started bending and shaping them to a shape I like. I flared the ends and bent the hooks to get a shallow drop and an overall width of 58.5cm. So, my question is, are they safe? As I understand it bars are bent then heat treated. But Charlie Cunnungham used to have bars that I am pretty sure he shaped himself. I know he and Jaquie were (are?) running a different bar than the factory bent WTB Dirt Drop. BTW, I weigh 140 and these will be on my cross bike. :confused:
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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Don't do it!

Your right about C.Cunningham making his own bars, but then he heat treated them post forming. This is especially a bad idea if your bars are made from 7000 series aluminum. 6000 series is only slightly more forgiving, but if you made extensive modifications, then you have work hardened the metal, and it needs to be stress relieved. All this hardly worth the trouble or nagging on your conscience when you can readily have a Midge bar and ride safely.
 

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Squalor
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Seems like I remember Mike C. posting a pic of some custom shaped Bell Laps or something on a Willits ti bike with an Actiontec shock. Maybe he will chime in.

I also seem to remember Pat Irwin (I think) posting a pic of a Pugsley with a custom bent Rivendell Dove or Priest bar.

Might be worth an archive search...

FWIW - I rode my Crosscheck today for a little under 30 miles on a mixed road/trail ride with some WTB DritDrops on it. Real nice feeling bar.

LP
 

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Don't do it!!!! Guitar Ted is absolutly correct.
It is not safe to bend your own bars, it changes the grain structure of the aluminum where bent and creates huge stress risers.

Before WTB and Nitto started producing DirtDrops we used to have to flair our own bars, usually Cinelli's, there was a very fine line between bars that would last a few months and bars that would start to droop within a weeks time. None lasted more than a couple
months before they would start to droop or just break.

A lot of guys that normally rode drops off road switched to flat bars because the home flaired drop bars were so dangerous.
It wasn't too long before the Ibis designed Nitto/ Specialized RM-3 ( not Rock Combo or Nitto/ Bridgestone DirtDrops ) and WTB bars arrived on the scene and we could get back on drop bars. I look back on that time and its a wonder that I never stuck a broken bar through my neck. We were very stupid.

I think the bars that were on Charlie and Jaquie's bikes were Ibis/Specialized/Nitto RM-3 bars that predated the WTB bars by a few months. The RM-3 bars bend is very close to a home flaired bar.
I think Ibis and WTB worked with Nitto to design their bars at the same time, but Ibis receved their bars first. Specialized provided the muscle to have the bars produced. Neither the Ibis or the WTB bars were ever distibuted by Specialized.
 

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This place needs an enema
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Gary-

I have bent a number of bars for different folks around here (myself included). While I'm not suggesting that it's safe to do, none of us have had a failure--so far. None of the bars have started to droop or bend or change in any way. Some of them are going on their 3rd season of use. Most of them are on cx bikes, but 2 sets are on 29" mtb's.

All that said, if I were you I'd call a framebuilder that's relatively local to you (3D?) and have them throw them into their next heat treating batch.

Still not convinced? Buy a Midge.

Good luck.

MC
 

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I rode hand flared Cinelli Crit bars for a couple of years. They amount of bend was nowhere near the flare in the Midge. The tubing was a heck of a lot thicker than the tubing used in bars today. I would not do it with current bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys!

Boy, you guys are a wealth of information. I think I'll just get some Midges and be done with it.

I first started riding drops off road when I bought my 87 Bridgestone MB-1. I rode them for the next 5 years or so, exclusively. I did end up flaring the Nitto dirt drops slightly and had no issues with them. What I've done to the TTT Formas is WAY beyond that though. I've been pretty happy with the Salsa Bell Laps on the cros bike. I'd like to try less drop and more flare, after reading Matt Chester's raving review of the Midges I want to try them. I tried the WTB dirt drops years ago and wasn't all that impressed, I hope I like the Midges better. Thanks for all your input!

xrmattaz you have mail.

Gary in Del Norte
 
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