How to fix bent bicycle handlebars

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Bent bicycle handlebars can be a bit of a hassle, and knowing how to fix bent handlebars can save you time and money.

In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to straighten those handlebars and get you back on the road with confidence.

From assessing the damage to making adjustments, we’ll cover the essential techniques to help you tackle this common bike repair. So grab your tools and let’s dive in!

How do I know if my bike handlebars are bent?

Detecting whether your bike handlebars are bent can be pretty straightforward. You mostly will have to use your eyes to gauge if your handlebars are straight or not. If you feel your bike handlebars may be bent, here’s how to check for confirmation.

Do a visual inspection

This is a very obvious one. You have to take a good look at your handlebars from various angles to detect if it’s misaligned. Look for any noticeable curves or bends that appear different from their original shape, and check for asymmetry or any obvious irregularities. 

You can also place your bike on a level surface and observe the alignment of the handlebars with the front wheel. Normally, they should be parallel to the wheel and centered. But, if you notice that one side is higher or lower than the other or that the handlebars are not parallel to the wheel, it could indicate a bend.

Check for steering issues

If your bike feels unstable or difficult to steer, it could be a result of bent handlebars. You may experience wobbling, veering to one side, or a general lack of control when turning. 

While riding, pay attention to how your hands feel on the handlebars. If you find that your grip feels uneven or uncomfortable, with one side feeling higher or lower than the other, it could suggest a bend.

Check the reference points

Some handlebars have markings or lines that can help you gauge their alignment. Check if these reference points are aligned properly. If they appear skewed or misaligned, it indicates a possible bend.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to further inspect your handlebars or have them checked by a professional bike mechanic. They can provide a more accurate assessment and recommend the appropriate steps to address the issue.

Can you straighten bent handlebars on a bike?

Yes, it is possible to straighten bent handlebars on a bike, and you can do it yourself, if the bend is not so severe.

First, take a good look at your handlebars and see how bad the bend is. If it’s just a little bend, you can probably fix it yourself. 

But if it looks like your handlebars went through a monster truck rally, you might want to consider getting some professional help or getting new handlebars altogether.

Related Post: How much does it cost to change handlebars on a bike

How to fix bent bicycle handlebars

Fixing bent bicycle handlebars can be a bit tricky, but with some patience and the right approach, you can attempt to straighten them out. 

Although, how difficult or easy it will be to fix bent handlebars can vary depending on the severity of the bend and the type of handlebars. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:

Assess the situation

You first have to check the extent of the bend in your handlebars. If it’s a minor bend, you can try fixing it yourself. However, if the bend is severe or the handlebars are damaged, it’s best to seek professional assistance or consider replacing them.

Loosen the stem bolt

The stem connects the handlebars to the fork steerer tube. Loosen the bolts or screws on the stem using an appropriate wrench or Allen key. Make sure to only loosen them enough to allow for adjustment, you don’t need to completely remove them.

Straighten the handlebars

Firmly grip the handlebars and attempt to straighten them by applying gentle force. Start by applying force in the opposite direction of the bend and gradually adjust until the handlebars are aligned. Only make small adjustments as needed, and be careful not to apply excessive force, as it can cause further damage.

Check alignment

Once you’ve made some adjustments, step back and visually inspect the handlebars’ alignment with the front wheel. They should be centered and parallel to the wheel. Make any necessary tweaks to ensure proper alignment.

Tighten the stem

Once the handlebars are straightened to your satisfaction, tighten the stem bolts or screws securely. Be careful not to overtighten, as it can damage the components.

Test for stability

After tightening the stem, give the handlebars a gentle shake and apply some pressure in different directions to ensure they are stable and securely fixed. Double-check that they don’t slip or make unusual movements.

It’s important to note that handlebars made from materials like carbon fiber may require specialized attention or professional repair. 

If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it’s best to consult a bike mechanic for assistance. They have the expertise and tools to handle more complex repairs and ensure the safety of your bike.

Wrapping Up

Fixing bent bicycle handlebars may seem daunting at first, but with the right approach and a bit of patience, it’s a repair that you can tackle on your own. 

By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can straighten out those bent handlebars and regain control and comfort during your rides. 

Remember to assess the severity of the bend, loosen the stem, apply gradual force, check alignment, tighten the stem, and test for stability. 

However, if you encounter any difficulties or have concerns about the repair, it’s always a good idea to seek professional assistance.

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