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Welded Handlebar Design: Would You Ride With One?

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I had an idea the other day. Just wanted to know if anybody out there would have any problems trusting an alloy 7/8 handlebar that utilized welds in certain areas for construction, compared to the standard that is a skinny metal bar held in place with allen screws, clamps, and glue?

I remember coming across a post at some point that had a strong opinion against any welds on bars. I'm not really sure, but it might have been in one of the subtank handlebar threads. I can see why repairing a bar would be stupid, but what about a bar that was originally designed with welds (besides those POS steel "grip-hangers" that used to come stock)?

Any objections?

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welded crossbars were standard equipment for decades... nobody thought twice about it... properly done,a weld is stronger than the surrounding metal

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Yeah, I realize a lot of people nowadays, including myself most of the time, ride with "fat" bars, they have almost become the standard now that 3/5 core manufacturers offer them stock.

But there are also a lot of riders out there with older models that still have a 7/8 setup.

The question was would you ride with a 7/8 bar that was welded in some parts rather than bolted?

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I had an idea the other day. Just wanted to know if anybody out there would have any problems trusting an alloy 7/8 handlebar that utilized welds in certain areas for construction, compared to the standard that is a skinny metal bar held in place with allen screws, clamps, and glue?

I remember coming across a post at some point that had a strong opinion against any welds on bars. I'm not really sure, but it might have been in one of the subtank handlebar threads. I can see why repairing a bar would be stupid, but what about a bar that was originally designed with welds (besides those POS steel "grip-hangers" that used to come stock)?

Any objections?

IMHO, I think aluminum would flex too much and a weld in that location would be a little unsafe and I'd bet that is why Renthall uses the patented design that they use. I've seen welded aluminum bars for BMX but remember them being for kids only. If some are out there I've never seen them and flexing would be my guess as to why.

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welded crossbars were standard equipment for decades... nobody thought twice about it... properly done,a weld is stronger than the surrounding metal

Do you know how these bars held up or if they would compare to, say, a Renthal that came stock on a current CRF?

That's exactly what I understood about a weld, but I could also see how the heat would tamper with the properties of an alloy.

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IMHO, I think aluminum would flex too much and a weld in that location would be a little unsafe and I'd bet that is why Renthall uses the patented design that they use. I've seen welded aluminum bars for BMX but remember them being for kids only. If some are out there I've never seen them and flexing would be my guess as to why.

Would you be convinced with an official fatigue test?

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modern aluminum alloys are a different animal than the steel of years past.. and welding aluminum can be tricky..

http://lincolnelectric.com/knowledge/articles/content/alum.asp

simply from a cost standpoint I could see why welds on aluminum bars wouldn't be desireable. I haven't seen any direct studies comparing welded vs bolted as far as strength

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They might be ok if stress relieved after welding, but there are still alot of variables

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Would you be convinced with an official fatigue test?

Sure! I like to think that I am of a scientific mind, so, sure. I love seeing stuff like that.

I don't think it would convince me to switch from my pro-tapers but I wouldn't mind seeing how a design like that would stack up against Renthal's design..

Renthal makes a great 7/8" bar and if it can be improved upon at a comptetive price I think you'll have a nice future ahead of you. :p

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Sure! I like to think that I am of a scientific mind, so, sure. I love seeing stuff like that.

I don't think it would convince me to switch from my pro-tapers but I wouldn't mind seeing how a design like that would stack up against Renthal's design..

Renthal makes a great 7/8" bar and if it can be improved upon at a comptetive price I think you'll have a nice future ahead of you. :p

I'm gonna second that. :ride:

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modern aluminum alloys are a different animal than the steel of years past.. and welding aluminum can be tricky..

http://lincolnelectric.com/knowledge/articles/content/alum.asp

simply from a cost standpoint I could see why welds on aluminum bars wouldn't be desireable. I haven't seen any direct studies comparing welded vs bolted as far as strength

A 6061 Aluminum Alloy like most bars are would be ideal to use. It's cake to weld

I'd hope they wouldn't mig weld the bars strictly for cosmetic and safety reasons. Migging the bars WILL leave spatter that could be sharp and destroy gloves faster than usual as well as cut up hands.

Using a TIG would be ideal for these welds, it would come out smooth and be just as strong especially if you were using 5356 filler rod

From a production stand point Migging would be faster, but not by much. especially if it's as small a weld as the old style bars have

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Any bar, aluminum or steel, that relies on the heat treat must be heat treated AFTER welding. The manufacturers do that.

Some older steel bars are not heat treatable. Most new bars are heat treated.

Don

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A 6061 Aluminum Alloy like most bars are would be ideal to use. It's cake to weld

I'd hope they wouldn't mig weld the bars strictly for cosmetic and safety reasons. Migging the bars WILL leave spatter that could be sharp and destroy gloves faster than usual as well as cut up hands.

Using a TIG would be ideal for these welds, it would come out smooth and be just as strong especially if you were using 5356 filler rod

From a production stand point Migging would be faster, but not by much. especially if it's as small a weld as the old style bars have

NOT true. If your know what your doing this is easily avoided.

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Oh and your saying mig wouldnt be much faster. Wrong again.

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I think the problem you'll find with welding is manufacturability.

You are adding more steps (welding and heat treating), and arguably have more room for error than if you were building a clamp-together design like current 7/8" aluminum handlebars. These steps will add considerable cost, and if you have an issue with the welds you could be scraping a lot of now unusable product.

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I had an idea the other day. Just wanted to know if anybody out there would have any problems trusting an alloy 7/8 handlebar that utilized welds in certain areas for construction, compared to the standard that is a skinny metal bar held in place with allen screws, clamps, and glue?

What alloy?

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Heck the bikes frame is welded, so its more than strong enough for handlebars.

I made my own handlebars for my mountain sled, and I make steering posts all the time in custom lengths.

Mountain sledders really pull hard on their bars, and stress the posts.

I make them up to 9 inches taller, and then you can really pull on them, they do not break.

So welding is super strong.

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Heck the bikes frame is welded, so its more than strong enough for handlebars.

I made my own handlebars for my mountain sled, and I make steering posts all the time in custom lengths.

Mountain sledders really pull hard on their bars, and stress the posts.

I make them up to 9 inches taller, and then you can really pull on them, they do not break.

So welding is super strong.

The stresses in frames is in tension.

The stresses in handlebars is in bending.

Big difference.

Don

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The stresses in frames is in tension.

The stresses in handlebars is in bending.

Big difference.

Don

So frames do NOT get bending forces aplied to them???

You must ride your bike differently than I ride mine then.

And as I already noted, i have made my own bars, and steering posts.....the bars sure do not get a bending stress, like a mountain sleds post does.

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