Bent bars after bike got bumped... bummer.

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  • Just went to go for a ride to find my bike's been bumped by a van while locked up outside my flat. Brakes, gears, wheel and fork all seem fine and unscathed but the bars are well bent and it looks like the stem's cracked. Plus my nice old ritchey grips are mangled. See pics below.

    This is my eighties muddy fox courier which I use for everything. Got a few questions, I'm pretty new here so hope this is the right place to post!

    • is the stem fucked? Looks like a big crack but will I die if I keep using it?
    • suggestions for replacement bars / stem (if fucked) / grips?
    • any ideas what size stem and bars should I be looking for? I'm hoping to find some decent second hand bars and stem but not entirely sure what size everything is. I don't have calipers or anything so hoping someone knows just from the pictures and era of bike.

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  • whoops, close up picture of stem didn't load first time

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  • and here's a picture of my funny looking bars just for lols

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  • Also looking for advice for removing and fitting these old school thumb shifters. Any surprise spring mechanisms that'll send everything flying etc.?

  • Sorry to see your bike got vanned dude. Not a nice surprise. And yeah this is totally the right place to post.

    I can't tell what size the bar clamp is... but likely to be either 25.4mm or 26.0mm. Unlikely to be 26.4mm as that was mostly just Cinelli (I think ?).

    The stem looks dead yes. Don't trust it... because if/when it fails it'll likely be a moment of high speed and force, i.e. when you sprint out of the path of an oncoming bus or when you hit a pot hole at pace. Not the best moments to find the bars freely dancing in the air.

    The bars could be salvageable if you're really attached to them, but only if they're steel (use a magnet) and only if, of course, you can bend them back. But this comes with some risk.

    Seeing as you don't know the clamp size and you have no calipers, I'd recommend just sourcing a stem and handlebars that fit together. So a 1" quill stem in 24.5/26.0/26.4mm clamp size, with bars to match. Also, of course, take note of how long your stem is and get a similar one. Looks like you need one with a brake cable hole for centre-pull brakes - a little rarer but should be doable.

    The thumb shifters look cool. They are normal downtube gear shifters bolted onto handlebar bosses. Nothing is going to leap out at you when you unscrew the top bolt, but I highly recommend carefully laying out the parts in the order that they come off and also the same way up as they are assembled. And then take a phone picture of them. And only disassemble when you have the replacement parts ready to go.

  • It is fucked

    Replace bars and stem unless you think reconstructive surgery is cheaper.

  • cheers pal - really helpful. Definitely wishful thinking that I could keep the stem - I just can't really deal with not having a rideable bike for more than a few days so was hoping it might be a quick and easy job of just chucking any old bars on for now.

    I'm now thinking either quill stem + bars, or quill adapter + stem + bars. And then probably a fork mounted cable hanger so I can use a normal stem without worrying about the brake cable hole. Should be easier to find those parts than something closer to what I had before I reckon?

  • This will sort you right out, if you can wait 1-2 weeks for shipping from Germany:­-Quill-Stem-115-Length-80mm-with-Hole-fo­r-Brake-Cable/202391111994?hash=item2f1f­73493a:g:6p8AAOSwpz9d9Kgi

    You might get this quicker, but it has a longer reach:­Quill-Stem-Joe-Murray-Velocity-Stem-c-w-­Cantilever-Mount-120mm/114268023160?hash­=item1a9ae7a978:g:YscAAOSwMq5e7l4b

    Quill adapter would also work but may look pants.

    Also the bars are not the most dangerous part - if they're steel and don't have any cracks/creases then they'll probably still be strong. The main risk at the moment is the stem. Obviously you need to change both though.

  • yes mate, thanks so much. tbh all three of those looks like decent options, will let you know which one I go with.

    good to know about bars. they're pretty horrible to ride on now and I don't know how I'd go about bending them back into shape - reckon I'll get some new ones at the same time as the stem

  • reckon I'll get some new ones at the same time as the stem

    Yeah good move.

  • Good place to start for reasonable priced Lenkernoodles and stiffy stems

    Looks as though your handlebars have a lot of rise so dont forget to take that into account when working out stem / bar height.

  • cheers. some of those bars look bang on!

    (...what's a lenkernoodle and stiffy stem?)

  • I'll tell you when you're older

  • Compound words are common in German.

    Lenker = handlebar, so Lenkernoodle is a wiggly handlebar.

  • haha ok. well my lenker is looking noodly enough for now ta very much

  • is there any reason why a quill adapter + on-one bullmoose bars + fork mounted cable hanger wouldn't be ideal?


    I've given up on the idea of this being a quick n dirty fix so just exploring a few different options

  • Decided against the above option, then I got impatient and went round a few local bike shops to scout for some usable parts bin stuff, to very mixed success. Most shops were understandably too busy or didn't have the right parts, but managed to find this second hand quill stem with cable routing for a fiver. Then splurged on brand new handlebars which are a pretty close fit to the original bars but with slightly less rise. Could have probably got them cheaper online but it was good to see them in the flesh before buying I guess.

    I think it looks pretty shite, and it handles weirdly now but I think that'll take some getting used to and a bit of fine-tuning. Considering this a temporary solution until I can find some nice quill stem bullmoose bars or similar.

    Cheers @Ndeipi and others for the help!

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  • Glad to see a conclusion to this! It looks fine to me, tbh. And I hope the handling feels better as you get the miles in.

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Bent bars after bike got bumped... bummer.

Posted by Avatar for JacobTFH @JacobTFH