Bending handlebars

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I am thinking of doing some slight bending on a handlebar with an EMT bender. I have bent miles of EMT so the skill to get the bend I want won't be a problem but preventing a kink might be as the bar is thinner than EMT. The crude picture shows approx what I want to do, I want to close the first bend out from the stem about 1" which will bring the hand grips a bit more forward and at the same time widen them a bit, both things that I want but could not find in a replacement bar. I thought I might pack them full of sand, but I also have my bending springs (see pic below) which I use for cold bending 1/2" and 3/4" PVC, just slip it inside and prevents kinks. I want to avoid heat since that will ruin the chrome finish. Anyone had luck bending them with an EMT bender, nothing radical, just an inch or so?
 

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jakedog

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Would the bending cause the chrome to flake off? The chrome is just a plating and isn't an inherent part of the tube itself. I don't really know much about chrome. My expertise is more about non ferrous metals, but that would be my concern.
 

RustyGold

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It's hard to tell exactly what you are going for... perhaps vintage Schwinn exercise bike handlebars? They have zero pullback and the grips sit parallel to the ground.

vintage-retro-schwinn-exercise-bike_1_cfc506e4fd830f0dd7e91f4ff01cc135.jpg

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As to bending...if you can avoid the kinks, it will be fine until it isn't. The isn't is when the chrome loses adhesion and starts flaking... unfortunately, there isn't any warning and it isn't very consistent. Often times it starts flaking hours, or days, after you think you nailed it.
 
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Brother Bigb:
You say that the HB is thinner than EMT. Maybe, but not much. Wall on 3/4 EMT is 0.049. I checked some of my HB and they are about that thick. As others have suggested, chrome might not be happy with the bend. One way to avoid that is to use a painted HB in lieu of a chrome-plated one. Have fun!
 
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Good to know that Andy, I just though they looked thinner, I'll measure my el cheapo HB. If the chrome flakes I can always do tape.
 
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It ain't happening. I have concluded that factory made handlebars are not intended to be re-bent. I could neither open or close the factory bends, I even stuck the bender handle which is rigid threaded pipe in my receiver hitch and instead of the handlebar bending the bender handle started to bend. I'm sure heat would work and might try that some day with my O/A rosebud but I'll have to tape or re-finish when done. A hydraulic bender might work too but I'm not buying one.
 

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