EMT conduit handlebars?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Paintin' started by ferball, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. ferball

    ferball New Member

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    Has any one made handlebars out of EMT conduit? I was thinking that might be a cheap way to make custom handle bars. I am however worried about how well they would hold up, (bent bars at 20mph would be bad). Any ideas or experiance with this? I
     
  2. professor

    professor New Member

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    EMT is light weight tubing. Not good idea.
     
  3. ferball

    ferball New Member

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    I knew it was light weight and questionable, but I also know some of the people on here are a little more adventurous than me, was hoping somebody actually tried it, maybe I will make some up and put some stress on them to see how they hold up.
     
  4. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

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    Don't do it!
     
  5. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

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    I have had cheep strait bars that would bend then I would flip them over again. Conduit is way weaker! Think EMT ambulance.
     
  6. ferball

    ferball New Member

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    I was thinking EMT ambulance hence the post, to see if any one else has been there...
     
  7. noco

    noco New Member

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    i think emt would be ok as long as you dont use 1/2 inch....3/4 should be strong enough....i rather see you get mild steel tubing though...you can get it thicker....i never use emt for anything but what it is made for due to it sucking to weld(galvinization and all).....ive bent a whole bunch of emt and can vouch that 3/4 should be plenty strong(depending on the weight your gonna put on it) but id definately recomend using tubing....good luck tell us how it comes out...maybe it would be strong enough....ps handle bars arn't that expensive
     
  8. Al.Fisherman

    Al.Fisherman New Member

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    I wouldn't use EMT but if you do, reinforce them by packing them with a spray foam, sand, or something. That spray foam in a can is some kind of tough stuff. If you use the can foam, lengthen the nozzle with straws so you can get to the halfway point, then do the other side.
     
  9. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    Nor is good steel stock for that matter - the challenge for many is finding it locally as easily as conduit... Which BTW I'm pretty sure would need to be 7/8" for a "standard" bicycle handlebar... I'll agree that even with that size I'd have some reservations using electrical conduit for anything motorized, I'd personally feel a lot safer hunting around till I found steel *shrug*
     
  10. Ilikeabikea

    Ilikeabikea Moderator
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    I've used emt to build go karts, minibikes, and lots of other things. I wouldn't hesitate to use it for a set of handlebars for a bicycle. Of course I just putt around on my bikes. If mine were really high performance I might have second thoughts. But that is my opinion only. I wouldn't reccommend doing anything you are uncomfortable with though...........
     
  11. Norman

    Norman LORD VADER Moderator
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    You mean we can't use emt for shot gun barrels? Bob your going to have to quit going hunting with that gun.
     
  12. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    Geeze Norman, I did not know that you were versed in crafting zip guns!
     
  13. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

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    Are you kidding. I'll bet anything that Norm used to be that 14-year-old kid I read about many years ago who built an atomic reactor out of a concrete block, tinfoil, some Americium from smoke detectors, and a bunch of early lithium batteries. (This really happened, I didn't just make all that up.)
     
  14. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    You can build anything out of anything- just about. My dad and I built a hang glider (1978, I was 16) out of sugar cane and clear plastic. We were supposed to use bamboo, but the only thing we could find at the time was sugar can rods that they used in rolls of carpet.

    It was the flexible flyer, but started us on a life long love of flying, and flying things.
     
  15. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    ferball,
    I'm wondering what the motivation is for making handlebars? There are such a wide variety of shapes and heights and lengths out there for pretty cheap really. If you were looking to paint them, conduit would paint better than chrome steel. Of course it may be just the fun of making something out of nothing, turning one thing into another. That's always fun.
    B
     
  16. ferball

    ferball New Member

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    Most of the motivation comes from the fact that I can get a 8ft piece of conduit from Loewes for about $8 today and then make my handlebars. Or I would have to order it online and wait a week, after I convince my wife I need to drop $20 dollars on handle bars. Because you know the question I will get from her is "What is wrong with the handle bars you have?" and I really have no good answer.....
     
  17. ferball

    ferball New Member

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    Checked out EMT today at the hardware store, the one inch stuff looks pretty solid. Now if I can get my hands on the bender this weekend, I'll let you know how it all goes, assuming I don't die......
     
  18. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    Typical bicycle handlebars are 7/8" outside diameter as measured where the hand levers and grips mount.
     
  19. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    As Ilikeabikea said, EMT, no less than 3/4" will work as long as you're not curb jumping or going off ramps with your bike. Reasonable riding speeds and smooth roads will not offer enough stress to be concerned with. However if you're a heavy weight guy and tend to lean on the bars and do rough country riding, I'd opt for something a little stronger. The hardest part is going to be making duplicate/mirror image bends. Getting one side the shape you want shouldn't be hard but making the other side exactly like the first is going to be a challenge, especially if you're free hand bending. Good luck and please post some photos of the finished project if you go the conduit route.
    Tom
     
  20. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Ferball,
    I like it that you look around with fresh eyes and try different things. Your PVC gas tank for one, your shift mechanism idea for another and now this made it myself handlebar. Not everything has to be stainless steel or chrome and powder coated to be cool. I really like seeing people just make stuff, using what they have and substituting creativity for high dollars.
    SB
     

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