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DIY mechanic's handlebar stabilizer ideas?

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DIY mechanic's handlebar stabilizer ideas?

Old 03-30-21, 06:24 AM
  #1  
el forestero
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DIY mechanic's handlebar stabilizer ideas?

I'm mulling over how to build my own handlebar stabilizer that will enable me to keep a bike's cockpit facing forward while the bike is in a workstand. I've seen a lot of ideas for handlebar stabilizers on the internet, including velcroing the front wheel to the frame, looping a bungie cord around the front and back wheels' valve stems and bending a coat hanger so it attaches to the frame and the handlebars.

One type of handlebar stabilizer I've used and found convenient is a telescoping rod with ties on the ends. The product in the photo below is just an example of how such a thing could be designed. Reviews I've read suggest none of the products of this type that are for sale on the web are all that durable, so DIY seems like the way to go. Anybody have ideas to share about how to build something like this? Or is there some other kind of device you've built to serve the same purpose?


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Old 03-30-21, 07:28 AM
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Looping through the wheel/round the down tube with a Gear Tie (or similar) as seen in this old thread, post #17: https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-m...air-stand.html

works for me just fine.
Though oddly with the build Im doing now I kinda forgot and used gravity (as someone else mentioned, if you have the front tilted down a bit, things just sort of work themselves out)!

Id guess the advantage of the rigid type of setup like the Park, or the one you posted, would be that you can press on the bars with more force and things still stay straight?
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Old 03-30-21, 07:28 AM
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Andrew R Stewart 
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I generally just tilt the bike down in the front so good old gravity holds the wheel/bars straight. We have a couple of the Park HBH-2s and I rarely use one. Andy
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Old 03-30-21, 08:58 AM
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el forestero
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Originally Posted by Charliekeet View Post
Looping through the wheel/round the down tube with a Gear Tie (or similar) as seen in this old thread, post #17: https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-m...air-stand.html
...
I’d guess the advantage of the rigid type of setup like the Park, or the one you posted, would be that you can press on the bars with more force and things still stay straight?
Those are good ideas, and that was a fun old thread that helped get my creative juices flowing. Thanks for the link.

I don't need a setup that's more rigid than a tie through the wheel, but I would like a setup that doesn't prevent the front wheel from spinning because I sometimes have to spin it to work on disc brake alignment and other issues.

And although tilting the front end down will be a great solution much of the time, I sometimes need to do a gravity bleed on a set of hydraulic disc brakes or handle other maintenance tasks that are best done with the front end level or tilted up.

So I'm still leaning toward designing some kind of DIY adjustable bar.
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Old 03-30-21, 01:33 PM
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Camilo
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What's wrong with simply using a strap or bungie between the rim and the down tube?
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Old 03-30-21, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
What's wrong with simply using a strap or bungie between the rim and the down tube?
Nothing. An old toe strap works, too.
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Old 03-30-21, 03:39 PM
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deflate the front tire about 50%, tighten up the stem a little extra.
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Old 03-30-21, 06:49 PM
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I've always thought this would be nice to have but never got around to getting one. Now I'm getting rid of tools, not buying more.

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Old 03-30-21, 06:49 PM
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Bill Kapaun
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
What's wrong with simply using a strap or bungie between the rim and the down tube?
+1
I keep a few assorted bungies close by.
They can often be used as a "third hand" for various household projects other than bikes.
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Old 03-30-21, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
What's wrong with simply using a strap or bungie between the rim and the down tube?
Try spinning the front wheel to check brake clearances with a bungie through the spokes, it has a tendency to spin back at you without even going all the way around, Go figure. I totally get el forestero's plight because I have the same problem. I remove the front wheel to work on it and the handle bars flop to the side. I use my bike carrier on the back of my truck for a work stand so tilting the front down isn't an option. I was thinking maybe an adjustable duster rod with velcro hot glued on each end so it can go from the top tube to one side or the other of the handle bars.
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Old 03-30-21, 07:43 PM
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https://www.amazon.com/Tension-Cupbo...92742333&psc=1
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Old 03-30-21, 08:15 PM
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Juan el Boricua
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Extra long toe clip strap for when working with headset/ 'bar/ frt brake, and DIY stabilizer from 1/4" round stock bend on a defunct frame seat tube for when needing to work with frt wheel free; it even works on slanted toptubes. Both were made in 2008 when I was really short on expendable budget and has worked fine since then. Both kept within reach on the workstand.


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Old 03-31-21, 11:30 AM
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rope, 3 loops. one at each end for brake hoods, one in center. rope length so that center loop falls to proper position to meet bungee from seatpost. adjust for desired tension. old tubes work well for this, too.
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Old 03-31-21, 02:44 PM
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Years ago Trek made and sold a handlebar stabilizer similar in concept to the OP's photo which was sold under their "Wrench Force" name. It was two telescoping aluminum tubes, 1/2" OD outer, 3/8"OD inner, that adjusted in length from 20" to 35" and had a thumb screw to lock them at the desired length. There was an adjustable rubber strap at each end that went around the handlebar and the seat post to hold the front wheel and fork steady. I got one as part of a package deal with my "Wrench Force" repair stand (a relabeled Feedback Sports Elite) in the 1990's when Trek was discontinuing the Wrench Force product line.
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Old 03-31-21, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
rope, 3 loops. one at each end for brake hoods, one in center. rope length so that center loop falls to proper position to meet bungee from seatpost. adjust for desired tension. old tubes work well for this, too.
And no chance of scratching the paint--I like it. Will definitely try it out tomorrow.
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Old 04-01-21, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
rope, 3 loops. one at each end for brake hoods, one in center. rope length so that center loop falls to proper position to meet bungee from seatpost. adjust for desired tension. old tubes work well for this, too.
For us visual learners, would love to see a photo if/when you get a chance.
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Old 04-04-21, 06:51 AM
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el forestero
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Years ago Trek made and sold a handlebar stabilizer similar in concept to the OP's photo which was sold under their "Wrench Force" name. It was two telescoping aluminum tubes, 1/2" OD outer, 3/8"OD inner, that adjusted in length from 20" to 35" and had a thumb screw to lock them at the desired length. There was an adjustable rubber strap at each end that went around the handlebar and the seat post to hold the front wheel and fork steady. I got one as part of a package deal with my "Wrench Force" repair stand (a relabeled Feedback Sports Elite) in the 1990's when Trek was discontinuing the Wrench Force product line.
That pretty well describes what I've been planning on making. In a local hardware store I saw some rigid plastic-like acrylic tubes of about those dimensions that I'll use instead of aluminum.

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Old 04-04-21, 07:20 AM
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Just because some people are satisfied with tilting the bike forward or strapping the front wheel to the down tube doesn't mean everyone is. I've often found both methods lacking in certain situations. Several interesting alternate ideas shown/described here, thanks to all who posted them. Also thanks to el forestero for starting this thread, I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
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Old 04-04-21, 08:09 AM
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I like the Park HBH-2 as mentioned above and Juan's very well done DIY version in post #12. Very easy to use/no adjusting necessary, small size for storing, hard to break and cheap.
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Old 04-06-21, 10:51 AM
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Here's a rope trick, as requested...

Handlebar retention.

installed
Total cost, like, ah, zero.
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Old 04-07-21, 03:01 PM
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It's knows as a rubber band. it's also known as tipping the bike nose down in the stand.
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