Creaking handlebars

Yesterday I noticed my handlebars were creaking. Sometimes. On one side. Today the creak was quieter, but on both sides and more frequent. There didn’t seem to be any give, on either side, so I wasn’t too worried. Squeaking wheels get greased, but what do you do for handlebars?

I was stopped at an intersection. The light changed, and I was through the intersection and about 20 feet beyond. Suddenly my head seemed to be down near the wheel and then I was on the ground.

I had no idea what had happened. I had a yoga mat strapped to my back and it was all tangled up with bike cables which made figuring things out more difficult.

The metal arm holding my handlebars had snapped through. I had patches of roadrash, but was otherwise fine. And the damn yoga mat was still tangled up.

The metal arm that snapped was not thin. Maybe ¼inch thick on either side.

Once I worked out that I wasn’t dead, or seriously wounded, I became insanely cheerful. I was laughing. I wanted everyone to come and see my poor bike. It could so easily have been worse (I had just come down a hill which I usually take between 30~40mph.

The bike now has a new handlebar (and new cables, and other things). But I’m still a little afraid of it, especially down hills…

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7 Responses to “Creaking handlebars”

  1. hazel Says:

    Good Lord, George! I am so glad you are OK….your guardian angel watched over you today…Phew!

  2. Adger Says:

    Gracious save us! I suppose you didn’t impale yourself on the central post because pedaling is an asymetrical exercise. Sheesh. Am slowing recovering from my own bike injury (carpal tunnel exacerbation of several months duration, caused by unsuitable handlebars); I’m just not inclined to get back on…

    • georgeruns Says:

      I wondered about hitting the post too, but I have no idea what happened — I was just suddenly down near the wheel. It just happened so fast I didn’t get to think about it.

  3. Heidi Says:

    Yikes! Poor you, poor bike! Happy to see that you are here writing about it, since that would mean you are OK.

  4. Ben Says:

    Holy cow! George that’s one of my worst fears! I think about it all the time when i’m heading down hills really fast. So glad you are ok. could have been a lot worse.

  5. Martin Pattison Says:

    My 4 year old daughter’s handlebars came loose, but this was a case of the bolts not remaining tight enough, rather than metal fatigue. In fact, I often have to tighen the bolts as they tend to become loose. The use of certain types of washers can avoid this, and a better design would have avoided loose bolts resulting in the handlebars becoming loose.

    My frame broke once on the way to work (on the seat stay) – quite a good bike too (Reynolds 531 tubing).

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