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So, you need to cut your handlebar but don't have a saw guide handy? No problem. We'll walk you through our latest #BIKEHACKS tutorial on how to cut your bars using parts you likely already have.

Tools You'll Need

  • Hacksaw
  • Lock-on Grip w/ 2 lock-on clamps (ODI clamps and other clamps with similar internal diameter work best)
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Marker (optional)
  • 2.5mm allen wrench (or whatever your grip clamp bolt requires)
  • Beer (required)
  • Music (recommended)
  • Misc. tools for optional steps

Now that you have your tools sorted, let's dive-in on how to get a straight cut, even without a proper guide.

Step One

Remove your grips from the handlebar using the 2.5mm allen wrench. If you already have lock-ons on your bike, you can use them in a later step, but we recommend finding an old worn out grip for this, as you will scratch the clamps a bit during the cutting process.

Step Two (Optional)

Remove shifter(s), brake levers, remote triggers and anything else from your bars and remove bar from stem (will need the appropriate tools for this). This step is optional and the bars can be cut while still on the bike, with controls mounted, it will just be a bit more difficult to make the cut. Note the additional precaution when cutting the bars while they are still on your bike, outlined in Step Six.

Step Three

Measure and mark your bars where you'd like to make the cut. Remember, it's always possible to cut off more material after your first cut, but you can never add material if you cut the bar too narrow, so err on the side of caution when measuring out the first cut. You can use the optional marker to mark your cut, or just use the flathead to scratch the bar where you'll make the cut.

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Step Four

Making sure the 2.5mm bolt is completely loose on your lock-on clamp, use your flathead screwdriver to carefully remove the clamp by prying it off. You will need two clamps for this hack, so if your grip doesn't have a clamp on each side, you will need to remove the clamp from the other grip to use.

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Step Five

Now that you have two clamps, it's time to make the saw guide. Start by sliding one of the clamps onto your bars and positioning it to the INSIDE of the mark you made for the cut, making sure the mark is still visible. Tighten the clamp down using your 2.5mm allen. Now, take the other clamp and position it just OUTSIDE of the cut mark you made, again making sure the mark is still visible and making sure there's enough room between the two clamps for your saw blade, about 1.5 - 2mm should be enough. Tighten down the outside clamp using your 2.5mm allen.

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Your DIY hacksaw guide should look like this:

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Step Six

Now it's time to make your cut. If you've pulled the bars off your bike, you can either clamp them carefully in a soft-jaw vice, or firmly hold them on a wood surface while you cut. An additional precaution if you've left the bars on your bike: put a rag over your fork seals to prevent any metal burrs from falling on them. Firmly holding the bar, begin your cut and continue cutting until the outer clamp falls off.

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Step Seven

Boom! You're almost done! Using your 2.5mm allen, remove the clamps from both the bar and the bar section you just cut off. If you have a file handy, de-burr the end of the bar. If not, make sure you run bar end caps and take care when reinstalling your components, as the edges may be sharp. You can even gently grind down the outer diameter of the bar on the sidewalk (we didn't say that, though). Once your bars and controls are all reinstalled, be sure to check that all bolts are tight, and you're ready to rip.

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Stay tuned for more #BIKEHACKS, coming your way soon!

Photos: Fred Robinson // Mechanic: Josh Job

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