Finding the right length for your bobber or chopper's handlebar cables can be elusive, especially if you're trying to order everything at the same time. Today on the blog we’ve got a little trick for measuring handlebar cables that you’ve GOTTA try!
We often get asked for the easiest way to measure the length of cables needed for a new set of bobber handlebars. While it’s typically easiest to wait until you have the bars in hand to measure them, that’s not always ideal if you’re trying to order the new cables and bars from the same place.
Here’s the easiest (and cheapest!) solution for measuring bobber handlebar length, in steps:
- Pull the bars and cables off your bobber.
- Disconnect your stock cables from the handlebars, leaving the cables attached to actual bike (leave the clutch side attached to carb and the brake line attached to the calipers in front). You should leave it attached to the master cylinder as well because you’re going to measure how much more length you need in your brake line.
- Here’s the fun part: rig up some sweet custom PVC handlebars!
This isn’t what you’ll be riding with (duh!) but it’ll work as a mockup set and allow you can take appropriate measurements. Once your PVC mockup is ready to go, clamp it in so you can get an idea of what your bars might look like.
Pick up some straight PVCs (cut to your preferred bar rise) along with some 45 degree bends at the hardware store. Once assembled, you can control your pull back by angling it however you want it (Z bars, straight, rabbit, etc.). You’ll want to model your PVC bars to mimic the ones you’re planning to buy.
Now, take your cable that’s attached to your clutch already and route it along the handlebars to exactly where you want it. A little advice: it’s always better to add an extra inch or two onto the cables you’re ordering. Cables that are too short will prematurely wear out, bind, or pinch. It’s better to have extra length and have a little flop in the cable than to have it too short. Obviously, having the exact measurement is ideal, but if you’ve ever built a bike before, you’ll know that things like this rarely work out perfectly.
Hope this helps! For a full walk-through of the PVC mockup process, watch this video!
DISCLAIMER: Please, DO NOT ride with your PVC prototype bars. This is NOT SAFE; you’ll get hurt--or DIE!!! These are to be used for mock-up purposes only!
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