Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Bent 1/4 steel rod for bicycle bag, likely heat treated?

Recommended Posts

There used to be sold a style bicycle handlebar bag that used what I think is a formed spring steel rod that fit over the handlebars and looped under the handlebar stem that supported a handlebar bag. For whatever reason this style does not appear to be available any more. I think it is a superior design, very light. I would like to reproduce roughly the shape of the bent metal seen below. The metal rod frame appears to be spring steel, you can squeeze the ends together a fair amount and it returns to its original shape when you let go. I have bent the rod below with and without heat to fit various bikes I have owned, it is very strong but not brittle.





Can you recommend a type of steel rod that is not too expensive, available and would work in supporting a bicycle handlebar bag. It needs to be very strong yet give a little. I have a flame weed eater that produces a lot of heat that I think I could fangle a kiln to heat the steel if heat treatment is recommended.

Thank you for any help.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

The original could also be strain hardened mild.  It's important in heat treating to get very uniform temperatures and cooling rates.  I'd suggest just using a normalized medium carbon steel.

Not knowing which of the 100+ countries that have participated here you are in makes it kind of difficult to suggest where to source such an item; I assume that inexpensive means you don't want to pay international shipping from say Australia or Finland?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just so you're aware, links to commercial sites (ie. McMaster, Amazon, Ebay, etc. etc.) aren't allowed per the TOS, but I think buying tight tolerance O1 is a little overkill for this project. Sure, it would work and generally it's a pretty forgiving steel when it comes to heat treatment. However, if you don't mind my asking, how familiar with the heat treatment process are you? I'm not trying to talk down to you or anything, just a question.

I know with my setup I would have no way to evenly heat something of that size up to quenching temperatures. Therefore, I would be much more likely to warp the intended shape and considering what it will be doing (hanging on the handlebars holding 2-8 lbs max) even if everything did go smoothly, I don't think going through that whole process would really provide much noticeable benefit. 

Yes, the garage door spring would need to be annealed, straightened, formed and you're done. I would skip the heat treatment personally (I'm going to guess Ryobi did too). 

2 other quick notes. First, just because it's springy, doesn't mean it's spring steel. Like TP said it could very well be strain hardened (from cold work) mild or maybe some sort of medium carbon steel that hasn't been hardened and tempered. Of course we are just guessing here since we don't know what the factory is actually doing over there. Second, it's your bike, your bag, your money, your steel so you do what you want with it. I'm just looking at it and thinking there is no need to overthink this one, whether you use mild steel or O1 or something you find in the scrap bin i think most ~1/4" steel is going to do the job for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd experiment with cold rolled mild steel, say 1018 or 1020 and see if you can get the bends without using heat.  If they don't play nice---cracking or too large a bend radius then I would try to get fancier.   Have you asked on some of the bike equipment sites if any one has an old one they are thinking of getting rid of?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...