Instructables
Picture of Carbon fiber handlebar with integrated LEDs
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This instructable describes how to make a unique handlebar/stem combo using carbon fiber and aluminium. The design allows seamless integration of LEDs and batteries.

A milling machine is needed for the stem and composite lay-up supplies for the handlebar. A 2,5 axis NC-milling machine and vacuum bagging system is recommended. We made use of laser cutting, water-jet cutting and 3D printing, but they can be replaced with manual cutting and sculpting.

The handlebar consists of a sandwich structure with two identical curved skins or faces, two mirrored corrugated cores and two mirrored tubular handles. The stem consists of a main body, clamp and face plate. The design shown here has two rearward facing 3x3 red LEDs, one 4x4 white LED array facing forward and a push button switch with a blue background LED. The system is powered by four CR2032 button batteries. The whole package is very light and has excellent torsional stiffness even-though it is not a tubular structure.

Updates etc. will be up on the project's website later this year http://www.ideas2cycles.com
 
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Step 1: Design

Picture of Design
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The stem

The stem was designed to accomodate batteries and LEDs inside and also to provide a surface for bonding the handlebar onto. A 2"x2" 6061 aluminium alloy stock was used for the main body and the clamp. The face plate was water-jet cut from 1/8" aluminium alloy sheet. Eight M4x0,7 mm steel bolts were used for hardware.

The handlebar

The handlebar uses a (pseudo)aerodynamic open sandwich structure with curved faces (or skins) and a transverse corrugated core. The design process started by setting a center-to-center dimension of 420 mm for the handles and placing them to where a bullhorn handlebar would be gripped. A mild forward sweep and a shallow drop was selected. The faces are 50 mm wide at the stem and taper to 35 mm toward the handles. They are fabricated identical and both have a 250 mm radius of curvature that results in the drop of the handlebar. The faces are 40 mm apart at the stem and become closer each other towards the handles. The handles themselves are 25 mm in diameter and morph into a near square shape between the faces. They can be made to accomodate time trial brake levers if needed.
gregr1 year ago
Can you post a picture of someone on the seat holding the handle bars? I'm having a hard time visualizing how it will work.
ideas2cycles (author)  gregr1 year ago
I've added a picture with me riding and it'll be updated as I get better pictures. The spacer stack has me reaching a bit too far forward for my taste, but I don't want to cut the steerer tube on my track bike and the integrated stem cap leaves no other option for a deeper drop.
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ideas2cycles (author)  ideas2cycles2 months ago

Still going strong :)

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loony11 year ago
Very nice idea. Well executed too. Maybe an enterprising opportunity for you as well. I'd bet that you get contacted by a componentry manufacturer at some point. Question for you--do you notice additional air flow? If not really, maybe in the next lay up you could add a drafted surface within the bracing to increase air flow to the facial region...for slower speed cooling. Just a thought. Good luck man.
ideas2cycles (author)  loony11 year ago
Thanks for the support and input!
We gave airflow some thought but with regard to aerodynamics, the possible benefits of reduced frontal area are, at least to some extent, offset by the increase in wetted area (friction drag) and the vortices generated at the trailing edge (increased front-to-rear pressure differential). Diverting and directing airflow is an interesting idea, although the effect at the speeds seen in cycling would be minimal.
Mistablik1 year ago
Did you enter this into the bike contest? We entered something and its been 1-2 business days and its still not showing up.
ideas2cycles (author)  Mistablik1 year ago
It took a couple of days but it was just now accepted to the contest. Good luck!
Thanks! It worked over midnight. I guess they really take advantage of the 2 business days haha!
Great idea, excited to see how it works/evolves from here. I hope it doesn't snap and that you are able to ride safely on it- please post any news- thanks!
aloomis11 year ago
Let us know how many miles it has on it when it snaps. That is, once your collar bones heal.
ideas2cycles (author)  aloomis11 year ago
My aim is always to provide proof of structural integrity and reliability. Especially for nontraditional designs like this one. Better pictures will be provided later this year, sorry to keep you waiting. In the meantime, I'll try to put down some miles and upload a picture of the handlebar in use.