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Bicycle Handlebar Plugs

Made on a CNC mill

Like last time, the goal was to create Handlebar Plugs for bicycles on my Othermill - a job that would typically done, at least in part, on a lathe. The main improvement this time around was in the fixture design. I moved away from tricky hand-drilling operations and moved to a fixture that, although more time-consuming to create, can all be done on the mill and should last for hundreds of cycles.

I'm also currently experimenting with using the same fixture to make Handlebar Plugs out of brass:

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The plugs still work in the same way: the inside of them is tapered, and as an HDPE nut is tightened into the nut, the fingers are forced apart, gripping the inside of your handlebars. The one change I made in the nuts themselves between v1 and v2 was the move to heat-set threaded inserts. They can be easily installed with a soldering iron and provide huge improvements over the strength of plastic threads.

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The process, with each piece sitting in the orientation it's milled in. From left to right: Facing, Op1, Op2, and Op3.

The process, with each piece sitting in the orientation it's milled in. From left to right: Facing, Op1, Op2, and Op3.

Just like in v1, I used three milling operations to complete each Handlebar Plug (the HDPE nuts require one additional operation). In the below slideshow, you can see the three setups, in order from Op1 to Op3:


Eric Weinhoffer || CC BY-SA 3.0 Creative Commons License