I got into an accident where my handlebars got bent. They are very firm and do not seem to budge with force, but I'm a small guy. Can they be fixed? Can I do it myself? What tools would I need? How much would it cost for someone else to do it? Is this considered major damage, or something minor?

Additionally, how difficult would it be to fix these scratches/marks?

Damaged Handlebar enter image description here

Undamaged Handlebar enter image description here

Marks/Scratches enter image description here enter image description here

3 Answers 3


The first question is "is the handlebar actually bent?". Brake levers/shifters are just clamped onto the bar, and the clamp may have just slipped. It's not clear from the angle of the picture that the bar may be fine but the clamp on the brifter slipped. You can peel back the hood (back to front) and adjust the clamp if this is the case).

If it is the case that the handlebar itself is actually bent (which I think is unlikely; if this was the case, the brifter would likely be toast), I'd just buy a new handlebar. The stress of bending the handlebar back may increase the likelihood of failure. Plus, handlebars are not very expensive or hard to replace.

As for fixing scratches on shifters, you can buy just the name plate if you want, but if the shifters work fine I wouldn't bother. The part numbers are Shimano Y-6KD98030 and Y-6RR98030 for the ST-5600 levers (look for the exploded view of your shifters on Shimano's website). Then you can find the parts by searching the web for a few bucks.

Finally, I'd give the whole bike a once over as if I was considering buying it used if anything else is wrong, for some peace of mind; there are a ton of questions on buying used bikes on this SE which you can look at for what to check.

  • The shifters are bent, not the handlebar. My assumption would be that when looking for a used bike, cosmetic damages matter. Does this sound correct?
    – Jake
    Jul 3, 2016 at 19:34
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    I don't think the shifters are bent. I think the clamp just slipped a bit and you just need to undo the clamp, move the shifters into the right position and redo the clamp. Cosmetic damage doesn't matter with a used bike. A scratch on the brifter would indicate a crash so I'd definitely check it out a bit on a test ride, but otherwise scratches on the frame or whatever aren't important unless they're structural/functional.
    – Batman
    Jul 3, 2016 at 19:46
  • I see. Good thing to know about the cosmetics as well.
    – Jake
    Jul 3, 2016 at 19:50

Consider the scratches as war wounds. They're only cosmetic, but they show you ride; that you're not a cycling poseur.

If the scratches really bother you, consider bogging it with automotive filler, then file and sand to shape, and paint. It will add grammes of weight though!

As for adjusting the hoods, you need a 5mm (maybe 4mm, maybe 6mm) hex driver tool, aka an allen key. You probably has one on your bike multi-tool, but sometimes a longer shop one gives more torque.

Unpeel the top of your brake hoods like this: enter image description here Then push the driver down the inside between the rubber and the brake to the pinch bolt.
Loosen, adjust, retighten, and finally reclip the rubber to the brake.

  • 1
    While your basic description is correct, there is no guarantee that things will be exactly the same in the OP's brifter as in yours. The screw may be off to one side, accessible only with the brake lever pressed down, etc. It may take a few minutes of study to identify the proper screw. Jul 3, 2016 at 21:30
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    Shimano typically will have the clamp adjustment screws are on the outside of the body, SRAM are typically in the middle, but lower down (I.e., peel the bottom of the brake hood up). In your picture you are actually showing how to adjust brake lever reach on a SRAM shifter.
    – Rider_X
    Jul 4, 2016 at 3:22
  • @Rider_X Good call - I was merely trying to show how to unpeel the rubber of the hood, and OP can have a look for the mounting bolt-head from there.
    – Criggie
    Jul 4, 2016 at 3:57
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    I'd guess automotive filler is more expensive than just buying the replacment part.
    – Batman
    Jul 5, 2016 at 22:24

From the first picture, it looks like the shifter has been knocked out of position but there's no damage to the bars themselves. If that's the case, it should be an easy fix. A good bike shop wouldn't charge much to put it right. The scratches on the shifter are only cosmetic, and I'd be surprised if it was cost-effective to replace the parts unless you (or the aforementioned bike shop) happen to have the bits to spare (maybe from a previous repair or upgrade). I've got a few scratches on my (very similar) shifters, and while they bothered me at first, I don't notice them now.

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