The other day after hitting a trail on my bike (forest trail, not mountain bike trail), I had a little incident with some rather gnarly roots. Coming off of a boardwalk at a rather nice speed, I ran into these horrible gnarly roots, and managed to not kill myself on them, riding over them without too much difficulty. Though I definitely felt it. Hitting the multiple massive roots one after the other with no suspension was not very nice to my bike though. As I came down off the worst of them, with no safe path through them, and only one left, my handlebars gave and fell down, and I had to quickly force them back up and stop at the same time. Not fun.
Not quite sure how some mountain bikers seem to like really gnarly rough terrain. Other than the fact that many of them have full suspension that costs more than my entire bike, so they probably barely feel it.
But the handlebars felt really loose, enough that I assumed that the bike shop must have not checked them, and then being a bit loose caused them to fall, which is actually what happened when my bike was brand new, and the entire reason I'm having this problem now. When I first bought it, they didn't properly tighten down all the nuts and bolts before giving it to me, and I didn't check them for my first ride, assuming that they would have. That's my bad.
This time though, it was just genuine failure.
My crummy stem and handlebars rely on friction to hold them with a few cuts made into the handlebars. Those marks have worn down a bit due to the initial failure, and occasionally pulling it back into place just to get home so I can tighten it down properly.
Now I don't have much choice in the matter. I can either buy a new set of handlebars, which I'd like to do eventually, but preferably not now, or maybe I use a bit of sand paper or some kind of tape, such as grip tape, to make sure they stick in place. I could also possibly just epoxy them in place, which will probably ensure they really don't go anywhere. That might be the best option, since I don't care too much about the head, and I'm pretty sure it would hold pretty well.
But the bike shop wasn't at fault. Clearly someone had tightened it quite a bit. You know how I know this? Because I couldn't find my normal set of Allen keys that I've used to work on my bike before, and I used one in another set that apparently wasn't hardened properly, and I ruined it. It's basically just completely rounded now. Oops.
Now I'm thinking I'll try to find a hex bit for the drill and see how that works.
Then I gotta take them off, sand them down, repaint them, figure out something to make sure they don't move around again, and reinstall them.
Fun fun fun.
Then I gotta save up and find the exact right suspension fork to install so I don't have so much wear and tear on my handlebars as they hold on until I get around to replacing them.
It's only like $20 or $30 to replace them, which is no big deal, but I have other things I need to do on my bike that I'd rather do for $20 or $30, or $250. So, I'd rather wait on that.
Until I take my handlebars off and fix them though, my bike is out of commission, which is really disappointing.