Jim’s Tech Talk
Company: Park Tool
Product: HBH-3 Extendable Handlebar Holder
How acquired: Sample from company
RBR advertiser: No
If you’ve ever had a frame or nice brake damaged by the front end of your bike flopping to the side, you’ll appreciate this new gem from Park Tool. Bicycle front ends tend to swing to the side most when you’re working on your bike in a repair stand – especially if you raise the front of the bike more than the rear.
It can also happen when you’re storing a bike on a display stand or bike hook, if you’re hanging by the front wheel. If the handlebars swing and hit the frame with their full weight (which can be significant with many levers), it can easily dent some frame materials and could possibly crack some types of carbon.
Another risk is having a sidepull caliper brake strike the down tube, which can occur with some types of stoppers. While this can prevent the bars smacking the frame, the brake arm can chip painted frames; dent or scratch the tubing; and it can also bend the brake, which could ruin it.
For these reasons, it’s great to have a way to keep the handlebars from swinging to the side. In a previous Tech Talk, as a gift idea, we described how to make a simple loop style holder that goes around the down tube and front wheel: https://www.roadbikerider.com/diy-holiday-bike-gift/.
Those DIY holders can work in a pinch, but they prevent spinning the front wheel for checking it and making adjustments. And, whatever you make may not fit every bike you need to use it on. Which means having to make new ones.
Made for the Job
Enter Park’s new HBH-3, a fully adjustable handlebar holder that fits most bikes thanks to adjustable soft rubber straps and a telescoping main arm. It extends from 18 to 32 inches (45 to 81cm).
It’s made of anodized aluminum so it holds well to prevent the front end swinging to the side “accidents.” And its two ends can be attached in many ways to facilitate repairs, not make them more difficult like holders that are secured by restraining the wheel.
It’s perfect for jobs where you want the front end higher than the rear, such as for bleeding disc brakes. And it only takes a few seconds to install it. The stretchy straps will fit around anything from .5 to 2.4 inches (12 to 60mm) in diameter and also the many aero and oversize frame and component shapes.
I appreciate having Park’s professional holder in my shop for working on bikes. It’s a huge upgrade from my homemade ones. And, when I’m not using it for repairs, I put it on any bike in the garage that might otherwise fall to the side and hit the car. It’s also small and light enough to take along in my toolbox. Highly recommended.
To see just how versatile Park’s HBH-3 is, watch this:
Ride total: 9,983
Jim Langley is RBR’s Technical Editor. He has been a pro mechanic and cycling writer for more than 40 years. He’s the author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop in the RBR eBookstore. Check out his “cycling aficionado” website at http://www.jimlangley.net, his Q&A blog and updates at Twitter. Jim’s cycling streak ended in February 2022 with a total of 10,269 consecutive daily rides (28 years, 1 month and 11 days of never missing a ride). Click to read Jim’s full bio.