Measure Cable Length For Ape Hanger Handlebars

Recumbent bicycles and motorcycles often have ape hanger handlebars.

“Ape hanger”-style handlebars for bicycles and motorcycles require longer cables than standard handlebars to connect the handlebar controls to the brakes or engine. The best way to determine what length of cable you’ll need is to install the handlebars first, then measure the actual distance on your bike between the controls and what they control. You can then be sure to purchase the correct length of cable.


1. Install your new handlebars.

2. Lay a piece of string or wire along the route you know the cables will take. This will run through any attachments on the bike’s frame and connect to the brakes, throttle or clutch. If you use a piece of string, you might find it helpful to tape it to the frame at certain points. If you use stiff wire, you can bend it into shape.

3. Turn the bike handles all the way to the left or right to determine the longest possible distance the cable will have to run. Mark the two endpoints of the cable layout on the string.

4. Remove the string and measure the distance between the endpoints. This is the length of cable you’ll require.