This is a guest post by Bruce Buck, avid photographer, videographer and workstation geek at

There’s one constant in product design – the development of new products. Shocking and unexpected I know, but when that development gets down to all the individual component parts of a larger product, the process gets a whole lot more interesting. Welcome to the ‘Art to Part’ series where we’ll be looking at the details that go into the design from start to finish. Today, we have a part that you would think is fairly simple, a mountain bike handlebar. This one however, is aimed at completely changing the world of endurance/marathon racing.

Designing a Mountain Bike Handlebar

Earlier this year, a friend of mine, Even Plews, came to me with an idea he’d been working on for awhile. As a professional mountain biker, he’d been wanting to come up with handlebar design that worked better in the disciplines that he was focused on: endurance/marathon bike racing. I’ll let him tell his story, and give a bit of background on the project itself:

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With that in mind, he set out to try and get his idea prototyped. As with many projects, it’s started out with a sketch:

Even with something as simple as a sketch, many local fab shops are able to manufacture a crude but working prototype. That’s exactly what happen in Evan’s case. He was able to work with a local manufacturer to create an initial design to get some riding time with and prove out some of his ideas. It’s much easier to test an idea, even a rough idea, to help determine whether it should be scrapped or developed further while tweaking some of the parameters. After settling on the geometry he felt comfortable with, he fleshed out the design in 3D to have drawings available for potential manufacturers. Assisting in the process with SolidWorks and PhotoView 360, we were able to take his sketch, then model, draw, and render three different concepts, all in under 2 minutes… Sound impossible? Here, take a look:

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All kidding aside, Evan was then able to take these concepts, network with his many sponsors and others to help take his idea to the next level. Stay tuned for more as we explore the process behind the design, as well as find out what happens next in Evan’s journey to see his idea come to life.

This series is sponsored by SolidBox, a turnkey hardware provider for SolidWorks and Mastercam users. You can learn more about their servers, desktops, and laptops configured specifically for SolidWorks and Mastercam at