How Bob Barnett Created the ARC Folding Levers for Bikes

Some innovations, instruments, and strategies have superior the game of motocross considerably since their inception. The Racer X workers explains a few of these developments on this characteristic, “Subsequent Stage,” and this month, we’re having a look at ARC Levers, the ingenious folding lever design that has not solely modified the top-shelf lever market however has additionally made premature damaged levers a factor of the previous.

Everyone knows what it’s like to interrupt a clutch or brake lever. Whether or not it’s a crash, or a easy mishap in unloading your machine, it’s simply one thing that occurs, and it should you don’t have a spare, you may as nicely load your bike again up make the lonely drive dwelling whereas your folks are nonetheless moto’ing down. It’s particularly disastrous should you break a lever mid-moto! However due to Bob Barnett, you by no means once more need to cope with a $20 half making your $10K machine about as helpful as a paperweight. Barnett, an achieved machinist and inventor of ARC Levers, is the form of man who, if one thing he needs or wants doesn’t exist, he simply creates it from a block of aluminum in his store in Santa Ana, California. A long time in the past, his chain saved coming off his mountain bike, so he constructed a greater chain information. When he wanted a greater fork, he merely invented one. His involvement within the mountain bike world finally led to a relationship with John Tomac (yeah, that John Tomac), and he went on to work with a number of professional ladies mountain bikers. Additionally being an enormous fan of moto, Barnett would take a few of them using.

“The women had smaller fingers they usually couldn’t attain the levers so I used to be at all times bending the lever out for me and in for them,” Barnett advised us after we interviewed him for {a magazine} story a number of years in the past. “After some time I stated, ‘I’m a machinist, I’ll simply make one thing that’s adjustable.’”

Within the course of of making that product, the concept of a folding lever that pivots backward within the occasion of a crash, as a substitute of breaking, dawned on Barnett, and the folding, “unbreakable,” lever was born.