Triathlon - I know nothing about base bars
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I'm looking to slowly convert a 2006 Spec Allez into a passable TT bike. Looking for a TT cockpit, set forward seatpost, and perhaps a wheel cover. Budget is my top priority.
What do I need to know about base bars? Can a flip-n-chop job (think fixed gear hipster "bullhorns") function as an acceptable base bar, that will accept TT style brakes? Or should I really stick with a dedicated base bar?
If I need a base bar, is there anything special I need to consider when I purchase one, other than price? Are there any bars out there that are cheap enough new that I should consider just buying that one, instead of searching ebay and craigslist looking for a deal?
03-28-09, 06:18 AM
Like most bike components, there are some differences in base bars, though at a certain point I believe you get diminishing returns for your investment. You can get some very inexpensive bullhorn bars right now if that is the route you would like to take.
Check out Chuck's bike closeouts. He is having a going our of business sale, and the last time I checked you could get a base bar for around $12 and a set of Tektro TT brake levers for another $12. You could also go the Nashbar route, I've seen the Profile Design Alumin-X flat wing style base bar selling with the carbon aero extensions for $79.99 this past week. Nashbar also has a basic TT bar for around $25 I think. As a third option, you could check Craigslist, the Slowtwitch Classifieds, ebay, etc and look for a used base bar. Vision makes a nice cockpit, I have their setup and really like it. I think many have taken those off of new Q Roos or Cervelos when upgrading.
As far as a seatpost goes, don't spend that money yet. When I converted my roadie, I just turned my Bontrager seatpost around backwards. It had a decent amount of setback, and when I turned it around I was as far forward as I needed to be. It will function just fine that way. That saved about $100 on a Fastforward seatpost. Wheel cover came from Wheelbuilder.com. That will set you back say $100. You can get them uncut for around $60 and cut it yourself, but if you're not careful you could ruin the cover and wind up spending more in the long run. Hope some of that helps, keep us posted on the progress!
03-28-09, 09:54 AM
I Just finished doing the same thing to my allez:
03-28-09, 03:00 PM
How picky should I be about a base bar?
That bar for $12 at chucks bikes is the perfect price,
but should I care that it's 44cm width? I like 42cm on
my road bike, and was kind of expecting to go down
to 40cm for a TT bike.
03-28-09, 06:19 PM
You have the right idea, the narrower the better. On the one hand, you hope to not be in them that often, but still if I were you I would still fish around for something in narrower range like you were thinking. If you went with a discount online dealer like Nashbar, Performance, Jenson, Pricepoint, etc, the difference between $12 and $25 is not huge, and with the difference with shipping the gap might get even narrower. If you can catch them with a coupon or a free shipping offer all the better. I would also throw out a WTB on some of the forums, you might even turn up a more aero base bar used for close to that price. Another suggestion, ask if anyone is selling a full used cockpit. If you can find someone moving to a new tri geometry rig from a converted roadie, you might find a deal as well. If push comes to shove, the 44 would not be the end of the world by any means. It would pick you up some time over the drops in any case.
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