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  1. #1
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Check out my handlebar setup

    So, I started a while ago with a flat-bar Fuji Absolute road bike for my commute. A while later, I was ready for drop bars (I was feeling the need...the need for speed!), with the wind refuge and extra hand positions they offer.

    But, how to do this on the "cheap", since brifters cost quite a bit? I posted a number of questions regarding bar-cons, Kelly take-offs, etc. A lot of people offered some really great advice, but then an epiphany of sorts hit me: I work with expert aircraft aluminum technicians. Why didn't I think of that before.

    The ingredients? One Specialized Body Geometry drop bar, 25.4 mm clamp (that wasn't easy to find!). Dia-Compe 287v brake levers, and my Shimano R-440 FLAT BAR road shifters, sized for a 22.2 mm diameter bar. Give shifters and case of beer to aluminum technicians for preparation, retrieve them, then mix ingredients well.

    The end result, while not as irritatingly ergonomically perfect as brifters, is quite suitable for my needs, and cool, to top it off. I know that some of you out there have made some pretty Franken-tastic bike and handlebar setups, and this isn't nearly so "extreme"...but I think unique, attractive, and quite functional.

    What do you think?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Yet another vegan biker
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    Great initiative!

    If they feel good and are functional then they are great.

    I can't believe how expensive "brifters" are, so my hats off to you for a little ingenuity.

    I'm a frankenbiker, too. I'm using friction downtube shifters with my Centaur 10-speed crankset, Suntour deraileurs, and Shimano cassette. It works like a dream.

  3. #3
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    And people told me it couldn't be done...heh heh.

    But then again, people don't have access to an aircraft aluminum machine shop.

  4. #4
    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Damn I like bicycles. They are tailor made for the tinkerer in all of us. Good job. Clean and I am sure they work great. My only question was the tight cable routing, but it looks like you solved that.

    Back when Shimano first introduced the "Freehub", I was told by shimano I could not over them. They were disposable. Well, I proved them wrong. I had a machinist friend make a tool to remove the inner cup. They were indeed servicable. But I would not want my worst enemy to suffer the process. There are a gazillion little bb's inside. Took more shop time than the damn things cost to service. But I proved that when they say"you can't do that", they were wrong. A victory of sorts I guess.
    Last edited by CRUM; 04-04-06 at 06:48 AM.
    Keep it 'tween the ditches

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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Anything can be done with enough money or the right friends. The friends are cheaper.

    Your set-up is sure innovative and should work well. The only "objection" I have is you can't shift from the brake hoods which I find very helpful if I need to shift while standing. Kelly Take-Offs solve that problem and at low cost too.

  6. #6
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    The only "objection" I have is you can't shift from the brake hoods which I find very helpful if I need to shift while standing. Kelly Take-Offs solve that problem and at low cost too.
    Kelly Take-Offs were indeed inexpensive, but still more expensive than this hack job, since it would have required purchasing both downtube shifters and the Take-Offs.

    Granted, I can't shift from the brake hoods, but you'd be surprised still how quick it is to shift; the distance is short, and the "trigger" action takes very little time or effort.

    Plus, it looks neat. People who don't know better ask: "where did you buy those?". People who do know better ask: "how did you do that?"

    I think the only "objection" I have, which is quite liveable, is that on this curvy "ergo" bar, there is very little flat real estate on top, and the trigger shifters eat up quite a bit of that, between the clamp and the optical display. Meaning limited space for other commute friendly doohickeys on my handlebar.

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