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  1. #1
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    Can I set up bullhorn bars with friction shifters and brakes at the bar ends?

    I recently switched to bullhorn bars on my single speed bike and really like them. I'd like to put bullhorns on my 80's vintage geared bike. Is there a way to rig friction shifters (instead of my current down tube mounted levers) and time trial type bar end brake levers? Not sure how this would work, but I thought it would be nice if I could have both shifting and braking close at hand while riding at the ends of the bullhorns.
    Any ideas? Anyone else tried this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Use Cyclocross interupter levers on the ends of the bars and bar end shifters.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=155



    I think J-tek makes them. Otherwise I can't think of a way to use a TT lever and a bar end shifter at once.

  4. #4
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    The J-tek product is not meant to serve as a primary brake lever -- it's meant to be used in a TT application to give some braking touch for cornering, but I don't think it's strong enough to serve as a primary brake. Can't say I've ever tried them, though, so I'd be interested in hearing from someone who has used them. Much like everything Jtek makes, they are ridiculously expensive for the little aluminum pieces of crap that they are. I have also never seen a set of cross levers that can be used as primary levers. OP - if you find something, or if somebody knows of something, please post the info. I am looking for the same thing. Why doesn't anybody make this?

  5. #5
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    Yeah you can do this. I've got essentially that setup (but with indexed shifters). The picture is a closeup of the right side of the handlebar. I've got a pretty bad bar-wrap setup right now, I'm sure it cold be done better.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakcBeNimble View Post
    Yeah you can do this. I've got essentially that setup (but with indexed shifters). The picture is a closeup of the right side of the handlebar. I've got a pretty bad bar-wrap setup right now, I'm sure it cold be done better.
    Kinda messy cable routing too, it might be a little more elegant if you ran the cross lever 'backwards' with the clamp closer to the stem.

  7. #7
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    Here are a couple more pics for ideas.




  8. #8
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfclearwater View Post
    hey that's pretty cool/creative. why are the levers partially actuated? is it so you can have better reach?

    here's what i'm doing, but now i'm considering trying your style:


    i use the cheapo forte ones. i have them on 3 of my bikes and love them, especially since i change out my bars every few months.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the great ideas. Does anyone know if those J-Tek shifters would work with a friction setup or only indexed? They look really clean, but boy are they expensive. It's $200 just to buy two of the shifters and brake levers. The solution shown above using the cross type levers that go around the bars should work with a set of bar end friction shifters, but obviously wouldn't be as slick a set up.

    I've thought of switching to indexed shifting, but I think it's just too much of a pain and too expensive to be worth it. By the time I relace the rear wheel with a cassette hub, buy new derailleurs and shifters, plus a new chain, I will have spent nearly as much as I did to build up a complete vintage Colnago Super with Campy SR parts!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
    hey that's pretty cool/creative. why are the levers partially actuated? is it so you can have better reach?
    Yep, for my girlfriend. She has smaller hands and can't reach them in the normal position.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
    Kinda messy cable routing too, it might be a little more elegant if you ran the cross lever 'backwards' with the clamp closer to the stem.
    Yeah I thought about doing that too, but this way the levers are in a very natural place to grab. Its almost as if they were intended to be used this way.

    To Palladio: The setup I posted above, and several of those posted by others can be had for well under $100, less if you shop carefully. Also, most bar end shifters can be switched from friction to indexed very easily.

    I actually had to switch the rear shifter during a ride once just after I built it. I had it shifting nicely at the start, but since it was the first real ride I took it on, the cables/housing settled just enough that it was mis-shifting all over the place. I flipped it over to friction mode and rode back like that until I could get it on a stand to properly adjust the RD

    SFCLearwater: Can you post a picture from a different angle of the bars with the tan colored wrap? I can't figure out where you routed the shifter housing.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    Here's Jet Jaguar.

    I crashed that one about six weeks ago and in the process of moving parts to a new frame, discovered that I'd stressed out the super cheap levers and got some better ones.

    So here's Tyger Tyger. It doesn't yet have the new lever in this picture.

    Sfclearwater, I just used the set screws, but yours is a more effective solution!
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
    Passionate lover of construction

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