Join Date: Nov 2003
Bikes: Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
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Dialed in II
Finally, after thrashing all spring to outfit my road bike with something more "suitable" than a flat bar I have achieved success. I have never been really comfortable with a traditional drop bar after trying off and on for several years.
The problem has always been that I don't have that same positive feel for the brakes that I have on the MTB. When I'm on the hoods I don't develop enough leverage on the brake levers. When I'm in the drops my hands don't seem big enough to get a good grip. Basically I've been trying to get the same feel as the levers on the MTB but without returning to the flat bar setup of last year.
Enter the base bar half of a full aerobar setup. Like the top half of the drop bar setup without the drops. The kickup at the end of the bar is very similar to the position of the hoods. Now as far as I am concerned, the aerobrake levers intended for this bar have a much better angle (more inline with the bar, less vertical) but the hardware conflicts with the bar end shifters as both want the plug mount position at the end of the bar.
Problem was solved this winter when someone in the mechanics forum informed me that cyclocross levers could be used as stand alone brake levers. It requires a 24mm diameter version of the lever and they can be mounted around the bar just inboard of the shifters. It takes a small tweak to the shifters (they angle slightly outward) so the two sets of cables can run side by side.
Tested it this weekend on a fairly long ride and it works great (for me, I make no claims for others). From that position on the forward end of the bar the shifters work fine with thumb and forfinger and just leting the fingers dangle downward places them on the brakes. This does not use aerobar clampons, only the base bar so my position is roughly the same as if I was on the hoods, perhaps just a little flatter.
Keep trying new things untill you get comfortable with your bike.