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  1. #1
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    Hoods for gripping rather than for braking?

    Hi. Geezer (almost 61) who just bought a beater fixed-gear conversion. For exercise on mostly flat land, not for tricks, not for touring, not for commuting.

    All my biking life I used drop bars and have ridden the brake hoods a lot of the time because that's always been the most comfortable position for me.

    Haven't been on a bike in 20 years. Now I find that on the fixed bike, the palms of my hands get sore very fast holding riser bars in the normal way, on the grips at either end. May be related to carpal-tunnel syndrome I've had off and on.

    I'm tempted to put on good old drop bars. I use a front brake, and will continue to do so, despite what a lot of fixed-gear fanatics will say, but I'd like to have a hood on the opposite side as well, just for gripping, not for the rear brake I don't have.

    Is there any more elegant solution than buying a matching pair of road brake levers and hoods and installing one for the front brake and one connected to no brake at all? Being an old guy, I care about my riding comfort a lot, and looking cool is not a consideration. Still, having a brake hood and lever not connected to anything seems like a strange idea. I'll do it, though, if there's no better alternative. Thoughts? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Anybody who notices is paying way too much attention to you. As a fellow sexagenarian, I can promise you that very rarely happens at our age.
    seriously, if it's comfortable and solves your problem, who the hell cares? I separated a shoulder several years ago and rode around for a year with one brake lever two inches higher on the bars than the other, because I couldn't reach it in the normal position. Nobody ever commented on it, and I wouldn't have cared if anyone did.
    Back in the day, several manufacturers made "dummy" levers for tandems, like the mounts without the actual lever. You could hunt up some of those, or just take the lever part off, bolt on the mount and fake it.
    Last edited by Velo Dog; 03-04-09 at 05:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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    You could always run bullhorns.

  4. #4
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    I was the same way with my hands of the bars without hoods. I switched to bullhorns and it's a big improvement.

    I saw a few years ago Harris Cyclying (where Sheldon Brown worked) sold my fixie (Fuji track bike) set up exactly the way you described - regular drop bars with a working barke and hood and just a hood without the brake. So it's something people want and use.

    There's also nothing wrong with having two brakes. I've seen that on several bikes. It makes it easier to quickly stop without having to skid the rear
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  5. #5
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Why not run a rear brake? They do have their place on a fixed gear bike and they're certainly far more effective than trying to use your legs in a hurried stop. I'm probably just old and boring but the more I ride fixed gear the more I appreciate the added flexibility of having brakes, especially when your legs are cold - my uni commute starts with a slight down hill run with lots of side streets and seeing my legs are cold, it's murder trying to slow the bike without using the brakes ... so I just use the brakes. I also like the balanced feel of using both levers but that just might be what I'm used to. Mind you, if you're using a track frame, you probably can't mount a rear brake or don't have cable guides, both of which qualify for reasons not to have a rear brake.

    If you want to use drop bars, just fit another brake lever and be done with it. Most (all?) aero brake levers are sprung loaded so the lever sits up in the 'off' position - they don't need to be connected to a brake.

    Have you considered bullhorns? They're popular because they work very well and the bars provide that balanced hand position. Mind you, they don't give you the 'drop' position which is why I wound up keeping drops (for headwinds).

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  6. #6
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    By the way, it's okay to admit to using brakes in the 50+ forum - we regard those who use brakes as sensible and those who don't as suffering from age related dimunition of cognitive function (ie, they're going ga ga) ... which is appropriate here

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  7. #7
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    By the way, it's okay to admit to using brakes in the 50+ forum - we regard those who use brakes as sensible and those who don't as suffering from age related dimunition of cognitive function (ie, they're going ga ga) ... which is appropriate here
    Richard
    Yes Richard,

    I must be suffering from ARDOCF too, thanks for pointing that out . That must be why I have bullhorns and two brakes on my fixed gear bike! Are those bars called "Cow Horns" on a woman's bike?

    Rick / OCRR

  8. #8
    tsl
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    Use one drop bar brake lever, and one "stoker" lever for a tandem.

    http://www.ebikestop.com/drop_bar_br...evers))397.php

    Or bullhorn bars.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  9. #9
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Goodness.

    Hi. Geezer (almost 61)
    If you are a "geezer" at ALMOST 61, I wonder what that makes me at ALMOST 70?

    No, don't answer that!

  10. #10
    Senior Cyclist forresterace's Avatar
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    A considerably less expensive answer to your numb hands problem using riser bars might be to try a pair of bar ends such as these. They will have a similar effect as dropbar brake hoods and they are very comfortable. They're only about $25 a pair.

    Doug
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    2008 Specialized Sirrus Comp (dropbar touring bike), 1988 Fiori Italia, 1990 Norco Bushpilot shopping bike, 1971 Claud Butler Tipo Stada (under resto)

  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Add a rear brake.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    I vote bullhorn.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Check out the tandem specialty dealers. They'll have stoker "dummy hoods". I think that you can even get an exact match for some brake levers.

  14. #14
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Dummy hood or two brakes.

    I will say that I would question the notion of "gripping". Gripping is to me a sign of bad form. Generally fingers should be draped over the bar or hood loosely in a very relaxed fashion, except maybe when standing to climb.

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