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Old 08-03-13, 03:41 PM   #1
ngrome
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To bull horn or not bull horn?

Hi all,

I want to overhaul my old roadbike, including getting rid of the drop bar look as I ride mountain bikes these days, but keep the costs down to avoid paying the price of even a lower quality new bike, but I wanted to know if bull horning is still an acceptable or decent look these days, or should I go straight to straight bars? I'd rather not have to recable and change my brake levers or even my gear shifters, and I think bull horning will allow me to use my existing brake levers? Below is a picture of my old roadie bike posted on Flickr. What do you think? Thanks in advance!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/82124982@N06/9432190410/
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Old 08-03-13, 03:48 PM   #2
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I hate the look of bullhorns, so IMO, no. If you want a bike with straight bars, sell your road bike and buy something with straight bars. Seems like a cheaper solution to your problem.
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Old 08-03-13, 03:55 PM   #3
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I hate the look of bullhorns, so IMO, no. If you want a bike with straight bars, sell your road bike and buy something with straight bars. Seems like a cheaper solution to your problem.
Thanks, I already have a mtb and this is just an old bike that I wanted to keep as a spare, the frame is still decent shape as you can tell despite being about 25 years old. Just wanted to update it's look a little. I know drop bars are probably timeless but I don't like that look either, at least not for the type of rider I am these days. I used to ride quite a bit with this old bike, but not at my age and current weight anymore. Thanks.
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Old 08-03-13, 04:17 PM   #4
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Are "looks" the important factor here? Bullhorns are popular lately, particularly with the single speed/fixed gear crowd, but IMO the lack of hand positions makes them unacceptable for riding any distance on the road.

Bullhorn bars were originally designed for track use, where a variety of hand positions isn't an important consideration.
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Old 08-03-13, 07:45 PM   #5
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Hi all,

I want to overhaul my old roadbike, including getting rid of the drop bar look
What are you going to place your shifters with bull horns? Are you going to convert your shifters to old friction/downtube?
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Old 08-03-13, 08:32 PM   #6
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What are you going to place your shifters with bull horns? Are you going to convert your shifters to old friction/downtube?
It looks like they are old school downtube shifters.
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Old 08-03-13, 09:09 PM   #7
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What are you going to place your shifters with bull horns? Are you going to convert your shifters to old friction/downtube?
Yes they are downtube shifters, if that's what they're called. It's strange in that the shifters are somewhat inset or recessed into the downtube, so I could just leave those there, get new bull horn bars and use the existing brake levers. I'd have to get new tires, but I think I will be able to pull this all off while costing less than $200, maybe barely over $100. I doubt if I'll ever have the need to ride as hunched over on fully dropped bars like I used to. This was just going to be a project, I have some sentimental attachment to this bike, put in many miles with it in my younger years, so I wanted to see if I can somewhat update its look with a limited budget. I already have another MTB which serves my primary purpose, I'm no longer really riding distances like a racer when I was 22, which is when I had this bike, I'm now 47.
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Old 08-03-13, 09:36 PM   #8
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Yes they are downtube shifters, if that's what they're called. It's strange in that the shifters are somewhat inset or recessed into the downtube, so I could just leave those there, get new bull horn bars and use the existing brake levers. I'd have to get new tires, but I think I will be able to pull this all off while costing less than $200, maybe barely over $100. I doubt if I'll ever have the need to ride as hunched over on fully dropped bars like I used to. This was just going to be a project, I have some sentimental attachment to this bike, put in many miles with it in my younger years, so I wanted to see if I can somewhat update its look with a limited budget. I already have another MTB which serves my primary purpose, I'm no longer really riding distances like a racer when I was 22, which is when I had this bike, I'm now 47.
I guess I just don't understand. Even if you never ride in the drops, drop bars are more functional than bullhorns, as you can ride on the tops and on the hoods. As for the updated look, I suppose that is a matter of taste, but IMO, a drop bar road bike has a timeless appeal (even beauty), while bullhorns look, to my eye, look ridiculous.
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Old 08-03-13, 09:57 PM   #9
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I guess I just don't understand. Even if you never ride in the drops, drop bars are more functional than bullhorns, as you can ride on the tops and on the hoods. As for the updated look, I suppose that is a matter of taste, but IMO, a drop bar road bike has a timeless appeal (even beauty), while bullhorns look, to my eye, look ridiculous.
As you said, it's a matter of taste
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Old 08-04-13, 06:50 AM   #10
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Depends on how Old you are...
OP is 47.
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Old 08-04-13, 07:24 AM   #11
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I wanted to know if bull horning is still an acceptable or decent look these days
I don't understand fashion as a requirement in a bike re-build but function can be addressed.
As JDT has pointed out bullhorn bars 1st appeared on the Velodrome and migrated to time trial use on the road, a specialty application not focused on comfort, climbing leverage or distance.
The bullhorn bar provides only the "drop" position of a conventional road bar, not a position most road riders use as primary for good reason.

"I doubt if I'll ever have the need to ride as hunched over on fully dropped bars like I used to"
If you install bullhorns that will be your only position, trapped on simulated drops.


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Last edited by Bandera; 08-04-13 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 08-04-13, 01:56 PM   #12
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The drops were the only part of the bike I never used also, so I did a switch. This did require re-cabling and different levers.

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Old 08-04-13, 02:40 PM   #13
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looks like a great idea.
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