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  1. #1
    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    switching to bullhorns

    So I'm loving my fixie conversion, but the drop bars aren't quite cutting it on the climbs which are a regular part of my commute, and I'm thinking bullhorns are going to be the best setup for this bike.

    The thing is I'm pretty sure that in order to switch bars, I'll also probably need a new stem and a brake lever, and that's where I could use some advice.

    I've got the original 1" bars, stem, and weinman brake lever on there now. for the stem I could use a modern threadless style sem with a quill adapter, but I think I would rather go with a quill stem for aesthetic reasons. I'm not sure about the length though. The current one is roughly 90mm, but I'm not sure if I shouldn't go with a different length for bullhorn bars. Shorter?

    then there is the brake question. I run the front brake on the righht because that's how I'm used to it from motorcycling. I know "Aero levers" that go in the bar ends are popular, but I'm thinking I probably won't want the brake much when I'm on the ends of the bars, so I'm thinking either a BMX, or cyclocross lever might be the thing.

    I'm planning on using the bars pictured below on the bike pictured below. I'd welcome any suggestions for stem and brake lever. thanks.


  2. #2
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    Is there still that little skate park in Montpellier? I had a fun day there a few years back.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    yeah, down at the rec park near the pool.

  4. #4
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    yeah i had a great time there. It was a a few years back. I skated with some local kids. All very nice. They took me around for the day. I met them at some vegie spot downtown. The skaters girl was working at the sandwich spot i think.

    I love VT. I used to spend my summers in South Woodstock as a kid.

    Not sure about the bars. I run drops. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    I would leave them but change the old style levers with something from the late 80s style (aero brake levers).

    Pic is of my set up on one of my track bike. The aero brakes levers are Campy C-Records from 1992

    S/F,
    CEYA!
    Last edited by Ceya; 10-22-05 at 08:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceya
    I would leave them but change the old style levers with something from the late 80s style (aero brake levers).
    Aesthetically I agree with you. old style road drops with the 80s style Aero levers just looks right for that bike, but you should see those bars flex when I'm stomping up a hill, and I feel I could get better leverage in the climbs if I was up and forward. from a practical standpoint I think I could rde more and walk less with bullhorns.

  7. #7
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    So change the bars if needed. you hold the tops of the bars when climbing, it is much easier(seated position). see my pic with black cloth tape on top of bars is where your hands should be at during climbing.

    S/F,
    CEYA!

  8. #8
    nub Brad M's Avatar
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    Flip, chop, done.



    We have the same levers.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    If I could climb these hills seated I wouldn't worry about changing the bars. On my geared bikes I can, but pushing 70 gear inches it's stand or walk, and considering I have to spin down the same hill I climb up I don't think I wanna go lower.

    Anyway I'm pretty sure I know what bars I want. It's the stem and brakes I'm looking for suggestions on.

  10. #10
    MADE IN TAIWAN wangster's Avatar
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    just get some cheap tt levers like the cane creek 200tt. They'll look right on bullhorns and a clean look without cables getting in the way.
    "Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastard. Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off."

  11. #11
    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad M
    Flip, chop, done.

    We have the same levers.
    I've thought about the chop and flop option. It would save me buying a bunch more parts, but I was hoping for a stiffer bar, and I think a modern 26mm cowhorn should be stiffer than the old 1" aluminum bar. Also I have an alterior motive for wanting to switch the stem which I didn't state before, and that is to get all the bolts on the bike Metric. the original stem and brakes still have ASE bolts which I find annoying, especially since I would like to be able to cary all the tools I need in my seatbag.

    I don't really have nay complaints about the brake lever it's a center pull Wienman lever. not very stylish, but it gets the job done. Oh, and mine doesn't have the stem for that goofy high lever found on 70s Schwinns and free Spirits. If it did I'd grind that sucker off.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wangster
    just get some cheap tt levers like the cane creek 200tt. They'll look right on bullhorns and a clean look without cables getting in the way.
    Like these?

    They sure do look right. my concern is hey will never be where I need them. I won't need a brake lever handy while climbing. The cyclocross style lever looks like it would be more convenient more of the time.

    Maybe someone who's used TT levers can tell me wether I'm wrong in the assumption that I will be reaching for the lever whenever I need to stop which is what happens now when I'm on top of the bars. Although I find myself in the drops more often than not. Maybe I would find that in practice the TT levers are not much different than my current lever setup which is alright.

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    What kind of crank is that on your bike?

  14. #14
    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    Campi Athena 170mm. I ditched the 52T ring, and kept the 42T

  15. #15
    sucker
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    i didnt really rad the whole post, but i ride snytace bullhorns pretty often and i love them.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dosoner
    i didnt really rad the whole post, but i ride snytace bullhorns pretty often and i love them.
    what brake levers do you run?

  17. #17
    lunatic fringe Dogbait's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattface
    Aesthetically I agree with you. old style road drops with the 80s style Aero levers just looks right for that bike, but you should see those bars flex when I'm stomping up a hill, and I feel I could get better leverage in the climbs if I was up and forward. from a practical standpoint I think I could rde more and walk less with bullhorns.
    Those Syntace bars will flex. I have them and notice it quite a bit when climbing. They also take a 26.0mm stem so you will have to change out your 1" stem.

    D

  18. #18
    move along seasponge's Avatar
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    i have the syntace bars and counter to a lot of people, i actually like them, i don't notice flex and i'm using a deda murex stem which people say flexes alot. i am about 130 lbs. though so that might have something to do with it. i've really gotten used to my 38cm syntace from chucksbikes though.

  19. #19
    sucker
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattface
    what brake levers do you run?

    i dont run any brake levers.


    i dont run brakes

  20. #20
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    Hi there,
    I ride similar gearing (71) on mu longish hilly commute. I also ride bullhorns, profile designs with 5cm drop and TT brake lever - left, as I am (edit: was) riding road bike as well. My bike has very short (for my size) top tube, and I ride 120mm road stem. I ride the tops only when I want to streach, so for fast rides the brake lever is exactly where I want it.

    Fine tuning would be cutting the 3cm tips of the horns, as I am never that far - when I want to go more aero, I just bend the elbows more, with hands about 3cm below the tips of the horns. Cutting will allow to reach brake comfortably from the position just below the bends, this is my relaxed position.
    You can see this setup here:
    http://www.pbase.com/wojtek_burkot/biking
    Last edited by vobopl; 10-23-05 at 01:43 AM.

  21. #21
    Bike jocks ar still jocks Portlandonian's Avatar
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    OK, I'm going to answer the original question directly about the brakes. I use a performance brand "in-line" cyclocross lever on the top of road bars. I think BMX bars are really narrow so you might have trouble getting some to fit.

    I would just put the bars on and see how they feel. If you want you can get a shorter stem afterwards. It won't kill you to ride for a few days with a longer one, unless you have a really long commute.

  22. #22
    Senior Member mattface's Avatar
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    Let's see here:

    I'm hearing that the Syntace bars are flexy. They'll probably still be better than what I've got now, but can someone recommend some that are stiffer?

    Still up in the air about brakes. I'm starting to lean towards TT levers. I just wish I knew wether I would be riding more on the ends or the tops. Since I'm ususlly inn the drops, I'm guessing now it may well be the ends I ride more, but I guess I just won't know until I've ridden the bullhorns a bit.

    I know I'll need a new stem to use 26mm bars, but I guess I'll just have to to feel it and guess about wether I want a different length. Common sense tells me a shorter stem goes generally with TT bars, but maybe I'm way off base on that hypothesis.

  23. #23
    Zugster Bags FlippingHades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattface
    I'm hearing that the Syntace bars are flexy. They'll probably still be better than what I've got now, but can someone recommend some that are stiffer?
    Nitto TT bars are very stiff. I switch from Syntace to Nitto RB-009s and I love 'em. They're very long though - much longer than the Syntace bars. You can see just how long
    in this picture.



    Quote Originally Posted by mattface
    Still up in the air about brakes. I'm starting to lean towards TT levers. I just wish I knew wether I would be riding more on the ends or the tops. Since I'm ususlly inn the drops, I'm guessing now it may well be the ends I ride more, but I guess I just won't know until I've ridden the bullhorns a bit.

    You can always run TT levers on the ends of your horns with cylocross levers on the flats. I had plans to do that on an old bike that I don't have anymore, but never got around to it before I broke the frame.

  24. #24
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    Not sure if you've got the bars and levers yet, but I've got a pair like that for sale in Silver 38mm along with a Cane Creek 200 tt lever black, brand new.

    Let me know if you're interested.

  25. #25
    the goal
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    I have profile design bullhorns on my bike and have tried:

    a) road lever underneath the bar with the lever pointing forward (ie the other way around from the flip/chop post^^^). That was pretty good but meant that I couldn't use the flat part of the bar before the hook, which is my favourite part of my bullhorns.

    b) BMX lever on the flat. The lever is stiff so the braking is good, but I found that when going fast (when I use my brake) I would have to move my hands back to use the lever. When I am going slowly I use the flats and my legs to brake, when I go fast I move forward on the bars and that's when I use my brake. Which leads to...

    c)TT lever. Had this on for a few weeks and so far it is pretty good. It feels a bit spongy and not as powerful as the BMX lever, but it's in exactly the right place. It also means I skid more cos I know that the lever is right by my hand if I need it. Skids are fun so everything is good.

    Now I want to get some risers to put with my BMX lever. I think I need to stop changing handlebars and brake levers...

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