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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 02-16-07, 10:08 AM   #1
GeraldChan
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What type of bars/stem for mainly road use?

Hello all: I recently bought a used black Waterford 1700 in a 54cm frame size. My usual size is a 55cm. The bike is set up for F and R brakes at the factory. It also has a Thopsom Elite "set-back" seat post and a 140mm 3TTT quill stem (on a 1" threaded steerer tube) with 40cm road bars. Therefore the current saddle tip-to-bar lenght is w/in a few mm of the same dimension as my other 2 bikes. The Waterford has standard drop 40cm road style bars and I prefer 42cm bars. I have noticed that most track specific bars are on the narrow side (37-40cm).
So if most, if not all, my riding is going to be on country roads (this is NOT an urban trick-style fixie) for training rides is there going to be any advantage to using Pista bars and stem? Other than bling is there any good reason to use cro-moly steel bars? Since I plan on using the brakes that came on the bike and mounting the hoods in the standard road position would a bar like the Cinelli 65 in a 42cm width be my best bet.
I hate to admit it but style does play a part in my decision as this is my first true track frame and I have always found the simplcity of form and function oh so beautiful.
Thanks in advance for the help.
PS I am so tempted to put a Brooks Swift Ti saddle on it but will keep the Selle Italia Flite TI that came on it so as to keep the weight down. A tubular wheelset with DA track hubs is being built as I type this to help shed a lb of rotating weight.
Gerry
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Old 02-16-07, 10:14 AM   #2
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id say go with horns that have a drop so you can have an aero position on the road. have them tilted up so you can lean forward on them and get aero brake levers to make it easier to brake with. pista bars are mainly for sprinting but you wanna have combo for hand positions that are comfy
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Old 02-16-07, 10:18 AM   #3
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Ergo road drops in the width you like are going to be your best bet. The only advantage of track bars comes when you are always in the drops (which you won't be). You sound like you know what you want, so don't worry about bling.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:19 AM   #4
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Pista bars are crap for riding around especially long distances. Most of the track bars you see are super narrow because that is the current fad and they are bought for looks rather then function. Claims of clearance may apply to some but lots of peoples asses are wider then their bars negating that. If you go to a track that will not the case as much.

Style is just what everyone else is currently doing. If that really matters to you get some 37cm chrome track drops and ride around without tape or plugs. If you want a bike that is well suited for the task don't worry about style.

Are you training rides really short intervals or tempo rides? If the later why care about rotating weight? Actually why care about a few grams of rotating weight on a training bike at all?
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Old 02-16-07, 10:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyeswho
id say go with horns that have a drop so you can have an aero position on the road. have them tilted up so you can lean forward on them and get aero brake levers to make it easier to brake with. pista bars are mainly for sprinting but you wanna have combo for hand positions that are comfy
I love how a month of asking the most inane questions ever now qualifies you to answer every question with authority. This is some of the worst advice I could imagine for someone who is asking about road drops vs track for long training rides.

Also to further your education most levers can be mounted on the end of bullhorns.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:27 AM   #6
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I agree with dutret. It took me three years to come to the realization that I don't care how my cockpit looks, I just want it to feel similar to my road bike. That meant getting rid of the 39cm pista bar and 'cross lever in favor of 42cm ergo bar and two brake levers (even though I only have a front brake).

I'm much happier now.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:28 AM   #7
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Once again, Dutret drops the science like 11.4,
just on the keyboard to even the score.
though I hate to admit it even though it's true
he got more knowledge that, you guessed it, Gyeswho.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:29 AM   #8
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I agree with dutret. It took me three years to come to the realization that I don't care how my cockpit looks, I just want it to feel similar to my road bike. That meant getting rid of the 39cm pista bar and 'cross lever in favor of 42cm ergo bar and two brake levers (even though I only have a front brake).

I'm much happier now.
And I have been rocking two brake levers with no brake for 5+ years now.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:30 AM   #9
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I will mainly be using the bike for leading 40-50 mile club rides near my home in suburban MD (40 mins north of DC).
As to the rotating weight issue I prefer the "feel" of lightweight wheels and the roads out here are fairly smooth. I also like bombing down hills and I find that quality tubular wheels are the fastest for that. You don't need to be a racer to appreciate nice, light equipment.
I have thought about "bullhorns", what are they like on 50+ mile rides. Gerry
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Old 02-16-07, 10:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutret
Also to further your education most levers can be mounted on the end of bullhorns.
this is true, but unless you want a cable sticking way out in front of you i'd stick with aero brake levers.

op, when i was in your position i tried different cheap bar setups until i found one i liked. for the kind of riding you're doing, i use ergo hoods and drops.

edit: if you're in gaithersburg and want to borrow a set of risers or an os pair of bullhorns i'd be happy to lend. i'm in dc.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:34 AM   #11
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whatever you do put on two brakes then. Whatever my opinion of tubulars for non-race uses and the placebo effect of lightweight wheel for steady pace riding, PUT TWO BRAKES ON!!!

Bullhorns are fine buy not great into headwinds. When it's your turn to pull are you in the drops or on the hoods? If the later you can probably get away with bullhorns otherise you are going to have to find a new aero position(hands on the tips forarms parallel to the bar is tolerable for me but I prefer drops.)
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Old 02-16-07, 10:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by GeraldChan
I have thought about "bullhorns", what are they like on 50+ mile rides. Gerry
I found them to be uncomfortable. The difference in reach between the flats and the horn on my bullhorns was much greater than the difference in reach between the flats and the hoods on my road bar. I either felt too stretched out in the horns, or cramped on the flats.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:43 AM   #13
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hey Gerald, it sounds like you already know what's comfortable. stick with the road bars with hoods. many people find track bars satisfactory, but they're certainly no improvement for the kind of riding you're talking about.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dirtyphotons

edit: if you're in gaithersburg and want to borrow a set of risers or an os pair of bullhorns i'd be happy to lend. i'm in dc.
Thanks man! I am a father of 3 young kids and thus have little extra time to mount several sets of bars/stem but greatly appreciate your kind offer. Plus I'm really lazy that way. Most likely I will go for a Cinelli 65 road bars and a 130mm road quill stem if they come in a 1" steerer tube size and call it a day. After all,road bars feel best for road riding right?
BTW Duret- thanks for the tip on the bullhorns. I have been rockin' tubulars for most of my 30+ yrs of riding and really prefer the feel. Now that I use Tirealert.com to repair my sew-ups the last big hassle of tubular riding is gone. I get FAR fewer flats with sew up than with clinchers. I generally wear out the rubber on my tubulars before they flat; country roads have less crap on the shoulders than city steeets.
Thank you all for your input from a fixie newbie. Gerry
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Old 02-16-07, 10:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutret
I love how a month of asking the most inane questions ever now qualifies you to answer every question with authority. This is some of the worst advice I could imagine for someone who is asking about road drops vs track for long training rides.

Also to further your education most levers can be mounted on the end of bullhorns.
yea and i got the answers i was looking for when asking too. i was saying horns because when in the open country like that and he has head and side winds it may decrease air resistence since he will be. and yes i know levers can be mounted on horns as i have them on mine now. if he was to get horns aero lever keeps the wires low profile that's why i suggested it.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:53 AM   #16
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i was saying horns because when in the open country like that and he has head and side winds it may decrease air resistence since he will be.
Hmm that is a good point. I often having problems with existential crisis and wind resistance during long solo base rides and I think there is a slight improvement with horns..... wait that was completely nonsensical nevermind.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:53 AM   #17
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dunno...i really like flip n clips, more than real horns, but if you're all about the track, go for drops, crits are my favs. personally i've been eyein some nitto mustache bars. just about all the range of hand positions as drops but without being so hard on my back.

stem would have to be that 75 degree salsa with the poptop so you can change bars on a whim. ugly though, but it's practicality makes it so sexy.

wait...running brakes...ergo drops then.
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Old 02-16-07, 10:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abeyance
Once again, Dutret drops the science like 11.4,
just on the keyboard to even the score.
though I hate to admit it even though it's true
he got more knowledge that, you guessed it, Gyeswho.
of course he does but the op wanted input so i put some in. if this was for the experience input only i wouldn't say anything but from what ive experienced bulls seem the way to go but this is just for me.
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Old 02-16-07, 11:48 AM   #19
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Im trying to get a pal with a black Cramerotti track frame + mostly black componentry to try these ergo drops and black Tektro aero brake levers I have lying around. For some reason I think this setup would look badass on top of the increased functionality.

Last edited by mander; 02-16-07 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 02-16-07, 11:53 AM   #20
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how come dutret knows so much? seriously. i want to see your bike. what do u ride.
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Old 02-16-07, 11:57 AM   #21
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how come dutret knows so much? seriously. i want to see your bike. what do u ride.
+1 Yeah I want to see what perfection and ultimate rationality looks like in bicycle form.
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Old 02-16-07, 11:59 AM   #22
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fine, if one of these laptops has bluetooth I'll post a camera phone picture of my incredibly commuter nerdy crosscheck. I don't think I have any real pictures of it in fg commuter mode.
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Old 02-16-07, 12:07 PM   #23
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hurry up. i'm so excited to finally see this ride.

dutret. no seriously how come u know everything. what did u get ur degree in?
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Old 02-16-07, 12:10 PM   #24
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If you're going to be riding the road, it seems that road drops would be the best set up. I've set up my fixie with Ritchey ergos and Cane Creek aero brakes to approximate the feel of my geared roadies. It just fits better and is comfortable for all day riding. The only difference is that there's no option to change gears.
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Old 02-16-07, 12:17 PM   #25
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dutret. no seriously how come u know everything. what did u get ur degree in?
That can only come with years of experience as a professional message bull****ter not any fancy ivory tower ****.
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