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  1. #1
    road curmudgeon, FG rider GeraldChan's Avatar
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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
    1973 Nishiki Professional, steel, green/black, Campy NR FG conversion, Brooks Pro
    1991 Serotta Colorado II, steel, pearl white, full DA 8 spd STI, SI Flite
    2002 Waterford 1700 Track, steel, jet black, DA, Ultegra and Phil, SI Flite
    2006 Trek Madone 5.2, carbon fiber, blue, Ultegra and Bontrager, Fizik Arione

  2. #2
    Utilitarian Boy Gyeswho's Avatar
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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

  3. #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.

  4. #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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    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.

  6. #6
    laterally compliant keevohn's Avatar
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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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member abeyance's Avatar
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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.
    not banned anymore

  8. #8
    Senior Member abeyance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keevohn
    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.
    not banned anymore

  9. #9
    road curmudgeon, FG rider GeraldChan's Avatar
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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
    1973 Nishiki Professional, steel, green/black, Campy NR FG conversion, Brooks Pro
    1991 Serotta Colorado II, steel, pearl white, full DA 8 spd STI, SI Flite
    2002 Waterford 1700 Track, steel, jet black, DA, Ultegra and Phil, SI Flite
    2006 Trek Madone 5.2, carbon fiber, blue, Ultegra and Bontrager, Fizik Arione

  10. #10
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

  11. #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.)

  12. #12
    laterally compliant keevohn's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  13. #13
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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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.
    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  14. #14
    road curmudgeon, FG rider GeraldChan's Avatar
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    Quote 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
    1973 Nishiki Professional, steel, green/black, Campy NR FG conversion, Brooks Pro
    1991 Serotta Colorado II, steel, pearl white, full DA 8 spd STI, SI Flite
    2002 Waterford 1700 Track, steel, jet black, DA, Ultegra and Phil, SI Flite
    2006 Trek Madone 5.2, carbon fiber, blue, Ultegra and Bontrager, Fizik Arione

  15. #15
    Utilitarian Boy Gyeswho's Avatar
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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.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gyeswho
    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.

  17. #17
    via hiptop
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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.
    this bike is a pipecleaner

  18. #18
    Utilitarian Boy Gyeswho's Avatar
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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.

  19. #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 10:55 AM.

  20. #20
    Velorution dylandom's Avatar
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    how come dutret knows so much? seriously. i want to see your bike. what do u ride.
    Rebuilding the Left, Fighting the Right

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylandom
    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.

  22. #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.

  23. #23
    Velorution dylandom's Avatar
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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?
    Rebuilding the Left, Fighting the Right

  24. #24
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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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.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dylandom
    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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