Crossposting here because it doesn't even seem to be getting read much in the mechanics board.
I'm slowly building up a SS/fixed bike and I want to go with bullhorn/TT bars on it. My problem is that there are so many variations out there with different amounts of drop and reach that I'm not sure which would be best (or if I need a new stem to go with the bars. I will have neither cranks nor wheels for a while still so I'm looking for a different way to estimate which bars are going to work best.
Is it reasonable to assume that I will put the saddle on my new bike roughly the same distance from the BB as the saddle on my current geared bike? If that will be close, my idea is to get the saddle set on the new bike and use some wooden blocks to raise the bike roughly crank height off the floor so I can just slide different handlebars in and see how they affect my position. I realize I will look like an idiot in the store doing this, but if it helps me pick the right bars the first time I'm OK with it.
Do you think this would work? Do you have a better idea?
I think that the saddle height (from BB) probably will be the same, as you are suggesting. Personally I like bullhorns that don't have a drop, to instead allow any dropping of the height to happen within the stem.
You do have a point that any drop in the handlebar basically just takes away from the usable adjustment range unless I got so low that I wanted the bars lower than the headset (not likely). I do think the ones with some drop look a lot better though. So if the drop didn't force me into getting a taller stem, I'd take a drop bullhorn with the stem out an extra inch or 2 over a flat bullhorn with the stem a little lower if everything else was the same.
I find the fit of bullhorns to be similar with drops. With everything else the same the flats of the TT bars would be the tops of the drops and the fully extended position would be like riding deep in the drops. In this position your back will be heavily arched, almost horizontal. Your saddle height, fore/aft position, and tilt will undoubtedly vary. I like pursuit bars with a decent drop and I had to raise my saddle, move it forward, and tilt the nose up four degrees.