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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 07-20-09, 06:49 PM   #1
Pharcyder1406
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Drop Handlebar -> Bullhorn Conversion

Anyone sawed the ends off their drops to create kind of a bullhorn type bar? Thoughts on this? I know its a bit ghetto, but I think it could work ok.
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Old 07-20-09, 06:54 PM   #2
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Flop and chop.
Done a million times before.
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Old 07-20-09, 07:32 PM   #3
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More than a million.

You will regret that you ever did it. ---> Buy actual bullhorns, and keep your drops as drops.
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Old 07-20-09, 07:50 PM   #4
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I've had several pairs of real horns and flip/chops. I really prefer the flip/chops. I generally cut the ends lower on the drop so when I flip it there is more to hold on to. For racing and <30 mile rides around town they are perfect. I set them a bit lower than my hoods would be. The tops become a resting position, the hooks for general riding and forearms parallel to the ground, holding the hooks as they turn straight up for a more aero position. This last one can't be done on modern production bullhorns. Older horns,made before aerobars for pursuit and TTs, generally have the ends extend up for just this reason.

The other main reason is that I need a shorter top tube. Horns are generally longer than drops+hoods so I'd need to use a shorter stem to get a comfortable position. Flip/chops let me use a more comfortable 110mm stem on my tarck bike.

Yeah, they look a little more hokey than production horns, but then production horns weren't made for use without aerobars (except those made for tandem stokers, which are generally only comfortable in more upright positions).
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Old 07-20-09, 10:52 PM   #5
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Cool. Guess im not as ingenuitve (lol not a word) as I thought.

Anyone have pics or tips of where to cut? Thanks.
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Old 07-21-09, 12:03 AM   #6
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More than a million.

You will regret that you ever did it. ---> Buy actual bullhorns, and keep your drops as drops.
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Old 07-21-09, 12:06 AM   #7
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More than a million.

You will regret that you ever did it. ---> Buy actual bullhorns, and keep your drops as drops.
Agreed. Just buy real ones
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Old 07-21-09, 12:08 AM   #8
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If I do decide to buy real ones, how to I figure out if they will fit in my stem? Measure the circumference of the stock bars?
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Old 07-21-09, 07:56 AM   #9
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Don't chop. Go to your LBS and see if they have any used bull horns. I just got some Oval Concept bull horns with slight drop from the LBS very lightly used for $10.
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Old 07-21-09, 08:02 AM   #10
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By all means: chop. I ride chopped bars on a couple of my bikes and absolutely love them. Much tougher looking than new bars, plus it's always better to recycle/reuse than to buy new, imho (and in lots of other sensible people's opinions; Sheldon Brown, e.g.). Flip the bars and spend a few minutes on the bike to help you judge where to cut. Nothing worse than hacking a pair too short. (Well, nevermind: I guess lots of things could be worse...) When you're ready to cut get a good hacksaw w/ fresh blade. Make sure you mark the line of your cut w a Sharpie before starting. Then, once one side is cut, use the cut-off piece as a gauge to determine where to cut the other side.
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Old 07-21-09, 08:04 AM   #11
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P.S. There are no such thing as "real" ones. Or, from another perspective, anything DIY is always more "real".
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Old 07-21-09, 12:18 PM   #12
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By all means: chop. I ride chopped bars on a couple of my bikes and absolutely love them. Much tougher looking than new bars, plus it's always better to recycle/reuse than to buy new, imho (and in lots of other sensible people's opinions; Sheldon Brown, e.g.). Flip the bars and spend a few minutes on the bike to help you judge where to cut. Nothing worse than hacking a pair too short. (Well, nevermind: I guess lots of things could be worse...) When you're ready to cut get a good hacksaw w/ fresh blade. Make sure you mark the line of your cut w a Sharpie before starting. Then, once one side is cut, use the cut-off piece as a gauge to determine where to cut the other side.
Cool, thanks for the tips. I have no intention of riding with drops right now, so I think Ill cut these. I like hte recycle/reuse philosophy too.

If I did want to get new handlebars in the future though (maybe risers), how would I go about figuring out what size I need?
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Old 07-21-09, 12:20 PM   #13
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Just throwing this out there, but what about mustache bars?
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Old 07-21-09, 12:25 PM   #14
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Just throwing this out there, but what about mustache bars?
Thanks for the idea. I might try those sometime in the future, but they arent really what I am looking for right now.
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Old 07-21-09, 01:06 PM   #15
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I have a peir of used flop/chop bars. The problem is, I want to use a bar-end brake lever, and I can't. You need about an inch of straight tube for the brake lever to fit. I have contemplated using force to make it fit, but something tells me that would be a bad idea...
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Old 07-21-09, 01:17 PM   #16
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If I did want to get new handlebars in the future though (maybe risers), how would I go about figuring out what size I need?[/QUOTE]

Here's a start: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cribsheet-handlebars.html

Just a guess, but you're probably looking at a 25.4mm.
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Old 07-21-09, 01:23 PM   #17
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I have a peir of used flop/chop bars. The problem is, I want to use a bar-end brake lever, and I can't. You need about an inch of straight tube for the brake lever to fit. I have contemplated using force to make it fit, but something tells me that would be a bad idea...
What kind of brake lever are you talking about? Hooded road bike levers (Shimano 105s being what I prefer) work just fine on chopped bars in my experience, so long as you've left enough room for them--they fit on the curve of the drops originally, and there was never an inch of straight tube for them there, right?
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Old 07-21-09, 01:52 PM   #18
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It's been and you CAN do it.

But why not just buy bullhorns on eBay for $15?
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Old 07-21-09, 01:58 PM   #19
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Here's a start: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cribsheet-handlebars.html

Just a guess, but you're probably looking at a 25.4mm.
Thanks. What are those "stem clamp size" measurements referring to? Diameter of the inside area of the stem clamp? Circumference of the inside area of the stem clamp?
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Old 07-21-09, 04:12 PM   #20
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Do it.

Don't worry about losing an old pair of drops, those can practically be found for free anyways.
Even if you don't like them, the experience you get from diving in and getting your hands dirty is well worth it.

but you will like them.

When I did it, I cut almost exactly halfway around the bend. Came out great. It was the first time I had ever really done work on a bike and was the start of a long and happy road.

On something this simple you can't really make a mistake, but it will lead to bigger and better things where you will **** up and lose some time, money, and maybe some blood. In the long run, however, you will learn more about your bike and become more intimately aquainted with it. You will be much better off than someone who just buys stuff off eBay for $15
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Old 07-21-09, 04:24 PM   #21
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But why not just buy bullhorns on eBay for $15?
Because they aren't made for use without aerobars. The production bullhorns that we know today are made primarily for two purposes: riding slowly/resting and standing acceleration. For both of those positions you need a flat, straight area to rest your hands on. This simulates the transition area from the bars to the hoods on drops.
Common examples:




Note that there is very little bar at the end curving up to grip. There is just enough to keep you from sliding off the end (and some bars, like the Nitto B263AA, do away even with that, which makes no sense to me at all)

This is fine until you're in a race situation where you need to make a strong effort in the saddle. On a road bike you'd be in the hooks (the portion of the drop where the bar curves from the flats at the bottom to vertical, just under the brake lever). None of the bars above provide this area which allows you to push your weight forward against the bar for a more aerodynamic power producing position. Old time trial bars, before the acceptance of aero-bars, had this position.




One of Moser's Hour Record bikes:


And here he is in the position I'm talking about:


Can't do that position on modern TT base bars (Deda Akros 31 being a notable exception). And since vintage TT bars are more difficult to come by, the easiest solution is to make your own.
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Old 07-21-09, 05:42 PM   #22
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One suggestion. Ditch the hack saw and get a small pipe cutter. Leaves a very clean edge and will not wonder around like a saw. $10 at most hardware stores or Home Depot.
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Old 07-21-09, 06:36 PM   #23
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what you actually want are syntace stratos.
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Old 07-21-09, 06:39 PM   #24
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One suggestion. Ditch the hack saw and get a small pipe cutter. Leaves a very clean edge and will not wonder around like a saw. $10 at most hardware stores or Home Depot.
Thats actually what I was planning to do.
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Old 07-21-09, 08:10 PM   #25
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I have a peir of used flop/chop bars. The problem is, I want to use a bar-end brake lever, and I can't. You need about an inch of straight tube for the brake lever to fit. I have contemplated using force to make it fit, but something tells me that would be a bad idea...
Well, I used "gentle persuasion" instead of force, and it more or less worked. Really, it pointed out that the "chop" wasn't straight. Whoever did it wasn't very smooth with a hack saw. With a pipe cutter, flop and chop bars should accept a bar end brake lever.
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