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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 09-04-10, 10:45 PM   #1
gerlad
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installing new handlebars and brakes, some beginner questions...

hey all,
i'm a newbie to the scene of singlespeed/fixed gears. i bought a single speed a few years ago, when i had no idea what i really got.

but recently i've decided to try to build this thing up a little bit. i'm a definite beginner as far as knowledge.. i've been reading around on sheldon brown's page and these forums, but i have a few questions.

my first project is installing new bullhorn bars and brakes, and then taping them.
(my frame is a trek of some sort. i'm not even sure which model)

questions:

how do i know which size bullhorns will fit my stem? do i need to measure the opening of the stem? do i then use the size of the bars to find a brake that fits? do i want bars that are pre-drilled? or do i just want to take the cables underneath the bartape. are there any good tutorials for bartaping?

also, does anyone have recommendations for bullhorn/reverse-brake combos? i'm on a pretty strict budget, so cheaper is better. mostly i'm just trying to make sure i don't buy the wrong size or the wrong parts.

any help, advice, or cautionary tales would be super helpful! in the meantime i'll keep looking around.
thanks so much!
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Old 09-04-10, 11:40 PM   #2
hpmcardle
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Heya. Measure the handlebar-clamp part of the stem to get the bar diameter. It's usually in mm.
As for pre-drilled/sub-tape, it's your preference or whatever you can find. I just wrapped my brake cable underneath. First I taped the cable to the bar really tightly with duct tape so it wouldn't move around while I was wrapping. Then I just wrapped over it. Common sense though, make sure to leave plenty of slack in your brake cables so you can turn your handlebars, haha. I don't know of any bar wrapping tutorials, but I always wrap inside-out, that way I get really clean starting lines that don't need electrical tape. Lift up the brake hood and fiddle the tape around that, then just flip the hood down. Looks good man. It kinda takes practice, maybe five wraps to get awesome at it, but it's really not rocket science. It's kinda hard to do a TERRIBLE wrap job unless you're drunk and in a mad rush.
Sorry, can't really help with bullhorns, I ride drops. I'm pretty sure it's all very doable; a handlebar is a handlebar, right?
Hopefully I helped a bit!
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Old 09-05-10, 01:17 AM   #3
longjohns
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i run a cross top lever near the stem when i run bullhorns and they are just fine. i chose to go this route because it was cheaper! plus you dont need to run cables under any bar tape.
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Old 09-05-10, 02:21 PM   #4
gerlad
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thanks guys!

any info is helpful. some of the articles by sheldon brown and on these forums use terms that are a little hard to understand for a complete beginner.

another question, is there any way to install both brake levers to the front wheel? i don't want a rear brake, but it'd be nice to access the front brake from either hand position.

thanks!
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Old 09-05-10, 03:21 PM   #5
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do you mean at the end of the horns and near the stem? you can use the bar end type lever and mate it to an in-line cross lever. here is a link to a similar setup but on road drops. same concept though.

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=146
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Old 09-05-10, 08:41 PM   #6
gerlad
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no, i don't think that's what i mean.

i'm talking about one brake on each side of the bars (where typically you would find one front and one rear), but in this case both control the front brake.

does that make sense?
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Old 09-05-10, 11:08 PM   #7
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Here's a video on wrapping bullhorns...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sUYSlueBtw
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