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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 10-07-10, 04:27 AM   #1
aaronjg
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Drilling for Internal Cable Routing on Bullhorns

I've got a pair of nitto bullhorns, and I recently picked up some used SRAM bar end brakes with internal cable routing. Like these:
http://www.amazon.com/TT900-Bicycle-.../dp/B0012MVMSY

I have read mixed things about drilling handlebars for cable routing. It seems like people recommend against it on principle, but I haven't read of anybody having a problem with it in principle.

Has anybody done this successfully? Anybody had any problems with it?
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Old 10-07-10, 05:28 AM   #2
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I believe it can be done, safely.. But it would take some research and some analysis of your bar. But honestly, if it's steel, I think you can safely get away with it. For the most part, stay as far away from the stem as possible, as you will find this is where there is the most stress.

If it's a risk you're willing to take, go for it. Someone had to take this risk to begin with, right? (for there to be internal cable routing at all, and then I'm sure they tested it, and either stuck with it, or improved on it). If you're not willing to take it, a set of bull horns with internal cable routing can be had for not much money at all.
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Old 10-07-10, 05:54 AM   #3
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They are aluminum bars. I'm willing to the risk of damaging them (or I wouldn't even be asking). Just wondering if people here had previous experience.

What bullhorns with internal cable routing are you thinking about? It might be cheaper than having the LBS drilling out my current bars.
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Old 10-07-10, 06:07 AM   #4
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Did you check with your LBS to see of they would do that? I doubt they are going to take the risk (liability and trashing your bars) for the few bucks they would make on the deal.

You would have to drill the hole at atleast a 45 degree angle perpendicular to part of the bar you are drilling, in order for the cable to pull through and not kink.
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Old 10-07-10, 07:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leed View Post
If it's a risk you're willing to take, go for it. Someone had to take this risk to begin with, right? (for there to be internal cable routing at all, and then I'm sure they tested it, and either stuck with it, or improved on it).
OR - they might be dead and consequently unable to warn the rest of us.
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Old 10-07-10, 03:11 PM   #6
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Here's some cheap bullhorns that are pre drilled... I'm actually thinking about picking up a pair.

http://store.icyclesusa.com/profile-...cm-p23507.aspx
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Old 10-07-10, 04:10 PM   #7
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I have a set of pre drilled Profile Design Bullhorns that have two holes, which kind of hide the cable, but not enough... Feels good right at the bend though

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_CwB7pTiEi9U/TK...Bike%20024.JPG
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Old 10-07-10, 08:49 PM   #8
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I did it with my bullhorns. I wouldn't worry about it. I never mash with my hands all the way at the ends anyway. And the hole is on the side of the bar, where the stress is pretty low to begin with. Just keep the holes near the ends and you'll be fine.

If I die, I'll let you know.
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Old 10-07-10, 09:36 PM   #9
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I have done this as well. I drilled them at about a 70 degree angle on the inside of the left bar about 2" from the end where I was sure there would be no stress at the drill point. It has worked very well or me.
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Old 10-08-10, 12:24 AM   #10
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If I die, I'll let you know.
Ha!

Last edited by XianRL; 10-08-10 at 12:24 AM. Reason: Broken pic link.
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Old 10-08-10, 06:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilcphoto View Post
I have a set of pre drilled Profile Design Bullhorns that have two holes, which kind of hide the cable, but not enough... Feels good right at the bend though

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_CwB7pTiEi9U/TK...Bike%20024.JPG
LBS said that they could do it, but if pre-drilled bullhorns are that cheap, I might just get a new set. Lilc- where are the holes drilled?
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Old 10-08-10, 06:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
OR - they might be dead and consequently unable to warn the rest of us.
This, is also very true, haha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronjg View Post
LBS said that they could do it, but if pre-drilled bullhorns are that cheap, I might just get a new set. Lilc- where are the holes drilled?
If my vision serves me correctly, those are the Air Wing. The inlet hole is the same as the other bar posted here


The exit hole is about an inch in from the bend on the bottom of the bar. I have the similarly designed T2 Wing, but I really don't like the inlet hole's placement (it's kind of awkward to run a cable/housing that way, and it doesn't quite make sense) but I ride brakeless now anyways. EDIT: I forgot you have those SRAM levers, so the inlets won't be an issue for you!

Here is another Profile set that are drilled (and grooved) for cable routing:
http://cgi.ebay.com/PROFILE-DESIGN-A...ht_5174wt_1141

Last edited by leed; 10-08-10 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 10-08-10, 07:43 AM   #13
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I drilled a set of flop and chops that were steel and extremely thick- too thick in fact to fit a reverse lever's plug inside the end of the bar. I used a campy aero lever out at the very end of the bar, and I did some grinding inside the lever to allow the cable and housing to exit towards the bottom of the lever instead of the top like aero levers are designed to do. (I guess this doesn't matter to anyone using reverse levers, but whatever.) I didn't have to cut the actual shell (the part the hood covers) because the housing entered the bar in a spot hidden underneath the lever- I just cut the horizontal brace inside the lever to let the housing cut the angle more gently.

Done this way, on the bar you just put in a notch an inch down from the end with a grinder (I think a notch is better than a drill hole because the housing can pass into the bar at an angle), and another down near the stem. I would be very leery of doing this on anything aluminum- my bars don't feel any different and have held up thus far. Aluminum bars I've used before were very noticeably more flexy than these without being cut. When manufacturers make bars with internal routing, they add internal bracing to get away with using aluminum.

I like the internal routing a lot- this way the bar is symmetrical with just one brake. The housing exits under the wrap an inch up from where it ends, then cleanly sweeps down to the brake. I haven't noticed any increased drag or sticking on the brake cable, from the added bends. I'll get a picture when I have access to a camera.
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Old 10-08-10, 08:49 AM   #14
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Old 10-08-10, 10:50 AM   #15
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I've got a pair of SRAM barends where the cable exits the plug, so I was wondering where the exit hole is. I would just be taping over the entrance hole.
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Old 10-08-10, 12:59 PM   #16
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It is 2.5 inches up from the bend... on the inside of the bar.
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Old 10-08-10, 02:19 PM   #17
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The issue of cable is why I ended up ditching bar end brakes for cross brakes.
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Old 10-08-10, 02:57 PM   #18
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Bar end brakes can be easily hidden, but yes cross brakes are a lot easier to adjust
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