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Old 04-28-20, 05:48 PM
Me duelen las nalgas
canklecat's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
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Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

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Bullhorns have fewer hand positions; basically, only two. I have a nice set of bullhorns from a tri-bike and no idea what to do with them. Eventually I might put them on a single speed for casual group rides.

Drop bars offer a lot more hand positions, including duplicating one of the two hand positions of bullhorns -- leaning forward onto the brake hoods. You can extend the reach if desired by switching to integrated brakes/shifters or brifters (not quite the same thing but close enough). These usually have longer reach across the brake hoods, effectively duplicating the main hand position on a bullhorn. MicroShift has good integrated brake/shifter sets for less money than Shimano, SRAM, etc.

You can also adjust the reach by using a longer stem. That's an easy swap with most threadless systems -- no need to strip the handlebar with 2- or 4-bolt stems. (My older Ibis threadless stem has a single bolt and requires stripping the handlebar to install, but that's unusual nowadays.)

But stuff is gonna get uncomfortable on a longer ride anyway, especially for those of us who only occasionally ride long distances and don't work out a few times a week to improve our core conditioning for long hours in the saddle. I'm not sure I'd make any significant changes to my bike fit just to suit the final 25 miles of a century ride, unless it also improved the ride for the first 75 miles.

I did install shorter stems on my road bikes (90mm vs the original 120-130mm) to accommodate neck and shoulder injuries. But after a couple of years and improved physical fitness, I'm ready to revert to the original longer stem on at least one bike. While the more upright position of the shorter stem is comfortable, it's also less aero and more tiring on longer rides, especially with climbs and headwinds.
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