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Bullhorn Newbie needs brakes and shifters set up

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Bullhorn Newbie needs brakes and shifters set up

Old 10-23-09, 09:58 AM
  #1  
lettuce&tomato
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Bullhorn Newbie needs brakes and shifters set up

after years of of numbness from my flat bar on my 15 yr old road bar, I tried out a flip/chop version of bullhorn. Yeah, no numbness on the 1 hr ride. Now I trying to figure out the cheapest way to complete the set up cheaply.

Questions:
I want to get the TT brakes. But will they fit inside my vintage flip/chop bar?

I'm looking for Paul thumbies alternatives.
Read from this forum someone "Take the shifters off of a set of Suntour thumb shifters and mount the bar end shifters in their place". I have 9 speed Dura ace cassette, (and may ugrade to 10 speed if a reasonable one fall into my lap. ) So can the above set up works for me? Just found some Shimano Deore XT Thumb Shifters M730 6-7 speed on ebay that's pretty cheap. Can I swap out the vintage shifters with current bar end shifters?


Looking forward to your wisdoms. Thanks!!


I'm no hipster, or mechanically-savy when it comes to bikes. But I heart my bike!


(I want the shifters by the horns for safety and quick shifting.
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Old 10-23-09, 10:07 AM
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Why not just run bar ends on your flat bar, perhaps something like these Ergon grips?

https://www.speedgoat.com/product.as...=36&brand=1097

Hand numbness is usually due to not moving your hands around enough so the bar ends should do the trick by giving you an extra set of hand positions. You just move your hands back to the flat bar section to brake. Most bullhorn plus TT brake bikes are singlespeed hence why there's no good solution for shifters for your desired setup.
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Old 10-23-09, 10:10 AM
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I don't know how exactly you could mount suntour bar ends on thumb shifter mounts. The two use entirely different mounting methods. You could try to squeeze a pair of thumb shifters onto the larger diameter drop bar, but that may or may not work.

You could buy a pair of command shifters, which have a drop bar diameter clamp,some of which have the same mounting mechanism as the thumb shifters, and you could swap shifter bodies and have a thumb shifter mounted on the drop bars.
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Old 10-23-09, 10:24 AM
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Here is an alternative..
Get the proper speed barcon and mount them out of the horns. Then, instead of the TT levers, get some cx interupter levers and mount them in the same spot that the TT levers would have been. Interupter levers are installed around the bar as opposed to TT levers which occupy the same spot as the barcon.
Are you willing to go friction mode? If so, i think your Deore might work as is.
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Old 10-23-09, 11:04 AM
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Thanks for the feed back!

Bluenote157: I just googled "barcon shifters to see what it is and saw that they look like the "bar end shifters" that ebay and my LBS has. Is there a difference between the two?

Googled "cx interupter levers" but not really able to decipher what it looks like and how it would work.
can you point me to a reference?


I do like the clean look of the time trial brakes on bullhorns.


Fuzz2050: there's a Suntour command shifters on ebay now, so I keep my eyes on it to see how it goes. This could be a nice option if the price is not huge.


joejack951: I forgot to mention that I'm on the computer alot lately, I think bone on the wrist is the problem with riding flat bars and the numbess start from there. (carpal tunnel syndrome?) Now with the bullhorn, my wrist is at a different alignment and it makes such a difference on my rides. I live in NYC so hands-on-brakes at all time.
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Old 10-23-09, 11:23 AM
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If you like bullhorns for that reason then you'd probably really like a set of drop bars and some ergo brake levers. Mount barcon (barend) shifters on the drops and you are good to go.
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Old 10-23-09, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by lettuce&tomato View Post
Thanks for the feed back!

Bluenote157: I just googled "barcon shifters to see what it is and saw that they look like the "bar end shifters" that ebay and my LBS has. Is there a difference between the two?

Googled "cx interupter levers" but not really able to decipher what it looks like and how it would work.
can you point me to a reference?


I do like the clean look of the time trial brakes on bullhorns.
Cross/Interrupter brake levers
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/b...rop.html#cross

The problem I see with substituting cross levers with TT levers is that the cable will exiting forward away from the bike. I guess you could mount them backwards. Not sure how that would look.


*bar-con shifters are the same thing as bar end shifters
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Old 10-23-09, 11:59 AM
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Cx interrupter levers are cyclocross interrupter levers. (EDIT) I just saw them listed as "top mount levers" as well.(EDIT) They are used as a second brake lever close in to the stem on cyclocross bikes.

If you use them you'll need to fudge how the cable and housing fit the levers since techincally you'll be using this style of lever "backwards". Because of this the cable end does not fit into a nice pivoting stop block and the cable will be bent right at the end. Because of this you will want to set them up with a short throw to limit the bending arc. Even then check them often for the first sign of fraying at the cable end just where the cable meets the molded metal. There was a thread here about a year or so back where a guy was using this style of lever and not checking and replacing the cable often enough and it snapped on him right at the end thimble because of this constant loaded bending. He was lucky and got away without any incident but it but it's obviously not a good thing. Not having the pivoting cable stop in the lever was the cause of this. By limiting the bending arc you'll get more life from the cable but make no mistake, it's living on borrowed time. There's a VERY good reason why all the end of the line brake levers allow the cable end to pivot.

What we really need is a TT lever with the proper setup for this style of cable and housing direction that clamps on rather than fits into the end of the bar. That way you leave the hole open for the barcon/barend (the same thing) shifters.

Another option I've seen done is to set up some sort of stub bars at the stem to take the place of the aero bars where the barcons normally mount. If done in a tidy manner they can look decent. But I don't know of such a product so some imagination and bodging something together to accomplish this may be required.

Last edited by BCRider; 10-23-09 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 10-23-09, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by lettuce&tomato View Post
I want to get the TT brakes. But will they fit inside my vintage flip/chop bar?
Probably not. If you look at proper bullhorn bars, their ends are flat. TT brake levers insert straight into the bar, so they need this flat section.

I'm curious if bar-end shifters would also work on your homemade bars.
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Old 10-23-09, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by lettuce&tomato View Post
after years of of numbness from my flat bar on my 15 yr old road bar, I tried out a flip/chop version of bullhorn. Yeah, no numbness on the 1 hr ride. Now I trying to figure out the cheapest way to complete the set up cheaply.

Questions:
I want to get the TT brakes. But will they fit inside my vintage flip/chop bar?

I'm looking for Paul thumbies alternatives.
Read from this forum someone "Take the shifters off of a set of Suntour thumb shifters and mount the bar end shifters in their place". I have 9 speed Dura ace cassette, (and may ugrade to 10 speed if a reasonable one fall into my lap. ) So can the above set up works for me? Just found some Shimano Deore XT Thumb Shifters M730 6-7 speed on ebay that's pretty cheap. Can I swap out the vintage shifters with current bar end shifters?


Looking forward to your wisdoms. Thanks!!


I'm no hipster, or mechanically-savy when it comes to bikes. But I heart my bike!


(I want the shifters by the horns for safety and quick shifting.

A photo of your bars is needed, as no one here knows what your particular bars look like . What make/model are they?
We need details in order to assist you.
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Old 10-23-09, 03:13 PM
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Is this what you want to do:



Its a 9s setup with the bar end shifters stuck in the end of bullhorns. The brake levers are the cyclocross style interrupter levers other have mentioned. I built this myself last summer, but have since sold the bike so I only have a few picture of it.

As others have mentioned, the brakes are "backwards" because they pull the end of the cable, instead of pushing against the housing like they normally do. If you haven't used these levers before, it'll make sense as soon as you see them up close.

I did have to bend the shifter housing pretty far to get it around the brake levers, but they still shifted great. Its a fairly comfortable setup and it works better then I expected.
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Old 10-23-09, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JakcBeNimble View Post


Cross levers are meant to be used on a flat--not curved--section of bar, that's why they look like they're coming away pretty far from the bar. Were you able to reach the levers OK?
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Old 10-23-09, 10:43 PM
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Lmao @ that setup. Whatever works for you I guess. Most people would have a problem with that type of lever reach.
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Old 10-24-09, 03:21 AM
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That does look like quite the reach. I think I would have modified the levers somehow so that they had a rest position that was closer to the bars. They'd still have lots of cable pull even after adding a stop block of some sort.
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Old 10-24-09, 01:05 PM
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Wow, thanks for the feedback.









here are some photos of what my bike look like now. I left the 'horns' long since I wasn't sure how much to cut, and whether I even like riding with bullhorns. I guess I do have cx brakes, these were on the flat bars, as were the shifters. the brakes are a little weird like this, but since i was only testing, i didn't want to bring it to my LSB get gouge for new brake cables.


Jackbe Nimble: I DO like your set up. Do you recall the make and model of the brakes? Also, how did you find the reach?

Anyone in NYC can recommend good reasonable mechanics?
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Old 10-24-09, 01:11 PM
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OK let me try again for the photos. . .

https://picasaweb.google.com/lan.thao...40936586243170
https://picasaweb.google.com/lan.thao...40930578819426

https://picasaweb.google.com/lan.thao...40924074272530

https://picasaweb.google.com/lan.thao...40919502859106
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Old 10-24-09, 01:12 PM
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/Users/lt/Desktop/IMG_1318.JPG
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Old 10-24-09, 02:01 PM
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Well, I have no further comments on your handlebar questions but I can probably tell you why you have numb hands simply from the photo of your bike. Tilt the front of your saddle up, at least until it's level. With that downward tilt, you are forcing more of your weight on to your hands instead of supporting it with your butt on the saddle.
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Old 10-24-09, 07:24 PM
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The tilt may be neccessary due to how l&t is built. On my bikes with my apparently skinny butt I need to tilt the saddle much like he has done to avoid pressure on the soft naughty bits. I've tried running the saddles more level but it consistently results in some numbness. So not everyone should have level saddles.

L&T, what you have there is sort of like I did with one bike. I'm using road style levers but I hogged out some MTB thumb shifter mounts and installed them on drop bars in close to the stem just like you did. It's kludgy but it works. Not sure I like the levers as shown. It look like quite the reach to them. Some proper kinked, rather than curved, bullhorns and TT levers along with your thumb shifters would not be a bad setup. And get some spongy bar "cork" tape. The extra padding and broader contact area may well be all you need to get rid of some of that hand numbness. Especially with the cold coming.
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Old 10-24-09, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Lmao @ that setup. Whatever works for you I guess. Most people would have a problem with that type of lever reach.
Oh really? Are you sure that the hand position vs. brake lever isn't almost identical to the position on top of brake hoods using STIs? Because that's what it felt like to me, and I don't have huge hands or anything. The shifters are also in a good place to be used easily.

Actually, I had trouble not endo-ing when I first started riding that bike. My main road bike, which I'd been using almost exclusively for a year before I finished the bullhorn bike, had Campy Ergo levers with long reach brakes to let me use fenders (Seattle weather bike). The tradeoff in that arrangement is that you get lower mechanical advantage, and you have to pull the levers harder to get the same braking. When I started using the bullhorn setup, it was with Campy Veloce dual pivot brakes and those interrupter levers, so I damn near killed myself because I jammed on the levers really hard when I went to stop the first few times.

The model of brake levers is almost irrelevant since they're all almost the same shape between brands. I was using a pair from Origin 8, but you could get by with almost anything.

I used actual bullhorn bars, but if you played with them on your clip-n-flip bars for awhile you could probably make it work. I spent quite awhile playing with mine while I was building it. Its also great practice for working on your bike.
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Old 10-24-09, 07:50 PM
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Jack, I've never seen a set of bars with the curve that isn't ovalized in the curved area. So sadly l&t won't be putting any barcons into the ends of his clipn'flip bars any time soon.

I actually really like your setup other than my concern over the issue of the cable going through a cyclic bending at the end thimble due to those levers not having a pivoting block. Keep a close eye on them for signs of fraying right where the cable meets the end thimble and be ready to replace them quite often.
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Old 10-24-09, 10:30 PM
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I hadn't thought about the tube being ovalized at the bend. If he cut them again so that the bend from the drops was almost gone, it might work. Then again, if he cuts them and it doesn't work, then he's got a cut up pair of handlebars and still doesn't have the setup he wants.

I actually sold that bike a few weeks ago, but I will pass on your concern to the guy who bought it. I didn't have it long enough or ride it enough to have any problems myself, but I'd hate for someone to get hurt because of my work.
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Old 10-25-09, 10:59 AM
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Yes, the tilt of the seat maybe too much for some, but it has been adjusted and re-adjusted over the years as I ride. The bike was bought new in '95 so we've done a lot of miles together. It never feels right when the seat is level; guess I too have a skinny butt. Maybe I'll try to change the level little by little and see how it feels on the palms.

Yes, bar tapes will go on with inner tubes under it as well once I have the set up right. Right now I ride with thick beefy gloves. Naked bar is just so wrong, IMO.

I think the idea of cutting the bars at the bends sounds possible. I haven't noticed that I want to reach that far up anyway. The bar is free from the LBS I am OK with trying things out so that it will fit me and my humble wallet.

I'll be on the look out for those cx levers then. Hopefully they'll work for these small girlish hands of mine. Will post photos once I have it done.

Thanks all!!
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