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Bullhorn+STI okay for group rides?

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Bullhorn+STI okay for group rides?

Old 03-01-21, 06:34 PM
  #1  
cubewheels
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Bullhorn+STI okay for group rides?

I was contemplating on buying a bullhorn for my road bike for mainly two reasons - can't find 380mm wide dropbar with long reach within my budget and I don't really use the drops anyway.

However, there's plenty of bullhorns at my budget with the width and reach I need. If I get a bullhorn, I'll be installing it flipped upside down.

A bullhorn flipped is essentially a dropbar without the drops and with the STI installed in exactly the same position as you would in a regular dropbar, it would be held in exactly the same way when riding "in the hoods" as would in a regular dropbar.

However, would the thing disqualify me for group rides? I can't imagine how a bullhorn with an STI lever installed upright (same position as in dropbar) would be impaling anyone in an accident.
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Old 03-01-21, 06:51 PM
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You should ask the group you want to ride with. It would be ok with my club if you can handle the bike.
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Old 03-01-21, 06:55 PM
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In pre-COVID times there was a guy who would show up to the group rides run by our club with bullhorns on a flatbar, road-ish MTB setup. That was the least of our concerns. More that he'd ride erratically and do annoying stuff like park his bike on an entire bench when we'd stop for food so a bunch of people couldn't sit, randomly decide to ride on the wrong side of the road, and blow a snot rocket without looking back. He probably didn't show up at the beginning of any rides because you must sign a waiver and agreement to abide by the rules at the start.

In other words, your handlebars are probably the least of a group's worries, but whatever other eccentricities you have may be what gets frowned upon. Such as not using the drops on descents. Not sure how liability works in the Philippines, but it's that kind of thing that would give me pause if I were to see it in a tight paceline. I would not want someone losing control and flying off the bike, to their and/or my detriment.
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Old 03-01-21, 07:01 PM
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I think that the better question to ask might be, "why am I not using my drops?"
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Old 03-01-21, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
In pre-COVID times there was a guy who would show up to the group rides run by our club with bullhorns on a flatbar, road-ish MTB setup. That was the least of our concerns. More that he'd ride erratically and do annoying stuff like park his bike on an entire bench when we'd stop for food so a bunch of people couldn't sit, randomly decide to ride on the wrong side of the road, and blow a snot rocket without looking back. He probably didn't show up at the beginning of any rides because you must sign a waiver and agreement to abide by the rules at the start.

In other words, your handlebars are probably the least of a group's worries, but whatever other eccentricities you have may be what gets frowned upon. Such as not using the drops on descents. Not sure how liability works in the Philippines, but it's that kind of thing that would give me pause if I were to see it in a tight paceline. I would not want someone losing control and flying off the bike, to their and/or my detriment.
I've seen groups descend on the hoods especially on long descents, most probably numb hands.

We got very bumpy roads everwhere so riders are probably used to gripping the handlebar real good at all times regardless which part of the handlebar they're gripping.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I think that the better question to ask might be, "why am I not using my drops?"
My bike came with 420mm wide dropbar which I've always felt too wide for me.

I used to ride in the drops most of the time until I learned from another thread you can angle the hoods inwards which placed my hands closer together when holding the hoods as if riding with narrower handlebars.

I've never used the drops ever since. The inward angled hoods is just too comfortable to not ride in it all the time. Perhaps that might change if I managed to find a suitable and cheap 380mm alloy dropbar for my bike.

Last edited by cubewheels; 03-01-21 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I've seen groups descend on the hoods especially on long descents, most probably numb hands.

We got very bumpy roads everwhere so riders are probably used to gripping the handlebar real good at all times regardless which part of the handlebar they're gripping.
You don't need to grip the drops as hard to keep your hands from coming off, that's why they are significantly safer on descents.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
We got very bumpy roads everwhere so riders are probably used to gripping the handlebar real good at all times regardless which part of the handlebar they're gripping.
Sure, but that doesn't mean that all places on the handlebar are equally convenient to be gripping for hand security. The drops offer generally better security than most other positions on a drop bar, and they allow you to maintain a good grip on the bars while simultaneously having your index finger ready to use the brake lever with excellent leverage and without the other fingers interfering.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
We got very bumpy roads everwhere so riders are probably used to gripping the handlebar real good at all times regardless which part of the handlebar they're gripping.
If you think that your hoods are as secure as your drops, you haven't used your drops nearly enough.

Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
The inward angled hoods is just too comfortable to not ride in it all the time.
Then you should work on the rest of your setup. Drop bars should give you multiple viable hand positions for use in different situation - it's what they're there for; if they don't, you're doing something wrong.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Sure, but that doesn't mean that all places on the handlebar are equally convenient to be gripping for hand security. The drops offer generally better security than most other positions on a drop bar, and they allow you to maintain a good grip on the bars while simultaneously having your index finger ready to use the brake lever with excellent leverage and without the other fingers interfering.
I used to be on the drops most of the time because I did use the brakes a lot riding in busy city traffic most of the time.

Until I angled my hoods inwards, made it way more comfortable and also made the brake levers a lot easier to press without losing grip on the hoods.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you think that your hoods are as secure as your drops, you haven't used your drops nearly enough.
I did with the drops before, including emergency braking from 60 kph where my rear wheel have started to get off the ground.

I simply found I can have the same braking performance and safety on the hoods with a few tweaks.

I do understand now how it would make others feel uneasy or unsafe around me if I'm in the group. I'll probably just wait for the 380mm dropbar to re-stock in our local outlets.


Then you should work on the rest of your setup. Drop bars should give you multiple viable hand positions for use in different situation - it's what they're there for; if they don't, you're doing something wrong.
Exactly why I bought dropbar bike in the first place. I still use the tops, ramps, and of course, the hoods.

Never going flatbar again.

Last edited by cubewheels; 03-01-21 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:54 PM
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Based on the replies, I have decided to just wait for the cheap 380mm wide drop bar to re-stock in our LBS and regional online stores! Thanks everyone!

Probably a long wait....hope not!!
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Old 03-01-21, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I simply found I can have the same braking performance and safety on the hoods with a few tweaks.
Nope.

From the drops, you fingers will be lower on the levers, which means that you need much less force/effort for the same braking power. You'd also have your thumbs hooked in a position where it'd be much more difficult for a bump to jolt your hand(s) upwards and make you completely lose your grip, unlike on the hoods. In groups, riding in the drops will also decrease the likelihood of your bars getting hooked by another rider (though I guess if you don't have drops, they can't get hooked).
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Old 03-01-21, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Nope.

From the drops, you fingers will be lower on the levers, which means that you need much less force/effort for the same braking power. You'd also have your thumbs hooked in a position where it'd be much more difficult for a bump to jolt your hand(s) upwards and make you completely lose your grip, unlike on the hoods. In groups, riding in the drops will also decrease the likelihood of your bars getting hooked by another rider (though I guess if you don't have drops, they can't get hooked).
I agree on all counts. Drops is safer but with the type of riding I do and the worst I could possibly encounter in group rides, the hoods is more than safe enough for me and I see most riders in groups spend most of their time in the hoods anyway.

Not to emulate bad riding habits but at least to know how much I'm going to be tolerated in groups.
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Old 03-02-21, 09:43 AM
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I would be highly suspicious of someone I didn't know showing up at a group ride with this bullhorn setup described in this thread.

I also am having a hard time envisioning how the hoods or brake levers on a standard shifter would even be usable when installed on a bullhorn handlebar. It seems like the hoods would be rotated so far down that they would be useless as a hand position, and the levers would be hanging down below the bars, making them difficult to reach.

I've only seen tt style brake levers on the ends of bullhorns, or the small levers that attach to the tops of the bar, or (more commonly) no brakes at all because they're installed on a fixie.
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Old 03-02-21, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post

A bullhorn flipped is essentially a dropbar without the drops and with the STI installed in exactly the same position as you would in a regular dropbar, it would be held in exactly the same way when riding "in the hoods" as would in a regular dropbar.
The bullhorn bars I'm familar with are definitely not the same as a dropbar without the drops, flipped over. Even if you flipped them over, the extensions are much longer, and the bar doesn't curve down. There is no way you'd get a standard brake shifter/hood to work on this in a reasonable position:


There are lots of fixed gear bikes out there where people have cut the drops off of standard drop bars and flipped them over to run ghetto/homemade bullhorns, but I've never anyone selling a bar that looked like that.

What you're describing in this thread sounds more like just cutting the drops off of a standard drop bar and keeping the brake hoods in their usual position. It would look something like this, which is a bike someone built specifically for Everesting and was looking to cut weight wherever they could, and found an extra 50 grams by sawing the ends off the drop bar. Note that the shape of the bar that extends below the hood is curved a lot more than the bullhorn above:
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Old 03-02-21, 10:30 AM
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Flipped drop bars

I think this is a common method off flipping the drop bars. I left enough of the drop to mount my mirror. This arrangement is a effort to fit the bike to my "Old Geezer" physical limitations. I would not be riding in a racing group, maybe a slow ride.
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Old 03-02-21, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I would be highly suspicious of someone I didn't know showing up at a group ride with this bullhorn setup described in this thread.
I've decided to just wait for the shops to re-stock their 380mm wide dropbars for that reason (as others pointed out as well).

If 380's were in stock that was certainly my first priority. I've only looked at bullhorns due to apparent out of stock situation of 380's

P.S. your 2nd photo "everesting example" that's the thing I have in mind. I'm aware with a bullhorn with less droop, the brake hoods will be sticking up higher and I'm just fine with that. I've already setup my hoods like that in my regular dropbar and didn't have any issue. I can still brake at the limit at the hoods. Don't mind the huge reach potential of bullhorn too as I have huge fore and aft adjustability with my saddle. Although pointless now as I have decided to just keep using my 420mm dropbar until the 380mm dropbar becomes available.
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Old 03-02-21, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Don't mind the huge reach potential of bullhorn too as I have huge fore and aft adjustability with my saddle.
*sigh*

You don't move your saddle to adjust reach.
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Old 03-02-21, 01:53 PM
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I feel bad for the bike fitters out there that stumble upon this one.
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Old 03-02-21, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Don't mind the huge reach potential of bullhorn too as I have huge fore and aft adjustability with my saddle.
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Old 03-02-21, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
*sigh*

You don't move your saddle to adjust reach.
You're right, my bad. Can't believe I said that.
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Old 03-02-21, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
You're right, my bad. Can't believe I said that.
To be clear, it is technically possible to address reach issues by moving the saddle. But a lot of other aspects of the fit are dependent on saddle position, so you're altering the entire fit by doing it. Put another way, it's an approach to fitting that causes you to lose control over the sort of fit that you're aiming for.

It's just a terrible order of operations, like buying a toaster and then searching for a house with a kitchen that matches it. It's technically doable, but you're making things harder on yourself and you're going to have a harder time coming to a satisfactory outcome.
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Old 03-02-21, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I feel bad for the bike fitters out there that stumble upon this one.
Definitely a mistake I cannot take back.

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Old 03-02-21, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
To be clear, it is technically possible to address reach issues by moving the saddle. But a lot of other aspects of the fit are dependent on saddle position, so you're altering the entire fit by doing it. Put another way, it's an approach to fitting that causes you to lose control over the sort of fit that you're aiming for.

It's just a terrible order of operations, like buying a toaster and then searching for a house with a kitchen that matches it. It's technically doable, but you're making things harder on yourself and you're going to have a harder time coming to a satisfactory outcome.
That's the thing, I never move my saddle fore and aft even if I'm doing tweaks on the handlebar that modifies reach.

Not sure why I said that, probably because I'm doing it to my bike, not with someone else's bike so if I make a mistake, I am only going to be accountable to myself.
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