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1972 Schwinn Super Sport project and info

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1972 Schwinn Super Sport project and info

Old 09-28-22, 03:14 PM
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Velo Mule
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1972 Schwinn Super Sport project and info

I've been on the lookout for one of the fillet brazed Schwinn bikes or even just a frame for some time. I picked this up recently locally.


It is in good condition considering that it is 50 years old. Some parts have been changed. The seat, front derailleur, rear derailleur, shifter, 5 speed freewheel are different than original, chain and of course tires. It had a sticker from Al's Cycle Center in Amityville, so I suspect that they were the people responsible for the new parts to get it to be a riding bike again. They sell used bikes in addition to parts and service.

I will be working on this and posting what I learn. I am using this as a project build thread and hopefully also a resource into some details of a 1972 Schwinn Super Sport.

Schwinn calls the color Opaque Blue. The frame size is 24".

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Old 09-28-22, 03:28 PM
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Very nice. Not sure, but 72 may be the first year for that color. Lots of info here if you search, as these are very loved bikes. I’m surprised at the FD replacement, as the stock one works well. Same for the iconic stock “twin stick” shifters. The rd replacement is a good call. Others will chime in with encouragement and positive stories. Welcome to the SS club.
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Old 09-28-22, 03:40 PM
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While I know that the picture above shows paint that looks pretty good with only some marking on the chainstay, there are plenty of paint chips to take care of.





Surprisingly this frame looks like it either never had a rear rack or if it did it was a Schwinn Approved rack that mounted to the seat clamp, because there is no paint damage were a rack would be mounted on the seat stays. It appears as if the rider encountered a freshly painted white line on the road, since there is white paint that has been thrown up from the tires.

Sorry for the out of focus picture. It would be hard to get through 50 years without some paint chips to the top tube. The pedals are not original, but they have that Schwinn rat trap pedal character. My phone camera thought the pedal, or the deck was more important than the top tube. The pedal may end up on my Schwinn Continental. I will have to keep an eye out for MKS Sylvan Touring or similar pedal in 1/2" threading.


My deck could use a pressure wash and a new coat of deck stain, but I'm too busy working on a bike to do that.
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Old 09-28-22, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
Very nice. Not sure, but 72 may be the first year for that color. Lots of info here if you search, as these are very loved bikes. I’m surprised at the FD replacement, as the stock one works well. Same for the iconic stock “twin stick” shifters. The rd replacement is a good call. Others will chime in with encouragement and positive stories. Welcome to the SS club.
Thanks. And I agree about the shifters and derailleurs. On my Continental, which came with the Schwinn Approved Huret front and rear derailleur, and Twin Stik shifter, I only replaced the rear derailleur.

The one small issue with the Twin Stick shifters is that sometime they slip. Even when I worked in the Schwinn dealer, I had to be careful about tightening the wingnut on the side of the shifter. I would often see these wingnuts broken on bikes coming in. Maybe it needs valve lapping compound or toothpaste in there to create more friction. I'm not going to do that, although a minty fresh Twin Stik shifter has some appeal.

I have been thinking of stopping by Al's Cycle Center to see what they have. Anyone selling used bikes has a stash of parts. Maybe I can even buy the ones that came off this bike. B17???
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Old 09-28-22, 07:17 PM
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Might want to check the "twin stick" for excess lube.
Nice bike!
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Old 09-29-22, 09:19 PM
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I mixed up some paint to fill in the chips. Since I am a cheapskate, I mixed Rustoleum White with Testors medium blue. Don't do what I do. But I would have to make a trip and spend money verses using what I have on hand. I think I did a good job mixing the paint. I tested the match on the steerer tube.



I know it is not perfect, but it is close. If I kept trying I would go too far one way or another and I was going to loose natural light. That was the mix that I used.



You may notice that you can see the darker touch up spots, particulaly on the seat tube. Perhaps the paint on the frame is lighter than the paint in the steerer tube? This is still an improvement over having chips. The picture above is after I sanded the bike to level the paint. I started with 800 grit wet sanding, then 1000, 2000 and finally 3000 grit. When using the 2000 and 3000 grit I sanded lightly over the decals and the the starburst on the fork. The starburst on the fork is a silkscreen application while the Downtube graphics and the Schwinn Quality graphic on the seat tube are water slide decals.

It may not show it in the picture, but the frame now has a dull sheen from the final 3000 grit sandpaper.



Now is when the decision have to start getting made. Do I clear coat this? I've got the tools and experience to do this with a 2K clear coat, and I have the clear coat too. Or should I just polish it and wax it? Then what is the exact plan for this bike? Restoration? Do I start searching for Hunt-Wilde Opaque Blue handle bar tape? Keep the turkey levers on it and let it sit in my garage because I mostly ride with my hands on the hoods and these "Safety Levers" get in the way? Do I do a resto-mod and put Velo Orange Postino handlebars on it? What about bullhorn handlebars? I've been itching to try a pair.

So far, I'm thinking of keeping the crank, cobbling together a 14 to 32 SunTour freewheel to make the dork disk look better, and getting a B17 saddle in black. The handlebars, I'm not so sure about yet. I rode it as shown above and wasn't impressed enough to say that I have to keep the Randonneur handlebars. The wheels are in good enough condition that I will stick with what I have, perhaps respoking with stainless spokes later. Fenders? Probably. Almost all of my bikes have fenders. They are not just for rain.

These, of course, are good problems to have.

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Old 10-01-22, 08:48 PM
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While I had the frame only available, I thought that I would get some measurements. The problem with these measurements is that this is done with a tape measure and a Apple phone (case removed). So it may not be accurate. Some measurement are better than others. For instance I was trying to get the bottom bracket drop and using a level. but just a small change from out of level can create an error.

To me the most curious measurement is the head tube and seat tube angles. I got the HT at 73 and the ST at 71 degrees. I expected them to be parallel. I rechecked it and it still measured the same. I tried searching the internet for the frame specifications on the Super Sport, but did not find anything. I am not member of BikeCAD. If there is someone that has done a more precise job than me and you have access to it, please just let me know what these angles might be or where I might have gone wrong. Yes. perhaps using the iPhone may not be the best, but it did repeat. I have a Harbor Freight digital angle finder that needs new batteries that if needed, I could remeasure with new batteries. Those damn coin batteries. They are inexpensive in bulk but expensive when purchasing then individually.

Edit: Angles were remeasured with a digital angle finder. They are Head Tube = 73 degrees, Seat Tube = 73 degrees.



Tubing diameter was done with an inexpensive digital caliper. All tube measurements include the paint thickness, except the steerer tube.

The drawing above includes an error on the seat tube inside diameter, because I have since measured the seat post at 26.93mm or 1.060". There is some distortion at the top of the seat tube from being clamped.

Once I get the bike back together, I will get the wheelbase, unless someone can provide it, especially if it is directly from Schwinn.

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Old 10-01-22, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
...
Once I get the bike back together, I will get the wheelbase, unless someone can provide it, especially if it is directly from Schwinn.
41" C-C. (1973 24" Opaque Green Super Sport.)
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Old 10-02-22, 05:06 AM
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Others have posted 73 degrees for both head tube and seat tube. Your pic does seem to show the seat tube being more relaxed. Perhaps @DougFattic is still working on the ones he is painting and has measurements from his frame table.
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Old 10-02-22, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
Others have posted 73 degrees for both head tube and seat tube. Your pic does seem to show the seat tube being more relaxed. Perhaps @DougFattic is still working on the ones he is painting and has measurements from his frame table.
I won't be able to put one of the Super Sports (that I am using as learning-to-paint projects for a couple of students) on my frame fixture to find its dimensions for awhile. There was a subject thread last year that both sd5782 and I participated in where I was able to repair a SS fork that the owner really damaged when he tried to free a stem. This is what I wrote: "I just measured my 1965 Super Sport and it has a fork rake of 2" (to give the proper trail for its 72º head angle). The distance from the center of the brake hole to the center of the wheel axle is 372 mms. The steerer length is 187mm long."

His frame was also a 24". My ability to measure the fork rake is pretty precise so I'm confident the rake was really 2" but that doesn't mean it came brand new from the factory at 2". I don't remember how I measured the angles. I might have used a protractor with a bubble level that isn't as precise as when I put it on my fixture. For some reason I thought Super Sports were 72º parallel.

Here are pictures of my 1972 Italian Masi on my fixture to discover its dimensions. I did this for one of my framebuilding colleagues that wanted to recreate a Masi like he had when he was young.

How a frame fits on my laser cut and etched Ukrainian made fixture

These markings tell me that the BB drop is 75mm

In this case my 72 Masi has a seat tube angle of 72 1/2º

The center to center seat tube length is 55.7mm
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Old 10-02-22, 04:28 PM
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Thanks @Doug Fattic . The head tube at 72 degrees and seat tube at 72 degrees makes sense. I think that my iPhone may be repeatable, but not accurate for some reason. I will have to get some coin batteries and recheck with the digital angle finder. CR2032 x 3.
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Old 10-02-22, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
I mixed up some paint to fill in the chips. Since I am a cheapskate, I mixed Rustoleum White with Testors medium blue. Don't do what I do. But I would have to make a trip and spend money verses using what I have on hand. I think I did a good job mixing the paint. I tested the match on the steerer tube.



I know it is not perfect, but it is close. If I kept trying I would go too far one way or another and I was going to loose natural light. That was the mix that I used.



You may notice that you can see the darker touch up spots, particulaly on the seat tube. Perhaps the paint on the frame is lighter than the paint in the steerer tube? This is still an improvement over having chips. The picture above is after I sanded the bike to level the paint. I started with 800 grit wet sanding, then 1000, 2000 and finally 3000 grit. When using the 2000 and 3000 grit I sanded lightly over the decals and the the starburst on the fork. The starburst on the fork is a silkscreen application while the Downtube graphics and the Schwinn Quality graphic on the seat tube are water slide decals.

It may not show it in the picture, but the frame now has a dull sheen from the final 3000 grit sandpaper.



Now is when the decision have to start getting made. Do I clear coat this? I've got the tools and experience to do this with a 2K clear coat, and I have the clear coat too. Or should I just polish it and wax it? Then what is the exact plan for this bike? Restoration? Do I start searching for Hunt-Wilde Opaque Blue handle bar tape? Keep the turkey levers on it and let it sit in my garage because I mostly ride with my hands on the hoods and these "Safety Levers" get in the way? Do I do a resto-mod and put Velo Orange Postino handlebars on it? What about bullhorn handlebars? I've been itching to try a pair.

So far, I'm thinking of keeping the crank, cobbling together a 14 to 32 SunTour freewheel to make the dork disk look better, and getting a B17 saddle in black. The handlebars, I'm not so sure about yet. I rode it as shown above and wasn't impressed enough to say that I have to keep the Randonneur handlebars. The wheels are in good enough condition that I will stick with what I have, perhaps respoking with stainless spokes later. Fenders? Probably. Almost all of my bikes have fenders. They are not just for rain.

These, of course, are good problems to have.

What super sport seat junction looks like
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Old 10-02-22, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
While I know that the picture above shows paint that looks pretty good with only some marking on the chainstay, there are plenty of paint chips to take care of.





Surprisingly this frame looks like it either never had a rear rack or if it did it was a Schwinn Approved rack that mounted to the seat clamp, because there is no paint damage were a rack would be mounted on the seat stays. It appears as if the rider encountered a freshly painted white line on the road, since there is white paint that has been thrown up from the tires.

Sorry for the out of focus picture. It would be hard to get through 50 years without some paint chips to the top tube. The pedals are not original, but they have that Schwinn rat trap pedal character. My phone camera thought the pedal, or the deck was more important than the top tube. The pedal may end up on my Schwinn Continental. I will have to keep an eye out for MKS Sylvan Touring or similar pedal in 1/2" threading.


My deck could use a pressure wash and a new coat of deck stain, but I'm too busy working on a bike to do that.

Pretty impressed how this product worked on my deck. Back to wrenching on bikes in no time
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Old 10-02-22, 07:53 PM
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Velo mule, great looking super sport your working on. Schwinn paint comes back to life with little effort. I know this bc stripping Schwinn paint is really tough! Hang onto that front gear changer because the seat tube is larger diameter than other bikes. Lots of great builds of these bikes on here. Cheers, Kevin.
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Old 10-03-22, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Kdogbikes View Post
Velo mule, great looking super sport your working on. Schwinn paint comes back to life with little effort. I know this bc stripping Schwinn paint is really tough! Hang onto that front gear changer because the seat tube is larger diameter than other bikes. Lots of great builds of these bikes on here. Cheers, Kevin.
Thanks Kdogbikes. Unfortunately, I don't have the original front derailleur. The interesting thing is that I believe that a local bike shop that deals in used bikes upgraded the rear derailleur and decided to change the front derailleur and shifter so that they matched same group as the new rear derailleur. I may at some point stop in there because any shop selling used bikes has a stash of parts. So, I may be able to reunite some items. We will see.

I purchased batteries and the digital angle finder seems to work much better than the iPhone and provide better resolution.

Head Tube Angle: 73.1 degrees
Seat Tube Angle: 73.1 degrees
Note: I had the top tube leveled at 0.00 degrees

I'm a little surprised that it was not the angle that @Doug Fattic posted. But it confirms that the head tube and the seat tube is parallel. Is is possible that Doug's example is earlier and the geometry changed to be slightly more upright?
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Old 10-03-22, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
Thanks Kdogbikes. Unfortunately, I don't have the original front derailleur. The interesting thing is that I believe that a local bike shop that deals in used bikes upgraded the rear derailleur and decided to change the front derailleur and shifter so that they matched same group as the new rear derailleur. I may at some point stop in there because any shop selling used bikes has a stash of parts. So, I may be able to reunite some items. We will see.

I purchased batteries and the digital angle finder seems to work much better than the iPhone and provide better resolution.

Head Tube Angle: 73.1 degrees
Seat Tube Angle: 73.1 degrees
Note: I had the top tube leveled at 0.00 degrees

I'm a little surprised that it was not the angle that @Doug Fattic posted. But it confirms that the head tube and the seat tube is parallel. Is is possible that Doug's example is earlier and the geometry changed to be slightly more upright?
It is quite possible that your readings are correct. Your method appears to be more accurate than the one I used. It has been some time since I checked and when I did, I think I used the protractor that comes with a machinist set. I place the unit against the seat and or head tube. It works like a level and when I get the bubble to be exactly between the two lines, I can read what mark lines up with the line representing each degree on the protractor circle. It is not a precise way of measuring. It assumes the frame with wheels was on a dead level surface. Eventually when we get back home again, I'll put one of the Super Sport frames we are painting on my fixture to get more accurate readings of the geometry. We are painting several, 2 from the middle sixties, 2 from the 70's and a step through. I can see if they were the same geo every year.

I was also influenced by my fork fake SS measurement. I needed to get that right when I realigned the one that was totally messed up. Using one of my other forks as the datum, the measurement while being held in my fork alignment fixture came right out to 2". That is a common rake when the head angle is 72º. 1 3/4" is more common for a 73º head angle. However the Masi in my picture above had a head angle of 73º and a fork rake of 50mm. All will be revealed when I get back to the shop.
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Old 10-04-22, 05:49 AM
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Steerer tube paint was less exposed to sun, did not fade as much as remainder of bike. Matching to touch up in middle of a color field is much more revealing than getting a match for full repaint.

If I saw your match painted on a wall with no bike involved I would immediately think "Schwinn Sky Blue".
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Old 10-04-22, 09:02 AM
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Question; how long was that a cataloged color for Schwinn? I’m not sure, but I think it came out in 1972. I have 1973 bikes. I don’t think it lasted much past that. It was very popular where I live on SuperSports and Continentals.
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Old 10-04-22, 10:58 AM
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You had posted above that you thought that the first year for Opaque Blue was 1972 and looking through the catalogs, it looks like you are right @sd5782 . It was also the first year for the less popular Opaque Green. They didn't last long. Opaque looks like it was 1972 only. Opaque Blue went from 1972 to 1973 on the Super Sport and 1973 to 1974 on the Continental.

It would have been better to match the paint to the frame rather than the steerer tube since the exposed paint on the frame may have faded.

I have decided that to compound and polish the paint. It looking better. I'll post pictures when the weather improves.
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Old 10-04-22, 02:07 PM
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I have not been able to find the opaque blue standard plastic handlebar tape either for a restoration. I do very poorly with paint matching, but got lucky on mine. I used that Testors blue you tried and perhaps mixed in some white. Just a lucky try on my part.

73 Super Sport
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Old 10-06-22, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
I have not been able to find the opaque blue standard plastic handlebar tape either for a restoration. I do very poorly with paint matching, but got lucky on mine. I used that Testors blue you tried and perhaps mixed in some white. Just a lucky try on my part.

73 Super Sport
Wow, that touch up looks great. I cannot see it. The paint looks perfect.

The calipers are cleaned up now. These are Weinmann made and branded as Schwinn Approved. The fronts are 610mm reach and the rear 750mm reach. I somehow managed to loose the straddle cable, at least for now. It has to be around here somewhere.



The Shimano front derailleur that came with the bike doesn't fit the seat tube properly, Neither do any of the other 28.6mm clamp size front derailleurs that I have. I know the tube size is supposed to be 1-1/8" , however, when I measured it is larger at 29.55mm. I think I am going to have to get the GT295 Schwinn Approved Huret front derailleur. I visited the bike shop that had sold this bike at some point in the past, however they only had the front derailleur for a Varsity/Continental/Suburban. I bought new Sunlite brake pads while I was there because they looked just like the original pads.
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Old 10-06-22, 01:06 PM
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For the most part, I’ve had good luck with that Huret front dr. One I had on a 72 SS was a bit finicky, but several others have been fine.
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Old 10-06-22, 03:46 PM
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I agree @sd5782 . The old Huret shifts good on the front of the Schwinn Continental. The front derailleur just shoves the chain, so it is not the most precision instrument. I think the bulged side plate chains that are so common now help front derailleurs shift easier.

I have a Schwinn GT295 on on the way.

Somewhere in my parts stash is a Schwinn Twin Stik stem shifter with the cable end stuck in it.
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Old 10-11-22, 10:29 AM
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The frame and most of the components are cleaned up now. I purchased a new GT295 Schwinn Approved front derailleur. This fits better than the 26.8mm ones that I seemed to have accumulated. The frame has been sanded, compounded, polished and waxed. The touch up paint is still visible, but it is an improvement over seeing the primer or steel.



The SunTour freewheel has been cobbled together out of cogs and a body that I had saved. Since the cogs are clean you may notice that they are different colored. The key is having a 32 tooth cog so that the big spoke protector/dork disk doesn't look too gigantic. The Super Sport originally came with a 32 tooth big cog.



I had both white and ice grey cable housing. I tried the white first, but didn't like it. To me it was just too much white. So, Ice Grey it was. That always works well on older Schwinns because it is similar to what they used at the time.



The "Schwinn Super Sport" decals are water slides, however the star on the fork is a silkscreen. So the sanding and polishing took off some of the white paint on the fork.

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Old 11-04-22, 11:44 PM
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Bullhorn handle bar experiment

The Super Sport originally came with Randonneur handlebars in 1972. Some people like them, I don't get them. At least not yet. The half inch rise doesn't seem to accomplish anything for me and these particular ones are 38cm wide outside to outside. I have been thinking about bullhorn bars for some time and if there is any bike that would be good for bullhorn bars this might be it.

I know what you are thinking, but bull horn bars are not vintage and they are more common on single speed bikes. They are often described as "aggressive". But that doesn't make much sense. Bullhorn bars on time trial bikes are aggressive. On a vintage bike, they are like just the top portion of traditional drop bars. Since I spend 90 or more percent of the time on the tops nowadays, bullhorn bars make sense for me to at least try out.

I don't want to just buy a set of bars and I didn't want to cut up an aluminum drop bar for this experiment, so I cut up a steel bar. I wanted a straight section right after the cut on the curve, so I welded a 25mm straight piece on and filed the welds smooth.



These are 41.5mm wide where my hands would be just before the brake levers.




This should work well with the brake levers. We will see how they feel and look and go from there.
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