Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

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531colin
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Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby 531colin » 14 Apr 2017, 9:46pm

Arthritis has taken its toll....I can no longer hang off the hoods on my thumbs to brake.
I'm damned if I'm going to let arthritic thumbs stop me riding, and I can't bear crosstop brake levers (hands too close together, not enough reach) so it has to be different handlebars.
I'm not a big fan of flat bars, I can't get a long enough reach; I did put a pair of flats on my longest bike....still not enough reach with 120mm stem, and after an hour or so it felt like the bars were trying to separate my thumbs from my hands, so its bullbars for me.
On my drops, I mostly ride on the hoods.....or, to be precise, I mostly ride with the heel of my hand resting on the "ramps"....the bit of bar just behind the hoods....and my fingers on the hoods....I go forward properly onto the hoods if i'm trying (a bit!). I rarely ride on either the tops or the drops.
I found i can more or less reproduce those two hand positions on bullbars.
So, where to start? Lots of photos, the originals are here if you want bigger pictures...https://www.flickr.com/photos/52358536@N06/albums/72157679283189724/with/33905566821/

Riders eye view of the complete article.....Image

and from the side.....Image

The mountainbike bar ends aren't there for me to hold at all, they are there simply as a "guard".......i once hit a child pedestrian, and brake levers that way round are going to produce a penetrating injury; I'm not prepared to ride with them un-guarded.
First off, i tried the brake levers more conventionally mounted on the end of the bar where it kicks up, with the levers coming back towards me, but i didn't like that because there was nothing for me to pull back on when I wanted to "work the bars"; now i can hold the bit of bar that kicks up and pull back on that, or with my hands a bit further back, I have the hoods to pull against....

Image

I work the brakes like this.....Image

so my middle and third fingers do the braking....oddly enough, that was also the case braking on the drop bars....always from the hoods. But the great advantage is the heel of my hand is on the bars, I'm not hanging off my thumbs.

Gears are operated by bar end (or downtube) levers on home-made mounts; the levers need to be close enough to the bars so that I can reach them with thumb or fingers like this...Image

and this......Image

But they need to be far enough away to clear my hand even when the heel of my hand is resting on the bars..........

Image

The best way I found to get this was to make the mounts on an angle, this is seen better here in a part-assembled example, viewed directly from above........Image

Thats quite a big post, isn't it? I will do the construction of the lever mounts separately!

mattsccm
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby mattsccm » 14 Apr 2017, 10:07pm

Just interested, why not time trial style brake levers? Removes the need for your guards thus looking less messy. Also could the gear levers fit on the main bars? Have thought about the same type of set up for similar reasons but would like to include hydraulic discs

mattsccm
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby mattsccm » 14 Apr 2017, 10:08pm

Re read your post. I see why the gears levers are where they are.

Samuel D
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby Samuel D » 14 Apr 2017, 10:18pm

Sorry to hear about the progression of arthritis. I have an aunt who suffers similarly. It’s unpleasant.

This all looks very interesting and you have made good lever mounts there. I’m curious how you clamped them to the bars so tidily. But were you tempted to just use downtube levers instead?

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531colin
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby 531colin » 14 Apr 2017, 10:21pm

Don't think I can do reverse (time trial) levers and full-size vee brakes?
(I thought about making my own levers, but that would be even more bodgery.......)

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531colin
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby 531colin » 14 Apr 2017, 10:23pm

Samuel D wrote:Sorry to hear about the progression of arthritis. I have an aunt who suffers similarly. It’s unpleasant.

This all looks very interesting and you have made good lever mounts there. I’m curious how you clamped them to the bars so tidily. But were you tempted to just use downtube levers instead?


I used downtube levers for years, but now I'm used to having the things at my fingertips, its hard to go back. Still got one bike with downtube levers, though.
i will do a post on the construction of the lever mounts.

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531colin
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby 531colin » 14 Apr 2017, 10:49pm

OK, so, construction of the lever mounts...
.....the lever mounts to a bit of 1/2" square alloy bar.......Image

The end is filed down to fit the lever mount, they come in just under 12.2mm on my vernier.
The lever fixes with an M5 machine screw, longer than the original Shimano one.....I haven't tapped a thread in the alloy bar, i have just drilled it to take an M5 "cross dowel" happily 12mm long is a standard size.
The half inch bar is cross-drilled to take an M5 bolt for the band round the bars as well.
Heres a couple of them naked.......Image
Handlebar fixing is just like a brake lever......Image
....the threaded bit is another M5 cross dowel, 16mm long from memory; the band is a 21mm P clip in stainless from Westfield fasteners, who supplied all the stainless nuts and bolts. Alloy square tube and half inch bar came from Metals 4 U, the cross dowels came from a company called "bedslats".....I kid you not.
You need a cable stop..........Image
Heres how i made them.....
a couple of housebricks drilled 5mm act as a jig....Image
M5 cap head screw silver soldered to M5 button head screw....Image
cleaned up, and drilled for cable outer and inner....Image

And the bar ends need reaming out from 22 to 24 mm, and the brake levers need butchering to increase the reach (because they aren't on a curved bit of bar)

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robgul
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby robgul » 15 Apr 2017, 7:49am

Quick thoughts that perhaps may have made the whole thing simpler and quicker??

1 Chop & flip old drop bars to create bullhorns
2 Brake levers that "plug in" to the bullhorns, rear facing (I think mine are Tektro)
3 Shifters plugged into a suitable tube size cut-down pair of bar ends slipped along the bar (a bit levering required to open the clamp to clear the bends)
4 Off the shelf downtube stops fitted to an old band-on downtube lever set (just the band, levers removed - thin headed bolt from the tube-side, stop & nut then cut off flush)

That's it!

Rob

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531colin
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby 531colin » 15 Apr 2017, 8:07am

The easiest way I have seen to do shifters is to mount bar end levers in the 2 ends of a straight bit of bar, the bar attached either to an extra handlebar stem or to "Spinaci" type mounts on the handlebars. The bar end lever mount incorporates a cable stop.....or I could have made my brackets from round tube and plugged the bar end levers into the ends....or mounted the bar end levers in Spinaci brackets.....but instead, I put the levers where i wanted.
Reverse levers won't handle full-size Vee brakes, AFAIK.
Chopped/flipped drops have a short "ramp" to grip.....I would like the grip section longer than it is now, to get some variation in position.

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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby PH » 15 Apr 2017, 10:05am

Very creative, long may it work for you.
I'm lucky that the two positions I most use are easily replicated between drops and straight bars with bar ends. I can't have the controls accessible from both positions so it's always one or the other though that's never been an issue.

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Mick F
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby Mick F » 15 Apr 2017, 10:16am

Colin.
What are the handlebar ends for? The black handles, I mean.
Seems that they must be difficult to hold, so they must fulfil a different function.
Mick F. Cornwall

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 15 Apr 2017, 10:20am

Hi,
Looking at your complex setup 531colin, how would flat bars with bar end extensions and flat mtb trigger shifters fair :?:
The shifters with integral brake levers remain in their normal position of course.
Ignoring the problems with compatibility of shifters for a moment.
Sorry, I will reread your pots :(

Edited again-
Flat bars with bar ends like what I use give you all the positions and more.....but......you have to move your hands to brake.........
Last edited by NATURAL ANKLING on 15 Apr 2017, 10:24am, edited 2 times in total.
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Samuel D
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby Samuel D » 15 Apr 2017, 10:21am

He says why above, Mick. He once ran into a child and doesn’t want to skewer someone with an unprotected brake lever if that happens again.

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Mick F
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby Mick F » 15 Apr 2017, 10:27am

Ah.
Should have read properly! :oops:

Good idea. Sort of bumper bar to remove the pointy bits.
Just imaging having bar-end shifters sticking out front. :shock:
Mick F. Cornwall

Norman H
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Re: Bullbars.....(Show us yours?)

Postby Norman H » 15 Apr 2017, 10:43am

I experimented with bull bars a while back on one of my touring bikes. In the end I abandoned the idea because I wasn't as comfortable descending. On downhills that require firm braking for corners I prefer to ride on the drops as it allows me to brace against the braking force and slide back on the saddle. Bull bars felt less secure in such circumstances.

Incidentally, I solved the problem of TT levers not having the correct cable pull for V brakes by using cross top levers reversed, so to speak, with the nipple against the adjuster.