Author Topic: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike  (Read 1422 times)

Porkins

  • Formerly Nick H. And a long time ago etc, Eurostar
Say you have a road bike and you ditch the drop bars and brifters for bullhorn bars and some good TT brake levers....



What's it like controlling the bike? Would it be dangerous on a fast descent, or when emergency braking in traffic?  TT riders seem to crash a lot on twisty road courses, which makes me think of their bikes as hard to control, but maybe that's just because of the geometry? 

Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2020, 08:50:18 pm »
No different from riding a road bike on the hoods, and you have easier access to the higher leverage far end of the lever.

TT riders crash a lot because they're cornering as fast as they possibly can.

Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2020, 08:50:34 pm »
Same as riding on the tops, really.

TT riders will have TT bars, maybe they crash more while using those? Plus head down is more aero.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2020, 08:50:52 pm »
Some folk do lots of riding on bull horns. Mal Volio (formerly OTP) preferred it to drops.

TT bikes are optimised for going in a straight line regardless of aero wheels and crosswinds. That tends to cause problems on tricky corners.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2020, 08:56:51 pm »
not sure what the stats are (or if that is actually the case), but my guess would be too high a speed for the conditions combined with reduced braking performance due to rider (centre of gravity) being positioned more towards the front - easier to go over the bars in emergency braking.

Porkins

  • Formerly Nick H. And a long time ago etc, Eurostar
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2020, 09:01:24 pm »
Thanks everyone. I'm specing my Dream Tourer. I already use clip-on TT bars for touring, and I love them. I have drop bars and ordinary brake levers and I'm imagining the Dream Tourer with bar end shifters on the clip-ons, and bullhorn bars with TT brake levers. Cheaper, lighter, elegant.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2020, 09:03:30 pm »
#testergoestouring  :thumbsup:

Porkins

  • Formerly Nick H. And a long time ago etc, Eurostar
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2020, 09:09:19 pm »
#lasygitwholiesdowngoestouring

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2020, 09:53:45 pm »
flat bars and bar ends?
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2020, 10:09:47 pm »
not sure what the stats are (or if that is actually the case), but my guess would be too high a speed for the conditions combined with reduced braking performance due to rider (centre of gravity) being positioned more towards the front - easier to go over the bars in emergency braking.

Maybe tt specialists would disagree but I think that disc wheels are not very easy to keep in contact with the road which might make staying upright a bit more difficult. It's just the impression I get watching them.

Say you have a road bike and you ditch the drop bars and brifters for bullhorn bars and some good TT brake levers....



What's it like controlling the bike? Would it be dangerous on a fast descent, or when emergency braking in traffic?  TT riders seem to crash a lot on twisty road courses, which makes me think of their bikes as hard to control, but maybe that's just because of the geometry? 

Where are you planning to put the shifters? Job made for electronic shifting if you can stick the buttons anywhere (à la Mavic) I don't know how easy it is to do that with modern electronic shifters like Di2

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2020, 10:32:06 pm »
Say you have a road bike and you ditch the drop bars and brifters for bullhorn bars and some good TT brake levers....



What's it like controlling the bike? Would it be dangerous on a fast descent, or when emergency braking in traffic?  TT riders seem to crash a lot on twisty road courses, which makes me think of their bikes as hard to control, but maybe that's just because of the geometry?

I have them on my bike, mechanical disk brakes, with Ultegra TT brake leavers, on a Profile design aluminium base bar. They work well, I don't notice any less control than my old drop bars. If anything it's easier to grab the brakes than it was when riding on the hoods before. I swapped because in the whole time I'd had the drops, I'd used them exactly once.

J

--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Porkins

  • Formerly Nick H. And a long time ago etc, Eurostar
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2020, 10:41:55 pm »
I'm not keen on electronic. Not that I'm ruling it out completely. But I'm thinking Dura Ace 11 speed bar end shifters in the tri bars, which are Profile Carbon Stryke.  The whole setup would be very similar to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWagDiFFv2E

If I went electronic, there are TT brake levers with gear buttons. Pretty nifty. https://alexscycle.com/products/shimano-dura-ace-st-r9160-di2-tt-shifter-brake-lever-set


Porkins

  • Formerly Nick H. And a long time ago etc, Eurostar
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2020, 11:06:05 pm »
If anything it's easier to grab the brakes than it was when riding on the hoods before. I swapped because in the whole time I'd had the drops, I'd used them exactly once.

J

That's good to hear. Shimano brifters seem to be for really long fingers. I don't want to move from hoods to drops to get to the brakes.

Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2020, 07:29:08 am »
I'm not keen on electronic. Not that I'm ruling it out completely. But I'm thinking Dura Ace 11 speed bar end shifters in the tri bars, which are Profile Carbon Stryke.  The whole setup would be very similar to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWagDiFFv2E

If I went electronic, there are TT brake levers with gear buttons. Pretty nifty. https://alexscycle.com/products/shimano-dura-ace-st-r9160-di2-tt-shifter-brake-lever-set

Looks like the sort of set up you see in some of the longer gravel races. Very nice.

robgul

  • Cycle:End-to-End webmaster
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Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2020, 07:57:17 am »
I rode my fixie quite a bit with "chop and flip" bars (i.e. drops cut down to be like bullhorns) with TT levers.   

No real issues although perhaps a little twitchy compared with regular bars.    [I rode the London Sightseer Audax on this bike at least 3 times - fixed is the ideal machine for an almost flat ride, with the benefit of better (for me!) acceleration from the frequent traffic lights]

Rob

Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2020, 08:57:24 am »
TT bikes don't crash a lot. If you want to see bikes crashing, go to a crit!

The only issue I can think of is if the levers are very narrow, as some are, they might not be as comfortable to use.  But wider ones are available.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2020, 09:11:53 am »
Most British TT courses are boring as hell, so crashing takes real talent. Hold TTs on a crit course in windy conditions and crashes become much more common. Send road bike riders round a crit course solo and crashes become less common.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=S-JsDifpW9M
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2020, 09:41:43 am »
My only major crash has been on a TT bike but it involved a level crossing and the fact it was a TT bike might have not been relevant.

I have also experienced very high speeds on a TT bike in a long distance triathlon in Switzerland. I averaged 88km/h for one 5km split with a top speed of 111km/h and was very frightening. You get to a certain speed where it is too scary to let go of the aero bars to reach for the brakes and you just get faster and faster. For the fastest part my cadence was 0, watts 0, heart rate 187.


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Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2020, 10:49:13 am »
Most British TT courses are boring as hell, so crashing takes real talent. Hold TTs on a crit course in windy conditions and crashes become much more common. Send road bike riders round a crit course solo and crashes become less common.

Yes, it's about the context, much more than the bike.

To illustrate, in our TTs at Hillingdon, which is a windy crit course, in the last 10 years, with 10 events per year, so 100 events with average entry over that period of maybe 35 riders, so 3,500 rides of 11 laps of 1.5km, so over 50,000km - I can recall only one rider crashing. 
That was about three years ago, due to a handling error, losing control on the hairpin bend on a fairly windy day, with other bikes around. 

Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2020, 02:31:00 pm »
Amusingly, those levers were originally designed to go on flat bars for Chinese utility bikes.

And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2020, 03:06:25 pm »
To illustrate, in our TTs at Hillingdon

By TT crash, I presumed the OP meant pros hurtling into metal crowd barriers while negotiating sharp bends in alpine towns and ending their seasons.

Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2020, 05:54:33 pm »
I'm one of the very few with a Metrea setup, which has a brifter in a hydraulic brake format, as in the pic. It's the ultimate "bullhorn" style for control, but I wouldn't want it for touring, even though it has very flat tops, the lack of hand positions as compared to drops would annoy me.


Porkins

  • Formerly Nick H. And a long time ago etc, Eurostar
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2020, 07:06:07 pm »
When you add clip-ons with comfy elbow rests, hand positions on the bars become a lot less important.

Porkins

  • Formerly Nick H. And a long time ago etc, Eurostar
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2020, 10:26:31 pm »
I've been imagining this sort of multi-adjustable pointy-uppy setup:



But the more usual TT or Tri approach is a flatter product with less adjustment, such as this one:




What does the panel think? This is for comfy and efficient touring. I like to be comfy but I object to wasting energy by being non-aero. I like the kit used by those mental endurance record setters, but I'd only do 80-100 miles per day.


LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Control & safety with bullhorn bars & TT brake levers on a road bike
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2020, 10:28:32 pm »
Top picture of the three is the only way to go.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...