Bullhorn conversion

TOM

Maximum Pace
#1
Been thinking about converting my titanium roadracer into a "minimalist commuter"...but am not really sure what the options are.:eek:

* I definitely want bullhorns a-la-Yellow Giant because reaching down the drops causes my backpack to get messed up with fluids dripping from my lunch bento...:D (i.e. need a more upright position)

* Was told by Hiroshi-san at c-speed, it would be very difficult (but not impossible) to convert into a fixed-gear bike (due to the vertical drops).

* Hiroshi-san also advised against going single-speed (too boring!:eek:) and recommended that I stay geared instead switching to "W-levers" (downtube levers)...unfortunately, my ti bike does not accept those levers (see pic below)

* I'm getting Nitto bullhorns RB-018 26.0mm(05/12) (NIT-B-RB018)
 カラー/サイズ:ガンメタ(アルマイト)/420mm but don't know which brakes/shifters will fit.

I would love to get some feedback/recommendations/ideas from people with experience in this field:).
Priorities are "sturdiness" & "mimimalistic looks"...

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi55.tinypic.com%2F32ztm5c.jpg&hash=733938090e0bcadccd0122015323b86b

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi52.tinypic.com%2F34nib81.jpg&hash=78607869d4d099ebdfe347386b9e43dc

YellowGiant's Commuter...not bad at all but personally don't like the shifters positioned that way...
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi56.tinypic.com%2Fxbfoeo.jpg&hash=00fe35a2309dd28ef362b1ac6e4c6fc9
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#2
Cool project, Tom!

On the subject of single speeds -- I have to say that turning my Bomber into a single speed (but not fixed) has been one of the best cycling decisions I've ever made.

My riding experience on that beast has been anything but boring. On that bike, there's no no shifting, no cycle computer to check, just pure riding. I have to say, it's a refreshing break from the "busy" navigation of my 11-speed carbon steed -- which I love just as much.

Tom, you've got a powerful stroke. Give that baby a big gear and you'll be getting great training in whenever you ride.

Just my two cents. I look forward to seeing what you do!

Deej
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#3
Thanks for the encouragement Deej! You were real impressive on your Bomber that day. Non-fixed single speed (i.e. singlespeed freewheel) is probably the answer in my case and you're right, it won't/shouldn't be boring :D

BTW....anyone experience with these so-called Single Speed Conversion Kits
(seems to be a big market in the States)

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi53.tinypic.com%2F2379dy.jpg&hash=b510616007c516f511409ab3fc9255d9


Cool project, Tom!

On the subject of single speeds -- I have to say that turning my Bomber into a single speed (but not fixed) has been one of the best cycling decisions I've ever made.

My riding experience on that beast has been anything but boring. On that bike, there's no no shifting, no cycle computer to check, just pure riding. I have to say, it's a refreshing break from the "busy" navigation of my 11-speed carbon steed -- which I love just as much.

Tom, you've got a powerful stroke. Give that baby a big gear and you'll be getting great training in whenever you ride.

Just my two cents. I look forward to seeing what you do!

Deej
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#4
Thanks for the encouragement Deej!
Sure thing. Honestly, I imagine you would would have a lot of fun with one gear.

anyone experience with these so-called Single Speed Conversion Kits
(seems to be a bit market in the States)
Tom, I ordered something similar from Nagai-san at Positivo. He set it up for me. I think it cost around 3,000 yen, though I don't quote me on that.

The kit included a tensioner with two pulleys, but that was bent when I got in the accident. I now have a single-pulley tensioner that looks like the one in the picture you posted -- Grunge brand, perhaps?

Deej
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#5
Gack! This is my territory boys ---

Tom -

1) ENO Eccentric hub and I'll build you a new wheel for a couple of beers + 1 of them to drink while I build it. Just get the hub to match any rim you have. Spokes are cheap.

2) You can run freewheel / fixed. So if you don't want the constant pedalling of fixed, you could always just use it as a single speed.

3) Then you have alot of options on the braking levers and will cleanup all those nasty derailler thingies and cables and crap hanging onto the beautiful Ti frame.

4) Put some fenders on it - Honjyo, of course.

5) Enjoy!

P.S. The crankset you have will probably work fine - Just using the inner chainring mount of spider will almost always give you a decen chainline. If you have 50 tooth ring , its fine. Even 53 is fine. Then just match up a rear cog to give you roughly 3.0 Ratio which will work fine for anything around Tokyo (and surrounds) including track days. You can figure your ratio / speeds here -- http://software.bareknucklebrigade.com/rabbit.applet.html

Enjoy! If enough of you get SS bikes, then we can go on some group fixie rides together!
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#7
Thanks Tim...I knew you would jump in your territory:D!

Hiroshi-san mentioned the same White Industries product informing me this is the only way to go forward with vertical dropouts. I find it a bit on the expensive side though and there is the risk of not being able to find compatible backup parts...am I prejudiced?

How do I move the outer chainring (52) to the inner mount? Wouldn't that look messy? Or should I resolutely opt for a single ring pista crankset (Sugino)?

How about conversion kits like the Grunge kit?

Gack! This is my territory boys ---

Tom -

1) ENO Eccentric hub and I'll build you a new wheel for a couple of beers + 1 of them to drink while I build it. Just get the hub to match any rim you have. Spokes are cheap.

2) You can run freewheel / fixed. So if you don't want the constant pedalling of fixed, you could always just use it as a single speed.

3) Then you have alot of options on the braking levers and will cleanup all those nasty derailler thingies and cables and crap hanging onto the beautiful Ti frame.

4) Put some fenders on it - Honjyo, of course.

5) Enjoy!

P.S. The crankset you have will probably work fine - Just using the inner chainring mount of spider will almost always give you a decen chainline. If you have 50 tooth ring , its fine. Even 53 is fine. Then just match up a rear cog to give you roughly 3.0 Ratio which will work fine for anything around Tokyo (and surrounds) including track days. You can figure your ratio / speeds here -- http://software.bareknucklebrigade.com/rabbit.applet.html

Enjoy! If enough of you get SS bikes, then we can go on some group fixie rides together!
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#8
Also - I can build up a Novatec / Generic rim fixie wheel for about ichi-man (and a few beers)
Thank you Tim - this would be well within my budget :cool:

Following is what you'd recommend, right?

Eric's Eccentric ENOOur Eccentric ENO line of hubs are made specifically for bikes with vertical dropouts. The majority of bicycle frames made today are made with vertical dropouts, however, converting the frame to a single speed presents the problem of how to tension the chain. Chain tension with vertical frames can be addressed three ways: by using a chain tensioner, using an eccentric bottom bracket, or with our Eccentric ENO. The Eccentric ENO is an easy, clean, and simple answer to the problem. The eccentric rear hub allows the rider to adjust the chain tension by simply rotating the elliptical axle ends up and back in the dropouts. As the hub rotates back, the chain is pulled into tension. The Eccentric ENO is available in two models: The Eric's Eccentric ENO and Eccentric Disc ENO. The Eric's Eccentric ENO is a flip/flop design fixed/free. The disc model has an ISO standard six bolt rotor on the non-drive side and is freewheel compatible on the drive side. We recommend running the Eccentric Disc ENO with the eccentric caliper mount adaptor featured below. Made in the USA.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,661
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103
Japan
#9
The ENO is pretty expensive and I had one for a number of years. I now think that unless you really have a classic frame you absolutely have to ride thus justifying the price quicky conversions are the best way to go. The ENO gives you flip flop options and some ability to take up the slack in chain length but I found once I had the combination of gearing I liked I could do the same thing with a half link or careful matching of front and rear cogs. Before you drop a bundle of coin on an ENO just try and see if the SS /FIXIE thing is for you. For a commuter bike I would just lock my derailer in place with limit screws till you find what gearing you like and then either get a singleator from Surly or similar, or you can look for a frame like Tim sells( open fork ends on the rear). Brake wise just get some simple Diatech levers and run them on the tops of the bars. I don't know about Travis but I always like to be upright in traffic which is when you are most likely to be braking. Just checked those Nitto bars and they won't stretch you out too much you could use something like these http://www.somafab.com/pursuitlevers.html . Goodluck no matter which way you go
 

fredstaple

Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
198
1
38
Puerto de la Santa Maria
#10
White Industries

I know a few people who have used their hub and been quite happy. You could also look into using a half link chain and that may give you enough to make it work without the hub and rear wheel build. I have done this, but it is not nearly as good as getting an adjustable hub.

If you want cheap bull horns. Cut a set of steel drop bars just below the bend, flip them over and mount it. Once wrapped it looks pretty good.

I have a single speed and two fixies, all conversion bikes and I love riding them. It adds a whole new dynamic to the ride and they are a great bike for taking a break from the geared bike and are a lot of fun when you just want to ride for the fun of it.
 

m o b

Speeding Up
Jun 22, 2008
341
23
38
Bremen
cyclitis.wordpress.com
#11
Advice from the bullhorn expert

Hi Tom,

you may recall that I started with this:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_c-3zlJ370...SMYJjf0/s1600/1101+First+Ride+Galibier+05.jpg

and converted it into that:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-.../AAAAAAAACkU/aWz9THeFQ98/s1600/Galibier+2.jpg

I was pretty much disappointed with the bullhorn approach. Braking is easy, but steering is somehow strange. It also wasn't as comfortabel as I thought it would be. I am much happier with a flat handle bar. This is also very comfortable. I use Tektro Fl-750 minimal brake levers which can be bought in Japan as well. Please ask Hiroshi for that.

If you use the bike for all weather commuting, fenders make a lot of sense.

Tim is the specialist for single speed, so I would not comment on this. Would it be possible to use clamp-type downtube shifters or is the downtube diameter too large? You can also setle for rapid fire shifters:

http://www.thecyclepeople.com/admin...no-m770-xt-rapidfire-shifters-9-speed-oe-.jpg

But that goes very much against the minimal approach.
Good luck with the conversion.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#12
Hi again -

1) Half link sucks. If you ride fixed you want perfect chain tension - period. Especially if you ride with intent. That little slop is one of the most irritating things on the planet.

2) Bullhorn vs. drop - bullhorn is somehow precedent for climbing and TT . But maybe a bit more single position than standard drop bar. For general commuting I think bullhorn is easier to track stand and manipulate through traffic - but I prefer all day riding on drops where I have more riding positions available. Flat bar is least riding positions available - but very simple.

3) ENO hub is top quality. it will probably outlast you. Bearing change is just standard sealed bearing. I never see an issue with these.

Mob is pretty right on here - The Tektro brakes, standard drops, straight chainline with no funky tensioners and stuff, don't worry the crankset - you just mount the chainring inside the spider and use shorter bolts. Or - if your crankset is using square taper BB, then can use a track BB with shorter axle. Not a big issue here - don't sweat it. If you really want nice - then Sugino messenger series is a great SS set. Or (my preference) Truvativ Omnium, Token or even old school Dura Ace. All work fine in road bikes with 130mm rear drops and 68mm BB.

Keep it simple. Don't sweat it. Follow the Italian 'Muletto' model - just put together what you have and its fine. It's amazing how simple a bike you can make with SS and will be a nice riding bike.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#14
Tom.... it's funny as I am doing the exact same thing with my Pinarello FP3.

I've decided to the White Industries Hub as Tim has mentioned just keeps it all nice and clean and I will pick up some second hand breaks from the local used bike store as these are mega cheap for 105 or Tektro.
 
#16
Eric's Eccentric ENO

Tim,

Thanks again for sharing your wisdom I'm really getting excited about this project. You have convinced me that the Eric Eccentric ENO is the only way to go forward. I have a few questions though and wonder if you can help me....

As I mentioned at the start of this thread, the main purpose of the conversion is to have a decent commuter that is both sturdy and mimimalist. I'm also planning to use it as my "winter-training machine" which includes plenty of toge-goe hillclimbs. Taking this into consideration, what would you recommend?

(1) for the freewheel/fixed gear flip/flop system, which is better suited for the hillclimb winter training...free or fixed?

(2) I love to push heavy gears but wonder on which side I should put the heaviest cog and what should be the heaviest cog (crankset is the Sugino Messenger SS 48T)...I was thinking of 19T for the freewheel and 17T for the fixed gear...do you think this makes sense?

(3) Can the Eric's Eccentric Eno be attached to the frame with a quick release (since after all it is designed for vertical dropouts) so that the flip/flop can be executed easily mid-ride?

(4) As wheel, HIroshi-san recommended DTswiss 415 (lightest rim on the market at 415g) but very expensive. I think I will go for the other option he proposed the Ambrosio Exelite (アンブロッシオのエクセライト)

(5) Any other suggestions?

Thanks!

Hi again -

1) Half link sucks. If you ride fixed you want perfect chain tension - period. Especially if you ride with intent. That little slop is one of the most irritating things on the planet.

2) Bullhorn vs. drop - bullhorn is somehow precedent for climbing and TT . But maybe a bit more single position than standard drop bar. For general commuting I think bullhorn is easier to track stand and manipulate through traffic - but I prefer all day riding on drops where I have more riding positions available. Flat bar is least riding positions available - but very simple.

3) ENO hub is top quality. it will probably outlast you. Bearing change is just standard sealed bearing. I never see an issue with these.

Mob is pretty right on here - The Tektro brakes, standard drops, straight chainline with no funky tensioners and stuff, don't worry the crankset - you just mount the chainring inside the spider and use shorter bolts. Or - if your crankset is using square taper BB, then can use a track BB with shorter axle. Not a big issue here - don't sweat it. If you really want nice - then Sugino messenger series is a great SS set. Or (my preference) Truvativ Omnium, Token or even old school Dura Ace. All work fine in road bikes with 130mm rear drops and 68mm BB.

Keep it simple. Don't sweat it. Follow the Italian 'Muletto' model - just put together what you have and its fine. It's amazing how simple a bike you can make with SS and will be a nice riding bike.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#18
Be careful! You might get addicted! Anyway --

1) Goal is to just use 1 gear set. As I get better shape, I change gearing less - and also - going up uses about same effort as going down, so changing to higher doesn't make sense - you can go faster, but lose braking efficiency.

2) For training purposes the fixed gear can't be beat - you will find all about those missing degrees of pedaling! Plus - it automatically makes your rides 1.35x a normal ride!

3) If you want light, stiff wheel then I'd suggest the Mavic CXP33 as good all arounder. And get low spoke count like 28. For someone of James' size - I'd be more inclined to spoke a 32 or 36 cause the high effort mashing would feel a bit flexy. But under 70kg the 28 is fine. If you really want light - then just get one of my 21mm carbon rims with Ti Pillar spokes. That is the lightest combo possible.

4) Another advise, though, If you are seriously training on this - then use standard drop bar. Cause you want to develop muscle group differently and bullhorn will restrict that. Also - its good practice to climb in the drops - massive improvement to your overall TT conditioning.

For a while I thought that would be good enough for commuting-only purposes but if I also want to use this machine for winter training in the mountains, those bullhorns will be supersweet when dancing out of the saddle...or so I hope!:rolleyes: Have you been back into the "tsukinisuto act" lately Lee?
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,661
477
103
Japan
#19
ENO has to be torqued into the dropouts pretty tight to keep chain tension and it's fixed in there with 6mm hex bolts( no quick release), just take an allen key with you and flipping is no problem. What length cranks are those Sugino messengers? Just be aware that longer cranks increase your risk of pedal strike when cornering fixed. You're going to be using both front and rear brakes so maybe not such an issue.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#20
EXACTO! I wouldn't recommend going more than 170 on the cranks unless you are making a hillclimb specific machine. Smaller crank is easier to spin, too, which comes in handy when you're buzzing down the hills or spinning through the daily traffic.

Yes - you don't want quick release for the exact reason Kiwisimon says. Anyway, Tom, I doubt you'd be flipping your wheel so much. Just start out the ride with whatever you need to go 'there and back again'.

ENO has to be torqued into the dropouts pretty tight to keep chain tension and it's fixed in there with 6mm hex bolts( no quick release), just take an allen key with you and flipping is no problem. What length cranks are those Sugino messengers? Just be aware that longer cranks increase your risk of pedal strike when cornering fixed. You're going to be using both front and rear brakes so maybe not such an issue.