Last Updated on April 2, 2020 by David P. Lopez
Bullhorn handlebars, when bought right, can change the way you ride your bike. If bicycles are your main method of transport or if you ride your bike for long hours frequently, a bullhorn handle is a must for you.
Handles like these help keep your posture aligned and straight when travelling for such long hours. Besides that, they also help decrease fatigue by a significant amount.
Changing the handle type of your bike is a big decision. Will the handles be comfortable? Will you be able to adapt to the change in shape? A lot of questions come to mind.
So today, I’ll help you decide whether you need a bullhorn handlebar or not. Let’s look at some of the features and facts that you should know about to make this important decision.
Do Your Handlebars Fit Your Riding Style?
Not all kinds of riders can be benefitted by using bullhorn handlebars. They suit a specific type of riders and can be uncomfortable if used in the wrong situation.
Bullhorn handlebars work the best for people who like or take part in fast and long rides. When a handle like this one is installed, the product moves most of the weight to the front and lets you place your hands up to the mid-section of the bike. This reduces the pressure on the back wheels and thus allows you to ride faster.
A function like this one also helps people with back pain. As you can lean forward, the pressure felt on your back and tailbone decreases. People who want to ride bikes because of the cardio but are afraid to do so due to back pain can try bullhorn handlebars out.
So, if you want to cruise through your town with ease and comfort, this will be the handle for you.
Even if you don’t use your bike daily, if you want to increase your speed, you could try these. Well known for aggressive riding, some mountain bikers have also benefited from bullhorn handlebars.
Type of Bullhorn Handlebars
Bullhorn handlebars come in different sizes. As the handles are designed for a more Time Trial style brake, these dimensions play quite an important role in their functionality.
The size of the handle you choose will depend on the height of your bike, the size of your bike, and your height or arm length as well. These features are important to check so that you don’t end up with a bullhorn that is too wide or narrow for you to get a grip on.
31.8 x 400mm, 26 x 400mm, and 26 x 420mm are the sizes that you can choose from.
Bullhorn and Pursuit handlebars come quite close when talking about the overall design, but you’ll see that the bullhorn one has a steeper and straight upward facing handle.
Different brands might use different materials or patterns for their bullhorn handlebar, but the overall design remains the same, more or less.
The only features that can differentiate these handlebars are the dimension.
Features of Bullhorn Handlebars
There are some functions or features that make bullhorn ones what they are. These are the characteristics that set these handlebars apart from the rest.
This is what the handlebar is made of. As you will be putting a lot of pressure on the handlebars, the tool needs to be made of sturdy material.
Metals or metal alloys could be a great option. This material should be able to handle pressure and should not bend or deform easily. What material your handlebar is made of decides how long the product will last.
That kept in mind; the material should also be lightweight as heavily weighted handlebars are harder to control, especially when you are moving with speed.
As we’ve mentioned before, bullhorn handlebars come in three sizes. These sizes cater to a lot of height ranges, so you won’t have any problem getting one that works for you.
But this is quite an important feature because if you end up with the wrong size, you might go through more problems than benefits. You’ll face extreme discomfort and lack of balance if the size you choose happens to be bigger or smaller than what you need.
Good quality bullhorn handlebars will always be more ergonomic. The design that you choose should be simple and have no unnecessary add-ons that might cause you to get distracted.
Rubber covers around the handles are always appreciated as they help you get a better grip. As you will be holding on to these handles for quite a long time, the product needs to be comfortable.
Bullhorn handlebars have a specific shape. They go straight upwards on a steep slope. This is what differentiates them from all the other kinds of handlebars. Any alteration made in the shape of the handlebar will disrupt the functionality and ability to withstand pressure. So, sticking to the classic ones is the best option.
To ensure you can ride comfortably and aggressively if needed, bullhorn handlebars have a drop of 40-mm.
For you to ride with more speed, the drop-down of the handlebar needs to be compatible with the aerodynamics of the situation. This feature also plays a great role in allowing you to make swift and sudden turns and movements.
How to Install Bullhorn Handlebars?
You install bullhorn handlebars to your bike just how you would install any other kind of handle. Your first step will be to detach the original handle of your bike. After that, to make the job easier, you can apply some grease and then install the handle on to the stem of your bike.
Now, you might have to tighten this part, depending on the type of bike you use. This is a process that you can do at home all by yourself. No rocket science involved here!
The main problem that you might face when installing these is your brake and gear cables being too short for the new handlebars. But not to worry, the bullhorn handlebar that you will buy will come with long wires that you can install and trim off to get the perfect set-up
Advantages of Bullhorn Handlebars
Here are the advantages of bullhorn handlebars.
Ideal for Mountain Biking or Racing
These handles are the best when it comes to mountain biking or racing. You get a good grip on the handle and thus have a better balance and control over your bike. Chances of accidents and mishaps are reduced while you get an instant improvement and boost in your performance.
Reduced Hydrodynamic Drag
As the handlebars allow you to the band and get lower, you are reducing the air resistance. By playing with the aerodynamics, you can get greater speed so that you can sprint through longer distances in no time at all.
Perfect for People with Backaches
The ability to duck down so low reduces pressure on the back wheels and also your backbone. People with backaches benefit the most from this handlebar.
When your hands are placed at the mid-stage of the bikes bar, you get less tired. Your hands are locked in a very comfortable and natural position so you can ride your bike for long hours without much fatigue.
Disadvantages of Bullhorn Handlebars
Here are the disadvantages of bullhorn handlebars.
Possibility of Wrist Pain
Though backache is reduced the chances of getting wrist injury are increased. If not positioned right, one wrong move can cause pain to your wrist.
Difficult to Maneuver through Narrow Roads
These handles take up more space as they are larger than your standard straight bar handles. This might make traveling through narrow roads a bit difficult.
Here are some tips that will help you get a better experience with bullhorn handlebars.
Be careful about the size you choose and the compatibility of the version with your bike model
Make sure your bullhorn handle has a cover that allows you to get a good grip and is also comfortable
The material the handlebar is made with must be strong enough to last long and not bend or break
Don’t get bullhorn handles that are too big as then you might be restricted to riding only in wider roads
Most customers are always happy after they have installed bullhorn handlebars. If you don’t believe me, check out reviews on Amazon or eBay for yourself.
Now, if you’re confused and can’t decide if you should get a bullhorn handle, I would suggest that you get one. If you don’t like it, you can just stop using it. They don’t cost a fortune either, so the experiment won’t cause too much damage to your wallet. I wish you a safe bike ride!