As previously discussed, bullhorn bars are known for their comfortable grip positions. However, there are not many folding bikes out there with a bullhorn bar. How many can you think of? Other than the Dahon Speed Pro TT/ Vector X27 or the Tern Verge X30, the other one I can think of is the KHS F20-R. There are probably only a few others out there. Today's highlight will be converting a Vitesse P9 to a Vitesse P18-TT!
The Vitesse P9, previously upgraded from a stock Vitesse D7. About to undergo another transformation to a Vitesse P18-TT
Before upgrading the components, the bike was disassembled and fully cleaned
Bike frame after waxing with Hi Glaze 88. Clean and shiny!
First new component to go on. Ultegra 6700 Hollowtech II BB
Same 9 speed 12-28T custom SRAM cassette. After cleaning it looks brand new! Installed on the excellent PZ Racing wheelset.
New rear derailleur! Shimano 105 5600 RD, which was previously on my Boardwalk.
Shimano 105 5600 crankset, also from my Boardwalk. Major improvement from the stock D7 crankset!
One major issue I encountered with the new drivetrain was that the chainline was not ideal. Also, I was using a 9 speed chain on the 10 speed crankset. Because of this, it meant that in the small chainring and small sprocket combination, the chain will rub on the inside of the large chainring, where the ramps and spikes will catch the chain and make it shift onto the large chainring. It was not just a little chain rubbing, it was more serious as it tends to cause the front gear to shift on its own.
Although this cross-chain gear combination is not recommended, it will be prudent to make sure that even if this condition happens, it will not cause a big problem for the cyclist. To solve this, I added some spacers under the right-hand BB cup, in order to move the crankset further out. This is unusual as road cranksets usually do not need spacers. These spacers increased the chainline by about 1.5mm, which is the maximum that is possible. Any thicker and it will cause the axle protrusion on the left side to be too short to fasten on the left side crank.
The right side BB cup with a few spacers to increase the chainline
After doing this modification, the chain rubbing problem still cannot be completely solved, but at least it is not so bad. To avoid this problem, when the small chainring is being used, the 2 smallest sprockets at the rear must be avoided.
Another major modification is the addition of a front derailleur! A LitePro FD adaptor is first used to provide a mount for the FD.
Shimano Tiagra 4500 Front Derailleur for double cranksets
The drivetrain installed on the Vitesse
Bar end extensions for the bullhorn. Extends the "horn" by 20mm. Provides a firmer grip when holding the ends of the bullhorn bar!
Close up shot. Fits nicely into any handlebar.
Road shifters fitted onto the bullhorn. Also from my previous Boardwalk TT
Still can plug in your bar ends as the extension is hollow
Some clear polyurethane patches to protect the frame from cable rub. Very thin but tough.
Inline barrel adjusters for adjusting the cable tension. Not so important for the rear shifter, but essential for the front shifter.
Interrupter brake levers
Bullhorn bars mounted on the bike, cables all done up. Got to make sure there is enough slack for steering and folding the bike.
Top down view of the handlebars
Innovative front cable routing for the front brakes.
Instead of putting the Travel Agent on the brake calipers itself, I used a flexible brake noodle so that I can put the Travel Agent elsewhere. This allows the front brake cable to be routed under the frame and behind the fork, just like the stock front brake cable routing. The main reason for this arrangement is so that the handlebar can be steered to the left without the Travel Agent hitting the bottle cage in front! Another reason is to avoid stretching the front cable when folding down the handlebar.
Neat cable arrangement for the front brakes
Travel Agent mounted the usual way on the rear brakes
Clear patches placed at strategic locations to protect the paint!
Cable routing for the rear brakes
Front system all done up
Rear system all done up!
Mounting the bottle cage on the front, using the holes on the front of the frame
Not a routine fix! Some extra metal plates (from Daiso) and bolts required
Water bottle mount from a Minoura bottle cage required for this mod
Silicone strap to keep the bottle in place on bumpy terrain. Adjustable bottle cage to fit bottles of any diameter
Taking the Vitesse P18-TT out for a test ride! Feels super shiok especially when sprinting with the bullhorn bars
After wrapping the bar tape!
Ready to chiong!
View from the left
View from the right!
The Vitesse P18-TT is ready to roll! With 18 speeds and a comfortable bullhorn bar, this bike can do more than just leisure rides! It was not an easy upgrade as there were a few issues with the chainline and the cable routing. Luckily I had the experience gained from the previous upgrade to my Boardwalk TT to help me, which enabled me to foresee certain problems and solve them, and improve on certain aspects such as the front brake cable routing.