Gear

The 6 Best Bull Horn Handlebars (A Guide To Bars, Brakes + Tape)

Are you looking for the best bullhorn handlebars that can help you get a little extra out of your bike?

Then you're in the right place!

Bullhorns are some of the fastest and most aggressive bars on the market. Making them perfect for flying through the city.  

If you are in a hurry, I recommend Origin8 Bullhorn's. They're super quick and reasonably priced. What more could you want?


Product Name

Origin8
Pure Fix 
Cinelli Mash 

Image

My Rating

8

7

9

Cost

$$

$

$$$$$

Material 

6061 Alloy

6061 Alloy

6061 Alloy

Weight (g)

320

317

290

Inner diameter for bar end (mm)

19.2

17.5

N/A

Outer diameter (mm)

26

22.2

N/A

Stem clamp diameter (mm)

26

25.4

31.8

Sizing (mm)

(400 - 420) x (26 - 31.8)

420 x 25.4

400

Colour

Black, Gold, Purple, Red & Silver

Silver, Matt Back & Gold

Sandblasted Black & White


Origin8

Overview

Origin8 is reasonably priced and my personal favourite.

The alloy is light and comes in a great selection of colours. Just make sure you get the correct sizing for your brakes, and you'll have an awesome set-up.  

Dimensions

These bars come ​in three different sizes. 

26 x 400mm
26 x 420mm 
31.8 x 400mm

These bars are designed for time trial [TT] style brakes and bar end shifters which fit INSIDE the ends of the tubing. The Origin8's have a 19.2mm Inside Diameter [ID], so look out for bar-end shifters or brake-levers with these dimensions.

STI style brakes (normal road brakes) work fine but are a little awkward to fit. 

If you're looking to fit normal road brakes, the Outside Diameter [OD] is 26mm. This is also roughly the size of the stem clamp area.

Make sure you give their installation instruction manual a read before you go and set these up on your own bike​.

Check out the video below by Aaron W who converted his drop handlebars to Origin8 bullhorns on his Bianchi San Jose. (Notice how he uses TT style brakes). 

Materials​

The Origin8's are made from a tubular alloy construction. This simply means that they're strong, light (320g), and rust proof. 

Pretty much exactly what you want from a set of bars.​

There are also some laser etched graphics on them for a little extra in terms of design. ​

Bar Ends And Bar Wrap​

As with all products you see in this review, they don't come with handlebar wraps or bar ends so you'll have to supply them yourself.

But have no fear!

I've got a run down of the best tape further on down the page!

Click Here For Pricing And Availability From Amazon

Pure Fix 42cm Alloy Bull Horn Handlebar

XLC

Overview

The Pure Fix is a more traditional looking item.

Built from a high-grade alloy, they're built to last and work well for urban commuting.

Dimensions​

The dimensions for this bar are 25.4 x 420mm with a 22.2mm brake clamp area.

The ID is about 17.5mm (this number isn't stated in the listing). The common ID of bars is 19.2mm (like the Origin8's), so be careful when ordering that your other components are will fit.

The smaller ID is due to the smaller OD - so make sure you're ok with a skinnier bar to hold on to. Some people like this, others, not so much. 

Material​

As with the Origin8's these bars are made from​ alloy to keep them fresh for years to come. 

They come in three colours - silver, matt black and gold. Although, I'm sure you'll be wrapping them in tape (not included).

Click Here For Pricing And Availability From Amazon

Cinelli Mash 

Overview

If we're talking about the actual "best" option Cinelli MASH hands down takes the win.

They're the lightest here (290g) by a long way.

But. 

They're also the most expensive. At the time of writing, they're around ​7 times more expensive than other items on this list! But if you're willing to spend a little extra to get the best then these are the ones for you. 

Dimensions

The width of these bars is 400mm with an oversized 31.8mm ​clamp area. 

What makes this bar stand out from the others in this list is the consideration for the ergonomics. The curves on the underside of the metal are designed for comfort in mind. 

The flats of the metal also have a sandblasted finish for added grip.

With multiple hand positions available on this bar it makes it one of the best options for urban street riding.

The only issue is that you'll need to find a larger stem for the tubes 31.8mm diameter. 

Material​

The MASH​ is hydroform molded from top line Columbus alloy which results in a stiff and responsive bar. 

See the video below by BTI USA to ​see a close up of Cinelli Mash's Bar

Click Here For Pricing And Availability From Amazon

Bullhorns Vs Pursuit Handlebars 

Above we went through the best bullhorns and now I'm going to talk about the best pursuit bars. 

There is often a lot of confusion between bullbar's and pursuit bars, and for good reason, as there is little difference. 

A bull bar curves forward and flicks up and the end. Pursuit handlebars are similar, but they have a drop on them before flicking up.

Choosing between the two will often come down to personal preference and the riding style you like. Although due to pursuits added drop, it enables you to get a deeper tuck than a typical bullhorn, which is better for overall speed and leverage.

Pursuit handlebars are not technically bullhorns, they are often very similar and often used interchangeably.


Best Pursuit Handlebars Comparison Table

Product Name

Retrospec
Projekt Fixie
Fyxation 

Image

My Rating

9

7

7

Cost

$

$$

$$$$

Material 

6061 Alloy

6061 Alloy

6061 Alloy

Weight (g)

N/A

N/A

233

Inner diameter for bar end (mm)

17

19

19.3

Outer diameter (mm)

22

23.8

N/A

Stem clamp diameter (mm)

25.4 or 31.8

24.4

31.8

Sizing (mm)

400

400

400 or 420

Colour

White & Black

Black 

Black

Drop (mm)  

N/A

40

40


Pursuit Bar Reviews

Retrospec

Overview

Are you on the hunt for speed?

The Retrospec's cater to a wide variety of riding styles. 

With their shape their versatile enough to accommodate different hand placements​

Dimensions

Similarly to the majority of other bars here they come in at 400mm wide.

​Their stem clamp size is available in either 25.4m or 31.8mm sizing with their brake clamp diameter being 22.2mm. 

The ID is roughly 17mm, and most levers available come in 19mm. This is a similar situation to the Pure Fix's where you'll need to find thinner levers and be comfortable with a thinner bar to grip overall. 

Drop

As you can see pursuit bars have a subtle drop after it begins to curve forward​. This encourages a comfortable messenger-style forward position. 

However, with a drop, it's important to remember that it's harder to fit extra components on to the bars due to there being less space on it over-all. 

Material

Like all products here it's made from 6061 aluminium. So they're strong enough to endure frequent aggressive riding and light enough to add only a small amount of extra weight to your bike. 

Click Here For Pricing And Availability From Amazon

Projekt Fixie Pursuit Handlebar

Overview

The Projekt Fixie Pursuit is the best for those who have speed and aggression at the top of their handlebar checklist.

Design has been done with extreme durability and excellent performance in mind

Dimensions

​The width of these bars are 400mm wide. The stem clamp diameter (the area in the middle of the bar is 24.4mm), and the diameter at the ends (where the brakes go), is 23.8mm.

Be sure to carefully check your stem and brakes sizes before purchasing this bar. It's possible to buy spacers if your components are too big but not if they're too small.

Drop

The difference between the projekt fixie pursuit and the standard model is the slight 40mm drop. ​The drop enables you to get into an even lower riding position when traveling at high speeds, improving aerodynamics.

Material 

The Projekt Fixie is made out of 6061 T6 Alloy, meaning they're lightweight and durable. They have been anodized for a deep and vibrant hue color. They've also been UV protected, so they don't fade in high sunlight.

Some reviewers have mentioned that they're are easily scratched. Tape will hide everything, but if you plan to leave the metal bare and want them to look good, this is something to consider.​

Click Here For Pricing And Availability From Amazon

Fyxation 31.8 Rodeo

I like Fyxation. They come with a wide diameter at the centre of them. 

This is comfortable to grip and gives them a sturdy feel.

Great when you're flying as fast as you can through the city!

Dimensions

you can choose between a 400mm or 420mm width bar which is nice. Most people find the the 420mm is too wide for their needs, but it’s good to have the option.

The stem clamp area measurers in at 31.8mm, which is quite a large diameter. So as with the advice given for the other bars here - make sure that your other components fit to avoid disappointment.

As the centre has a large diameter that tapers out. But don't worry about brakes slipping on this area - it'll be okay. And the taper makes it comfortable to hold when riding with your hands near the centre. 

Drop​

Similarly to projekt fixie's pursuits the drop here is a subtle 40mm. So you'll be able to get into the same powerful, low down position with these as well. ​

Material​

Yup, you're looking at another 6061 aluminium bar. It's a great material that does the job well. Which is why virtually all brands choose to use it!​

Click Here For Pricing And Availability From Amazon

Buyers Guide 

Advantages Of These 

Aerodynamics

Bullhorns allow you to get lower than flat bars as you're positioned further forward. The possibility of getting lower makes them an excellent choice when facing headwinds or cycling at high speeds.

Climbing​

Because you're able to move further forward on the bars than riser or flats bars you'll have the best possible leverage when cycling uphill.

Disadvantages Of These

Cornering

Although bullhorns are essentially flat bars with horns, they're typically narrower because of the spacing needed for the bend in the forward curve.

This narrow width makes it difficult to turn the bike into tight spaces and increases the chance of catching the bars on objects when turning.


Bullhorn Handlebars Vs Drop Bars

Deciding to go with ballbars or drop bars will depend on the riding that you'll be doing. If you're planning on doing lots of urban riding, I'd suggest going for bullhorns or a flat bar.

It's unlikely you'll be spending much time in the drops and bulls offer better braking potential when riding on the hoods.

If you're riding purely for exercise or doing some longer rides, I would go with drop bars. You'll have the option of more hand positions, and it's far easier to install gears on them.


Best Bicycle Handlebar Tape

It's not likely that your new bars will come with the tape installed, so you'll have to do this yourself. 

There's loads of different handlebar grip tape out there so let's dive into some of the best stuff out there that's available.

Now.

Most bike tape is the same with a few alterations on the colour and texture. 

But if I had to pick one I'd go with the SRAM Supercork Tape it feels great on the hands and comes in a variety of different colour options. As an added bonus it's also one of the cheapest recommended.

If you've not got time to read up on the details of what makes a great tape that's understandable!

I've got the best ones listed out below.

Bike Tape Comparison Chart

Product Name

SRAM Supercork Bicycle Tape

Fizik Performance Tape

Lizard Skin Handlebar Wrap

Image

My Rating

9

7

9

Cost

$

$$

$$$

Length  

198

210

226

Thickness (mm)

N/A

3

3.2

Weight (g)

N/A

52

78


Bicycle Bar Tape Reviews

SRAM Supercork Bicycle Wrap

SRAM's Supercork Bicycle Wrap is one of the most popular handlebar wraps around.

And for good reason.

It's simple, light, durable, and cheap.

I'm not sure there's much more you can look for in a handlebar wrap!​

At the time of writing it's one of the cheapest wraps available, but get's better reviews than stuff that's three times its price. 

Reviewers have reported concerns about the tapes sticky-ness at the time of purchasing, but after testing, they found it held up well.

The SRAM tape comes with the logo embossed on the tape, which again some reviewers raised their concern at. 

However, it seems that when the tape is pulled tight that you're unable to see this. Perfect for those of us that like to go for a more minimalistic look on our bars.

One last thing though (and this goes for all tape)... if you want your bike to have a clean look... whatever you do, stay away from the white! 

Check Here For Pricing And Availability From Amazon

Fizik Performance Wrapping

The Fizik Performance Wrapping is not surprisingly very similar to SRAM's tape. 

But. This stuff actually comes in two flavours.

One is soft - kind of the "standard" microfibre feel that you're probably used to with tape.

(The stuff that feels nice on the bare hands).

And two. Tacky. Which is nice and grippy. It also comes with the Fizik pattern embossed into it. ​

Part of this embossed pattern is for looks and part of it is for functionality, as it helps the hands grip the bar a little better. 

Either way. Whichever one you choose will give you 3mm of dense, but bouncy foam to give those hands and wrists a rest on the bumpy rides. ​

Check Here For Pricing And Availability From Amazon

Lizard Skin Handlebar Wrapping

If there was a championship for the best wrapping, the Lizard Skin Tape would take the gold. 

It's one of the few bar wraps that people have heard of before making a purchase. 

This stuff is 3.2mm thick! 

So it really is like sinking your hands into a soft pillow every time you go for a ride. 

It also comes in a shed loads of colours for you to choose from. 

Of course, these extras come at the expense of costing more money. If you don't mind parting with three times as much money for these compared to some of the other wraps here, then go for it.

You'll certainly not need cycling gloves with these, so you'll save money that way!​

Click Here For Pricing And Availability From Amazon

Bullhorn Brake Levers

So by now you've got your bars and your tape sorted out. Unless you're riding a fixie and using your legs you'll need some brakes. ​

Bullhorn Handlebars Brake Position

A question that comes up often is "where should I put the brakes"?

It's a great question. If you've read the whole of this review, you would have seen that the brake levers can be installed in a few places. 

In case you missed them the two common positions are simply - 

1) At the end of the bars. You'll need TT brakes for this

2) In the middle of the bar either side of the stem. You'll need STI brakes for this. 

Where you install the brakes depends on the types of bars you've purchased and the set up of your other components. Most guys seem to go for TT brakes.

How you install everything is ultimately up to you. If you're feeling adventurous, you could even have a set-up that's like this.

Watch the video below by Bike Blogger which explains in detail how to install brake levers on the ends of your new bulls.


How To Wrap Bullbars 

Watch the video below by Menna Cycles for an excellent guide on how to wrap your handlebars.

  • You'll need some scissors and electrical tape. 
  • Begin wrapping the tape at the end of the handlebar.
  • Make sure that there is a little overlap as this tape will be folded over and held in place by the bar ends. 
  • Keep a firm hold of the tape and wrap outwards away from the wheel. 
  • You'll want to keep wrapping the wheel tightly. Try to keep an even distance between each wrap. (If you mess up, don't be afraid to undo everything and attempt it again).
  • Once you get to the corner, keep the wrap tight on the inside and even on the outside. This bit sometimes takes a few goes. 
  • If you get to the end of the bar and still have some left over simply trim it.
  • Once you get to the middle of the bars, secure in place with a little electric tape. It's good to secure it underneath the handlebar as it'll look neater.
  • Check to make sure that there are no bumps and that your bars feel comfortable.
  • Don't forget to put the bars end back in and you're ready to go.

How To Convert Your Bars

Now you know how to wrap your handlebars lets take a look at how your bike could look after converting it from a drop bars to bulls. 


Image Credit Flickr Creative Commons - Becky Stern, Nicolas Marchidon, Tom Censani








1 Comment

Leave a Comment