I was inspired by mouse’s “drops” experiment to try one of my own. In addition, with the help of a bit of superglue, drilling and soldering I have recently fixed up an expensive but broken front light I had.
I thought some here might be interested in either my “drops” or my dual headlamps. Finally, it shows yet more things that are possible with UDC’s excellent T7 handle (pre-toast rack model).
From the side:
From the front:
From the pilot’s seat:
The “drops” are of course just some nice chunky bar ends with a good amount of curve in them. They actually feel like they could be quite a comfy place to rest my hands when the headlamps aren’t fitted. The other benefit of them is that they prevent my headlamps from being smashed during UPDs. The T7 already gives headlamps some protection but as these are high power LED lamps and a bit pricey, I do want to make sure that they’re well protected. The pair of headlamps put out a lot of light. I’m planning on pointing one of them ahead and one slightly down to show up imperfections in the surface before I hit them.
I quite like the overall look… the twin headlamp “eyes” and fang-like drops remind me vaguely of some kind of giant venomous monster spider I think it looks kinda mean, so I’m happy.
That looks pretty nice. I like how the lower bars come back toward you a bit. Do the assorted items clipped to your handles (cateye light I think?) get in the way at all? I would be toying around with my setup a bit more but the snow has come early this year and that means less unicycle and more track bike.
The two headlamps seem quite promising. They just squeeze in there fine; the beams cross over, which makes adjusting them a bit unintuitive at first.
I have high hopes of being able to see both far ahead and the ground in front of me, but haven’t had a chance to ride out beyond streetlit areas since I did the mod. It does put out a lot of light though; I really like Cateye headlights. They’re decent quality, powerful lights and they use a nicely secure and standardised bracket - I buy a spare bracket (well, now I buy two brackets!) for each bike.
When I rode back from work after fitting the bar ends, I could just wrap my thumbs around between the lights and the bar ends themselves. Since then I’ve angled the bar ends out a bit more, which is what you see in the pictures. The main problem was that my hands were partly obscuring the light, which was slightly annoying…
I’ll need to experiment to figure out how far I can angle the bar ends out before they start whacking my legs when I UPD. I think the current angle is OK but I suspect I can have them a fair bit wider eventually…
I did specifically choose this model of bar end because of the substantial backwards curve. My limited testing does suggest that I can comfortably hook my hands around the bar ends, so they may turn out to make a good riding position.
I’ve had only very limited testing with them so far. Aside from the fact my hands got in the way of the beams with the original angle I tried, they did seem to be fairly easy to settle into. I was certainly intending to get a similar riding position to that of true drop handlebars. I’ll have to do some more testing to decide how well this actually works. Problems to solve are: 1) decide if it’s an improvement over the standard T7 setup and 2) figure out if I can get the bar ends wide enough that my hands don’t obscure the lights.
Would you be looking to put some true drop handlebars on your uni? If so, did you have thoughts on how you’d narrow them? Just chop out a section and weld them back together? You might also like to look at the “Road Ends” made by Origin-8 - they’re clip on drops, designed to fit on MTB diameter handlebar, I believe. With the appropriate bits of stems / bars / etc, one could probably put together a uni drop-handlebar without any welds. ISTR you’re happy welding anyhow, but for others this could be quite handy - and certainly lower the barrier to experimentation.
Regardless of my reservations about how I’m going to use my setup, I think they’ll be worth having there simply to give the lighting some effective protection.
It actually was quite easy to do, just buy some bar ends of the right shape (or even get some old ones for free!) and bolt them on. I still need to decide how best to use them, or if I should try some longer bar ends. I’m tempted to bar tape them for improved grip and comfort but I’m worried that the tape would quickly split after a UPD or too… I think stretching some inner tube over the tape might help protect it…