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I've got a set of handlebars from a MASI Uno. enter image description here

I'd like to know if I can put standard drop bar brakes, similar to these (ignore the interrupter brakes and bar end shifter for now). enter image description here

The MASI bars have such a large drop, I'm not sure how well the brakes would work. I doubt I'll get a nice flat surface to grip the brakes while still being able to reach them from the drops. Has anyone tried this? Did it work?

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The brake levers should fit physically. Whether or not you'd be comfortable using them is another matter, but bikes such as the Kona Grand Wagon were sold with similar brake setups to what you desire. But, this begs the question - why not just put in a normal drop bar if you want to do this? –  Batman Jan 20 '14 at 3:43
@Batman my motivation is that I have a set of these handlebars for free! Wanting to minimize my costs. –  Mac Jan 20 '14 at 6:44
Fair. I'd probably just try it (now that I think about it, someone who parks their bike near mine has the sort of setup you desire, but not specifically a masi drop bar and they are extremely tall), and if it didn't work out to my liking, just buy a normal drop bar. –  Batman Jan 20 '14 at 6:50

2 Answers 2

The handlebars on the Masi Uno look like track-style handlebars, which were designed for the aerodynamic needs of track racing (in a closed, running-track-like loop in a velodrome) over the practical needs of a road bike. The important thing to note is that track bikes usually don't have brakes (see this article for why, with a fun sneak peek of "It's the Olympics; if the riders wanted to slow down, they wouldn't be there."), and their handlebar design reflects that. As Rider_X said, you could certainly put them on, but they might be uncomfortable depending on the size of your hands.

I would suggest adding interrupter levers for safety, and then potentially adding cross levers/mountain bike style levers on the very ends of the handlebars, where it's most flat. Here are some pictures illustrating the concept done on mustache handlebars:

High Res Handlebar Photo. Source:

More of a home-brew job where the brakes were clearly added after-market. Source:

If your goal was to be able to add brifters (integrated brake levers/shift levers), my suggested configuration might get awkward to use and you'd be better off just attaching them as you would on a road drop bar, and hope that the reach isn't too far. If you have large hands, this shouldn't be a problem.

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Whoops, didn't realize that this post was from over a year ago... –  The Informasian Jul 18 at 13:03
No need to whoops... still a very useful answer. –  Mac Jul 29 at 1:46

You likely would only be able to brake comfortably from the drop position due to the excessive down angling of the handlebar ramp region. This would especially be true for older style brake levers like you have shown in the picture as these levels have shorter reach and less material to place your hands on when on the hoods. In the old style road cockpits the hands were meant to rest on the ramping region of the handlebar, with only a small portion of your hand on the hoods when in the hood braking position. For this bar it would place your hand at a very awkward angle, especially when setting up the lever to brake correctly from the drops.

With the advent of the modern compact cockpit, the brifters/brake levers have become half of the "ramp" region where you place your hands. Modern Tektro road brake levers follow this ergonomic convention so, will have more reach and therefore a larger area to rest your hands on than older style brake levers. Depending on the size of your hands, this may be enough of a ramp when braking from the hoods. Modern road brake levers also are a bit longer which may also give you more placement options on those bars.

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