advice needed: flat bars to drop bars

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by rockitj, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. rockitj

    rockitj New Member

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    This past summer I bought an '04 Specialized Sirrus Elite which comes with flat bars. I've been riding increasingly longer distances and am looking to convert to drop bars to gain more hand positions. If I swap the bars, am I going to have to change the shifters, brake levers, cables, etc? If so, how about the derailleurs? Is this bike worth upgrading or should I be thinking of trading up to a road bike? I really don't have another $500.00 bucks to spend toward a new bike so I'd prefer to work with this frame. I'm not looking to race, but want a bike that will be capable of riding 50 or 60 miles comfortably. The bike specs are at:
    http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=6905&JServSessionIdroot=3lcrdhlw5i.j27003
    Thanks in advance...
     
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  2. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    You gotta change all that stuff, and maybe a FD. New stem too. Flat bars use a 25.4mm bar clamp and current road is 26mm.But, Nitto makes a 25.4 drop bar.Brakes don't appear to be compatible with road levers either.
     
  3. rockitj

    rockitj New Member

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    Thanks, I have 31.8 clamp and there are several 31.8 drop bars out there, but changing out the rest of the items needed may be more than I'm willing to do.
     
  4. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    You could add on drop bar ends: http://endless-innovations.com/

    Or if you wish to change levers, shifters, front derailleur, put a price on them, I may be looking to build up another flat bar bike.
     
  5. rockitj

    rockitj New Member

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    Thank you for the bar end suggestion George, looks like it may be the way to go at least for now. I discussed it with my LBS today and they said $200 to $250 to swap everything depending on the component level selected. They also mentioned bar ends as a cheap and easy alternative. I haven't seen road bar ends like the ones in the link you sent before, I will order probably order a pair.

    I'll let you know if I do the full swap, but I have a feeling shipping to Perth from CT may cost more than the value of the items?
     
  6. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    I just looked at the specs on your bike, 24 speed, etc. even changing to 9 speed, $200 would be overkill.

    I suggest going for the drop ends for now and say in 6-8 months, if you like drops, look at a new road bike with better equipment, Ultegra 10 speed, or similar. By then you will appreciate the value of a close ratio cluster and more gears. Also narrower rims with 23mm tires would give some benefit.

    I am still waiting for them to e-mail me a price for postage of the bar ends to Aus. :rolleyes:
     
  7. rockitj

    rockitj New Member

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    Agreed George, I will try the bars for now. There's probably a road bike in my future. I went from non-cyclist to a Trek 7100 in July and traded that in on the Sirrus in Sept. The miles and the interest level just keep going up! Riding to work (24 mi. round trip) several days a week and longer rides on the weekend. I'm 51 with a long history as a couch potato. I got sick in 2001 and was off my feet for the better part of two years. Maybe I just never want to be sick again, but I've since lost 60 lbs, took up cycling and working out regularly. Thanks, Joe.
     
  8. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    successful contact, they are sending me a pair USPS Air mail, should receive 1-2 weeks. I will post my impressions then. Let us know how yours go.

    With these and the Power Grips for us over 50s, it should be a comfortable bike to race...
     
  9. jasong

    jasong New Member

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    I have a pair of those road ends you were recommended and they are nice. They feel pretty good compared to a normal drop bar, but do have the disadvantage of when simulating being on the hoods you can neither shift nor brake. Nor in the drops you can do this.

    If you want to do the conversion, you can probably count on these prices

    $20 drop bar (ie. nashbar, ~245g)
    $10 stem (routine discount price)
    $30-40 bar end shifters or downtube shifters
    $10 aero road brakes (nashbar) - possibly imcompatible with your brakes? (if so, you can get budget dual pivot brakes for $20-30)
    $3 bar tape

    If you have downtube bosses instead of cable holders you've got more flexibility in the shifters. Going with some type integrated brake/shifter will be at least $100.

    So budget less modern shifting would cost at least $70. Going into a shop and buying these parts off their shelf will be at least double the price.

     
  10. NSM3

    NSM3 New Member

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    I have the same bike as you and went through the same questions about changing bars/bike around two months ago. I fitted a pair of Cane Creek Ergo bar ends and must say that the difference to the riding experience is amazing. The Ergo's are surprisingly small to look at initially, but with the thick rubber coating are quite comfortable to use, even when standing in the pedals, with plenty of weight on the hands. With the wider grip, breathing on the long uphills is much more comfortable - I have lost a numbness in my hands that used to set in at around 15 miles also. I'm a bit younger than you at 45, but the flat bar choice was initially down to lower back pain. Certainly in the short term these bar ends are a great solution. I personally will need to think long and hard about getting a "proper" road bike because of the head down/back pain problem.
     
  11. rockitj

    rockitj New Member

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    Thanks for the recommendations. You're right, I could probably save quite a bit by buying parts and doing the work myself.

    What did you do with the original grips that were on the flat bars once you put the bar ends on? I imagine you would remove them and use tape on the bar ends and handlebars?
     
  12. NSM3

    NSM3 New Member

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    Use a Stanley knife to cut the ends off the handle grips. Pour boiling water over one of the grips and with the other bar end on the floor, push down with all your strength. They move impossibly slowly but will slide the 20-30mm further into the centre of the bars that you need.

    PS: Obviously you may need to adjust your brake and gear shifter positions first!
     
  13. jasong

    jasong New Member

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    On my flat bar, I never had the original grips. I have some cheap Ritchey 2x9 shifters (also Nashbar - $10) and wrapped normal road bar tape between them and the endless innovations road ends. I built it up pretty beefy knowing that my inner palm would be bearing a bit more weight than with a normal road drop, because of the drop end/bar interface. I didn't wrap the road end with anything. It's material, some type of injection molded nylon, is pretty comfortable and shock absorbing. Also, the brake levers I've got have a hook at the end which were made for reaching from bar ends. That gives a bit more ability for reaching them from the pseudo-"drops".

     
  14. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    My Road Ends were posted today, :D

    I will fit them on the end of the MTB bars just like any bar end. I am using openended foam grips and have 12mm of bar tube showing at each end and and the foam will compress sufficiently so I won't need to cut.
     
  15. rockitj

    rockitj New Member

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  16. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    Road Ends arrived today. :cool:

    Impression later...
     
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