Change flatbar to dropbar?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jimphd, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. jimphd

    jimphd New Member

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    Hi, I have a quick question somebody may be able to help with.

    I recently purchased a Kona phd flatbar bike, and in the meantime have registered for the Around the Bay ride in Melb in October and realised this may not be the most comfortable position to ride in for 210kms.

    Am I able to change the handlebars to dropbars (I have been told it will change the bike completely and make it very uncomfortable to ride) as well as buying new gear and brake levers or would it be a simpler option to buy bar ends so I can at least change my hand position during the ride.

    thanks - Jim
     
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  2. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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  3. SlimMiddleton

    SlimMiddleton New Member

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    Hi Jim

    I did this with a Specialized Sirrus (which appears to be a resonably similar kind of bike) - I have had no trouble with drop bars, I find them much more comfortable than flat bars and they certainly haven't altered the fundamental way that the bike rides. Most of the flat bar bikes are loosely based around drop bar models in any case so I would not have thought that drop bars would make it uncomfortable to ride - well no more so than drop bars on any bike!! It makes for a very versatile bike too - essentialy a road bike but with lots of clearance for mudguards (if you need them) and most of the necessary braze ons. I suspect (but have not tried) that my bike will make a reasonably good cyclo cross steed albeit, a slightly heavy one.

    Bear in mind that you can not use any old brake levers with V-brakes. You can either change to cantilevers or use Dia -Compe 287v's (I think that is what they are called). A regular dropped bar brake lever won't pull enough cable through. If you want to use STI levers, you will have to change to canti's (or mini v's but I hear that they are not so good). I use the Dia Compe levers and bar end shifters which seem to be as unpopular as anything (except with TT bars) but which I think look great in a retro grouch kind of way. Plus, because they are not quite so convenient as STi's, you end up riding a gear or two lower than you probably should - which is good for fitness!!

    Simon

     
  4. mrkott3r

    mrkott3r New Member

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    Whoever said drops are uncomfortable is an idiot.

    Dont bother changing it over, it'll get way too expensive. Go and have a look at how much brifters cost.
     
  5. SlimMiddleton

    SlimMiddleton New Member

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    As above - You don't have to use "brifters" and can't with V Brakes in any case. Bar end shifters with Dia-Compe brake levers is probably the most economical route.
     
  6. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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  7. Blademun

    Blademun New Member

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    Hmmm..I have been going the route of turning my hybrid into a true road bike. I picked up a good deal on sti levers and purchased a cheap ergo drop bar. I've got bar tape, cables, housings and such laying around.

    Whoever said drop bars would throw your geometry off is way wrong. People have been putting Drop bars on mountain bikes for awhile (usually to use the Sti lever + Mech disk brake super combo.).

    Also, there are adapters out there that can make Sti levers compatible with V-brakes. Heres a link: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=6361&category=1596

    Its hard to say anything consistent because it seems like every manufacturer has their own idea of what a hybrid 'should' be. Some make them simply mountain bikes with 700C wheels. Others make them road bikes with flat bars and there is any number of other combinations inbetween. Obviously, if your bike(like mine) leans heavily toward the road side of the equation, then going to drop bars is alot easier.
     
  8. jimphd

    jimphd New Member

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    thanks very much for the advice, I have had to do a bit of reading on STI levers and V brakes and stuff (and brifters), now i'm almost up with all the terminology.
    Didn't realise road bikes with drop bars have different brakes, now I understand why it'd be a big deat, it's not just a matter of swapping the bars.
    I'm going to the LBS to get some end bars - i like the look of the drop end bars. probably cheaper in the long run, then I can sell the Kona and probably buy a Giant, which i probably should have done in the first place.
    Cycling is quite addictive (and expensive)

    thanks again!!!
     
  9. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    Is this the bike? http://www.citybikedepot.com.au/products/mtb/kona/4.asp

    If you use 3x9 Speed STI shifters with drop bars, then Tektro Mini V-Brakes will work. I have Shimano Road Levers and Tektro Mini V-Brakes on my Felt.

    Another consideration is using a Time Trial Base Bar, leave the existing shifters and levers on the flat part of the bar. You would need to research the availability of 22.2mm bars.
     
  10. jimphd

    jimphd New Member

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    Hi George, that's the bike.
    I am going to the bike place at lunch time so i'll see how much it costs to with what you suggest above.

    (Have to get onto google to look up the stuff) - thanks heaps

    Jim
     
  11. scho047

    scho047 New Member

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    hey there, i was in same situation as you are now about a month ago....i had bought Specialized Sirrus and wanted to change the flat handlebar to a dropbar to get more speed with better body position etc....
    did some serious research into it to find out how much it will cost to do this and worked out that it was only little bit cheaper than to buy a new bike...
    so for me i ended up selling my hybrid bike and upgraded to proper road bike, Scott Speedster S30 and am loving it....
    just wanted to give you my experience on this matter....just as a thought for you to also think about....
     
  12. jimphd

    jimphd New Member

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    Hey scho047 - I did eventually make the same decision. I traded the Kona in and only lost a small amount of cash, and bought a MASI bike, and I couldnt' be happier.
    Although the kona was a fast/light bike, the MASI is really comfortable and is more of a racer.

    thanks for your feedback!
     
  13. Blademun

    Blademun New Member

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    I finished my conversion project.

    After selling my bike's front end and a spare crank I had laying around, I was able to purchase a Drop Bar, Stem, and 105 9 speed shifters. Another 10$ got me some good bar tape. Also needed to switch to Mini-V's, which cost me 30$.

    I decided to upgrade my bike too, so I payed 210$ and purchased a brand new Sram Rival Crank, 971 chain and 970 Cassette. 36$ more got me a new wireless cyclo computer.

    Total Spent: about 300$


    Heres the Finished Bike: [​IMG]
     
  14. FREDBLACK

    FREDBLACK New Member

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    Looks sweeeeet. great move. enjoy the ride.



     
  15. lwedge

    lwedge New Member

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    Jim, I wouldn't go to drop bars on your bike, You will be surprised at how many flatbar bikes will be in this event. The most important thing about these rides is your drive train and it looks like you have road gearing and wheels and tires (tyres) so you will be fine. What I would consider would be something like moustache handlebars. Your LBS should be able to find alternative handlebars for mountain sized shifters (22.2mm) and break levers (they are different circumference than road shifters and brakes which are 23.8mm).

    A few roadies have gone from drop bars to or moustache type bars that I have noticed on some rides.

    Don't worry about the drop bars, unless you want to race then you will want to change bikes so it's a moot point. You have a nice bike. Add a couple of bottle cages and a tool kit and you'll be fine. Enjoy, have a great ride.

    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30&action=list&Category=862&type=T

    lw
     
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