Drop Bars on a Mountain Bike

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Craig Newell, Mar 23, 2003.

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  1. Craig Newell

    Craig Newell Guest

    Hi everyone,

    I realize this issue has been raised before, but most of the posts I have found date from 1992. I am
    hoping to update this thread with ideas using current technology.

    Ok, I have a 2001 GT Palomar mountain bike which I MUST USE!!!! My wife will not let me buy a
    new bike, even if the new one will be cheaper. If the project is too expensive, it simply will
    not be done.

    So the goal is to put drop bars on my bike. I like the feel of them better. But of course, this is
    not as easy as it sounds.

    1. I will want to swap my RST bouncy fork for a rigid one. I suspect my head tube is 1 1/8" (please
    correct any wrong info) and that it will not take a normal road fork with 1" steerer tube. Can
    anyone recommend a LIGHT rigid fork for a 1 1/8 headtube? Also my shocks are threaded but I would
    like the new forks to be threadless. So, to still be able to use the shocks occasionally, I was
    going to use a steering tube extender, a threadless headset and hopefully use the same stem.
    Which brings me to...

    2. Is it possible to use the same stem for road and mountain geometries simply by flipping it over
    to give the bars some rise?

    3. Drop bars will need new shifter and brake levers. Now, since I have really low end Shimano stuff
    on the bike now (Altus), I have no issues with going higher end for the entire drivetrain.
    However, I would like to buy the parts over the run of a season and continue to ride while
    waiting for the next part. SO, since I have a 7 speed freewheel, will my new Ultegra shifters be
    compatible until I upgrade the freewheel to a 9-speed cassette? Also, will the break levers be
    compatible with my V brakes?

    4. When it comes to getting my new drivetrain, should I go all Ultegra or should I go XT or a combo
    of both? I will be doing mostly road but some hard path and single track as well.

    5. Will I have to replace my cranks and chainrings for this whole thing to work?

    6. What else am I not seeing?

    Ok, what does everyone think?

    Craig
     
    Tags:


  2. Ted Bennett

    Ted Bennett Guest

    How much are you willing to spend on your Palomar to avoid buying a new bike, Craig?

    It sounds as though you are considering buying a new fork, new shifters, a steerer tube extender, a
    new headset, new XT or Ultegra derailers, new cogs and spreading the rear triangle. That will add up
    to more than a decent new road bike, and you can do very well in the used market.

    > Hi everyone,
    >
    > I realize this issue has been raised before, but most of the posts I have found date from 1992. I
    > am hoping to update this thread with ideas using current technology.
    >
    > Ok, I have a 2001 GT Palomar mountain bike which I MUST USE!!!! My wife will not let me buy a
    > new bike, even if the new one will be cheaper. If the project is too expensive, it simply will
    > not be done.

    Perhaps you should have a talk with your wife about false economy.

    > So the goal is to put drop bars on my bike. I like the feel of them better. But of course, this is
    > not as easy as it sounds.

    Word, bro.

    > 1. I will want to swap my RST bouncy fork for a rigid one. I suspect my head tube is 1 1/8"
    > (please correct any wrong info) and that it will not take a normal road fork with 1" steerer
    > tube. Can anyone recommend a LIGHT rigid fork for a 1 1/8 headtube? Also my shocks are threaded
    > but I would like the new forks to be threadless. So, to still be able to use the shocks
    > occasionally, I was going to use a steering tube extender, a threadless headset and hopefully
    > use the same stem. Which brings me to...
    >
    > 2. Is it possible to use the same stem for road and mountain geometries simply by flipping it over
    > to give the bars some rise?

    Maybe. Are you aware that not all bars have the same diameter at the stem clamping area?

    > 3. Drop bars will need new shifter and brake levers. Now, since I have really low end Shimano
    > stuff on the bike now (Altus), I have no issues with going higher end for the entire
    > drivetrain. However, I would like to buy the parts over the run of a season and continue to
    > ride while waiting for the next part. SO, since I have a 7 speed freewheel, will my new Ultegra
    > shifters be compatible until I upgrade the freewheel to a 9-speed cassette? Also, will the
    > break levers be compatible with my V brakes?

    No, they won't. And you would be better off with BRAKE levers. They are safer.

    > 4. When it comes to getting my new drivetrain, should I go all Ultegra or should I go XT or a
    > combo of both? I will be doing mostly road but some hard path and single track as well.

    Then you need new tires as well. Higher pressure tires with little or no tread will let you pick up
    the pace much more than changing drivetrain parts.

    > 5. Will I have to replace my cranks and chainrings for this whole thing to work?

    No, but the gearing will likely be too low.

    > 6. What else am I not seeing?

    That you will end up with a very expensive and mediocre road bike. Don't bother.

    > Ok, what does everyone think?
    >
    > Craig

    --
    Ted Bennett Portland OR
     
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    Craig Newell wrote:

    More like "can I build a road bike on a mountain-bike frame".

    > Ok, what does everyone think?

    Craig, I think you are either a troll, or certifiably insane. Either put aero-bars on the MTB and be
    happy, or get another bike. For the price of your Ultegra STI shifters, one could buy a second-hand
    road-bike thats better than the Frankenstein-bike you propose.
     
  4. Matt J

    Matt J Guest

    [email protected] (Craig Newell) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > 1. I will want to swap my RST bouncy fork for a rigid one. I suspect my head tube is 1 1/8"
    > (please correct any wrong info) and that it will not take a normal road fork with 1" steerer
    > tube. Can anyone recommend a LIGHT rigid fork for a 1 1/8 headtube? Also my shocks are threaded
    > but I would like the new forks to be threadless. So, to still be able to use the shocks
    > occasionally, I was going to use a steering tube extender, a threadless headset and hopefully
    > use the same stem.
    If you've got a threaded stem/fork/headset, and you want a threadless, you'd need a new stem,
    headset and fork. Chances are if it's threadless that it's 1" anyway. You can get rigid forks in
    threaded or threadless. I'd say stick with threaded so you can swap forks if need be.

    >
    > 2. Is it possible to use the same stem for road and mountain geometries simply by flipping it over
    > to give the bars some rise?

    Maybe. But if you put drop bars on, you'll feel very stretched-out, as they're farther forward.
    Also, most threaded stems don't have removable faceplates. I just did one of these conversions,
    thredless to threadless, and needed a 20mm stem to make it fit (now the steering is a little
    twitchy.) If it's too long, try moving the seat up in the seatpost.

    > 3. Drop bars will need new shifter and brake levers.

    If you do what I did, you can get some DiaCompe 247-V brake levers (they're very nice, available at
    Sheldon's site) to work with your existing v-brakes. Then, you can get bar-con (bar end) levers in 8
    or 9 speed and switch them to friction to work with the 7-speed stuff.

    > 4. When it comes to getting my new drivetrain, should I go all Ultegra or should I go XT or a
    > combo of both? I will be doing mostly road but some hard path and single track as well.

    My guess would be that XT would be cheaper - look on ebay for front derailleurs and stuff, they've
    got good deals on xtr even. If you use XT, too, you can have a much wider gearing range and a
    triple. Really, there's probably nothing wrong with what you want.

    > 5. Will I have to replace my cranks and chainrings for this whole thing to work?

    No, as far as I can tell, you're fine - just need the levers and bar end shifters. Once you get it
    all rigged up, it works quite nicely.

    > 6. What else am I not seeing?
    Just that thing with the stem- you'll need one shorter, but don't want it too short or your
    steering may get twitchy. Also, if you stick with threaded fork/stem/headset, it'll be a bother to
    change the bars if need be. I've had good luck with IRC Metro 26" tires. However, if you get the
    right kind of fork, I believe there are special v-brakes you can mount on a 26" fork and run 700c
    wheels, with a standard aero lever (not a special v-brake one). Look on ebay for these... Good
    luck, it's worth it! Matt
     
  5. Raymo853

    Raymo853 Guest

    "Craig Newell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi everyone,
    >
    > 1. I will want to swap my RST bouncy fork for a rigid one. I suspect my head tube is 1 1/8"
    > (please correct any wrong info) and that it will not take a normal road fork with 1" steerer
    > tube. Can anyone recommend a LIGHT rigid fork for a 1 1/8 headtube? Also my shocks are threaded
    > but I would like the new forks to be threadless. So, to still be able to use the shocks
    > occasionally, I was going to use a steering tube extender, a threadless headset and hopefully
    > use the same stem. Which brings me to...

    Threaded on a 2001 bike, really? You don't want a road fork but a ridgid MTB fork. I light one will
    costs you upwards of $200, a cheap heavy one should be like $20 on eBay.

    >
    > 2. Is it possible to use the same stem for road and mountain geometries simply by flipping it over
    > to give the bars some rise?

    No, the bar clamp size is different.

    >
    > 3. Drop bars will need new shifter and brake levers. Now, since I have really low end Shimano
    > stuff on the bike now (Altus), I have no issues with going hi0gher end for the entire
    > drivetrain. However, I would like to buy the parts over the run of a season and continue to
    > ride while waiting for the next part. SO, since I have a 7 speed freewheel, will my new Ultegra
    > shifters be compatible until I upgrade the freewheel to a 9-speed cassette? Also, will the
    > break levers be compatible with my V brakes?
    >
    No the 9 speed shifters will not work on a 7 speed casseette. No the brake levers will not work
    with V brakes.

    >
    > Ok, what does everyone think?

    Grow some balls and go buy a new bike. It will cost less in the end.

    >
    > Craig
     
  6. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    Craig wrote:

    >Ok, I have a 2001 GT Palomar mountain bike which I MUST USE!!!! My wife will not let me buy a new
    >bike, even if the new one will be cheaper. If
    the project is too expensive, it simply will not be done.

    >
    >So the goal is to put drop bars on my bike. I like the feel of them better. But of course, this is
    >not as easy as it sounds.

    I have a Specialized Rockhopper FS comp, that someone converted to a touring bike with drop bars,
    racks front and back, fenders, bar end shifters, Diacompe levers etc. It is all XT with an XTR
    reverse derailleur. It is a great bike as an all arounder, I paid $500 for it, about as much as I
    would ever pay for a bike and it nice, but there are some issues you need to be aware of.

    1. Fit. Mountain bikes are designed to fit with flat bars. Putting drop bars on a mountain bike
    that currently fits will mean that the stem needs to shortened a great deal and in fact it may
    be impossible to make the bike comfortable because you will be too stretched out. Also realize
    that for off roading, the forward position that a road bike requires for braking is not ideal,
    especially on a steep downhill.

    2. Gearing. Most MTBs come with a compact drive crank these days. For most uses these are fine but
    normally a 44 is about all you will find so you if you purchase the appropriate tires, ie high
    pressure 1 inch tires, your top gear will we well under 100 inches.

    >So, to still be able to use the shocks occasionally, I was going to use a steering tube extender, a
    >threadless headset and hopefully use the same stem. Which brings me to...

    Shocks with drop bars are a pain. When you brake you are already stretched out, the shocks accenuate
    the dive. Once you do the conversion forget switching back.

    >
    >2. Is it possible to use the same stem for road and mountain geometries simply by flipping it over
    > to give the bars some rise?

    See above about fit. Also others have commented on the fact that most road bars are 26.0 while MTB
    bars are 25.4. Need a different stem but stems are cheap.

    >3. Drop bars will need new shifter and brake levers. Now, since I have really low end Shimano stuff
    > on the bike now (Altus), I have no issues with going higher end for the entire drivetrain.
    > However, I would like to buy the parts over the run of a season and continue to ride while
    > waiting for the next part. SO, since I have a 7 speed freewheel, will my new Ultegra shifters be
    > compatible until I upgrade the freewheel to a 9-speed cassette? Also, will the break levers be
    > compatible with my V brakes?

    You can either go the travel agent route with the shifters or use separate brake levers and bar
    ends. The bar ends will let you operate in the friction mode and thus use 9 speed shifters with a 7
    speed cassette. To use STI shifters you would have to respace your current cassette with 9 speed
    spacers, some more work.

    >4. When it comes to getting my new drivetrain, should I go all Ultegra or should I go XT or a combo
    > of both? I will be doing mostly road but some hard path and single track as well.
    >

    This is about money mostly, so without knowing your situation, I would say the best crank would be a
    standard 110-74 crank, this will allow you the widest range of chain ring choices, I would suggest
    something like a 48-36-24. As far a rear derailleur, get MTB stuff, it will handle the big
    differences in cogs better.

    >
    >5. Will I have to replace my cranks and chainrings for this whole thing to work?

    Probably unless you want to be stuck with a too low top gear.

    >6. What else am I not seeing?

    >Ok, what does everyone think?
    >
    >Craig

    I am guessing that you probably paid about $300 for this bike what with Altus etc. To put drop bars
    on it, get the shifters working, getting the cranks, bottom bracket, it probably will cost you
    probably another $300 minimum and by the time you include another cassette, freehub, tires and
    stuff, you will be looking at $500.

    And the problem is that in the end, you will have $800's invested in a $100 frame that probably
    won't fit right anyway.

    The first such conversion I did was to my Softride MTB. I had all the parts and it was just time.
    One ride around the block was sufficient to convince me that this was a poor idea.

    -----------------

    In my experienced, based on several years of being a "junk yard" engineer and bicycle mechanic is
    that it is best not to ask a bike to be more than it is.

    Leave this bike as it is, if you want to go faster, put on some 1 inch 100 psi tires and go for it.
    The drop bars and gears and all will add a small amount but mostly if you put those tires on it,
    that will do about as much as you can
    do.

    Over the season, keep your eye open for a decent road bike, your size that fits and is being sold at
    a bargin price. A bike that cost $1000 or $2000 10 years ago can be bought for less than the cost of
    upgrading to STI shifters, sometimes much less.

    -----

    It is better in my view to start with a bike designed for the job rather than trying to make
    something into something it is not. Sure in the case of my Specialized someone took the time to do
    this. But this bike is not particularily fast, certainly no faster than it would be with flat bars.
    It is just a very solid bike that handles loads and rough roads well, looks nice and is durable,
    reliable, uses 26 inch tires and tubes which are available in out of the way places...... For this
    task, a nicely made steel MTB frame with a rigid fork is a reasonable choice..

    I believe that experimenting as you propose to do is a good thing, but unless one wants some real
    heartburn and heart ache over money spent with a sad result, it is best to do such experiments with
    as little investment as possible. In my case, I am fortunate that I have a garage full of parts,
    even a couple of extra frames, lots of wheels, chain rings, cranks, derailleurs.......

    Bottomline: You are asking something of your current bike that is unreasonable, I believe when you
    are done, you will be disappointed in the results. You would be wiser to find a decent road bike and
    start from there.

    The important factors about a road bike are not the things that you can easily change, brakes,
    shifters and cranks, rather it is the geometry, the tires, and the fit. The 1984 SR Maxima that
    hangs in my garage is realistically every bit as fast as the more recent vintage bikes, sure it has
    friction shifting and only 6 or 7 speeds, but it fits and it wants to fly.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  7. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    "Matt J" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Craig Newell) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > > 1. I will want to swap my RST bouncy fork for a rigid one. I suspect my head tube is 1 1/8"
    > > (please correct any wrong info) and that it will not take a normal road fork with 1" steerer
    > > tube. Can anyone recommend a LIGHT rigid fork for a 1 1/8 headtube? Also my shocks are
    > > threaded but I would like the new forks to be threadless. So, to still be able to use the
    > > shocks occasionally, I was going to use a steering tube extender, a threadless headset and
    > > hopefully use the same stem.
    > If you've got a threaded stem/fork/headset, and you want a threadless, you'd need a new stem,
    > headset and fork. Chances are if it's threadless that it's 1" anyway. You can get rigid forks in
    > threaded or threadless. I'd say stick with threaded so you can swap forks if need be.
    >
    > >
    > > 2. Is it possible to use the same stem for road and mountain geometries simply by flipping it
    > > over to give the bars some rise?
    >
    > Maybe. But if you put drop bars on, you'll feel very stretched-out, as they're farther forward.
    > Also, most threaded stems don't have removable faceplates. I just did one of these conversions,
    > thredless to threadless, and needed a 20mm stem to make it fit (now the steering is a little
    > twitchy.) If it's too long, try moving the seat up in the seatpost.
    >
    > > 3. Drop bars will need new shifter and brake levers.
    >
    > If you do what I did, you can get some DiaCompe 247-V brake levers (they're very nice, available
    > at Sheldon's site) to work with your existing v-brakes. Then, you can get bar-con (bar end) levers
    > in 8 or 9 speed and switch them to friction to work with the 7-speed stuff.
    >
    > > 4. When it comes to getting my new drivetrain, should I go all Ultegra or should I go XT or a
    > > combo of both? I will be doing mostly road but some hard path and single track as well.
    >
    > My guess would be that XT would be cheaper - look on ebay for front derailleurs and stuff, they've
    > got good deals on xtr even. If you use XT, too, you can have a much wider gearing range and a
    > triple. Really, there's probably nothing wrong with what you want.
    >
    > > 5. Will I have to replace my cranks and chainrings for this whole thing to work?
    >
    > No, as far as I can tell, you're fine - just need the levers and bar end shifters. Once you get it
    > all rigged up, it works quite nicely.
    >
    > > 6. What else am I not seeing?
    > Just that thing with the stem- you'll need one shorter, but don't want it too short or your
    > steering may get twitchy.

    This is something I've never fully understood or even experienced for that matter. I see "downhill"
    stems offered with no extension. Downhillers don't want "twitchy" handling, do they? Could someone
    explain it to me?

    > Also, if you stick with threaded fork/stem/headset, it'll be a bother to change the bars if need
    > be. I've had good luck with IRC Metro 26" tires. However, if you get the right kind of fork, I
    > believe there are special v-brakes you can mount on a 26" fork and run 700c wheels, with a
    > standard aero lever (not a special v-brake one). Look on ebay for these... Good luck, it's worth
    > it! Matt
     
  8. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    "Raymo853" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Craig Newell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Hi everyone,
    > >
    > > 1. I will want to swap my RST bouncy fork for a rigid one. I suspect my head tube is 1 1/8"
    > > (please correct any wrong info) and that it will not take a normal road fork with 1" steerer
    > > tube. Can anyone recommend a LIGHT rigid fork for a 1 1/8 headtube? Also my shocks are
    > > threaded but I would like the new forks to be threadless. So, to still be able to use the
    > > shocks occasionally, I was going to use a steering tube extender, a threadless headset and
    > > hopefully use the same stem. Which brings me to...
    >
    > Threaded on a 2001 bike, really? You don't want a road fork but a ridgid MTB fork. I light one
    > will costs you upwards of $200, a cheap heavy one should be like $20 on eBay.
    >
    >
    > >
    > > 2. Is it possible to use the same stem for road and mountain geometries simply by flipping it
    > > over to give the bars some rise?
    >
    > No, the bar clamp size is different.

    Not necessarily. There are 25.4mm road bars available.

    >
    > > 3. Drop bars will need new shifter and brake levers. Now, since I have really low end Shimano
    > > stuff on the bike now (Altus), I have no issues with going hi0gher end for the entire
    > > drivetrain. However, I would like to buy the parts over the run of a season and continue to
    > > ride while waiting for the next part. SO, since I have a 7 speed freewheel, will my new
    > > Ultegra shifters be compatible until I upgrade the freewheel to a 9-speed cassette? Also,
    > > will the break levers be compatible with my V brakes?
    > >
    > No the 9 speed shifters will not work on a 7 speed casseette. No the
    brake
    > levers will not work with V brakes.
    >
    >
    > >
    > > Ok, what does everyone think?
    >
    > Grow some balls and go buy a new bike. It will cost less in the end.
    >

    Probably true. I did this conversion once, on an old, rigid mtb. The stem change is the biggest
    problem, since you have to shorten the reach by approximately the reach on the drop bars. That's
    about 5-6cm, or more. If you're starting with a 12cm stem, you end up using one 5-6cm. Not alot of
    choices there. I ended up using a Zoom adjustable angle stem, 9cm, angled sharply up to shorten it
    even more.

    Now, if the mtb was too small to begin with, this may not be a problem! ;-)
     
  9. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    Ted is right. Get a low-end Fuji road bike for about the same $$$ as all of the upgrades that you're
    planning (I recommend the Fuji Finest for excellent value). Remind your wife how cheap bikes are
    compared to (a) hospitalization for cardiopulmonary disease (b) anything related to automobiles. Ask
    her how much she has spent on clothes and shoes in the past year. One car payment will buy you a
    decent road bike. It's about priorities; and bikes are fun, healthy, practical and cheap. There
    aren't many things that are a better value.

    -Barry

    "Ted Bennett" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > How much are you willing to spend on your Palomar to avoid buying a new bike, Craig?
    >
    > It sounds as though you are considering buying a new fork, new shifters, a steerer tube extender,
    > a new headset, new XT or Ultegra derailers, new cogs and spreading the rear triangle. That will
    > add up to more than a decent new road bike, and you can do very well in the used market.
    >
    >
    > > Hi everyone,
    > >
    > > I realize this issue has been raised before, but most of the posts I have found date from 1992.
    > > I am hoping to update this thread with ideas using current technology.
    > >
    > > Ok, I have a 2001 GT Palomar mountain bike which I MUST USE!!!! My wife will not let me buy a
    > > new bike, even if the new one will be cheaper. If the project is too expensive, it simply will
    > > not be done.
    >
    > Perhaps you should have a talk with your wife about false economy.
    >
    > > So the goal is to put drop bars on my bike. I like the feel of them better. But of course, this
    > > is not as easy as it sounds.
    >
    > Word, bro.
    >
    > > 1. I will want to swap my RST bouncy fork for a rigid one. I suspect my head tube is 1 1/8"
    > > (please correct any wrong info) and that it will not take a normal road fork with 1" steerer
    > > tube. Can anyone recommend a LIGHT rigid fork for a 1 1/8 headtube? Also my shocks are
    > > threaded but I would like the new forks to be threadless. So, to still be able to use the
    > > shocks occasionally, I was going to use a steering tube extender, a threadless headset and
    > > hopefully use the same stem. Which brings me to...
    > >
    > > 2. Is it possible to use the same stem for road and mountain geometries simply by flipping it
    > > over to give the bars some rise?
    >
    > Maybe. Are you aware that not all bars have the same diameter at the stem clamping area?
    >
    > > 3. Drop bars will need new shifter and brake levers. Now, since I have really low end Shimano
    > > stuff on the bike now (Altus), I have no issues with going higher end for the entire
    > > drivetrain. However, I would like to buy the parts over the run of a season and continue to
    > > ride while waiting for the next part. SO, since I have a 7 speed freewheel, will my new
    > > Ultegra shifters be compatible until I upgrade the freewheel to a 9-speed cassette? Also,
    > > will the break levers be compatible with my V brakes?
    >
    > No, they won't. And you would be better off with BRAKE levers. They are safer.
    >
    > > 4. When it comes to getting my new drivetrain, should I go all Ultegra or should I go XT or a
    > > combo of both? I will be doing mostly road but some hard path and single track as well.
    >
    > Then you need new tires as well. Higher pressure tires with little or no tread will let you pick
    > up the pace much more than changing drivetrain parts.
    >
    > > 5. Will I have to replace my cranks and chainrings for this whole thing to work?
    >
    > No, but the gearing will likely be too low.
    >
    > > 6. What else am I not seeing?
    >
    > That you will end up with a very expensive and mediocre road bike. Don't bother.
    >
    > > Ok, what does everyone think?
    > >
    > > Craig
    >
    > --
    > Ted Bennett Portland OR
     
  10. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Robin Hubert" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Matt J" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > [email protected] (Craig Newell) wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    > >
    > > > 6. What else am I not seeing?
    > > Just that thing with the stem- you'll need one shorter, but don't want it too short or your
    > > steering may get twitchy.
    >
    > This is something I've never fully understood or even experienced for that matter. I see
    > "downhill" stems offered with no extension. Downhillers
    don't
    > want "twitchy" handling, do they? Could someone explain it to me?

    They want to get back as far over the rear wheel as possible. After all, they're pointing downhill -
    not uphill. I suppose if you're hanging your weight off the back of the bike, that should stabilize
    the steering pretty well. DH'ers also sometimes use steering dampers, since they take some abusive
    hits that can really snatch the bars out of their hands.

    -Barry
     
  11. Craig Newell

    Craig Newell Guest

    Thanks for your suggestions and help everyone. Could have done without the flames tho. Next time
    shut the hell up.

    I guess I will keep the bike as-is. Too much of a headache to make the switch.

    Thanks again.

    [email protected] (Craig Newell) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi everyone,
    >
    > I realize this issue has been raised before, but most of the posts I have found date from 1992. I
    > am hoping to update this thread with ideas using current technology.
    >
    > Ok, I have a 2001 GT Palomar mountain bike which I MUST USE!!!! My wife will not let me buy a
    > new bike, even if the new one will be cheaper. If the project is too expensive, it simply will
    > not be done.
    >
    > So the goal is to put drop bars on my bike. I like the feel of them better. But of course, this is
    > not as easy as it sounds.
    >
    > 1. I will want to swap my RST bouncy fork for a rigid one. I suspect my head tube is 1 1/8"
    > (please correct any wrong info) and that it will not take a normal road fork with 1" steerer
    > tube. Can anyone recommend a LIGHT rigid fork for a 1 1/8 headtube? Also my shocks are threaded
    > but I would like the new forks to be threadless. So, to still be able to use the shocks
    > occasionally, I was going to use a steering tube extender, a threadless headset and hopefully
    > use the same stem. Which brings me to...
    >
    > 2. Is it possible to use the same stem for road and mountain geometries simply by flipping it over
    > to give the bars some rise?
    >
    > 3. Drop bars will need new shifter and brake levers. Now, since I have really low end Shimano
    > stuff on the bike now (Altus), I have no issues with going higher end for the entire
    > drivetrain. However, I would like to buy the parts over the run of a season and continue to
    > ride while waiting for the next part. SO, since I have a 7 speed freewheel, will my new Ultegra
    > shifters be compatible until I upgrade the freewheel to a 9-speed cassette? Also, will the
    > break levers be compatible with my V brakes?
    >
    > 4. When it comes to getting my new drivetrain, should I go all Ultegra or should I go XT or a
    > combo of both? I will be doing mostly road but some hard path and single track as well.
    >
    > 5. Will I have to replace my cranks and chainrings for this whole thing to work?
    >
    > 6. What else am I not seeing?
    >
    > Ok, what does everyone think?
    >
    > Craig
     
  12. M Gagnon

    M Gagnon Guest

    > Craig wrote:
    >
    > >Ok, I have a 2001 GT Palomar mountain bike which I MUST USE!!!! ....
    >
    "Jon Isaacs" replied :
    > 2. Gearing. Most MTBs come with a compact drive crank these days. For
    most
    > uses these are fine but normally a 44 is about all you will find so you if
    you
    > purchase the appropriate tires, ie high pressure 1 inch tires, your top
    gear
    > will we well under 100 inches.

    It depends on how fast you ride. My touring bike has a top gear of 99 gear-inches. Spinning pedals
    at 80 rpm still means I could pedal while riding at 38 km/h (24 mph). Let's say it doesn't happen
    often. BTW, 44/11 gives 108 gear-inches.

    > Craig wrote:
    > >3. Drop bars will need new shifter and brake levers. Now, since I have really low end Shimano
    > > stuff on the bike now (Altus), I have no issues with going higher end for the entire
    > > drivetrain. However, I would like to buy the parts over the run of a season and continue to
    > > ride while waiting for the next part. SO, since I have a 7 speed freewheel, will my new
    > > Ultegra shifters be compatible until I upgrade the freewheel to a 9-speed cassette? Also, will
    > > the break levers be compatible with my V brakes?
    >
    "Jon Isaacs" replied :
    > You can either go the travel agent route with the shifters or use separate brake levers and bar
    > ends. The bar ends will let you operate in the
    friction
    > mode and thus use 9 speed shifters with a 7 speed cassette. To use STI shifters you would have to
    > respace your current cassette with 9 speed
    spacers,
    > some more work.

    Bar-end shifters are much cheaper than STI. Now, you have 2 options: getting bar-end shifters or STI
    for 7 or 8 speeds (almost similar spacing), or getting shifters for 9-speed. If you go the 9-speed
    route, there is an alternate cable routing that allows you to use an 8-speed or 7-speed cassette
    indexed with 9-speed shifters. If you go the 7- or 8-speed route, you should shop around to find
    some used or NOS stock, left on the shelf by roadies that really wanted to get their 9-speed "now".
    Finally, if you go for STI, there are some incompatibilities between "road" and "mountain" front
    derailleurs, Not sure exactly, but I think it means you will need a new front derailleur. Bar-end
    shifters, on the other hand, are compatible with _any_ front derailleur and almost any chainrings,
    including those you have.

    >
    > >4. When it comes to getting my new drivetrain, should I go all Ultegra or should I go XT or a
    > > combo of both? I will be doing mostly road but some hard path and single track as well.

    Why change things that work?

    P.S. Moneywise, wouldn't getting a used bike be cheaper?

    Regards,

    Michel
     
  13. Eric Murray

    Eric Murray Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Craig Newell
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Ok, I have a 2001 GT Palomar mountain bike which I MUST USE!!!! My wife will not let me buy a
    >new bike, even if the new one will be cheaper. If the project is too expensive, it simply will
    >not be done.
    >
    >So the goal is to put drop bars on my bike. I like the feel of them better. But of course, this is
    >not as easy as it sounds.

    I did that back in the day. It looked cool, but even on the shorter top tube MTB frames in the early
    80s it was a bit of a reach for off-road riding. I eventualy took them off.

    If you want a dedicated road bike it'll be much cheaper to just buy an inexpensive used one. You can
    get one for much less than the Ultegra parts you propose to use, you will wind up with a better bike
    in the bargain, and you will still have a mountain bike.

    Eric
     
  14. Craig Newell wrote:

    >>Ok, I have a 2001 GT Palomar mountain bike which I MUST USE!!!! My wife will not let me buy a
    >>new bike, even if the new one will be cheaper. If the project is too expensive, it simply will
    >>not be done.

    > I guess I will keep the bike as-is. Too much of a headache to make the switch.

    Here's a suggestion:

    1) take the GT to a friend's house: tell the wife you're gonna work on switching the bars there

    2) buy a new bike with the same color frame as the GT. Maybe even a new GT bike, so it has that
    same "triple triangle" thing. Store the new bike at your friend's house.

    3) go to the friends house a few times over the course of a couple of weeks, to "work on the
    bike"

    4) while at your friends, ride your new bike, getting it dirty.

    5) bring the new bike home.

    I was gonna get a new motorcycle this way, but my co-conspirator moved.

    Duke
     
  15. Duke Robillard wrote:

    > Here's a suggestion:
    > 1) take the GT to a friend's house: tell the wife you're gonna work on switching the bars there
    <snip>
    > 5) bring the new bike home.

    Or, you can do what a friend did and say he only bought a new frame. He went from a matt black to
    a silver/chrome. His theory was that the huge contrast between frames would be enough to offset
    the differences between _everything_ else. I thought he was being delirious, as he was going from
    ~AU$3500 to ~AU$7000+ worth of bike.

    I was interested in seeing if his wife was going to buy it. I don't think she did, but figured
    that he was going to spend the money anyway, so pretended... Her reasoning was "at least he isn't
    doing drugs".

    --
    Linux Registered User # 302622 <http://counter.li.org
     
  16. Craig, I'd like to do this with my comfort bike. I was thinking about just using the dia-comp levers
    with some rapid fire shifters on top of the bar. I figure about $100 for the parts. I do have a
    rigid fork however.

    I am keeping the gears. you'll get my 22 tooth chainring when you pry my cold dead fingers from
    around my suspension seatpost.

    Steve.

    Craig Newell wrote:
    > Hi everyone,
    >
    > I realize this issue has been raised before, but most of the posts I have found date from 1992. I
    > am hoping to update this thread with ideas using current technology.
    >
    > Ok, I have a 2001 GT Palomar mountain bike which I MUST USE!!!! My wife will not let me buy a
    > new bike, even if the new one will be cheaper. If the project is too expensive, it simply will
    > not be done.
    >
    > So the goal is to put drop bars on my bike. I like the feel of them better. But of course, this is
    > not as easy as it sounds.
    >
    > 1. I will want to swap my RST bouncy fork for a rigid one. I suspect my head tube is 1 1/8"
    > (please correct any wrong info) and that it will not take a normal road fork with 1" steerer
    > tube. Can anyone recommend a LIGHT rigid fork for a 1 1/8 headtube? Also my shocks are threaded
    > but I would like the new forks to be threadless. So, to still be able to use the shocks
    > occasionally, I was going to use a steering tube extender, a threadless headset and hopefully
    > use the same stem. Which brings me to...
    >
    > 2. Is it possible to use the same stem for road and mountain geometries simply by flipping it over
    > to give the bars some rise?
    >
    > 3. Drop bars will need new shifter and brake levers. Now, since I have really low end Shimano
    > stuff on the bike now (Altus), I have no issues with going higher end for the entire
    > drivetrain. However, I would like to buy the parts over the run of a season and continue to
    > ride while waiting for the next part. SO, since I have a 7 speed freewheel, will my new Ultegra
    > shifters be compatible until I upgrade the freewheel to a 9-speed cassette? Also, will the
    > break levers be compatible with my V brakes?
    >
    > 4. When it comes to getting my new drivetrain, should I go all Ultegra or should I go XT or a
    > combo of both? I will be doing mostly road but some hard path and single track as well.
    >
    > 5. Will I have to replace my cranks and chainrings for this whole thing to work?
    >
    > 6. What else am I not seeing?
    >
    > Ok, what does everyone think?
    >
    > Craig
     
  17. Matt J

    Matt J Guest

    "Robin Hubert" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > > 6. What else am I not seeing?
    > > Just that thing with the stem- you'll need one shorter, but don't want it too short or your
    > > steering may get twitchy.
    >
    > This is something I've never fully understood or even experienced for that matter. I see
    > "downhill" stems offered with no extension. Downhillers don't want "twitchy" handling, do they?
    > Could someone explain it to me?
    Quite frankly, the "twitchiness" of a shorter stem in this (drop bar) case is probably mental.
    Someone mentioned that it would be twitchier, and it makes sense. However, DH bikes have such steep
    head tube angles that it doesn't really matter how short the stem is, I assume. Matt
     
  18. Matt J wrote:

    >>>Just that thing with the stem- you'll need one shorter, but don't want it too short or your
    >>>steering may get twitchy.
    >>
    >>This is something I've never fully understood or even experienced for that matter. I see
    >>"downhill" stems offered with no extension. Downhillers don't want "twitchy" handling, do they?
    >>Could someone explain it to me?

    In this situation, "twitchy handling" means "if you move your hands a little, tiny bit, the wheel
    moves quite a lot." To make that happen, you make the distance between your hand and the steerer
    tube as short as possible. That's direct distance, "as the crow flys" distance, "put a string
    between your hand and the steerer tube and measture the length" distance. (The key is the radius of
    the arc your hand describes, for anyone who remembers high school math.)

    There are several ways get "twitch": short stem, narrow bars, move your hands inward. DH bikes have
    massively wide bars, which makes up for the short stem.

    I like really wide bars, because they're forgiving. If you move them a little too far, it's not a
    disaster...you can miss some, and it won't stick your wheel in a rock. It's one of the ways I use
    technology to make up for my lack of skill and fitness. :)

    Duke
     
  19. Whitfit

    Whitfit Guest

    Whoaaa! Everybody was way too harsh here. First off, the idea of going full nine speed ultegra/xt is
    probably excessive. Really, it's mostly for fashion as for most of us using lower end parts is
    functional. You can get a set of bar end shifters and aero levers for a decent price, get a cheap
    ridgind fork, and you can buy 25.4 mm road bars. The only problem will be the levers and the brakes.
    V-brakes require a fair bit of cable pull, so you want to either get cantis, or some of those
    diacompe v brake drop levers. STI is nice, but unneccesary and finicky. I'm rocking a set of bar end
    shifters right now because of versatility, even though I marginally prefer STIs. I'd reccomend you
    do a half ass crossover, concentrating on fitting the bike right, and save up for when you can
    justify a new bike-and have decided you are fully ready for a road bike. If you do want to ride
    occassionaly on trails, your eventual goal might be a cyclocross bike.

    Good luck!

    Whitfit.
     
  20. Bigglesworth

    Bigglesworth Guest

    Remeber when this was the nuts? Tomac, Murray, etc... Boy, those were the days...

    Wait, what am I talkng about. I was 8 at the time...
     
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