Flat bar to Drop bar conversion on my schwinn?



radiantstatic

New Member
Sep 23, 2010
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I received a "cheap" schwinn as a present and although it may not be the highest of quality of materials, I use it mostly as a bad weather bike/commuter. It certainly gets me from point A to point B - about 20 miles a day. My question is, it currently has a flat bar with shimano 8-speed shifter and v-brakes. Any chance that it can be converted over for a reasonable price? If so, anything in particular that I should look out for when picking up supplies. New to the forum but hope to contribute a lot.
 
Thanks,
Joe
 

dabac

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantstatic .
I received a "cheap" schwinn ..it currently has a flat bar with shimano 8-speed shifter and v-brakes. Any chance that it can be converted
Yes
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantstatic
.
...for a reasonable price?

 
There's no solid definition of reasonable. It will mean either money, some fairly big compromises, or big deal scoring skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantstatic . If so, anything in particular that I should look out for when picking up supplies.

Depends on what you want the final result to be. Cheapest way around is to get a pair of drop bar ends. You might want a longer stem to go with that. Braking and shifting would still be done from the current position. Braking can be moved to the drops either by getting a pair of v-brake compatible (important) aero brake levers (tektro makes some), switching to canti brakes, or buying some travel agents. A switch to caliper brakes might also be possible, if you get some with sufficient reach.
 
If you want to go the whole hog you can chase down some 8-speed Shimano brifters, deal with braking according to above and will probably have to do something about the front derailer.
 
Or you can get the drop bar, the v-brake compatible aero levers and a pair of bar end shifters. The left shifter of those always run indexed, so no compatibility issues with the front derailer. Probably the route of least hassle, unles you're satisfied with drop bar ends.
 
Remember that even after a major makeover, low-end bikes never fully gets away from their humble origins.
 
 

radiantstatic

New Member
Sep 23, 2010
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Thank you for your help!
 
I have decided to go with the Tektro RL520(A) linear pull brake levers as well as Shimano SL-BS50 8 speed bar end shifters. Any objections to those, in terms of compatibility? I'm familiar with installing brake levers but do you know any good resources or tutorials on installing bar end shifters?
 
Thanks again for all your help,
Joe
 

dabac

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2003
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Originally Posted by radiantstatic .

Thank you for your help!
 
I have decided to go with the Tektro RL520(A) linear pull brake levers as well as Shimano SL-BS50 8 speed bar end shifters. Any objections to those, in terms of compatibility? I'm familiar with installing brake levers but do you know any good resources or tutorials on installing bar end shifters?
 
Thanks again for all your help,
Joe
Those should work out just fine. Can't suggest any tutorials I'm afraid. You might want to consider adding interrupter levers for easy braking from the top of the bar while you're at it. These are available in different clamp diameters, so check your bar before ordering. Don't forget to pick up new cables and housing. At a pinch old rear cables can usually be recycled for "new" front cables, but I'd recommend using brand new stuff.