Flat bar to drop bar conversion



M

Mark Mitchell

Guest
I'm toying with the idea of putting a drop bar on my mtn bike to give
me more hand positions on my long commute. Problem is, my bike techy
knowledge is lacking. I'm comfortable doing most of the work, but I
don't know compatibilites.

Hence the post.

Details
Bike late 90's Trek 6000
The suspension fork has been replaced with a rigid fork. The
deraillers are; F, Shimano Acera (triple) R, Shimano Deore LX (8).

What I want is, dropped bars, probably bar-end shifters (friction is
fine), and move the bars up and/or back a bit to take some weight off
my hands.

I'm a tightwad *and* broke so money is a primary concern. Scroungable
stuff preferred. I have access to a couple stores in the area with
used bikes and parts.

Once I have a parts list, I can start scrounging and adding up costs.

What am I looking at to make this work?

Thanks,
Mark
 
D

Dane Buson

Guest
Mark Mitchell <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> I'm toying with the idea of putting a drop bar on my mtn bike to give
> me more hand positions on my long commute. Problem is, my bike techy
> knowledge is lacking. I'm comfortable doing most of the work, but I
> don't know compatibilites.


Well, this one is kind of hard to do on a budget. The usual
recommendation is to just pick up a used comparable road bike. I've
taken the liberty of crossposting this to rb.tech.

> Hence the post.
>
> Details
> Bike late 90's Trek 6000
> The suspension fork has been replaced with a rigid fork. The
> deraillers are; F, Shimano Acera (triple) R, Shimano Deore LX (8).
>
> What I want is, dropped bars, probably bar-end shifters (friction is
> fine), and move the bars up and/or back a bit to take some weight off
> my hands.


Bar-ends are definitely a good choice for this. There are still eight
speed ones available, and since the left shifter is friction you don't
have to worry about the different ratio for mountain/road front
derailleurs.

Peter white has them for $65.

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/roadshifters.asp

Jenson for $56

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/SL407A09-Shimano+Ultegra+8+Speed+Bar+End+Shifters.aspx

The other thing to consider is that road brake levers will pull a
different amount of cable. I'm assuming you have cantilever brakes.
You'll probably have to get a travel agent pulley to change the ratio or
get the Tektro Oryx (~$20) - which work well with road levers.

> I'm a tightwad *and* broke so money is a primary concern. Scroungable
> stuff preferred.


> I have access to a couple stores in the area with used bikes and
> parts.


That's another definite plus.

> Once I have a parts list, I can start scrounging and adding up costs.
>
> What am I looking at to make this work?


Drop bars - should be able to be find those used no problem
Bar tape - new
Cables and housing - new
Bar-ends - try used, might have to buy new
Brake levers - Should be available used
Travel Agent or Oryx brakes - Probably going to have to buy new

Stem - your old one will probably not place your drop bars in a good
position. I'll let others tell you the best option for this. I'm
assuming you have a threaded headset - you might consider a
quill->threadless adapter and then use a threadless stem.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but this is probably a good start.

--
Dane Buson - [email protected]
Come fill the cup and in the fire of spring
Your winter garment of repentence fling.
The bird of time has but a little way
To flutter -- and the bird is on the wing.
-- Omar Khayyam
 
The main area of difficulty may be brakes vs. levers compatibility.
If you V-brakes, you may need to get a pair of "Problem Solvers Travel
Agent" cable pull leverage compensation devices to use drop bar
compatible brake levers.

Then maybe the stem/bar compatibility issue (if you have a 25.4" clamp
stem and want to keep it, there are a many 25.4" drop bars out
there). But if you're replacing the stem to adjust the reach, then
might as well mate it with handlebars you like rather than settling.

Another alternative to drop bars where you could maybe reuse all your
current MTB parts and not buy anything else:

http://www.rei.com/product/629508
 
B

Bill H.

Guest
On May 18, 11:09 am, landotter <[email protected]> wrote:
> On May 18, 12:58 pm, "[email protected]" <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>
> > Another alternative to drop bars where you could maybe reuse all your
> > current MTB parts and not buy anything else:

>
> >http://www.rei.com/product/629508

>
> Yup. That's the cheapest, smartest, and best option by far. I do
> wonder why REI shows them upside down, though.


http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...reid=&pagename=Shop by Subcat: ATB Handlebars

$15 - not bad. Nashbar also sells their mustache bars, which may or
may not work.

Another (maybe better) alternative would be to just pick up a used
road bike from a garage sale and find a way to make it work for you.
 
On May 18, 2:46 pm, sally <[email protected]> wrote:
> "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote innews:[email protected]:
>
> > Another alternative to drop bars where you could maybe reuse all your
> > current MTB parts and not buy anything else:

>
> >http://www.rei.com/product/629508

>
> Is there really any advantage to these things vs. flat bars with bar-end
> clip-ons?


The OP wants to move the bars back. Bar-end clip-ons usually point
forward, but I suppose they could be reversed. And they provide
mainly one additional hand position, while those other bars provide
many more.
 
L

landotter

Guest
On May 18, 1:46 pm, sally <[email protected]> wrote:
> "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote innews:[email protected]:
>
> > Another alternative to drop bars where you could maybe reuse all your
> > current MTB parts and not buy anything else:

>
> >http://www.rei.com/product/629508

>
> Is there really any advantage to these things vs. flat bars with bar-end
> clip-ons?


Yes, many more hand positions, if it wasn't obvious enough. They're
very popular in Europe for bicycle trekking. They're also a great way
to make your bike look at home in a YMCA.
 
S

Sir Ridesalot

Guest
On May 18, 1:05 pm, Mark Mitchell <[email protected]> wrote:
> I'm toying with the idea of putting a drop bar on my mtn bike to give
> me more hand positions on my long commute. Problem is, my bike techy
> knowledge is lacking. I'm comfortable doing most of the work, but I
> don't know compatibilites.
>
> Hence the post.
>
> Details
> Bike late 90's Trek 6000
> The suspension fork has been replaced with a rigid fork. The
> deraillers are; F, Shimano Acera (triple) R, Shimano Deore LX (8).
>
> What I want is, dropped bars, probably bar-end shifters (friction is
> fine), and move the bars up and/or back a bit to take some weight off
> my hands.
>
> I'm a tightwad *and* broke so money is a primary concern. Scroungable
> stuff preferred. I have access to a couple stores in the area with
> used bikes and parts.
>
> Once I have a parts list, I can start scrounging and adding up costs.
>
> What am I looking at to make this work?
>
> Thanks,
> Mark



Hi there.

I did a very similar conversion on an old Miele hardtail rigid fork
mtb. Link to image is here: http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=193571690&size=o

I think this conversion is easier if you have a threaded fork.

You will need:

Drop bars

Drop bar compatible brake levers, cables and housings. I heard on
rec.bicycles.tech recently that the V-brake compatible Dia Compe V-
Brake road levers are not that great.

Therefore I recommend Cantilever Brakes which will work with most drop
bar brake levers, Brifters and Ergos. The Avid Shorty cantilevers I
ended up using after taking that picture were cheaper than either
Travel Agents or the Dia Compe V-Brake levers. If you currently have V-
Brakes you will also need a front and rear cable stop hanger.

CAUTION! Even if you think V-Brakes will work with regular drop bar
levers, the do grab well in the stand, they are a DANGEROUS
combination in real life because of the too short lever travel.

I used an adjustable stem. This allows you to bring the drop bars back
and up to the position you most prefer. Note that a quill adjustable
stem can be raised untill it is almost vertical. You can raise it to a
more vertical position than you can a threadless one. You want to be
able to move the straight portion of the drop bars closer to you if
you plan to ride on the hoods as these are further forward than the
straight portion of the mtb bars is. If you find that the drop bars
are too high when you get the reach adjusted with the adjustable stem
you can cut some of the quill portion of the stem off to lower it if
you find that the quill has bottomed out in the head tube.

Bar end shifters.

Bar wrap for the handlebars. If you are on a really tight budget you
can use an old inner tube cut lengthwise and narrowed to a suitable
width to wrap ypour bars with. One tube will let you wrap both bars.
This used to be done by some riders in the days of thin bar tape to
add padding to the bars.

I really enjoy my drop bar equipped MTB. It is a great all round
bicycle. I can put on tyres from 1.25 in to 2.0 knobbies plus fenders.
With it I can add racks and tour logging roads or pavement. With
knobbies it is good in the sand or snow.

Cheers from Peter