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  1. #1
    gnz
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    Hi, I consider myself a newbie when it comes to bicycle mechanics and I have decided to try drop down bars on my hybrid tourer which now has mtb style components.

    I hope someone can help me out with a few questions...

    My bike has a 9 speed Deore rear and Deore triple front derraileur, shimano V brakes and the chain links say HG. My current plan is to buy a used Ultegra STI brake lever/shifter set and keep the rest of my drivetrain ... will it work?

    Well, that is actually the only question I can think of at the moment... any advice is welcome.

    Thanks

    edit: I just needded to mention that I searched the forums before posting and found this same topic has popped up a few times. However I didn't quite find the answer Im looking for. Hope Im not annoying anyone
    Last edited by gnz; 09-11-05 at 10:28 PM. Reason: comment additions

  2. #2
    GranitCurbVia53x11Sprint Todd Richards's Avatar
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    I put drop bars on a mb a long time ago and just loved it. I see no problem EXCEPT FOR THE BRAKES. You can run the STI brake levers (but be sure to get a triple set-up for the front triple ring) but they won't pull enough cable on the v-brakes without a travel agent. The travel Agent (get one for each front and rear) essentially muliplies the amouhnt of pull on the cable, kind of a pulley thing that re-directs the direction of the pull. I used a pair and it worked great. Any bike shop should have it. The only othe issue is to be sure you check the stem/handlebar diameter. the stem you currently have might not have the same diameter as the diamaeter of the drop bars, but a new stem is pretty cheep. You sould like you'd like to do the work yourself, it's fun to learn and not very complicated. I'd visit a shop WITH the bike, and ask for all the parts and go for it. Unless you do something REALLY stupid you'll be fine, and if it's just never quite rite just bring it back to the shop.

  3. #3
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnz
    My bike has a 9 speed Deore rear and Deore triple front derraileur, shimano V brakes and the chain links say HG. My current plan is to buy a used Ultegra STI brake lever/shifter set and keep the rest of my drivetrain
    So far so good

    Quote Originally Posted by gnz
    will it work?
    No.

    You will need to change over to cantilever brakes. You can use a travel agent but it's more trouble than it's worth. Shimano makes some new cantis BR5500 that are really great. A set of these along with a new set of front & rear cable guides for the cantis and you should be in business.

    Or you could use Dia Compe 267 V-Brake levers and Shimano bar end shifters and keep the V-Brakes.

    Personally, I use bar end or barcon shifters all the time. They are 1/3 the price of good brifters and never wear out.

    Good luck.

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnz
    My bike has a 9 speed Deore rear and Deore triple front derraileur, shimano V brakes and the chain links say HG. My current plan is to buy a used Ultegra STI brake lever/shifter set and keep the rest of my drivetrain ... will it work?
    Besides the brake issue which others have discussed, I think that you also may have a front shifting issue.

    Shimano says not to mix and match road and mountain bike shifters and derailleurs. I'm told the cable pull for the front shifters is different. I know that you can use a flat bar shifter with a road front derailleur but I've heard mixed reports about using a drop bar shifter with a mountain front derailleur. I've never done it myself so I don't have first hand knowledge. Of course, if you decide to use the much less expensive bar end shifters, that would solve the problem.

  5. #5
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Besides the brake issue which others have discussed, I think that you also may have a front shifting issue.

    Shimano says not to mix and match road and mountain bike shifters and derailleurs. I'm told the cable pull for the front shifters is different. I know that you can use a flat bar shifter with a road front derailleur but I've heard mixed reports about using a drop bar shifter with a mountain front derailleur. I've never done it myself so I don't have first hand knowledge. Of course, if you decide to use the much less expensive bar end shifters, that would solve the problem.
    That's why I like barcons. The front shifter is friction and usually eliminates different pull length problems. For the cantilevers try:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/2005-Shimano-R55...QQcmdZViewItem

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  6. #6
    gnz
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    Thanks everyone for your replies...

    About the brake issue: My bike came with Shimano V brakes and they have a small cylinder near the brake pads end, the rest of the cable is encased in metal. The cylinder has a decal that says "Shimano Power Modulator", is this a travel agent?

    Also, what would you say is the advantage of V brakes over cantilever?

    What type of brakes are the ones used with the Ultegra set? are they called caliper? those look very different, how better are those?.

    I know I could end up spending a lot of money if I go for replacing everything, but I just want to consider all options.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnz
    My bike came with Shimano V brakes and they have a small cylinder near the brake pads end, the rest of the cable is encased in metal. The cylinder has a decal that says "Shimano Power Modulator", is this a travel agent?

    Also, what would you say is the advantage of V brakes over cantilever?

    What type of brakes are the ones used with the Ultegra set? are they called caliper? those look very different, how better are those?.
    Your brakes have - well - a power modulator. It's basically a gizmo that is supposed to prevent you from applying too much cable tension on your brakes. In the early days of linear pull (V) brakes, some people were surprised about the amount of brakeing power they produce and were doing unwanted flips whenever they got a good handful of front brake. The power modulators are supposed to minimize that problem.

    A Travel Agent replaces the V brake noodle and looks like a little pulley - actually two concentric pulleys one of which is half the diameter of the other. The cable from the brake lever runs around the small pulley, through a hole and around the big pulley to the brake. That doubles the cable pull to the brake.

    I would say that the biggest advantage of V brakes over cantilever is that they are much easier to set up.

    The majority of road bikes use caliper brakes. They don't provide the ultimate brakeing power of either cantilever brakes or V brakes, but they're adequate for road use and they are lighter in weight and easier to set up.

  8. #8
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I have recently replaced my hybrid flat bars with drop bars so I know what needs done. You obviously need to buy a new handlebar and shifters. I presume you want to use STI. I bought a pair of 105 shifters and they work perfectly with my Tiagra front and rear deraillers. You also will most likely need a new stem for the bars. Most MTB bars are 25.4mm and most road bars are 26.0mm. If you need a new stem, consider the rise and angle or you may find your bars much lower than you are used to.

    Regarding brakes. You WILL need a pair of Travel Agents. Setting them up is no big deal but you do need to follow the instructions to the letter. The position of the pulley is critical for proper braking. It's not hard so don't let it worry you.

    You may also want to look into some inline cable adjusters. The STI levers come with adjusters for the derailleurs that bolt to downtube stops. Your hybrid most likely does not have these so you will not have any fine cable adjustment unless you get some separate adjusters. Same for brakes as the adjusters are usually on the calipers for road brakes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member doghouse's Avatar
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    Hey supcom, I have a question in here somewhere.

    I have a 2003 Trek 7500fx and changed the straight bars for drop bars. We used Sora shifters to run the 8 speed Shimano Deore rear and added travel agents to make the brakes work.

    This hybrid has a Shimano Nexave front deraileur and the cable stop braze-ons are on the top tube and the seat tube. The Sora shifter (any road shifter) is designed to pull from below, and when run through the upper route, would not move the deraileur across all 3 chain rings. We called Trek, and they could not tell us how to do this without some creative welding.

    Ulitimately we put the original Shimano thumb shifter back on to run the front deraileur. It all works okay, but it looks more than a little weird, Sora shifter and no shift cable coming out of it, and it is awkward to have to go back to the top of the bar to reach the thumb shifter to move across the front rings.

    My question, at last. I know you did not say you had a Trek, but how did you get the 105 (road shifter) to shift the front rings on your hybrid? I would love to get mine to do that.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

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