Hey folks - RainmanP actually posted this thread after I saw one of his posts mentioning that he had done this, and I emailed him about it.
So I can add some detail:
I can't afford a road bike right now, and my entry into cycling was a comfort hybrid. I enjoy riding roads and paved trails, and have been working on increasing my distance (only up to 24 miles so far). I figured tweaking out my hybrid would get me through the winter and into the spring when I *might* have a chance of buying the real deal.
What I have done so far:
I have installed Aero bars, use semi-slick tires (Serfa Drifters), and have bar ends (those don't count I guess).
I spoke to my LBS at length tonight - thanks to RainmanP's crash course, I actually held my own. My LBS guy will most likely loan me some parts so we can set it up and see how it works.
I have an adjustable stem -- so he recommended lifting it a bit higher than most road bikes, so the TOPS would be at a more comfortable 'comfort' height - hopefully dealing with too excessive of a reach. I am also 6'6", so I got some pretty long arms....
He had some Shimoni STI levers that he could give me a deal on, and he said we could work on putting together the derailler set to match. My shifters are SRAM grip shifters, so at this point, I either use friction shifters, or make some modifications.
He kind of lost me at that point - but he thought we could still stay somewhat price conscious yet still give me better shifters than the bar con shifters. I saw these while reading up on integrated shifters at the Rivendale site:
I thought they would be another neat alternative as well.
So, with that all in mind, does that change anything ? At 6'6", my chances of finding a used road bike that really fits are slim to none, so its either live with what I got, or try modifying it and see how it works.
Props again to RainmanP - he really got me rolling on the concept - and my LBS guy is unflappable enough to try anything. His take was to get me spare parts so I could try it before laying out the money to actually do it. (Why you should always support your LBS)