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  1. #1
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    '05 Novato switch to drops and STI

    Hey all,

    I have an '05 Marin Novato I want to put drop bars on with STI shifting/brakes. I am looking for advice on what I'll need to buy and how to do this. Here are some pics of the bike as it is now:





    Thank you all for your time!

  2. #2
    Senior Member robo's Avatar
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    In terms of it just working, you'll either have to ditch the V-brakes and switch to cantilevers, or get some device that 'converts' the regular cable pull from the levers to v-brake type cable pull (which is longer, with higher mechanical advantage).

    This type of thing: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5221

    You'll also need a new stem with the correct clamp diameter for road handlebars, which are thicker than mountain bars. You'll also probably want a taller stem, but maybe not.

    That, and the new bars and tape and STI levers themselves..

    As for how well that bike is suited for conversion to drops, that's another matter.....

  3. #3
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    Thank you for that info, is there any advantage with ditching the v-brakes and going cantilever?

  4. #4
    Senior Member robo's Avatar
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    No particular advantage. V-brakes tend to be more powerful and easier to set up, although cantis are fine when properly adjusted.

    I think a lot of touring bikes still use cantis because they are 'classic'.. Maybe something to do with fender clearance also, but i sort of doubt it (considering that you have fenders on there, with V-brakes).

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    Quote Originally Posted by robo
    As for how well that bike is suited for conversion to drops, that's another matter.....
    I was re-reading this post and this comment caught me, again. I am glad you made it and am interested to know the exact meaning. Does this seem like a bad idea? What about this bike makes it a bad idea to move to drops?

    I appreciate your comments!

  6. #6
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    +1 on the suitability. Before you invest in a new stem, bars and STI shifters (which run in the $300 range themselves), why not try a different bar that would work with what you have? I'm thinking a bar that would give you the option of a more aero position without the financial pain of the full switch. There are lots of shapes out there. A mustache comes to mind:

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...B%20Handlebars

    But you'll need to find one with mountain bike diameter. Look around and see.

    If you decide you really want drops, you could arguably get a serviceable road bike for the price of your conversion.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho
    +1 on the suitability. Before you invest in a new stem, bars and STI shifters (which run in the
    If you decide you really want drops, you could arguably get a serviceable road bike for the price of your conversion.
    Particularly if you don't mind Craigslist, a gently used road bike in the $300-$500 range would be a far better road bike than you'd have after your conversion for approximately the same cash outlay, and you'd have something in the Tiagra to 105 range. Plus you'd then have two bikes!

  8. #8
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Along with figuring out the brakes, you'd also need to get a road-compatible front derailer, which has a different cable-pull ratio than mtb front derailers.

    Quote Originally Posted by robo
    I think a lot of touring bikes still use cantis because they are 'classic'.. Maybe something to do with fender clearance also, but i sort of doubt it (considering that you have fenders on there, with V-brakes).
    That's one possible reason. Another is that only Dia-Compe makes a road brake lever that is compatible with V-brakes, whereas cantilevers are compatible with standard road brake levers (including STI levers) as has already been mentioned.

  9. #9
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    you'll need a shorter stem, for sure. Don't forget the added reach of the forward extension of drop bars.

    On-One's Midge drop bar would be an excellent choice for your project. It has a 25.4mm clamp (MTB standard). It has a shorter extension ans shallower drop than conventional drop bars. You'll find that you spend most of your time in the hooks, hence the need for a high-rise stem.

    You'd need a shorter, high-rise stem (like 40-degrees!)

    New brake levers

    A "Travel Agent" to make the linear-pull brakes (v-brake) compatible with road levers. Or get the Dia-Compe levers that are compatible with linear-pull brakes.

    Bar end shifters (STI are EXPENSIVE and not really worth the tremendous expense)

    Bar tape

    If you're looking for something more ergo and still cool, check out On-One's Mary handlebar. I have one on my MTB-- it fits me very well.
    Despite the fact that I constantly recommend Kool-Stop brake pads-- no, I don't work for Kool-Stop. (Although their factory is just a few blocks from my house!)

    I ride drop bars off-road. (The excellent On-One "Midge.")

  10. #10
    Senior Member robo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Podolak
    I was re-reading this post and this comment caught me, again. I am glad you made it and am interested to know the exact meaning. Does this seem like a bad idea? What about this bike makes it a bad idea to move to drops?

    I appreciate your comments!
    Just that you have a mountain bike there, with mountain bike geometry and parts. I'm not saying a drop bar would be a bad idea necessarily, but you might want to make sure it's really what you want. People ride all kind of unusual setups, and it just might be that a drop bar on there would make the perfect vehicle for your needs, but... it would definitely be unusual.

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