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  1. #1
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    Convert Hybrid to road, geometry close enough?

    Hi everyone, I have an old Cannondale hybrid that I want to convert to a road bike. Judging from these pictures, does it look like the frame geometry of the hybrid is close enough to that of a road's? I don't want to be riding some funky, jerry-rigged, awkward setup. (Been there done that.) I'll be putting on drop-bars with a threadless stem adapter. Thanks.



  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkeric View Post
    Hi everyone, I have an old Cannondale hybrid that I want to convert to a road bike. Judging from these pictures, does it look like the frame geometry of the hybrid is close enough to that of a road's? I don't want to be riding some funky, jerry-rigged, awkward setup. (Been there done that.) I'll be putting on drop-bars with a threadless stem adapter. Thanks.
    The bike doesn't look like a hybrid but like a touring bike from the early 90s that has been converted to a flat bar. There shouldn't be any issues with switching it back. You might want to go with barend shifters which would be more forgiving than STI and would be cheaper. Regular aero levers - not V-brake compatible - would be best. If you want STI, Sora 8 would be a good choice or you can get some Sora 7s for $140 from Harris Cyclery.
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  3. #3
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    I think you're stuck with the cantilever brakes, because there's probably no place to mount calipers. You can put on drop bars, but the geometry is not really road bike geometry. Also, the spread of the rear dropouts is probably 135 mm, so you're stuck with MTB hubs.

    I have a somewhat newer C'dale hybrid that I put drop bars on. I used barends instead of STIs, so I didn't have to fiddle with compatibility - mine's 7-speed, and I'll be that one is too.
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

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    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    do it man...the critics be damned...

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    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    +1, If people don't like it, let them build/buy you one.

    As long as it is esthetically pleasing to the owner and is safe to ride, damn them all!

  6. #6
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    +1, If people don't like it, let them build/buy you one.

    As long as it is esthetically pleasing to the owner and is safe to ride, damn them all!
    AMEN

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    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Safety won't be an issue... but by the pics it looks like there's a quite a difference in head tube angle.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauphin View Post
    do it man...the critics be damned...
    Um...what critics?
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    Senior Member DDYTDY's Avatar
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    My Trek 750 hybrid

  10. #10
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    The chain stays are too short so it's never been a dedicated touring bike. You can put drop bars on it and I have seen quite a few hybrid bikes converted to road and touring bikes with drop bars and they do fine as long as they can live with small panniers if it's a touring bike conversion. Most of these tourists "credit card" tour so no camping equipment is required. As your going for a road bike the ability to fit a rack and panniers is not a concern for you. Drop bars give many more hand positions than straight bars and allow you to drop and fight stiff head winds. There is another option between straight bars and drop bars. There called trekking or touring bars and are available from places like Bike Nashbar. Trekking bars allows reusing your shifters and brake levers saving you money, provide more hand positions than drop bars, and you can mount them so you can drop out of the wind almost as far as drop bars. Trekking bars look good on any type of bike as well. After some of the local riders checked out my bike with trekking bars they fitted them as well and a few of them were on road bikes.

  11. #11
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    +1, If people don't like it, let them build/buy you one.

    As long as it is esthetically pleasing to the owner and is safe to ride, damn them all!

    Hell yeah! Ride it, see how it feels, if it feels good, ride it more!

  12. #12
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Um...what critics?
    I think it was a reference to the guy who posted just after you. Don't worry!

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    You can put drop bars on it, but you may find that does not make a hybrid into a road bike. For one thing, the cockpit will probably be too long for you once it has drops bars on it unless you use a very short stem (since hybrid frames are designed with mountain bike bars in mind), and just looking at the picture, it will surely handle like a hybrid that just happens to have drop bars on it. No, the "geometries" don't look at all comparable. Just looking at the picture, notice where the tires are in relation to the frame.

    That's not to say it won't work well as a bike to ride on... but it won't handle like a true road bike does. What would you really gain from such a conversion? You would be better off just having a flat (not riser) bar on it with bar ends for the extra hand positions. With more road-like tires, you end up with a pretty fast hybrid... as far as hybrids go. I like hybrids, personally. I've had a few, and they are great for what they are. I don't own one now because I live in a small apartment, and if I can only have one bike in it, then it would have to be my road bike. I still have an assortment of handlebars in a box from all the ideas I tried on them :-)

    It's hard to tell from the picture itself, but most hybrids also tend to have higher bottom brackets than a road bike does, more like a mountain bike.

  14. #14
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    Cannondales of that vintage had very responsive, stiff rear triangles, and from the small pic, the setup is of 'sport-touring' geometry...relatively compact axle to BB length, a 73 degree seat tube angle.
    But the front half shows a very shallow head tube angle, possibly 70-71 degrees. Also the top tube looks to be shorter, not longer as a previous post mentioned.
    The biggest tell tale difference is the fork, note the rake. This is a lot (over 2" ?) compared to a true road bike and will slow the responsiveness of the bike. I don't know what you plan to use the converted bike for, but it won't be optimal for any road racing.

    If it's just for the road position, and for non-competitive riding, sure it'll work out fine. The canti-brakes will give it a cyclo-x feel and look.
    If the bike feels fine to you now, and you are happy with its dynamics, then it'll feel almost the same after your conversion. Skinnier tires may give it some less rolling resistance.
    It won't transform into a responsive road spec bike. You would at least need to swap out the fork for something with less rake. This will be hit or miss, trial and error, as the frame's head tube angle is so shallow. Only a VERY experienced bike mechanic/technician can point out what is a good replacement fork with the specs you need.

    Also, from the looks of the pic, the frame may have downtube shifter bosses with cable stops inserted.
    You may be able to run downtube shifters, if you like those, and save some cash.
    IMHO, I think brifters are too fugly, expensive and overly complicated. Somewhere along the way, the engineers forgot the KISS principle.

  15. #15
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    I actually like lots of rake. Makes me feel stable. Obviously, I don't race.
    If I would, I'd beat everybody and then I wouldn't have friends.

  16. #16
    <>< SoonerBent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    +1, If people don't like it, let them build/buy you one.

    As long as it is esthetically pleasing to the owner and is safe to ride, damn them all!
    Right-on!
    Tinkeric, as long as you like how the bike looks and rides, do it.

  17. #17
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops View Post
    I think it was a reference to the guy who posted just after you. Don't worry!
    You think THAT was criticism? Man, you must have a low threshold!

    EDIT: What you end up with is arguably more broadly useful than a road bike, because it will work offroad better than a road bike would.
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

  18. #18
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Um...what critics?
    just kidding..I meant no one in particular

  19. #19
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Actually, more rake => less trail => more responsive bike

    kind of counter-intuitive but that's how it works

    http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/elenk.htm

  20. #20
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    I still can't see the pixters.

  21. #21
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iowegian View Post
    Actually, more rake => less trail => more responsive bike

    kind of counter-intuitive but that's how it works

    http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/elenk.htm


    You are completely right, more rake = less trail. And yes, less trail = more responsive bicycle = I fall even more often!

    Yeah, I'm the kind of guy that just keeps falling. Why do you think I chose this nickname

    At least I got quite good at falling. Saved my life (perhaps) when that scooter ran right into me.

    So, anyhow " I <heart> lots of trail "


    EDIT: and exactly because of what you said, forks mounted backwards make for bikes that you almost can't fall from. You can't really steer, either, but...

  22. #22
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    I still can't see the pixters.
    Go to the original post, hit 'reply with quote', then cut the picture address (without the [IMG]) and paste it into the browser address. That's how I got them. Otherwise, you have to wait a long time for them to load.

    Tinkeric,

    Pictures load up quicker from Photobucket.
    Stuart Black
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  23. #23
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDYTDY View Post
    My Trek 750 hybrid
    I see you removed the deraileurs, and made it into a singlespeed? Or is that a gear hub? Either way, very sweet.
    How do you keep the chain tensioned? Those are vertical dropouts, no?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Go to the original post, hit 'reply with quote', then cut the picture address (without the [IMG]) and paste it into the browser address. That's how I got them. Otherwise, you have to wait a long time for them to load.

    Tinkeric,

    Pictures load up quicker from Photobucket.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkeric View Post
    Hi everyone, I have an old Cannondale hybrid that I want to convert to a road bike. Judging from these pictures, does it look like the frame geometry of the hybrid is close enough to that of a road's? I don't want to be riding some funky, jerry-rigged, awkward setup. (Been there done that.) I'll be putting on drop-bars with a threadless stem adapter. Thanks.


    You be the judge.


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