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Old 06-12-08, 08:00 PM   #1
SpeedingTicket
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Converting hybrid's risers to drops

Hi everyone, new here. I want to install drop bars to my hybrid (Supercycle Solaris) because the headwinds are killing me.

I think I know what I'm doing... all it really takes is a drop bar with the same middle diameter as my risers (25.4mm), put on some Tektro RL520s for the V-brake, maybe a pair of clip-on thumb shifters, then wrap some bar tape and I'm done right?

The thing is, I asked about this at a few shops. One shop thinks it's a bizarre project that might or might not work. One shop thinks I'm crazy. The rest of the shops all seem kind of puzzled. This guy tried it on another bike and it seems to work for him: http://www.ifp.uiuc.edu/~smallik/cyc...enueDrops.html

What are your opinions? Have anyone tried this before? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-12-08, 08:40 PM   #2
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Short answer: It won't work.
Long answer: it would be technically possible, but it would cost more than the bike is worth. For details, see the short answer.
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Old 06-12-08, 09:32 PM   #3
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I don't think it will cost more than my bike. A Dimension drop bar costs $21.99. Tektro RL520 costs $20.99. Thumb shifters, maybe $10. The bike is worth $199. I'm not going for STIs, if that's what you're suggesting. Those are definitely too expensive to make sense.

I'll give it a shot anyway, and maybe post pictures if it works (or doesn't work). Theoretically everything should fit just fine. I've been a mechanic for almost a year and it's not like I don't have any experience or tools. This should be an interesting project to work on...
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Old 06-12-08, 09:43 PM   #4
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Nope.. it can't be done.



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Old 06-12-08, 10:30 PM   #5
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I've done it.
Might be a waste with that particular bike, though.
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Old 06-12-08, 11:33 PM   #6
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I've done it.
Might be a waste with that particular bike, though.
Does it work well though? Cos that's the important thing. I don't really mind spending about 1/3 the worth of my bike as long as it works out. If it doesn't, I can always transfer the parts to another bike.

Thing is, where I live, the majority of the roads are filled with truly large potholes that never seems to be fixed. Yet at the same time, it's 20km to downtown and there are almost always strong headwinds coming from that direction. I need the shocks and fatter tires of a hybrid to survive the giant potholes, and the drops to overcome the wind. I wish bike manufacturers would start selling hybrids designed for drop bars in the future but for now this is my only solution.

Well... off to the shop I go. Cheers.
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Old 06-13-08, 05:57 AM   #7
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My bike started off as a hybrid (no suspension ) with even fatter tyres and the current set up works exceptionally well... the slightly thinner cross tyres (700:35) roll faster and have better hook up and traction when I take the bike on the trails.

The bike rides and handles exceptionally well, eats up potholes, and climbs like a goat on double espresso.

Trek now makes the "Portland" which is very much like my modified 1999 7500 Multitrack.
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Old 06-13-08, 06:30 AM   #8
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It will work but your costs are a little low. Thumb shifters for road front derailleurs cost a little more than $10 (different clamp diameter and different front derailleur ratio.)

You will need new cables and housing because the brake runs will be longer (and probably under bar tape) than you presently have.

Bar tape.

Probably a new stem (I'm guessing your riser is 25.4 and the drop bar will be 26.0 or 31.8) becaues they don't work for that much change.

All in all, if you buy really well the conversion is going to cost on the high side of $100 and possibly more than that.
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Old 06-13-08, 06:34 AM   #9
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Just flip your risers over to make them droppers! That's what I did to my Giant Cypress.
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Old 06-13-08, 10:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SpeedingTicket View Post
I think I know what I'm doing... all it really takes is a drop bar with the same middle diameter as my risers (25.4mm), put on some Tektro RL520s for the V-brake, maybe a pair of clip-on thumb shifters, then wrap some bar tape and I'm done right?
I think that you're pretty much right but, if it was my bike, I'd substitute bar end shifter for the thumbies.

This isn't the kind of task that bike shops like to do because they'd have to add at least a couple hours labor charge onto the cost of the parts. That will really skew the economics of the whole project.
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Old 07-11-08, 12:50 PM   #11
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Hi it's me again. You guys were right about the price. Although I was prepared to pay anything to get rid of those risers, I found trekking handlebars to be the much more reasonable choice, seeing as how their dimensions match the clamp, brake levers and shifters of hybrids so I don't have to buy new ones. The hard part was finding them. They're virtually nonexistent in bike shops in North America, so I had to order them.

Well, no more excuses to be late now
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Old 07-11-08, 04:22 PM   #12
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I thought something like this was fairly routine.
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Old 07-11-08, 09:01 PM   #13
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I thought something like this was fairly routine.
Apparently a lot of people don't think so... although I think it should be. I mean why were hybrids invented in the first place? Without fat 26" tires they can't match a MTB in comfort and off-road performance. They're not much faster either as it's air resistance (and therefore the upright riding position) that will slow you down the most at high speeds. Without drops or trekking bars, hybrids in my opinion combine the worst of the two worlds of MTB and road bikes. Upright position to slow you down and skinny tires to make your ride bumpier. Hmph.
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Old 07-11-08, 09:22 PM   #14
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Apparently a lot of people don't think so... although I think it should be. I mean why were hybrids invented in the first place? Without fat 26" tires they can't match a MTB in comfort and off-road performance. They're not much faster either as it's air resistance (and therefore the upright riding position) that will slow you down the most at high speeds. Without drops or trekking bars, hybrids in my opinion combine the worst of the two worlds of MTB and road bikes. Upright position to slow you down and skinny tires to make your ride bumpier. Hmph.
Because people buy them. So the question becomes why do people buy them? I suspect you may be able to answer that one, but my guess is:
1) they're cheap
2) lot's of people don't know what you now know
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Old 07-12-08, 05:08 AM   #15
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Because people buy them. So the question becomes why do people buy them? I suspect you may be able to answer that one, but my guess is:
1) they're cheap
2) lot's of people don't know what you now know
3) Lots of people actually prefer the more upright riding position.
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