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Old 02-07-09, 06:35 AM   #1
daven1986
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another flat -> drop conversion

Hi,

I pondered this conversion before but decided against it because of the cost, however I rode my flat bar again the other day and I cannot stand flat bars any more - they hurt my wrists! So I decided to once again to think about conversion.

My bike is a Specialized Globe Sport disc http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...008&spid=33686 .

FRONT DERAILLEUR
Shimano FD-M310, 31.8mm clamp

REAR DERAILLEUR
Shimano Alivio RD-M410

CASSETTE FREEWHEEL
SRAM PG-830, 8-speed, 11-32t

CRANKSET
Shimano FCM-341, alloy outer ring

CHAINRINGS
48Ax36Sx26S, Super Shifter III, w/ chainguard

I was thinking about putting on some shimano brifters with avid bb7 road disc brakes. The above is what the bike currently has.

My questions:

1) What of the above can I reuse?
2) What tools will I require to do this conversion myself?
3) Will I will need a new stem for the different size handlebar?
4) The bike is a hybrid, will the geometry be ok for use with drop bars?

Thanks

Daven
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Old 02-07-09, 07:14 AM   #2
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You should be able to keep the cranks, freewheel (is it a cassette?), chain and rear derailleur. You probably need a new front deraillleur and possibly a different length stem in addition to the bars, shifters and road BB7's you listed.
You should only need basic tools, hex keys, cable tools.
The geometry may not be the best, but it should be OK.
Search around, there are different bars out there that would let you keep your current equipment and still get better hand positions.
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Old 02-07-09, 07:33 AM   #3
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thanks, could you elaborate on what you mean by "cable tools"? I can stretch to a new front derailleur, am just glad I won't need new everything!

I know of some other bars, but I also have a road bike and I keep finding myself trying to get low on my hybrid and into the same position as on the road bike, I just feel drops would help with this

Thanks again
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Old 02-07-09, 07:45 AM   #4
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Cable tools? You are going to need new cables and housings, just the tools you use to cut those.
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Old 02-07-09, 07:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
I pondered this conversion before but decided against it because of the cost, however I rode my flat bar again the other day and I cannot stand flat bars any more - they hurt my wrists! So I decided to once again to think about conversion.
What you are proposing is a kind of high dollar solution.

It's not my bike but, if it was, I'd be looking for something other than a drop bar that would allow me to keep the existing controls. Brifters are a pricy component and they don't last forever so I'd be leery of buying used ones. When you price out new ones, replacing the whole bike begins to sound more reasonable.
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Old 02-07-09, 08:03 AM   #6
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Remember to get 8-speed brifters, unless you want to buy a cassette too. Old (~3-4 years old) Tiagra or Sora brifters work well, and are pretty damn cheap these days.
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Old 02-07-09, 08:09 AM   #7
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thanks Steev.

Retro Grouch: brifters are quite expensive, but they can be had for around 70 a pair, which isn't TOO bad!

alpacalypse: thanks, will try to find some
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Old 02-07-09, 08:51 AM   #8
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I'd really consider selling that bike and buying the one you want. With everything it entails, you'll need to spend at least $300. You could easily sell your bike for $150-$200, put that with the $300 you'd otherwise spend, and end up with a far better bike in the end. And that's just the parts, assuming you had the tools and skills. If you need a shop to do it, add on another $100-$200, I'd guess.

Just my opinion. But the drop-bar conversion basically never makes financial sense. Unless you have a serious attachment to the frame (doesn't sound like it), I wouldn't bother.

Like Grouch said, there are other options as well. I have a flat-bar bike and swapped them out for trekking bars which have a lot of hand positions. I also put Serfas grips on (can't remember the model) that are designed to help your wrists and they've been great. That solution cost me $25 and solved problems I was having that sound similar to yours. Another choice would be bar-ends to go on the flat bar, also for $15-$25.

Either way, there are better/cheaper solutions than a full drop bar conversion .
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Old 02-07-09, 08:54 AM   #9
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tbh selling the bike would get me about 200-300, plus the 200 odd I'd spend on it, and I'd get basically the same bike but with drop bars. So this way it gives me a little project to do and gets me the bike I want.
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Old 02-07-09, 10:43 AM   #10
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Check out the products offered by Ergon: http://www.ergon-bike.com/

They helped my dad's hands immensely.

Another thing that you don't seem to be considering as a source of the problem is the bike fit in general. If the bike is too big, you'll be riding with your arms too stretched out and your elbows locked. You'll also have more weight on your arms (though an improperly adjusted saddle will do the same thing). This could all contribute to your wrists aching. A cheaper solution might just be a shorter/adjustable stem to bring the handlebars higher/closer.

Because of the reach of drop bars, drop bars bikes usually have shorter top tubes than flat bar bikes so you'll need to be compensating for that with your swap anyway. In fact, you might find that if your bike was already too big, adding drop bars will make it unrideable because of how long the reach is even with the shortest possible stem.
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Old 02-07-09, 10:55 AM   #11
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well I measured the distance from saddle to hoods on my road bike and it seems to roughly match the distance from saddle to the position of hoods on my hybrid.

I already have those style grips on my bike! Thanks for the suggestion though.

Would any make shifters work as long as they matched the make of derailleur? Also if I got a 9 speed shifter, would I just have to buy a new cassette?

Thanks
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Old 02-07-09, 11:21 AM   #12
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Switching to butterfly or trekking bars is the most economical solution. You still get multiple hand positions, and don't have to swap out any components.
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Old 02-07-09, 11:29 AM   #13
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they don't seem to provide the same aerodynamic position as drop bars. Also I know it is more economical, but I am a fan of drop bars and the position they provide.
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Old 02-07-09, 12:08 PM   #14
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Sorry, but i'm with everyone who said you have the wrong bike...
[rant]
Drop bars on a Globe, c'mon. Really?
That bike was designed from the ground up as to be the furthest thing in ole' Mr. Sinyards line from a drop bar bike. That's akin to re-inventing the wheel.
Additionally, i've been fitting people for a long time and if you have wrist pain going to a lower handlebar position makes little sense.
Then you wanna talk aerodynamics? On a Globe??!!
Generally aerodynamics only really becomes a factor over 25mph, if your pushing a Globe that fast routinely i commend you, start racing.
Our rule of thumb for aerodynamic considerations is "Under 25 it doesn't matter, over 25 it's the only matter." Can't remember where i heard that first though. [/rant]

[helpfulniceguy] So did you ask your LBS about your wrist problem?[/helpfulniceguy]
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Old 02-07-09, 12:16 PM   #15
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yes I did ask them about it and they weren't very helpful. When I say aerodynamics I mean with respect to a strong headwind which I seem to meet all the time.

I think the pain comes from having the wrist turned horizontally as on my road bike I never get any pain.
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Old 02-07-09, 12:29 PM   #16
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! That sucks, on both.
2 Interesting, have you tried bar-ends/bar end grips to turn the wrists? There are a couple versions that would fit your bar (Specialized has some even)and not look too awful. From there drop the bar a little for the wind and you might be golden.. :shrug:
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Old 02-07-09, 12:33 PM   #17
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could be worth a try - I do have a mirror at the moment which would have to come off to put bar ends on, and I am a bit wary about not being able to access the brakes from the bar ends.

Thanks
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Old 02-07-09, 12:56 PM   #18
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Unless you do not like the BB5s you might get by with using a pair of cable pull increase adapters with the brifters. Never used them but know that they exist and they might save you some money.
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Old 02-07-09, 01:00 PM   #19
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I have heard of travel agents but have also heard that they aren't that great. Will try to find some others though as they would indeed save some money
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Old 02-07-09, 02:10 PM   #20
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Try an Origin8 Space Bar. Upright but not flat bar.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 02-07-09, 02:15 PM   #21
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looks nice, however I can't find a supplier in the UK.
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Old 02-07-09, 02:22 PM   #22
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Bummer.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 02-07-09, 03:24 PM   #23
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I have heard of travel agents but have also heard that they aren't that great. Will try to find some others though as they would indeed save some money
I keep hearing that travel agents have problems, but never from a first hand source. I've used them for over a decade on verious tandems with exactly zero issues.
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Old 02-07-09, 03:44 PM   #24
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I've had good luck setting up people with these Singletrack solutions ST Lites:

Run backwards these fit a riser-bar nicely and don't hinder braking much..
Cane Creek makes something similar and Specialized has a line of stuff, all except the CC ones can run a mirror.
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Old 02-07-09, 04:49 PM   #25
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I have heard of travel agents but have also heard that they aren't that great.
Functionally they deliver just as promised. They take a little more setting up than a straight cable run, I suppose all of 5 minutes more if you stop and consult the instructions frequently. On a MTB they tend to require some maintenance because they're so open to contamination by mud and dirt, but for a road bike that should be a non-issue.
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