Completed: Flat to drop conversion with pictures
You may remember my threads about converting my flat bar specialized globe sport disc to drop handlebars. I have just completed the build except for wrapping the bars - pending a test ride, and will post pictures when that is done. I went for bar end shifters and tektro 520 rl brakes on a nitto randonneur 450mm bar.
Things I have learnt that might be useful for others attempting this:
- Get a proper cable cutter! I used normal cable cutters and although they worked it was a bit of a hassle.
- Remember how the front derailleur cable was routed, mine went up then down, but at first I was trying to route it just up!
- The gear cables go through a small hole under the bottom bracket, don't just lay the cables over them as I did at first!
- Allen keys (for brakes, gears and stem)
- Cable cutters
- Pliers (for the end caps)
- Knife and scissors (for the bar tape)
It took me a few hours to do this morning and I am very pleased with the results so far.
You may notice lots of blue on there! I didn't have any black electrical tape or any black cable ties, so I used blue. I quite like the effect but may change it if / when I get black bits! Also I wasn't 100% pleased with my bar wrapping but it isn't too bad. I used a lot of electrical tape at the ends as I was pretty bad at cutting the ends, the right side went much better than the left (I did the left first!).
Other things you will require (as well as the tools above) are:
- Electrical tape - a colour to compliment / match your bar tape
- Bar tape
- Brake cable housing
- Gear cable housing
- Brake cable - with the pear drop end
- Gear cable - if you are going to route the cable all the way under the bar tape then you need a tandem gear cable for the rear derailleur
- Cable end caps
- Ferrules for brake and gear cables
First you need to choose what brake levers and gear shifters you are going for. I chose bar end shifters for the cost. You need the correct type of brake lever, as I had linear pull brakes I needed a v-brake compatible lever, if you have cantilever brakes you should be fine with normal drop bar brake levers. If you go with road shifters be aware that you may have to change your cassettes. Again bar end shifters helped reduce the cost of this.
You also need to choose what handlebars you are going to get. You either need to get a bar that is the same diameter as your current stem or you will need a new stem, I went with the Nitto Randonneur bars as they fit my current stem. Don't be tempted to try to fit a different diameter bar into your stem as you could fatigue the bar over time and cause a failure.
1) Remove the current cables
2) Remove the cable housing
3) Remove the handlebars
4) Install the brake levers on the handlebars
5) Install the handlebars in the stem (change the stem if necessary)
6) Measure the front brake cable housing - if routing the cable on the right of the frame then turn the handlebars fully to the left when measuring to ensure enough housing (vice versa for the left side). You can use electrical tape to secure the housing to the bars while you measure
7) Put the ferrule on the end
8) Route the cable through the brake lever - put a little lubricant on some paper towel and wipe it along the cable.
9) Push it all the way through the cable housing until it is all through
10) Make sure the inline adjuster at the brake is fully screwed in, and attach the cable to the brake so that the brake is held close enough to the rim / disc to work. You can then make finer adjustments when you have finished.
11) Repeat steps 6 to 10 for the rear brake
12) Measure the rear gear cable housing there will be two parts, one for the front then the cable runs bare along the downtube and chainstay and a final piece of housing where it connects to the derailleur. Make sure the last piece is the same size as it was previously
13) Do the same as for the brake cables, but only lube the cable that is inside the housing, also make sure to route the cable through the hole under the bottom bracket
14) Connect the cable to the rear derailleur so that it is just taut
15) Spin the pedals and try shifting, if the some shifts are being missed out then use the inline adjuster to adjust the cable until the shifts are smooth
16) Repeat steps 12 to 15 for the front derailleur, but remember there will only be one section of housing, and there isn't usually a cable adjuster at the front derailleur. My bar end shifter is friction shifting for the front derailleur so it needed minimal setup, you should consult other guides to correctly adjust your front derailleur
17) Cut the remainder of cable off the ends and finish them with an end cap
18) Go for a test ride, make sure everything is comfortable and working
19) Tape the bars - there are other guides for this but one change with the bar end shifters that I did was to begin taping as suggested by the guides but instead of pushing the excess in with a bar end I cut it straight and finished it with some electrical tape
This is pretty much what I did and I suggest consulting other guides for the intricate details.
Comments & Criticism appreciated.
Last edited by daven1986; 02-22-09 at 02:55 AM.
thanks had a ride and the randonneur bars are definitely more suited to riding in the drops than on the hoods but the position is good even though the bike started life as a hybrid. I'm very pleased for a first attempt at any sort of bike work.
I like the color scheme. A Podium bottle would match the tape. Install cross brakes, you will then get more practice a wrapping the bars. Is the stem the same length as before?
I'm interested in the brakes. Are you satisfied with how well they operate?
I have to say the colour scheme is definitely growing on me! The stem is the same one as before - hence the nitto randonneur bars, they were the only ones I could find that were nice and the right diameter!
Retro Grouch: the brakes seem to be working very well. They can be used from the hoods or the drops and I can feel roughly the same stopping power as with the previous brakes. Considering the cost (£17) I am very pleased with them.
just pokin' along
Good post. With the frequent inquiries about drop conversions, I have been intending on posting my experience with a conversion.
Thanks, I did it as many of the questions I had weren't answered anywhere and I felt a bit bad opening so many threads! I will update the first post with a tutorial when I get the time.
And I gotta say, the blue looks kinda tight. Nice job.
Thanks Mr. Underbridge.
I have now added the tutorial