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  1. #1
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    Change aerobars to flat bars - newbie

    I have been given what to me is a very nice Scott triathlon bike circa 2000 vintage. It has aerobars with gripshifters and Shimano 105 groupset (if that's possible - it's what it says on the rear derailleur - I don't know what I'm talking about - sorry). Anyhow, my home is in London and despite myself I want to continue to live, so I would like to change the aerobars and gripshifters for flat bars and triggershifters to give me some chance of not being killed. Is this possible at reasonable cost? Someone suggested it might cost more than 400 - can this be true? Any advice much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    put up pictures and folks can help more. It probably won't be anywhere near 400 gbp unless you want top of the line stuff.

  3. #3
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Definitely through up some pics because your descriptions are a little confusing. You will, most likely, have to use a newer 31.8 stem and older mtb bars that are shimmed.

  4. #4
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Chances are that going in this direction will take a new stem with the right diameter for the flat bar, the flat bar itself and a set of Shimano Flat bar road shifters and flat bar road brake levers.
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...rake+Levr.aspx

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Shifters.aspx

    Pick your own bars and stem to go with these parts. Add a new set of cables and your probably good to go. This assumes that your present drop bar bike with a 105 rear derailleur has a road front derailleur and road caliper brakes.

    Good luck

  5. #5
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    Chances are that going in this direction will take a new stem with the right diameter for the flat bar, the flat bar itself and a set of Shimano Flat bar road shifters and flat bar road brake levers.
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...rake+Levr.aspx

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Shifters.aspx

    Pick your own bars and stem to go with these parts. Add a new set of cables and your probably good to go. This assumes that your present drop bar bike with a 105 rear derailleur has a road front derailleur and road caliper brakes.

    Good luck
    Oh yeah, der... new stem that will actually fit the flatbars... jeez, I need a nap or something.

  6. #6
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    Oh yeah, der... new stem that will actually fit the flatbars... jeez, I need a nap or something.
    There are shims to downsize road stems to MTB bars from "Problem Solvers" if you choose to keep the original stem. Works just as well, might save a little money.

  7. #7
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    Pics of the triathalon bike in question

    Thanks for all the help and advice - here are some pics attached - hope they are useful....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by protectarug View Post
    Thanks for all the help and advice - here are some pics attached - hope they are useful....
    Are you going to do all the labour yourself? For $800, you might as well just buy a whole new bike with a flatbar. If you are doing the conversion yourself, you can do it for probably

    1) Cost of bar - $20
    2) Shifters + Brake levers - $70
    3) All cable + housing - $30
    4) Grips - $10
    5) Stem - $20

    I can't quite remember if you'll need a new front derailleur with flatbar shifters as well - someone else chime in? You'll also need to buy seperate shifters/brake levers. The integrated ones for flatbars are compatible only with v-brakes. Which means you'll have to run a travel agent or go seperate. Also how many speeds is that bike?

    Cheaper option would be to get rid of the aerobars + grip shifters and leave the bullhorn bar setup. And then put downtube shifters on. That'll probably cost you $50 total.
    Last edited by operator; 02-24-09 at 11:28 AM.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  9. #9
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Are you going to do all the labour yourself? For $800, you might as well just buy a whole new bike with a flatbar. If you are doing the conversion yourself, you can do it for probably

    1) Cost of bar - $20
    2) Shifters + Brake levers - $70
    3) All cable + housing - $30
    4) Grips - $10
    5) Stem - $20

    I can't quite remember if you'll need a new front derailleur with flatbar shifters as well - someone else chime in? You'll also need to buy seperate shifters/brake levers. The integrated ones for flatbars are compatible only with v-brakes. Which means you'll have to run a travel agent or go seperate. Also how many speeds is that bike?

    Cheaper option would be to get rid of the aerobars + grip shifters and leave the bullhorn bar setup. And then put downtube shifters on. That'll probably cost you $50 total.
    If you get SRAM compatible shifters, you shouldn't need to change out the front derailluer.

    It sounds as though DT shifters wouldn't work for his situation. My guess is, and OP chime in if I'm wrong, that he wants trigger shifters so that shifting without removing hands is possible. Hence the desire to go from current set-up to flat bar-trigger shifter set-up.

    A little OT, has anyone seen this shifter set-up before? It's unique to me.

  10. #10
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    I would have a go at doing it myself - with every expectation of fouling it up and then sheepishly pushing it round to the LBS

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    Just to be a lttle more clear, if possible I'd like hybrid bike type triggershifter/brake combinations on flat bars...

  12. #12
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    And should the transplant be successful if anyone wants the aerobars/weirdo grip shifters I'll post them anywhere

  13. #13
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protectarug View Post
    And should the transplant be successful if anyone wants the aerobars/weirdo grip shifters I'll post them anywhere
    Oh dang... I wish I had money...

  14. #14
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post

    A little OT, has anyone seen this shifter set-up before? It's unique to me.
    Plenty. Fairly run of the mill tri-geek bike setup. Most people run barcons on the ends of bars now instead of grip.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  15. #15
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    sorry I meant for free - unless of course they're junk - I can't even tell if you're joking I'm so far out of my depth.

  16. #16
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protectarug View Post
    sorry I meant for free - unless of course they're junk - I can't even tell if you're joking I'm so far out of my depth.
    I couldn't even afford the shipping. It would be cool to have a bar setup like that, though.

    I'd pay attention to what operator said. He's dead on with that advice, but now that I think about it, you said you had 105 components on there, so you may not need SRAM shifters. Shimano's should work fine.

    I'd avoid the integrated shifter/brake levers. If the shifters go bad, the entire unit has to be replaced, and I don't think separate components would be any more money.

  17. #17
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by protectarug View Post
    I would have a go at doing it myself - with every expectation of fouling it up and then sheepishly pushing it round to the LBS
    Don't forget, you'll also need the tools necessary to do this job. Do you know how to properly adjust shifters? Brakes? Run cables + housing? Adjust a headset? How much experience do you have working on your own bike? I'm not against DIY, but sometimes it's better to just let a competent shop handle setting things up (brakes at the least) depending on your mechanical skill.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  18. #18
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Don't forget, you'll also need the tools necessary to do this job. Do you know how to properly adjust shifters? Brakes? Run cables + housing? Adjust a headset? How much experience do you have working on your own bike? I'm not against DIY, but sometimes it's better to just let a competent shop handle setting things up (brakes at the least) depending on your mechanical skill.
    Blah... That's what Sheldon's site is for.

  19. #19
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    I'm not very competent and would be happy to pay someone to do it - but not for more than the cost of a new bike (a Scott SUB 20 with UK govt 'ride-to-work' scheme benefit is about 200pound/dollars - which is er quite cheap!) If I could find someone in London who'd do it parts inc. for less than 200 quid I'd v pleased
    UnsafeAlpine - if I get the aeros off and you do actually want them I'll send them to you

  20. #20
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protectarug View Post
    I'm not very competent and would be happy to pay someone to do it - but not for more than the cost of a new bike (a Scott SUB 20 with UK govt 'ride-to-work' scheme benefit is about 200pound/dollars - which is er quite cheap!) If I could find someone in London who'd do it parts inc. for less than 200 quid I'd v pleased
    UnsafeAlpine - if I get the aeros off and you do actually want them I'll send them to you
    Woohoo! I'm all about this project, now!

    The actual removal and installation of the components isn't that difficult. It's going to be the adjusting of everything. If you're interested in learning how to do it yourself, I'd recommend picking up a good book. There was just a thread about this. Bike maintainance book If you aren't interested in learning (which isn't a bad thing either) I'd still recommend installing all the hardware yourself, and then taking it somewhere to have them do the tune-up.

  21. #21
    Senior Member avmanansala's Avatar
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    I bought flat bar "fitness" bike and swapped over to moustache bars.

    You are going to need the following:

    1) Verify your stem diameter...this will help you decide if you need a new stem or not, or what size flat bar to buy.

    2) You will need something like Shimano's flat bar components, see this link.

    8-Speed: SL-R440-8
    9 Speed: SL-R440-9 (Tiagra level) or SL-R660 (Ultegra level)
    10-Speed: SL-R770

    3) Derailers. Your (road) rear derailer will work with a Flat Bar. YOU WILL NEED TO REPLACE THE FRONT DERAILER TO A FLAT BAR SPECIFIC DERAILER - there is a difference in the throw between a road front derailer and the flat mar front derailer...it is NOT the same as a mountain bike front derailer. I did the research, take my word for it...or don't, but if you use a flat bar shifter, you need to use the flat bar front derailer.

    4) Cables. You'll need new cables.

    5) Brake Levers. You should be able to pick up a set of Tektro brake levers (talk to your LBS about what model) to work with your existing brakes.

    6) Grips...I personally liked the Ergon grips GP1 and considered a GC2 (for more hand positions).

    __________________

    Before I went to the moustache bar, I swapped out my flat bar for an Easton EA70 aluminum bar, and DuraAce 10-speed barcons (I swapped from a 9-speed Tiagra to a 10-speed Ultegra set up) in Paul Thumbies (which are just a housing for the barcons). These acted like old school mountain bike thumb shifters)... and were/are rather nice, I kept mine. My Tiagra -> Ultegra swap also went from a double to a triple, so I changed the rear derailer and the front derailer. The front shifter is friction, the rear is indexed. If you are interested, you can do the same thing with the proper 8/9/10 speed barcon...meaning you might be able to use your existing shifters:

    1) check your stem and bar...get a mountain bike bar
    2) get some paul thumbies.
    3) mount the barcons into the paul thumbies
    4) install your brake levers
    5) run your cables (brake and shifter)
    6) adjust your derailers.
    _____________

    I did all the work myself...the better to learn about my bike. I did need a few tools, I borrowed some, bought others, used the Park Tool Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair and lots of patience.
    Last edited by avmanansala; 02-24-09 at 01:41 PM. Reason: added some info.
    "Study your math, kids. Key to the Universe." - Gabriel in The Prophecy

  22. #22
    Senior Member avmanansala's Avatar
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    Found a few pics...

    My bike BEFORE the the Paul Thumbies (9 speed/Triple), w/ Easton flat bar:

    (I did cut down the width of the handle bar.)

    My bike with the moustache bars (I like the moustache bars better...more hand positions) (10-speed/Double):


    Don't have it here, I but I do have pics with the Paul thumbies, too. I'll try and post it tonight.
    "Study your math, kids. Key to the Universe." - Gabriel in The Prophecy

  23. #23
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    After seeing the pictures, the list of equipment from post 4 this thread will work fine. You have a road front derailleur, a Shimano rear derailleur and road caliper brakes. The flat bar controls will work with this equipment just fine. You could get an estimate of how much to build the bike from your LBS or you could find a local independant mechanic, provide the parts and for a fee.............

    Possibly you could trade the existing bars and the brake levers for part of the fee???? The shifters you will probably have to keep.

  24. #24
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    Thanks everyone for all the help - very kind of you all. I'll take all this good advice - buy some parts and let you know how I get on.

  25. #25
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    I know that it's unlikely that you'll like it the way it is, but I'd say it's worth giving it a try. That is, ride it for a few weeks. I don't see it as dangerous -- are you concerned that moving your hands to the shifters will distract you?
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