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Old 06-19-09, 07:26 PM   #1
Green_chili
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flat handlebars on a road bike

I bought a steel bianchi road bike circa 92 for my wife. She does not like the dropbars so I want to put on flat or riser bars for her. I have "suicide" levers from my cross bike to use as brakes, but I am not sure about bar size. I tried an old bmx handlebar and it was too skinny. Will I be ok to use a standard mountain bike bar?
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Old 06-19-09, 07:31 PM   #2
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Depending on your current stem, you may have to switch to a mountain stem in order to get the right clamp diameter. many mountain bars are 25.4mm diameter
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Old 06-19-09, 07:45 PM   #3
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What is the standard size for a road clamp? 26 mm? How do all the fixed gear kids get this to work?
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Old 06-19-09, 08:37 PM   #4
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Oh, come on, cross interrupter levers are not suicide levers. They're actually very nice and quite powerful.

What you're thinking of is the actual suicide brake levers that extended an ugly piece of metal all the way from the hoods to a place you could reach them while on the tops. Those were just too weak, and even worse weakened the lever from all places, not just the tops.

I'm guessing you have downtube shifters since you didn't ask about shifter issues, and a 1" fork due to the age of the bike. All you need is a new stem with the proper clamp diameter - 25.4mm for MTB bars, 26.0mm for road bars (can be shimmed down to 25.4mm) or 31.8mm for oversized handlebars. You could get a quill to threadless stem adapter and use any modern threadless stem.

Also, there are two types of brake levers for flat bars - those made for V-Brakes and those made for cantilever brakes - you want the cantilever type as it is compatible with road brakes.
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Old 06-19-09, 09:00 PM   #5
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Here is yet another good reason the shell out under $20 and get a digital-caliper. They take the guess-work out of the equation - saving time, money, and frustration.

Here's one - dirt cheap:

Amazon.com: 6 Inch LCD Digital Caliper with Extra Battery and Storage Case: Home Improvement Amazon.com: 6 Inch LCD Digital Caliper with Extra Battery and Storage Case: Home Improvement

And these are accurate within .02mm. Same ones that Park Tool charges and arm & leg for - with their name branded on it.

<EDIT> I just noticed. From this supplier the total cost is $11.55 - Free Shipping. Nice! And read the reviews.

Last edited by Panthers007; 06-20-09 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 06-19-09, 09:08 PM   #6
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how do all the fixed gear kids get this to work?
31.8 standard.
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Old 06-19-09, 09:41 PM   #7
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What is the standard size for a road clamp? 26 mm? How do all the fixed gear kids get this to work?
25.4-26.0 shim.

BMX standard is 7/8" or 22.2, the same as MTB bars minus the bulge to 25.4.
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Old 06-19-09, 10:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green_chili View Post
I bought a steel bianchi road bike circa 92 for my wife. She does not like the dropbars so I want to put on flat or riser bars for her. I have "suicide" levers from my cross bike to use as brakes, but I am not sure about bar size. I tried an old bmx handlebar and it was too skinny. Will I be ok to use a standard mountain bike bar?
You could try "moustache" bars, like I did:
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Old 06-19-09, 10:39 PM   #9
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Those look fun, Jeff! As an aside, there is a way to swap-out the stem to fit be able to fit 31.8mm bars. But the words "stem-converter" will start a war here.

Last edited by Panthers007; 06-20-09 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 06-20-09, 12:32 AM   #10
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Your inrerrupter levers will not fit a mountain flat bar.
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Old 06-20-09, 12:53 AM   #11
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I have Bontrager "Crowbar" bars on my customized Trek hybrid. They were one of 4 things I kept as I like them. I bought a pair of PAUL Love Levers. They fit perfectly. and man! They are great!

http://www.paulcomp.com/lovelever.html

Might be too rich for many folks, though.
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Old 06-20-09, 04:19 AM   #12
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You could try Nitto Albatross bars. I use mine with Suntour friction thumbshifters, and instead of using mtb brakes levers, which take up precious hand space, I use Tektro TT bar end brake levers in the bar ends.

Albatross bars are great because they accept bar end shifters or brake levers, AND mtb shifters. A long stem works best with these, unlike the Moustache bars which need a short stem. It's a 25.4mm bar, but with an open face 26.0 stem, no shim is needed.

I guess a photo would help, I'll try to post when I get some daylight.

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Old 06-20-09, 07:20 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dirtdrop View Post
Your inrerrupter levers will not fit a mountain flat bar.

They sure as heck-fire will.



Road bar diameter is 23.8, flat bars is typically 22.2 mm

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ha-i.html
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Old 06-20-09, 07:39 AM   #14
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31.8 standard.
There is NO "standard" for road bike drop bar size. Especially with an older bike like that it could very well be 25.8, 26.4, 26 etc etc.
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Old 06-20-09, 09:58 AM   #15
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just bend the handlebars by hand for desired effect.
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Old 06-20-09, 10:47 AM   #16
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Here's what I was referring to:









Last edited by Garthr; 06-20-09 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 06-20-09, 01:31 PM   #17
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She does not like the dropbars so I want to put on flat or riser bars for her.
What doesn't she like about the drop bars? Perhaps they "make her lean too far forward"?

Replacing a drop bar with a flat bar isn't exactly a trivial task. Best to nail down the exact problem before trying to fix it. I'd suspect a fit issue rather than a problem with aesthetics.
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Old 06-20-09, 04:09 PM   #18
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There is NO "standard" for road bike drop bar size. Especially with an older bike like that it could very well be 25.8, 26.4, 26 etc etc.
I meant standard OS. I gave up typing "OS" because when I replied BF would not let me capitalize those two letters for some weird reason and "os" looks stupid. Most of those I see around here are 31.8 chopped risers on a road stem.
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Old 06-21-09, 12:14 AM   #19
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Those look fun, Jeff! As an aside, there is a way to swap-out the stem to fit be able to fit 31.8mm bars. But the words "stem-converter" will start a war here.
What's wrong with a hand drill and a bench grinder?

BTW: Garth, your ride be slick!
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Old 06-21-09, 12:17 AM   #20
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What's wrong with a hand drill and a bench grinder?
Not gonna touch it! I can hear operator rustling in the bushes...
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Old 06-22-09, 07:49 AM   #21
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Thanks for everyone's help. It was a really fun weekend. We ended up making the bike more wife (and city) friendly by putting on these awesome bars from Velo Orange right here in Maryland:

http://www.velo-orange.com/milanbar.html

They fit the stem perfectly. I easily installed my cross levers and we added some Vittoria Randonneur Cross Tires to slow it down a bit. We took our first ride together yesterday and it was great. These forums are awesome. Pictures to come.
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Old 06-22-09, 10:01 AM   #22
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What is the standard size for a road clamp? 26 mm? How do all the fixed gear kids get this to work?
Three words: "beer can shim".
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