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  1. #1
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    Advice on swapping flat bar for drop bar

    I have an old 1991 or 1992 rigid Giant Iguana, I was thinking about replacing the flat bar for a drop bar. i recently started riding a road bike. I like the different positions the drop bar offers. It has canti brakes, a 7 spd cassette. has anyone done this? What all is involved? Thanks!

  2. #2
    lover ....
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    dhfd,

    It all depends what you want to do, and if you want it to index (I assume so).

    The age of the bike creates some challenges, as you are running 7s. 8s or 9s would make things easier, but no problems are insurmountable.

    Moving to drops means changing all your controls, and possibly your stem.

    Putting drops on your current stem may seem a quick/easy/cheap fix, but you have to consider that (even riding on the hoods) your hand position will be about 4 inches further forward than you were on flat bars. On older MTBs (which had shorter top tubes) this will be not so much of a problem. Try it and see ...

    ... with one caveat. Make sure that (if you use the original stem) that the clamping diameter of the stem is compatible with the clamp diameter of the bars. There are plenty of threads in here relating to that (and some people ignore the difference completely with success - but it is worth thinking about).

    You will need to change brake levers. Older style (non STI/Ergopower) road brake levers will work fine with the short pull cantilevers that you have. I have seen plenty of instances where riders are using MTB style levers on the flat sections of the road handlebars - do whatever you want - as long as it is safe.

    More recent style MTB levers (designed for V-brakes) pull more cable than the older style, and (while they will still work OK) are not really the best idea.

    Shifters is where your problems are easily sorted, or not so easy (depending on what you want).

    7s is the achilles heel here. It's getting on now (actually, so is 8s), so finding shifters that will mount on road bars may be hard. Bar-con shifters (fit into the end of the bars) work great, should be relatively cheap second hand, but must be 7s to index correctly. That means they will be about 10 years old, and hard to source.

    As far as I am aware, there are no 7s STI/Ergo shifters available.

    If you can afford it, convert to 8s (new chain, rear cassette, axle and freehub*). It's likely your chain and cassette are getting old now (if they have never been replaced), and this will greatly improve the likelihood of getting STI/Ergo shifters. Heck you could even go 9s (new chain and shifters and MAYBE new FD).

    * might be easier to get your wheel rebuilt with a 9s hub (good for 8s and 9s)

    8s and 9s STI will work fine with your rear derailler and well enough with your front derailler (MTB FDs and Road shifters have different pull ratios).

    8s and 9s Ergo power (Campag/Sachs) will require you to match with the same manufacturer RD (and a couple of other tweaks that we can guide you through when you get to that point).

    All in all, a great upgrade, and older MTBs do ride well with drops, but there are a few considerations to get it "right"#. I have done this several time before on my own and customers bikes. Let me know if I can help.

    # all in the eye of the beholder/shifter
    Riding a bike is not a fashion show

    Super commuter, grease freak, lover ...

  3. #3
    Cars are evil mynameisnotdrew's Avatar
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    get a shorter stem, forget the indexing, and get some old suntour bar-end shifters. also, get some old weinman or maffac brake levers. cheap on ebay, cheaper at the local yard sale. they work great, and will save you $200.

    indexing is a pain in the ass anyway.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike_13



    As far as I am aware, there are no 7s STI/Ergo shifters available.





    8s and 9s STI will work fine with your rear derailler and well enough with your front derailler (MTB FDs and Road shifters have different pull ratios).
    Sora 7 speed sti. DA 8 speed STI don't work with mtb RD.I wouldn't count on the mtb FD working well with STI. Barends are the easier cheaper way to do it.

  5. #5
    lover ....
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    Sydney, sometimes I think you follow me around. ;-)

    Again, I stand corrected (Sydney has a history or plugging the omissions in my posts).

    Yes, there was a SORA 7s, but it has not been listed in ShimaNO catalogues since 2002. SORA is now 8s (and the STI shifters are pretty good actually).

    DA 8s will not work with any other ShimaNO rear deraillers other than DA (but putting even old DA on a 12yo Igauna is like putting 19in mags on a VW bus - yeah I suppose it happens!).

    MTB FDs work reasonably with Road STI (but only using an MTB chainrings due to the matching daimeter of the rings and the profile of the derailler) - I am riding one now. It is certainly not as crisp as with Road FDs, but it works okay.

    Barends ARE the easiest way to do it, but if you like STI, it can be done.

    dhfd,

    The decision rests with you. Remember the stem issue.

    Cheapest and easiest IS friction barends with some cheap road levers.

    Next cheapest: 7s barends and road levers

    Next: SORA 7s STI (actually - if you can find some cheap - this could work out really well!)

    Next: 8s barends, road levers, new cassette/chain, etc (updating the bike a fair bit as well - could be good if you chain/cassette are worn out)

    etc etc etc
    Riding a bike is not a fashion show

    Super commuter, grease freak, lover ...

  6. #6
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    You're riding the solution - didn't you say you have a road bike? Now congratulate yourself on, (1. Having two different bikes, and (2. Saving money. If this won't do, then visit your lbs and have them order you a pair of drop bar ends for flat bars. They work well and look pretty cool. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike_13

    Yes, there was a SORA 7s, but it has not been listed in ShimaNO catalogues since 2002. SORA is now 8s (and the STI shifters are pretty good actually).

    .

    MTB FDs work reasonably with Road STI (but only using an MTB chainrings due to the matching daimeter of the rings and the profile of the derailler) - I am riding one now. It is certainly not as crisp as with Road FDs, but it works okay.
    Harriscyclery.com has 7 speed sora STI. The issue with STI and mtb FD is arm length and throw ratio,in adittion to cage curvature. Some get them to work.Never did for me.FD are cheap.

  8. #8
    lover ....
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydney
    Harriscyclery.com has 7 speed sora STI.
    ....and an awesome website resource. Sheldon Brown is my hero!

    dhfd, pick up some of those SORA shifters ASAP, and get riding!
    Riding a bike is not a fashion show

    Super commuter, grease freak, lover ...

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