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  1. #1
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    I'd like to put different drop bars on my Cross-Check, only I have no idea what to do

    So I've decided I'm not a fan of the Salsa Bell Lap. The drops are too deep and the shape of them makes the hoods lower and kind of tipped forward so the reach is a little too much for me.
    I'd like to replace them with bars that aren't as deep and with a shorter reach.
    I've never done anything like this before. I'll be able to transfer the bar-end shifters to the new bars, as well as the brakes/hoods, correct? I don't even know how the brake lever / hood system attaches to the bars.

    So I guess what I need from y'all is some suggestions for bars, and some steps on how to make the swap. I was thinking of asking my LBS, but I'd like to try doing some of this stuff myself, and I know my selection of bars is much larger online.

    Thanks for any help.
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  2. #2
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    The shifters will most likely fit aluminum bars due to the expander plug, but most aluminum drop bars haven't been made with barcons in mind for a long time. I don't think I've heard a case of them not fitting 13/16" drop bars, just issues with 7/8" bars. Now if you are looking for compact drops, almost all of them come in 38.1mm clamp diameter. I think yours are 26.0mm. That means you may have to go shopping for a new stem if you can't find a 26.0mm bar you like.

    Obviously you first have to remove the bar tape. I sometimes can get a second use out of them depending on how good condition it is in after re wrapping. Most people will recommend buying new tape. Take a good look at how the cables are taped to the bar under the bar tape. You'll have to do the same thing when you move the parts over.

    First stem is to remove the shifters. Unclamp the cables at the derailers, and unscrew the screw on the shifters with a flathead screwdriver. The shifter should come off, don't lose any parts. Next you have to stick an allen wrench into the hole, and I think, counter-intuitively, you have to turn it clockwise to loosen. Once loose it should come out easily. Repeat for the other side.

    Second is to remove the brake levers. These will be held on by a clamp with a hidden screw. The location and head vary based on the model. There are two common locations. One is inside behind the brake lever. You will have to depress the brake lever, and sometimes remove the cable, and there will be a screw inside you you to loosen counterclockwise. It should be obvious. The other location is somewhee under the rubber hood. You may have to peel it back and find a hole with a screw. You should be able to loosen it and slide the lever off.

    Now you figure out where you want the parts on the new bar, and reverse the process. Then tape down the cables like they were before. Then wrap with bar tape, and remember to pull tight.

  3. #3
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    The above advice is good but be aware that if the new bars have a significantly shorter reach you may end up with cables which are too long. It is easy enough to trim the housings shorter but be sure to remember to remove the inner wires first; don't ask how I know this. Make sure that you cut or grind the housing ends square and install the appropriate ferrules.

    You may find that you have difficulty threading the old inner wires back in so you may need to replace them. This is not a major expense but I recommend using die-drawn stainless ones for smoother shift and brake action. Actually, I generally just go ahead and put on all new inners and outers while everything is apart but it's your call on that.

    Here are some hints from the maestro: http://sheldonbrown.com/cables.html

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    On a 1 to 10 scale, this job is about a 5 because you essentially have to do a complete gear and brake tune up and a bar wrap. If you have a shop do it for you the cost can add up fast.

    Other than style, the only real issue in bar selection is clamp diameter. 31.8 mm is the current consensus standard. You'll have to look around to find a 26.0 mm or even a 25.4 bar, but they're out there and starting with the right bar clamp size will be cheaper than replacing your stem. My first shot would be Niagara Bicycle to find a bar that will meet your needs.

    If your stem doesn't have an open face plate, take your time and be gentle when you insert your bar. Otherwise you'll scratch your brand new handlebar. Other than that, re-read Crescent's post. If you get confused for any reason, post again and I'll give it a shot.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    of note: single bolt non face plate stems are narrower at the bottom , where the bolt is.

    you can get it around the bar curves by using the narrower side of the stem facing the inside of the curves ..

    the stem is required to be removed from the fork, and just the bars and stem are in your hands..

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    The Bell Lap reach is pretty short (82mm), so if you're too stretched out, I'd try a new stem first, and then consider if you really want to go through the hassle of a bar swap to bring the drops up another 15-20mm with a compact bar. Me, I don't see the appeal of compact bars. ISTM they reduce the main benefit of drop bars by making the various hand positions less varied.

  7. #7
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    Before going through all the hassle described above try to just tip the bars up slightly. This will probably fix most of what you don't like. You could also remove the bar tape and just slide the brake levers up the bars a touch. A little adjustment goes a long ways. If these things don't work I would head over to your LBS and see if they will exchange stems for you. You could get one with a little angle up which would effectively shorten the reach and raise the drops.

    When I first started riding I tried many different bars at quite an expense but after a while I found that most could be made comfortable with the right adjustment.
    I do not claim to be a doctor, scientist, genie, bike magician, good looking, or qualified in any way. The contents of my post are opinions and should be taken as such.

  8. #8
    bkj
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    I'd try a shorter stem with a higher angle first.

    http://salsacycles.com/components/ca...25-degree_stem

  9. #9
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger531 View Post
    Before going through all the hassle described above try to just tip the bars up slightly. This will probably fix most of what you don't like. You could also remove the bar tape and just slide the brake levers up the bars a touch. A little adjustment goes a long ways. If these things don't work I would head over to your LBS and see if they will exchange stems for you. You could get one with a little angle up which would effectively shorten the reach and raise the drops.

    When I first started riding I tried many different bars at quite an expense but after a while I found that most could be made comfortable with the right adjustment.
    I can't tip them up anymore of the brake levers will be pointing out too much and the bottom of the drops will be too high of an angle. I already have it tilted back more than they should.
    I might try moving the brakes and hoods up a bit, but the shape of the Bell Lap prevents too much I think.

    I think what I need is a handlebar that is flat from the cross part all the way around the curves to the start of the drop, because the Salsa Bell Lap angles down from the corners, contributing to my issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by bkj View Post
    I'd try a shorter stem with a higher angle first.

    http://salsacycles.com/components/ca...25-degree_stem
    Does it come with a 26mm clamp?
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  10. #10
    bkj
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
    I think what I need is a handlebar that is flat from the cross part all the way around the curves to the start of the drop, because the Salsa Bell Lap angles down from the corners, contributing to my issue.
    FSA's "Wing" and "Wing Pro" bars probably have the type of shape you want. They are nearly level until just as the hooks turn downward. I have them on a couple of my bikes and they are very comfortable. However they are only available in 31.8 mm clamp diameter so you would need a new stem too.

  12. #12
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    The Civia Emerson looks nice as compact bars go and fits 26.0 stems.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rowebr's Avatar
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    About removing those bar-end shifters:

    Quote Originally Posted by Crescent Cycle View Post

    Next you have to stick an allen wrench into the hole, and I think, counter-intuitively, you have to turn it clockwise to loosen. Once loose it should come out easily.
    That is correct, to loosen the expander that holds the shifters in place you turn the bolt clockwise.

    Switching to a stem with a shorter reach and/or more rise would be an easier job than changing out the bars, and might resolve the issues you have. Changing out the bars is a nice project though, and gives you the chance to learn a bunch of things that you may not have done before. Installing cables, housing, derailleur indexing adjustment, wrapping the bars, etc.

  14. #14
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    This girl has a LHT and put on new bars and had to move the bar-ends over, and she didn't have to do any snipping or installing of new wires or anything: http://www.tamiasoutside.com/2008/08/24/barcons/
    care to put in some thoughts on what she did and if I can too?
    I'm going to the LBS where I bought the bike tomorrow to ask them about some options.
    I thought about just doing the stem, but i really would like a more level bar leading up to the hoods, and a shorter reach down to the bar-end shifters.
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    Yeah, follow my instructions above and don't remove the cables. Honestly you may not even need to unclamp the derailer clamp bolts. You may end up with an extra inch of cable which probably won't be a big deal. I mean it could be, but it probably won't be. It does require moving the bar around so you can get enough cable length to slip things off though.

  16. #16
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    If you want drop bars with a 26.0mm clamp diameter and want a flatter "ramp" section (that leads into the brake lever), I've been happy with the Ritchey Pro Logic bar (ergonomic bend) and the Nitto Noodle bar (more traditional-looking curved drop). Neither is a shallow drop, but neither has a deep drop either.

    Here are pictures showing the a profile view of the Ritchey Pro Logic (on the red and pink bikes) and Nitto Noodle (on the blue bike). Works fine with bar-end shifters.

    Note that the Tektro R200 brake levers are designed to extend "flat" from the ramp, whereas the Shimano 9-speed STI levers (on the pink bike) angle somewhat upwards by design.

    MG_5587--9spd_105_levers.jpgIMG_0797.jpgIMG_1075.jpgIMG_8070.JPGIMG_8098.JPG

  17. #17
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    You may find the Salsa WoodChipper to be workable option . They come in 26 mm last I seen & work with barends


    cheers

  18. #18
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    went to the LBS today and they ordered me a set of bars and a stem. i hate waiting though lol
    i'm going to try to do the whole swap myself.
    Will I have to unhook the brake cables so I can squeeze the brake enough to get a wrench inside the lever assembly and around the cable inside it to loosen the bolt to remove them?
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  19. #19
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    "Will I have to unhook the brake cables so I can squeeze the brake enough to get a wrench inside the lever assembly and around the cable inside it to loosen the bolt to remove them?"

    Dude, relax!

  20. #20
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterw_diy View Post
    "Will I have to unhook the brake cables so I can squeeze the brake enough to get a wrench inside the lever assembly and around the cable inside it to loosen the bolt to remove them?"

    Dude, relax!
    i'm not freaking out. I'm just trying to get a sense of all the steps i need to go through here. i'm a first timer. it seems like this is the case because there is no way i can get a hex wrench into that bolt down inside.

    i also called th LBS, and cancelled the order for the bars and stem they were getting - they weren't going to place the order until next monday anyway so it's not big deal. i didn't want to wait.
    i ended up getting these bars: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    FSA Omega compact (which i think someone here recommended). I was able to understand more the details of the measurements online after talking to the guy at the LBS yesterday, and i like these better.
    I ended up picking up just a regular 6 stem from another LBS, since I wanted it quickly. IT's also im****ingpossible to find an 80mm stem with a 10 or 17 rise. Online or in person. Things just don't exist. Kind of obnoxious.

    Anyway, the bars should be here Friday, so I'll be doing the work either Friday night or Saturday. Expect more questions. Lol.
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  21. #21
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    oh, and someone recommend some good bar tape - like that came on my cross check. that 5.99 nashbar stuff is kinda crappy
    Twitter@theSurlyBiker

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
    i'm not freaking out. I'm just trying to get a sense of all the steps i need to go through here. i'm a first timer. it seems like this is the case because there is no way i can get a hex wrench into that bolt down inside.
    ...
    IT's also im****ingpossible to find an 80mm stem with a 10 or 17 rise. Online or in person. Things just don't exist. Kind of obnoxious.
    You could also flip up the quick release and remove the wheels. That should let you bottom out your brake levers, and I assume that is a little less daunting than undoing the cables. No need to readjust your cables much or smash up and fray the ends.

    Civia makes a 31.8mm clamp stem in 17 degrees that is 80mm long, although it is sometimes listed as 107 degrees (107-90=17). Personally I get wrist issues if drop bars are set too high. I would see if your LBS has an adjustable stem you can borrow, especially a dual-adjustable stem that you can borrow, then place your order for a keeper stem through them after trying out different positions.
    Last edited by Crescent Cycle; 02-12-14 at 05:03 PM.

  23. #23
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    "someone recommend some good bar tape - like that came on my cross check. "

    Unwrap carefully and reuse.

  24. #24
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    i want to change the color
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    I like the Deda perforated stuff for keepers. Not too expensive. Feels nice. Comes in various colors. Fairly durable. No particular reason for that brand specifically.

    However I usually just use cheap foam, or recycled foam bar tape because I like to mess around with things that require tape removal. At the very least I would reuse your bar tape and get some practice taping a bar with your old tape, and seeing if you like the bar before splurging on nicer tape. Your second taping job will probably be better than your first.

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