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Old 09-30-11, 07:54 AM   #1
neocaligatio
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Drop bars, 3 speed SA and 26x1 3/8 wheels - bad idea?

I have a spare 3 speed in the shed and was contemplating switching the bars and brakes to turn it into a drop bar tourer. The bike is an 80's 'Focus' which is cheap but in great condition. Wheels are 26 x 1 3/8 so more shopping bike!

Anyone done similar?

Here's a horrible photo taken on the night I picked up the bike:

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Old 09-30-11, 08:08 AM   #2
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Nope, sounds like a great idea.


Sixtyfiver/rhm and others should be along soon with more pics. It was the typical set up for late pre-war/ early post-war British club bicycles
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Old 09-30-11, 08:30 AM   #3
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Nope. Great idea. In fact I was thinking about this on my drive to work!

I'm thinking of doing something similar over the winter if I can find a hub and frame. The recent 650B thread also has me thinking about building up a wheelset because I've never done one.

Be sure to post pictures!
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Old 09-30-11, 08:34 AM   #4
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Oh, wait, I spoke too soon. The Lambert (red) has 700c wheels. The Raleigh (black) has 27".

My Fothergill, however, has 26 x 1 3/8:

Disregard the derailleur, there's a 1939 AW hub in there somewhere!

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Old 09-30-11, 08:35 AM   #5
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This is a great idea! There are still some decent tires made in 26x 1 3/8 size too.
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Old 09-30-11, 08:35 AM   #6
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That's when I had the idea - boring commute = mind wandering to bike stuff

The total cost of the project will be ~20 so more fun that serious!
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Old 09-30-11, 08:50 AM   #7
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It's already been said here, but great idea. I like how it hearkens back to the early days of "three speeding." I'm not planning on ridding myself of derailleur bikes anytime soon, but there's a lot to be said for the simplicity of the three speed and the more leisurely, laid back approach to riding. Your build idea fits that mold quite well, I'd say.
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Old 09-30-11, 08:54 AM   #8
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in the process of doing this on my "taylor", though it will have 27" wheels.
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Old 09-30-11, 09:11 AM   #9
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N+1, UPS just showed up with my CR18's for my Maclean project

'course it's gonna be 4 speed IGH, but same concept
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Old 09-30-11, 09:36 AM   #10
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Don't a lot of these bikes have different geometries that feel funky when switching to drop bars? Not being difficult, just wondering. I did a drop bar conversion on a MTB and the handling did not feel very good.
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Old 09-30-11, 09:41 AM   #11
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Don't a lot of these bikes have different geometries that feel funky when switching to drop bars? Not being difficult, just wondering. I did a drop bar conversion on a MTB and the handling did not feel very good.
Speaking for myself, since these are the bikes I ride the most, I'd say they handle just right (especially the Lambert and the RRA). But you'd have to try it yourself, to know the correct answer by your standards. The bikes I posted were all designed for drop bars, but they have fairly relaxed geometry by today's standards. The way a bike handles is to some degree a matter of how it's set up; note the long stem, and seat far forward, on the RRA; this makes up for the shallow seat tube angle completely, though of course it does nothing about the steerer tube angle:


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Old 09-30-11, 09:53 AM   #12
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These are the kind of points I'm interested in - the bike has a very tall stem but very short in reach, so that might need to be addressed with a new stem....
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Old 09-30-11, 09:58 AM   #13
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another yes vote

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Old 09-30-11, 10:01 AM   #14
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These are the kind of points I'm interested in - the bike has a very tall stem but very short in reach, so that might need to be addressed with a new stem....
Yes, judging by your photo, I think you will want a longer stem. Also a narrow saddle. I would recommend you get the new Sturmey Archer bar end shifter, which is an excellent shifter that fits drop bars nicely and shifts the old AW hub perfectly. There are trigger shifters made to fit 15/16" bars, but they are hard to find; and it is possible to make a trigger with a 7/8" clamp fit on a drop bar, but it is not always easy.
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Old 09-30-11, 10:20 AM   #15
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I love mine. I guess I took a different approach to RHM. I went for a 40mm, tall stem (Nitto Technomic) and left the saddle with the clamp around the middle of the rails. It's very comfortable.

Of course I still have all the original parts; I think I might put more appropriate brake levers on it along with the original cable housing.

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Old 09-30-11, 11:13 AM   #16
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Another thing to consider is flipping the regular handlebars upside down. The reach is extremely short, so that could be very good or very bad. I happen to prefer a long reach and not so much drop, so it didn't work for me. It looks nice, though.
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Old 09-30-11, 11:24 AM   #17
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I love that....


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another yes vote

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Old 09-30-11, 11:31 AM   #18
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Between this thread and Holiday's 650B thread, damn, I need something with smaller wheels!!
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Old 09-30-11, 11:41 AM   #19
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I miss riding my 3 speed, it was fun and simple. I really need to get those wheels built.
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Old 09-30-11, 03:28 PM   #20
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Noglider

Another thing to consider is flipping the regular handlebars upside down. The reach is extremely short, so that could be very good or very bad.
Flipped Northroads do make for a very short cockpit and somewhat sluggish handling but it's fun. Could remedy the cockpit lenght with a longer stem....but I could do a lot of things I don't do.
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Old 09-30-11, 04:11 PM   #21
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Flipped Northroads do make for a very short cockpit and somewhat sluggish handling but it's fun. Could remedy the cockpit lenght with a longer stem....but I could do a lot of things I don't do.
Mmm. I like this.
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Old 09-30-11, 05:09 PM   #22
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Come to think of it, my first fixie had flipped North Roads. It suited me well then. Maybe the top tube of that bike was longer. It wasn't an old Sports; it was a generic Japanese frame. Also, I think the stem had a bit of an extension to it.

I tried flipped North Roads on my Super Course. The frame is small for me, and this had me much too bent over. So imagine my surprise at the fact that I now have extra long reach handlebars but no drop and I'm comfortable.
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Old 09-30-11, 06:11 PM   #23
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Yep, got to like flipped North Road bars; goes wel with S/A 3 speed internal hub and 26" x 3/8" tires/wheels:

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Old 09-30-11, 06:16 PM   #24
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I now call them South Road bars.
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Old 09-30-11, 07:11 PM   #25
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