Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    replace drop bars with flat bars

    can I buy a road bike and replace the drop bars with flat bars? like a Trek Portland or surly cross check. *I'm wanting a quick and agile daily urban bike. *I've never owned a road bike and I want more of an upright mtn bike ride. * I test drove the Portland and a specialized cross bike over the weekend and the drop bars just feel so strange and not right. *will the geometry work if I just replace the bars ? *or should I be just restrict looking to bikes preconfigured with flat bars like the Gary Fisher Mendota or Specialized Sirrus or Masi Cafe racer. *any advice?
    ***

  2. #2
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ignore all of those *asterisks* in my post. not sure why my iPhone did that

  3. #3
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    other Vancouver
    Posts
    6,420
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by massterb View Post
    can I buy a road bike and replace the drop bars with flat bars? like a Trek Portland or surly cross check. *I'm wanting a quick and agile daily urban bike. *I've never owned a road bike and I want more of an upright mtn bike ride. * I test drove the Portland and a specialized cross bike over the weekend and the drop bars just feel so strange and not right. *will the geometry work if I just replace the bars ? *or should I be just restrict looking to bikes preconfigured with flat bars like the Gary Fisher Mendota or Specialized Sirrus or Masi Cafe racer. *any advice?
    ***
    In order to replace "road" drop handlebars with "mountain" flat handlebars, you'll need to swap the shifters and probably the front derailleur. Even then the bike's fit may not be right, since the reach to the bars will be much shorter. If you're buying the bike new, start out with flat-bar bikes. You can always put on skinny, high-pressure tires later.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  4. #4
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
    Posts
    13,857
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Did you do the test rides with your hands down in the drops, or did you use each of the several available hand positions?

    I know it's still personal preference, but I feel that it's more natural to have my hands pointed forward (thumbs forward, knuckles out) than splayed out to the sides. I can also squeeze through narrower gaps with drop bars than with wide flat bars (although chopped-down flat bars that hipsters love are narrower than anything).

    Like Jeff said, it'll mean replacing a bunch of parts and can be expensive. It would be cheaper, and just as effective, to get skinnier tires.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    My Bikes
    Giant Cypress SX
    Posts
    1,820
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    They're right, massterb. I wasn't comfortable with drops, and switched out to a Nitto Moustasch bar. It has the same sizing as road bars, so the components all fit, but if I hadn't alread paid for the bike, I would have followed the advice already given.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  6. #6
    cs1
    cs1 is offline
    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Clev Oh
    My Bikes
    Specialized, Schwinn
    Posts
    6,130
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    IMO, don't buy a road bike and pay to swap out the bars and shifters. Just buy a flat bar road bike. Specialized makes some real nice ones. Now, if you had a drop bar bike already and wanted to do the swap that's another story. You could just take off the old parts and sell them on ebay to defray the cost of the swap. You'll never get your money out of stripping a new bike out and selling off the parts. Good luck on whatever you do.
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,905
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    In order to replace "road" drop handlebars with "mountain" flat handlebars, you'll need to swap the shifters and probably the front derailleur.
    Levers and whatnot being the wrong size/design for the different bars follows, but why should the front derailer be affected?

  8. #8
    cs1
    cs1 is offline
    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Clev Oh
    My Bikes
    Specialized, Schwinn
    Posts
    6,130
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    Levers and whatnot being the wrong size/design for the different bars follows, but why should the front derailer be affected?
    Shimano road derailleurs aren't usually compatible with flat bar controls. The only flat bar road derailleur they make is the Tiagra level.
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,905
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
    Shimano road derailleurs aren't usually compatible with flat bar controls. The only flat bar road derailleur they make is the Tiagra level.
    Is this only the case for indexed shift levers? Or is there something very different about the cable pull that even a friction lever won't work?

  10. #10
    cs1
    cs1 is offline
    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Clev Oh
    My Bikes
    Specialized, Schwinn
    Posts
    6,130
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    Is this only the case for indexed shift levers? Or is there something very different about the cable pull that even a friction lever won't work?
    If you're using barcons it's not a problem. Only with STI. Good luck
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  11. #11
    Senior Member KungPaoSchwinn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ms/Ca, USA,Earth.
    My Bikes
    2009 Trek FX 7.3 ( pimp moment )
    Posts
    705
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Why bother to buy a road bike and swap the handle bar? Trek FX series share the same geometry as their road bikes,in fact the FX series is part of their road bike selection in their website.I just put over 1K miles in 7 months on mine without any problem at all, what a awesome bike.
    2009 Trek FX 7.3

  12. #12
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,624
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    flat-bar road bikes would be what? hybrids? Swapping out cushy saddle is cheaper than handle bars....
    Vancouver Modern Portrait Photography

    Zenfolio.com membership discount code: UBV-HJY-SCY

  13. #13
    Dropped again guadzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    A small tropical island
    My Bikes
    Ridley Damocles, Lynskey Sportive, Planet X Stealth TT, Ridley X-Fire and a few more
    Posts
    3,442
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Depending on the type, you may also need to swap brakes (gack - I actually wrote "breaks" there initially!). Most road brake levers have a different pull compared to mountain brakes (IIRC, the latter have a lot more pull).

    A different option would be to try the Midge On One drop bars - they will give you the comfortable hand position of the drops, but without requiring you to bend over so much. Play with stem height and angle, and you should be able to get a more upright position without replacing half your bike.

    V.

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,028
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
    If you're using barcons it's not a problem. Only with STI. Good luck
    However barend shifters might not play as nice with flat bars as you'd like. The shifter would stick out the wrong direction on straight bars or they might not fit in some flat bars.

    I estimate the conversion from drop bars to flats at around $200 in parts. You'll need shifters ($50 to $150), brake levers ($25), cables ($20), front derailer ($50-$80), bars ($20 to 80), grips ($15) and, maybe, a new stem ($20 to $80). Labor would add another $100 to $200, if you have a shop do it. Best to just save money and buy a flat bar bike to begin with.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  15. #15
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Hilo Town, East Hawai'i
    My Bikes
    1994 Trek 820, 2004 Fuji Absolute, 2005 Jamis Nova, 1977 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36
    Posts
    3,268
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wunderkind View Post
    flat-bar road bikes would be what? hybrids?
    Flat bar road bikes are road bikes with flat handlebars.
    --
    -=- '05 Jamis Nova -=- '04 Fuji Absolute -=- '94 Trek 820 -=- '77 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36 -=-
    Friends don't let friends use brifters.

  16. #16
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
    Posts
    13,857
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bkrownd View Post
    Flat bar road bikes are road bikes with flat handlebars.
    Yup. cs1 mentioned Specialized as selling some -- here's one example:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...Sirrus&eid=121

    Here's a model of Cannondale Synapse that's sold in Europe:
    http://gb.cannondale.com/bikes/09/ce/model-9HAS1T.html

    Trek's FX series isn't far from being road bikes with flat bars. There are still others, too, and from many manufacturers.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, CA
    My Bikes
    Electra Townie 3i with xtracycle, Surly Cross-Check
    Posts
    953
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    +1 on the moustache bar rec. I've ridden a couple bikes with them, and they seem to be made of awesome. YMMV.
    I see unexamined people. All the time. I don't think they know they're unexamined.

  18. #18
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I ended up getting a Trek 7.7 FX. so far very happy with it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •