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Old 09-13-09, 07:05 PM   #51
jarelj
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Yeah, it's all just on loosely right now, I haven't put everything where it will finally go yet, and I won't tape up the bars until I have the levers where I want them. I need to get it down off the stand and sit on it to determine where I want the levers positioned. I still need to take the cables back off and lube them, and I'm still messing with the canti brakes to get them adjusted properly. First I just wanted to get everything in place and hooked up just to make sure it was all going to fit up properly. I think the derailleurs are adjusted pretty well as they are now, it shifts smoothly through all gears. BTW, the Shimano Ultegra STI levers seem to work just fine with the stock Trek 7.6fx front triple and rear 9-speed derailleurs.
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Old 09-13-09, 07:45 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by davidindec View Post
Another novice question.

Why do the cables for barcon shifters come out of the drop wrap a fist length from the end instead of going all the way under the wrap and exiting the same place as brifters?

Thank you for satisfying my curiosity.
I use Suntour Bar-cons (the only shifter that can actually claim this naming right) and have my shifter housings under my bar tape... being friction only they don't have any shifting issues but an indexed system might as they are more temperamental.


Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 09-13-09 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 09-13-09, 08:02 PM   #53
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Jarel - the bike looks great so far!
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Old 09-13-09, 08:05 PM   #54
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When I did my conversion I went with Suntour barcons also.

I ended up with a somewhat long cockpit, but it rides great.

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Old 09-15-09, 09:41 PM   #55
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All done, ready for the maiden voyage in the morning! Sorry, no pics yet, forgot to bring my camera home tonight......
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Old 09-16-09, 05:01 AM   #56
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All done, ready for the maiden voyage in the morning! Sorry, no pics yet, forgot to bring my camera home tonight......
Congratulations on wrapping up your project...very interested to hear how it handles.
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Old 09-16-09, 07:59 AM   #57
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congrats jarel. i'd love to see pics and also let us know what snags you ran into (if any) during the conversion. it'd be good info for others since it looks like a few people have converted their hybrids to drop bars or are considering it.

enjoy the ride!
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Old 09-16-09, 11:21 AM   #58
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First ride is in the books, did 15 miles this morning. Still have some adjusting to do, need to raise the seat a little more and rotate the hoods up just slightly. I'll ride it many more times before making a final determination on whether the stem length is right for me or if I need to swap it for a longer or shorter one, I just kind of picked one in the middle of the road for sizing as a starting point. It's a vastly different bike with this setup, doesn't feel anything like it did before. The handling is "quite crisp".... in other words, it's very responsive and I had to adapt my riding style to be much more gentle with my steering inputs. I'd say it's a lot closer to a roadracing motorcycle now, which is what I'm used to riding, and the best handling is achieved by using a light grip on the bars, if you hold on tight the bike gets very twitchy. I absolutely love the more leaned-forward riding position, it feels much better on my back and saddle than the upright flat bar position did, I had no numbness in my hands at all, and really enjoyed the variety of hand positions provided by the drop bars. I found that riding on the hoods is where I spent about 70% of the time, with the other 30% in the drops, I only rode on the top bars a few brief times and I couldn't see any reason to do it, plus it felt unsafe riding without my hands anywhere near the brake levers. The hand position is great on the hoods, a much more natural bend of the wrist than the flat bars were, even with the bar ends I had on. Climbing was best in the drops and I could stand easily when I needed to. The shifters work great, just takes some getting used to, I'll need a few more rides before the shifting is 2nd nature and I don't have to think about it every time. The bike is MUCH faster at higher speeds, I had no idea how much of a difference the aero position would make but it's quite a change. Spots on my daily ride where I would be going 20-24 mph before I'm now going 23-27 mph, so about 3 mph faster when down in the drops. Also felt like a more powerful pedal stroke is achieved by being leaned forward farther, I'll need to ride more to find out for sure. When I get my camera home I'll post detailed pics and a description of all the parts needed for the conversion.
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Old 09-16-09, 07:22 PM   #59
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I absolutely love the more leaned-forward riding position, it feels much better on my back and saddle than the upright flat bar position did, I had no numbness in my hands at all,
The worst thing you can say about flat bars is that the hand position pinches the carpal tunnel. That's not good, and it gets worse with faster, flatter position bikes that put more weight on your hands. The biggest missing group of bikes are those with sensible frame angle and room for fattish tyres when needed, and drops or bull horns for comfort - exactly what you've built.

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Also felt like a more powerful pedal stroke is achieved by being leaned forward farther, I'll need to ride more to find out for sure.
That's my impression too.
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Old 09-17-09, 08:14 PM   #60
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Ok, finally got some pics of the completed conversion:







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Old 09-17-09, 08:26 PM   #61
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New parts used:
Shimano Tiagra STI Brake/Shifters & cables
Shimano R550 Cantilever brakes
Oval Concepts R900 carbon stem 90mm x 84/96 deg x 31.8mm
FSA Omega compact road bar 31.8 x 42cm
Tektro rear cable hanger (rear)
Interloc Long Drop cable hanger (front)
Cinelli Carbon bar tape

There was nothing too complicated about it, the parts pretty much are all bolt-ons. Few tips for anyone else doing the conversion:
1) If you convert to Cantilever-style brakes, you need to add a cable hanger both front and rear, I used a Tektro on the rear and an Interloc on the front
2) The STI Brake/Shifters come with cables, the fat cables are the brake cables and the thinner cables are the derailleur cables
3) Make sure you lube the cables with cable (or all-purpose) lube before installing them
4) You need to cut the brake cable housings to the length you need, get a good set of cable cutters, I bought the Park Tools one at LBS
5) Make sure you cut the brake cable housings long enough for the rear brake to accomodate the full turning radius of the handlebars
6) The shifter cable housings come pre-cut to the correct length already, you don't need to cut those.
7) Throw away the crappy plastic ferrules that come on the shifter cables and use good metal ones (cheap, just buy a handful at your LBS)
8) Get a bike work stand to put the bike on while working on it, it's MUCH easier than trying to work on it on the floor.

This project was intimidating at first given the lack of information out there on where to even start, what parts are required, etc. so I hope some of you find this summary helpful. If anyone has any additional questions post 'em up or send me a message and I'll help out if I can. I was somewhat discouraged when I asked for help on this and really didn't get any solid info, but now that I've done the conversion I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone else to do it who is thinking they'd rather have drop bars on their hybrid. I did this conversion for a fraction of the cost of selling the hybrid and buying a road bike, and I still have all of the original bars/shifters to convert it back to a flat-bar hybrid at any point.
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Old 09-17-09, 11:51 PM   #62
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Ok, finally got some pics of the completed conversion:







Nice!
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Old 09-18-09, 07:48 AM   #63
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looking good. More importantly how do you like the new riding position/s?
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Old 09-18-09, 03:36 PM   #64
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looking good. More importantly how do you like the new riding position/s?
I've had three 15 mile rides on it now, and I like it a lot for the kind of riding I do (intense workout, vs. leisure). Still fiddling with saddle position, but otherwise it's pretty much where I'm going to leave it for now. The multiple hand positions are great, I had absolutely no numbness on any of the rides. I'm used to the handling now, it took a couple of rides to retrain the brain on that. Speed is definitely improved on anything over 18 mph for sure. Shifting is very smooth. I hate the tires, and still plan to upgrade the wheels and tires to something else, these tires have zero grip on the wet.
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Old 09-18-09, 06:31 PM   #65
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I've been dealing with some pretty nasty wind all week and am so grateful to have drop barred my hybrid so I can eke out a little more speed and not have to work as hard.
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Old 09-19-09, 11:42 AM   #66
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Jarel - the conversion looks great. I am sure your write-up will come in handy for a lot of people considering this option.
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Old 09-19-09, 11:46 AM   #67
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I'd go with 32C for comfort. Wide tires roll faster and absorb road shock better than than skinny slicks do. Schwalbe proved that with their balloon tire - wide doesn't have to be heavy and slow!
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Old 09-19-09, 06:26 PM   #68
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Slick conversion Jarel. I like it. The Trek just looks awesome now.
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Old 09-20-09, 03:37 PM   #69
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I hate the tires, and still plan to upgrade the wheels and tires to something else, these tires have zero grip on the wet.
You're not kidding. They look like the same tires that came on my 7.6 and it's almost dangerous to ride them in the wet. Sometimes even my front wheel slides when I try to turn in the wet and that's not good when you live in florida...
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Old 09-20-09, 07:10 PM   #70
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You're not kidding. They look like the same tires that came on my 7.6 and it's almost dangerous to ride them in the wet. Sometimes even my front wheel slides when I try to turn in the wet and that's not good when you live in florida...
Glad I'm not the only one, it's unbelievable how poor the grip is in the wet with those tires. I end up riding like a 3-year old on a tricycle when I see wet pavement ahead, I already crashed once going around a corner where lawn sprinkler runoff was running across the street, and I don't want to do it again!
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Old 09-21-09, 05:20 AM   #71
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Great job on the conversion jareli.
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Old 11-23-09, 03:28 PM   #72
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If anyone else would like to try the drop bar conversion out on their Trex Fx, I'll sell the entire conversion package, pre-assembled and ready to bolt onto your bike. I know it will work on the 7.6fx, but should work on others as well as long as they have the bottom-pull Shimano front derailleur and road-style Shimano rear derailleur. All you'll need to do is bolt on the new stem/bar/brifter unit, bolt on the Canti brakes, and hook up the cables to the derailleurs and brakes. I paid a little over $450 plus shipping for all of the new parts, I'll sell the entire package for $325 shipped in the U.S. or Canada. PM me if interested.

I'm putting my 7.6fx back to it's original condition so I can sell it, I decided to try Cyclocross racing and getting a proper Cyclocross bike now. Probably crazy, but should be fun!

This is what you get, all in perfect condition:
Shimano Tiagra STI Brake/Shifters & cables
Shimano R550 Cantilever brakes
Oval Concepts R900 carbon stem 90mm x 84/96 deg x 31.8mm
FSA Omega compact road bar 31.8 x 42cm
Tektro rear cable hanger (rear)
Interloc Long Drop cable hanger (front)
Bar is wrapped with Cinelli Carbon bar tape
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Old 11-25-09, 12:50 AM   #73
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Ha! When I read the first line of your post, I thought you were going into the business of selling drop bar conversion kits. It. Took. A. Moment. To. Click.
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Old 11-25-09, 01:02 AM   #74
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jarelj, did you ever consider just trying cross with the fx?

Incidentally, it's been almost one year since I converted my 7.7FX. Like you, I used the R550 cantis and FSA Omega h-bar. Very pleased with both. Being 10-sp, I picked up a set of Ultegra STI levers and an Ultegra derailleur. I also added cross levers. Overall, the outcome is very similar to what you did. Best of luck with cross.
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Old 11-25-09, 12:19 PM   #75
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So is it now a hybrid or a roadbike?
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