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  1. #1
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    Drop bar conversion complete!

    FINALLY got this thing finished. The shifting isn't perfect but it works. HOURS of sweating working on this...but it was my first time really working on any bike so I thought I did pretty good. Not sure if I like the bar tape color but it will work for now. I also think I wrapped the wrong way on one side at the top. I started both tapes on the bottom of the bar but on the top of the pipe. Right one went clockwise and the left went counter clock wise..I did some figure 8 type thing at the brake levers and I think that is what screwed me up.

    Anywho......the picture....what do you think?


  2. #2
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    It looks good to me. Its a good feeling when you complete a project thats important to you.
    The tape color on the bars is great, but,,,Iam color bind, really.

  3. #3
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    I got all the parts from Jensen....the stem is an EA70 and was marked down from like $79 to $19 so I jumped on that. The levers are Tektra Ergos and the bar tape is SRAM synthetic cork tape. Bar ends are Shimano's.

    I want to do more with it, but I don't want to upgrade it too much. I know one thing I'd like to do and that is to get a better kickstand...the one on it is worse than one you would get off a bike in walmart....

  4. #4
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Looks really good. I agree about the blue. It's ok, but I'd be tempted to try a different color next time. Not sure what to suggest though. I have the same problem choosing bar-tape color for my own bike. There are so many choices out there.

    And no one is going to pay attention to the direction of your tape on the top of your bar. It might not even matter. Ride the bike. See whether the tape stays in place.

  5. #5
    Senior Member superNoid's Avatar
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    I'm crazy, I would say use Orange tape, and change your bottle to orange as well to match. That will contrast that shade of blue/grey your bike is nicely and make your bike a little more unique.

  6. #6
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    How comfortable is it?

    It is difficult to correctly fit a flat bar bike converted into a road bike, because the geometry is not the same. The top tube of a flat bar bike is a bit longer than a road bike of the same size, because the flat bar bike frame geometry takes into account the shorter stem and reach to the handlebars. So when converted, the reach to the drop bars can be pretty long.

  7. #7
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    I would have used black tape, but I think it looks great! There is a good tutorial on taping drop bars at http://bicycletutor.com/drop-handlebar-tape/.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    How comfortable is it?...
    (Looks more like a performance fit than a comfort fit.)

    My initial thoughts were along the same lines as Tom Bombadil. Pretty long stem for a conversion of this type. A fit that puts your back at about 45 is pretty good for most people. A lower position will be less comfortable, but faster. If it feels good, ride it, but if you feel like you are straining your back you might decide to swap for a shorter stem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    (Looks more like a performance fit than a comfort fit.)

    My initial thoughts were along the same lines as Tom Bombadil. Pretty long stem for a conversion of this type. A fit that puts your back at about 45 is pretty good for most people. A lower position will be less comfortable, but faster. If it feels good, ride it, but if you feel like you are straining your back you might decide to swap for a shorter stem.
    What they said. If you feel comfortable with it, ride it. Otherwise just change the stem. I am 6'3 and based on your pic, I think it'll be a really stretch out fit for me as well. How tall are you?

  10. #10
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    How comfortable is it?

    It is difficult to correctly fit a flat bar bike converted into a road bike, because the geometry is not the same. The top tube of a flat bar bike is a bit longer than a road bike of the same size, because the flat bar bike frame geometry takes into account the shorter stem and reach to the handlebars. So when converted, the reach to the drop bars can be pretty long.
    The good news is that long stems on drop bars are mostly there for reasons of tradition. Cannondale shipped one high performance racer with a 40mm stem and lengthened top tube. It handled fine and the design eliminated the usual toe/front wheel overlap.

    Anyway - this bike looks really good!

    If you re-wrap and still aren't sure of your skills, then I think Profile tape is re-wrappable.

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    I actually thing the stem is pretty close to the same length I had on my flat bars, I will have to check it now that you mentioned it. The only difference is that the new stem sticks straight out while the flat bar stem went at a slight upward angle. I'm gonna ride it this afternoon so I hope it works out good.

  12. #12
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Consider Trek's sizing and geometry. Let's compare the geometry from their FX hybrids vs their Pilot road bikes. The Pilot is their least aggressive road bike, designed more for comfort.

    Let's use the sizes they designate as Medium, which are roughly equivalent, which would be their 20" FX vs their 56cm Pilot.

    The 20" FX has an effective top tube length of 56.8". The 56cm Pilot has an effective top tube length of 55.0".

    So if one would convert an FX to a drop bar, and use the same stem length on both, then the hand position for the FX conversation would be 1.8" further out than on the Pilot road bike. That's quite a difference. Much more stretched out.

    A hybrid frame is designed for having the hand positions to be much closer to the head tube, so they use a longer top tube to account for it. Thus if you swap out the flat bar for a drop bar, it is going to move the hoods further out than they will be on a road bike frame. So you need to shorten the stem to adjust for that.

  13. #13
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    I agree with the comments about the stem looking long (130mm?) for a hybrid conversion. Your body will tell you if the bars seem too far forward and/or low. If you flip the stem over you can raise the bars 1-2cm.

    I just got a road bike and my back is killing me so I'm about to get a shorter stem. They only cost $20-25 so it's not going to break the bank.
    Last edited by Dunbar; 07-19-10 at 04:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    I agree with the comments about the stem looking long (130mm?) for a hybrid conversion. Your body will tell you if the bars seem too far forward and/or low. If you flip the stem over you can raise the bars 1-2cm.

    I just got a road bike and my back is killing me so I'm about to get a shorter stem. They only cost $20-25 so it's not going to break the bank.
    Exactly...this stem didn't cost me much at all...even though it was a closeout and normally costs much more...I am leaving for my ride right now and will report back after I come home. I hope to get at least 15-20 miles in before dark...which given my past trips...should take me roughly 90-120 mins.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    ...Let's use the sizes they designate as Medium, which are roughly equivalent, which would be their 20" FX vs their 56cm Pilot.

    The 20" FX has an effective top tube length of 56.8". The 56cm Pilot has an effective top tube length of 55.0".

    So if one would convert an FX to a drop bar, and use the same stem length on both, then the hand position for the FX conversation would be 1.8" further out than on the Pilot road bike. That's quite a difference. Much more stretched out.

    A hybrid frame is designed for having the hand positions to be much closer to the head tube, so they use a longer top tube to account for it. Thus if you swap out the flat bar for a drop bar, it is going to move the hoods further out than they will be on a road bike frame. So you need to shorten the stem to adjust for that.
    Oops, unit error, 1.8cm = less than 3/4", not almost two inches.

    Shorten the stem or HTFU. Assuming the hybrid is designed to be ridden in a somewhat more upright position than a road bike, 1.8cm additional reach might be exactly what timstone wants. The fact he went to the trouble to make the change, maybe he was looking for a more aggressive position on his bike.

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    Well...back from the first ride after the conversion. Not a bad ride but definitely needs tuned up. I also noticed my left brake lever sits a bit higher than the right. The bars were a bit of a reach for me...but I will give it a little time to see if I can get used to it...I only rode about 10 miles....which is where I left of when I stopped riding before the conversion about 3 weeks ago...so I'm still happy with that.

    Does anyone have a stem that just pops to mind when thinking of something shorter? The EA70 is 120mm.

  17. #17
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timstone View Post
    Well...back from the first ride after the conversion. Not a bad ride but definitely needs tuned up. I also noticed my left brake lever sits a bit higher than the right. The bars were a bit of a reach for me...but I will give it a little time to see if I can get used to it...I only rode about 10 miles....which is where I left of when I stopped riding before the conversion about 3 weeks ago...so I'm still happy with that.

    Does anyone have a stem that just pops to mind when thinking of something shorter? The EA70 is 120mm.
    Just go on to ebay and browse. Deda stems go as short as 60mm. A higher stem will feel shorter and most modern stems are flippable, giving them effectively two lengths. My advice is to aim to get an easy and comfortable reach to your hoods* and save the drops for sprinting and cutting into the wind. "HTFU" often ends in medical treatment and you're much better off aiming for the ergonomics of a roubaix bike than a crit racer.

    * They should be just a little in front of where your bar was if it was a performance hybrid and it felt right. If can't get them that far back, then look for a stem that will lift them a little to compensate. Do NOT stick a 120mm stem on because racers normally have them - they generally have shorter top tubes than your bike and are designed for more than averagely athletic riders who are willing to pay large chiropractors bills.

  18. #18
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timstone View Post
    I actually thing the stem is pretty close to the same length I had on my flat bars, I will have to check it now that you mentioned it. The only difference is that the new stem sticks straight out while the flat bar stem went at a slight upward angle. I'm gonna ride it this afternoon so I hope it works out good.
    Remember that your new bars have reach of their own before your get your hands on the hoods, the main riding position. So imagine your ideal flat bar position and try to position your hoods there. Do NOT be scared of a short stem! Do remember than a higher stem is easier to reach, so that is the equivalent of a shorter one!

    In your shoes I'd look for a 60 or 70mm stem with a 17 degree angle (that's as extreme as road stems get - I'm assuming your bars aren't oversize, and so you can't use MTB stems). I'd start with it flipped up to raise the bars and then flip down if you wanted a more aggressive position later.

  19. #19
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    Medical treatment? Maybe in the UK, over here we work it out ourselves. We recently hardened our resolve against universal healthcare. Live free or die!

  20. #20
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    I agree with meanwhile, who always gives good advice, A dialed in fit with drop bars will put the brake hoods in the same position as the grips of a similarly dialed in performance fitted flat bar set up.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by timstone View Post
    Does anyone have a stem that just pops to mind when thinking of something shorter? The EA70 is 120mm.
    I just got a road bike and I set the saddle set properly (height and fore/aft) and then position my hands on the brake hoods. Then I bring one hand back and/or up to where my arm is not locked and feels relaxed. Then measure how much I need to come back and/or up to get there. Not very scientific but it's a good starting point. A bike shop may be willing to loan you some stems if you agree to buy one from them.

    I'd try flipping the stem now to see if you like the higher position better.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    Remember that your new bars have reach of their own before your get your hands on the hoods, the main riding position. So imagine your ideal flat bar position and try to position your hoods there. Do NOT be scared of a short stem! Do remember than a higher stem is easier to reach, so that is the equivalent of a shorter one!

    In your shoes I'd look for a 60 or 70mm stem with a 17 degree angle (that's as extreme as road stems get - I'm assuming your bars aren't oversize, and so you can't use MTB stems). I'd start with it flipped up to raise the bars and then flip down if you wanted a more aggressive position later.
    Well my bar isn't standard size....it's 31.8mm I did see some stems on Jensen that were as short as 70mm but didn't bother to pay attention to the angle. Thanks for the info I will keep it in mind if I decide to switch it out.

  23. #23
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timstone View Post
    Well my bar isn't standard size....it's 31.8mm I did see some stems on Jensen that were as short as 70mm but didn't bother to pay attention to the angle. Thanks for the info I will keep it in mind if I decide to switch it out.
    Ok - that's an oversize bar. So you use MTB or road stems, giving you even more choice.

  24. #24
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    Medical treatment? Maybe in the UK, over here we work it out ourselves. We recently hardened our resolve against universal healthcare. Live free or die!
    Can't you purchase some leaches???

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez3BFGXR02A

  25. #25
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    I agree with meanwhile, who always gives good advice, A dialed in fit with drop bars will put the brake hoods in the same position as the grips of a similarly dialed in performance fitted flat bar set up.
    Yes. Think of the hoods as being bar extensions. Of course, your hands won't be as wide apart as on a flat bar (unless you cut it down) which will increase your reach very slightly.

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