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  1. #1
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    Question New to working on my bike..want to make a conversion

    Hello All,

    I joined a while ago and have been reading quite a bit on the site..

    I guess my questions are directed towards this OVERALL question. I currently have a stock Trek 8.3 DS. I absolutely love the bike. The only thing is I want to perform a drop bar conversion on it. I know there is a post with pages of pictures and some info on it. I really didnt see anyone who explained what is involved though...

    1. Can I buy intergrated brake/road shifters for the drop bars? I was told by someone at the bike shop that the ratio may not be correct and shift the chain properly. ( is that correct??)

    2. If I buy drop bars I am fine with keeping my stock shifters up on top and just getting brakes with the hood so I can have that position for my hands as well. ( again I apologize for my lack of correct terminology)

    3. What else would I need to complete this conversion.

    All the bike shops told me this was a "daunting" task and I was better off not doing it and it would cost me a fortune to even begin the conversion... I feel like they just wanted me to buy another bike....

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks again

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Also ran the idea of using aero bars on the longer rides... is that common?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Okay, I'll bite....

    What the LBS is telling you is true- it's gonna cost you more in the long run to do the conversion (especially if using LBS labor).

    I don't think the flat bar controls would fit on the tops of the drop bars. Road brake levers work with road brakes, not with mtn brakes. There are drop bar bikes that have disc brakes, but those are road specific. Road shifters won't play nice with mtb drive train components....

    But the clip on aero bars will work- there are a couple of regular BF members that have them mounted- one put them on a (7.3?) FX and the other on a cyclocross, but not sure if anyone has done so to a bike with a suspended fork.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  4. #4
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    The LBS was not pulling your leg. Go look at onlike bike shops and see how much components cost. Trying to figure out what components will work with others can be difficult.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  5. #5
    Senior Member ijsbrand's Avatar
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    You'd be much cheaper of by buying a good second hand road bike, than trying to convert your current bicycle, if you want to experience the speed of using drop bars or an aero bar. As a suspended front fork always takes away a lot of the energy you put in to move forward. Even with a mechanical lock out.

    Also, apart from the other problems named, the bars of road bikes have a wider diameter [23.8 mm] than those on ATB bikes and the likes [22 mm]. Nothing you have can be reused on a current drop bar.

  6. #6
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    Why do you guys have to be so negative?

    Follow the links

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0047EVI60
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0013G...pr_product_top

    $60 with so cheap bar tape. If you can adjust your own brakes you should be able to handle the install yourself.
    It's not as good as Ergos, travel agents, new stem, and new bars, but it may be all that's really wanted in this case.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprockets View Post
    I talk to myself regularly - crazy is the technical term I believe. The only time I shut up is when I'm riding. (that's the best time to listen to all those voices in your head :D )

  7. #7
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    The problem for shifters is mtb shifters won't fit standard drop-bars (but some people have managed to spread the clamp and get them on) and road shifters will have different pull for the front derailer. Some Campy Ergos have micro-adjust for the front which will work for Campy and Shimano/SRAM road and mountain, and some Campy/Shimano combinations have workable cable pull for the rear (Google ShimErgo). Or you can go with bar-end or stem shifters. Or replace a lot more parts.

    And brifters (brake + shifter in one) will have the wrong brake pull for linear pull brakes.
    Last edited by NightShift; 04-04-12 at 04:32 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprockets View Post
    I talk to myself regularly - crazy is the technical term I believe. The only time I shut up is when I'm riding. (that's the best time to listen to all those voices in your head :D )

  8. #8
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    You may want to look at what other styles of bars ar available. Some people swear by trekking/butterfly bars. I love my mustache bars. J-Bars look like an interesting option. And I've been really interested in trying dirtdrops or woodchippers.

    And if anybody knows where to find K2 Dreamliner bars or something close please let me know.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprockets View Post
    I talk to myself regularly - crazy is the technical term I believe. The only time I shut up is when I'm riding. (that's the best time to listen to all those voices in your head :D )

  9. #9
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Your bike shop is sorta right. Conversion can be a can of worms if you're not careful. Also, have you considered the geometry issue? Frames designed for drop bars tend towards shorter top tubes and sometimes taller head tubes.

    I'll share my experience though, because I've been around this block once. A few years ago I built a Salsa Fargo with flat bars only to later convert it to drops. Brifters -- integrated shifters and brakes -- were too expensive and would have required me to also replace my mountain brake calipers with road brake calipers. Instead, I went with some inexpensive Cane Creek (Tektro also sells them) brake levers for drop bars that pulled cable in the mountain-bike ratio. Then I tossed on some bar-end shifters. I also had to replace all the shifter and brake cables and some housing because of the extra length needed to reach the drop bar and go under the bar tape.

    It was an expensive conversion.

    The products Nightshift links to are interesting. I have never tried clamp-on drops for mountain-bars. I probably won't ever try them either, but at least there is a less-expensive option to experiment with.

    FWIW, I also like the idea of looking at alternate styles of flat bars. There are a surprising number of designs out there.

  10. #10
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    OP,

    Leaving aside questions of cost/difficulty, there's another factor to think through before going ahead: your bike's geometry.

    The Trek DS series bikes are, quite rightly, designed around (some form of) 'flat bars'. Most importantly, effective top tube length. Take a Medium (17.5) DS: it has an effective t/t length of 608 mm. which is long even by 'flat bar bike' standards. A typical 'Medium' road bike (drop bars) will have an effective t/t of around 550 mm (+/- 5 mm or so).

    If you install drops on your bike, even short-reach bars with a short stem, you are going to be reeeeally stretched out. This might possibly 'work' for you, but I'd be surprised if it did. Just something to think through before going ahead.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the responses... This makes a lot of sense... Looks like I will steer away from this conversion. I may look at those bolt on turn downs....or aero bars maybe just for different positions

    Thanks for all the input!!

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