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  1. #1
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    Hybridising trek 1000SL - opinions please!

    I have a Trek 1000SL which has been hanging upside down in my garage continuously for 7 years which I'd like to start riding again. I originally stopped riding it and went to the gym instead because I live in a city where you need to ride through heavy traffic to get anywhere and found the head-down position and poor brakes a big issue (couple of very close calls with a baby on the way - not good). Now I'd like to get back into cycling so I'd like to hybridise the bike to give me an upright position and brakes as good as my old V-brake mtb (or as close as is possible with that tiny contact patch).

    So, firstly to change the bars to flat MTB bar and shifters and add a taller stem. Shifters and brake levers seem easy to come by, but would a current shimano/SRAM 8-speed flat bar shifter set be compatible with my existing 2005 8-speed Sora groupset?

    Secondly, I want to upgrade the front brake. I weigh 99kg and I ride in a hilly area so my brakes need to be good. I'm not going to bother upgrading the back as options are limited and I only use it to scrub speed now and then to save the front pads so it can stay calliper (yes I'm quite happy to have two different brake levers). My options appear to be to upgrade my trek own-brand front caliper brake for a better calliper brake, or change it for an mtb-style V/disc brake. I've got a feeling the latter will give better results than just upgrading to a better calliper (anyone disagree?).

    This will of course require a cyclocross fork with disc/canti mounts for about 70 but a front disc will obviously require a change of hub and a slightly more expensive brake itself, so I estimate about 50 more in total. Any opinions on the amount of difference I'm likely to notice? I'm tempted to go for the V but the two things making me sway toward the disc is that I tend to ride whatever the weather (my gut says the disc will be better in the wet) and I'm guessing hydraulic (there seems to be no cost advantage in going cable-disc) is a lot less faff once set up.

    All thoughts and opinions are very welcome!

  2. #2
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Disk is better in the wet, but caliper brakes can stand the bike on it's nose when adjusted properly. Yours are not adjusted properly. Also, this is a much more expensive project than you seem to think.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    Disk is better in the wet, but caliper brakes can stand the bike on it's nose when adjusted properly. Yours are not adjusted properly. Also, this is a much more expensive project than you seem to think.
    Sorry, should have mentioned that I have ruled out mal-adjustment. Expense-wise, please note the only figures I mentioned were comparisons between individual components and not estimates for the complete project.

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    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikedoofus View Post
    Sorry, should have mentioned that I have ruled out mal-adjustment. Expense-wise, please note the only figures I mentioned were comparisons between individual components and not estimates for the complete project.
    I mean no disrespect, but you have not ruled out maladjustment. Even cheap caliper brakes can stand a bike up on the front wheel. When properly adjusted.

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    There seem to be two issues here, a desire to get a more upright position and better braking.

    A more upright position would require a flat bar shifter set that accomodates your drivetrain and brake levers, in addition to a stem and bar. The shifters have to be a triple 8 speed flatbar road. These are more expensive than regular MTB shifters. You could run a triple road left shifter with a right mtb shiffer though.

    Regarding braking, I would just sell that bike and get another one with the brakes you seek instead of swapping forks due to expense and potentially iffy results. I also agree that there is nothing wrong with dual pivot calipers when well adjusted

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    I mean no disrespect, but you have not ruled out maladjustment. Even cheap caliper brakes can stand a bike up on the front wheel. When properly adjusted.
    No disrespect taken! You may rest assured that I have.

    Yes cheap brakes can lock the front wheel and so can mine, but that's not the goal. I want to be able to do so from my normal riding position (not on the drops) with little effort and with control up to the point of locking the wheel. My current brakes will lock the wheel but only on the drops (so I have to move my hand whilst also trying to swerve to avoid the car that's pulling across the road unannounced) and I have to heave on the things. In the wet they're worse still. Changing the bars (which I will do first) may alleviate a lot of this and the required new levers may increase the possible leverage, plus a higher riding position will allow me to move my weight further back when putting on the anchors which will help. Maybe after changing the bars I'll be happier with the brakes, but this would be a happy surprise.

    BTW I've done the conversion into ye olde imperial, 99kg = 218lb. Think your average road rider, but with a 50lb bag of bricks on his back.

    I have thought about selling it but I'm quite attached to it as it was a birthday present my whole family pitched in to buy.

  7. #7
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    FWIW, my take: get rid of the bike (or keep it as is), and purchase something suited to your current needs/wants (e.g. a bike w/flat bars etc.).

    Why? Two reasons.

    1. The cost of doing the conversion to flat bars w/appropriate controls is excessive given the value of the bike. This multiplies if you start doing things such as switching out forks for a 'cross fork w/canti mounts. The latter brings me to my second reason.

    2. The geometry will never be 'right': i) The Trek's geometry -- especially the effective t/t length -- is suited to drop, not flat, bars. You can bodge it with silly stems etc., but it will still never be right, and ii) putting on a 'cross fork will simply even further mess up the geometry and handling (fork rake/trail etc. will all be wrong).

    Sorry, but I just can't see the point at all, especially when there are so many good, affordable modern road-oriented bikes around intended for use with flat bars and disc/v-brakes if that's what you want.

  8. #8
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Shifters won't be a prob;Shimano and SunRace will work. SRAM will work,but you have to use the Shimano-compatible ones,Rocket or Attack. Brake levers will need to match the brakes;long pull for V,short for caliper and canti's. Discs can go either way,there are short and long pull models. Shimano also makes flat bar brake/shifter combos that can be set for long or short pull with a simple adjustment.

    My 2cents/1pence;just swap the front caliper for a nicer modern one. Those dudes in the TdF don't weigh what you do,but they're moving alot faster,and sometimes have to do it in the rain.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
    2. The geometry will never be 'right': i) The Trek's geometry -- especially the effective t/t length -- is suited to drop, not flat, bars. You can bodge it with silly stems etc., but it will still never be right, and ii) putting on a 'cross fork will simply even further mess up the geometry and handling (fork rake/trail etc. will all be wrong).
    Hmm, you might well be right there. I tend to ride on the hoods or the tops and I already have an upturned stem, so I was hooping a flat bar in the same stem would be equivalent to somewhere in between hoods and tops, what with the arms beng spread further. I'll keep searching for examples of folk who've done the same, but as I can do the bar conversion for not much outlay and as I'm quite attached to the bike I might try it and see. If it works then great, otherwise I'll swap the original gear back on and sell it.


    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    My 2cents/1pence;just swap the front caliper for a nicer modern one. Those dudes in the TdF don't weigh what you do,but they're moving alot faster,and sometimes have to do it in the rain.
    All good points. Maybe I can convince my dad to let me put on his DA callipers and try them once I've swapped the bars. Also, he did point out that the ergonomics of the dura ace STIs are probably better placed to brake from the hoods - he maintains he can brake from hoods or drops just as well. Maybe it's just down to my sora STIs being shaped wrong for me, or having too much leverage. I'm beginning to hope that switching the bars and levers will solve both issues!
    Thanks for the info re shifters, very useful.

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    Update - a set of cross levers and 105 calipers and I have proper brakes! The 105s do seem significantly better than the non-branded trek calipers - my guess is they have slightly higher leverage and are stiffer. But who knows. They're still only acceptable, not great. When hydraulic discs trickle down the groupsets to a level I'd consider buying (105/Ult) then maybe I'll go disc. Till then these feel safe enough.

    Cross levers mean I can brake from my a nice high riding position in busy junctions - I cannot recommend these enough for city riding.

    Am planning to go from 23 to 25mm tires and then I will consider my bike fully city-fied.

  11. #11
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    Scratch that - they're still not good enough. I went out on a very wet mountain ride (I normally ride in the city) and from 40mph on a 13deg descent I couldn't stop at all. With both levers clamped as hard as my hands would allow I could slow to 30, but not till I reached a less steep section could I stop. And yes this is with hands permanently clamped, not just dabbing the brakes at wet rims. After the ride my hands hurt more than my legs!

    Going to try kool stop salmons, after that I don't know. Discs might be back on the menu.

  12. #12
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    I think it might be time to let a shop give them a going over. Sounds like something isn't right with the setup. Might also need to upgrade the cables with low-compression housing.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  13. #13
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    Update - Koolstop salmons were slightly better but no way near good enough in the wet. Have purchased a deore disc hub, trp spyre (new version) disc brake and a disc compatible fork. Lacing new wheel next weekend, will report back!

  14. #14
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    Update - TRP Spyre working very well. New forks made no noticeable difference to bike handling (in fact ride seems slightly more compliant). Haven't tried it in the wet yet, that'll be the big test!

    Used yokozuna compressionless cable for the disk brake, which seems very effective. Despite the longer cable run there's very little give. Feels very similar to a hydraulic setup. This plus the dual pistons (very easy set up and maintenance) renders hydraulic a bit pointless I would think, after all there's no fluid to boil.

    EDIT: BTW building the wheel was very interesting. Took a couple of hours and several tries to get it perfect, loosening off and retightening from scratch, and it can be a little frustrating marrying perfect dish with perfect long/lat trueness but it was a rewarding job. I've done a fair few miles now and it's still true, which is a surprise. I'd expected to have to rejig it a couple of times as spokes untwisted and settled.
    Last edited by bikedoofus; 04-12-14 at 03:09 PM.

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    Further update - changed the 160 rotor to a 180. Well worth doing. Significant increase in power and no reduction in modulation that I could notice. Makes braking from the hoods as effective as braking from the drops. Slightly heavier but I couldn't care less - only person I compete against is me, so it's a level playing field.

  16. #16
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    Rode it in the VERY wet - no noticeable change in performance. Excellent! Conclusion - if you ride in the wet, get a disc at the front.

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