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Thread: Hybrid to cx?

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    Hybrid to cx?

    I recently bought a hybrid, but I would really rather have drop bars on it. So what I was wondering is if a hybrid to CX conversion makes sense? I'm on the AARP side of things and the straight bars on the bike twist my wrists too much toward the inside and I have even developed some pain in one elbow. I was thinking that the drop bars would be better. It would straighten out my wrists being able to put them on a 90 degree different orientation, which IMHO, is more natural. Anyone done this. Looks to be about a $300+ conversion so I'd like to know I'm not running with a totally crazy idea. I'm going to keep the rest of the bike the same, just the change to drop bars, which obviously will also require different brake and shift mechanisms.

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    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Yes, it's not really economical to do a complete conversion to road style shifters and derailleurs. You can get a good CX bike for less than $1000: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...0052_553817_-1


    You can also use trekking handlebars on your hybrid to provide a more comfortable hand position: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...33_-1___204718
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-02-14 at 07:08 PM.
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    Senior Member FedericoMena's Avatar
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    The Classic and Vintage forum has a recurrent thread on drop bar conversions.

    I've done one and couldn't be happier - my hands were also hurting from flat bars. Switched to Nitto Noodle drop bars, Tektro long-pull brake levers, Silver bar-end shifters, and had to change the stem to a shorter one. (And had to change cables - I foolishly assumed that I could use my old cables, but they were too short.) It *was* indeed about USD 300, but I had a little money to burn

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    If you do this conversion, keep in mind that the drop bars will move your hands forward from where the flat bars had them. A shorter stem may be enough to correct it, especially if the drop bars you choose have short reach.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Senior Member Kopsis's Avatar
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    Drop bar conversions make sense for people with a well-stocked parts bin. If that's not the case, I'd seriously consider trekking bars. You get to reuse your existing brake levers and shifters and maybe cables and even stem. That will give you more varied hand positions and less change in overall fit for well under $100.

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    Drop bar conversions never make sense.

    Much better options exist, for example H-bars, trekking or "butterfly" bars, etc.

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    I'm looking to do the same thing. It's kind of my beater bike and is more of a road oriented hybrid anyway. I'm looking at craigslist and ebay for used parts, we also have shop that sells mostly used parts nearby too. Looks like I might be able to pull it off for under $150.

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    Senior Member KOBE's Avatar
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    Of you can find a donor bike with all the parts you need, that is usually the most economical way to go. I picked up a Fuji Touring bike that was too small for me and swaped the parts over to my Mongoose 450 hybrid. I sold the frame and parts I did not need with the final conversion cost at under $100. I did have the Nitto stem already from another bike.
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    These are some great suggestions. Thanks. Anyone got something else, I'd love to hear it. The alternative bars sounds best at first glance,but get an old bike or used parts has merits also.

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    Senior Member yote223's Avatar
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    You could try a different style of grip. these are the ones that I use. Ergon GS2 Lock-on Grips W/2f Barend Black Large - Modern Bike

    There other styles with integrated bar-ends too. A cheap way to get a different hand position.
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    Ergon makes some good grips that add bar ends in various configurations.



    There are also numerous handlebars of various widths with a wide range of rise and sweep options.

    Doing either or both is still a whole lot cheaper than an all out dropbar conversion. My gravel mutt is an old hybrid (Trek 700 series) on which I swapped out the stem, bar and grips (Ergon GC2). My hand position on the bar ends is very similar to riding the hoods on my road bike and only a few cm wider (which I like on gravel anyway) but I could cut the bar down and make the widths identical if I wanted to. Stem, bar and grips cost less than $100 and you may not need to do all three.

    At minimum, this will make your hybrid more comfortable and give you a bike to try out some gravel. If you really like gravel and want drop bars, I agree that most people would be better off buying a CX or gravel bike. I had a lot of fun building my bike and got just what I wanted in the end, but frankly, I've got as much into it as the cost of a new Cross Check (though I have better wheels and a step or so up in components from the baseline Surly).

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You are not CX racing in a sanctioned race, you really will not be required to have drop bars ..



    there are bars with more curved shapes so the grips are angled, even those with a bend straight back .. cruiser ..

    you wont need to replace all the handlebar controls then.

    for bars with more sweep, the Ergon new GC1 is made to satisfy that stle bar

    http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/gc1

    I expect a sweep less than the North road /albatross bar was what they had in mind.

    perhaps like this..

    http://store.somafab.com/soclbarbl.html
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-07-14 at 12:27 PM.

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    I have a similar issue and went from flat to drop to now upright bars- like nitto Albatross, but cheap Wald #8095 chrome steel ones. My wrists are at a more neutral (to me) 45 degree angle now. I couldn't be happier with them with Ergon grips, in fact I am doing a 180 mile bike camping trip later this week. The only problem is if you want to go fast, you are more upright and push more air. I am not worried about speed, only comfort and enjoying the view. Could be an option.
    Tom Palmer
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    Senior Member Werkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
    ...Anyone got something else, I'd love to hear it...
    I'm aware you have your mind set on drop bars, but since you invited an alternative. An entry level suspension fork with drop bars on top is a poor combination. I suggest a wider flat bar, preferably made of titanium. A different stem is going to be needed if the bar requires a different clamp size. A bar wider than 720mm with a sweep not exceeding 9 degrees will place the forearms at a less obtuse angle with elbows out, which means less bend at the wrists. Titanium provides greater bump compliance than aluminum, another comfort benefit for the wrists. A wide bar with short stem will place your upper body in a more athletic position, than if you were reaching forward on narrow drop bars, which results in much greater control. Part of wrist relief comes from pedaling style & effort. Practice foot heavy & hand light when pedaling. I know this sounds overly simplistic, but pedaling hard forgives many poor fitment/hardware sins.

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    Senior Member Gus90's Avatar
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    I initially bought a hybrid, cannondale bad boy, for the crushed limestone rails to trails paths around here. The bonus was getting a set of 26 inch tires that I can swap when I want to go a little more off road. That was after owning a "comfort" bike posing as a mountain bike for a decade and a racing road bike before that from the 70's as a hand me down. Since the hybrid, I purchased a dedicated road bike and upgraded the components from shimano 105 to ultegra. I then took the shimano set and bought a used CX frame. The point of all this history is to tell you that I definitely notice the difference on the trails between the CX and the hybrid. Given the hybrid is aluminum and probably 26 to 28 pounds. The CX, on the other hand, is 19 pounds and carbon (heavy for carbon but I assume it's the 105 set that weighs it down). I ride the same trails on both bikes and I really notice the difference 10 pounds make. In addition, even though the hybrid has some front suspension, the carbon CX is still a much smoother ride. Granted I have a triple crank set on the hybrid and a compact on the CX, still I average 3 to 4 miles per hour faster on the CX and hills are so much easier. So much so, I'm actually considering ditching my hybrid and maybe getting a full suspension mountain bike for a few of the more challenging trails around here. And finally, I like the drop bars a lot more given that I can change positions throughout the ride and keep comfortable.




    Last edited by Gus90; 07-08-14 at 07:07 PM.
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