I'm wondering if such a thing exists. I remember seeing some (mono-shock) suspension forks here a few weeks ago (Paris-Roubaix thread), but what about frames? What I really want is something cross bike-shaped (ish) that I could put 700cs on with skinny tyres for the summer, and change to chunky (re: strong) wheels with knobbies for winter and off road riding (and a bit of curb hopping), but with drop bars. Would I look like a tool if I just bought a F/S MTB and put drops and skinnies on it?
Also, what kind of brakes can one use with STI or Ergo levers? I know normal Vs are out of the question because they need a longer cable pull than road levers can offer, and hydro disks are a no-go (although I know you can get hyrdo levers for drop bars, but then I'd need bar-end shifters, which I don't want). I've found a Cannondale cross bike with cable disks that uses Ultegra levers*, so presumably it's do-able, but are cable disks any good (as opposed to cantis)? And I've seen Mini-Vs (shorter arms than normal), intended for tandems, that will work with road levers, or should I just aim for cantilevers?
*Cannondale also do a cross bike with 'HeadShock' susp forks.
Note: I have searched all over this forum for similar threads, but the only ones I could find were (I assume) just about comfort, and everyone said 'don't do it, it's not worth the extra weight and inefficient pedalling'. However, I have been toying with the idea of an MTB for a while now, and what I want is a bike I can easily go mud plugging with but still ride on tarmac, so don't anybody suggest I buy a flexier frame or a suspension seatpost