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Old 08-07-03, 01:17 AM   #1
Devil Dog
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Can I change the HB's,FD,shifters and brake levers?

I have a Cannondale T800. I am on the tops of my HB's all the time basically when riding. My back is not what it used to be though I have not really experienced any discomfort at all using the drop style bars that came on the bike. I am just kicking this around now but want to know first if this is possible and second that it won't cost me as much as a new bike to have done at my LBS?

I want to put a Cannondale suspension seat post on and a set of strait handlebars. I realize I would then have to replace my FD and shifters and brake levers. Shimano has these items and my LBS can get them and install them for me I'am pretty sure. Are there any other parts, I was thinking the headset possibly, that would have to be replaced to make my T800 Touring bike look like this Cannondale model?

How I want my bike to look

This bike will be used primarily on the canal towpath in rides of less than 20 miles. No big Tours just local treks around town, trail and path. Thoughts? Thanks!
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Old 08-07-03, 01:44 AM   #2
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I could be wrong but I don't think you need a headset change but you might need a stem change or a shim to make it work with MTB flatbars. Of course you may want to change your stem to modify your bar position but you've already indicated you felt fine on the tops. What kind of stem do you have on there currently?
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Old 08-07-03, 01:48 AM   #3
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It is the stem that came on the bike;a Cannondale 3-D forged 26.0.
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Old 08-07-03, 02:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Devil Dog
It is the stem that came on the bike;a Cannondale 3-D forged 26.0.
You're going to need a shim as MTB bars generally come in clamp diameters of either the standard 25.4mm or the new oversized 31.8mm. Look for ones from Problem Solvers such as these.
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Last edited by khuon; 08-07-03 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 08-07-03, 02:07 AM   #5
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Thank you very much for your help khuon! I'am not even sure I'am going to go that route with the bars. My guy at the LBS told me to just get an adjustable stem that pivots to bring my current stock bars up to where I want them. The suspension seat is going to happen, that t800 frame is very stiff for hauling stuff but every bump in the road is transferred right to my behind
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Old 08-07-03, 02:23 AM   #6
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You say that you're fine riding from the tops. Is it that you can't get into/stay in the drops or the hoods for extended periods of time in order to shift and brake? If that's the case and you would still like to keep a dropbar configuration for those times when you do want to move hand positions, you may have several other options other than the one your LBS suggested. You could try adding aux/cyclocross brake levers to allow you to brake from the tops. You may want to investigate other dropbars. There are various shapes of dropbars out there. Also, I think depending on your back issues, going to a more upright position may in fact aggravate any backpains you might be having. A suspension seatpost might help but also don't forget to investigate a sprung saddle or one with some elastomer shock absorbtion such as the Selle Italia Turbomatic or Trimatic or Prolink. Many people will also be quick to point you to the Brooks saddles and probably with good reason. I personally haven't seen a suspension seatpost I liked. Many of them tend to develop side-to-side play and after a while, you'll get some unwanted rotation of the slider.
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Old 08-07-03, 07:01 AM   #7
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Consider selling the bike you have and getting a new bike thatyou want. I think the cmponenets you are talking about will cost a good portion of the cost of a new bike.
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Old 08-07-03, 07:50 AM   #8
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The usual riding position for drop bars is the top of the brake levers. The drops are really only used for battling into headwinds, and for a lower centre of gravity on steep descents.
There are other styles of drops. One of the best for touring is the 3TTT Morphe, which has a small diameter drop and nicely curved tops as well.
If the bars feel a bit distant, then the solution is to being them closer. A stem with a shorter reach, and/or a higher rise will do the trick. There is usually about +- 2cm of latitude in position before the handling becomes affected.

In the UK touring clubs I ride, it is quite common for older riders to fit flat bars to a high performance touring bike when they get older, to give a more sedate upright position. Not everyone does this, but it doesnt raise any eyebrows. The fav flat bar design is one with some backward sweep, rather than the flatter MTB style, in order to obtain a more neutral wrist position.
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Old 08-07-03, 07:54 AM   #9
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You will need:

mtn shifters/brake levers
flat bars
stem (since mtn bars are a slightly smaller diameter than road bars)

You will not need a new headset or front derailer.

If you do this right, you should be able to swap back and forth by taking the handlebars/stem assembly (complete with shifters, brake levers, and dangling cables and housings) off by simply loosing the stem at the steerer tube and releasing the cables at the brakes and shifters. So, install the new setup with its own shift and brake cables and housings and you can easily then swap back and forth.
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Old 08-07-03, 08:42 AM   #10
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I would urge caution, patience, and restraint here. You've only had the bike a couple of weeks. If you have fit issues, the bike shop should be helping you resolve them.

Most road bikes are delivered with the bars too low for actual human beings' comfort. And whether the factory stem is the correct length for you is a matter of pure chance. It is normal and expected that the process of fitting a new road bike will probably involve some stem swapping.

Let me repeat that. Normal and expected.

Many shops do take the approach of lending (not selling, lending) an adjustable stem so that you can experiment with bar height. This can be helpful, but the problem is that as you raise the bar you also reduce the extension, whereas with stem swapping you can change the extensions and rise independently.

Better to do a proper bike fitting, which I gather never happened.

One of the primary reasons to buy an expensive brand-name bike from a specialty shop is to get a bike that fits. The fitting is part of the deal.

Personally, my approach is to set the bar height so that I'm comfortable in the drops. That means the tops of the bars are higher that is fashionable -- almost the same height as the saddle -- but if you can't use the drops there's no point in having them. But most of the time my hands are on the hoods or on the tops.

The location of the levers can make a big difference. I have mine fairly high on the curve, so that the bar and the hood form a continuous, comfortable curved platform for the hand.

But if that's where you're hands will be, the stem extension must be chosen with that in mind. It's all part of the fitting.

So before you go making $300+ worth of changes to a brand new bike, get back to the shop and ask for the fitting that should have been done before you ever left the shop with the bike to begin with.

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Old 08-07-03, 08:46 AM   #11
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Rich is right. If you are new to riding. Stick with the road setup for at least 6 months before making a decision.

Many new riders here start with upright handlebars on "comfort" or hybrid-type bicycles. After about 6 months to a year, most of them end up buying a road bike with drop bars.
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Old 08-07-03, 09:55 AM   #12
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I am going to take the good advice you all have given me and do nothing to my bike for awhile till I'am more sure of exactly what I need if anything. Rich is correct that I just bought the bike a couple weeks ago. I was fitted for frame size and seat height and they did ask me how the bars felt and they felt good-then but now I notice the subtle adjustment I think I need at the stem which in the excitement of a new bike I did not notice then. This bike is perfect for me though and feels great except I can't get down on the drops or the hoods without reaching a little more than I want to. If I can get the stem angled up more thus bringing the bars in closer just a little bit too and up a bit that would do it for me I think. I'am going back to my LBS today and the head wrench there is going to do a proper fit and the stem and bars will be adjusted for me today he said. This is a quality LBS and they have even made followup calls to see if I was happy with my bike or had any questions. They gave me tubes and a bunch of other things as well when I bought the bike. I did take a nice test ride at their insistance and to their credit they did ask multiple times how the bike felt and it felt good-then so it was really my fault initially that I was not fitted properly at purchase. I've learned alot here and want to thank all forum members for their help and sharing of their considerable knowledge. I'll update when I return from the LBS
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Old 08-07-03, 04:22 PM   #13
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I just got back from the LBS and they tightened to correct specs the center allen screw in my stem that I wrongly loosened to try and raise my stem and suggested I ride a bit more before making any further adjustments. They concurr that the bike fits me perfectly and it would be premature to make any more changes at this time. Their advice was ride it for awhile same as Rich and the rest of you advised. Thanks for helping me NOT to make a premature move on this. The bike feels great and with the toe clips I added it seems to help get some pressure off my hands to where I'am not leaning so much on the bars but taking some of that load with my feet if that makes any sense. I'am getting there
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