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Old 07-12-18, 06:18 PM
FromBeyond's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NC now/ WA is home
Posts: 33

Bikes: 2009 Specialized Allez; 1995 Schwinn Frontier

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Amateur Tinkering

As the title says I'm an amateur and I don't know what I don't know so please criticize away, as long as I can glean something constructive out of it.
I was at the LBS today picking up a tube for my road bike, and some used parts caught my eye.

$19 for the quill stem, bars, and the brake levers. I've been wanting to put drop bars on my 1995 Schwinn Frontier (mountain bike? rigid? hybrid?) and at that cost I can tinker and learn how it's all supposed to work together. Here's my victim (brakes torn apart for mtce).

It's a walmart bike and it's spent 90% of its life on road when I was in my teens & early 20's. However that was before I got my Specialized Allez for the road. Now I'm so used to the road bike that I just can't handle the upright position and flat bars, and "gravel bikes" or rigid mountain bikes with drop bars have been calling out to me.

The ergonomics feel great on the road but as soon as I took it into the yard and tried to ride a wheelie, it became immediately clear they're way too narrow (385 mm center to center) (my Allez bars are ~430mm wide which feels great).
I really like the flared-out drop bars which I guess are called "dirt drop bars". They all look really similar so I'm thinking about finding an ebay or amazon special unless anyone has a better recommendation. I'm wanting to get a threadless stem adapter so I can change out the stem/bars easily.

I want to stick with the thumb shifters for simplicity, I want this bike to stay cheap and stupid simple. It's an old cheap bike and not worth dumping much money into.
Not sure what to do for brake levers, I have these BRS 300s but one of the springs is missing and I don't know if they'd work with modern bars. I was thinking about some amazon drop bar levers (tektro or upan) but I'm still trying to figure out the difference between long pull and short pull and how they can or can't work together. The bike has cantilever brakes which I'll be keeping.

Any advice? I anticipate someone will tell me to scrap it and buy a thousand dollar bike that I don't need and can't afford.
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