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Conversion to Flat Bar help

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Conversion to Flat Bar help

Old 09-12-20, 11:48 PM
  #1  
spnwe
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Conversion to Flat Bar help

Title should be Conversion from Flat Bar to Drop Bar - Sorry guys!!

Hi guys,

I recently just got into biking about a month ago due to Covid and so far I am LOVING it! Since then I've biked almost every weekend about 30-50 miles round trip along the coast of California.

I currently ride a 2011 Kona Dew Plus and am looking to convert my current flat bar to a drop bar with dual lever control shifters.

My brakes are currently Shimano M445 Hydraulic Disc 160mm front and rear rotor and I ideally would like to keep my current brake set up, but if I have to switch to mechanical then so be it.
and is a 3x8 with the Shimano Rapidfire.

I am aware that it's going to be a hard conversion and costly(?) conversion but I can source the parts out either on OfferUp or eBay. Looking for a low-medium budget. somewhere between $200-$350

Any help is greatly appreciated guys! Thank you!!

Last edited by spnwe; 09-13-20 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 09-13-20, 07:35 AM
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Welcome to bike forums! It is great that you have found cycling (again?) and the enjoyment that it brings, even in a difficult time. You will find everyone here to be pretty helpful, and people have a lot of experience, especially in the mechanic’s sub-forum. Sometimes advice offered may not be what you want to hear, but it is usually accurate. This may be one of those times.

You should probably consider a new bike. You would likely be better off financially to sell the Kona and get a new or used road bike with disk brakes. The parts that you want to salvage (brake calipers) do not carry much value and the knowledge to install new levers and hose and bleed properly is probably not worth the expense of new tools, hassle, and headache for a home mechanic.

As far as I know, there is no 8 speed road group that offers hydraulic brakes. To go hydraulic, you would need to upgrade the drivetrain as well as the shifters. Just a “normal” drop bar conversion means new bars, stem, brake/shift levers, cables, and bar tape, if all brakes and shifting are compatible. Neither of yours are, which means new brakes, derailleurs, cassette, chain, and possibly crankset. Several specialized tools are needed for this as well as the know-how, so you should probably factor in some labor cost.

If you go mechanical, you would need the 8 speed brifters, brakes (should come with cables and housing), bars, shorter stem, bar tape, and some sort of cable adjustment, which your frame is not designed for (road bikes normally have adjusters built into the down tube cable stops; mtn bikes have the adjusters in the shifter). All of this adds up to expense and risk of incompatibility between parts.

Your current bike is a great bike, and holds the most value in its current state. Converting it to drop bars is probably not going to increase its value, so you would really have to love the frame for the conversion to make sense.
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Old 09-13-20, 07:46 AM
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Have you been introduced to the n+1 concept yet?
Look for a good used bike with drop bars that fits your needs.
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Old 09-13-20, 09:11 AM
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Why? You already have a flat bar included with your current style of bar. I'll just never agree that the wrists are in a better orientation on a flat bar bike. And hybrid bike geometry isn't just a road bike with a flatbar.

As far as eBay for used stuff, unless its well worn out, ebay sellers usually want retail new prices or better. Every time I've needed bike components, I've always found them cheaper googling around than I have on ebay or amazon.
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Old 09-13-20, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by spnwe View Post
I am aware that it's going to be a hard conversion and costly(?) conversion but I can source the parts out either on OfferUp or eBay. Looking for a low-medium budget. somewhere between $200-$350

It'd be hard to get what you'd need for the budget you've got laid out. To save the 3x8, you'd need to swap to a 'road' mechanical brake caliper, to go with the STI levers. To keep the hydros, youd need to upgrade to a 10-sp+ road drivetrain. Plus the stem, controls, and the bars you'll need for the conversion.
Another option to look at would be one of the swept or 'bow' style MTB bars like the Jones Loop or Surly Terminal. They'll work with your existing controls, and you can run them flipped up or down, depending on how high or low you're looking to get your hand position.
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Old 09-13-20, 11:35 AM
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So you are converting a flat bar to a road drop bar.

I've done road to flat and have had great results. Since your headtube angle is probably much shallower on your hybrid, I'm not sure what your results will be with narrower drop bars. I may be wrong, but I can't envision you'll end up with anything resembling road bike handling. I know that people have done drop bars on mountain bikes, but I don't have a feel for it.

John
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Old 09-13-20, 11:55 AM
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Shimano is the only hydraulic dual control scheme I am aware of (& that quite recently, seen here)

Imminently more affordable would be cable brifters, interrupter levers & TRP HyRd integrated hydraulic calipers @ the wheels..


Pay :
somewhere between $200-$350
? dream on ..

The TRP calipers , substituted, for a mechanical caliper onto existing disc brake road frame bike is about in that cost range.
not including 2nd bicycle purchase of course..






...

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-13-20 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 09-13-20, 12:30 PM
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Oh........ title doesn't quite match
Conversion to Flat Bar help
Going the other way, then I'll still be a little wary of geometry not being right. But stem lengths and reach of the drops themselves might work out something that fits.

Still, I'd get another bike and have two for different uses.
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Old 09-13-20, 01:22 PM
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Wow thank you guys for the response!! I feel the love already. To start I just got into cycling and love it!

Back to the drop bars. I am aware I may need to swap out a lot of stuff and I am fine with that for a decent price. Is there a way to do this with a $350 budget?
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Old 09-13-20, 02:53 PM
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No. (umless you get stolen parts)
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Old 09-13-20, 05:08 PM
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In re-reading this, do you want to go to drop bars to get more hand positions, go faster, and easier over the 30-50 miles?

50 miles with a flat bar would be pretty tough.

If this is the case there are trekking bars, like a butterfly or jones, that will allow you to stretch out a bit more and give more hand positions.

John
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Old 09-13-20, 05:16 PM
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Ergon GR 5 can help a lot . a comfort grip bar end combination. lock on, individually adjustable...


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Old 09-14-20, 05:15 AM
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I did this recently for a friend with a hybrid bike 3x9 set up with mechanical brakes. I agree with others here that the better route is buying a new/used bike that has the setup you want. But my friend insisted he wanted to keep his hybrid. I found used drop bars complete with stem and 3x9 brifters from a local bike co-op and bought Problem Solvers travel agents to match the brake pull with the v-brakes. Put it all together and found a problem with the front shifter. Ended up getting a partial refund from the co-op and buying a new set of brifters. Costs were something like $30 for the bars and stem (after refund for defective brifter), $50 for travel agents, and $150 for brifters. So around $230 plus tax just for the parts. Personally I don't think it was worth the hassle or the cash but my friend is happily riding around and perhaps that's what counts in the end
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Old 09-14-20, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by spnwe View Post
Looking for a low-medium budget. somewhere between $200-$350
I doubt you're going to have very good luck. Have you been able to find a source or price out any of the replacement parts? Brifters with hydraulic disc brakes and triple front capability are, I think, going to be a hard find.
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Old 09-14-20, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by oldukbkr View Post
I did this recently for a friend with a hybrid bike 3x9 set up with mechanical brakes. I agree with others here that the better route is buying a new/used bike that has the setup you want. But my friend insisted he wanted to keep his hybrid. I found used drop bars complete with stem and 3x9 brifters from a local bike co-op and bought Problem Solvers travel agents to match the brake pull with the v-brakes. Put it all together and found a problem with the front shifter. Ended up getting a partial refund from the co-op and buying a new set of brifters. Costs were something like $30 for the bars and stem (after refund for defective brifter), $50 for travel agents, and $150 for brifters. So around $230 plus tax just for the parts. Personally I don't think it was worth the hassle or the cash but my friend is happily riding around and perhaps that's what counts in the end
Thanks for you and everyone else for this.

I really want to keep my current hybrid and upgrade the parts like you did for your buddy.

Do you think this a good price for these parts?


$275

SRAM/Praxis hydro groupset & drivetrain for gravel bike.

Gravel Bike parts. SRAM Rival hydraulic brake-shifters & flat mount calipers for 1X Praxis Zayante 40T crankset & 11speed SRAM 11-42 cassette & chain. Praxis T47 outboard BB. Take off parts from Ibis Hakka purchased new in October 2019. Very low miles.
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Old 09-14-20, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I doubt you're going to have very good luck. Have you been able to find a source or price out any of the replacement parts? Brifters with hydraulic disc brakes and triple front capability are, I think, going to be a hard find.

I did find this for $275.

Do you think it is good price?

Gravel Bike parts. SRAM Rival hydraulic brake-shifters & flat mount calipers for 1X Praxis Zayante 40T crankset & 11speed SRAM 11-42 cassette & chain. Praxis T47 outboard BB. Take off parts from Ibis Hakka purchased new in October 2019. Very low miles.
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Old 09-15-20, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by spnwe View Post
Thanks for you and everyone else for this.

I really want to keep my current hybrid and upgrade the parts like you did for your buddy.

Do you think this a good price for these parts?


$275

SRAM/Praxis hydro groupset & drivetrain for gravel bike.

Gravel Bike parts. SRAM Rival hydraulic brake-shifters & flat mount calipers for 1X Praxis Zayante 40T crankset & 11speed SRAM 11-42 cassette & chain. Praxis T47 outboard BB. Take off parts from Ibis Hakka purchased new in October 2019. Very low miles.
Sorry, can't help you with the pricing. I don't know much about hydraulics...
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Old 09-15-20, 08:20 AM
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I converted my Trek FX from flat to drops. It was about $250-$300 in parts, and I didn't have to worry about hydraulic brakes. Your situation sounds more complicated. I'd second opinions about finding another bike if you're set on drops. In retrospect, I probably would have been better off getting a Trek 520 or Surly Long Haul Trucker.

I'm getting ready to swap my drops out for moustache bars, and someone suggested to me some Soma Sparrows, but they had a mount diameter of 22.2 and I needed 23.8 for my road levers, so I went with something different. But if you were open to moustache bars, the Soma Sparrow might work for you, and you wouldn't need to get new levers or shifters. Much cheaper, much easier.
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Old 09-15-20, 09:34 AM
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FIRST QUESTION: is your bike going to fit you after you put a drop bar on it? the Dew was designed to fit the rider for which it was designed with the use of a flat bar because it has a long top tube for it's size. if you look at the basic shape of any drop handlebar, it adds 4 inches or more of reach to the overall fit of the bike. if the bike is a bit small for you and you can put a much shorter stem on it, this might work. most likely, it's going to put you in superman-stretched out position on the hoods and full-on bent in half position when using the drops. if you're not certain how to make a bike fit when you do this, it will be a bad idea to pursue it further.

for multiple hand positions on a flat bar, there are a ton of handlebars and accessories that will achieve this. regular old bar ends like Cane Creek Ergo Control would be super comfy for this purpose. SQLabs Inner Bar ends are also a great option that gives you a similar hand position to the hoods on a drop bar without destroying your back while trying to reach them.
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Old 09-15-20, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
FIRST QUESTION: is your bike going to fit you after you put a drop bar on it?
This is a good point to consider, OP. I didn't mention it in my comment, but I used a drastically different stem when I switched from flat to drops. I'll be using yet another stem when I go from drops to moustache. Always consider fit when you change the bars.
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