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Flat bar to drop bar conversion: Bridger + hydraulic disc options

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Flat bar to drop bar conversion: Bridger + hydraulic disc options

Old 12-03-20, 11:34 AM
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alias5000
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Flat bar to drop bar conversion: Brifter + hydraulic disc options

Hi!
I have a 2007 hard tail MTB turned into hybrid. It's wonderful, but it would be even nicer if it had drop bars and hydraulic disc brakes.

Thinking through the conversion, there's one thing I'm stuck on:
Is there a Brifter that supports 3 chainrings (alivio FD) and drives a hydraulic disc brake (Shimano preferred, but not necessary)? Brake mounts are IS.

If this exists, I could keep my existing 3x9 setup (or switch to 3x10, if needed) and just switch out the frontend.

Thanks!
Alias5000

Edit: I'm hoping for a fully hydraulic system, not based on cable-actuated hydraulics, such as the Hy/Rd

Last edited by alias5000; 12-03-20 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 12-03-20, 01:50 PM
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The issues as I see them right now are:
Shimano Tiagra has a 3x lever, but not for hydraulics. 2x levers come with Hydraulics. I can probably live with that, if the pull ratio fits my existing FD - and the inner ring will just not be used.
All hydraulic road disc brakes seem to come as flat mounts now. I have IS mounts on my frame. Adapters appear crazy expensive (CAD$40 per item). Can I use MTB disc brakes with these levers? How do I find out?

I can live with upgrading parts of my drivetrain to 10 speed, as I have a 10-speed cassette flying around and 10-speed road pull ratio = 9-speed MTB pull ratio (don't need to change RD). I'm expecting that the crankset should be fine with 10-speed.

Shimano GRX is a similar story.
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Old 12-03-20, 02:36 PM
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Have you considered bar end shifters? I've got a 1x so no need for a front shifter but for the rear I've got a microshift bar end. It works great. For braking I've got the TRP Hylex RS hydraulic brakes, which is fully hydraulic but is brakes only, no shifting.

Here's a page with info on IS to post adapters:
https://analogcycles.com/true-facts-...rake-adapters/
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Old 12-03-20, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Marylander View Post
Have you considered bar end shifters? I've got a 1x so no need for a front shifter but for the rear I've got a microshift bar end. It works great. For braking I've got the TRP Hylex RS hydraulic brakes, which is fully hydraulic but is brakes only, no shifting.

Here's a page with info on IS to post adapters:
https://analogcycles.com/true-facts-...rake-adapters/
There is no reason not to mix a brake/shifter for the rear and a separate brake lever and bar-end or downtube shifter up front; Tour de France riders did this routinely in the past.
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Old 12-03-20, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
There is no reason not to mix a brake/shifter for the rear and a separate brake lever and bar-end or downtube shifter up front; Tour de France riders did this routinely in the past.
I've got just this setup on my daughter's bike. Her hand is simply too small and dainty to work the front 105 shifter so she's got the bar end to work the front derailleur.
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Old 12-03-20, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Marylander View Post
Have you considered bar end shifters? I've got a 1x so no need for a front shifter but for the rear I've got a microshift bar end. It works great. For braking I've got the TRP Hylex RS hydraulic brakes, which is fully hydraulic but is brakes only, no shifting.

Here's a page with info on IS to post adapters:
https://analogcycles.com/true-facts-...rake-adapters/
Hmm, actually now that you put it in front of my face: it's squeezing it, but I *should* be fine with a 1x10 setup for the gears that I actually use. A 38T chainring with 11-34 or 11-36 cassette should do it. I still have a 11-34 cassette left over and with a bit of swapping around, even a 10spd chain. Thanks for the pointer to the TRP Hylex RS, that looks like a nice option!
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Old 12-05-20, 08:30 AM
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Disc brakes can be operated with rim brake levers, using either a mechanical caliper or one of several hydraulic calipers, that are cable operated. Juin-Tech makes 2 piston and 4 piston models. The 4 piston models cost a lot more, but they do work better and use a larger, more modern pad. I don't know is the come in an IS model, but they do make post and flat mount models. I have one 4 piston and one 2 piston set.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Juin-Tech-M1-Mountain-E-bike-Bicycle-Bike-Hydraulic-Disc-Brake-Caliper-Set-Black-/202787747525?redirect=mobile

Last edited by DaveSSS; 12-05-20 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Disc brakes can be operated with rim brake levers, using either a mechanical caliper or one of several hydraulic calipers, that are cable operated. Juin-Tech makes 2 piston and 4 piston models. The 4 piston models cost a lot more, but they do work better and use a larger, more modern pad. I don't know is the come in an IS model, but they do make post and flat mount models. I have one 4 piston and one 2 piston set.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Juin-Tech-M...edirect=mobile
How is the performance for you? One of the big catches of hydraulic brakes is the lack of friction, flex/compression and dirt ingress in the cables.

Edit: I am cycling year-round in Canada. Therefore, I need brakes that survive the salty and dirty environment (when cared for and sprayed down regularly). Hydraulics seem to offer this better than mechanical brakes as it seems and mineral oil seems temperature-stable enough for my use.

Last edited by alias5000; 12-05-20 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 12-05-20, 02:33 PM
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I ride year round in Colorado, but I never ride in the wet and never need to hose off my bikes. Compressionless cable housing like Jagwire pro is a must. Both cables are full length, so the only exposure is at the brake caliper. I get more powerful braking than a rim brake, but I don't need it, since I weigh in a 60-62Kg.
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Old 12-05-20, 02:55 PM
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Some combination of Gevenalle, maybe.

If you can't find them all together, which one would you compromise?
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Old 12-08-20, 09:16 AM
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Interesting, I've learnt so much from this thread and in this process. Thanks everyone!

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
If you can't find them all together, which one would you compromise?
Good question! I've spent the past few days on this. With a somewhat heavy heart, reason won and the compromise is: no drop bars. This thread was helpful in coming to an informed decision. I'll get everything else I'm still hoping for (hydraulic disc brakes, hub dynamo, better studded tires), but the drop bar conversion doesn't seem to make sense at this price point. One day in the far future, my all-season commuter will be a gravel bike with Tiagra-level components when it's a justifiable N+1 day :-)
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