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Converting an XC Bike to Drop Bars

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Converting an XC Bike to Drop Bars

Old 12-20-21, 12:30 PM
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Converting an XC Bike to Drop Bars

Hello all, due to an elbow injury I have experienced early this year, I am having trouble getting comfortable on bikes with flat bars. As such, I am considering to convert my Felt Doctrine 4 to drop bars.

I plan to use a 32-35mm stem in order to achieve the desired handlebar reach. I already have the bars i'd like to use - Surly Truck Stop bars in size 48cm.

Now the question is.. How can I use drop bar shifters and levers without any issues on such a bike?

The brakes on this bike are: Shimano Deore MT-500 hydraulic disc; Rotors: Front: 180mm; Rear: 160mm
And the shifters are: Shimano SLX M7000, 2x11
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Old 12-20-21, 03:34 PM
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You might try some mustache bars or some other bar where you can get your hands oriented differently. IMO, palm down that one gets with flat bars puts my wrist in its weakest position. It's why I dislike them so much. Though I know I'm probably in the minority on that opinion.

Finding something other than drops that give your hands and wrist a different position than the current flat bars will allow you to only have to change the bars and maybe the stem length and still use your current shifters and brake levers.
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Old 12-20-21, 03:49 PM
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Just an idea that could save you money from having to switch to brifters if even possible without a drivetrain swap:

https://surlybikes.com/blog/the_surl...bike_handlebar
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Old 12-20-21, 04:52 PM
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A conversion like this unless done using that Surly bar mentioned in the last post cannot be done without a control system overhaul. There may then be compatibility issues with the brake calipers and drivetrain components. The reason for the change is not compelling. People change FROM drops because of elbow issues. I have done the change both ways for style and/or performance reasons and found the greatest economy came from using Tektro brake levers NOT integrated with Shimano shifting components. In only one case did I change disc calipers.
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Old 12-20-21, 05:14 PM
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Another thing you might check is width. A lot of flat bar bikes I've seen have what to me is a really large width. Even with drop bars, I was uncomfortable on the 42 cm wide bars that most would say were correct for my shoulder width. Occasionally I did have some elbow issues. Moving my hands closer together with 38 cm drop bars have so far eliminated any elbow issues.
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Old 12-20-21, 07:07 PM
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Iride01

Those surly bars look like the solution for me here. I'll have to get a new 25.4mm stem however.

My current flat bars have been cut down from stock 720mm.

Personally my injured elbow has a much more comfortable time during rides being in a neutral or even semi pronated position (like gravel bikes) than forcing your arms to be in a internally rotated, pronated grip with flat bars.

Drop bars which are the correct width for you should be the most comfortable, most effective position, correct?
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Old 12-21-21, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
Just an idea that could save you money from having to switch to brifters if even possible without a drivetrain swap:

https://surlybikes.com/blog/the_surl...bike_handlebar
Neat bar, thanks for posting that!

I'm looking to try drops on my bike, so I found these origin8 drop ends for cheap on eBay.
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Old 12-21-21, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Iride01

Those surly bars look like the solution for me here. I'll have to get a new 25.4mm stem however.

My current flat bars have been cut down from stock 720mm.

Personally my injured elbow has a much more comfortable time during rides being in a neutral or even semi pronated position (like gravel bikes) than forcing your arms to be in a internally rotated, pronated grip with flat bars.

Drop bars which are the correct width for you should be the most comfortable, most effective position, correct?
If you use those bars and are getting a stem you will probably want a shorter reach and some rise.
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Old 12-21-21, 10:31 AM
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sloppy12

True, I'm okay with going a little bit lower, than current, but if I need to, I can always flip the stem to point upwards to get the correct stack height.

I don't see any measurements for reach on the website, so not sure on which stem length to try with these bars.

thanks again Iride01 for the solution, saved me a lot of hassle.
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Old 12-21-21, 10:32 AM
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GrainBrain I was using the typical bull horn bar ends on my Felt for some time now, Just didn't like needing to switch grips whenever I planned to shift or brake.
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Old 12-21-21, 08:52 PM
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To anyone experiencing pain GO SEE A FITTER. Find someone who does a dynamic fit and knows their stuff. It will make you a lot more comfortable especially if you have a good interview at the start and are honest. Fitters aren't there to judge you or just put you in the same position as the guy who is racing, they are there to optimize your position for you and make recommendations based on what they see from your riding and what you have told them,
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Old 12-25-21, 03:56 PM
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Here's an entire thread of drop bar mountain bikes from the vintage forum. Any questions should be covered in it.

Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions
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Old 12-25-21, 04:13 PM
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Moisty, "The Other One" is interested in this as well. You may be a role model. See the Cyclo/Gravel section for the thread.
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Old 12-27-21, 09:26 AM
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Iride01 It seems like those surly bars sweep back, I am trying to figure out what size stem to get.

I was thinking. just go 100mm like I would if i were using regular flat bars?

In the meantime, I will eventually switch to the truck stop bars on my gravel bike. I am just not eager to unwrap the perfect original bar tape for my Satori x-race bars, lol
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Old 12-27-21, 10:54 AM
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A few things about those Surly Corner bars:
  • Their construction essentially eliminate the "hoods" position, which most riders use a LOT when riding drop bars. As a result, you'll be in the drops most of the time, since that's really the only position in which your hands can reach the levers.
  • Because of this, you will likely want a taller stem.
  • The top portion of the bar curves down before joining the drop sections. This effectively narrows the top of the bar and limits the available space for your hands there.
  • You can use Problem Solvers shims that fit a 31.8 stem clamp. Surly may even ship the bars with them, like they do on their Sunrise bar.
  • The bars are really heavy.
This is not to say they aren't cool bars, but be aware of their unique characteristics before deciding that they're a solution.


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Old 12-27-21, 03:47 PM
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Gevanelles are also an option
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Old 12-28-21, 10:30 AM
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Thanks Rolla ..

I'm not sure if I should then buy a seperate shim just in case when I order?

Anyone know of other similar bar options?

Lack of hand positions wouldnt be an issue if the drops are set up well. Much better than forcing my bad elbow to be internally rotated. Looks like just a regular stem length should work fine with these bars. I have space to increase the handlebar stack should I want to. Perfect choice.
​​​​​​
i will get a set for my e bike along with a new 1-1/8 quill stem and see how I like these bars before splurging for the XC bike. Still got some time before MTB season, but the grocery hauler can't wait 😁
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Old 12-31-21, 08:20 AM
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Hi everyone.. so, my E bike uses a 1-1/8 threaded steered tube. I've been looking to replace the floppy and heavy adjustable stem for a while now. I ordered a NOS chromoly stem from eBay which fits this steerer tube... But then I realized with the design of the corner bars, there is simply no way to squeeze them into the stem, which has no removable clamp.

I was thinking of getting these bars, or something similar for my e bike - https://www.bikeinn.com/bike/finna-g...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

Again, looking for the neutral hand position. In the meantime, I've already ordered a set of the surly bar, and could try them on either of my two intended bikes by using the included shim.
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Old 12-31-21, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Hi everyone.. so, my E bike uses a 1-1/8 threaded steered tube. I've been looking to replace the floppy and heavy adjustable stem for a while now. I ordered a NOS chromoly stem from eBay which fits this steerer tube... But then I realized with the design of the corner bars, there is simply no way to squeeze them into the stem, which has no removable clamp.

I was thinking of getting these bars, or something similar for my e bike - https://www.bikeinn.com/bike/finna-g...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

Again, looking for the neutral hand position. In the meantime, I've already ordered a set of the surly bar, and could try them on either of my two intended bikes by using the included shim.
We have a quite a few locals that run similar mustache style bars. I think most of them are running the whisky carbon ones. they usually dont set up like a traditional mustache style they use the back swept section and mount brake levers and shifters there very upright relaxed setup.
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Old 12-31-21, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
We have a quite a few locals that run similar mustache style bars. I think most of them are running the whisky carbon ones. they usually dont set up like a traditional mustache style they use the back swept section and mount brake levers and shifters there very upright relaxed setup.
No issues using MTB style alivio shifters and hydraulic brake levers on these sort of bars?
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Old 12-31-21, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Those surly bars look like the solution for me here. I'll have to get a new 25.4mm stem however.
No you won't. According to the Surly web site, these bars come with a shim to allow them to fit 31.8mm stems.
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Old 12-31-21, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
I ordered a NOS chromoly stem from eBay which fits this steerer tube... But then I realized with the design of the corner bars, there is simply no way to squeeze them into the stem, which has no removable clamp.
Choosing a bar because it fits the stem seems back-asswards to me. Get a stem with a removable face.


Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
I was thinking of getting these bars, or something similar for my e bike - https://www.bikeinn.com/bike/finna-g...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
I ran moustache bars on a Surly Steamroller for a while, and while I liked them for some things, I found that they put me further forward than I liked when I was in the "hooks," and that's really the only position that gives you access to the brakes. IMO, moustaches are a "try before you buy" bar.
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Old 12-31-21, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
No issues using MTB style alivio shifters and hydraulic brake levers on these sort of bars?
Nope. just make sure the ones you are looking at are for "MTB 22.2" in grip area not road bike.
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Old 12-31-21, 07:37 PM
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Rolla back asswards, you bet. I'm sure you can imagine how difficult it was to find a 1-1/8 stem in a specific size for my e bike.

Very limited on options. I was considering looking into a similar fork with a thread less steerer and converting the headset, but couldn't be bothered to go through the effort at this point.

​​​​​​
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Old 01-02-22, 12:52 PM
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What do you folk think of the Soma Three-Speed or possibly the Soma sparrow for my Trek Verve E bike?
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