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Converting 1998 Trek 5000 from curve handlebars to flat handlebars

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Converting 1998 Trek 5000 from curve handlebars to flat handlebars

Old 07-06-13, 08:28 AM
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Trash Man
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Converting 1998 Trek 5000 from curve handlebars to flat handlebars

Just purchased this old bike because a wanted to test the road bike waters before jumping in for a new one. I currently ride a 7.3 Trek Hybrid. I think I want to replace rear cassette, rear deraillure, front deraillure and obviously the handlebar and brake/shifter conbo's. My question is how do a choose, first off, one that will fit and the other is the proper one.. so many choices. I know I can take to the bicycle shop but wanted to do it myself to learn more about how bike etc., work..
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Old 07-06-13, 09:05 AM
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1998 isn't that old, and the bike should still be able to compete against a current bike; and if it's a road bike you want why ,are you looking to get rid on the drops (take it this what you mean by curve bars?), as this virtually defines what a road bike is.

For the amount of work you are proposing, it would probably be easier and cheaper to buy a complete flat bar bike. For what you are planning, would list everything you currently have, so you can work out what you want to change, and what to, and replace with, then work out what it will cost. For if parts will fit, that's easy, as it, the measurement / specs have to match, for it being proper, nothing will be proper if you are taking off the drops, and intending it to still be a road bike.
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Old 07-06-13, 09:11 AM
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gear and shift levers have to be bought, bar diameter of flat bars is less [7/8"] than the tubing used to form
all those curves of a drop bar, assuming that is what you call curve bars ..

7.3 Trek Hybrid. means you got one with 'straight bars'


Given many upright type bars, have curves in them , like on A 3 speed , a beach cruiser and so forth..

and to function the levers are different so, shape is different. brake cables ends are different too,
that is why taking everything, off , as a whole .. is suggested .. stem type and bar clamp opening changes too..

Loosen the 4 bolts at the far end of the cable, at the shifters and brake levers, pull them out .

loosen the stem from the fork, and start over with all new parts ..

bars stem cables housing grips and levers..

essentially converting a roadie, to a hybrid bike.. in some markets
A road bike Hybrid, with Narrow tires gets called a Fitness Bike ..

for European markets Campag and Shimano made Flat bar Brifters to work
with Road sized chainrings.. and Front derailleurs.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-06-13 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 07-06-13, 09:12 AM
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I agree that dropbars are almost the defining feature of a road bike so why do you want to convert a road bike into another hybrid, since you already have one? What do you hope to "improve"?
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Old 07-06-13, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Trash Man View Post
Just purchased this old bike because a wanted to test the road bike waters before jumping in for a new one. I currently ride a 7.3 Trek Hybrid. I think I want to replace rear cassette, rear deraillure, front deraillure and obviously the handlebar and brake/shifter conbo's.
That's an awful lot of parts to replace. Hove you done a cost/benefit analysis? It looks to me like you'd be converting a cheap old bike into an expensive old bike that has a few new parts.
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Old 07-06-13, 02:19 PM
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Thanks for the reply! If the drop bars is the only distinguishing difference why don't they make it easier. hahaha Anyway, I want lighter (which I have in the 5000), I also want more stable with the flat bar (wider). After I make all these changes I think the 5000 will still be much faster than the 7.3 Hybrid that I'm riding now.
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Old 07-06-13, 02:21 PM
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I have two different bikes now, a trek hybrid and a trek 5000. I'm just trying to make the 5000 more comfortable.
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Old 07-06-13, 02:22 PM
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I hope to improve comfort.
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Old 07-06-13, 02:32 PM
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I don't like flat bars in general. Generally means increased stress on your upper body because you can't change hand positions unless you add bar-ends, switch to trekking/butterfly bars, etc. But that's me, you might prefer them.

Now here's why I don't know if it's a good idea for you. While in theory this can be done - and I've seen people do it - you're trying to take a racing bike and change it to something quite different, kind of a lightweight carbon fiber luxo-cruiser. The geometry of this bike doesn't lean in that direction.

In addition, you might wind up replacing a heck of a lot more than the drivetrain. I would think a more upright stem would also be needed. So in the end, sure, you can try, but I don't know you'll be satisfied with the results.
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Old 07-06-13, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Trash Man View Post
Thanks for the reply! If the drop bars is the only distinguishing difference why don't they make it easier. hahaha Anyway, I want lighter (which I have in the 5000), I also want more stable with the flat bar (wider). After I make all these changes I think the 5000 will still be much faster than the 7.3 Hybrid that I'm riding now.
It is easy, but it is also expensive. Also, after all those changes the 5000 may not be any faster than your hybrid because the aerodynamics (the main power consumer) will be about the same. To make your 7.3 "faster" fit smooth tread 700-28 tires and you will be surprised at the difference.
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Old 07-07-13, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Trash Man View Post
Just purchased this old bike because a wanted to test the road bike waters before jumping in for a new one. I currently ride a 7.3 Trek Hybrid. I think I want to replace rear cassette, rear deraillure, front deraillure and obviously the handlebar and brake/shifter conbo's. My question is how do a choose, first off, one that will fit and the other is the proper one.. so many choices. I know I can take to the bicycle shop but wanted to do it myself to learn more about how bike etc., work..
Hi,

That is a very odd way to "test the road bike waters" and won't help
any informed decision about buying a new road bike, which is simply
if you don't like drop bars don't buy a road bike optimised for them.

It might need a new chain and possibly a new rear cassette.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 07-07-13, 03:28 AM
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Give the drops a chance; try to find some info about how to ride like a pro.

It's easier than it looks, once you're used to it. Folks do it for hours at a time. And there's nothing inherently unstable about drops; pros ride faster than 80km/h down some hills, and they're used for loaded touring and commuting.
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Old 07-07-13, 06:42 AM
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Thanks Kimmo, That probably makes sense, but I find it more stressful on my hands while riding the drop bar bike, much more so than on the hybrid. Maybe I will give it more time...Thanks!
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Old 07-07-13, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Trash Man View Post
but I find it more stressful on my hands while riding the drop bar bike
Would look at the setup of the bars, also the bar tape, some are more cushioning than others, you can also get gel pads to put under the bar tape, so there are plenty of options.
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Old 07-07-13, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Trash Man View Post
Thanks Kimmo, That probably makes sense, but I find it more stressful on my hands while riding the drop bar bike, much more so than on the hybrid. Maybe I will give it more time...Thanks!
Do you understand that drop bars do not require riding with your hands on the drops all the time or even much of the time? There are several more upright hand positions including on the brake hoods and on the bar tops that reduce the weight on your hands. Actually what makes drop bars so suitable for road riding is the fact there are several hand positions that can be used. Also, up-angle stems and stem length can be used put the bars where they are most comfortable.
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Old 07-07-13, 09:02 AM
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The drop bars aren't the problem, the position of them is. Drop bars are a LOT more comfortable than flat bars on long rides. That's why all road bikes have them. They might feel weird at first but once you "graduate" from flat bars you'll never look back. It takes a little bit to get the control too. Cyclocross bikes use drop bars riding through mud and obstacles.

If you're not comfortable with the drop bars they are either too low, or too far away, or both. Raise them up and get them closer. It takes a little bit to get the position perfect.
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Old 07-07-13, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Trash Man View Post
Thanks Kimmo, That probably makes sense, but I find it more stressful on my hands while
riding the drop bar bike, much more so than on the hybrid. Maybe I will give it more time...Thanks!
Hi,

Rack up the mileage. You'll soon find straight bars are not your best friend.

You can convert a road bike to bullhorns, but I've never seen it done with
brifters, as all the top hand positions are very similar with the modern
compact bars developed to with brifters, so very little point.

(Chopping and flipping compact bars is not a good idea for most.)

rgds, sreten.
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Old 07-07-13, 04:16 PM
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Thank you all for the replys, you have just about convienced me to stay with the drop, at least to give them a chance. I'll read up on the set up and make sure it's setup right for me. Again Thanks all!
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Old 07-07-13, 04:17 PM
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Is it a fit issue?
A road bike with the same length top tube / stem as a hybrid will have a longer reach due to the drop bar hand position being forward of the handle bar.
As a joke, I put drop bars on my mountain bike, way too long a reach for me.

A change to a flat bar will shorten the reach as will a shorter stem.

A fun project, and a good learning experience.

Over the long haul though a drop bar bike is faster, in respect to the fact that in the drops you're faster over long haul being more aero.

Changing the bar / shifters will also require finding brake levers for caliper brakes, rather than V brake levers, putting V brake levers on caliper brakes would provide too much cable take up. meaning that the levers will over power the brakes, and that's not good. So make sure you get proper brake levers.
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Old 07-07-13, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Leif1313 View Post
....putting V brake levers on caliper brakes would provide too much cable take up. meaning that the levers will over power the brakes, and that's not good. So make sure you get proper brake levers.
+ 1 on using the proper levers but V-brake levers won't "overpower" caliper brakes, they will sort of "underpower" them. Their longer cable pull means less leverage and more hand pressure will be needed to obtain equal stopping power. Those with weaker hands will find the bike significantly more difficult to stop.
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Old 07-07-13, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
+ 1 on using the proper levers but V-brake levers won't "overpower" caliper brakes, they will sort of "underpower" them. Their longer cable pull means less leverage and more hand pressure will be needed to obtain equal stopping power. Those with weaker hands will find the bike significantly more difficult to stop.
Hi,

+1. Unless you've got a handshake people prefer avoiding
v-brake levers will feel very solid with calipers but be poor.

rgds, sreten.
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