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Help converting flats to drop bar

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Help converting flats to drop bar

Old 07-18-13, 08:34 PM
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Fishh
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Help converting flats to drop bar

Hi I am trying to convert a hybrid bike(trek 7.2fx) to feature a drop bar instead of the original flat bar. I have installed the drop bar and got a pair of tektro rl520 for the brake lever. Everything is fine however I want to keep the original rapid fire shifters (shimano st-ef51) but take off the brake levers attached to it and use the tektros that I purchased instead. Does anyone know how to take the brake levers off the rapid fire shifter as I have tried looking for a way to take it off and cannot find out how to do it. Thanks
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Old 07-18-13, 08:58 PM
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Not to answer for the mechanics, but, which bars? I'm willing to bet the drops are a larger outside diameter than your original flat bars, and that your current shifters won't fit, so you're looking at buying new shifters as well. Bar ends, RetroShifts, "brifters" (ugh, I hate that word). Possibly even new derailleurs or some kind of pull adapter kludge. This has the potential to be an expensive project.

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Old 07-18-13, 09:23 PM
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I got 25.4 mm drop bars so I can put the shifters on fine and scoot them towards the middle. I got all of the parts and it all fits fine but I just need help getting the brake levers off the original integrated brake/rapid fire shifter.
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Old 07-18-13, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
I got 25.4 mm drop bars so I can put the shifters on fine and scoot them towards the middle. I got all of the parts and it all fits fine but I just need help getting the brake levers off the original integrated brake/rapid fire shifter.
If you can get it all on, then, excellent! However... Not the 25.4 clamp diameter, but the part where the shifters actually go, on most flat bars, is 22.2mm. Most road stuff is designed for 23.8mm diameter bars. Depending on your hardware, you might be stressing the clamps and be in danger of breaking them even if you can force them into place. I don't think your shifter/brake combos are designed to come apart in the way you want, but compatible Alivio shifters for your derailleurs are not terribly expensive. Still wouldn't think they would go on a road bar. Or you could just leave the levers on for now, and let people think what they want. Are you planning on braking from the hoods, but switching back to the flats to shift? Microshift also makes very affordable groups. I've been happy with even some of their low-end stuff in the past.
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Old 07-18-13, 11:26 PM
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I was able to slide them on pretty nicely but I'm not sure if the bar is 22.2 or 23.8mm however it seems to be in place fine. And if it does break it isn't a concern to me as it isn't a terribly expensive shifter. I am planning on braking from the hood and switching on the flat part to shift as I rarely shift when cycling. I think I am gonna go with the compatible shifters that you mentioned. Thanks for the help!
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Old 07-19-13, 02:47 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by FatherAlabaster View Post
...the part where the shifters actually go, on most flat bars, is 22.2mm. Most road stuff is designed for 23.8mm diameter bars..
+1

Maybe the OP has inadvertently gotten hold of one of those fabled 22.2 mm drop bars that are said to exist?

Originally Posted by FatherAlabaster View Post
... I don't think your shifter/brake combos are designed to come apart in the way you want...
+1

The OP can bypass the brake by not hooking it up easily enough. Or hacksaw the lever off. Or use a drill or a dremel to remove the hinge pin to get the lever out. But it's made as a shifter/brake combo and won't disassemble gracefully into anything else.
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Old 07-19-13, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
...I am planning on braking from the hood...
You'll be losing quite a bit of braking power when braking from the hood as compared to braking either from a traditional flat bar grip or from the drops.

If you don't want to use the drops, you've gone to quite some effort only to get a thumbs-forward riding position. Bar ends or a North Road bar would have done about the same at less effort and less risk of having to force a 22.2 hole over a 23.8 bar.

Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
...I rarely shift when cycling...
Why not? Live somewhere really flat? Or actually don't ride much?
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Old 07-19-13, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
And if it does break it isn't a concern to me as it isn't a terribly expensive shifter.
On a safety note, if the clamp does snap, it's likely to do it when you're riding, and you don't want a part like that dangling from a cable and going into your spokes. If the clamps are aluminum, spreading them isn't a good idea. I'm not saying this will happen. I've heard of success stories with people doing exactly what you're trying. However, if you're serious about sticking with the drop bars, that setup is kind of a cheapo stopgap measure. I'm willing to bet sooner or later you'll want either bar end shifters, or integrated road levers. You may want to do yourself a favor by not spending your money on something that isn't a long-term solution. That's my $.06.
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Old 07-19-13, 09:31 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by FatherAlabaster View Post
On a safety note, if the clamp does snap, it's likely to do it when you're riding, and you don't want a part like that dangling from a cable and going into your spokes. If the clamps are aluminum, spreading them isn't a good idea. I'm not saying this will happen. I've heard of success stories with people doing exactly what you're trying. However, if you're serious about sticking with the drop bars, that setup is kind of a cheapo stopgap measure. I'm willing to bet sooner or later you'll want either bar end shifters, or integrated road levers. You may want to do yourself a favor by not spending your money on something that isn't a long-term solution. That's my $.06.
I've totes done something like this. A while back my front brake calipers on my commuter dislodged and got caught in my spokes. I went over. Luckily it was at like 5mph, because I had just reached the parking lot at work, but man, that could have been bad. So yeah, be sure to check yer stuff...

Anywho, now I'm just thinking through curiosity: I wonder if you could somehow keep the levers and modify them to add in-line brakes. If there is a safe feasibility to this, you should totally try.
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Old 07-19-13, 10:20 AM
  #10  
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Hi I am trying to convert a hybrid bike(trek 7.2fx) to feature a drop bar instead of the original flat bar. I have installed the drop bar and got a pair of tektro rl520 for the brake lever. Everything is fine however I want to keep the original rapid fire shifters (shimano st-ef51) but take off the brake levers attached to it and use the tektros that I purchased instead. Does anyone know how to take the brake levers off the rapid fire shifter as I have tried looking for a way to take it off and cannot find out how to do it. Thanks

fools errand..


instead, consider replacing the stem, and every thing connected to it..

un hook the 4 cable clamps, at the brakes and derailleurs , and pull the whole thing off as a unit,

put it in a box and start over.. another stem, bars, shifters, brake levers, cables, housing, the works..

Perhaps another whole bike? thats simpler..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-20-13 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 07-19-13, 11:07 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
I am planning on braking from the hood and switching on the flat part to shift as I rarely shift when cycling.
Bar end shifters and Tektro cross levers.
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Old 07-19-13, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
+1

Maybe the OP has inadvertently gotten hold of one of those fabled 22.2 mm drop bars that are said to exist?
I have measured the diameter and it is a 22.2mm drop bar. This is where I got them from http://www.ebay.com/itm/Anodized-Fix...-/171066458114
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Old 07-19-13, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Why not? Live somewhere really flat? Or actually don't ride much?
Where I live it is really flat with rarely any slopes. Also as you can tell I am pretty noobish I had this bike sitting around for awhile and I want to get back into riding, however I want to get used to a road bike feel before spending several hundred dollars on another bike. Also I have tried using drop bar ends but the convenience of braking while in a drop position seems more beneficial to me.

Last edited by Fishh; 07-19-13 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 07-20-13, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
I have measured the diameter and it is a 22.2mm drop bar. This is where I got them from http://www.ebay.com/itm/Anodized-Fix...-/171066458114
Well, that explains it. The right diameter and the old-school smooth radius is what makes it come together for you.
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Old 07-20-13, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
Where I live it is really flat with rarely any slopes.
Well, for casual riding anything goes. But even if it's fairly flat, most riders would find a use for gears. There's headwinds, tailwinds, starting off, drafting etc etc. Not to mention the sheer joy of the feel of a perfect match. They'd would probably go for a tighter ratio cassette though.

Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
...I have tried using drop bar ends but the convenience of braking while in a drop position seems more beneficial to me.
But earlier you said "...I am planning on braking from the hood..."

The main advantage of a drop bar is its variety of hand positions. But it'd make more sense to me to pick a bar that offers the best braking in the main riding position - and on the hoods of a drop bar ain't it.
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Old 07-20-13, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
But earlier you said "...I am planning on braking from the hood..."

The main advantage of a drop bar is its variety of hand positions. But it'd make more sense to me to pick a bar that offers the best braking in the main riding position - and on the hoods of a drop bar ain't it.
Oh my local bike store had told me that the hood position was the standard position and most people use it. I guess I will have to change my riding position than. But can you explain why the hood position is looked down upon? And what do you consider the best riding position? Please enlighten me.
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Old 07-20-13, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
Oh my local bike store had told me that the hood position was the standard position and most people use it.
It is very common, no doubt about that. But mechanical efficency isn't decided by a majority vote.

Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
I guess I will have to change my riding position then.
All I'm saying is that it makes sense to have a bike that works best for the kind of riding you do the most.
If you want braking available from a not too hunched over position with a thumbs-forward grip on the bar, that can be achieved in other ways than going for a drop bar.

Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
But can you explain why the hood position is looked down upon?
It's not that it's looked down upon, apart from in the strict literal sense...

But, the braking leverage, the way your hand aligns with, and how your fingers grip the brake levers, is poorer from the hoods than from the drops. Usually still OK, but poorer regardless.
For a dedicated roadie it doesn't matter much, because the odds are good that (s)he will be in the drops when (s)he will need the best braking.
But if you're using the bike for more casual riding, then odds are good that you will be on the hoods when you need the best braking instead. And you're not getting it from there. Maybe still good enough, but not as good as it can be.

It's like with tools, kitchen equipment, medicine, reference literature or anything - the important stuff you keep within easy reach, not tucked away in closet.

Originally Posted by Fishh View Post
...what do you consider the best riding position? Please enlighten me.
There's no single answer to that, it depends too much on your personal capacity and your riding conditions.

For riding close around other people - as you would in urban/city riding, you need instant access to good braking and a good overview of what's happening around you.
For successful negotiation of frequent stop&go situations, you need either a good starting gear, or good leg strength.

I like the thumbs-forward option of riding on the hoods. Brifters give me the instant access to both brakes and shifters as I've used to from MTBing.
But the narrower bar and the slightly more stretched riding position robs me of some of the control that the average MTB cockpit gives.
As I have more of MTB parts available, my choice is to sacrifice the thumbs-forward comfort for somewhat better braking. When I hit a stretch of open road I can always use the bar ends. But I'd probably be quite happy doing urban/city riding with a road bike with a North Road bar.
It'd give me thumbs-forward, a fairly wide grip, and a bit more upright riding position than on a standard road bike setup.
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