Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

How To - Drop Bar Conversion

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

How To - Drop Bar Conversion

Old 09-08-18, 06:22 PM
  #1  
Bad Lag
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 1,376

Bikes: 1975 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 501 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 76 Posts
How To - Drop Bar Conversion

I want to install a drop handlebar on my mountain bike and I am really kind of stumped and flabbergasted. I don't mean I can't ever figure it out. I mean this is a lot more complicated than I thought. I am also under the impression you guys have done this and know the easiest, most effective, efficient, cheapest way to go.

The drop bars I have are 1.00" in diameter and the stem is 1.03" diameter, so I have a shim taking up the gap. That works well.

The drop bars are 0.93" diameter everywhere else other than the at the stem. The mountain bike bars, brake levers and thumb shifter have a 0.870” in diameter so nothing from those bars fits the road bars.


I have a pair of aero levers for the drop bars (hidden cable housings). Will the aero levers work with the cantilevered brakes?

I am especially in need of a way to mount my gear shift lever for my Shimano ALFINE 8 speed internally geared hub.


How can I install the thumb shifter without reaming out the shifter to fit the bars?

Last edited by Bad Lag; 09-08-18 at 08:02 PM.
Bad Lag is online now  
Old 09-08-18, 06:29 PM
  #2  
onyerleft
Senior Member
 
onyerleft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 485

Bikes: Pedaling for the Lord!

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 313 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 53 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
I want to install a drop handlebar on my mountain bike and I am really kind of stumped and flabbergasted. I don't mean I can't ever figure it out. I mean this is a lot more complicated than I thought.
It's difficult because mountain bike drop bar conversions anger the cycling gods.
onyerleft is offline  
Old 09-08-18, 06:29 PM
  #3  
wgscott
Occam's Rotor
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7,050
Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 2,136 Times in 1,054 Posts
I used bar-end shifters (Microshift that are Mtn Shimano 11-speed in my case). The levers will probably be ok. (I used TRP hydraulics so I cannot give advice.)

Also, mine wasn't technically a conversion because I started with a frame (and it was one designed for mountain drop-bars).

Probably the most cost-effective conversion would be to use trekking bars.
wgscott is offline  
Old 09-08-18, 09:07 PM
  #4  
Bad Lag
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 1,376

Bikes: 1975 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 501 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 76 Posts
So, I mounted the bars using a 3ttt road stem (quill stem). That gets me a set of bars and brakes.

The real trick is proving to be the shifters. They don't fit the road bars. I need to work something out because I don't want to buy anything just for this experiment.

Is it okay too run the ALFINE hub as a single speed (no cable, just let it fall into a gear and stay there for the duration of one ride)?
Bad Lag is online now  
Old 09-08-18, 09:50 PM
  #5  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 24,969
Mentioned: 202 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13293 Post(s)
Liked 1,782 Times in 1,347 Posts
Tektro makes a couple of reasonably priced brake levers.

RL520 work well with linear pull brakes (V-Brakes).
RL340 for other brakes.

I'm not sure where the Cantis fall. I've been using the Origin8 Classique levers on one bike which seem to be strong levers with a lot of pull for my old side-pull brake calipers.

TRP RRL also makes a good aero brake lever, but a little more expensive than Tektro or Origin8.

Microshift also sells a bar end shifter for the Alfine 8. I haven't tried it, but it is worth looking at.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 09-08-18, 10:14 PM
  #6  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 11,630

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2266 Post(s)
Liked 941 Times in 621 Posts
Cheap version: start with an 80s MTB with cantilever brakes and downtube shifters and donít worry about anything.
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 09-08-18, 10:45 PM
  #7  
gugie 
Dilberteur at large
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 9,049

Bikes: It's complicated.

Mentioned: 988 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3173 Post(s)
Liked 1,417 Times in 722 Posts
Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
So, I mounted the bars using a 3ttt road stem (quill stem). That gets me a set of bars and brakes.

The real trick is proving to be the shifters. They don't fit the road bars. I need to work something out because I don't want to buy anything just for this experiment.

Is it okay too run the ALFINE hub as a single speed (no cable, just let it fall into a gear and stay there for the duration of one ride)?
An Alfine wheelset would fetch a decent price if you wanted to swap it out for derailleur type hubs.
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is offline  
Old 09-08-18, 11:50 PM
  #8  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,453
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1000 Post(s)
Liked 196 Times in 147 Posts
Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
Is it okay too run the ALFINE hub as a single speed (no cable, just let it fall into a gear and stay there for the duration of one ride)?
Sure, no problem. Whether thatíll actually tell you enough about the configuration is another thing. You could even use just about anything to lock the cable to any intermediate gear you wish. Iíd suggest the one with the helpful adjustment markings.

Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
I don't want to buy anything just for this experiment.
Then it might get difficult. Not everything can be MacGyvered at zero cost with a reasonable effort and acceptable results.
One option is to carve a wooden dowel, one end to fit into the bar end, the other to fit the shifter.
without knowing whatís in your parts bin, thatís the lowest cost option I can think of.
Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
The real trick is proving to be the shifters.
Or it might have been the front derailer. Or brake pull. Or flat-mount vs Post Mount calipers.
Or....
Drop bar conversions do hold some traps for the unwary.

Last edited by dabac; 09-08-18 at 11:55 PM.
dabac is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 12:11 AM
  #9  
Bad Lag
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 1,376

Bikes: 1975 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 501 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 76 Posts
Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Then it might get difficult. Not everything can be MacGyvered at zero cost with a reasonable effort and acceptable results.
One option is to carve a wooden dowel, one end to fit into the bar end, the other to fit the shifter.
without knowing whatís in your parts bin, thatís the lowest cost option I can think of.
Ha HAH!, great minds think alike.

What I am struggling with is how best to hold the dowel rod to the bar. I need a bracket or hose clamp (ugh!) or ... I'll work it out tomorrow.

I have also been thinking about an aluminum bracket to hold the shifter.
Bad Lag is online now  
Old 09-09-18, 12:15 AM
  #10  
Bad Lag
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 1,376

Bikes: 1975 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 501 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 76 Posts
Originally Posted by gugie View Post
An Alfine wheelset would fetch a decent price if you wanted to swap it out for derailleur type hubs.
I don't want to sell the hub. It is really great. It is the heart of this bike.

If it weren't so ridiculously expensive (~$500), I'd like to try an 11 speed ALFINE hub.

If eight is great!
Then, eleven
would be heaven!
Bad Lag is online now  
Old 09-09-18, 12:17 AM
  #11  
zze86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 664
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 238 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well would you look at that, I guessed right.
zze86 is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 12:20 AM
  #12  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,453
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1000 Post(s)
Liked 196 Times in 147 Posts
Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
Ha HAH!, great minds think alike.

What I am struggling with is how best to hold the dowel rod to the bar.
Option 1: press fit. Assuming a metal bar, not a problem. Tap it in.
Option 2: hot glue. Size for a loose fit. Heat bar until hot glue smears. Apply glue inside bar and insert dowel.
dabac is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 06:29 AM
  #13  
jj1091
Mike J
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Jacksonville Florida
Posts: 1,609

Bikes: 1975 Peugeot PX-50L, 1971 Peugeot PX-10, 1974 Peugeot PX-8

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
You might want to check out this thread, lots and lots of MTB conversions.
​​​​​​Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions
jj1091 is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 08:15 AM
  #14  
av1
Senior Member
 
av1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Bulgaria
Posts: 90

Bikes: 1994 Specialized rockhopper comp , 1994 Scott Boulder Tange tubing, 1993 Bianchi 26inch tourer converted to drop bar with 28mm /1.1/ road tires

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 11 Posts
Pure cycles offer a 22.2mm drop bar that will fit mtb shifters.
av1 is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 08:46 AM
  #15  
leftthread
Senior Member
 
leftthread's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Land of Cheese
Posts: 972
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 15 Posts
Ah, the elegant aesthetics of the stem shifter.
There's gotta be some wandering around in your parts bin?
leftthread is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 08:54 AM
  #16  
brian3069 
Senior Member
 
brian3069's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,815

Bikes: Raleigh Supercourse

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 188 Post(s)
Liked 112 Times in 66 Posts
Could the shift lever be mounted to the stem. The diameter of the stem would have to be increased with tape or something.
brian3069 is online now  
Old 09-09-18, 02:27 PM
  #17  
Bad Lag
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 1,376

Bikes: 1975 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 501 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 76 Posts
I had a little bit more success today when I recognized the stem diameter is the proper size for attaching the gear shift lever. I have attached the shifter to the vertical portion of the stem. The cable routing is far from perfect but the shifter is on the bike with no bracketry of any type needed for this little test.
Bad Lag is online now  
Old 09-09-18, 02:46 PM
  #18  
Bad Lag
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 1,376

Bikes: 1975 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 501 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 76 Posts
Originally Posted by jj1091 View Post
You might want to check out this thread, lots and lots of MTB conversions.
​​​​​​Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions
Thanks for the idea. I did look there first, however, that tends to be a photo thread not a "how to". The little details either aren't given or they get lost in page-after-page of text (currently at 247 pages).
Bad Lag is online now  
Old 09-09-18, 03:49 PM
  #19  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 22,599

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 79 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 906 Post(s)
Liked 316 Times in 237 Posts
Two cheapest routes on drop bar conversion shifters:

1. Stem shifters.

2. Thumb shifters that have steel mounting bands. Longer screw and you are good to go.

On handlebars itís easiest to start with a stem with a face plate. Kalloy makes a low priced one. Manuveuring a set of drops through a MTB stem can sometimes be tough although thatís what I usually do.

in your case case I would consider the 22mm drops mentioned above.

i tend to use bar end shifters on my conversions as I have a drawer full.
wrk101 is offline  
Old 09-09-18, 04:21 PM
  #20  
Bad Lag
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 1,376

Bikes: 1975 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 501 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 76 Posts
A point of clarification - this is an 8 speed internally geared hub. It uses a "digital" click shifter not an "analog" friction shifter. I am not sure how easy an "analog" friction shifter would be to use (fishing for gears).

When I get this test ride done, I will have to evaluate the various options you people have mentioned. It's a nice bike but I'm pretty sure I don't want to spend $200 on a set of brifters for it, especially since I have been very happy with the thumb shifters. They work well on flat bars.

Pure Cycles Handlebars - These cost only $26, so they are likely hard to beat.

Last edited by Bad Lag; 09-09-18 at 04:26 PM.
Bad Lag is online now  
Old 09-09-18, 04:31 PM
  #21  
Bad Lag
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: So Cal, for now
Posts: 1,376

Bikes: 1975 Bob Jackson - Nuovo Record, Brooks Pro, Clips & Straps

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 501 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 76 Posts
Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
On handlebars itís easiest to start with a stem with a face plate. Kalloy makes a low priced one. Manuveuring a set of drops through a MTB stem can sometimes be tough although thatís what I usually do.
The bars fit both the 3ttt road stem and the original mountain bike stem (using a thin shim). The problem now is just the shifter. Those bars may just be my eventual solution.
Bad Lag is online now  
Old 09-10-18, 12:36 AM
  #22  
av1
Senior Member
 
av1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Bulgaria
Posts: 90

Bikes: 1994 Specialized rockhopper comp , 1994 Scott Boulder Tange tubing, 1993 Bianchi 26inch tourer converted to drop bar with 28mm /1.1/ road tires

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 11 Posts
Cheap and cheerful with Pure cycles drop bar.

av1 is offline  
Old 09-10-18, 04:35 PM
  #23  
MarcoBianchi
Senior Member
 
MarcoBianchi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Saragossa. Spain
Posts: 260

Bikes: Peugeot Mont Blanc . Bianchi 28c 1980. Coppi Giro di Lombardia. Vitoria Vintage 1990. Orbea Luarca 1977. Trek 950.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 9 Posts
I bought this bar from China in 2015. I installed a MTB thumbie without a hassle. The bike was sold.
https://m.es.aliexpress.com/item/205...tem.2052639859
MarcoBianchi is offline  
Old 09-11-18, 08:08 AM
  #24  
JaccoW
Overdoing projects
 
JaccoW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Posts: 2,006

Bikes: Batavus Randonneur GL, Gazelle Orange Excellent, Gazelle Super Licht, Gazelle Grand Tourist, Gazelle Lausanne, Gazelle Tandem, Koga-Miyata SilverAce, Koga-Miyata WorldTraveller

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 657 Post(s)
Liked 688 Times in 429 Posts
More expensive options for shifting an Alfine 8-speed hub on drop bars:
JaccoW is offline  
Old 09-11-18, 08:27 AM
  #25  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,453
Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1000 Post(s)
Liked 196 Times in 147 Posts
Another option is drop bar ends on a flat bar.
dabac is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.