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Upgrading Giant Escape to drop bars?

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Upgrading Giant Escape to drop bars?

Old 04-08-16, 05:26 PM
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gopherit
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Upgrading Giant Escape to drop bars?

I've been riding a Giant Escape 3 for a little while now, and I really like the bike considering how cheap it was. I mostly ride for fun/exercise and I ride less than a mile to class, and will soon be riding a couple miles to work. Everything has been pretty satisfactory, but now I'd love to switch it over to a set of drop bars.

Can anyone a little more experienced with this try to shed some light on what this will all entail?

If I switch to drop bars, I'll also have to switch my controls over to match, right?
Does this mean I'd probably have to upgrade from the Shimano Tourney setup that's currently on the bike, or would I be able to switch to an integrated shifter/brake lever setup without changing derailleurs etc? (I realize the Tourney setup is a pretty cheap, and I think I'd like something a little faster at some point anyway!)


A followup question:
Do you think it's worth investing the money to switch bars and controls (and shifting components if necessary) on this bike, or do you think I'd be better off starting a project bike with a new frame set?
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Old 04-08-16, 05:39 PM
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I've converted bikes in the other direction. You'll need bars, shifters, and brake levers (possibly integrated levers / shifter), at the very least, plus bar tape. I suspect that in most cases you will also need all new cables.

It's easy to estimate the cost looking at niagracycle or Amazon, even if you plan on buying everything at your LBS.

The upgrade / replace question is always a dilemma. The economics depend a lot on your mechanical skills. I've tend towards making incremental upgrades, for years, but am actually thinking about getting a new bike at this point.
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Old 04-08-16, 05:50 PM
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I recently purchased an escape 2 and it came with the super wide MTB bars. They just didn't feel right to me on the road so i just recently went through the whole ordeal of figuring out if i should cut them a bit shorter or get a different bar.. In the end after much research i came to the conclusion that it is quite a bit of work and it does take some replacing of components which in my case as they were brand new i would not want to do. What i ended up doing was cutting the bars a bit more narrow and adding bar ends then taping them with bar tape. This way i did not have to replace anything.

This worked surprisingly well as honestly the only reason for drop bars for me is the position on the hoods which this mimics a bit. I would not spend any time on the drops anyways on this bike.

In the second picture also bought 28mm tires and new flat pedals..



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Old 04-08-16, 05:59 PM
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This can definitely be done, but I don't think it would be worth it. You could get long-pull brakes levers (to work with V-brakes) and bar end shifters, or get a set of brifters and switch your brakes to cantilevers. You wouldn't need to change your rear derailer, but you'd need to confirm front derailer compatibility with whatever shifters you get.

It looks like the Giant Escape 3 has a relatively long top tube, since it's intended to fit with a flat bar. This means that if you were to switch to drops, you'd likely feel very stretched out, even with a shorter stem. I can't imagine it would be a very comfortable ride.

All that said, I've built up a bike where I switch between drops and flat bars. It seems like plenty of people do make the conversion work. You just need to be a deliberate about your component choices. The comment above about pricing everything out is great advice. I'd say rather than sink money into a conversion, maybe look into getting another bike.

EDIT: Bar ends, like in the post above, are also a great idea to get some more hand positions with your current setup. Nice bike Nao_lin!
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Old 04-08-16, 06:17 PM
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gopherit
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Nice ride! Maybe I'll have to look into bar ends as well! I just know I really like the feeling/position of drop bars on some older bikes I've ridden, so the bar ends might get that comfort with the least amount of time and money!

Also thanks Primal Pete for pointing out how long of a reach drop bars would probably be. I hadn't really considered the geometry of my frame too much!

Last edited by gopherit; 04-08-16 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 04-08-16, 06:22 PM
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I converted a Giant Rapid 2 last year to a drop bar. But the Rapid is more of a flat-bar road bike anyway, with caliper brakes and frame similar to its dropbar cousin, the Defy. For me it was just a simple matter of swapping in a drop bar with used STI shifters. Cost me a bit over $100, but I love the ride.

For you, because you've got v-brakes it might be trickier. For the cost of doing it with half-decent components frankly it's not worth it. A set of STI shifters, let's say 8-speed Sora triple and a set of bars used would be about $100.

Then a set of canti brakes, let's say Shorty 4's, is $60 new, but perhaps they can be had cheaper used, but not that easy to find.

You can hold on to your drivetrain, but will have to swap out your 7-speed cassette for 8-speed. No biggie. They're relatively cheap.

You could make the conversion for about $200.

I'd save the money toward a new/used road bike with drop bars if I were you. You could probably find something decent in the $400-500 range used, like an alloy frame w/composite fork and Sora, and possibly Tiagra.
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Old 04-08-16, 06:31 PM
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Thanks! i'm very happy with it. I don't think i'm going to change/upgrade anything else. As others have mentioned, I think spending more money would just be better of going towards savings towards a better/different bike if i ever wanted something different.

Last edited by Nao_lin; 04-08-16 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 04-08-16, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I converted a Giant Rapid 2 last year to a drop bar. But the Rapid is more of a flat-bar road bike anyway, with caliper brakes and frame similar to its dropbar cousin, the Defy. For me it was just a simple matter of swapping in a drop bar with used STI shifters. Cost me a bit over $100, but I love the ride.

For you, because you've got v-brakes it might be trickier. For the cost of doing it with half-decent components frankly it's not worth it. A set of STI shifters, let's say 8-speed Sora triple and a set of bars used would be about $100.

Then a set of canti brakes, let's say Shorty 4's, is $60 new, but perhaps they can be had cheaper used, but not that easy to find.

You can hold on to your drivetrain, but will have to swap out your 7-speed cassette for 8-speed. No biggie. They're relatively cheap.

You could make the conversion for about $200.

I'd save the money toward a new/used road bike with drop bars if I were you. You could probably find something decent in the $400-500 range used, like an alloy frame w/composite fork and Sora, and possibly Tiagra.
Thanks for breaking that all down, you rock!
It's been hard trying to mentally figure out the logistics without tearing apart my only bike for weeks straight!

I think I agree, I'll probably throw on a set of bar ends for now, and start looking into a road bike with drops.
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Old 04-08-16, 11:08 PM
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Rarely is it worth the cost of conversion. You'd be much better off putting the money into a bike with geometry and components designed for drop bars.

If your frame was a special, one of a kind design or had some sentimental value I'd say go for it, but this doesn't appear to be the case.

Sell the Escape. Combine the money you get from the sale with the money you were gonna put into it and go buy a drop bar bike.


-Kedosto
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Old 04-09-16, 09:24 AM
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N+1.. buy a Cross, Same wheel type, Or Road, skinnier tire , Bike. then you own 2, and so have a backup.
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Old 04-09-16, 09:30 AM
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It doesn't make economic sense. Your bike is entry level. To make the conversion, you would spend more than your bike is worth and you would still have, more or less, an entry level bike.
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Old 04-09-16, 01:49 PM
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If you found used drop bars, a seatpost with a little less setback, and a shorter stem, you could put your current shifters and brakes on the drop bars, or at least the shifters and use your existing v-brakes with something like this Tektro RL520 Lever Set. They have the proper cable pull for v-brakes.

Say $50 for seatpost and stem, and you can get the linear-pull levers for $20-50 depending on whether you can find them used and how fussy you are on brands and such.

Much cheaper than trying to convert to actual road components, and would at least let you try out the fit and hand positions. Adjustable stem is an option if you're looking to figure out what you like for a future purchase as well.

Last edited by Viich; 04-09-16 at 01:55 PM. Reason: Better description of the Linear-pull drop bar levers & cost.
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Old 04-09-16, 07:09 PM
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I would say go for it if you had a bunch of spare parts looking for a home, but since you don't I would look on Craigslist for a road bike. I bet you could find quite a nicer 5 or 6 year old alloy bike with a nice drive train for about what it would cost you to do the conversion.
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Old 06-02-20, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Nao_lin View Post
I recently purchased an escape 2 and it came with the super wide MTB bars. They just didn't feel right to me on the road so i just recently went through the whole ordeal of figuring out if i should cut them a bit shorter or get a different bar.. In the end after much research i came to the conclusion that it is quite a bit of work and it does take some replacing of components which in my case as they were brand new i would not want to do. What i ended up doing was cutting the bars a bit more narrow and adding bar ends then taping them with bar tape. This way i did not have to replace anything.

This worked surprisingly well as honestly the only reason for drop bars for me is the position on the hoods which this mimics a bit. I would not spend any time on the drops anyways on this bike.

In the second picture also bought 28mm tires and new flat pedals..
what length did you cut the bars to before adding the boxer bar ends. Looking to do the same thing.
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