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Road to Hybrid Conversion

Old 08-28-22, 09:26 AM
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blinky
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Road to Hybrid Conversion

My wife likes a straight bar but would like a more lightweight bike as is typically found among hybrids - I would have our LBS do the conversion but was wondering if any forum members have any thoughts on this idea ?
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Old 08-28-22, 11:09 AM
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So she wants a flat bar road bike. I wouldn't have a road bike converted. Giant sells the Fastroad. A lighter faster bike then most hybrids. There are probably other brands with similar offerings.

Their Escape hybrid is a bit heavier, But IMO would be a fine choice for a quick hybrid at a reasonable price.
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Old 08-28-22, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
So she wants a flat bar road bike. I wouldn't have a road bike converted. Giant sells the Fastroad. A lighter faster bike then most hybrids. There are probably other brands with similar offerings.

Their Escape hybrid is a bit heavier, But IMO would be a fine choice for a quick hybrid at a reasonable price.
Thanks for your thoughts - I guess I'd like to hear about the pros and cons of a conversion and if there would be technical obstacles to doing it - otherwise we're looking at it as a big plus in every category .
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Old 08-28-22, 06:09 PM
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Road bikes typically have shorter effective top tubes (the distance from the seat to the stem), because of the longer reach of the drop bars. Putting a flat bar on a road bike often shortens the bike quite a bit. This may work well or may not -- it just depends on what she's comfortable with. A longer stem than you anticipate may be needed.

In other areas, the rim brakes (assuming it has rim brakes) will probably take short-pull brake levers. Most modern flat bar brake levers are long-pull. Short-pull are available, both new and used, but it's rather important to know the type you need.

"Road" and "mountain" drivetrains are usually pretty compatible at 9-speed and below if I recall correctly. So if it's got a 9-speed derailleur from a road group, I think it will work. More detail here.

Flat bar components (brake levers and shifters) are available for road groups if you want absolutely no worries about stuff working correctly.
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Old 08-28-22, 07:29 PM
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The Cannondale Quick 1-4 are light and nimble flat bar bikes. The Trek FX4 is another great option but the Cannondale Quicks feel more sporty to me.
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Old 08-29-22, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
. Giant sells the Fastroad. A lighter faster bike then most hybrids.
.
The 2022 Giant Fast Road SL 3 looks pretty good - the video below promotes it well - 700X 32C tires and he mentions a weight of 10-11 kilos which is mid 20's in pounds - sounds too good to be true - thanks for mentioning the Fast Road !!


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Old 08-29-22, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
Road bikes typically have shorter effective top tubes (the distance from the seat to the stem), because of the longer reach of the drop bars. Putting a flat bar on a road bike often shortens the bike quite a bit. This may work well or may not -- it just depends on what she's comfortable with. A longer stem than you anticipate may be needed.

In other areas, the rim brakes (assuming it has rim brakes) will probably take short-pull brake levers. Most modern flat bar brake levers are long-pull. Short-pull are available, both new and used, but it's rather important to know the type you need.

"Road" and "mountain" drivetrains are usually pretty compatible at 9-speed and below if I recall correctly. So if it's got a 9-speed derailleur from a road group, I think it will work. More detail here.

Flat bar components (brake levers and shifters) are available for road groups if you want absolutely no worries about stuff working correctly.
Very good information and food for thought , thanks for posting !!
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Old 08-29-22, 07:52 AM
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Just to reinforce in part what hokiefyd says, a few points.

Most modern flat-bar road bikes -- which appears to be what you are looking to buy or create (conversion) -- of decent quality are going to be well under 25 lbs or so in weight. The Fastroad is a good example. Some are much lighter than that.

Assuming your spouse likes the fit, going the stock route is going to be much more cost effective than converting a road bike -- if cost matters. Also, geometry will be optimized for flat bars.

I'd look hard at the offerings by Trek (FX series), Giant (Fastroad), and Canyon (Roadlite https://www.canyon.com/en-us/hybrid-...ikes/roadlite/), if it were me. The latter especially sound like they might be precisely what you are looking for, but all three make excellent flat-bar road bikes.

Specialized, unfortunately, currently appears to have shrunk the Sirrus range (what I ride; I'm on my second), but I've attached a pic of mine (now down to 19.5 lbs with a few further replacement bits) just for interest. I'm a 'flat bar road-bike' guy; have been for years.


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Old 08-29-22, 08:39 AM
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It sounds like you are going to convert something you already have, in which case it would be good to know what that is.

I have a 1970 Raleigh Competition that I am thinking of doing something similar to, and what I'm considering is getting an extended height quill stem to threadless adapter for a start. Then I might just go with drop bars and add inline secondary levers. That will give me flat bars in the center (and I do like to ride with my hands close on narrow bars) and the original hoods for an extended position, plus the drops. Sort of the best of all worlds, and I won't have to mess with the brakes (which problem I was already trying to avoid). My reason for doing this is that I'm 73 with shoulder arthritis that limits being able to ride my old road bike.

Currently I have a Trek FX with an adjustable stem for a bit of additional rise, and butterfly bars, which I LOVE but I don't want to add weight to the Competition. For me, if I don't change position frequently my arm stiffens up and hurts, thus the butterfly bars or higher and closer drop bars which offer the same range of different positions.

Obviously the much lighter weight of any update of the Competition is very attractive, so I understand your wife's quest.

Last edited by mdarnton; 08-29-22 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 08-29-22, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
Just to reinforce in part what hokiefyd says, a few points.

Most modern flat-bar road bikes -- which appears to be what you are looking to buy or create (conversion) -- of decent quality are going to be well under 25 lbs or so in weight. The Fastroad is a good example. Some are much lighter than that.

Assuming your spouse likes the fit, going the stock route is going to be much more cost effective than converting a road bike -- if cost matters. Also, geometry will be optimized for flat bars.

I'd look hard at the offerings by Trek (FX series), Giant (Fastroad), and Canyon (Roadlite https://www.canyon.com/en-us/hybrid-...ikes/roadlite/), if it were me. The latter especially sound like they might be precisely what you are looking for, but all three make excellent flat-bar road bikes.

Specialized, unfortunately, currently appears to have shrunk the Sirrus range (what I ride; I'm on my second), but I've attached a pic of mine (now down to 19.5 lbs with a few further replacement bits) just for interest. I'm a 'flat bar road-bike' guy; have been for years.
I think you've convinced me to look at the current offerings for hybrids rather than a conversion - your bike looks nice , hers was roughly 15 years old and a tank - my (our) goal is for her to enjoy biking again .
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Old 08-29-22, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
It sounds like you are going to convert something you already have, in which case it would be good to know what that is.
Flat bars and much lighter weight is the goal - was thinking of buying a road bike and converting it to a hybrid but after reading the other posts, I think the current offerings of hybrid bikes are the better option to consider.

Last edited by blinky; 08-29-22 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 08-30-22, 08:53 AM
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I believe the upper level Trek carbon hybrid is around 20 lbs

some other hybrids (including previous/above mentioned) can be around 20 - 21 lbs with a few tweaks

one thing to consider : many hybrids have provision for just one water bottle - something to consider if long rides are in your plans ...

an adapter to mount an additional bottle on the seat tube (or wherever) - and/or a fanny pack that will hold a water bottle could be an option in this case
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Old 08-31-22, 12:02 AM
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You don't give a budget or use type? The roadlite carbon CF 8 and 9 are the lightest of the hybrids, under 20 and 19 lbs depending on size, but all above $2k. The CF9 is carbon everything but uses the ETAP system which adds back a bit of weight and complexity. The Giant FastRoad are also just under the 22lbs bar.
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Old 08-31-22, 04:00 AM
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It sounds like youíve already reached this conclusion, and I canít believe Iím agreeing with it :-), but I think you should help your wife find a new or used flat bar bike that she falls in love with as isóespecially if you are trying to renew her enthusiasm for riding.

I normally would relish the opportunity to experiment with components and layout for such a conversion, but since you would be having the LBS do it, and remembering that my own wife has limited patience with my wanting to fiddle with the configurations on her bikes, I think you should go for a purpose built one.
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Old 08-31-22, 09:35 AM
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I converted a Trek CrossRip into a 1x flat bar bike. It was a drop bar 2x, rode nice, but I was using it as a commuter and I liked a more upright position better for that scenario.

I put a carbon seat post and carbon bars on it and it really made the ride very comfortable, and I got the total weight down to about 20 lbs. I changed jobs and ended up selling it when the lack of bikes was heavy as I no longer needed the commuter.

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Old 08-31-22, 08:50 PM
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Have converted two road bikes to flat bar. They ride just as fast and with basically the same characteristics as they did as drop bar bikes. The two main secrets is to use the correct bar ends to get the flat bar road shifters.

My problem with drop bars is my hands go numb on long rides being parallel to the frame. Love my drop bar bike but after two hours my hands go numb even with extra padding. Same road bike after flat bar conversion I can go more than four hours. So have come up with the following solution.

ONZA long bar ends placed as low as possible on the flat bar can give a position just a little bit lower than ridding the hoods. Have them so your wrist just about touches the flat bar when going over it. This gives you a second wide grip that is more aero and not parallel to the bike frame like drop bars. Have tried the Origin 8 long bar ends. The angle just dose not suit me at all. Lizard skin bar end covers seem to work well for this. Again you want long "L" shaped bar ends pointed down not up. This mimics handle bar used in europe and not readily available here. Alt bars are fun.

Shimano and Microshift both make thumb shifters for road derailleurs. The Shimano ones even have half clicks for the front derailleur. Not sure about the Micorshift ones. This gives you the same road gear ratios and derailleurs as the drop bar crowed. The Hybrid bikes seem to have different gearing than road bikes.

In short I have a TREK FX and it is not at all like a road bike, If you want a flat bar road bike put a flat bar or Alt bar on a road bike. If you want a touring bike or a Hybrid bike get that kind of bike. They are mostly not as fast as a road bike but have their own advantages.
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Old 09-01-22, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by CFLBIKE View Post
In short I have a TREK FX and it is not at all like a road bike, If you want a flat bar road bike put a flat bar or Alt bar on a road bike. If you want a touring bike or a Hybrid bike get that kind of bike. They are mostly not as fast as a road bike but have their own advantages.
Thanks for the info , actually looking at the current hybrid bikes to replace a very old and heavy Specialized Sirrus Sport for my wife - she's not a hard core biker but just wants a flat bar that's light and comfortable - the two options I thought of was to (1) buy road and refit/convert to flat bar or (2) just look at hybrids - this bike I saw on the Canyon website and seems to be a good build for the money ,Roadlite 7 | CANYON US - check it out and tell me what you think .

I'm staying with my 2003 Litespeed Tuscany that has been updated from Campy Chorus with Ergo to Shimano Ultegra 8000 , brakes and drivetrain .

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Old 09-01-22, 07:19 PM
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That Canyon looks like a great bike for the money. Better components than my Cannondale Quick 1 and less money than the current version.

https://www.cannondale.com/en-us/bik.../quick/quick-1
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Old 09-11-22, 09:18 AM
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blinky....that Canyon should make your wife very happy!
If you're still thinking about a conversion here's a thread about my swap.
I've since removed the front shifter and hardware including the outer ring. The gearing is suitable for the terrain I ride. Besides I think it looks cleaner (I'm a SS fan )
Drops to Flat Bar conversion - Help Plz
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