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Revisiting Drop Bars...

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Revisiting Drop Bars...

Old 11-07-22, 12:50 AM
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Revisiting Drop Bars...

So, this last weekend (Friday, that is) I was out and about on my steel vintage that I had brought back from the dead and hybridized. At some point I was bent over the flat bars and barreling down a very mild descent at 40+km/h, and I caught myself thinking, "oh, I could so use a pair of drop bars right now!"

And that pretty much ruined the rest of my ride!

So, I don't know. Maybe I should give drop bars - and drop-bar levers, maybe even brifters - another chance! And I say this even though I'm not doing too well on the weight loss front (more than anything, I think I may be sabotaging my own hard work!)

What I really need right now is some help (over)thinking this!
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Old 11-07-22, 01:06 AM
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The only solution is to buy another bike.
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Old 11-07-22, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist
The only solution is to buy another bike.
That's actually my Plan B 😁
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Old 11-07-22, 05:33 AM
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One can never have too many bicycles. A different one for every occassion and mood.
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Old 11-07-22, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist
The only solution is to buy another bike.
Best answer.
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Old 11-07-22, 09:19 AM
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If you are thinking of replacing your flat bar with drops, don't just stick a drop bar into the same stem at the same height, because then your primary position (on the hoods) will be about 4 inches farther away than it is currently. 4 inches is a lot to try and make up with a shorter stem - 101mm! That's almost the entire length of an average road bike stem! So, yeah - a dedicated drop bar bike may be the best solution. I hear the used bike market is getting cheaper, so maybe look there.

EDIT: Yes, go with brifters. Not only is it more convenient, but the shifting on bikes that have them is generally WAY better than any bike with downtube shifters. And if you're used to shifting without removing your hands from the bars, going to DT shifters can be jarring.
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Old 11-07-22, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
If you are thinking of replacing your flat bar with drops, don't just stick a drop bar into the same stem at the same height, because then your primary position (on the hoods) will be about 4 inches farther away than it is currently. 4 inches is a lot to try and make up with a shorter stem - 101mm! That's almost the entire length of an average road bike stem! So, yeah - a dedicated drop bar bike may be the best solution. I hear the used bike market is getting cheaper, so maybe look there.

EDIT: Yes, go with brifters. Not only is it more convenient, but the shifting on bikes that have them is generally WAY better than any bike with downtube shifters. And if you're used to shifting without removing your hands from the bars, going to DT shifters can be jarring.
Actually, the bike in question used to be a proper drop-bar one with DT shifters...



That looks like this today:




And yes, to ride this bike after almost two decades of being in storage and use the DT shifters after years of indexed twist and trigger flat-bar shifters was jarring. But those same DT shifters were perfectly fine way back in the 1990s they were all I knew and all I had, when I was a little skinnier and a little more flexible! Today, my stiffer body - and my stubborn pot belly - get in the way of a lot of things 😅
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Old 11-07-22, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir
Actually, the bike in question used to be a proper drop-bar one with DT shifters...



.... way back in the 1990s ...
The first bike on the ground during Operation Desert Storm?
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Old 11-07-22, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
The first bike on the ground during Operation Desert Storm?
Nah, this is a survivor of the Oil-for-Food Program I was too young for Desert Storm and I didn't even ride at the time; it was between senior high and freshman college and my parents were having a talking-to with me about my interest in riding bikes, along the lines that I was turning from a boy into a man (I was barely 17) and I should "stop playing with pedaled toys!" Different times!
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Old 11-08-22, 12:18 AM
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If you want to lose weight it is a simple formulae: Decrease caloric intake and increase exercise intensity and duration. For me, I cannot decrease the food intake very easily, as I don't overeat. I just crank up the mileage. You have to ride a lot to offset the increased hunger.
Looking at the photos, I would keep the frame and wheels, get a new modern drop bar and brifters, and any drivetrain parts to make it functional. Also think about pedals and shoes, shorts, gloves, and maybe a quick saddle adjustment (your saddle clamp is backwards for most people, hard to say without seeing you on the bike. Look at good riders about your size for fore and aft as well as leg extension). Personally, I would ride the wheels off a bike like that. Nothing wrong with it if you are comfortable on it.
By the way, nice looking handlebar conversion.
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Old 11-08-22, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by venturi95
If you want to lose weight it is a simple formulae: Decrease caloric intake and increase exercise intensity and duration... don't overeat... crank up the mileage... ride a lot to offset the increased hunger.
Did just that between July 2019 and March 2020 and lost 20 pounds. Needless to say, I gained most of it back...

Originally Posted by venturi95
your saddle clamp is backwards
That's on purpose. My legs and I just feel better sitting closer to the middle of the wheelbase and the vertical of the bottom bracket. I like the way the bike handles this way. I tend to do the same with my bikes, going so to replacing offset seatposts with zero-offset

Originally Posted by venturi95
By the way, nice looking handlebar conversion.
Thank you! I spent a day (and I forget how many hundreds of dollars) doing it. No regrets there!

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Old 11-10-22, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir
So, this last weekend (Friday, that is) I was out and about on my steel vintage that I had brought back from the dead and hybridized. At some point I was bent over the flat bars and barreling down a very mild descent at 40+km/h, and I caught myself thinking, "oh, I could so use a pair of drop bars right now!"

And that pretty much ruined the rest of my ride!

So, I don't know. Maybe I should give drop bars - and drop-bar levers, maybe even brifters - another chance! And I say this even though I'm not doing too well on the weight loss front (more than anything, I think I may be sabotaging my own hard work!)

What I really need right now is some help (over)thinking this!

I have used these at speeds of greater than 45 MPH, and they work well. It's a $22 easy button for you.

https://www.amazon.com/Venzo-Road-Bi...43619729&psc=1
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Old 11-10-22, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Shadco
Best answer.
Agree. Its an expensive switch. Besides bars, and probably a different stem, you likely have mt. bike shifters, brakes, derailers, etc..... shifters change, derailers change, you need a modification to make V brake (?) work, etc.....etc.....

I'd just look on Cragslist for a good condition used road bike,
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Old 11-18-22, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir
So, this last weekend (Friday, that is) I was out and about on my steel vintage that I had brought back from the dead and hybridized. At some point I was bent over the flat bars and barreling down a very mild descent at 40+km/h, and I caught myself thinking, "oh, I could so use a pair of drop bars right now!"

And that pretty much ruined the rest of my ride!

So, I don't know. Maybe I should give drop bars - and drop-bar levers, maybe even brifters - another chance! And I say this even though I'm not doing too well on the weight loss front (more than anything, I think I may be sabotaging my own hard work!)

What I really need right now is some help (over)thinking this!
My first reaction is to ask why you changed over to hybrid bars in the first place. Was it in order to get a more upright position? I have been down this same route. I converted my first road bike to hybrid bars because my back and neck can't deal with an aggressive bent over position. But I like integrated road shifters, so I decided to give road bars another try. I got a more upright stem and short reach drop bars. I also tilted them up slightly. The result is a position with zero saddle to handlebar drop. That works for me.

The stem you have looks like it's adjustable. Can you raise it anymore?

As others have said, converting to road bars and integrated shifters will be an expensive conversion. You will need new derailleurs along with the new shifters and may need different brake calipers. Many recent road bikes are what are called endurance bikes and have a more upright geometry. Your bike's geometry looks very aggressive.

Last edited by Lombard; 11-18-22 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 11-19-22, 01:24 AM
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I'm not very flexible, and certainly not as flexible as I used to be in 1995, back when this used to be the do-it-all daily conveyance. Between my lack of flexibility and my losing battle with my potbelly (I won that war just before COVID, but I've been eating my feelings lately) the flat bar conversation seemed to make sense... until I actually did it and rode the bike and realized that maybe I should've had a little more discipline and stuck with drop bars!

With that being said, I have a set of NOS Sora 2x7 brifters that the shipping agent should be dropping off any day now. I still have the original drop bars; all I need is some new bar tape that I can pick up locally. I still have the original, non-adjustable quill stem, but I'm going to be using the adjustable one for now. Other than that - brake/shift cables, ferrules and what not - I've got everything I need.
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Old 11-19-22, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir
I'm not very flexible, and certainly not as flexible as I used to be in 1995, back when this used to be the do-it-all daily conveyance. Between my lack of flexibility and my losing battle with my potbelly (I won that war just before COVID, but I've been eating my feelings lately) the flat bar conversation seemed to make sense... until I actually did it and rode the bike and realized that maybe I should've had a little more discipline and stuck with drop bars!

With that being said, I have a set of NOS Sora 2x7 brifters that the shipping agent should be dropping off any day now. I still have the original drop bars; all I need is some new bar tape that I can pick up locally. I still have the original, non-adjustable quill stem, but I'm going to be using the adjustable one for now. Other than that - brake/shift cables, ferrules and what not - I've got everything I need.
If you have issues with flexibility, I would not use your old handlebars. There are some good short reach road bars here:

https://ritcheylogic.com/bike/handlebars

Make sure your stem attachment is compatible. Most newer road bars are 31.8mm.
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Old 11-19-22, 09:55 AM
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Yes, a new-to-you bike. After you did all the work to change over to a flat bar, leave it alone. It's still a good bike. Everyone needs at least 2 bikes. You go out in the garage and the bike has a flat. You just grab the other one and fix the flat later. Etc.

But really, what you'll find on the used market will be bikes which were put together with components which were all current at the time. IOW, they all work properly together. That's the main thing. You'll love it.
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Old 11-19-22, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lombard
If you have issues with flexibility, I would not use your old handlebars. There are some good short reach road bars here:

https://ritcheylogic.com/bike/handlebars

Make sure your stem attachment is compatible. Most newer road bars are 31.8mm.
If you're stuck with 26.0 stem clamp, there's Soma's Highway One bars, which are also short reach.
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Old 11-23-22, 08:33 PM
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Here we go again. I've been riding drop bar bikes for over 50 years, but I can't tell you whether you're going to like it or not, only that the new bikes are more comfortable and easier to use.

Go to a local shop that rents bikes and rent a road bike for a weekend, and see if you like it. Even better, get out of town where there are some roads you'd like to explore, and find a shop there. And make sure the shop takes a few minutes to set you up right on it.
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Old 11-24-22, 09:35 AM
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I go back and forth on this so often I canít even count the times Iíve swapped. Iím in the same boat as you: a little too pudgy to entirely feel comfortable on drops. So right now, uprights are still winning for me, but I did just pick up a 91 Bianchi Volpe and Iím building it up with the original drops.

my advice: pick up another similar Raleigh in your size and keep the drops on it. Then youíd have both.
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Old 11-24-22, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by denaffen
I go back and forth on this so often I canít even count the times Iíve swapped. Iím in the same boat as you: a little too pudgy to entirely feel comfortable on drops. So right now, uprights are still winning for me, but I did just pick up a 91 Bianchi Volpe and Iím building it up with the original drops.
If you are pudgy, you might find that current drop handlebars with a shorter reach and a shallower drop much more comfortable than the original, period correct handlebars. But finding a stem compatible with both the frame and the 31.8 mm clamp diameter may be difficult.
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Old 11-24-22, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
If you are pudgy, you might find that current drop handlebars with a shorter reach and a shallower drop much more comfortable than the original, period correct handlebars. But finding a stem compatible with both the frame and the 31.8 mm clamp diameter may be difficult.
Pudgy has nothing to do with needing a shorter or higher reach. I have spinal issues, but am not pudgy. Bent over too far is painful. I need for the bars to be at least level with the saddle.
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Old 11-24-22, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Lombard
Pudgy has nothing to do with needing a shorter or higher reach. I have spinal issues, but am not pudgy. Bent over too far is painful. I need for the bars to be at least level with the saddle.
I am sorry to hear you have spinal issues. I did not say you were pudgy. I made my prior post in response to denaffen.
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Old 11-24-22, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
I am sorry to hear you have spinal issues. I did not say you were pudgy. I made my prior post in response to denaffen.
No offense taken. I was just clarifying other reasons for needing to be upright. It's all good.
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Old 11-24-22, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Lombard
Pudgy has nothing to do with needing a shorter or higher reach. I have spinal issues, but am not pudgy. Bent over too far is painful. I need for the bars to be at least level with the saddle.
Being pudgy has plenty to do with needing shorter reach and/or higher stack. You're not pudgy so you wouldn't know what it's like. Sorry to hear about your spinal issues. Not being able to breathe freely is just as painful. Kinda defeats the whole point of riding a bike by taking all the fun and enjoyment out of it.
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