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I'm tired of my flat bars. I want drops.

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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

I'm tired of my flat bars. I want drops.

Old 07-28-13, 01:38 AM
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slowwwride
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I'm tired of my flat bars. I want drops.

Hey guys,

I'm new to road biking, coming from MTB, and BMX stuff when I was younger. I have an internet beater single speed that I have been riding around my city and going for long rides on. I enjoy working out on this bike (on the SS side), but as I've been going on longer and longer rides my hands ache and go numb. I generally ride about 25 miles at a good pace, with flat to semi-decent hilly terrain. I'm not dehydrated and the fit on my bike is good. I want to put drop bars on my bike so I can have a few hand positions to choose from. I just want to be able to switch it up here and there. So all I have to do is buy new a new bar, brakes and levers. The problem? I don't know where to start. My beater single speed is a Vilano Rampage. Here's a link to the bike: https://www.amazon.com/Vilano-Rampage.../dp/B00CTLHWUE

I've done some stuff to it already. I had a good saddle laying around so I subbed that in there. It has good Shimano pads now and some other minor stuff. Thanks in advance. I know bars would probably be around $50.00, and the brakes and so forth could be pricier. And I know some might question wanting to put money into this bike but I kind of want to do the work and I like tweaking with things. I just need some guidance. Thanks
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Old 07-28-13, 01:45 AM
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You can use the brakes you already have, but you'll probably need new cables and housing. You'll need to make sure your new bars match the clamp size of your stem. Are you looking for any particular kind of drop (classic, anatomic, compact, flared, etc)?
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Old 07-28-13, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
You can use the brakes you already have, but you'll probably need new cables and housing. You'll need to make sure your new bars match the clamp size of your stem. Are you looking for any particular kind of drop (classic, anatomic, compact, flared, etc)?
sounds like he might want hoods, which would explain the need for new levers and a pricier outcome.
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Old 07-28-13, 01:49 AM
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I meant the calipers. No need to go replacing those.
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Old 07-28-13, 01:55 AM
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I'm looking for something not too aggressive, certainly not pure track drops. I ride with both front and rear brakes. The clamp on my stem reads "5 Nm" but I don't know what that means.
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Old 07-28-13, 01:57 AM
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Yeah, no I don't want to necessarily replace the calipers. They seem to be fine, though they come out of adjustment frequently. I just assumed that I couldn't reuse my current levers with road drops of course. It would look pretty damn funny.
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Old 07-28-13, 02:20 AM
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Yeah, you could probably reuse those levers on a drop bar, but you'd be missing out on the best hand position by doing so.

5 Nm is a torque specification and has nothing to do with the actual clamp diameter. I'm guessing it's 25.4 mm, as that's the most common clamp size for risers (besides 31.8, which it is definitely not) so you can start your search there.

As for levers, I use Cane Creek on one of my bikes, and TRP on the other. The Cane Creek levers have more of a fat boxy shape to the hoods, whereas the TRP are more slim and curvy. Both are great. Lots of people use Tektro levers as well.

There are so many options that it's tough to recommend just one setup.
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Old 07-28-13, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
Yeah, you could probably reuse those levers on a drop bar, but you'd be missing out on the best hand position by doing so.

5 Nm is a torque specification and has nothing to do with the actual clamp diameter. I'm guessing it's 25.4 mm, as that's the most common clamp size for risers (besides 31.8, which it is definitely not) so you can start your search there.

Ahh, yes I realized that after a tiny bit of internet research.

As for levers, I use Cane Creek on one of my bikes, and TRP on the other. The Cane Creek levers have more of a fat boxy shape to the hoods, whereas the TRP are more slim and curvy. Both are great. Lots of people use Tektro levers as well.

There are so many options that it's tough to recommend just one setup.
Ahh yes I realized that with a little bit of internet research . I did not use a torque wrench when I assembled my bicycle, but I took it to a shop to get looked over and tuned up after I did it. They adjusted things appropriately. I do want to get hoods and a new bar. The stock brakes themselves are ok, but not great. The calipers can stay for now but I want new levers. A decent set of drops (I'm not terribly concerned about the weight of my bike because it is relatively heavy to begin with for a road bike) and some new levers would help me out a lot. That and the other random components I may need to get it up and running. I'm trying to figure out the clamp measurements now. I think I'll keep the current caliper brakes, as mediocre as they are, and get new levers and a set of drops + other necessary components to make the conversion.
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Old 07-28-13, 07:40 AM
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The FSA Omega bars are quite a deal. They have the same basic shape as the Wing Pros that they replace but don't have the flat tops. They are a nice set of bars for $35.00. The stem clamp area is 31.8 so you might have to get a new stem. No big deal, the whole world is going 31.8 and your choices now and in the future are from a far larger pool. Lizard Skins are the ticket to bar tape but they cost just what the Omegas do, they feel more real than any silicone I've ever tried. There's good stuff in the ten to fifteen buck range.

For hoods/brakes I can't help. I run a single cross lever (similar, if not identical, to what you have now).
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Old 07-28-13, 07:47 AM
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Oh yeah. Brake cables and housing.

Get them here.

A dollar a foot with ferrules the little end crimps is about as good as it gets. Carolyn also has brake cables for just a few bucks. Order a new on for the back brake and use your existing cable for the front to save a few bucks.

The mailman should have your order to you about the time you close your laptop. She's fast to ship.
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Old 07-28-13, 07:56 AM
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You need to know the diameter of your bars, probably 25.4 or close. Stay with that, it's fine...plenty to choose from, new and used on eBay, or pop for some Nittos. Watch the width, 40" or narrower means your hands are going to be pretty close together, good for traffic but not that comfortable for long rides. Favorite low cost brake levers are Shimano Exage (action) levers, they are circa 1999's, different colors, spring loaded and feel great, and they've got a very cool quick release for changing tires. They are constantly available on eBay, many NOS. Some new wires/cable and tape, you're done.
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Old 07-28-13, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
Oh yeah. Brake cables and housing.

Get them here.

A dollar a foot with ferrules the little end crimps is about as good as it gets. Carolyn also has brake cables for just a few bucks. Order a new on for the back brake and use your existing cable for the front to save a few bucks.

The mailman should have your order to you about the time you close your laptop. She's fast to ship.
Also gonna need a good cable cutter, unless he plans on having a shop install the stuff.
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