Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Changing drop bars to flats on Marrakesh

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Changing drop bars to flats on Marrakesh

Old 02-28-21, 10:01 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Changing drop bars to flats on Marrakesh

I'm just getting into touring and I'm looking for advice on changing my 2019 Salsa Marrakesh(size 52cm) drop bars to flat bars. Back and neck pain cause too much discomfort using the drops. Will the handling change very much when I put Soma Dream Riser flat/slight riser bars on it. I plan to cut the bars to 620mm length. I don't want to buy a new bike and have most of the components needed. I'm planning to keep the original stem so the bars are a little closer to me. Any advice or opinions are welcome. Thanks so much.
Ruthjacqui is offline  
Old 02-28-21, 01:40 PM
  #2  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,210
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2735 Post(s)
Liked 969 Times in 792 Posts
not to overly dissuade you, but what sort of stem do you have on the bike now? As you are a newcomer, I know you can't show photos yet, but if you can at some point, there may be hope of simply changing the stem that could bring your present bars up and towards you by a good amount.

here's a quick question, is the bike stock? Did the bike store you bought it from change the stem at any point? You can measure it , go "middle to middle" with a measuring tape, use millimeters to let us know the length.
Stems also can be angled a lot more up, as well as being shorter, also, how are tall are you? (trying to get an idea here if the frame is too big for you)
Also, are you 20 or 65?
One can also put stem extenders on, I bought one for a friend of mine facing the same issues as you, and it brought her bars up about 3, 4 inches, and with a shorter stem made a big difference for her.
djb is offline  
Old 02-28-21, 04:30 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,182

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3455 Post(s)
Liked 1,454 Times in 1,133 Posts
I would suggest you do not cut new bars until have have tried them for a few weeks. Then you can decide how much to cut. New stem can come later, if necessary. You mention you had the components, I assume you mean you already have brake levers and shifters.

If you might want to sell the bike later, you might want to retain the old parts.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 02-28-21, 04:45 PM
  #4  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,210
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2735 Post(s)
Liked 969 Times in 792 Posts
re a change in handling--Ive never ridden a Marrakesh, but I can relate your question to having my Surly Troll setup in various bars at times. Mtb bars similarish to yours, trekking bars and drops. I can only say that I didnt find any of the changes really earth shattering, and liked how it rode in mtb guise, but also in dropbar mode (have spent months on the bike with drops).
The obvious answer is that wider bars have a different feel at slower speeds and when going over and through technical stuff, just from a wider stance and more control at slow speeds when on rougher surfaces.

My winter commuter has bars pretty close to these bars, maybe less angle, but similar, and its great riding in snow where I can put in fast, precise steering corrections for slides etc, yet still feel in pretty good control.
I would highly suggest using bar ends , Ive ridden a lot with these types of bars and being able to change hand positions is crucial. I personally find ergo style grips to be a real bonus, and have a set of the pricier Ergon grips with built in bar ends, and I love how they feel and distribute pressure more evenly over your palms.
That said, I still find dropbars to be the most comfortable for touring, more hand positions and they still are my preference.
djb is offline  
Old 02-28-21, 07:55 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
DeadGrandpa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Carolina
Posts: 1,215

Bikes: Too many, yet not enough.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 492 Post(s)
Liked 311 Times in 201 Posts
My suggestion is to try trekking or butterfly handlebars. Like you, I am not in love with drop bars, so I went to butterfly handlebars on my pavement/gravel bike, but I went to the Jones H-bars for the bikepacking/gravel bike. If you're not interested in stretching forward and down to the drops, like me, try some alternative bars before you cut the flat bars.
DeadGrandpa is offline  
Old 02-28-21, 08:24 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 2,788

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1080 Post(s)
Liked 1,019 Times in 719 Posts
Shouldn't be much of an issue as others mentioned but stem position is a good question, lots of bikes today are being sent out with slammed stems, angled down, and longer then they need to be to match race bikes.
Wife took her bike out and within a 1/2 hour her wrists were hurting and her hands going numb. Took the time to measure her old bikes, set her reach based on those, got the bars up a bit with a new 17 degree, 80mm stem, and her next 1.5hr ride was completely pain and numbness free. Nothing wrong with a flat bar but I also like the greater number of hand positions a road bar offers.
Russ Roth is offline  
Old 02-28-21, 09:02 PM
  #7  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by djb
not to overly dissuade you, but what sort of stem do you have on the bike now? As you are a newcomer, I know you can't show photos yet, but if you can at some point, there may be hope of simply changing the stem that could bring your present bars up and towards you by a good amount.
  • here's a quick question, is the bike stock? Did the bike store you bought it from change the stem at any point? You can measure it , go "middle to middle" with a measuring tape, use millimeters to let us know the length.
Stems also can be angled a lot more up, as well as being shorter, also, how are tall are you? (trying to get an idea here if the frame is too big for you)
Also, are you 20 or 65?
One can also put stem extenders on, I bought one for a friend of mine facing the same issues as you, and it brought her bars up about 3, 4 inches, and with a shorter stem made a big difference for her.
Hi, Thank you for your response. I'm not sure if I'm responding in the correct place in this blog. The stem that I have is stock, 60mm @ 6 degrees. I tried a 75mm @ 35 degree stem with a 3" stem extender which was better but was still uncomfortable. It's my back between my shoulder blades mostly that gives me trouble. I found that if my arms are spread out more to the side rather than in front of me I am more comfortable. I'm 5' 3" and 62 y.o.
Ruthjacqui is offline  
Old 02-28-21, 09:15 PM
  #8  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Russ Roth
Shouldn't be much of an issue as others mentioned but stem position is a good question, lots of bikes today are being sent out with slammed stems, angled down, and longer then they need to be to match race bikes.
Wife took her bike out and within a 1/2 hour her wrists were hurting and her hands going numb. Took the time to measure her old bikes, set her reach based on those, got the bars up a bit with a new 17 degree, 80mm stem, and her next 1.5hr ride was completely pain and numbness free. Nothing wrong with a flat bar but I also like the greater number of hand positions a road bar offers.
I went from a 60mm and 6 degree stem to a 75mm and 35 degree stem with a 3" riser also. It was better but I found that my back between my shoulder blades still gave me pain. I do like the different positions of drop bars but found if my arms are held wider apart like on a flat bar rather than in front of me on the narrow drop bars it's much more comfortable. My other fitness bike has a flat bar which is very comfortable so I thought I'd switch my my touring Marrakesh to a flat bar. I'm hoping it doesn't make the bike twitchy which wouldn't be good carrying a load. I also use it on the road and rail trails.
Ruthjacqui is offline  
Old 02-28-21, 09:19 PM
  #9  
I am potato.
 
base2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 3,108

Bikes: Only precision built, custom high performance elitist machines of the highest caliber. 🍆

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1784 Post(s)
Liked 1,622 Times in 928 Posts
Mrs. Base2 has a drop bar Marrakesh. IIRC the OEM stem is about 70mm or 80mm & there is a geometry difference either in the head tube angle or rake between the drop & flat bar versions. I may be wrong on that though. (Speaking off the cuff.)

Bar width is a thing. Often narrower bars will put the force more in line with your arms & shoulders. Also, It's not necessarily bad thing to raise your bars to where the drops are reachable. Especially if the drops are a place you ride a lot in. It's not uncommon for people to ride on the hoods & have the drops so far down/away thet their lower back hurts when sitting on the seat. Sometimes they "get up on the rivet" to compensate & their hands do all the supporting. Ideally all hand positions are about equally comfortable & neutral.

A lot of people claim that the bars ought to be high, above or equal to the saddle, etc...I don't buy it. If your hands are going numb, there is too much weight on your hands. The solution there is to get the weight off your hands my making your core do some supporting. I suggest you lower the bars 1 spacer, or flip the stem & see what happens. Lower back or neck pain means it's time to re-evaluate & go back 1 step. Then raise the bars & see what happens.

Neck pain can be caused by wide bars, too close making for compressed shoulders & upper back radiating stiffness up to a tired neck, or conversely tired neck muscles from holding your head up to look forward like a time trialist. Both representing opposite extremes.

Everybody has different proportions. I'm all torso & arms. What is neutral & comfortable for me, is guarenteed to be different than for you. Your bike was designed around standard average proportions.

It's ok to experiment around flipping stems & spacers to get a feel which direction comfort lies.

Last edited by base2; 02-28-21 at 09:58 PM.
base2 is offline  
Old 02-28-21, 09:23 PM
  #10  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I would suggest you do not cut new bars until have have tried them for a few weeks. Then you can decide how much to cut. New stem can come later, if necessary. You mention you had the components, I assume you mean you already have brake levers and shifters.

If you might want to sell the bike later, you might want to retain the old parts.
Thank you for your suggestions. I will do that. Yes, I have Paul Thumbies for the bar end shifters and brake levers.
Ruthjacqui is offline  
Old 02-28-21, 09:29 PM
  #11  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Jones Bar

For my back problems, Jones Bar , 35 degree rise stem and Ergon grips helped a lot..
jay1680 is offline  
Likes For jay1680:
Old 02-28-21, 09:37 PM
  #12  
Pennylane Splitter
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,878

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1784 Post(s)
Liked 1,437 Times in 987 Posts
Not on a touring bike, but I did change to a flat bar with about 2 inches of rise (a BMX bar) on a single speed I built up that I've used for rides of up to 40 miles. It took a little finagaling over a few months, but the best position I found was when the bar's grip area is a little higher than my saddle and bar width is 57cm (vs a 46cm drop bar). I've seriously thought of changing my tourer to a similar set-up, maybe even a little wider on the bars for batter handling when loaded (usually doing credit card touring these days). Good luck to you.
skidder is offline  
Old 02-28-21, 09:41 PM
  #13  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by skidder
Not on a touring bike, but I did change to a flat bar with about 2 inches of rise (a BMX bar) on a single speed I built up that I've used for rides of up to 40 miles. It took a little finagaling over a few months, but the best position I found was when the bar's grip area is a little higher than my saddle and bar width is 57cm (vs a 46cm drop bar). I've seriously thought of changing my tourer to a similar set-up, maybe even a little wider on the bars for batter handling when loaded (usually doing credit card touring these days). Good luck to you.
Thank you.
Ruthjacqui is offline  
Old 03-01-21, 07:07 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 11,182

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3455 Post(s)
Liked 1,454 Times in 1,133 Posts
Originally Posted by Ruthjacqui
Thank you for your suggestions. I will do that. Yes, I have Paul Thumbies for the bar end shifters and brake levers.
In that case, you could keep the brake levers, brake cables and handlebar tape on your bars, thus if you sold the bike later it would be easy to put the stock stuff back on. Could also leave the parts of the shifters that you do not use on the old bars too.

Might need new shifter cables and cable housing if that might be longer than current setup.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 03-01-21, 10:44 AM
  #15  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
In that case, you could keep the brake levers, brake cables and handlebar tape on your bars, thus if you sold the bike later it would be easy to put the stock stuff back on. Could also leave the parts of the shifters that you do not use on the old bars too.

Might need new shifter cables and cable housing if that might be longer than current setup.
I hadn't thought of leaving everything on the bars. That would make it much easier to switch back to the drops. Thanks for that idea.
Ruthjacqui is offline  
Old 03-01-21, 02:04 PM
  #16  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 13,210
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2735 Post(s)
Liked 969 Times in 792 Posts
Originally Posted by Ruthjacqui
Hi, Thank you for your response. I'm not sure if I'm responding in the correct place in this blog. The stem that I have is stock, 60mm @ 6 degrees. I tried a 75mm @ 35 degree stem with a 3" stem extender which was better but was still uncomfortable. It's my back between my shoulder blades mostly that gives me trouble. I found that if my arms are spread out more to the side rather than in front of me I am more comfortable. I'm 5' 3" and 62 y.o.
your situation sounds very similar to my friends situation. With her, its a shoulder issue that rears its ugly head, but in any case, if you have tried all these things and are still uncomfortable, then you know what you feel, we don't.
I hope trying these bars help.
It also should be said that the more regularly we ride, it can help with comfort, ie stronger legs = stronger and more regular pedalling = less weight on hands and bum, and also stronger core too......but in the end, if this bar change helps you, thats all that matters.

I know you have thumbie shifters, but deore level trigger shifters are reasonably priced and allow for easy, fast shifting. If ever you get tired of thumbies and want the control of shifting easily with hands still firmly on the grips, this is a time proven easy and reliable solution.

hope it works out
djb is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.