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

Modifying a handle bars on a mtn bike into drop bars for touring. Anyone Done it?

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.

Modifying a handle bars on a mtn bike into drop bars for touring. Anyone Done it?

Old 04-07-12, 04:14 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: cherry hill, nj
Posts: 6,144
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Modifying a handle bars on a mtn bike into drop bars for touring. Anyone Done it?

After talking with Chris about touring bikes on our metric yesterday, he mentioned some simple changes I could do on my mtn bike commuter so it is more touring friendly. One thing that caught my eye was was the changing of the straight bars to drop bars. One thing that was a negative for me using my mtn bike as a touring bike was the fact that the straight handle bars did not allow many hand positions, something I really need. Even though I have bar end grips, it is just not enough hand position options for me.

So anyone ever take the straight handle bars and changed it out to drops bars? How was the feel of making the change? Did you like it?
chefisaac is offline  
Old 04-07-12, 07:36 AM
  #2  
eternalvoyage
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,256
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've had good success putting bar ends on bar ends, for added hand positions and body positions. They need to be selected carefully to work well together; but it can be done, and isn't difficult. There is a lot of room for adjustments and custom fitting.

I like these arrangements much better than drops.

Ergon grips are ergonomically designed to distribute the pressure on your hands, and many people find them to be much more comfortable than the more standard shapes. Well padded palms can help too.
Niles H. is offline  
Old 04-07-12, 08:41 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 217
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
you'd need to get some bar end shifters to make it work with your MTB RD, they are pretty inexpensive though. a cool setup would be drop bars with stopper brakes up top, the brake levers at the hood, cyclocross style. as for me, I had to give up MTB riding because of the bar position, it hurt my wrists to reach the shifters. I can ride drop bars all day though. top tube length might be a factor, some MTBs are pretty cramped.
Altamont is offline  
Old 04-07-12, 08:52 AM
  #4  
weirdo
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 1,962
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by chefisaac
So anyone ever take the straight handle bars and changed it out to drops bars? How was the feel of making the change? Did you like it?
Yes, many people. But it isn`t a simple swap.

The main obstacle is getting your bars in a comfortable position. Since drop bars put your hands further forward than flat bars in relation to the steerer, a bike that fits you well with a flat bar will most likely be too long with a drop bar. If your bike is on the small side for you, you stand a good chance of being able to find a stem to get you comfortable with a set of drop bars. Most people who make that switch end up with a very high and short reaching stem. My stem, for example, sticks up almost five inches above the headset and only three inches ahead of the steerer. There aren`t a lot of choices for stems like that, and you might not find one that works for your application. If switching stems, you also need to consider the quill diameter and the clamp diameter on the bar.

Once you have the bar in a good position, you`ll need to deal with the cockpit. Brake levers and shifters for flat bars won`t fit on drop bars, so they`ll need to be replaced (unless you`re a no-brake fixie type).

Bottom line, it can work very well in some situations, but you`ll need a lot of luck or a lot of know-how. Or a bit of both, of course. Here`s a nice thread dealing with mtb to tourer "conversions", not all bikes have been switched to drop bars, but many of them have, and you might get a few other ideas by browsing:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...highlight=love
rodar y rodar is offline  
Old 04-07-12, 09:29 AM
  #5  
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,789

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Liked 172 Times in 85 Posts
You can do it.

I went from this



to this



I picked up the handlebars and brake levers at a swap meet. I picked up the friction barcon shifters at a different swap meet. Shifting an indexed system in friction mode is much, much better than shifting a friction system; ramped cogs are da shizzl, and even without indexed shifters they make shifting very clean.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Old 04-07-12, 10:07 AM
  #6  
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by chefisaac
So anyone ever take the straight handle bars and changed it out to drops bars? How was the feel of making the change? Did you like it?
Are you quite sure you've posted this question in enough of the forums?
chasm54 is offline  
Old 04-07-12, 10:08 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NE IL
Posts: 675

Bikes: ICE Adventure 26FS, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Giant Cypress DX

Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Butterfly or trekking bars give you a lot of hand positions, and your existing MTB levers will (probably) transfer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IMG_2824.jpg (94.6 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg
IMG_2823.jpg (96.5 KB, 28 views)
Recycle is offline  
Old 04-07-12, 11:36 AM
  #8  
Bicyclerider4life
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Florida and Idaho
Posts: 1,077

Bikes: Huffy Beach Cruisers, Miami Sun Trike, Vertical PK7, KHS Montana Summit, Giant Cypress DX, Schwinn OCC Stingray

Liked 11 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by Recycle
Butterfly or trekking bars give you a lot of hand positions, and your existing MTB levers will (probably) transfer.
+1
__________________
"Whenever I see an adult riding a bicycle, I know there is hope for mankind." (H. G. Wells)
bicyclridr4life is offline  
Old 04-07-12, 12:41 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: cherry hill, nj
Posts: 6,144
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by chasm54
Are you quite sure you've posted this question in enough of the forums?
Have posted it here and in another forum. Anything wrong with that? Dont let it bug you my friend. Small thing in life. Getting others opinions is key.
chefisaac is offline  
Old 04-07-12, 12:58 PM
  #10  
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 19,685

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Liked 2,042 Times in 1,449 Posts
My wife has an REI bike that came that way originally. Hardtail MTB rig except that it has drop bars. Stem is very short, but works OK. No riser necessary. Ordinary road brifters to canti brakes. Shifters and brakes work fine. Of course you can shift MTB mech with road brifters. The brifters would be expensive, but you could go bar end and save money. No big deal on a tourer where you don't shift when out of the saddle. It makes a fine bike, already with touring gears.
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 04-07-12, 01:11 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 13,510
Liked 3,036 Times in 1,866 Posts


An early iteration of my bike. Now has higher seat, new stem, brake levers (Both aero levers and cross style interupter levers), and bars and have moved the shifters to out by the brake levers with Kelly Take-Offs.
__________________
Bikes: 1996 Eddy Merckx Titanium EX, 1989/90 Colnago Super(issimo?) Piu(?), 1990 Concorde Aquila(hit by car while riding), others in build queue "when I get the time"





himespau is online now  
Old 04-07-12, 01:23 PM
  #12  
The Drive Side is Within
 
Standalone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New Haven, CT, USA
Posts: 3,334

Bikes: Road, Cargo, Tandem, Etc.

Liked 44 Times in 28 Posts
having bar ends that turn in a good deal can get the job done-- I can use mine almost like aero bars on long flats into the wind.





edit: note the after/before fork action... it's funny how most of the guys who posted photos here have pointed out that things have continued to change on their bikes.
__________________
The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley
Standalone is offline  
Old 04-08-12, 05:59 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
dwmckee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,468

Bikes: Co-Motion Cappuccino Tandem,'88 Bob Jackson Touring, Co-Motion Cascadia Touring, Open U.P., Ritchie Titanium Breakaway, Frances Cycles SmallHaul cargo bike. Those are the permanent ones; others wander in and out of the stable occasionally as well.

Likes: 0
Liked 340 Times in 230 Posts
I tried this once on our tandem. I bought a set of bolt on drops for straight bars. They went inboard of the twist shifters. They were like anatomical bend drop bars. They sucked in practice as they looked right but you could never get a comfy position. I wound up swapping out bars, shifters, levers and all for ultegra brifters and a salsa drop bar. Cost me several hundred but worked fine. I just put the bars a little higher than normal.
dwmckee is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
gringodevil
Road Cycling
4
03-09-17 05:22 AM
grampa.sjb
Touring
38
09-11-15 05:04 PM
e0richt
Commuting
19
03-03-14 10:06 AM
chefisaac
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
27
04-13-12 09:17 AM
Northwestrider
Touring
11
09-28-10 12:13 AM

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 - Your Privacy Choices -

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