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  1. #1
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    Converting Kids Road Bike to Riser Bars

    My 9 year old daughter had a 24" mountain bike, but really doesn't like riding in the woods. She thinks she'd like a bike that's faster on the road (but not 100% sure). So, a while back I went through the process of looking for a 24" road bike (she's still not tall enough for a 650b road bike).

    There weren't many choices available without spending a lot, and since she's not entirely sure about this I ended up buying the GMC Denali 24" Road Bike. I know, I know, a department store bike -- but actually has decent consumer reviews and the price was right. However, because of my daughter's hand size, reach, hand strength, etc., I need to convert the bike from drop bars to a riser handlebar with MTB levers.

    So, I've got the bar and have just started. I do small repairs/adjustments on my bikes, but haven't done this before. I may have a few questions, but here's my first batch:

    1. The end of the cable that has a bit of metal where it ends in the brake lever (sorry, don't know proper name) seems to be oriented differently from similar cable "end bits" in MTB levers. Do I need an entirely new cable, or is there a way to orient it (or put a new "end bit" on) where I can use the same cable?

    2. I bought some Avid FR-5 brake levers to use (I'm keeping the twist shifters that came stock), and one of the million warnings in the package says to only use the levers with brakes designed for "direct pull". Is there any reason I can't use these levers with the (cheap) caliper brakes that come with the bike?

    Any help would be appreciated!
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
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  2. #2
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    I just looked at the close up. The bike appears to have road levers which use different cables than the Avid FR3 mountain bike levers. Buy a set of brake cables for a mountain bike.

    The Avid FR5 levers are designed to work with v-brakes (direct/linear pull). If you use them with the road calipers on the bike, more effort will be needed to apply the maximum braking force. Levers designed for canti-lever or road calipers would provide the best stopping power.
    Last edited by fun2none; 05-27-2012 at 09:25 AM.
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  3. #3
    wim
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    Never looked closely at the handlebars of a Denali, but I understand they consist of two halves bonded permanently to a short center pipe after the twist grip shifters have been slid on. You probably have to hacksaw the bars apart to get the shifters off.

    /w
    Last edited by wim; 05-27-2012 at 05:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    Never looked closely at the handlebars of a Denali, but I understand they consist of two halves bonded permanently to a short center pipe after the twist grip shifters have been slid on. You probably have to hacksaw the bars apart to get the shifters off.
    Actually, the Denali's drops are 2 halves that slide together and are secured by a screw, so it's pretty easy to take them apart and get the shifters off.
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
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  5. #5
    wim
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    Thanks, good to know next time I get to work on one of those. Popular bike around here, and people seem to like them well enough to spend money for repairs on them.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the feedback -- ordering cables and different levers today.
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
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  7. #7
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    How about some slicks for the mountain bike?

    To my mind, the most important difference is the handle bars. Although you might look for an appropriate rigid fork too.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    How about some slicks for the mountain bike? To my mind, the most important difference is the handle bars. Although you might look for an appropriate rigid fork too.
    Not a bad idea, but I already got the Denali. I had recently purchased a new mountain bike for my son, so in fairness I sort of felt like I needed to buy my daughter a new bike also. Aside from that, my daughter's old mountain bike is a heavy hunk of steel, so I thought that the lighter weight might make it a little easier for her to get up hills.
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
    My Blog: Cycling For Beginners

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