Drop bars
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Thread: Drop bars

  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Drop bars

    I inherited a road bike with flat bars, is it possible to replace them with drop bars? Is the frame geometry to different?

  2. #2
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
    Reputation: Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    It depends on the frame...What type of bike?

    Sure you can add drop bars on anything but as you mentioned, the geometry might change to comfort/fit considerably
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    And when considering the cost, remember you will also need new brake/shifter levers, properly matched to the derailleur/cassette combination.

  4. #4
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    Since I got the bike for $0.00 investing some cash is doable. I have only done a few 10 - 20 mile trips so far and the bike is nice to ride but the flat bars are a little tiring since there aren't to many positions to move my hands to. The bike is a Motobecane / Cafe Latte.
    Seat tube center to top=17"
    TT length=520
    Chain stay=440
    BB Drop=70
    BB height=270
    Fork offset=43
    Head tube angle=71*
    Seat tube angle=74*
    Wheel base=1044
    Stand over=754

  5. #5
    prosciutto corsa
    Reputation: johnny dollar's Avatar
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    That bike has an adjustable stem, right?

    Have you considered bar ends to give you more hand positions?
    Steel: it's what's for bikefast.

  6. #6
    Resident Curmudgeon
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    You don't say much about the bike. If it's not a pretty good one the cost may out weigh the purchase of a different bike. When you start pricing derailleurs, brake/shifters, new bars, a new stem, new cables & housings it gets very expensive very fast. Unless you can do the work yourself you'll need to add labor, too.
    If it's an inexpensive bike, IMO it would be like putting lipstick on a pig. You'd be better off with a different bike. Keep the one you have as a commuter or foul weather bike.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  7. #7
    Pack Fodder.
    Reputation: Alaska Mike's Avatar
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    I would go with bar ends and perhaps wider grips. That's what I did on my 29er, which relieved a bit of the pressure on my palms during winter riding. The ruts and bumps in the ice can do a number on you after a while.

    To be honest, you're talking about a bike that retails for $500 brand new. Replacing the bars and stem (the distance from the saddle changes when you go to drop bars), plus adding brifters and bar tape can easily add up to half the original price of the bike.

    Other than the grips, you might look at clipless pedals/shoes. A commuter-style SPD pedal like the PD-A520/530 or PD-M324 would be a nice addition without spending too much money, and would allow a walkable shoe. The power transfer and stiffer sole will make a difference on longer rides.

    A better saddle might also make a comfort difference. You can go insane with all of the choices out there. Comapanies like Specialized or Bontrager (Trek) have saddle fit systems that can take some of the guesswork out of the process, but it's not an exact science.

    Tires, riding clothes, lights... There's a million places to spend your money, but the important thing is to do what it takes to keep riding. Figure out what you want to do and figure out how to make that happen.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the feedback. I did add a set of egg beaters (very nice) raised the seat 15mm, moved it back 5mm and changed the stem angle. Altogether those changes made the bike very comfortable. Sounds like bar ends and grips would be the smartest move here.

  9. #9
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    FWIW, I think you've been given some sound advice here. IMO it's hard to justify the cost of conversion and you're flying blind as far as what the final fit will be. Also, if you change f/r weight distribution enough, you're not going to like the handling.

    I agree on the bar ends and a couple of other incidentals and would leave it at that. I think you'll be happier with the bike using it as intended, and the money saved can go for that drop bar bike you already want.

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