Converting a flat bar hybrid to a drop bar tourer

MikeG

Guru
Location
Suffolk
When I did Lejog a few years ago I popped some butterfly bars on my (aluminium) Ridgeback, and it was a straightforward relocation of the brakes and shifters. I found, however, that I didn't use much of the bar, so it was just ballast. I put the flat bar back on when I got home.

Now, I'd like to convert the bike for touring again, but I want to use drops instead. My neck is much better than it used to be, and I now get on with drops rather well. However, the shifters and brakes (one unit) obviously won't fit, so I'll need to swap. How much of a task is this, and will it cost much money? What about the stem? I presume this will need replacing. Are there any issues there?

Finally, wheels and tyres. We'll be riding on some towpaths and the like, so I'm thinking 28 or 32mm tyres. There is plenty of clearance for these, but will they fit on any old rims? My rims are about 22mm across.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I went the other way with a roadbike from drops to flats and found the frame geo didn't work, I tried a very long stem and it still felt cramped, so sold to a friend who's about 4 inches shorter than me. I would assume thus, you may need a much shorter stem or you'll be very stretched out which probably won't be good for your neck
 
How much of a task is this, and will it cost much money?
An easy enough task, the cost will depend on what level of kit you want.

The stem is at a bit of a positive angle, but other than that, would work, you don’t necessarily need to replace it.

If the rims have a 22mm internal diameter, they should fit 28 mm tyres without any issues.
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
What's the price for a new tourer?
I've been guilty in the past of "upgrading" my bikes part by part and ended up spending a lot more than a complete new bike.

One of my bikes is a Decathlon cheapo and I have upgraded the bars, bb, wheels, saddle, tyres, pedals, chainset, brakes and the frame.
Come to think of it, I think the only original bit is the seat post.
 

KneesUp

Guru
What's the price for a new tourer?
I've been guilty in the past of "upgrading" my bikes part by part and ended up spending a lot more than a complete new bike.

One of my bikes is a Decathlon cheapo and I have upgraded the bars, bb, wheels, saddle, tyres, pedals, chainset, brakes and the frame.
Come to think of it, I think the only original bit is the seat post.
I can’t believe you’re still using that scabby old seat post.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
As has been said its very straightforward, the most expensive bit will be the shifters.
Don't go too short on the stem as it will make the steering twitchy.
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
The brake/grip position on drops is a couple of inches forward of the stem clamp so just swapping bars will extend your position considerably. You can offset this by swapping to a shorter stem.
The brake levers need to pull enough cable for your brakes.
The gear levers need to pull the correct amount of cable for your mechs. MTB and road mechs may differ.
The advantage of drop bars is the variety of positions, from tops to hoods to drops. It is NOT the reduced aerodynamic drag. You can reduce drag on almost any bar if you set the bar to the same height/reach/width. Road racers have to use drops in the peleton because there are no sticky-outy bits to impale people in crashes. Tri bars and extensions are banned for this reason.
It may be easier to select a suitable butterfly/trekking bar and retain MTB style controls.
 
What's the price for a new tourer?
I've been guilty in the past of "upgrading" my bikes part by part and ended up spending a lot more than a complete new bike.

One of my bikes is a Decathlon cheapo and I have upgraded the bars, bb, wheels, saddle, tyres, pedals, chainset, brakes and the frame.
Come to think of it, I think the only original bit is the seat post.
Trigger’s broom.
 

DCBassman

Going up hills, very slowly...
To use drop bar shifters, you'll need to change to a road front mech. Rear shifters, in general, work with any same-speed mech, unless really bang up to date, whence it all gets complicated...
Example, if in the other direction: installed mtb 8-speed mech on road bike, Sora 8-speed flight deck had no issues.
 

Salar

A fish out of water
Location
Gorllewin Cymru
To use drop bar shifters, you'll need to change to a road front mech. Rear shifters, in general, work with any same-speed mech, unless really bang up to date, whence it all gets complicated...
Example, if in the other direction: installed mtb 8-speed mech on road bike, Sora 8-speed flight deck had no issues.
That's why I'd make do and fit trekking or butterfly bars, it's a lot simpler.
 
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