Yip , the frame's a good one so the conversion is good that way and I was surprised it never cost that much relatively when I did (iirc £15 stem, £20 bar, £12tape, £99sti's and new cables circa £5) but the sti's pull half the amount of cable needed to operate the v'brakes, so they were very spongey. I went back and added problem solver travel agents (circa £15 x 2 ) and this improved things a bit but its still not as good as a dedicated road bike.Brakes need consideration too. It's not as simple as you might think. I think HLaB of this parish did something very similar and will doubtless be along in due course to confirm
The other alternative would be to change the V-brakes for centre pull cantilevers, which doesn't have to be expensive in itself. I've got Tektro CR720s on my cross bike, and they're at least as good as the callipers on my old road bike (Ribble are currently selling them for about £12.75 each).the sti's pull half the amount of cable needed to operate the v'brakes, so they were very spongey. I went back and added problem solver travel agents (circa £15 x 2 ) and this improved things a bit but its still not as good as a dedicated road bike.
Or one of these chaps http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m2b17s101p0 for the front, there are similar arrangements for the rear.If you do that, you'll need a cable hangar, which is cheap if you can replace a headset spacer with one that incorporates a cable hangar. It's a bit awkward with some headset/stem combinations, though, because there isn't always a lot of room (as I found when I built my bike). The expensive option would be to change the headset for a CX one that incorporates a cable hangar.
I read up on those a bit when I was researching my build, and some of the reviews I found seemed a bit negative. But then, if you go by the reviews, there's nothing as good as callipers for a road bike, so I wasn't expecting much from the CR720s either, but I've managed to lock the wheels with them a couple of times on clean, dry roads, so they can't be that bad.Mini vees such as the Tektro RX5's are effective and don't need that hanger nonsense, and they need the same cable pull as cantis, thus will work with std drop bar STI levers
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