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Flat-bar dilemma: Whyte commuter or convert my Genesis?

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by mrmacmusic, 14 Sep 2016.

  1. mrmacmusic

    mrmacmusic Über Member

    Location:
    Tillicoultry
    Been a while since I've posted here and although a long-winded back story probably isn't necessary a short version might be useful. Essentially I've never quite felt the same about cycling since I crashed in June 2016 and it's taken me over a year to get back to a place (mentally) where I actually want to cycle to work... Over that time I avoided rainy day commutes but more often than not would lift the car keys rather than push myself to cycle even when the weather was nice. A few prescribed breaks to prevent additional stress of deciding whether or not to cycle (I knew I should) and I found myself finally getting to the point a month or so back where I was looking at my Croix de Fer leaning against the garage wall thinking "I really want to get back to cycling", however every time it was always followed by the thought that I wasn't sure I wanted to cycle that particular bike again...

    I've come to the conclusion that whilst the Croix de Fer came out of the crash far better than I did (unmarked apart from broken shifter/derailleur, now upgraded) and is a lovely bike, I'm just not enjoying riding it. I do also miss my old 2-bike strategy where I had the option of more dynamic ride (Trek Madone) or the security of a flat-bar (Boardman hybrid). So, with winter fast approaching I'd like to get a confidence-inspiring flat-bar bike sorted but I'm not sure which way to go...

    My first thought is to convert the Genesis to flat-bar – it would turn it into a very different feeling bike but I worry that it wouldn't be different enough... I guess investing in bars, grips, shifters and upgrading the brakes to full hydraulics would set me back about £200 all in, so certainly cheaper than a new bike and sorted for winter given it's got dynamo lighting and I know that it's happy to take fat Snow Studs (just) or Conti Winters under the 'guards.

    The alternative option is obviously a new flat-bar bike and here I realise the options are endless (although I've scored Boardman off the list as I swore I'd never buy another one) and don't want to buy something online. Of all the models I've seen locally (and beyond) I do really quite like the look of Whyte's 'Fast Urban/Commute' range, in particular a 2016 Shoreditch which certainly looks like it fits the bill and being lighter than my Croix might even feel a bit more dynamic too (although I'm not expected Madone power transfer). That simpler 1x10 Deore drivetrain is interesting and I suppose I would just need to get used to having bigger jumps between gears... could always step a model up (Portobello) for a more familiar 2x9 setup or even lose the carbon fork and go 1x9 with the Whitechapel. The Shoreditch I've seen looks like it'll take 35C Marathon Winters with mudguards no problem (which is my preferred setup for winter 2016/7 rather than the Snow Studs) but if anyone here can confirm that for definite it would be very helpful...

    So, what would you do? It would be great to hear the experiences of those who have converted their drop-bar bike and what difference it made (did that flat bar really turn it into a different bike?) and thoughts on or experiences of the Whyte commuter range...
     
  2. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    I converted a drop bar road bike , ended too small to be comfortable even with a long stem. Rode a few times, now moved on

    I replaced with a 2012 or 2013 Portobello. No guards yet, happy with 28mm tyres, has s pannier rack and ergon gp3 grips (and a ladies saddle)
     
  3. OP
    OP
    mrmacmusic

    mrmacmusic Über Member

    Location:
    Tillicoultry
    Thanks Vickster – I did wonder if converting the Croix (possibly with a longer stem too) would make it feel small...
     
  4. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Yeah it really didn't work even with bar ends etc

    I'm on my second Whyte r7, can't fault them as a flatbar commuter. The only other option could be the Ridgback flight?
     
  5. Ciar

    Ciar Über Member

    Location:
    London
    I have owned the ridgeback flight, bars way too short for my liking so switched them out for something more akin to MTB length as i prefer the control, but in the end traded the bike up after a year as i disliked it immensly.

    switched to a Cannondale Bad Boy III and i love it, i only ride flat bar but it seems to be running well no real issues apart from a few gearing niggles but that's been sorted, fully fitted with Marathon + and full guards just like the previous Cannondale and Flight, all in all a lovely bike and perfect for all weather commuting.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    mrmacmusic

    mrmacmusic Über Member

    Location:
    Tillicoultry
    That's good to know :smile: My first commuter back in 2011 was a Flight and I wouldn't be averse to another – local shop had a 2016 '01 but it was too small and I also wasn't sure it would be happy with studded 35C's and guards, but I could be wrong? A cycling buddy who does a similar but opposite direction commute swears by hub gearing, so maybe I should be giving the Flight '04 a closer look, especially given the availability of remaining 2016 stock around £600...
     
  7. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry non-contributing ex-member

    converting drop bar bikes to flat bars results in a flat barred bike with weird geometry and a reduced bank balance.

    Why not try crosstop levers on the CdeF? Loads of us use them.
     
  8. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Indeed this :smile: I have them on 3 of my 4 drop bar bikes
     
    GrumpyGregry likes this.
  9. Mort

    Mort Interstellar Overalls

    I love Whyte flat bar bikes and I've just tried one of their 2017 Clifton ebikes, which was brilliant fun.
     
  10. Salty seadog

    Salty seadog Space Cadet...(3rd Class...)

    Yep, got the Montpellier, full carbon R7 frame, is a lovely comfy ride.
    Not too keen on the 1 x 11 setup they have on the new model, I have 2 x 10.
     
  11. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry non-contributing ex-member

    First mod I make to every drop bar bike I own.
     
  12. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Yeah, tbh it's probably what leads to me riding the carbon less and less (not had it out this year, partly due to post op shoulder weakness, and the cross levers)

    Also the bars are narrow on the carbon, so adding levers leaves almost no room for lights etc
     
  13. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry non-contributing ex-member

    I have a Thorn T bar jobbie on the ss. But for something carbon I'd look at https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/accessories/diacompe-gran-compe-mh1-handlebar-accessory-mount/
     
  14. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Yeah an option but I don't really want stuff sticking out. I need to get the carbon out really while the weather holds. Just a bit short on confidence riding it, especially in the constant traffic round here!
     
  15. OP
    OP
    mrmacmusic

    mrmacmusic Über Member

    Location:
    Tillicoultry
    I do wonder though given my particular 'donor' drop-bar bike whether the geometry would get all weird. Whilst I haven't meticulously studied the data, isn't the flat-barred Genesis Tour de Fer not exactly the same frame as my Croix de Fer..?

    I did consider this, however whilst they would give me braking control from the top of the bars (perhaps no bad thing), my hands would be very close together so it wouldn't really give the confidence-inspiring stability/control of a normal 'out wide' (but not MTB wide) flat bar hands position.