Help Converting PUBLIC R16 Drop Bars to Flat Bars


New Member
Hello! I recently purchased a used PUBLIC R16 road bike, similar to the 2014 model but has the shifters on located on the drop bars. I want to use this bike to commute to school, but the drop bars make it extremely uncomfortable. I want to convert the drop bars to flat bars, but I am unsure if I should bring it into a shop, or if this conversion is doable on my own. I have also purchased PUBLIC Steel Cafe Handlebars and PUBLIC City Grips but am unsure of the other parts that will be necessary. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!!


Comfort is a bit undefinable. A lot of riders will say drop bars are much more comfortable than flat bars as you get a greater variety of hand positions.

To do your self, such a conversion is a bit messy. To start with, removing the existing bars will mean removing the brake and gear levers and handle bar tape on one side. Then assuming the new bars are the correct diameter for the quill stem, you will need to get appropriate brake levers. The ones you have won't work on flat sections of a bar, as it needs a bend to give a decent amount of pull. Then the gear levers will need to change to band-on frame levers or get combi brake/gear levers on the handle bars. And you will need to re-cable (to size) all the brake and gear cables.

Not impossible, just a bit tedious. A bike shop will get to your target quicker at a cost, which might not make it viable, compared to picking up a flat bar bike second hand.
Take a few photos as you go, always interesting to see the stages of a conversion.

Good luck

Ajax Bay

East Devon
This is a lovely bike with bar-end shifters. I'd recommend you find a flat-barred bike (with combined brakes/trigger shifters) you like and sell this one to someone who'll appreciate it. You'll spend a lot of money converting this. (If you do, note that the bar/brakes/shifters combo has resale value.) I wouldn't be surprised if the handlebars you've bought will not fit the current stem.
Btw, that stem looks as if it's close to its minimum insertion (ie any higher and it'd be unsafe) - worth checking.
I converted my wife's bike from drop bars to road bars a few years ago,

The flat bars went into the stem without issue
I bought some brake levers for a flat bar bike (V brake levers are NOT suitable as the amount of cable they pull is different)
I also bought some mountain bike gear levers of the same make as the derailleur.
If you want to stay in character with the bike, then old style friction levers might suit better.

I also replaced the cables as part of proceedings, I had to give some thought to where the cable outers were routed, some of which needed to be replaced as the path they took was longer or shorter than previously.


Über Member
Sacrilege! Looks like a really nice little bike; would be a shame to spoil it IMO.

Have you tried raising the handlebar height to see if that helps with comfort? Granted the bars do seem quite large though..
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