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View Full Version : Convert to drop bars, and other stuff


minky
02-19-2008, 09:23 AM
And now onto my next bike...

I have an (I think) '04 Specialized Sirrus, which I love, but yesterday's ride helped push me further in the direction of converting to drop bars. I think I'll rent or borrow a road bike for a weekend to see how it feels, but I'm pretty sure I'll do it.

My concerns are:

1) How expensive will the components be (a high and a low)? The bars I want are about $60, but how much will everything else run me?

2) My boyfriend thinks I will get sick of constantly tuning it and thinks I should convert it to a single-speed. I'd be more than happy to do that since I usually only use 3 gears anyway, but I'm wondering how much work there is in keeping it up. I am an extremely low maintenance rider to the point of doing his laundry so he'll wash my bike. I like swapping and building, but not maintaining. Is a single-speed the way to go?

Thank you so much for all the information I've already gleaned from these forums.

bonny790
02-19-2008, 11:42 AM
A couple thoughts I have on it...

Not really sure why there would be any MORE tuning with drops than flats, once you get it dialed in (as with any new components) you should be able to forget about it. I've never owned a ss or fixie, but that is one of the draws to them, lower maintenance.

Flat bars have never been comfortable for me, I'm always riding on the bar ends. I picked up a road bike to replace my hybrid and it wasn't long till I put mustache bars on it. I just never really used the drops and the overall width was too narrow for me. mustache bars are nearly perfect for me. Converting to drops may also require new brakes because certain levers only work with certain brakes. You might be able to use something like this http://tinyurl.com/35ju9p I can't confirm it, but you may be able to retain the controls and not have to get new everything. You can't really see it in the picture but they aren't regular road bike drops, they are quite a bit more splayed out.

I'm going to be selling that road bike (with original drop bars) and you're more than welcome to borrow it for a week or two to see what you think. I don't know what size bike fits you, but this frame is a 58cm with a 32 inch stand over hight.

Hope that was of some help, good luck

Toby

minky
02-19-2008, 11:53 AM
Thank you, Toby. I'm thinking trying (a lot) before buying is the way to go. I'm 5'4" with a 32" inseam. Long arms, long legs, short torso. I think your bike will be too big, but thank you for the offer. I may ask a friend to swap in regular pedals on his Jake the Snake and let me ride it for a couple days.

bonny790
02-19-2008, 12:28 PM
No sweat:) I'm 5'8" with a 32" inseam and it's just about right. It's a standing offer not contingent on sale, if you just want another reference point.

Toby

Duncan
02-19-2008, 12:33 PM
Minky-
Instead of converting, think about multi bike ownership... it has worked for me :D

I have a drop br road bike, and I like that setup for long rides because of all the positions you can hold ( i rarely go full aero, usually 2/3rds down), but being able to move my hands around avoids wrist strain.

I also have a hybrid with flats (that I put ntelope bars on). I like that setup for town/busy street riding as its easier to look over my shoulder when upright.

Fixies.. well I will start by saying I dont own one, and they don't interest me personally. I like gears, mechanical advantage when going uphill, regular cadence, easy starts from stops etc... but if you want one I would say get it as a seperate bike, because (just like my town bike) it will be far better at some things, but not as good at others.

Depends on what your riding style/interests are I guess, but I am not into making one tool do every job- a screwdriver will act as a can opener, but a can opener works much better.

minky
02-19-2008, 02:15 PM
Toby, what part of town are you in?

Duncan, I do have another bike--a city bike with baskets and chain case, and all that good stuff. It's my grocery-getter. I'm all for multiple bikes! The one I'm thinking of converting is a hybrid--mountainish frame with 700c road wheels. And I will never go fixie. Not my thing. Single-speed is as far as I go.

With the money and time going into converting the Sirrus, I may very well just buy a used road bike. I was originally thinking I would buy a new Specialized Dolce, but then thought I'd want a steel frame. Of course, I don't want to pay for either of those, so converting the Sirrus or buying a used road bike are my options.

Indecisive, yes.

bonny790
02-19-2008, 02:58 PM
I'm in St Johns, but am always going into town.

Toby

Duncan
02-19-2008, 03:08 PM
Toby, what part of town are you in?

Duncan, I do have another bike--a city bike with baskets and chain case, and all that good stuff. It's my grocery-getter. I'm all for multiple bikes! The one I'm thinking of converting is a hybrid--mountainish frame with 700c road wheels. And I will never go fixie. Not my thing. Single-speed is as far as I go.

With the money and time going into converting the Sirrus, I may very well just buy a used road bike. I was originally thinking I would buy a new Specialized Dolce, but then thought I'd want a steel frame. Of course, I don't want to pay for either of those, so converting the Sirrus or buying a used road bike are my options.

Indecisive, yes.


Maybe start perusing citibikes regularly for a used bike?

Or you seem to know what you are looking for (once you decide :P) that you could look for a private sale bike to start with?

I looked into drop bars for my jamis, and the cost of the parts for the conversion I wanted was almost the same as the bike...

minky
02-21-2008, 10:22 AM
Thanks, guys. I PM'd Toby about borrowing the road bike. I think I should see how comfortable I am on drop bars...

Then I'll wait till my boyfriend gets his tax return and go shopping for a used bike. He has three, why shouldn't I! I need to catch up with him. Nothing like rationalizing buying another bike.

bp071117
02-21-2008, 11:15 AM
Thanks, guys. I PM'd Toby about borrowing the road bike. I think I should see how comfortable I am on drop bars...

Then I'll wait till my boyfriend gets his tax return and go shopping for a used bike. He has three, why shouldn't I! I need to catch up with him. Nothing like rationalizing buying another bike.

One can never have too many bikes! :)

If you can't find a road bike you like and still want to convert, Universal Cycles has long pull brake levers that will work with your linear brakes for $25: Tektro RL520 (http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=19859&category=1597)

They also have Ultegra 8speed bar end shifters for $75 but you can find new ones on eBay for $40-$50.