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  1. #1
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    Want to convert my Air9 Carbon to a geared cross bike

    I want to convert my air9 carbon to a cyclocross bike with Salsa Bell lap bars. I am currently running 3x9 xtr on this bike and was wondering if SRAM or Shimano make 3x9 road hoods/shifters/brakes that will work with this setup? I will likely run the Avid BB7 road brakes on this setup as well.

    If Shimano or SRAM make a road shifter that will work, will the indexing be the same as the 3x10 XTR indexing? It sounds like 3x10 road shifters work well with the current line of 3x10 mtb setups, but I don't want to convert to a 3x10 setup if I don't have to.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!



    Last edited by nuckingfuts2; 03-06-2011 at 08:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Dickhouse
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    Looks awesome! I've been wondering for some time why more people don't go for more of a MTB setup for cross, just seems more practical.

    Don't you have to use canti brakes for cross to comply with the rules? I've thought about setting up my S.I.R.9 as a cross bike. Let us know how it goes.

  3. #3
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    Discs are now UCI legal, but flat bars are not. It really does not matter unless you are chasing UCI points in a series that sticks to the rules. The drop bars will really stretch you out in a big way compared to the flat bars. Personally, your bike looks awesome the way it is, and with a good set of cross tires (and a great motor, of course) it will kick @ss.

  4. #4
    M_S
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    There's 9 speed Tiagra from shimano. Kind of low end but reliable. But the pull for your front derailleur will still be off. Maybe you can get t to work, maybe not. If this is just a temporary conversion I would get 9 speed Dura Ace bar end shifters and separate levers.
    - Simon

  5. #5
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    There is a guy in Nor-Cal that has developed a hydro lever for drop bars. Check out the article in Cyclocross magazine.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel
    Discs are now UCI legal, but flat bars are not. It really does not matter unless you are chasing UCI points in a series that sticks to the rules. The drop bars will really stretch you out in a big way compared to the flat bars. Personally, your bike looks awesome the way it is, and with a good set of cross tires (and a great motor, of course) it will kick @ss.
    Thanks for the feedback. I race CAT 3 cross in Colorado, so I can probably get by with flat-bars, but I think bar ends are not allowed. If I switch to drop bars, I will go from my 120mm stem down to a 80 or 90 mm stem to shorten up the cockpit.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkie
    There is a guy in Nor-Cal that has developed a hydro lever for drop bars. Check out the article in Cyclocross magazine.

    I saw this conversion. It looks like he cut up the levers on a set of formula r1's and came up with a bracket to hold the reservoirs. The brakes aren't the problem, because I can run Avid cable bb7's, the main issue is the shifters and the indexing issues between 9 speed road and 9 speed MTB.

  8. #8
    Stayin' Puft
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    Your screen name is appropriate.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkie
    There is a guy in Nor-Cal that has developed a hydro lever for drop bars. Check out the article in Cyclocross magazine.
    I didn't find a hydro lever for drop bars but there is a guy who made some adapters to mount the hydro lever (with the lever cut down) to the bar by the stem then he uses the road levers with cables to activate them. Is that it?

    Looks pretty cool but I think I would just run cable discs if it were me.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

  10. #10
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    Here is the link for the hydro brake conversion

    http://www.cxmagazine.com/drop-bar-h...ocross-cannard

  11. #11
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    The "hydro disc" war is raging over on the CX forum. The current BB7 road discs work just fine with the Shimano SIS systems, but it seems many won't be happy until there is a true hydro system.

  12. #12
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    Just a couple of comments: 1) until you throw 10sp DynaSys into the mix, Shimano road and mtb shifters/derailleurs are compatible, and the cassette spacing is identical. 2) shortening the stem to account for the added reach inherent in drop bars is going to result in some pretty crazy steering, perhaps even crazy enough that you will not like it at all. 3) unless you are one of those guys who never shoulders his bike, instead preferring to 'suitcase' it or can bunny-hop anything, you're going to find the really low top tube annoying.

    If you were to ask me (and I know you didn't, but if you did) I'd say just get a cross bike. I've tried to do what you're trying to do, and it just didn't work out well at all.

    Mudge

  13. #13
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    2) shortening the stem to account for the added reach inherent in drop bars is going to result in some pretty crazy steering, perhaps even crazy enough that you will not like it at all. .

    Mudge
    As long as your hands end up in the same place, the steering does not change.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuckingfuts2
    I want to convert my air9 carbon to a cyclocross bike with Salsa Bell lap bars. I am currently running 3x9 xtr on this bike and was wondering if SRAM or Shimano make 3x9 road hoods/shifters/brakes that will work with this setup? I will likely run the Avid BB7 road brakes on this setup as well.

    If Shimano or SRAM make a road shifter that will work, will the indexing be the same as the 3x10 XTR indexing? It sounds like 3x10 road shifters work well with the current line of 3x10 mtb setups, but I don't want to convert to a 3x10 setup if I don't have to.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!



    Get some Shimano 9-sp road STI levers, BB7 Road brakes and you are good to go. Pretty easy to get a mtb FD to work if you move the cable to the other side of the anchor bolt and run a double.

    Edit: looks like the Niner uses a bottom pull FD. Might be a road FD that would fit.
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  15. #15
    30-ton War Machine
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    Oh and don't forget that a MTB fit and a CX fit are two totally different things and your AIR9 won't really be all that comfy with a drop bar on it, unless you go to a 50mm stem.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    As long as your hands end up in the same place, the steering does not change.
    To a point, but unless you're planning on spending all your time on the hoods, you'll eventually end up on the tops. A shorter stem will bring the tops of a drop bar way back, much closer than the normal position on 'mtb' bars.

    Mudge

  17. #17
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge
    To a point, but unless you're planning on spending all your time on the hoods, you'll eventually end up on the tops. A shorter stem will bring the tops of a drop bar way back, much closer than the normal position on 'mtb' bars.

    Mudge
    You say to the guy that has been riding dropbars on mtbs since 1985...

    I do have a little bit of experience in this area
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  18. #18
    Hassan's Ghost
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    Building on what Edgerat wrote, the shortest reach on any road bar is like 75mm. So, if you like your current fit you'd need to a stem at least 75mm shorter than what you currently run to even begin to think about utilizing a drop bar the way it was intended.

    The other area I don't see being discussed is the resulting BB height from switching to 32c's.

    Good luck with all that.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    You say to the guy that has been riding dropbars on mtbs since 1985...

    I do have a little bit of experience in this area
    Good on ya'.

    I have a little experience in trying to convert an mtb to cross bike, enough to know that putting regular reach road drop bars (which the Bell Lap bars are, essentially) on an mtb, using a short stem to make up for reach changes, is less than optimal. My advice to him stays the same, just get a cross bike.

    Mudge

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by olapiquena
    The other area I don't see being discussed is the resulting BB height from switching to 32c's.
    It will be about the same or higher than most cross bikes

  21. #21
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    Are dirt drops legal in cyclocross?

    Besides less reach and more flair they give more knee clearance. My experience is only with the old style WTBs don't know about the new ones or other brands.

    I would try and get a dirt drop stem with more rise and less reach so you can comfortably ride in the drops where you get the best control and power.

    If you don't have to shoulder very far tip of the seat on the shoulder works ok. Just not as comfortable or stable.

    If you run gears you might be able to work something out with Paul Thumbies.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

  22. #22
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    Why not buy a cheap cx bike? It'll be around the same cost as modifying your a9c with quality parts.
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  23. #23
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    Your bike looks awesome!
    I dropped my Jamis D29 team off at the LBS yesterday for its drop bar buildup.
    Its going to drop a drop bar single speed and will eventually be finished with a ridgid niner fork, when they finally arrive.
    Anymore progress on yours?

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