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  1. #1
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    Trek 3500 cross conversion?

    Hi Everybody!
    Don't seem to get many responses to these posts, but what the hell, I'm having fun with my project bike. I picked up this 2013 Trek 3500 disc on the cheap to use for a "cruise around town with the wife" bike and a loaner for friends. I put some smooth rolling intense tires on it & found I was putting in some decent 20 mile plus road rides & really liking it on the pavement. I decided to ditch the bottom level SR suspension fork for a rigid Nashbar Cromo fork. Then I found a deal on a 29er Bontrager Race wheelset so I decided to shove them into the 26" Trek frame. I'm really liking the initial impression after just riding around the street after work today. She sits a bit higher, but I still have just enough standover clearance. Rear tire clearance is close, but there is very little mud to contend with here in dusty SoCal. I'm considering going to a drop bar, but I know that will add some weight. It sits at about 24 lbs. already now, but it's a work in progress.
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  2. #2
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    Which tires did you mount on it (size)? What's your end game goal? If you switch to drops you'll probably need a ProblemSolvers Travel Agent to account for road levers with MTB brakes, otherwise you should be good to go. You might get a deal on levers on the Salsa Fargo thread. Seems like a lot of Fargo riders swap for straight bars. Good luck.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Which tires did you mount on it (size)? What's your end game goal? If you switch to drops you'll probably need a ProblemSolvers Travel Agent to account for road levers with MTB brakes, otherwise you should be good to go. You might get a deal on levers on the Salsa Fargo thread. Seems like a lot of Fargo riders swap for straight bars. Good luck.
    Hey Forster, thanks for the reply. Many of the main roads in my area are connected by some sections of dirt of gravel roads, and the paved roads are in pretty bad shape for the most part. I was hoping to be able to get some good road performance while still being able to hit the rougher dirt roads & patches on the side of the road (if need be). I'm running Club Roost Cross-Terra tires in 700x35c size. On my digital pelouze postal scale they weighed 467 grams per tire (steel bead). If I decide on doing the drop bar conversion, I was looking into maybe using some tektro long pull levers and either bar-end or thumbshitfters on some lightweight drops or possibly woodchipper bars. Tomorrow I'm hoping to get about 20 miles in for the maiden voyage, so that should a be fun test ride. I think on the longer rides the extra positions of drop bars may be of benefit (I really like the looks of drops, too). I was also planning to upgrade the stock brakes to the Avid mechanical discs I'm using on my Heckler, when I upgrade its brakes to hydros.

  4. #4
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    Going to drop bar can cause some handling and fit issues on MTB frames, but I have done it. It will increase the stability, but may stretch the cockpit out too much for comfort or put you too far forward for off road use. Woodchippers are good bars, but I haven't been able to set them up to use as road bars. They can be set to be comfortable in the drops or on the hoods, but the angle ends up funny if you try switching between. I like the Cane Creek SCR-V levers and bar end shifters on standard bars like the Nitto Noodle.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaliScott View Post
    Hey Forster, thanks for the reply. Many of the main roads in my area are connected by some sections of dirt of gravel roads, and the paved roads are in pretty bad shape for the most part. I was hoping to be able to get some good road performance while still being able to hit the rougher dirt roads & patches on the side of the road (if need be). I'm running Club Roost Cross-Terra tires in 700x35c size. On my digital pelouze postal scale they weighed 467 grams per tire (steel bead). If I decide on doing the drop bar conversion, I was looking into maybe using some tektro long pull levers and either bar-end or thumbshitfters on some lightweight drops or possibly woodchipper bars. Tomorrow I'm hoping to get about 20 miles in for the maiden voyage, so that should a be fun test ride. I think on the longer rides the extra positions of drop bars may be of benefit (I really like the looks of drops, too). I was also planning to upgrade the stock brakes to the Avid mechanical discs I'm using on my Heckler, when I upgrade its brakes to hydros.
    I'm running Club Roost's in the spring, like them a lot. Generally change to fatter tires when the gravel gets soft and dusty. I've got Chippers on my Fargo but am thinking about Cowbells because the Chippers force my wrists to angle outward. I'd try to ride both before swapping. If I keep my Chippers I'll cut the ends off about 1.5".
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  6. #6
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    drop bar is a bad idea. it will increase the reach on the bike by at least too inches, unless you put a crazy-short stem on it, which could screw up the handling.

    you will also need new shifters and new brakes. the only shifters that will work on a 7-speed are Shimano Tourney or some friction-shifting bar-end shifters. you will need "road" disc brakes that will work with the amount of pull on the new road brake levers as well. it will probably cost quite a bit more than that bike cost initially and might never handle right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    drop bar is a bad idea. it will increase the reach on the bike by at least too inches, unless you put a crazy-short stem on it, which could screw up the handling.

    you will also need new shifters and new brakes. the only shifters that will work on a 7-speed are Shimano Tourney or some friction-shifting bar-end shifters. you will need "road" disc brakes that will work with the amount of pull on the new road brake levers as well. it will probably cost quite a bit more than that bike cost initially and might never handle right.
    Thanks for the replies, this is becoming very helpful. This Trek 3500 has always felt short to me and I ended up pushing the seat all the way back on the rails and was even considering getting a longer stem. The current stem is 90mm. I think the drop bar may actually help to stretch me out for a more comfortable position.. I think it may work to my advantage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    drop bar is a bad idea. it will increase the reach on the bike by at least too inches, unless you put a crazy-short stem on it, which could screw up the handling.

    you will also need new shifters and new brakes. the only shifters that will work on a 7-speed are Shimano Tourney or some friction-shifting bar-end shifters. you will need "road" disc brakes that will work with the amount of pull on the new road brake levers as well. it will probably cost quite a bit more than that bike cost initially and might never handle right.
    Actually I wouldn't need new brakes, only brake levers that are LP brake compatible. There are a couple different long-pull road style brake levers suitable for mech discs for $30-40. Eastons drops on the cheap online for $15. I have an 8 speed cassette on it, possibly I can adjust limit screws to hit 8 speeds, maybe this will give me more shifter options? I only paid $225 for the bike so no biggie. EDIT: I just saw that Trek 1.2 road bikes are 57 cm top tube length (58 cm size), the Trek 3500 26" frame is 57.4 cm top tube length. Seems to me a negligable difference. Being a 26" frame, I believe it is fairly compact.

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    I did the same to my hybrid frame. Added shimamo.3x8 shifters a drop bar as well as a 70 mm stem. I love how it rides. You'll never know til you try it out of you'll like it or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triaxtremec View Post
    I did the same to my hybrid frame. Added shimamo.3x8 shifters a drop bar as well as a 70 mm stem. I love how it rides. You'll never know til you try it out of you'll like it or not.
    That's encouraging to hear, what bar did you end up using? I was thinking of going with an off road drop (shallow drops) like a midge or woodchipper style, but just not sure. Do you have alot of spacers under the stem? Thanks

  11. #11
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    if the bike is already a little small for you, a drop-bar conversion with bar-end shifters might be a good option. when I said that your brakes would not work, I meant that brake levers with integrated shifters (Shimano STI style) would not work. v-drop levers will work, but you have to put the shifters elsewhere.

    You could also get some Gevenalle shifters (formerly known as Retroshift) and put a friction shifter on it or find an indexed 8-speed shifter.

  12. #12
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    Time for a change. I did a 21 mile ride yesterday, (90% road 10% dirt) first time out with the new wheel/tire setup. I really like the ride! It's very smooth rolling on the road, yet doesn't seem to feel squirelly on the dirt sections at all. Ride is definitely harsher than the 26" wheels with 2.0 tires, but it rolls so much faster on smoother sections. I noticed that in about 10-12 miles, I need to shake out the wrists due to pain or slight numbness. I figure the drop bar is worth a try I got a great deal on a nashbar GC drop bar. Shallow drop, 132.5cm and compact reach, 72.5cm. Going with the Tektro RL 520 levers and maybe just the sun race 7 speed thumbies for now, maybe look for a deal on some bar end shifters in the near future. Hopefully it will be a fun bike, it's still a work in progress. Thanks for any help & advice. Any others who have done the same please chime in, I would really like to hear your experiences.
    Last edited by CaliScott; 16 Hours Ago at 08:45 PM.

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