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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wgscott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Fitting a drop-bar mountain bike?

    I recently got ahold of a drop-bar-specific (steel) mountain bike frame. I'm building it up and want to optimize the fit.

    In some ways it resembles my gravel bike more than a conventional flat-bar mountain bike. Would that be a good place to start (the fit on that is custom, so should be ideal)? Should the drop portion of the dirt drop bar be at a height comparable to the top of my gravel bike drop-bars (which in turn are about at saddle-height)? What about reach? Even with this frame, the top tube is significantly longer than that for my gravel bike. Should I have a correspondingly shorter stem?

    At some point soon I want to cut the steering tube on the fork, but I don't want to mess it up.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Dirt drop bars vary significantly in reach and drop. This will affect both the reach and height you will want from your stem. I personally like my bar hoods (top) at the approximate same height as my saddle. When I put my hands in the drops I want a good bend in my elbows.This is your downhill position and you will need physical shock absorbtion. On a road bike you will spend more time on the tops of the bar. Off road you will have to set the bars to be comfortable in the drops.
    Will the bike be rigid or will it have front suspension?
    I would suggest you try changing out spacers under your stem (and different stem lengths if you can) to find what works for you.
    I hope this helps, Setting up a Drop bar for off road is not rocket science, but it is not something that everyone wants the same way.

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