Drop bars with hydraulics?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Drop bars with hydraulics?

    Hello All,

    I am new here and relatively new to commuting (been commuting for about 3 months on a daily basis now) and I am really enjoying it. Please bear with me if my newbie knowledge is at times shallow...

    I am currently running a '09 Kona Dr. Dew, and it is the greatest ride I have ever owned. For the moment it is all stock, and for the most part, there is not one thing I want to change. There is only one issue - the straight handlebar is: 1- Too wide 2- Does not allow for many riding positions. Often I find myself bending my elbows and grabbing the handlebar closer to the stem, away from the grips - somewhat of a silly way of riding.

    As I see it, my two options to fix this problem would be to either get aero bars or drop handlebars. The Dr. Dew is equipped with Shimano hydraulics (which I am very fond of), but according to my research there are no manufacturers who make drop bar levers for hydraulic brakes...

    My first obvious choice would be to get drop bars, but the brakes and the shifters would then have to be fixed on the straight portion of the bar. (I do not want to replace the Shimano rapidfire shifters as I am a big fan of those) The second option would be to get aerobars, which I'd rather avoid because I find them somewhat cumbersome.

    Any thoughts / opinions / comments / experiences / criticism ?

    Thanks !

  2. #2
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    well it sounds to me like you won't find a happy solution with drop bars, so I would explore the aero solution or bar end option. That said, I roll with drop bars, shimano 105 road levers and avid bb7 road disc brakes, and that is a solid set up for me. perhaps some track bars would give you a better option?

  3. #3
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    You could shorten the bars and add Origin 8 drop bar ends?
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  4. #4
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    Bar ends or H-bars.

  5. #5
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    http://webcyclery.com/home.php?cat=455

    Look through all your options, that link has a few that might work. I don't think you'd be happy with drop bars. Placing the shifters and brake levers on the top part of the par limits many of the advantages of drops.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for your quick and informative responses ! Great forum you got running here

    I've considered drop bar ends, I have yet to see how they feel. Definitely the cheapest option though.

    H-bars seem uncomfortable to me, but thanks for the suggestion.

    Emtnate, you say that placing the shifters and levers on the top portion limits the advantages of drop bars... can you please specify? The way I see it, I would be probabaly holding the drops on the drop section or on the top section, thumbs facing forwards. If I have to shift or brake, I just move my hand, just the way I do it now - that is not really an issue or a problem for me...

    And also, how do I shorten my current bar (if I decide to go that route)? Do I just take a handsaw for cutting metal, measure the wanted length and simply cut?

    Thanks !

  7. #7
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    If it's an aluminum or steel bar, just take a hack saw to it. Measure twice, cut once
    Stache 7 --- Rigid Surly 1x1 B+ --- Dirt Drop CrossCheck

  8. #8
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    I run drops on my cross check, without cross levers, bar end shifters and traditional drop bar brake levers. The top section of drops is pretty narrow, I have a harder time having as good of control with my hands on the top section compared to in the drops or on the hoods of the brakes.

    On my mountain bike, I don't have to move my hand at all to shift or brake, but moving hands around isn't an issue. I really like riding with my hands on the hoods, but not an option with hydraulic brakes. See what works for you.

    As for cutting bars, I use a pipe cutter then smooth the burr it leaves with a round file. A hacksaw would work fun if you are careful to make a straight cut.

  9. #9
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    Hmm... I see what you mean. But most of the time I would probably be riding with my hands on the drop sections anyways, so stability is probably not an issue. As for the narrowness, there is a variety of sizes to choose from on the market, the challenge will simply be to find the one that works for me.

    Looks like I'll go with drops finally, it seems like the best alternative.

    Thank you all for your input !

  10. #10
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leonidn07
    I've considered drop bar ends, I have yet to see how they feel. Definitely the cheapest option though.
    I haven't tried them myself, but some people complain that they're not deep enough. Others seem to like them just fine. The fact that you have to move your hand up onto the bar to brake or shift does put some people off, but if you don't think it will bother you then it won't likely be a problem.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  11. #11
    PCC
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    Don't do it!

    Mountain bike frames have a longer top tube compared to road bike frames. This is because mountain bikes have handlebars that are slightly swept back while road bikes have drop bars that are severely swept forward. While mountain bikes have a more upright riding position compared to a road bike it's not as upright as riding on the tops on a road bike but it is less laid out compared to riding the drops.

    Forget about trying to mount your brake levers and shifters onto a drop bar. The diameter of mountain bike handlebars are smaller than the diameter of road bike handlebars. You'll have to ream out the brake levers and shifters to get it to work. I think you're looking at 5/8" compared to 3/4" but that's just a guess on my part. I do know for a fact that road bike bar-end shifters absolutely will not begin to mount to the end of a mountain bike handlebar, not even a thin lightweight handlebar like a Ritchey WCS bar.

    Your options? How about a mustache handlebar? You would have to change your brakes, though, as most mustache handlebars are intended to be used with road bike brake levers. This also leaves you with the problem of how to shift this setup.

    Bar-ends? This is probably your best bet, especially if you narrow your handlebars. This will give you far less grip options compared to a drop bar but it will be better than nothing. If you do decide to cut your bars I would mount the shifters and brake levers as far inboard as you can then measure how much you need for the grips. This way you don't cut off too much, which might ruin a perfectly good handlebar.

  12. #12
    The devil is an angel too
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCC
    Mountain bike frames have a longer top tube compared to road bike frames. This is because mountain bikes have handlebars that are slightly swept back while road bikes have drop bars that are severely swept forward. While mountain bikes have a more upright riding position compared to a road bike it's not as upright as riding on the tops on a road bike but it is less laid out compared to riding the drops.
    The Dr. Dew is not a mountain bike. And there are people who like riding drops on a mountain bike. You adjust your position with the stem -using a high rise short reach stem, usually.

    I'm using Origin8 Space bars (an OnOne Mary clone) mounted upside down on my commuter. Kinda like a moustache handlebar but with less sweep. I mounted them upside down to have some drop. To use true drop bars -or dirt drops- on the Dew he would have to swap the brakes to mechanical discs -like Avid BB7s.

  13. #13
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    The Dr. Dew is very much a road bike... with slightly slacker geometry and mountain bike gearing. The best of both worlds as far as I'm concerned.

    The 31.8 mm handlebar diameter is one of the standards for road and mountain, so I don't see an issue there.

    My goal, as I mentionned earlier, is to pretty much keep everything the same, as I love the Shimano shifters and brakes that are stock. Thanks for the suggestions, but I think I'll end up with actual drop bars, maybe even some ergo ones. I'll see what problems come up when I actually get to making the purchase of the stem and handlebar, but I think everything should work out smoothly.

    Thank you all !

  14. #14
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    You could try something like inverted Soma Sparrows, which are similar to a moustache (less forward sweep) and take mtn levers and shifters. I have some and like them a lot.

  15. #15
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    Here's food for thought. I had never seen these before this weekend. Maybe these would generate some ideas.

    http://www.icyclesusa.com/catalog/de...ift-levers.htm

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the idea, but all that does is it reduces the bulkiness of what is fixed on the bar... which is a feature I do not really need. Plus I don't really have an extra 150 bucks to spend right now, and I'm not really sure they're compatible with my current rear derailleurs.

    As I said, my goal is to keep everything intact and switch the handlebar only. I'm sure it's doable.

    I'll let you know when I get to it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tweezak
    Here's food for thought. I had never seen these before this weekend. Maybe these would generate some ideas.

    http://www.icyclesusa.com/catalog/de...ift-levers.htm
    Dual controls suck on most bars, but they work absolutely great on H-Bars.

  18. #18
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by leonidn07
    The Dr. Dew is very much a road bike... with slightly slacker geometry and mountain bike gearing. The best of both worlds as far as I'm concerned.

    The 31.8 mm handlebar diameter is one of the standards for road and mountain, so I don't see an issue there.
    My bad. Hmm, it's the MTBR forums, not RBR, and you mentioned hydraulic disc brakes, which road bikes don't have. In this case, 2 + 2 did not equal 4.

    With regards to bar diameter, I'm not talking about the clamping diameter at the stem. The clamping diameter of the handlebar where the brake levers clamp onto the bar are a different diameter. Mountain bike brake levers will not even begin to slide onto a drop bar because the road bike handlebar has a larger diameter. I'm pretty sure it's 7/8" while mountain bike handlebars have a diameter of either 5/8 or 3/4".

  19. #19
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    You might try one of the alternative bars, like from Jones Bike or an On One Mary Bar.

    But before you switch to bar ends or any other kind of bar system, keep this in mind: if your hands are not near the levers, then it will take an extra moment before you can reach the brake levers.

    I always chuckle when I see a busboy bike, bar-ends pointing to the sky, and the rider cruising thru heavy traffic. I almost want to step out to see him try to make a panic stop.

    But I am in the same boat myself, because I hurt my wrist recently, so I find putting my hands on the tops more comfortable than the hoods. However, I feel like I am putting my life in my own hands, literally.

    Now, I am an excellent handler so I have the confidence I know when is the right time to move hands away from the levers. However, considering the amount of road that I do, the chances something freaky happening is higher.

    The bottom line is pick a setup which is safe, and spend the money to make it right.

  20. #20
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    Yes I think you're correct about the diameter... but I think I've seen some that should do it, the market is huge for those things.

    At this point I'm seriously considering bullhorn bars, it seems like they might work out. I think my research will be much more effective once I actually make it to a bike shop and see for myself...

  21. #21
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    I don't know if it's even remotely compatible, but Magura did make hydraulic rim brakes with road-levers: the HS77. Match those levers with Barcons/Kelly Take-offs/Paul Thumbies for the shifters and you would have a pretty unique setup.
    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    I am a poser. But forums.poser.com doesn't seem to exist, so I come here instead. ;)

  22. #22
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    I had seen some brake lever extensions before...I'm not sure how well they worked. Somebody must still make them. At the moment, this is all I can find:





    https://www.aleoca.com/accessories.htm

  23. #23
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    IIRC, they were actually the first Kona product to bear the Dr. Dew name back in the day.
    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    I am a poser. But forums.poser.com doesn't seem to exist, so I come here instead. ;)

  24. #24
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    Ive got the origin 8 bar ends and love them. Im getting tektro rl520 for the drops so i can still use my disc brakes. I haven't found a STI system yet besides the ergopower one that will work with mtb components.

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