Thinking about drop bars...Help!- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: B1KER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,410

    Thinking about drop bars...Help!

    I have a single speed that I ride on my 32 mile round trip commute. I have been using flat bars with bar ends on them. Lately I've been feeling like I want to be in the position that drop bars would put me in. I'm not a road rider by any other means than my commute so they are completely foreign to me. I don't know if I should get hoods or just put the brake levers on the flat part of the bar. Any advice is welcome.
    </robert> ::: B1KER.com - Be One

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2,486
    Depends on a couple of things:

    1) what kind of brakes do you have, and

    2) how far apart are your shoulder blades.

    Normal levers for drop bars serve 2 functions: a place to rest your hands (on top of the hoods is equivalent, more or less, to bar ends on a flat bar) as well as braking. The downside is that they will not function as is with linear pull (ie: V) brakes. They will work with side pulls/calipers/cantilevers, though.

    It is important that the width of the bars be approximate to your shoulder width so you are in a comfortable position on the hoods or in the drops. Most of your biking will be done in one of those two positions, with the flats of the bar just there to break up the monotony.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    59
    "cross levers" as many call them alleviate your concern about which position to have levers in, as you can have both tops and drops. Paul makes mini-v brakes they call the "mini-moto" that go right in place of regular v's and use regular (non-v) levers. They've been out for a while now so tektro or some other taiwanese co. aught to be releasing affordable copies soon or already.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: newfangled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    3,321
    As one more option, there are some road levers designed to work with mountainbike v & disc brakes:

    Tektro RL520 Drop Bar Brake Levers | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

    There are a few people around here who've also said that they use standard road levers with mountain brakes and don't have any problems.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GTscoob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2,337
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Duderino View Post
    "cross levers" as many call them alleviate your concern about which position to have levers in, as you can have both tops and drops. Paul makes mini-v brakes they call the "mini-moto" that go right in place of regular v's and use regular (non-v) levers. They've been out for a while now so tektro or some other taiwanese co. aught to be releasing affordable copies soon or already.
    Tektro's racing line TRP (Tektro Racing Products) released the first mini-Vs a year or two back, Paul copied their design and added their CNC flair.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: B1KER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,410
    This is my Bike. It says what kind of brakes is on there. I don't know if that is considered a typical v-brake.
    </robert> ::: B1KER.com - Be One

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by GTscoob View Post
    Tektro's racing line TRP (Tektro Racing Products) released the first mini-Vs a year or two back, Paul copied their design and added their CNC flair.
    Cool! Well, there ya go!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Straz85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,348
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbg33k View Post
    This is my Bike. It says what kind of brakes is on there. I don't know if that is considered a typical v-brake.
    Those are caliper brakes. I personally love drop bars. Took a few rides to get used to coming from flat bars (mtn bike background), but now I prefer drop bars by far. You'll need:

    -Handlebars (I suggest going to a LBS to find out what size works best. 44cm is generally what comes on adult bikes, but you can get smaller or larger than that, depending on your shoulder width. I use 42cm).
    -Brake levers. Lots of options for lots of different prices, but generally on the inexpensive side since you don't need STI levers (lever/shifter combo, also called brifters sometimes)
    -Handlebar tape. Wrapping handlebars can be tricky your first couple times, but it's worth learning how to do. I suggest using cheap take your first time if you're doing it yourself.
    -You might need new cables and housings, depends how long yours currently are. They're cheap enough that it's probably worth changing them now.

  9. #9
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    I made the drop bar transition from a heavy mountain bike background, and I wouldn't have it any other way on the commuter now. I use $10 tektro levers and BB7 discs brakes. I use 'mountain' brakes, which supposedly have a longer stroke before they engage, and I've never had an issue with them. I'd be tempted to just get some cheap levers and give it a try, you might be surprised...your brakes might work just fine with road levers. Personally I don't like the clutter of the 'cross top' levers. I would try to avoid them if it was me.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: B1KER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,410
    Since it's a single speed brifters won't be needed. I think I'll have to stop by a LBS to see what size they reccomend. I'm 6'2" and have pretty broad shoulders. Would these brake levers work with the brakes I have?
    </robert> ::: B1KER.com - Be One

  11. #11
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    12,300
    For a drop bar, levers with hoods are surely the way to go.

    There's also "mountain drop bars" which are wider than road bars and have less "drop". On-One makes one such bar, and there's others but I cannot remember them right now.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  12. #12
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    28,726
    I use the Tektro RL520's with mtn BB7's and they work well. They've been a good lever for me. I currently use a mustache bar (On-One Mungo) but find myself craving a true flat part of the bar to use for an additional hand position. I am considering moving to mtn drops. I also think a wider bar would be more comfortable for me since my shoulders are kinda wide.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbg33k View Post
    Would these brake levers work with the brakes I have?
    Yes, for sure.

  14. #14
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    7,716
    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    .. Personally I don't like the clutter of the 'cross top' levers. I would try to avoid them if it was me.
    Funny, I wondered how people lived without them! But I have pretty small hands, so I think that's partly why I like the cheater levers.

  15. #15
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    11,568

    Seeing the bike

    in your post i'd suggest the cane creek compact road levers and a nice wide salsa cowbell. You may have to fiddle with different stem rise/lengths to get the ultimate position though.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,138
    In most cases you will need a shorter stem to go from a flat bar to a drop bar on the same bike.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    59
    Are you planning on keeping the same stem height and adding drops for increased aggressiveness, or using a higher stem so that you can relax your back on the tops occasionally? On my ss, I've been preferring down-tilted low-stemmed bullhorns for occasional sprinting in traffic and climbing the many hills here in onondaga county. I only really want the high tops of raised drops when I'm tight or tired, then the woodchippers (surly?) start seeming nice. Or... Sheldon Brown's Thorn Raven Bicycle

  18. #18
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    I grew to love the comfort of drop bars too, but if you`re talking about putting drop bars on a bike that currently fits you with a flat bar, remember that you might or might not be able to make it work with drops- there`s only so much you can do with different stems, and a stem to put drop bars where you need them may not exist. Your chances are probably better with some of those "dirt drop" bars that Perttime mentioned.

    If you do go to drop bars (on your current bike or on any other bike), chances are you`ll be most comfortable with pretty wide bars, comming from a flat-bar life. You can always get narrower ones later if you want. There are a lot of variations, and they all feel different, but you can get a good idea what you like by test riding complete bikes with different bars. I did that, and even saved my concience after riding so many of the LBS`s bikes that I bought the bars I wanted from them at whatever crazy price they put on them.

    I guess the cross levers would be nice if you ride on the center a lot, but I almost never do that. To me, having my hands right next to each other feels like riding with a handicap, very little control. Since my hands are either in or over the drops, the regular levers are in a much more convenient position for me anyway.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: B1KER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,410
    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    in your post i'd suggest the cane creek compact road levers and a nice wide salsa cowbell. You may have to fiddle with different stem rise/lengths to get the ultimate position though.
    What are the compact levers? Are they these? I notice now that it says compact. I was clicking between the two of them and could not figure out the difference. Just one word difference in the discription. so does that just mean the brake levers are shorter?

    As far as people have mentioned the stem I have another stem for the bike. I would assume the hoods would probably put my hands pretty close to where they are now on the tops of the bar ends. The handle bars on there have a small rise. I don't know if that makes much of a difference. I like the idea of test riding a bikes with the different shapes on them. I was saying to my girlfriend I didn't know what shape to get and it was a little intimidating trying to decide just from reading.
    </robert> ::: B1KER.com - Be One

  20. #20
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    ^^ I'd get a cheap road bar from nashbar or something in a shape that you think is a good guess, ride it for a little while, and form an opinion on what you'd like to be different... then you're only out a few bucks, and you have some first-hand knowledge when you go shopping for a 'real' one. I found that I like the traditional drop bar more than the funky 'alternative' bars that are out there. It's hard to know what you'll like until you just use one for a while.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: B1KER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,410
    Sounds like the best bet is to buy at REI. Gotta love the membership.
    </robert> ::: B1KER.com - Be One

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.