Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • Drop bar levers and brakes question…
  • donslow
    Free Member

    So, looking to convert my current commuter/gravel/hybrid to drop bars

    Currently looking for cheap parts to experiment with at first and all being well, spend a bit more on decent components after

    Cheap bars I can find all day long, just having trouble finding shifters and disc brakes for an agreeable / experimental price

    I’ve started looking around for cheap “spares or repair” bikes with drop bar levers but again, coming with disc brakes, the price goes up, got me wondering…

    Would levers that were / are on cable rim brakes work if I sourced a set of cable brake callipers separately or is that just a big “don’t be stupid you cheap numpty git”

    Please advise or chastise away…many thanks

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    I’ve been looking at the hope Shims. In theory any MTB brake lever with a split clamp should work. As it happens I have some spare old hope brakes.
    Its £16 a side and I’m not sure if it’d be very comfortable..

    montgomery
    Full Member

    I’ve got some post mount Spyres in good nick that I can let go cheap. I never got on with them but some people like them. Oddly, the best they worked for me were when they were paired up with drop bar levers designed for V-brakes, which shouldn’t have been the case. PM me if you’re interested.

    montgomery
    Full Member

    To clarify, the Spyres did stop me, but never as well as the BB7/XTR lever combo I ran on mountain bikes for 11+ years.

    ampthill
    Full Member

    You mean run road sti levers with cable operated disc brakes?

    That’s what I have. My trp spyres work fine. They aren’t in the same league as cable twin pot hydro but they do what I need. Descending in the drops help. Cables and pads all made a difference of course

    ampthill
    Full Member

    In theory you want road spyres not mountain bike

    montgomery
    Full Member

    MTB versions are Spykes.

    donslow
    Free Member

    @ampthill thats pretty much it yeah, I’ve seen a couple of spares or repair bikes going cheap near me that have the sti levers but rim brakes so wondered if I took those levers, bought some cable disc callipers and paired them up if it would work ok

    As I say, at this stage it’s just a case of finding bits as cheap as sonic can see if the conversion works well enough and then, if it does, spend a few quid on some decent parts

    If it’s worth anything, the bike is a 2017 (I think) BMC Alpenchallenge, does that help with what version (road or mtb) is needed


    @montgomery
    you have a PM incoming…

    tuboflard
    Full Member

    Where are you OP? I’ve a set of Kona drop bars off my gravel bike which are cluttering up the cellar and will give them if you want to pick up from Sheffield. Would rather not go through the hassle of posting that’s all.

    donslow
    Free Member

    @tuboflard many thanks for the offer sir, very kind of you but unfortunately I’m the other end of the world in deepest, darkest Essex

    ampthill
    Full Member

    @donslow yep you just need road rim brake levers and cable disc designed to work with them. Like these

    https://www.merlincycles.com/trp-spyre-post-mount-disc-brake-caliper-106630.html

    What speed is the hybrid. If it’s 9 speed then you’ll only need to change the shifters.

    oldnpastit
    Full Member

    Bear in mind that this will make your position more stretched out since drop bars will be further away.

    For cheapest way to just try it go single speed or even fixed with some brake levers rather than brifters.

    donslow
    Free Member

    @ampthill Thankyou for the link, a fair few bargains to be had on eBay also currently for the same thing

    Currrent drivetrain is 2×9 so should be all good


    @oldnpastit
    thanks for the comment, I had considered position, after much measurement taking and reading up I’ve landed at the conclusion (assumption) that either compact or short reach bars with a 10mm shorter stem or “regular” bars with 20mm off of the stem will get me thereabouts, currently have 90mm on the stem so enough to play with realising that it MIGHT make the steering a bit more “twitchy” to coin a phrase, I’m good with that though as I can’t see, at most, 20mm making a colossal difference, partially why I’m looking to experiment on the cheap before making a decent commitment so to speak

    ampthill
    Full Member

    I think it’s worth trying. Loads of hybrids are quite low in reach. The steering should be fine. It’s not really the stem length that matters it’s how far your hands are in front of the steerer. So the reach added by the bars does the same thing. My stem is quite steep and short. The handling is fast with 650b wheels but still the fun side of fast

    ballsofcottonwool
    Free Member

    The cable pull on drop bar brake levers is different ( about half as much) to flat bar levers, so you will have to swap your mechanical disc calipers for the road version.

    For my drop bar 26″ gravel bike, I picked up a set of Avid BB5 road calipers for just under £40 and a secondhand 10sp Ultegra groupset for £80 on eBay, I only needed the STIs so sold the rest of the groupset for £30 so only £50 for a really nice pair of STIs.

    All shimano brifters, Claris, Sora, 105, Ultegra and Dura Ace upto 10spd ( apart from Tiagra) are compatible with MTB 7-9spd derailleurs. I’m using 10spd Stis with a 9spd XT rear mech and it shifts perfectly.

    The only thing to add as others have said that unless you’d feel comfortable riding your hybrid with a 130mm stem and flat bars, the additional reach of drop bars will mean you have to run a sub 70mm stem to get the reach right with drop bars which will be terrible for handling.

    donslow
    Free Member

    Thanks for the input, definitely worth knowing about which shimano brifters handle which cassettes (7-9 speed, 10 speed etc) I’m assuming that if using a 10 speed brifter with a 9 speed cassette, as long as the limit screws are set properly, there’s no issue with this, I just get an extra non functional click in the lever?

    Current brakes are hydraulic so will need replacing anyway for the sake of experimental cheapness, looking forward to chatting with Montgomery in regard to his offer, will see what comes of that first

    Current stem is 90mm and slammed which puts me in a half upright position, when it’s raised I’m all the way upright, so I’m thinking raise the stem, depending on which bars I end up with, use a 10 or 20mm shorter stem to get the new bars where the old ones are (going off of the many measurements I’ve taken) and see if it works, worst case, it’s a massive fail and hopefully haven’t spent too much on trying, but I THINK if I’ve worked it out ok-ish, it should work out reasonably well

    ampthill
    Full Member

    Thanks for the input, definitely worth knowing about which shimano brifters handle which cassettes (7-9 speed, 10 speed etc) I’m assuming that if using a 10 speed brifter with a 9 speed cassette, as long as the limit screws are set properly, there’s no issue with this, I just get an extra non functional click in the lever?

    No that’s not my understanding. They are matched for pull ratio. Meaning that the brifter and cassette must be the same speed.

    As you have a 9 speed block you want 9 speed shifters. Presumably your sticking with the same derailleurs and oily bits.

    The only thing to add as others have said that unless you’d feel comfortable riding your hybrid with a 130mm stem and flat bars, the additional reach of drop bars will mean you have to run a sub 70mm stem to get the reach right with drop bars which will be terrible for handling.

    I don’t get this. What effects handling is how far you has are in front of the steerer. Whether the distance is achieved by bars or stem doesn’t matter?

    donslow
    Free Member

    No that’s not my understanding. They are matched for pull ratio. Meaning that the brifter and cassette must be the same speed.

    makes a lot of sense

    I don’t get this. What effects handling is how far you has are in front of the steerer. Whether the distance is achieved by bars or stem doesn’t matter?

    Still not 100% on this point but a bit more reading is leading me to believe this is true

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I did this.. I got road brake levers though, and On One mini V brakes. The only issue was that the cross cable of the V fouled the mudguards so I applied a bit of heat with a heat gun and pushed my finger in to get a dent where the cable goes.

    The results were superb, I loved it as a commuter I could ride on as long rides as I wanted. It was quite short even as a 56cm frame with flats on, which is as per it’s original brief, but with drops it was the perfect relaxed tourer.

    Took the drops off as now it’s only on shop/town duties.

    Jerm
    Full Member

    I went the TRP route and am really happy with it. Mine are the Spykes so I use drop bar levers that have a longer cable pull (designed for V brakes). They seem way better than the Spyres I have used but I don’t see why that should be. I use bar-end shifters and am really impressed with them. The feel is just so positive. You can get them really cheaply.

    Superficial
    Free Member

    This thread reminded me I’ve got some TRP HyRds wedded to 2×9 speed Tiagra brifters. Also have some bars. I probably want a bit of cash my way. PM me if you’re interested.

    TiRed
    Full Member

    I’d go Ultegra 6600 10 speed levers with external cables and AVID BB5 Road brakes. The 6600’s are cheaper and the shifting vastly better than hidden cables up to Dura Ace. Or if you fancy something different, you can go with Gevenale brifters and specify pull and speed of RD and brakes as you see fit. They also do hydraulics. Have a 1×11 bike with those too and Mini V’s as I should have specified V-brake pull instead. Might upgrade the fork to a Lauf with Avid Road calliper.

    donslow
    Free Member

    @superficial you have a PM sir


    @TiRed
    Thankyou for the heads up so to speak, definitely something to consider if all works out

    dufresneorama
    Free Member

    I ran bb7s with tiagra levers… They were a pain in the arse but worked.
    Then changed to spyres…much better but pain to take apart to clean and service them now and again.

    Controversial, but then moved to some Chinese zoom/x-tech cable actuated hydraulic caliper jobs. Definitely the pick of the bunch. Stopped much better than the others and lever felt much better too… More feedback if that makes sense. I was so impressed I bought the another set for another bike. There is an adjustment grub screw at the piston which I’ve used adjust if using with V-brake levers.

    All of the above were run with compression-less outers.

Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)

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