Flat bar CX levers…

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  • Flat bar CX levers…
  • Premier Icon vincienup
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    Another thread has led me to realise I only ever use my CX bike on the hoods. At that point is there really any daytime drops and STIs over flat bar?

    Bike is currently 5800 and PM Spyres. Gears are simple enough, a set of flat bar shifters. Done. Brakes had me wondering a bit more though. I guess I could just go with the Shimano flat bar levers (I assume R780’s would be fine?) but apart from The Rules, what’s to stop me whacking a pair of mountain bike hydraulics on there?

    Premier Icon boriselbrus
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    It’s not a problem to change the brakes and shifters.

    You will however significantly change the geometry of the bike. If you currently have a 100mm stem and you are riding on the hoods then your hands are roughly 170mm in front of the steerer. If you swap to a flat bar and a 70mm stem then your hands will be 100mm closer to the saddle. This means a more upright position, more cramped for climbing less aerodynamic on the flats and less weight on the front wheel for cornering.

    I have done these conversions for customers, but generally unless the bike is too big to start with the results have not been great.

    Premier Icon vincienup
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    Ah. I hadn’t got that far. Just shows why it’s good to ask questions! 🙂

    I suppose by extension then that helps explain the ‘popularity’ of bar end risers?

    Maybe I’ll stay on the hoods with that bike…

    hollyboni
    Member

    Holding the hoods and holding a flat bar is completely different. Your hands are at a completely different angle and a drop bar is much narrower than a flat bar (unless you cut it of course).

    Bar ends are somewhat similar if you tilt them horizontal but again you’re holding a much wider bar, and every time you want to shift or use the brake you have to move your hands.

    I barely use the drops, I run drop bars because I find them more comfortable over long distances when holding the hoods.

    If you do convert you will have to buy flat bar shifters with a road specific pull ratio, and of course V-brake levers won’t work with Spyres (if you don’t switch to hydraulic).

    Premier Icon vincienup
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    Hm, Just exploring I guess. I’ve simply got drops because the bike industry decided they should be on the type of bike. I’m ok with the hoods, I just wondered if it was a bit silly having drops that were never used and if a flat bar might work better. I do find hoods start to deform and slip around annoyingly over time, but that may be poor technique on my part.

    Rorschach
    Member

    In 6 years of racing cx I probably used the drops about twice.I had to force myself to sprint in the drops when racing on the road!

    hollyboni
    Member

    Well if you fit flat bars on a CX bike you pretty much made a hybrid/fitness bike…

    You get more control over the bike with flats and it’s a more natural position if you go on rougher terrain, do jumps etc.

    But yeah CX = drop bar with 32mm tyres max. It’s not the bike industry, that’s just the way it is with that sport. 🙂

    Premier Icon vincienup
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    So, consensus; forget about it, keep ignoring the drops if I want and stay with the hoods? I can live with that. Thanks!

    (I’m one of those that bought CX basically as a tougher road bike, but it and its predecessor have had good use off road in the Peak as well as commuting…)

    Another thread has led me to realise I only ever use my CX bike on the hoods. At that point is there really any daytime drops and STIs over flat bar?

    I use drops but have bar-end shifters.

    I have wondered/reasoned why spend most all my time on the hoods. Then I think about changing flats or swept riser. Then I remember why I like drops/on the hoods, it’s because it is so comfortable

    On the hoods my thumbs are pointed upwards, ie wrists rotated into a more efficient position for both leverage and comfort. Brakes are lightly covered in a way that bar-ends do not.

    Then I think why I changed from flats/swept to drops. And it’s because of that ^. That, and having more options. One of which is to go with wider drops and fit cross-top levers. All bases covered.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    Have you considered raising the bars a little so that the drops become more of an option?

    Premier Icon vincienup
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    I can get into the drops fine, I just don’t like it there. It’s body position I think, I just prefer being more upright.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    That’s my point I guess. With the bars set higher, you may be able to get into a more comfortable position.

    Have a look at this Fargo…

    The bars are much higher than would be considered “traditional” on a CX bike.

    When I started taking my Amazon off-road, I flipped the stem to give a slight rise. The bars aren’t as high as on that Fargo but the small difference makes using the drops regularly much easier.

    I’m not saying that this is the “right” thing to do, just making a suggestion to something you might be able to try simply.

    Premier Icon paulx
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    I flat-barred my GT Grade as an experiment as I had most of the bits already kicking around. It was my first drop bar bike and I always rode it on the hoods.

    I’ve chopped the bar down a bit and now have bar ends on it instead of the grips in the picture. With combi Flats/SPD pedals on it its a really all purpose bike. I mostly use it for 30 – 50 mile mostly road and forestry track bimble rides.

    GT now sell the Grade with a 640mm flat bar and the same geometry.

    I know its not right … but it works better for me than with drops.

    Premier Icon vincienup
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    I suppose the final answer is going to be to try it and see. Mostly I’ve got stems, bars, brakes, grips etc knocking about already. Definitely don’t have flat bar shifters suitable for road mechs though without buying, and s wuick lazy google seems to be pointing me at £100 for a set of R700’s which is heading out of cheap experiment land.

    Obviously I could just let the existing bars hang on the cables and stick a flat bar on and get on the bike – but is balancing in the kitchen really going to tell me anything worthwhile about if the position is even relevant to me?

    Also, slightly outside the box, I might have an old 3500 Sora drivetrain around somewhere still and definitely have 5600 and 5700 stuff as well as the 5800 on the bike. Am I remembering right that up to 10sp Road Shimano was using the same cable pull as pre-Dynasys so a Mega 9 series shifter and 5700 mech would work correctly although obviously only over 9 speeds? (Thinking being cheap but rideable lash together for testing)

    Premier Icon paulx
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    I ‘only’ had to buy the shifters and they were about £100, I figured I’d sell em on if it didn’t work out and recoup a reasonable chunk.

    I already had a new set of XT M8000’s brakes that I bought sale price some time ago kicking around that were to go on my Rumblefish but I never got round to changing them.

    I may yet swap the brakes between the two bikes as the Rumble needs better anchors than the Grade.

    Its all Man Maths …

    Premier Icon vincienup
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    Don’t mention Man Maths. I’ve learned to recognise when I’m doing sums in Man Maths and hide my wallet…

    Actually, an idea happened while I was out with the dogs this afternoon, I’ve got a couple of 2×10 MTB drive trains sitting in boxes waiting for me to get rid right now. Add a 5700 cassette I know is around, plus a set of Formula C1’s, an old 760/31.8 bar and 85mm Thomson X4 that are all floating about and I reckon all I need is some cables. And probably a clearout listing at some point!

    mav12
    Member

    i swapped to flat bars on my cx bike mainly used for gravel paths canal paths etc , and found it a lot better lots more control ,comfy riding position , just replaced it with a genesis equlibrium disc and have put flat bars and mtb hydraulic brakes on it and its a joy to ride,

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    Likewise I binned my drop bars on everything, it’s a personal taste thing, drops did nothing for me apart from make parts expensive but make it slightly easier to get past in the garage, when riding there’s literally never been a second when I wished I was on drops.

    But converting a bike is a bit of a pain, so I sold the bikes and built a very nice hybrid from scratch, for peanuts (because old uncool mtb kit can make perfect hybrid kit)

    Premier Icon sb88
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    The comments about needing a longer stem if using a flat bar are true, but you can mitigate this to an extent by using a wider flat bar. Obviously riding a 42cm flat bar would be horrible and allow no room for shifters/levers. I found a 56cm or 58cm flat bar OK on my cross bike for races, with 2-3cm longer stem than the drops. Still went back to drops though – agree mostly with the comments about getting the drops higher – best for braking control on technical sections. I massively disagree with advice about getting a smaller CX bike than road bike to make it more manoeuvreable – it just results in bars too low.

    Premier Icon martymac
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    My mate has a genesis day one alfine 11.
    Basically a croix de fer with 11spd alfine,
    It came with versa shifters, they are crap, flimsy, so he ditched em, and the drop bars, and the bb7 brakes.
    Replaced with carbon flat bars, an alfine sti trigger shifter, and zee brakes.
    He didn’t change the stem, although he does run wide bars.
    Ive ridden it, and tbh, it feels like a factory bike.
    Could you sell some of the road parts to fund the bits you need?

    Premier Icon vincienup
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    Possibly, although once I start selling parts the route home becomes far more complex if I decide I’ve created a misshapen monstrosity. I’m really quite attached to my Crosslight, and all this came from a place of wondering if I could improve it for me and how I use it not trying to fix something that was broken.

    As above, it seems I’ve got most of the parts covered already at least inna usable capacity if not what I’d necessarily choose on a dream bike.

    I’m wondering a bit about bar width. Presently it’s 42’s I believe on whatever the standard stem was (probably 100?). The immediately available donor bars are 760’s. I’ll probably start without grips and just see how far inboard I can get stuff and adjust till it feels right then trim. I suspect from the numbers being chucked about I may find the bar too wide full stop. Needing a longer stem than 100 worries me a bit too. Obviously there’s contact patch weighting and steering speed to consider, but if the width of the bar gave me a position that felt good without adding length to the steerer, would it be bad?

    Premier Icon martymac
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    My mate didn’t chop his (dh) bars at all, they look wide to me, but they are comfy for him.
    Can you lash something with one brake and no gears, go ride it for a few miles and see how it feels.?
    On my surly, i use bar end shifters on flat bar adaptors, these work with normal road stuff, so would be a relatively cheap adaptation.
    St John street cycles do a few options in this department,
    https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/gear-shifters/sunrace-m90-9-speed-thumbshifter-right-hand/
    For example.
    Also, cx chicken levers work on a flat bar, they are road pull compatible.
    Maybe not ideal, but worth trying to see if it will work for you.
    Re position and stem length, if it feels ok with the same length stem, then its ok.
    Only you can really decide.

    Try a high angle stem first, to see if that makes the drops feel more comfy.

    My 100mm 35 degree stem raises the front end by ~5cm compared to the Wazoo’s default 80mm 7 degree stem. Simply Swapping 100mm stems would raise the front by ~40mm, which almost half the distance between the hoods and drops on my road bike (not that my Cube needs it, the hoods are on the same horizontal plane as my saddle by default).

    http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php

    timbur
    Member

    I put Jones bars on a ATR Tripster. Worked well
    I also put a 1×11 Xt groupset on with a big front ring on Ultegra crank arms.

    Houns
    Member

    I’ll be doing something to my Pro 6. Never use the drops, don’t brake using the sti units whilst on the hoods, just use the cross levers. Just need to decide/experiment with which bars to use, straight and flat, riser, Jones loop, salsa wood chipper etc etc

    Premier Icon paulx
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    My donor bars came off my Runblefish so they were 760mm – I chopped them to 640 as per the bars on the factory spec Flatbar Grade – seemed too wide so have chopped them twice since – now at 600 and feel about right. Pipe cutter for the bars is only £2 from BnQ.

    Running Ergon GS3 combo bar end grips on it so you can get your hands further forward / change of position if need, Seems to be the sweet spot for me.

    mav12
    Member

    Like the look of that gt grade what size is it

    Premier Icon paulx
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    Tiz a 58cm – I think they size up big. At 6’3″ I would normally of gone 60cm but that felt massive.

    I had a 56cm road bike that I ran with 100cm stem and 44cm drops. I replaced that with a 650mm bar and 130mm stem (what I had available). I think the stem could be better at 120mm but apart from that it felt pretty good.

    I ran it singlespeed so only needed replacement brake levers.

    Tektro MT2.1 can be adjusted to run MTB (v-brakes and MTB cable discs) or road brake pull (road calipers, cantilevers or road cable discs)

    mav12
    Member

    thought so. looked at the geomtry and a size 60 had a 63 cm seat tube , wish i had spotted them before i bought the genesis, i am 6 ft 5 , is the steerer uncut any idea what the bike wieghs

    eemy
    Member

    This is what you need – and it is for sale as well

    smell_it
    Member

    Have a look at this Fargo…

    😯

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