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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #1 
I know they have some special considerations. Can someone school me on mountain bike frames with dropbars?

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ljsmith

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Reply with quote  #2 
I've never owned one, but there are some things to keep in mind when building one.  For a given size, mountain bikes have longer top tubes, so you are going to need a short stem to use drop bars, or you are going to end up very stretched out.  Also you need to get the bars up higher than on a road/CX/Gravel bike, because you want to spend the majority of your time in the drops instead of the hoods.  What this means is that many drop bar mountain bikes use short, high rise stems to get the bars positioned properly.  Some that are designed for drop bars will usually have shorter top tubes and taller head tubes.  
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Smithhammer

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Reply with quote  #3 
ljsmith's advice is spot on.

A few years old, but still a good place to start (esp. since it looks like Shiggy's page is gone?):

http://g-tedproductions.blogspot.com/2011/10/drop-bar-mountain-bike-tips-updated.html
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chas

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Reply with quote  #4 
If you have V-brakes, keep in mind you can't use those with a drop bar.

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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #5 
V-brakes? Those still exist?...lol...yeah...no worries there. Disc only for me. 

And thanks Smith for the link. I found that after I posted this thread but haven't read over it yet. Thought maybe this thread would spark some conversation about the topic so might as well leave it up. Maybe some more current info as well since it seems the info while still applicable is a little older...maybe some more current tech out there will allow easier conversion without having to buy a monster CX specific bike or go custom. But maybe not. I know it's all about the geo numbers whether it will work on a given frame. 
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DarKris

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas
If you have V-brakes, keep in mind you can't use those with a drop bar.



There are ways to run v-brakes w. drop bars, but it can be a pain sometimes:

2016-01-12 13.01.09.jpg 

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ashpioletrev

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Reply with quote  #7 
If this is a thing you really want to ride, I would suggest either a 27.5+ or a 29". I have a 27.5+ SS and just love the extra Cush. It's weight is very nice at 21 pounds. Shiggy is a huge fan of anything DropBar. I don't think he can even ride a flat/riser bar style bike. This bike is built to rip single track, gobble up gravel and float(sorta) on the snow! When on single track it feels like a sports car. When on the gravel ride it is fast enough. It also serves as my commuter bike all winter. Cable actuated brakes makes it VERY easy to swap bar to mtn bike bars if I want. No shifters also makes a bar swap a cinch.

Attached Images
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jpeg IMG_0191.JPG (718.33 KB, 21 views)
jpeg IMG_0268.JPG (488.44 KB, 17 views)

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ashpioletrev

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Reply with quote  #8 
Some more pictures

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jpeg IMG_0555.JPG (647.28 KB, 20 views)
jpeg IMG_0052.JPG (1.07 MB, 21 views)
jpeg IMG_0053.JPG (974.98 KB, 11 views)

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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #9 

So how did you accommodate for the reach? Size down the frame? Custom? Short stem? I'm not worried about swapping out handlebars. I have a mountain bike. If I want flatbars, I'll ride that. If I do a MonsterCX style bike...it will be in that configuration all the time.

Right now I'm just in research and curiosity mode. I'd likely go with something that can fit 27.5+/29". 

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ashpioletrev

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Reply with quote  #10 
So when it is a drop bar bike I use a 60mm stem and the reach to the hoods is just that, a reach. When I swap back to a flat/riser bar the stem is 100mm. That bar I use when i swap is the Trailhead bar from Fouriers http://www.fouriers-bike.com/en/pro.php?m=d&pid=357&cid=14&f=3 I sell these at my shop as well as use them on ever mtn bike I own. Also use them on our SS tandem. As far as frame size, same frame size I would flat bar on. If your bike already is in the "short stem" area you may need to size down to accommodate the drop bar reach. They make short reach bar now by almost 15mm and that makes a big difference (that's what she said)
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barturtle

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Reply with quote  #11 
If you're interested in a frame that can run drops and 29/27.5+ you should def take a look at the Singular Cycles Swift.

Rawland ULV is another option.
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #12 
The Swift is a disaster. 1 1/8" steerer. 135 rear. EBB. I think I'll pass since it checks all the boxes of things I look to avoid when shopping for a new bike/frame.

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chas

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashpioletrev
Some more pictures


Beautiful!

me likey.

FG also makes bar swaps a cinch!  I get spoiled that way.  
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chas

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster

So how did you accommodate for the reach? Size down the frame? Custom? Short stem? 



Y'all have me scratching my head on this one.  

The bikes I have that are designed as flat bar and drops don't have different stems. for different bars.  If you are riding on the top of the bar, it doesn't make any difference if it is a flat bar, bull horn, or drop bar.  If you are on the hoods or in the drops, you need a little extra reach, and your bars should give that to you naturally.

Of course it all depends on the bar, its reach, and the rider preference.  But, start with the same stem and go from there.

Here is one bike with
- Flat bars
- drob bars
- bull horns.

All of them (for the same 54cm frame) use 100mm stem and have 390mm reach.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/men/bikes/road/performance/langster-durango/118119
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/men/bikes/road/performance/langster/115196
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/men/bikes/road/performance/langster-street/115674



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ashpioletrev

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Reply with quote  #15 
When you think in a box you remain in a box....think outside of the box. Really any bike can be adapted to Drops, just ask Shiggy. I have seen some "disciples of dirt" riding full suspension bikes with Campy shifters and ten(may have been 9 it's been a while)speed Shimano drivetrains. Crazy as that seems that guy loved it. If you take any flat bar 31.8 and want to "drop it like it's hot" you will need to do a few adjustments. Shorter stem is one. "Brifters" from either SRAM or Shimano and BB7 rd or TRP HYRD cable brakes. One by eleven or ten is very popular. I use a eleven speed chain as it would shift better and stay on a narrow wide chainring better as well. I ride with a tandem nut that has Campy and SRAM mixed too(Campy shifter to SRAM drive). Try until you succeed. If you fail keep trying until you suck seed!(Three stooges) If your IBD will not help move on. These geeks loves to experiment. Guinea pig
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #16 
Thing is...if you are properly fitted on a bike with flat bars then throw drop bars on the same bike without changing anything else...if you ride the hoods you'll be stretched out too much so something will have to be changed to accommodate that. 

The fixie you linked to doesn't have hoods on the drop bars so they won't really compare. Anyone riding that thing will be on the top or the drops which are more or less in line with the top which is the same as a flatbar. The bullhorns maybe would be kinda the same as hoods....but not sure. They are definitely out front of the top bar so it might be similar to riding the hoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chas


Y'all have me scratching my head on this one.  

The bikes I have that are designed as flat bar and drops don't have different stems. for different bars.  If you are riding on the top of the bar, it doesn't make any difference if it is a flat bar, bull horn, or drop bar.  If you are on the hoods or in the drops, you need a little extra reach, and your bars should give that to you naturally.

Of course it all depends on the bar, its reach, and the rider preference.  But, start with the same stem and go from there.

Here is one bike with
- Flat bars
- drob bars
- bull horns.

All of them (for the same 54cm frame) use 100mm stem and have 390mm reach.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/men/bikes/road/performance/langster-durango/118119
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/men/bikes/road/performance/langster/115196
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/men/bikes/road/performance/langster-street/115674



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PoolBoyMatt

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Reply with quote  #17 

I think what is missing from this is a simple comparison of two bikes. Take a drop bar bike you like - look up the geo. Find the stack and reach. Compare that stack and reach with a flat bar bike you like. Whats the difference? I'll show you two of my bikes as an example.


Trek Crockett:
Size 61
Stack 62.4
Reach 39.7

Santa Cruz Highball CC:
Size XL
Stack 63.3
Reach 45.0

What those numbers mean is all things remaining constant. Think I pulled the bars and shifters off the Crockett (running a 110 stem now) I would need to run a 60mm stem to keep the feel consistent. I would also need to run 10mm more spacers under the stem (assuming the bike is rigid and the stack wont drop at sag because rigid = no sag).

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NoCoGreg

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Reply with quote  #18 
Careful when discussing drop bars for mountain bikes. There are several forums for "vintage" mountain bikes with drop bar conversions.  As previously discussed the reach of the bike is key - vintage mountain bikes had much less reach.  In the early 90's the mtb bikes started getting more reach.

There are modern mountain bikes designed around drop bars - Salsa's Fargo is one example.  The Fargo will accommodate a 2.4" 29'er tire with fenders and has a suspension adjusted fork so one could easily (not to be confused with inexpensively) be replaced with a suspension fork for more serious off road riding.  Other companies have similar bikes which vary in their target usage (on/off road, touring vs fast riding, etc). 

Vintage mountain bikes can be modernized to some degree, but if you're looking for disk brakes, through axles, or 29" wheels then you'll have to go modern.  However, many of the high end vintage bikes can be had for a song. It is not uncommon to find well made double butted steel framed bikes for $100 or less.  With another $100, some luck and searching around it is not uncommon to be able to use a mix of new an used parts one can make the conversion to have a drop bar mountain bike weighing between 25 and 30 pounds.  A few more $$$ to get more modern parts and one can have a rigid 26'er which weighs closer to 21 pounds.  

To a previous comment - many of the drop bar conversions do use v-brakes. There are several brake lever manufacturers (Cane Creek, Tektro, others) with models specific for v-brakes. These brake levers simply have less mechanical advantage to pull the additional cable required by v-brakes and also mountain bike specific cable actuated disk brakes.  The standard brifters will not pull enough cable (too much mechanical advantage) for a mountain v-brake and thus will require a device such as Problem Solvers Travel Agent.

Cheers,
Greg



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chas

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Reply with quote  #19 

Makes sense if you are looking at different frames.  We were talking about converting a frame.

My example was using the same frame, like the original question.  If set up right, you don’t need to change anything. Riding on top of the flat bar, or on top of drop  bars, you would need the same stem. Yes, you should be lower and more stretched on the hoods or drops.  You don’t need to change the stem to do this if your bike is set up properly.  To over simplify it: in any position, ideally your handlebars are going to block the view of your hub.

Ultimately there is no right or wrong.  There is user preference.

Whether I use a flat bar or drop bar, I can use the same  stem.

But sometimes my mood changes.I use a shorter stem with the bull horns because I like to be a little more upright riding on top of the bars and a little less stretched when grabbing the horns.  Personal preference.

In other cases, I’ll use a long and low stem to get a flat bar to simulate my position when riding on the hoods.   Kinda depends on my mood.

So, I start with the same stem.  Then decide if I want to be a little more upright or a little more stretched out.  Usually 20mm is enough of a change.  Anything more than 20-30mm is going to significantly change the steering of the bike…

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chas

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCoGreg

To a previous comment - many of the drop bar conversions do use v-brakes. There are several brake lever manufacturers (Cane Creek, Tektro, others) with models specific for v-brakes...

Cheers,
Greg



Thanks Greg - I need to find me some of those!

or maybe jones bar would be simpler.  ;-)
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NoCoGreg

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas


Thanks Greg - I need to find me some of those!

or maybe jones bar would be simpler.  ;-)


Here's a link to one review...  I have bikes with both Tektro and Cane Creek levers. Can't say one is better than the other - just slightly different feel.
http://road.cc/content/review/12339-tektro-rl520-v-brake-compatible-drop-levers

The setup pictured in the review, using bar end shifters, is very common.  I've also seen vintage drop bar conversion where others have been able to modify or fashion clamps to use old thumb shifters which clamp near the stem of the drop bars (clamp is usually just before the bar increases in diameter near the stem).  The issue is that where brake levers are attached, diameter of a mountain bar is slightly smaller than the diameter of a road bar. Soooo getting mountain specific brake and shift levers to mount on a drop bar is not straight forward.

Jones bars definitely give a different set of options both in terms of bike reach and also hand positions.

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chas

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Reply with quote  #22 
Perfect, thanks Greg!
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #23 
Been looking at some frame builders...might be the best way to go at the end of the day. A CX/gravel frame that will take a something like a 2.3 tire or a little larger. Custom geo, designed for drops, will accept larger tires, sliders for single speed option, threaded BB because threaded FTW, 12x142 rear...winner winner chicken dinner.

Will be cost prohibitive at the moment however. Probably looking at around $2k for steel unless someone knows of a quality custom builder that charges less. Right now I'm looking at 44 Bikes but I'm really turned off by the $300 extra charge for buying a frame only.
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NoCoGreg

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Reply with quote  #24 
Have you checked out the below site? Lots of options, all of which must fit at least a 2" tire...
http://www.cyclingabout.com/complete-list-offroad-expedition-adventure-touring-bikes/
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Nubster

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Reply with quote  #25 
There's a couple that look interesting but none that check all the boxes. I can deal with 135 rear. But not a 1 1/8" steerer which seems popular on a lot of those bikes. Also really looking for something that has sliders for single speed option. EBB is out of the question. I'd consider a tensioner which obviously will work on just about any bike but would greatly prefer sliders. I had looked really hard at the Salsa Cutthroat before I got my Renegade. But no Salsa dealer within 2 hours kinda made me steer away. My local shops can get Salsa stuff....but they aren't actual dealers and it was order at my own risk so for the price...wasn't worth taking a chance that I didn't like the bike. The Salsa Vaya looks decent too. Up to 50mm tire but not a true mountain bike tire. I'd like something that will take something 2.1 to 2.3...or maybe even wider. 
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