Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
alexnharvey
Posts: 725
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

Postby alexnharvey » 13 Aug 2019, 9:52am

I am thinking of converting my rustbucket, a cheap 4130 steel frame, to drop bars for my commute to work and general city cycling. Riding rustbucket again after a period disassembled in the shed i was dismayed to find how responsive, light and comfortable it was compared to my genesis day one singlespeed commuter. I began to look for a touring frame to commute on before realising I might simply be able to put a pair of drops and singlespeed wheel on rustbucket and be satisfied, or at least test the concept further before buying another frame possibly the surly cross check.

I think my day one has short reach shallow ergonomic drops. Although the top tube is about 40mm longer on rustbucket, it is compensated for by a shorter stem. I think I need the overall reach to be about the same as the day one for comfort. Possibly slightly longer reach on the bars would be ok. I spend most of the commute on the ramps/hoods and do use the drops a little. I am not particularly fond of the ergo style and the hand positions in the drops. I think therefore that I want a short reach 25.4mm bar with rounded drops. I will be using vbrakes, probably with tektro rl520 levers.

I've taken photos of both bikes and thought it would be useful to overlay and compare them but I can't work out how to do that.

Any thoughts on the conversion on general, and on bars that might be suitable would be appreciated.

IMG_20190813_091325.jpg


IMG_20190813_090955.jpg

pwa
Posts: 9876
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

Postby pwa » 13 Aug 2019, 9:56am

First thoughts, how much further forward will you be comfortable reaching than at present? Drop bars and their brakes mean extra reach, only partly offset by using a shorter stem. Compact bars with short forward reach will be in the mix.

alexnharvey
Posts: 725
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Re: Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

Postby alexnharvey » 13 Aug 2019, 10:12am

I should've explained more clearly, although I thought it was implicit that I know there's additional reach to a drop bar given I'm considering a short reach one rather than a longer one.

I think the reach from measured from seatpost centre to the handlebar clamp is similar on both bikes, so with similar drop bar reach, overall reach is the same, right?
The frames are quite different though, so there may be factors other than reach which will complicate things. For example I didn't realise the saddle height was so different before setting them side by side. I have only ridden rustbucket three or four times since getting it running again so saddle height isn't final.

I think I might be happy reaching 10 or 20 mm further forward than I do on the day one currently but haven't tested it in practice.

Brucey
Posts: 34868
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

Postby Brucey » 13 Aug 2019, 10:21am

EBC frame appears to have a similar seat angle (~73 degrees). If so you can compare top tube lengths directly. However the saddles have a different setback too.

BTW it is no great surprise that a bike with rim brakes rides better than one with discs; the day one is not a bad frame but it is almost bound to have stiffer forks than a half-decent CroMo frame designed for rim brakes.

However the riding position has a lot to do with it too; with the handlebars set high it is easy to bring your weight to bear on the pedals and that means that, in a short effort of some kind, a bike with high handlebars (and low gears) may feel more responsive than one with drops. Of course if you go any distance, being sat up catching the breeze is a bad thing and the dropped handlebars will provide a more aero position.

Very many hybrid frames have such long top tubes that you can't realistically use dropped bars with them. In some cases you can, provided you use a short enough stem.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

slowster
Posts: 822
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

Postby slowster » 13 Aug 2019, 10:23am

I don't think there is much choice of handlebars with 25.4mm clamp size, Nitto being the only main brand that comes to mind, and I suspect that your other requirements regarding the bar shape will be difficult to fulfil in conjunction with a 25.4mm clamp size. SJS, Planet X and Bike Components are probably some of the obvious places to look.

How about a quill to ahead adapter? The cost of the adapter and a cheap short ahead stem would give you a much wider choice of bars in 31.8mm clamp size, and wider choice of cheaper 31.8mm bars might offset the likely higher cost of a Nitto 25.4mm bar that meets your requirements.

pwa
Posts: 9876
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

Postby pwa » 13 Aug 2019, 10:25am

alexnharvey wrote:I should've explained more clearly, although I thought it was implicit that I know there's additional reach to a drop bar given I'm considering a short reach one rather than a longer one.

I think the reach from measured from seatpost centre to the handlebar clamp is similar on both bikes, so with similar drop bar reach, overall reach is the same, right?
The frames are quite different though, so there may be factors other than reach which will complicate things. For example I didn't realise the saddle height was so different before setting them side by side. I have only ridden rustbucket three or four times since getting it running again so saddle height isn't final.

I think I might be happy reaching 10 or 20 mm further forward than I do on the day one currently but haven't tested it in practice.


It looks like it should be a goer. Assuming your current drop bar bike has a position you are happy with, I'd be trying to copy that over to the other bike as closely as possible. And I would start by doing lots of measurements on the drop bar bike. For example, the horizontal distance of the saddle behind the bottom bracket, saddle height above bottom bracket (assuming crank lengths the same). Get those the same on both bikes and then you can look at reach to the bars. As you say, if the distance from seat post to clamp is currently about the same on both bikes you should be able to get there.

Brucey
Posts: 34868
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

Postby Brucey » 13 Aug 2019, 10:36am

ten quid will sort you on handlebars

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/handlebars/420-zoom-anatomic-btfov-alloy-drop-handlebars-254mm-clamp-black/

the 'anatomicness' doesn't extend as far as the tops, so the fact that the drops are the shape they are wouldn't worry me that much; I wouldn't be using them during a commute anyway.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

alexnharvey
Posts: 725
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Re: Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

Postby alexnharvey » 13 Aug 2019, 11:04am

I'm wary of too much disc brake discussion lest this thread go off track but I believe based on the other discussions here that the day one is heavier and stiffer for the discs and also because of the move to larger diameter tubing overall.

The seat tube angle looks about a degree slacker on the EBC frame and currently the saddles are laid-back differently as Brucey says. I measured the reach on the EBC prior to buying the day one and thought it was too long for this conversion but seeing Gaz's bike in my wanted thread led me to remeasure and reconsider
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=131943#p1384480
I might try those zoom bars but was thinking about some others that are slightly shorter reach. However, I'd pay quite a premium for the more specialist bar. https://www.tokyobike.co.uk/fairweather ... dleba.html

PH
Posts: 7299
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

Postby PH » 13 Aug 2019, 1:26pm

Some SOMA bars are 25.4, not cheap but not quite Nitto price either.

pwa
Posts: 9876
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

Postby pwa » 13 Aug 2019, 1:28pm

It is nice to see somebody trying to re-use a bike by making it better meet current needs.

LuckyLuke
Posts: 218
Joined: 10 Jun 2010, 11:54am

Re: Drop bar conversion, 25.4, short reach? vbrakes

Postby LuckyLuke » 14 Aug 2019, 8:12pm

Hi, Tokyobike sell Nitto compact drop bars for 25.4mm clamps. These have a short 75mm reach. I brought mine in Spring this year. They didn't have any in stock so I had to wait weeks for them to come from Japan.
I still haven't got around to fitting them... :roll: :lol:
https://www.tokyobike.co.uk/fairweather ... dleba.html

Dutch Bike Bits webshop sells a very short, upright 1" +25.4mm steel stem with a loooong neck (giraffe like). It's for Dutch roadsters but I'very used mine with 25.4mm drop bars. I'm recovering from a hip injury & need a more upright position. The fashion police have issued a warrant for my arrest, but needs must!

I also like cross top brake levers (?interrupters ) with drops if a bike's used in town, & one rides on the tops more.

Best wishes,

Luke