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Help With Drop Bar Conversion

Old 03-19-23, 04:01 PM
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techie
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Help With Drop Bar Conversion

Iím converting this hybrid bike to a drop bar gravel bike. It currently has a a 3x7 Altus drivetrain. I have an almost-new Claris r2000 groupset 2x8. Will the Claris levers work with the existing disc brake calipers?


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Old 03-19-23, 04:43 PM
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You need to convert the amount of brake cable pulled by using these or something like them:
https://bikerecyclery.com/problem-so...es-silver-new/
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Old 03-19-23, 04:48 PM
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Altus is MTB, But OLD MTB used Cantilever Brakes, which are SHORT Pull...... Claris is Road, also Short cable pull... Road disc calipers are short pull, @ 32mm from pivot center to Cable mount surface...Modern MTB Disc calipers are Long pull, @ 40mm from pivot center to Cable mount surface.
MEASURE your caliper pull arms, as described above, to confirm.

Canti, side, and Road disc are Short pull, V-brake and MTB Disc calipers are Long pull

https://bike.bikegremlin.com/1402/me...ad%2C%208%20mm

Last edited by maddog34; 03-19-23 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 03-19-23, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34
Probably not, if the Levers are actual Altus Levers... Altus is MTB, Long cable pull... Claris is Road, Short cable pull... Road disc calipers are short pull.. @ 32mm from pivot center to Cable mount surface...MTB calipers are Long pull, @ 40mm from pivot center to Cable mount surface.

You will most likely need a pair of Road calipers to make things work correctly... MEASURE your caliper pull ratio to confirm.
Or a pull converter, like the Travel Agent I posted.

New road calipers also work - if you can find them in the kind of caliper mount the bike has.
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Old 03-19-23, 05:18 PM
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Baloney. Long / short doesn't matter. Especially with disc.
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Old 03-19-23, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
Baloney. Long / short doesn't matter. Especially with disc.
That depends. If the brakes are hydraulic, then it doesn't matter. If they are cable brakes, you can use short pull calipers with long pull brake levers, but NEVER vice versa as you won't pull enough cable to have enough stopping power.
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Old 03-19-23, 11:11 PM
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techie I have used a Travel Agent on a bike for years, in fact it's still being used on the bike since I gave to my son-in-law. It's a little fussy to get set up. Not rocket science, just a bit fussy. I always thought it would be hard on cables (it looks like it should), but didn't actually see that in use. Two of them will cost you around $50-$60 and might have some problems finding the ones you need (haven't really looked very hard but a couple places showed them unavailable).

New cheap-ish cable actuated disc calipers compatible with those levers might cost $25 - $50 more than that, but it would be a cleaner, easier installation and maintenance. Again, the Travel Agent is not rocket science, and I'm glad I have it for that bike, but they're just another moving part that has to be installed correctly and understood to make sure they're installed and kept up right.

FWIW, my wife's Claris 2000 8 speed bike uses Tektro MD-C310, just to give you an idea of what might be considered an appropriate level of caliper for that group. They work fine. Hers are flat mount so it may or may not apply to you.

If I had it to do over again (and might change to) I'd go with a Sora 9 speed or equivalent level of 9 or 10 speed Microshift or maybe even an Microshift Advent 9 speed 1X, depending on the gearing you need. I'm only suggesting modestly priced options as they're more consistent with Claris level and work just fine.

Last edited by Camilo; 03-19-23 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 03-20-23, 06:03 AM
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A different direction?

You know you can ride "gravel" with flat bars. Are you really going to be riding the long distances that necessitate drops? Most drop conversions seem to come off as kludges with goofy stems. Maybe put the effort and $ (probably less) into a modern 1X, Microshift or Deore. JMO
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Old 03-20-23, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
Baloney. Long / short doesn't matter. Especially with disc.
You won't find many people that will agree with that. Long/short pull definitely DOES matter, on all types of brakes.
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Old 03-20-23, 06:45 AM
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will the Shimano Tourney 3x7 brifters work for this?
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Old 03-20-23, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by RB1-luvr
will the Shimano Tourney 3x7 brifters work for this?
I actually have a set of the old rsx 3x7 brifters but I got a great deal on the Claris drivetrain so I figured Iíd make it a little nicer.


Originally Posted by shelbyfv
You know you can ride "gravel" with flat bars. Are you really going to be riding the long distances that necessitate drops? Most drop conversions seem to come off as kludges with goofy stems. Maybe put the effort and $ (probably less) into a modern 1X, Microshift or Deore. JMO

I generally to the ďrails to trailsĒ old converted rail lines that generally range from hard packed gravel to crusher dust to looser gravel and it can be a little sketchier in areas that arenít graded. Overall fairly flatÖmy longest ride has been 60km and I do prefer drops for that.

I got the bike for $20. Itís in perfect working order except the rear brake pads were clamped to the disc when I bought it. Fixed that and it rides great. Itís on my indoor trainer now.

I was initially thinking of getting a surly corner bar but
I got the Claris groupset (looks brand new, only used on an indoor trainer. Seller upgraded to 105) for $100. Both derailleurs, cables, cranks and bottom bracket, cassette and chainrings and brifters all in boxes.

Thereís a flared Rocky Mountain takeoff bar Iím hoping to get locally and Iíll need some bar tape. Iím hoping for around $200 I can have a pretty sweet gravel bike.
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Old 03-20-23, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Lombard
That depends. If the brakes are hydraulic, then it doesn't matter. If they are cable brakes, you can use short pull calipers with long pull brake levers, but NEVER vice versa as you won't pull enough cable to have enough stopping power.

If I had to run mismatched brakes and levers I would choose short pull levers and long-pull brakes. Well, actually I would choose neither and scrounge levers or calipers that work.
But if there was a weapon pointed at my head and I had to choose one, short pull levers on long pull calipers can be made to work, although usually with very little clearance between the pads and rotor/rim - probably so little clearance that it will be damn near impossible to get it set up so it doesn't rub. But the alternative, long pull levers with short pull calipers can be set up so the brakes don't rub and fully actuate when the lever is pulled, you have to pull twice as hard on the lever to get the same braking force. Short pull levers and long pull calipers require less force but have to be set very close when not actuated.
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Old 03-20-23, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson
If I had to run mismatched brakes and levers I would choose short pull levers and long-pull brakes. Well, actually I would choose neither and scrounge levers or calipers that work.
But if there was a weapon pointed at my head and I had to choose one, short pull levers on long pull calipers can be made to work, although usually with very little clearance between the pads and rotor/rim - probably so little clearance that it will be damn near impossible to get it set up so it doesn't rub. But the alternative, long pull levers with short pull calipers can be set up so the brakes don't rub and fully actuate when the lever is pulled, you have to pull twice as hard on the lever to get the same braking force. Short pull levers and long pull calipers require less force but have to be set very close when not actuated.
Hmmm. Maybe I mis-worded what I meant. I meant levers that pull MORE cable than the calipers are designed for will work. Levers that pull LESS cable than the calipers are designed for will not work safely.
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Old 03-21-23, 07:09 AM
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Lombard That is how I took your meaning, and I disagree. I think short pull levers (old mtb levers for cantis, road levers) on long pull brakes (V brakes, most disc calipers) provide good stopping but are a huge pain to set up without rubbing. Long pull levers with short pull brakes, in my opinion, are less safe because you have to pull physically harder to get adequate friction of pads against braking surface.
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Old 03-21-23, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson
If I had to run mismatched brakes and levers .....
Under what circumstances would you ever "have to" run mismatched brakes and levers? You mean if you're in a far-off remote part of the world and your brake levers fail, and the only bike shop for 100 miles has the wrong kind for your bike?

Other than something like that, you never have to use the wrong levers. Both short and long pull levers are readily available, so it's best to just use the correct type.
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Old 03-21-23, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
Under what circumstances would you ever "have to" run mismatched brakes and levers? You mean if you're in a far-off remote part of the world and your brake levers fail, and the only bike shop for 100 miles has the wrong kind for your bike?

Other than something like that, you never have to use the wrong levers. Both short and long pull levers are readily available, so it's best to just use the correct type.
I don't know if there are drop bar brifters that are long pull, but there certainly are plenty of solutions to the problem.
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Old 03-22-23, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
Under what circumstances would you ever "have to" run mismatched brakes and levers? You mean if you're in a far-off remote part of the world and your brake levers fail, and the only bike shop for 100 miles has the wrong kind for your bike?

Other than something like that, you never have to use the wrong levers. Both short and long pull levers are readily available, so it's best to just use the correct type.
You quite deliberately removed the part of my comment where I said I would scrounge the correct levers or calipers if there was a mismatch, and the one scenario where running mismatched levers might be required (g*n to my head).
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