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Drops to Flat Bar conversion - Help Plz

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Drops to Flat Bar conversion - Help Plz

Old 02-20-21, 12:05 PM
  #1  
Speedway2
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Drops to Flat Bar conversion - Progress!(post#17) Completed!(post#22)

Hello,
I'm ready to convert my 2001 Giant OCR3 to flat bar but have a few questions re what components I'll need.
This bike has not ridden for a few years now because I've found more comfortable bikes to ride. I think by converting it to Flat Bar it will be easier on this Old Phart's body and I can add it back into rotation again.

- The handle bar should be a no brainer. Just needs to fit the inside-diameter of the existing stem and will probably get one with a slight riser.
- I'll need flat bar shifters that are compatible with the front and rear 105 derailleurs that are currently shifting 3 in the front and 8 in the rear. Rapid fire indexing is the concern. May even consider Friction type.
- I'll also need brake levers that will pull the existing Tektro's properly.

Note: I have considered just running a single front chain ring to eliminate the shifter and front (derailleur) but will probably have to replace the ring to one that will prevent the chain from falling off.

What's my budget? Cheap and Cheerful
Here are pics of the bike up for conversion.











My main bikes (at the moment) are 2 Single Speeds. I was planning on buying a geared Fitness Hybrid but this conversion might fit the bill.
What are your thoughts?......and Thanks in advance

Last edited by Speedway2; 02-25-21 at 04:20 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-20-21, 12:27 PM
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It sounds like you kind of figured it out. I probably would look at an alt bar of some sort. Maybe with a bit of sweep back (but not too much) and of course the proper Ergon GC1s. I would also look at at the Microshift thumbies. I think those are just tops. I would probably consider a 2x or swapping rear derailleur for something of similar quality but longer cage. Of course I would get high quality cables and housing for better shifting and braking but that could be said on any bike that could use new cables and housing.

However personally bikes like this are a bit harsh and very little tire clearance at the rear usually so not my first choice for a flat bar bike. Though at the very least you could add a Kinekt seatpost which will help a good bit.
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Old 02-20-21, 01:06 PM
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I agree with the comment about the rather restricted tire clearances. I suspect 25mm is the widest (without actual try and see efforts being done) that will fit and retain some clearance.

I'll add that many times when one of our customers do this bar change they discover they want to move their seat more rearward and often want a slightly wider one too.

AS to cost range- from zero (if you have a stash or access to a stash) to a couple of hundred+ $. It all depends. This is where shopping a LBS's new take offs can help reduce some of the cost. Andy
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Old 02-20-21, 01:46 PM
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Andrew... I've mounted Continental 25's on (before) but the clearance to the seat tube was barely enough to slide a dime thru....so they were swapped back to the OEM 23's. I hear you about the seat. I always found the current seat to be very hard. Even the paper thin seat on my Langster feels better.

Yup....this bike is harsh in its current config and I figured it would be even more so set up with Flat bar ergos but I'm willing to give it a go.

I've read good things about the Microshift thingies but they're kinda pricey. Unfortunately, the LBS are curb-side pickup only due to the beer virus. Even trying to get thru to ask questions and source parts is challenging.

veganbikes.....I thought about going 2x. Actually considered grinding the teeth off the "big sprocket" and leaving it on as a chain guide/guard.
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Old 02-20-21, 02:08 PM
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https://bike.shimano.com/en-NZ/produ...SL-2403-L.html

https://www.tektro.com/products.php?p=74
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Old 02-20-21, 02:18 PM
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The handlebar is not quite a no brainer. I went from the road bar a 5cm below the saddle to 2cm above. Set the bike on a trainer and see where that upright but still sporty location for the bars hit.

My old bike had a quill stem and I needed an extender and a riser bar. Of course there are risers that can rival the ones on old Stingrays, but that wasn’t the look I wanted.

John
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Old 02-20-21, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedway2 View Post
...
- The handle bar should be a no brainer. Just needs to fit the inside-diameter of the existing stem and will probably get one with a slight riser....
Don't worry too much about matching the handlebar diameter to the stem. They make inexpensive shims that work very well. I've used 26.0 bars with 31.8 stems many times. There are shims for 25.4 too.

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
...
However personally bikes like this are a bit harsh and very little tire clearance at the rear usually so not my first choice for a flat bar bike. ...
Originally Posted by Speedway2 View Post
Andrew... I've mounted Continental 25's on (before) but the clearance to the seat tube was barely enough to slide a dime thru....so they were swapped back to the OEM 23's.....
Your experience about tire clearance is definitive of course. Before I read it I was going to disagree with veganbikes's thought about that because I had a different experience. We had an ~'06 OCR bike in our family years ago and I know for sure I easily put Gatorskin 28's on it, and it was ridden that way until I sold it (and removed and kept the 28s). At the time I thought it had clearance for 30's. It's too bad your frame doesn't have that clearance.
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Old 02-20-21, 03:00 PM
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^^^^that's good information folks! Appreciate the experience and feedback.....
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Old 02-20-21, 03:00 PM
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the R2000 flat bar Claris brake levers that match the shifters linked above have adjustable cable pull ratio so you can pair them with caliper brakes like the ones you have
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Old 02-20-21, 04:20 PM
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I have done quite a few flat bar setups for myself and I recommend a longer stem when going this route.

If you are looking for a flat Easton straight bar, longer stem 120mm, Shimano BL-R550 brake levers and Ergon grips, I have some extra's I can sell you cheap. I live in Toronto, so not far from you. All you would need is some shifters. I have experienced trying to purchase bike parts in this city during the pandemic and it can be difficult.

What I like about conversions is, if you dislike it you can always change everything back.
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Old 02-20-21, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
I have done quite a few flat bar setups for myself and I recommend a longer stem when going this route.

If you are looking for a flat Easton straight bar, longer stem 120mm, Shimano BL-R550 brake levers and Ergon grips, I have some extra's I can sell you cheap. I live in Toronto, so not far from you. All you would need is some shifters. I have experienced trying to purchase bike parts in this city during the pandemic and it can be difficult.

What I like about conversions is, if you dislike it you can always change everything back.
blakcloud...when you say you have "extras I can sell you cheap", what do you mean by cheap
I'm having a heck of a time sourcing compatible shifters without having to change/swap other components to make it all work. Even trying to find new cables and housing is a challenge. Perhaps I can check with MEC.

BTW....I'm in the Bathurst/Steeles area so close by.
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Old 02-20-21, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Don't worry too much about matching the handlebar diameter to the stem. They make inexpensive shims that work very well. I've used 26.0 bars with 31.8 stems many times. There are shims for 25.4 too.





Your experience about tire clearance is definitive of course. Before I read it I was going to disagree with veganbikes's thought about that because I had a different experience. We had an ~'06 OCR bike in our family years ago and I know for sure I easily put Gatorskin 28's on it, and it was ridden that way until I sold it (and removed and kept the 28s). At the time I thought it had clearance for 30's. It's too bad your frame doesn't have that clearance.
Some bikes you can get clearance but a lot of bikes at the rear are fussy and don't like wide tires. Keep in mind 28 back in the day was almost a fat tire on a road bike.
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Old 02-20-21, 04:42 PM
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So that we don't break any rules here on Bike Forums and turn this into a buy and sell board, I will send you PM.

For cables and housing Urbane Cycles on College has been my go to. MEC is changing ownership and they have stock problems. Also Bike Depot is another good shop for cables and housing and they have two locations.

Your most expensive part is the shifters but that isn't insurmountable by looking for used stuff.
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Old 02-20-21, 04:44 PM
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So I went to "Jeff's" online store and found this. Can anyone confirm if they will work?

Amazon Amazon

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Old 02-20-21, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
So that we don't break any rules here on Bike Forums and turn this into a buy and sell board, I will send you PM.

For cables and housing Urbane Cycles on College has been my go to. MEC is changing ownership and they have stock problems. Also Bike Depot is another good shop for cables and housing and they have two locations.

Your most expensive part is the shifters but that isn't insurmountable by looking for used stuff.
blakcloud....can't seem to respond to your PMs.
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Old 02-21-21, 03:52 PM
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Quick update....I picked up the "Goods" from blakcloud. Great person to deal with and everything was exactly as described. Could not be happier.

I just ordered the Microshift thumb shifters from the LBS.

Looking forward to starting the conversion and will be posting the results.......thanks everyone for your input.
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Old 02-22-21, 07:12 AM
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Progress pics.....
Parts installed: Easton 22" straight bar, ARX 3T 120mm stem, Shimano BL-R550 brake levers and Ergon grips.
Waiting for the Microshift Mezzo's and a pair of brake cables. Very happy with the results so far!







Last edited by Speedway2; 02-22-21 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 02-23-21, 09:04 PM
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So far it looks good.

I was just watching a Park Tool YouTube video and they had a neat cosmetic trick to help the threadless stem conversion look better. Have a look at this video at 6:20. A few headset spacers will make it look a little more finished.

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Old 02-25-21, 05:17 AM
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Nicely done! A well thought through makeover.
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Old 02-25-21, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
So far it looks good.

I was just watching a Park Tool YouTube video and they had a neat cosmetic trick to help the threadless stem conversion look better. Have a look at this video at 6:20. A few headset spacers will make it look a little more finished.

https://youtu.be/Ey_kiNivXGM?t=380
Thanks blakcloud. That's a great tip! I think I have a few spacers kicking around.....if I can find them
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Old 02-25-21, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Outrider1 View Post
Nicely done! A well thought through makeover.
Thanks...but the credit goes to blakcloud as he supplied the bars, stem, grips and levers.
I also purchased a set of Microshit Mezzo shifters (that he suggested) from a LBS. They are now installed.

Just waiting for a pair of teflon brake cables to complete the conversion and for Spring to arrive....
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Old 02-25-21, 04:19 PM
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All done! Installed the last piece of the conversion today(teflon coated brake cables). First time trying these and so far they seem pretty slick and smooth.
Looking forward to the first ride once the roads are snow/salt free....




Last edited by Speedway2; 02-25-21 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 02-25-21, 04:38 PM
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You looking fine. Just FYI for best results use uncoated polished cables that coating can come off and gum things up a bit but don't toss them, use them they will be fine for now!
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Old 02-25-21, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
You looking fine. Just FYI for best results use uncoated polished cables that coating can come off and gum things up a bit but don't toss them, use them they will be fine for now!
Thanks for the tip veganbikes....always appreciate your feed back.
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Old 02-25-21, 09:58 PM
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I recently did something similar to my Pro_tour.


Before

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