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OK, I have a mad idea. Does someone want to talk me out of it?

 

My daughter currently rides a Beinn 20 and loves it. A month or so ago I purchased another Beinn 20 on a whim as I saw a fairly battered one on Gumtree selling for £100. My original thoughts on purchasing this was that it would be good to have a spare bike at Granny's for when we go down on the train. My thoughts on this have now change however as "Granny" is now talking about downsizing so may not have the space to permanently store the bike.

 

 

My daughter would like to move to a drop bar bike (like Daddy) but is currently a little small for the move up to the Islabike Luath 24. A thought occurred to me after seeing a listing on eBay for Luath 24 drop bars and shifters (someone had converted a Luath to a flat bar?!?!?!), that I could convert the spare Beinn 20 to a drop bar version.

Is this totally crazy?

I think that the planned build would require and cost the following:

 

Drop Bars/Shifters = £10.00 (already purchased)

New Cables = £10

8sp 20" Wheels = £50

8sp 11-32 cassette = £10

8sp rear derailier = £20

 

 

So I would be looking at ~£100 to convert the spare Beinn 20 to a drop bar bike to see if my daughter would actually like riding drop bars. I don't think I would lose any money on it as I should be able to convert back and sell the Beinn and parts for what I paid (or more).

 

Does someone want to talk me out of this before I embark on this crazy mission?

Or if anyone wants to encourage me, are there any considerations that I may not have considered?

9 comments

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Rod Marton [106 posts] 2 months ago
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Whilst it's not a totally crazy idea, it's not a very good one. The problem is that flat bar and drop bar bikes have different geometries, and most importantly for you a flat bar bike has a longer top tube. What this means is that you have to shorten the stem significantly to have a reasonable riding position with drop bars. But this affects the steering.

Now I have done this with an adult bike, and whilst it works, it isn't ideal. But I really wouldn't try it with a childs bike, the stem is much shorter in the first place and I doubt it will be possible to shorten it much further. So your daughter will end up with a stretched position, which probably won't endear her to the idea of riding drops.

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rjfrussell [477 posts] 2 months ago
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We've found that when they move up to the Luath, their hands are still a wee bit on the small side for the shifters/ brakes (twist grip on the Beinn is so much easier for small hands).  if your daughter is still Beinn sized (with concomitantly small hands) I suspect she would really struggle with the drop bar shifters (and brakes).  Move up when good and ready!

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ClubSmed [674 posts] 2 months ago
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Rod Marton wrote:

Whilst it's not a totally crazy idea, it's not a very good one. The problem is that flat bar and drop bar bikes have different geometries, and most importantly for you a flat bar bike has a longer top tube. What this means is that you have to shorten the stem significantly to have a reasonable riding position with drop bars. But this affects the steering.

Now I have done this with an adult bike, and whilst it works, it isn't ideal. But I really wouldn't try it with a childs bike, the stem is much shorter in the first place and I doubt it will be possible to shorten it much further. So your daughter will end up with a stretched position, which probably won't endear her to the idea of riding drops.

I thought the same thing and did a little bit of investigation and rough estimation. The length of the top tube on the old Beinn 24 model (same year as the one I have) is halfway inbetween that of the modern Beinn 24 and  Luath 24. I used the 24 model as comparison as there is no Luath 20 to make a direct comparison to the Beinn 20.

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SteveAustin [124 posts] 2 months ago
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i think itll work. I would get too caught up on frame geometries fwiw, the beinn is very short and upright, so drop bars wont really affect too much as the bike is quite short as it is. ive got one (beinn 20) in the garage so im not just "guessing" about the geometry.

the shifting might be a thing i would try to keep simple, either a old style flip shifter: bar mounted, or mount the twist shifter centrally, on the steerer, a few ways to do this, a quick google shows how. not sure that age will be able to work out paddle/flip shifters, i may be wrong  1

only thing that youll only find out when build is if the steering gets a bit twitchy due to the longer/more forward bars position.

fwiw i bet islabikes ahave tried it out. might want to mail them to what they think

gl

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Rod Marton [106 posts] 2 months ago
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rjfrussell wrote:

We've found that when they move up to the Luath, their hands are still a wee bit on the small side for the shifters/ brakes (twist grip on the Beinn is so much easier for small hands).  if your daughter is still Beinn sized (with concomitantly small hands) I suspect she would really struggle with the drop bar shifters (and brakes).  Move up when good and ready!

Good point. My daughter has exactly this problem with the drop levers on her Luath and uses the cyclo-x levers almost exclusively.

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Drinfinity [77 posts] 2 months ago
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Our two daughters both struggled at the start with Luath 24 shifters, and so would typically leave it in bottom gear as it was so hard to change down again. They wouldn’t have been able to brake or shift on the drop levers at an age where they were riding a 20”.  It wasn’t till they were about 9 they would use the drop levers at all, and age 11 with disc brakes older d is able to brake and shift from any position. 

CX brake levers on the top will be needed. For shifting, maybe a bar end shifter would be best. Or even both bar end brake and shift!

 

http://www.jtekengineering.com/products/aero-bar-mounted-aero-brake-lever/

 

Kidsracing also sell junior handlebars - maybe have a chat with them.

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Drinfinity [77 posts] 2 months ago
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Most important is to get some really cool bar tape though.

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ClubSmed [674 posts] 2 months ago
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Drinfinity wrote:

CX brake levers on the top will be needed. For shifting, maybe a bar end shifter would be best. Or even both bar end brake and shift!

Luckily the eBay Luath bars that I bought have the shifters, cables, bar tape and CX brakes included

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Drinfinity [77 posts] 2 months ago
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Bargain!