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Hi all. New to the forum and road biking. 

Query. This isn't something I definitely intend to do but wanted some advice nevertheless. So currently have a set up as follows: 

drop bars

full 105 drivetrain 

rs505 hydraulics

if I intended to do a flat bar conversion, could I just swap out the bar, levers and shifters to something compatible with the existing, or is there something else I have overlooked????

If you're wondering why I want this. Can't seem to get on with the position drop bars put me in. I am trying a shorter stem this week which I will also flip to bring things a little closer but we shall see. 

Cheers 

16 comments

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barongreenback [126 posts] 11 months ago
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This won’t be the answer you’re looking for but as someone who has a pretty upright position (barely 1-2cm drop to the bars), it sounds like you may be riding the wrong sized bike.   Definitely try flipping a shorter stem but don’t go too short. I’m 193cm and have a 9cm stem on my winter bike (also flipped) but it’s a little twitcher than my best bike that has a more suitable stack and reach for me. 

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Jbh3 [7 posts] 11 months ago
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Have you thought about getting a bike fit, or using online guides to try to do one yourself? Or maybe test ride a flat bar bike first? The sort of conversion youre thinking of won't be cheap.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2283 posts] 11 months ago
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Flat bar bikes are fantastic, after 20+ years of solely riding drop bars I started riding a flat bar for my daily (Ridgeback Day02). Pretty much one of the most versatile and fun bikes I've owned, great handling, brilliant at high speed yet could carry heavy opwner and 30kg load no sweat.

These are Ultegra level, https://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/shimano-road-sl-rs700-shift-levers/a...

you can then choose the brake levers of your choice. the gears are a straight swap and will work with 4700/5800/6800 FD and RD

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Popeye77 [6 posts] 11 months ago
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Thanks guys. 

So, brake lever wise, would any lever like an XT etc. also just be a straight swap onto the existing hydraulics?? 

Ive got most of the bits needed for this just need to get the shifters. Just was concerned with compatibility and things working. 

Cheers

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CXR94Di2 [2196 posts] 11 months ago
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Popeye77 wrote:

Thanks guys. 

So, brake lever wise, would any lever like an XT etc. also just be a straight swap onto the existing hydraulics?? 

Ive got most of the bits needed for this just need to get the shifters. Just was concerned with compatibility and things working. 

Cheers

 

Yes XT/XTR hydraulic levers will work with the calipers you have.  The shift levers are described as compatible with modern road, so should be ok.

 

   Personally I prefer drops, because of the multi postion you can ride in.  I double wrap my bars so have thick comfy padding.

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SteveAustin [154 posts] 11 months ago
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fwiw i would fit a flat bar (minus brakes, gear levers) and find a flat field and have a ride around. you might find it rides real bad. its an easy thing to convert but i would check it rides ok before buying new parts

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Canyon48 [1055 posts] 11 months ago
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First, see a bike fitter.

Fairly easy swap though.

The geometry of the frame may be totally wrong for you, converting to a flat bar may not solve this.

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dottigirl [819 posts] 11 months ago
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Quote:

If you're wondering why I want this. Can't seem to get on with the position drop bars put me in. I am trying a shorter stem this week which I will also flip to bring things a little closer but we shall see.

Whenever I read something like this, alarm bells go off. There are more positions available for you with a drop bar than a flat bar. 

What aren't you getting on with?

wellsprop wrote:

The geometry of the frame may be totally wrong for you, converting to a flat bar may not solve this.

Totally this.

Shortening the stem will just make the steering twitchy. Anyone riding less than a 10cm stem will feel it, unless your bars are massively wide.

https://youtu.be/B69I_uayeMA

While I'm mentioning bar size, are you sure yours are the correct width?

(If the problem is in the front of the shoulders, there is always the option of turning the hoods in.)

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StraelGuy [1510 posts] 11 months ago
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I wouldn't obsess about losing possible hand positions, we're all different. My bikes are all road bikes but I ride on the hoods 99.99% of the time.

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TypeVertigo [428 posts] 11 months ago
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Going flat bar? You're going to need SL-RS700 shift levers. Those are the flat-bar shifters for Shimano 11-speed gruppos. This is one area where simply getting an XTR or XT shifter will NOT work because the cable pull is different - Dyna-Sys and all that gubbins.

As mentioned, Shimano's MTB-use hydraulic brake levers will work fine with your calipers.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2283 posts] 11 months ago
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dottigirl wrote:
Quote:

If you're wondering why I want this. Can't seem to get on with the position drop bars put me in. I am trying a shorter stem this week which I will also flip to bring things a little closer but we shall see.

Whenever I read something like this, alarm bells go off. There are more positions available for you with a drop bar than a flat bar. 

What aren't you getting on with?

wellsprop wrote:

The geometry of the frame may be totally wrong for you, converting to a flat bar may not solve this.

Totally this.

Shortening the stem will just make the steering twitchy. Anyone riding less than a 10cm stem will feel it, unless your bars are massively wide.

https://youtu.be/B69I_uayeMA

While I'm mentioning bar size, are you sure yours are the correct width?

(If the problem is in the front of the shoulders, there is always the option of turning the hoods in.)

There are 3 hand positions on drops, you can get more on a flat bar AND importantly you can open up your natural arm position on a flat bar which you don't have on a drop bar because it's too narrow, even with a 46cm bar.

For some people having that un-natural arm position isn't comfortable, yes of course the frame may or may not fit but you still have as many if not more hand positions with a flat bar/bar ends than you do on drops and importantly a more natural arm/hand position not to mention easier to have a more upright position.

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paulrattew [273 posts] 11 months ago
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BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
dottigirl wrote:
Quote:

If you're wondering why I want this. Can't seem to get on with the position drop bars put me in. I am trying a shorter stem this week which I will also flip to bring things a little closer but we shall see.

Whenever I read something like this, alarm bells go off. There are more positions available for you with a drop bar than a flat bar.

What aren't you getting on with?

wellsprop wrote:

The geometry of the frame may be totally wrong for you, converting to a flat bar may not solve this.

Totally this.

Shortening the stem will just make the steering twitchy. Anyone riding less than a 10cm stem will feel it, unless your bars are massively wide.

https://youtu.be/B69I_uayeMA

While I'm mentioning bar size, are you sure yours are the correct width?

(If the problem is in the front of the shoulders, there is always the option of turning the hoods in.)

There are 3 hand positions on drops, you can get more on a flat bar AND importantly you can open up your natural arm position on a flat bar which you don't have on a drop bar because it's too narrow, even with a 46cm bar.

For some people having that un-natural arm position isn't comfortable, yes of course the frame may or may not fit but you still have as many if not more hand positions with a flat bar/bar ends than you do on drops and importantly a more natural arm/hand position not to mention easier to have a more upright position.

 

I may be missing your point, but I think you are confisuing genuinely different hand positions for variations on the same position. A flat bar essentially gives you one position. You can widen that grip a bit or bring your hands closer together, but that's just variations on the same position. the wrist position is essentially the same all along a flat bar. Adding bar ends gives you a second position (with a genuine different wrist position).

Drop bars have the tops, equivalent to a flat bar (you can widen or narrow your grip to give variations on that position. As a second position you have the hoods, and a third the drops. You could even argue that the transition between the tops and the hoods is a fourth position, as it puts your wrists in a different alignment.

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Popeye77 [6 posts] 10 months ago
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Thanks all for your input.

What I want to do is at least try and get used to the drop handlebar. I wanted to make sure that what I may intend to do is actually possible with new handlebar, sl-rs700, xt m8000 levers and some grips. Probably £200 all in then fit them. Cheaper than buying a new bike. 

Geometry is fine and if any of you want to look at an actual on sale Giant Defy advanced with a flat bar just google it. You'll find a link to some far eastern website, maybe Singapore??! Fusion cycles. These bikes are basically your standard defy advanced with a flat bar. Just a shame they're not available in the U.K.  

I also like to do things a bit different. If I were to choose to do the flat bar conversion, I'd likely be the only one riding a bike like that..

At the moment, I also don't just do road rides and don't like going through town on drops. Just don't feel as safe as with a flat bar. 

Cheers

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CXR94Di2 [2196 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

I also like to do things a bit different. If I were to choose to do the flat bar conversion, I'd likely be the only one riding a bike like that..

I can completely see your point about modifying/altering the design. There is a great deal of satisfaction in a little project.  I have done this many times with gearing and design to suit my own requirements.

 

 

 

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Popeye77 [6 posts] 10 months ago
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Sorry to keep this one going but any could any gearing experts tell me whether 11 speed XT M8000 shifters work with 11 speed 105 5800 front and rear derailleurs? I really like the XT set up for a flat bar and also the ispec type fitting....

Actually think I'm gonna do this!!

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TypeVertigo [428 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
Popeye77 wrote:

Sorry to keep this one going but any could any gearing experts tell me whether 11 speed XT M8000 shifters work with 11 speed 105 5800 front and rear derailleurs? I really like the XT set up for a flat bar and also the ispec type fitting....

Actually think I'm gonna do this!!

They won't. Doing that will result in mismatched cable pull. You will need SL-RS700 shifters.