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Handlebar change

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sindlero Offline
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Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2010
Post: #1
Handlebar change
Hello I just bought a fuji absolute 3.0. It's a "hybrid" with a flat handlebar. I'm thinking of switching to a drop bar. All of the feedback I'm getting tells me this switch could cost as much as the bike purchase. This seems a bit extreme. I have not been an active cyclist for about 15 years, so maybe I'm out of touch.

I live in large city. I've also been advised to trim a few inches off flat bar to clear cars in traffic.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Owen
Jul 6, 2010 12:00 PM
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GeorgeET Offline
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Venice Beach, CA
Posts: 1,114
Joined: Apr 2010
Post: #2
RE: Handlebar change
I am not sure about your bike , but some have brand specific only items will work or the handlebar is one piece with head and both need replacing. Photos of head would help.

As per changing for a drop bar,most riders I see riding a drop bar, even the Tour le France guys, hold bar mostly on top for comfort.

Consider adding end horns to your bars to get more hand positions options. Cutting is always an option once you find your hand position.

Never Give Up!!!
Jul 6, 2010 12:13 PM
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sindlero Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Handlebar change
(Jul 6, 2010 12:13 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  I am not sure about your bike , but some have brand specific only items will work or the handlebar is one piece with head and both need replacing. Photos of head would help.

As per changing for a drop bar,most riders I see riding a drop bar, even the Tour le France guys, hold bar mostly on top for comfort.

Consider adding end horns to your bars to get more hand positions options. Cutting is always an option once you find your hand position.

Thanks for your feedback.

Owen
Jul 6, 2010 12:17 PM
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DaveM Offline
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Posts: 1,344
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Post: #4
RE: Handlebar change
You would need a new stem, bars, brake/shifters, cable pull converters for the brakes, bar tape. Maybe not as much as the bike cost, but close. You'd have to find shifters that will work with an 8 speed triple, which I don't think is common. Brake converters are needed because road bike brake levers don't work well with v-brakes.

If you want a more stretched out position or one with your hands lower, it would be much easier to achieve that with a longer/lower stem. There's also some bars out there with different shapes that might get you closer to what you want. You can get ones called "Trekking (Butterfly) Handlebars" for a lot more hand positions (note that there can be problems mounting your brakes/shifters depending on what kind of clamp they have.

I've also seen people take normal rider bars (straight but with an inch or two of rise) and flip them over so you get a couple inches of drop.

Most straight bars come pretty wide. For traffic, it's not bad to knock an inch or two off of them. But don't go super short as is the fashion in some places, it serves no purpose. Also note that longer bars make climbing out of the saddle easier. You can't use your arm strength as well with shorter bars.
Jul 6, 2010 12:18 PM
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sindlero Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Handlebar change
Thanks for your feedback.

Owen
Jul 6, 2010 12:58 PM
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buzz Offline
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Portland, OR
Posts: 72
Joined: Sep 2008
Post: #6
RE: Handlebar change
Along with the other people's feedback, another option is bar extenders for the flat bar. You stated you live in a big city, so I would think you could find a good pair of used ones at a bike shop for cheap. Even brand new they are not that much.

I agree with the others, though. It would be expensive to change everything out to drop bars. Bike manufacturers buy all the pieces in high volume and get a big discount on the parts. I can tell you from experience as a guy that has built and overhauled plenty of bikes, the price ads up quickly.

Also, if you are going to become more of a regular cyclist and ride everyday and even possibly commute to work, it is not a bad idea to have another bike around. Look at used shops or even craigslist for an old road that has been collecting dust in someone garage that might need a little bit of work. I taught myself how to do most of the work with this site.
Jul 6, 2010 01:56 PM
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GeorgeET Offline
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Venice Beach, CA
Posts: 1,114
Joined: Apr 2010
Post: #7
RE: Handlebar change
Yes , 10-4 to DaveM detailed list. If you wanted a road bike you should have gotten one. I still suggest adding horns to your bars after you determine it you want to cut them.

OR as Buzz suggest rebuild a vintage bike for less than conversion parts needed. Some really nice bikes out there from Fuji, Bridgestone, Miyata, Panasonic and some light Schwinn and more.

Here are my two bikes the Fuji is a recent conversion. Works very nice for me like a triathlon bike.


Attached File(s) Thumbnail(s)
   
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Never Give Up!!!
Jul 6, 2010 04:47 PM
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Billy Offline
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Posts: 59
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Post: #8
RE: Handlebar change
Fuji's website gives your bike a $500 suggested retail price.
http://www.fujibikes.com/LifeStyle/Performance-Hybrid/Absolute30.aspx

Here are some prices for components:

drop bars with 31.8mm clamp size (being optimistic that they'll fit your existing stem): $15
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_183502_-1_201511_10000_200389

barcon shifters for 3x8 set-up (should work with your components, may end up friction shifting): $60
http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Ultegra-BS64-3x8sp-BarCon-set/dp/B000F5EFOC/

brake levers that should work with your existing brakes: $90
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_514907_-1_10000__200467

tape: about $10
cables: included with shifters, about $15 for brakes

So, assuming I didn't leave anything out (I'm sure I forgot something), and that you'll do the labor yourself, you're looking at at least $200 in parts, still less than half the bike's cost. If you like the bike and like to tinker, do it!
Jul 7, 2010 05:16 PM
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GeorgeET Offline
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Venice Beach, CA
Posts: 1,114
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Post: #9
RE: Handlebar change
The specs show the 3.0 Fuji weights 26.1 lbs. Kind of heavy with the high end plastic bikes weighting 16lbs today.

The 1985 Fuji del rey I got weights 24.2 lbs, very good for the 80's bikes, with the cost of the bike and set up I got $200 in it and that includes tools, seat, gel tape and a cycleputer. The rack was recycled. It now weights 27lbs loaded.

Interesting that $200 is what it would cost to re do yours. It does have modern equipment on it. However the 85 Suntour shifters I have work fine too. Vintage bikes are not for everyone and may need more work than you want to put in restoring it. Check local Craigs list. Consider the options carefully. Billy certainly did your homework. :-))

Never Give Up!!!
Jul 7, 2010 08:04 PM
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Billy Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Handlebar change
(Jul 7, 2010 08:04 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  Billy certainly did your homework. :-))

Heh, yeah. I was a little bored at work, and I didn't like the "your bike's not worth it" type of answers. I don't know sindlero's reasons for wanting drop bars, but I fully understand the urge to customize. If it's just a comfort issue, I agree with the bar-end and touring-style bar suggestions. But if it's a "it's my ride and this is how I want it" kind of thing, then I'm very happy to help with that.
Jul 7, 2010 10:48 PM
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sindlero Offline
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Posts: 5
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Post: #11
RE: Handlebar change
(Jul 7, 2010 05:16 PM)Billy Wrote:  Fuji's website gives your bike a $500 suggested retail price.
http://www.fujibikes.com/LifeStyle/Performance-Hybrid/Absolute30.aspx

Here are some prices for components:

drop bars with 31.8mm clamp size (being optimistic that they'll fit your existing stem): $15
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_183502_-1_201511_10000_200389

barcon shifters for 3x8 set-up (should work with your components, may end up friction shifting): $60
http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Ultegra-BS64-3x8sp-BarCon-set/dp/B000F5EFOC/

brake levers that should work with your existing brakes: $90
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_514907_-1_10000__200467

tape: about $10
cables: included with shifters, about $15 for brakes

So, assuming I didn't leave anything out (I'm sure I forgot something), and that you'll do the labor yourself, you're looking at at least $200 in parts, still less than half the bike's cost. If you like the bike and like to tinker, do it!

Thanks much for "pricing out" the changes. I've put some miles on the bike and find the single position flat bar ride not too comfortable. The bar extensions sound like a good place to start w/o a lot of expense. You live and learn. Thanks for your feedback. Owen
Jul 10, 2010 10:20 AM
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GeorgeET Offline
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Venice Beach, CA
Posts: 1,114
Joined: Apr 2010
Post: #12
RE: Handlebar change
Handle bar extensions give you several hand positions. Great for comfort and resting your hands. I favor the L shaped ones. See my Schwinn set up above.

Make sure to take the time to set the bike up so it works best for you. Stem height, seat height, and seat can be moved forward or back to get your knees about even with pedal centers. Find a good seat height etc.

http://www.amazon.com/Titec-L-bends/dp/B001BYOOCY/

Never Give Up!!!
Jul 10, 2010 02:49 PM
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sindlero Offline
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Posts: 5
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Post: #13
RE: Handlebar change
(Jul 10, 2010 02:49 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  Handle bar extensions give you several hand positions. Great for comfort and resting your hands. I favor the L shaped ones. See my Schwinn set up above.

Make sure to take the time to set the bike up so it works best for you. Stem height, seat height, and seat can be moved forward or back to get your knees about even with pedal centers. Find a good seat height etc.

http://www.amazon.com/Titec-L-bends/dp/B001BYOOCY/

Hello

Thanks much. I just ordered the Titec bar extenders from Amazon, along with a third eye mirror. I think I'm feeling more comfortable already. Owen
Jul 10, 2010 04:22 PM
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