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Dropbar to Flatbar Conversion (How to)
#1
There are many reasons one may want to to do this Mod. I would like to show you how easy and inexpensive this can be done. We will go with the reason that I am looking for a Sport/Hybrid/Fitness Bicycle and cannot find one anywhere to suit me @ a good price. I want a good bicycle but do not have a lot of cash flow. I do not want a Dept. store bike just because that is all I think I can afford. So this is the plan. Find a nice 3x8 or 3x7 road bike and convert it to the flatbar bike I want to suit my needs. I choose these speeds because these type flatbar shifters can be had new on the cheap,gripshift or rapidfire. I want a triple ring up front because flatbar shifters are for 3 speed rings most often. My goal is to stay as close to $200 as I can. If you already own a triple road bike, you are ahead of the game already! This is the bicycle I found to meet my basic needs to start with, I paid $130, it is an 8 speed, and a triple up front. Now all I need are Shifters, brake levers, grips, Flatbar, maybe some cables/housing. I would also like to dress it up a tad with some no name carbon fiber bottle cages and barends. I did some parts pricing and think I can pull all the above off and stay in budget. I will now have a sweet ride for the money, a custom mod built just for me, and beat the Dept. store bike blues! Just waiting for my parts to come in and I will be good to go.
[Image: sportfull_zps9epk7yjp.jpg]
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#2
This is where I sit $$ wise so far.
Bike..............................$130
Flatbar..........................$10
Lock-on grips.................$10
Shifters 3x8...................$32
Dual-pull brake lever .....$13
Cables/housing..............$5 (I buy bulk) Total $200. This is all I need to do a top quality mod with all new components. So all I have to do is sell off the pulled components and I can get the extra's I would like to finish her off quite nicely. The carbon fiber bottle cages and carbon barends on the cheap.
Carbon Fiber cages x2 4K weave..............$23
Carbon fiber barends 4K weave................$13.20 Total 36.20 for non related to the Mod. Right on par I would say. Digging thru the parts bin I will ad a carbon fiber 4K weave stem spacer that should round it all out quite nicely. Looks like I should be able to have an awesome bike for the money, just the way I like it. I chose the rapidfire shifters merely because they suit me better than gripshifters. They are smoother, quicker, and cable replacement much more easy than the gripshifter's. If you like them, by all means use them. I also chose to use a "dual- pull" Brake lever. This will save weight, and enable the user to pull the front and rear brakes with one lever. Thus being able to "Fine tune" the brake modulation from front to rear or visa-versa as they see fit, and ad a unique niche to the bike its self.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#3
(04-10-2015, 03:53 PM)painkiller Wrote:  This is where I sit $$ wise so far.
Bike..............................$130
Flatbar..........................$10
Lock-on grips.................$10
Shifters 3x8...................$32
Dual-pull brake lever .....$13  
Cables/housing..............$5 (I buy bulk) Total $200. This is all I need to do a top quality mod with all new components. So all I have to do is sell off the pulled components and I can get the extra's I would like to finish her off quite nicely. The carbon fiber bottle cages and carbon barends on the cheap.
Carbon Fiber cages x2 4K weave..............$23
Carbon fiber barends 4K weave................$13.20  Total 36.20 for non related to the Mod. Right on par I would say. Digging thru the parts bin I will ad a carbon fiber 4K weave stem spacer that should round it all out quite nicely. Looks like I should be able to have an awesome bike for the money, just the way I like it. I chose the rapidfire shifters merely because they suit me better than gripshifters. They are smoother, quicker, and cable replacement much more easy than the gripshifter's. If you like them, by all means use them. I also chose to use a "dual- pull" Brake lever. This will save weight, and enable the user to pull the front and rear brakes with one lever. Thus being able to "Fine tune" the brake modulation from front to rear or visa-versa as they see fit, and ad a unique niche to the bike its self.

(04-10-2015, 03:53 PM)painkiller Wrote:  This is where I sit $$ wise so far.
Bike..............................$130
Flatbar..........................$10
Lock-on grips.................$10
Shifters 3x8...................$32
Dual-pull brake lever .....$13  
Cables/housing..............$5 (I buy bulk) Total $200. This is all I need to do a top quality mod with all new components. So all I have to do is sell off the pulled components and I can get the extra's I would like to finish her off quite nicely. The carbon fiber bottle cages and carbon barends on the cheap.
Carbon Fiber cages x2 4K weave..............$23
Carbon fiber barends 4K weave................$13.20  Total 36.20 for non related to the Mod. Right on par I would say. Digging thru the parts bin I will ad a carbon fiber 4K weave stem spacer that should round it all out quite nicely. Looks like I should be able to have an awesome bike for the money, just the way I like it. I chose the rapidfire shifters merely because they suit me better than gripshifters. They are smoother, quicker, and cable replacement much more easy than the gripshifter's. If you like them, by all means use them. I also chose to use a "dual- pull" Brake lever. This will save weight, and enable the user to pull the front and rear brakes with one lever. Thus being able to "Fine tune" the brake modulation from front to rear or visa-versa as they see fit, and ad a unique niche to the bike its self.


A thought that passed through my grey matter. Are you building this bike for your self? or to re sell? or to make the video for others to use on their projects? or all of the above? The only problem I see with this is after you are finished you still have basically the same Raleigh bike, other then with new handle bars? 
"Where ever we go, there we are"
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#4
We will go with all of the above. No it is not for me to keep (to small). I have plenty of bikes myself. Of course I do own this bike too, but will sell it off as soon as it tickles someone's fancy.( and it will) for the money it will be tough to beat old or new. I prefer flat bar street bred high performance cycling. I want a bike to thrash, crash and trash and have aggressive fun with, all without being expensive to repair or maintain.
To answer your question "Will I have basically the same Raleigh except for flat bars?".
First the flat bars are a big exception are they not? The speed, the frame and ride are the same with this mod. The flatbar however changes the game quite a bit as far as handling and throwing the bike around and jumping. (slalom's, curbs, etc..). So No, two totally different bikes, separate shifter's not to mention one brake lever to tune to your riding style. A big reason many people ride drop style bikes is because they are generally lighter and faster, even though the spend most of the time up top and not in the drops. This mod gives them the lighter bike they wish for, the position they use, but with greater aggressive handling capability's should they so choose. But so often I hear that people buy dept. store bikes because it is all they can afford and they are new. I try to teach/tell people that "No" you can do better for your money than you realize. tell them how to re focus and apply themselves to achieve a quality bike for the same money, not to mention a bike that would re-sell the next day for the money invested, unlike spending $280 @ Walmart, then the next day trying to get $140. So you see I can afford to buy this bike, have some fun, show people another way to look @ buying a bike for their needs, then modifying to suit, stay in budget, and in my case, sell it off and not get burned. That simple guy's.
I do it all the time, put out a good bike for someone to buy, or just keep for myself.
I am fortunate after 30yrs. of doing bicycles, to be able to offer buying and building tips for people new into or less fortunate $$ wise. for those like you Elmore, willing to take up a new hobbie or just be able to service for themselves or others.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#5
(04-10-2015, 05:47 PM)painkiller Wrote:  We will go with all of the above. No it is not for me to keep (to small). I have plenty of bikes myself. Of course I do own this bike too, but will sell it off as soon as it tickles someone's fancy.( and it will) for the money it will be tough to beat old or new. I prefer flat bar street bred high performance cycling. I want a bike to thrash, crash and trash and have aggressive fun with, all without being expensive to repair or maintain.
To answer your question "Will I have basically the same Raleigh except for flat bars?".
First the flat bars are a big exception are they not? The speed, the frame and ride are the same with this mod. The flatbar however changes the game quite a bit as far as handling and throwing the bike around and jumping. (slalom's, curbs, etc..). So No, two totally different bikes, separate shifter's not to mention one brake lever to tune to your riding style. A big reason many people ride drop style bikes is because they are generally lighter and faster, even though the spend most of the time up top and not in the drops. This mod gives them the lighter bike they wish for, the position they use, but with greater aggressive handling capability's should they so choose. But so often I hear that people buy dept. store bikes because it is all they can afford and they are new. I try to teach/tell people that "No" you can do better for your money than you realize. tell them how to re focus and apply themselves to achieve a quality bike for the same money, not to mention a bike that would re-sell the next day for the money invested, unlike spending $280 @ Walmart, then the next day trying to get $140. So you see I can afford to buy this bike, have some fun, show people another way to look @ buying a bike for their needs, then modifying to suit, stay in budget, and in my case, sell it off and not get burned. That simple guy's.
I do it all the time, put out a good bike for someone to buy, or just keep for myself.
I am fortunate after 30yrs. of doing bicycles, to be able to offer buying and building tips for people new into or less fortunate $$ wise. for those like you Elmore, willing to take up a new hobbie or just be able to service for themselves or others.

Thanks for the reply PK. I'm a little behind on these things.
"Where ever we go, there we are"
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#6
You are welcome Elmore, Good question brother. I hope it helps shed some light. I am fielding calls at the moment on the bike as I have it listed for $250 as a dropbar. With that said, for a purchase price of $130 and a sell price of $250, that is not a bad profit for wiping the dust off and making sure it is tuned! But I would rather write this How to thread for the moment. Bikes come and they go. The key is to not lose $$ and make some along the way. Smile
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#7
Wanted to update the progress so far with the Flatbar modification. Every once in awhile there can be a slight hiccup when you start to set the bike up, this was no exception. I ended up with an incompatibility with the road triple front derailleur mixed
with the flatbar shifters. The brifters actually pull less cable and use the trim feature which in turn the front derailleur can be a few mm. more narrow. The flatbar shifter's pull more cable, have a wider cage, and do not have trim built in. The remedy is to use a road flatbar front derailleur. In this case I will try out the Shimano fd-r443. We shall see how this works out. A slight extra cost but not to extreme @ $22. Still waiting on a couple parts to dress the build up a tad and will update with the results as soon as I get it built up. Even with the set back, I still on par for my Build close to $200. I throw in my carbon fiber cages and barends, my $22 front derailleur and I may have some of my removed parts sold for around $50, which if all goes well will put me at about $208 total for an excellent example of a sport fitness bicycle!I think it may even lose a bit of weight and come in under 24lbs.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#8
Just an update on the conversion, To keep indexed shifting on the front you will need flatbar road shifters because of the trim feature, unlike mtb flatbar shifters. I was able to use the original front derailleur with this setup.
[Image: sportflatbar_zpsr9erpdia.jpg]
[Image: sportfull_zps9epk7yjp.jpg]
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
Reply


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