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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after 20+ years of riding mountain bikes I decided to throw in the towel. My current health issues make it so I just can't do the high energy off road rides anymore. So I bought a used 2013 Giant Avail. Tried it out last night. The fit is great. My questions are simple. Any advice for newbies just starting out? My only issue so far is the drop bars. I'm tempted to throw a flat bar on the bike and swap out shifters and brake levers. TIA!
 

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Ride on the tops until you get used to leaning over. At worst you'll still be only a couple of inches away from the brakes and shifters. Revel in the ability to be able to change your hand position to keep your shoulders, back and arms from stiffening up. Stay comfortable by gripping the bars overhanded, underhanded & side-handed. Revel in how the shifting of your hand position allows you to vary how you sit on the saddle.
 

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I want to avoid the drop bar or flat bar discussion clipped or not, discussion and just say that I have made the same journey from MTB to road and gravel.

I cannot ride anything except a flat bar. I ride flat pedals too. Yes , I have read many opinions, facts, whatever on the issues and have gone with what makes me feel good.

My ride is a 2014 Fuji 1.1d. Some call it a fitness bike, some a flat bar road bike. Me? Flat bar road bike. I don’t compete, ride in groups, worry about my average speed or mileage. I do have good cardio numbers and blood pressure, and take great pleasure riding.

I also have a flat bar SS.
 

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Hmmm. Welcome! Weird question... Your health can’t ride off road but you want to ride on road? I’m not sure I understand that logic? Giant makes great bikes and makes great bikes for other brands. Just be patient. If the fit is good, everything is good. Just keep riding, you might discover that road cycling isn’t a weakling little sister to MTB?
 

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So after 20+ years of riding mountain bikes I decided to throw in the towel. My current health issues make it so I just can't do the high energy off road rides anymore. So I bought a used 2013 Giant Avail. Tried it out last night. The fit is great. My questions are simple. Any advice for newbies just starting out? My only issue so far is the drop bars. I'm tempted to throw a flat bar on the bike and swap out shifters and brake levers. TIA!
Don't give up on road bars just yet. I have neck issues and ride with my bars level with my saddle. There are ways you can get the bars up higher so it's not as hard on your neck and back.

1) Turn the bars up slightly so the hoods are higher. Do this gradually as if you go too far with this, you could cause strain on your wrists.

2) Get a more upright or shorter stem.

3) Use the hoods and the straight portion of the bars. I never use the drops. I am usually on the hoods where I have the best access to the brake and shift levers.
 
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I would give road bars a couple of months before I changed anything out, it would be a complicated change.
I took my mtn bars off my mtn bike and put road bars on it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmmm. Welcome! Weird question... Your health can’t ride off road but you want to ride on road?
Well you see my mountain bike rides for the last 5 years have been mostly done on 90% road. I even had 27.5X1.5 road tires on my mountain bike. Sure, the 2X10 gearing was nice because I had a 42t granny in the rear and the hydraulic brakes stopped me on a dime no matter the weather but I figured out that I am pushing around a 32 pound monster on the roads and rarely go off road. When I was off road the constant bumps and trail chatter would give me back pains for days. Never had that issue when using the mountain bike on the road, even after 45 miles in the saddle.
I would give road bars a couple of months before I changed anything out, it would be a complicated change.
Not really. I have a set of riser bars here along with a 3X10 SRAM X7 shifter set, SRAM X7 rear mech, 10-46t cassette, Avid brake levers, ORI lock on grips, and all the tools I would need to do the work. My bicycle tool collection is quite extensive and I worked in a bike shop when I was younger.
 

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So you rode your mtn bike on the road, why the change then? Just keep riding it on the road, you already have a flat bar on it.
It's your bike, go ahead and put flat bars on it, then you will know of what I speak.
 

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Well you see my mountain bike rides for the last 5 years have been mostly done on 90% road. I even had 27.5X1.5 road tires on my mountain bike. Sure, the 2X10 gearing was nice because I had a 42t granny in the rear and the hydraulic brakes stopped me on a dime no matter the weather but I figured out that I am pushing around a 32 pound monster on the roads and rarely go off road. When I was off road the constant bumps and trail chatter would give me back pains for days. Never had that issue when using the mountain bike on the road, even after 45 miles in the saddle.
Well 27.5 x 1.5 tires are OK for mostly smooth dirt carriage roads, but aren't much cushioning if you're doing true mountain biking. What kind of PSI are you pumping them up to?

My first entry into true mountain biking was in 2009. We were riding in the woods over rocks, tree roots and we were doing a little technical stuff. I was the only rider with a hardtail, everyone else had a full-suspension bike. Needless to say, my back was sore for a couple of months from all the pounding. A few months later, I bought a full-suspension mountain bike and the next time I tried a ride like that, my back was fine.
 

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Well you see my mountain bike rides for the last 5 years have been mostly done on 90% road. I even had 27.5X1.5 road tires on my mountain bike. Sure, the 2X10 gearing was nice because I had a 42t granny in the rear and the hydraulic brakes stopped me on a dime no matter the weather but I figured out that I am pushing around a 32 pound monster on the roads and rarely go off road. When I was off road the constant bumps and trail chatter would give me back pains for days. Never had that issue when using the mountain bike on the road, even after 45 miles in the saddle.
Oh! Haha, LOL. I didn’t think of that... Yeah, you can drop 10lbs from that pretty easily. Riding position and aerodynamics make a big differences as well, even if you use a more upright set up.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So you rode your mtn bike on the road, why the change then? Just keep riding it on the road, you already have a flat bar on it.
Maybe because the road bike weighs much less then the mountain bike so as a result after 40 miles I will not be as tired on the road bike as I was pushing around a 32 pound beast?

Well 27.5 x 1.5 tires are OK for mostly smooth dirt carriage roads, but aren't much cushioning if you're doing true mountain biking. What kind of PSI are you pumping them up to?
They are running at 55 PSI.
 

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Maybe because the road bike weighs much less then the mountain bike so as a result after 40 miles I will not be as tired on the road bike as I was pushing around a 32 pound beast?
Probably. But you are able to do the rides and are getting more of a workout. You will definitely notice a harsher ride on skinny road tires which could be an issue with your back.

They are running at 55 PSI.
I don't know how much you weigh, but 55 PSI on 27.5 x 1.5 tires is about right for someone about 190-200 lbs on a 30 lb bike. If you weight less, you could drop a few PSI and the pounding on your back would be a bit less.

But OK, we digress. Your original question was about converting road bars to straight bars. I, as well as others here think you should try and make the road bars work. A conversion like that is a big deal. As I mentioned in my post #5, there are tweaks you can make to get you more upright. Those are much easier and less expensive than turning your road bike into a hybrid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Probably. But you are able to do the rides and are getting more of a workout. You will definitely notice a harsher ride on skinny road tires which could be an issue with your back.
Well I'm not doing the whole off road thing with 2 foot drop offs, huge bumps, tree roots, and sand traps on the trail. So far, after a few very short rides, My back is doing just fine.
I don't know how much you weigh, but 55 PSI on 27.5 x 1.5 tires is about right for someone about 190-200 lbs on a 30 lb bike.
I'm right on the dot a 200 pounds. Not sure how much the road bike weighs, but I'm afraid to push it hard cuz I'm not sure it will support my weight on such a flimsy bike.
Don't forget to post a picture after you convert your new road bike into your old mtn bike.
I don't know if you were being sarcastic or not. In any case, I've decided to keep the drop bars and just get a wider set.
 

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Well I'm not doing the whole off road thing with 2 foot drop offs, huge bumps, tree roots, and sand traps on the trail. So far, after a few very short rides, My back is doing just fine.
Yeah, I stopped doing that stuff awhile back. The extent of my mountain biking these days may be some small tree roots and rocks, but nothing too technical and definitely no drops. Actually, it's mostly carriage trails. I'm 60 now and need this body to serve me awhile longer.

I'm right on the dot a 200 pounds. Not sure how much the road bike weighs, but I'm afraid to push it hard cuz I'm not sure it will support my weight on such a flimsy bike.
I belive most road bike specify a weight limit of 225 lbs or therabout? Depending on what wheel set you have, that may be your weakest link. Many road bikes come with ridiculously low spoke counts like 16/20 or 20/24. I'm only 170 lbs and I build my wheels 24/32 because I want them to last.


I don't know if you were being sarcastic or not.
He has definitely been snarky as of late, but you will find people here who are much worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I belive most road bike specify a weight limit of 225 lbs or therabout? Depending on what wheel set you have, that may be your weakest link. Many road bikes come with ridiculously low spoke counts like 16/20 or 20/24. I'm only 170 lbs and I build my wheels 24/32 because I want them to last.
Yeah the front wheel is radial laced and has a minimum count of spokes. I'm not near the bike right now or I could give you a count. The rear has one side radially laced, the drive side has normal 2X lacing. Kinda scared to ride it hard, I'm known to untrue wheels due to my weight. Never had to worry about it on the mountain bike, wasn't too important since I was running disc and the wheelset itself was bulletproof.
 

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Yeah the front wheel is radial laced and has a minimum count of spokes. I'm not near the bike right now or I could give you a count. The rear has one side radially laced, the drive side has normal 2X lacing. Kinda scared to ride it hard, I'm known to untrue wheels due to my weight. Never had to worry about it on the mountain bike, wasn't too important since I was running disc and the wheelset itself was bulletproof.
If anything, disc brakes are harder on wheels, not easier. The twisting force when braking is an issue you don't have with rim brakes. Granted there is no rim braking surface to wear out, you have a twisting force just as you do on your rear wheel when pedalling hard.

A front rim brake rim has no twisting forces from pedalling or braking, so they almost always stay free of problems.

This being said, if your wheels are coming out of true that easily, they were built poorly, period. Well built wheels should not have a problem with a 200lb rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
But a hydraulic disc brake is 100 times more powerful than a cheesy dual pivot rim brake. And in all weather conditions a disc brake will always stop you on a dime.
 

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But a hydraulic disc brake is 100 times more powerful than a cheesy dual pivot rim brake. And in all weather conditions a disc brake will always stop you on a dime.
This is true. However, they will create a stressing and slacking cycle on your spokes not to mention a twisting of your hub flanges that you will never have with rim brakes. This is why while I build my rim brake wheels 24/32, I always build my disc brake wheels 32/32.

Rim brakes have become much better in the last few years, but as you say, when it comes to wet westher riding, disc brakes win.
 

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But a hydraulic disc brake is 100 times more powerful than a cheesy dual pivot rim brake. And in all weather conditions a disc brake will always stop you on a dime.
I can’t imagine 200lbs being any threat to decent modern equipment? Modern road bikes, despite their diminutive appearance are super well engineered and very strong.

Cheesy caliper rim brakes? Why on earth would you feel the need to stop “100 times faster?” What are you doing on that bike? My Dura Ace 9000 (cheesey) rim brakes stop my Dura Ace C24 wheels very efficiently. I don’t find the need to slam on my brakes very often? Maybe once every few years? But I seriously doubt doing so with braking system would matter much. Disks have their place, no doubt. But rim brakes work great and are less hassle, lighter, more aero and easier to adjust. If you “need” a disk advantage you must be descending in the rain regularly? Disk brakes solve a problem that has never existed.

Rim vs disk... Whatever.


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