If you’re looking for a way to make your hybrid bike more versatile, you might consider adding drop bars.
Not sure what proper road bike bars are or if they’re the right choice for your bike? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of adding handlebars on a hybrid bike and provide tips on installing them correctly.
No matter your level of experience, by the end of this article, you’ll be ready to tackle the roads with confidence—thanks in part to your newfound knowledge about how best to use drop bars. Let’s go!
Why you might want to install drop bars on a hybrid bike
In search of something new—a new challenge, a different route, or more speed—you may be asking yourself if you can install drop bars on your hybrid bike.
After all, drop bars give you a variety of hand positions to reduce fatigue, increase control, and get more speed on the road. But can it be done?
The answer is yes! Not only will you save money by not needing to buy a dedicated bike, but you’ll also have a unique setup that no one else has.
Installing drop bar handlebars on a hybrid bike is something any rider can do if they’re willing to put in the time and dedication.
How to tell if your bike is compatible with drop bars
It is important to find out how well your bicycle can handle drop bars. The reach of drop bars is the horizontal distance between the stem clamp and the most protruding part of the bars.
The bar diameter is easy to measure with calipers. If your current handlebars are as long as you need your drop bar handlebars, then your bike can fit drop bars perfectly.
How to choose drop bars for your bike (a few tips)
It is recommended that a drop handlebar has about a similar width as a shoulder strap. Using handlebars with the same diameter makes drop bar conversion easier. And the more space within the handlebars, the more stable they’ll get.
When selecting drop bars, the choice depends partially on speed and stability. You can also check the diameter of the drop bar and the width of its handlebars.
Alternatively, any bar-end shifters or handlebar shifters with larger clamps would fit the bill.
Can you put drop bars on flat bars road bike?
Drop bars are commonly fitted in bicycles that originally had flat bars. The bike is likely best to upgrade with drop bars when making the change. Additionally, a flat bar is more affordable than a drop bar.
Flat bar: Pros
- Flat bars are easy to install and maintain and don’t require any special components or handlebar tape.
- They provide a comfortable and efficient riding position, which is better for visibility and comfort.
- Flat bars are generally more affordable than drop bars.
- Flat handlebars: Cons
- Flat bars limit your hand position options and aerodynamics, so you won’t be able to go as fast as you would with drop bars.
- Flat handlebars are not suitable for technical terrain and downhill riding.
- The limited range of motion can be uncomfortable on longer rides.
Ultimately, whether you decide to put drop bars on a flat bars bike is up to you.
Consider the benefits and drawbacks carefully, and make sure you try out different handlebar setups before deciding.
Road bike brake-shifters
In simplest terms, buy V brakes for drop bars. Despite the benefits of a simple choice, the choice presents several problems. Brake shifters are expensive. They’re designed with rubber brake levers that are not compatible with mountain bikes or hybrid bikes (MTB brake discs or V brakes).
Road bike brake levers are short pulling, which means squeezing them the same amount will move more or less brake cable, while mountain bike brake levers or hybrid brake levers are longer pulling. The brakes lack cable pulling capability for working with mechanical disc brakes and V-brakes.
However, it can be easily avoided through cantilever brakes on your bike’s V-brake mount, or through using mini V-brakes.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to install cantilever brakes on your hybrid if the fork and the frame don’t have V-brake mounts
What are swept-back handlebars?
Swept-back handlebars are becoming more popular due to their curved shape that sweeps back towards the rider, providing a more comfortable and ergonomic position. They can be installed on mountain, hybrid, and road bikes and can be adjusted to fit different riders.
When installing, it’s important to make sure the handlebar height is correct and that all components are securely tightened. Swept back handlebars provide improved comfort and control.
What’s involved in the installation process
Turning your hybrid bike into a road machine doesn’t have to be a daunting task. All you need is the correct equipment and some courage. Let’s dive into what’s involved in the installation process of drop bars on a hybrid bike.
The first step is to remove your existing handlebars and replace them with drop bars. While you’ll likely need to replace the bike stem shifters, if you can find an existing model that works with your bike, it may make things easier.
There are several models available, so you can get an idea of what type of stem fits your frame by researching online or asking a local bike shop for advice.
Once you have the new handlebars and stem in place, it’s time to hook up the brake levers and shifters. If you’re going for a flat bar road bike setup, these will be mounted on the tops of the bars rather than integrated into them.
Make sure all the cables are connected properly according to the manufacturer’s instructions before continuing.
Pro Tip: get some bar tape to cover them with for a comfortable and secure grip even when things get sweaty or soggy. It is usually made from a foam or synthetic material, and bar tape is designed to provide additional cushioning and comfort for the rider. It also helps protect the handlebars from wear and tear.
Finally, adjust your handlebar height and angle based on how comfortable the ride feels—you should be able to reach the brake lever from all riding positions without strain or discomfort.
Once that’s done, there’s nothing else left but to hit the road!
Traditional road bike drops
The most common drop bar setup for a hybrid bike is the traditional bike drop.
This type of drop bar features a flat top with straight arms and downward sweeping sides. They provide a more aerodynamic position for longer rides, making them ideal for anyone looking to conquer long distances.
These drops require more flexibility from your shoulders and back and can be uncomfortable on shorter rides. To make things easy, measure the size of your current handlebars and choose drop bars that are the same diameter.
Mountain bikes drops
MTB drop bars feature an angled top—similar to the traditional road bars—but with a flat surface and longer arms. This setup is great for riders who want to be able to adjust their grip while climbing steep hills or navigating uneven terrain.
Cons? Since they offer less aerodynamic positioning than road bars, they aren’t ideal for long-distance riding.
Can I put drop bars on a hybrid bike?
Yes, it is possible to add handlebars on a hybrid bike.
Once the decision is made to convert your hybrid bike to a drop bar, it is important to note that this is a complex process.
It is best to consult a professional bike mechanic to ensure that the drop bar conversion is done correctly and that all the necessary parts and components are included.
Can you put a suspension on a hybrid bike?
Hybrid bikes are a great choice for those who want the versatility of mountain bikes and the speed of a road bike. But can you add suspension to hybrid bikes to give them greater cushioning and control?
The answer is yes! With a few simple modifications, you can add suspension to a hybrid bike to make it even more comfortable and easier to ride. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Choose the right suspension
Depending on the type of riding you plan to do, you’ll want to choose the right suspension for your hybrid bike. For off-road riding, a full-suspension bike with front and rear shocks is the best choice. For road riding, a rigid fork or a suspension fork will be sufficient.
Upgrade your brake shifters
Adding suspension to your bike will also require that you upgrade your brakes. If your bike has rim brakes, consider upgrading to disc brakes for better stopping power and improved control.
Front derailleur incompatibility
The front derailleurs on a hybrid bike won’t work with the new handlebars, much like the rear derailleurs.
For instance, a triple crankset derailleur won’t function with index brake shifters, necessitating the purchase of new front derailleurs.
However, this attachment’s drawback is that you can’t access the brake levers from them.
Get the right tools
You’ll need the appropriate tools to complete the job, such as a metric Allen wrench set. You’ll also need a torque wrench, a hacksaw, and a drill.
Once everything is done, put your preferred bar tape in, and you’re done!
Is it okay to put drop bars on a mountain bike?
Drop bars are a common feature of road and cyclocross bikes, but they can also be installed on an MTB. While there are several benefits to having drop bars on mountain bikes, such as improved aerodynamics and more hand positions, there are also some potential drawbacks.
It’s important to consider both before deciding to put drop bars on your mountain bike.
The main advantage of having drop bars on a mountain bike is the improved aerodynamics.
Flat bars are the more popular handlebar option for road bikes and are the standard for flat-bar road bikes.
Drop bars are much better at cutting through the air than flat bars, resulting in less drag, and can help you go faster on long rides.
Additionally, the extra hand positions offered by drop bars can be very useful for tackling more technical trails. If your current handlebars are the same diameter as your desired drop bars, then your bike is easily compatible with drop bars.
Flat bars with a curvature in the design are known as riser bars. They allow you to raise your hand higher, yet you still have only one hand position. In particular, when concentrating on descending, mountain bikes frequently employ some form of riser bars.
On the other hand, having drop bars on a mountain bike can also be a disadvantage.
The added weight of the bars and brake shifters can make the bike heavier, and the lower handlebar position may make it more difficult to handle on steep and technical terrain.
Additionally, the narrow width of drop bars can make it harder to control the bike in tight turns.
Mini V brakes are another types of brake shifters, which can be used on a mountain bike with drop bars.
Mini V brakes have a compact design, making them well-suited to situations with limited space, such as on drop bars. They provide good braking power and are relatively lightweight, making them a suitable option for those looking to keep their bike light and responsive.
The installation of drop bars on hybrid bikes can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and instructions, it can be done with relative ease.
With drop bars, you can take your hybrid bike to a whole new level of performance, allowing you to conquer any road with confidence. No matter if you’re an experienced cyclist or a beginner, adding drop bars to your hybrid will bring you the ultimate cycling experience.
So go ahead and get out there and start conquering the roads!
Can I put drop bars on a hybrid bike?
Yes, it has some problems when we use the bicycle and it changes its operation and handling. To make this work, you’ve got to change the components in varying stages.
Can you turn a hybrid bike into a road bike?
Technically, yes, but you’d rather get an original road bike. Physically, the process can occur, but there will be no similar geometry to a drop bar bike.
Can you put suspension on a hybrid bike?
Even hybrids are allowed to add suspensions when needed. It will also provide greater comfort for riders because it absorbs shock from impact and keeps you safe.
Is it okay to put drop bars on a mountain bike?
You could hit droplets with a mountain bike, but not in this case. Similarly, many MTBs have an overall geometry with more extended reach. A gravel bike with drop handlebars is unsafe to ride on gravel or short trails.
Can bar end shifters be used with drop bars on a mountain bike?
Bar end shifters are a great option for mountain bikers with drop bars. Ensure compatibility and adjust handlebar height, then check cable length before installation.
Want multiple hand positions that flat bars don’t allow?
Drop bar attachments are much more flexible too in that they can be installed either at the bar ends or on the inside of the existing handlebar grips.
They provide an additional hand position and can help reduce fatigue and improve leverage when riding. Bar ends are typically used on mountain bikes and cyclocross bikes, and they are easy to install. However, bar ends can be used on any type of bike, including hybrid and flat handlebars road bikes.