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Has anyone taken their MTB and put drop bars on it? Pros/Cons? Pics? Thinking of doing this with my Specialized Epic hardtail.. Thanks for your feedback!
Ritchey P29er
Set up for a 24-hr race earlier this month:
Tire Bicycle tire Wheel Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel rim


Packed at the end of the Mountain 420 in May.
Bicycle tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim Wood Bicycle wheel


Pros: several hand positions to keep the hands/wrists happy over the long haul. I prefer climbing out of the saddle on the hoods over flat-bars. I've found little loss in ability to ride technical steep trail while in the drops, despite the bars being more narrow than flat-bars.

Cons: the long reach numbers and low stack on a MTB pose a challenge for drop-bars...you need a really short stem with some rise to get the hand-positions comparable to flat-bars. I run a Stoic 20mm stem from On/Off (originally spec'd on long-reach Mondraker trail/enduro bikes?), but it is NLA from what I can tell.

Drop-bar specific MTBs typically have reduced reach/front-center/wheelbase so that the bar/hoods are similar to where it would be for a flat-bar counterpart, but this was not a trade-off I wanted for the riding I do. If you can find a short enough stem to put your hands in the ballpark of where they'd be on flat bars, and the cost of trying it (bars, brifters, brakes and shifters) are not prohibitive, give it a shot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I did a mock up with some spare parts. I run and 110 stem on my MTB now, so did a mock up with a 90 stem with a bar that has a really short reach and think that will work. Just scared to pull the trigger as if doesn't work, I've forked out money, I'll never get back.. :(
 

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If you normally run a 110 stem, you have quite a bit of latitude to play with stem length and angle to position the bars where they fit best.

As far as pulling the trigger, buy used parts...sell used parts. All bikes run on used parts. That should minimize the 'cost of experience' if it doesn't pan out.
 

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I'm going to try it with my Big Unit for shits and giggles. The frame is a tad small for me anyways so I think that it being on the small side with a short stem it should work ok.
 

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BrassBalled DropbarNinja
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Hi guys, I think I might be the guy Chazpat is talking about on the Kona forum. Been riding drop bars on an old hardtail for the last two years... This is how I set it up. And yes Nubster, going a size smaller with a short stem is exactly the right way to compensate for the extra effective reach of the drop bars...

 

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The 90's was a great era of cycling innovation. I remember that disc wheel he used. Also reading all the MTB tips from Ned Overend in my specialized bike manual!
I remember meeting Overend and Tinker in the 90's at Mt. Snow. They were really friendly. In those days, the low level schmuks (like me) raced the same course as the pros and everyone would run into each other on the trails. It was a very different time.
 

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The late 80's to early 90's MTB s with short top tubes are great with dirt drops. I use them for mixed surface riding to connect trail systems together. Great gravel machines too.

1989 Trek 950 650b conversion:


1995 Dean Duke also on 650b, but I also run 26" when muddy:
 
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