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changing handlebars

elk2010-04-29 06:43:19 +0000 #1
I just bought a set of Nitto Albatross bars that I want to switch with the flat bar on my Globe....It has a "pop top" stem...and I was thinking I could just switch them myself.

Is it a feasible and safe undertaking?

VeloVT2010-04-29 06:53:21 +0000 #2
Not sure what you mean by "pop-top" stem -- is it a threadless stem? Anyway, it's pretty easy to switch out bars -- but you should be aware that if they are a different size than your old bars, the cable length may be wrong for the new bars and it may be necessary to run new cable.
KnottedYet2010-04-29 06:49:58 +0000 #3
Do you have a good relationship with your LBS? Mine will explain to me how to do something, then after I've done it they will check my work and adjust cables and such.

I feel much more confident doing something new, knowing that someone will check to be sure I did it right.
DebW2010-04-29 06:58:59 +0000 #4
If you've got brake levers for flat bars, and the cables don't go under the bar tape (you have grips but not tape?) then you should have plenty of leeway on cable length. You might even be able to swap the brake levers and gear shifter without disconnecting the cables.
elk2010-04-29 07:44:13 +0000 #5
Yes...threadless stem....if I loosen 2 bolts, i can pull the front off and take the bar out, replace it and bolt it back in.

I think I will be able to tell if the cable is long enough before I do it; if I have to mess with that, I'll take it in. And definately have someone check it.

I did find a set of videos that are helpful (and very sweet) on working w/a mt bike...I have the same kind of bars....just a set of grips.

I wasn't sure if sliding my shifters and brake levers off would change the tension or settings. I don't have the new bars yet...but I feel pretty confident now that I can do it...if I have enough cable slack.


elk2010-04-29 09:11:04 +0000 #6
No go.

My cable isn't long enough to just swap out the brakes and the shifter (I have internal gears)

I am going from a flat bar to a pretty curvy albatross...

I took the whole thing apart , had to cut one of the grips off only to realize....damn!

Called the closest BS, and one that's been around forever, but doesn;t have the swamp of customers that others have - asked how long it would take to get new cable... I'd have to leave it for the day....they said something about "cutting" the cables.

Since I cut the ugly grips off, and really pared down all the doo dads, I was looking at the old handlbar (which I reinstalled) and holding up a pair of tan leather grips to it and I thought....hmmmm... niiiice. With my tan B67, looks pretty hot....( in an old fashioned way... )

Maybe i should just save the switch for the dead of winter when I know I won't be riding for at least a day or so...I do want to sit up a little straighter....maybe just a shim for now?

!. If I put the leather grips on my old bar ...will I have to cut them off when the bars DO get switched? Or does a mechanic have a way to save them?

2. HOw involved IS adding longer cables?

3. I am totally mystified by ths threadless stem...where the heck would the shim go?? And what kind?

oh tia, my patient friends...

boy in a kilt2010-04-29 07:05:08 +0000 #7
If you are swapping the shifters over, the grips will have to come off one way or the other. But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice them. It just takes time, patience and a syringe filled with liquid soap as a lubricant. It'd take forever to explain the process, but basically, you peel the edge back a bit, inject some of the soap and twist the grips side to side a little to work the soap around. Repeat as necessary until the grips come off.

Adding longer cables is pretty simple. However, when you replace the cables, your shifter will need to be adjusted because the tension won't be quite right. Personally, I'd advocate giving it a shot so you understand how your bike works. Or buy a very sympathetic wrench a beer if they'll let you watch.

The thing you call a shim is basically a spacer. Just go to your LBS and ask them if they have spacers to move your stem a little higher. They should know what you are talking about. If you go asking for a shim, they'll get a little confused. To them, a shim is a thin piece of metal you use to increase the diameter of, say, your handlebars or seat post.

To add spacers onto your threadless stem, you have to remove the top bolt (but don't take the star-shaped thing out, that's a pain to get back in straight), loosen the two bolts that clamp the stem to your forks. Put your spacer in and replace the stem.
BleeckerSt_Girl2010-04-29 09:35:34 +0000 #8
I doubt if you will be able to transfer your new leather grips from one bar to another without them getting pulled or scuffed up in some way. Personally, I wouldn't squirt soap into leather handgrips.

If it were me, I'd either just be patient about the process an do it slowly and carefully, or get the bike shop to do the main part of the bar switch and the cables for me.

Putting new cables is not that complex or time consuming- the bike shop can probably do it quickly if you make an appt.



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