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I've convinced myself that I absolutely need to buy a new bike for my 10 day cycling expedition across France with a few friends.

Due to the large amount of unnecessary crap we will be taking, I've decided that the Trek 920 is the ideal choice.

Aside from this expedition it will be used for daily commuting( 40KM per day) and a few weekend camping trips throughout the year.

The issue is I need a Flat Bar bike due to limited movement in one of my arms (from a previous cycling accident) and intended to fit one on this.

The actual fitting of and sourcing such an item is where my knowledge falls short so whilst I'm hard googling the issue:

Can anyone recommend a compatible flat bar?
Has anyone already done something similar?
An alternative bike with the ability to carry all but the kitchen sink?
Talk me out of the idea completely because they have experience with the bike?

Thanks

7 comments

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zero_trooper [319 posts] 1 month ago
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BehindTheBikesheds [3170 posts] 1 month ago
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I have a Specialized Globe Pro 2007 vintage, carbon stays, forks, carbon bars and seatpost, takes 55mm tyres, front and rear rack mounts, could cart an absolute heft of a load (I did190kg on it a few times) it was to me the ultimate flat bar hybrid/touring/gravel commuter, so much so I bought an identical frame and turned it into a lightweight drop bar tourer/winter racer, why Specialized went away from  this and the Tricross, I'll never know, like most makers, money and supposed trends.

Finding the bar is the easy bit, whichever suits your needs in terms of width (I prefer 56cm as it's not too wide but still offers good control) and bar clamp fitment, myself I'd never go back to alu bars, carbon all the way for me on all my bikes. The difference is simply night and day. I have a pair of Bottechia carbon bars on the spesh Globe and they are so comfortable, 10 years of hard use and there's not a single hint of them failing despite motorists best attempts and a few unplanned bike falling over situations.

 The problem is that changing a drop bar bike to a flat bar is not necessarily going to be good, finding out that the handling is compromised/totally different could be a very expensive lesson and a quick look at the bike I would say that it might make it bloody awful handling wise.

That said I think £1600 for what to me is a nothing special alu frame and not even a carbon fork plus fairly bog standard conponents leaves me thinking that bike manufacturers are taking the piss these days!

Nothing to do with me but I saw this on the bay of e, pretty much half price

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genesis-Tour-de-Fer-30-Gents-Touring-Bike-57-...

Maybe think about flat bar tourers that are like that out the box, Dawes Karakum for instance.

Sorry to put a downer on the Trek but I just think there are lots of better/cheaper options out there that can do what you want.

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Mungecrundle [1450 posts] 1 month ago
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I'm a fan of the good old fashioned hardtail mtb with a lockout fork as a do it all, rugged bike. It seems that a lot of gravel bikes are pretty much heading that way with suspension forks and even dropper posts. If I were to go touring unsupported I'd definitely be fitting some panniers and road tyres to mine. You also get nice low gearing, often with a triple up front into the bargain.

Unless tinkering with something cheap and second hand, it seems like both a risk (handling) and an expense to change from drops to flat bars which would also entail replacing the shifters and brake levers.

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daccordimark [88 posts] 1 month ago
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If you want flat 'bars then I'd buy a flat 'bar bike if I was you rather than convert. I was eyeing up the Genesis Longitude and Brother Cycles Big Bro when I was toying with the idea of a big tyred "expedition" bike. The Big Bro has got a bit pricey for 2019 though.

 

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Rod Marton [125 posts] 1 month ago
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I have converted a drop bar to a flat bar bike but I wouldn't particularly recommend it. The most important thing to note is that you will have to extend the stem by 40-50mm to compensate for the difference in frame geometries. This does however degrade the handling somewhat. As you are starting from scratch, I would just get a bike which is designed for use with flat bars - it will save you a lot of hassle and give you a better ride.

Unless you have a stupidly racy geometry. most bikes can be made to carry large loads, though you may have to experiment a bit to find the ideal weight distribution. But the problem with carrying large loads is that you have to propel them, and after a few hills you may find yourself questioning just how necessary all this unnecessary crap is. The bike can carry it, it's just whether you want to. And for a 10 day tour in France you really do't need to carry too much.

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conner [3 posts] 1 month ago
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Thanks for all the input.

Based on all your input and a good nights sleep I've decided to give bike a miss.

I think the cost + effort to get a flat bar and  for what I intend to do with this (second) bike isn't worth it but I did stumble across a Giant Toughroad SLR.

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/gb/toughroad-slr-1-2018

Its considerably cheaper than the Trek

 

 

 

 

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ktache [1605 posts] 1 month ago
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That looks rather nice.