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Converting an old MTB to drop bars for cyclocross

iandennisiandennis Posts: 238
edited September 2011 in MTB workshop & tech
i'm looking to do a cheap conversion to a cyclocross on my old raleigh mtb that I'm currently using as a commuter.

It's a 1990's raleigh with canti brakes and alvino shifters, 7 speed with acera mechs. I'm thinking of changing the handlebars and shifters to take up cylocross. The bike is in very good condition so I think it would be viable.

If I swap to drops and change the shifters:

What 7 speed shifters could I use for the drops ? or do i need to go for 8 speed ?

If i change the shifters will I need to change the existing front and rear mech ? front mech is probably getting to the end of its life so not adverse to changing if needed. Just put a new chain and cassette on so would prefer to keep that.

Bike has an old quill stem, assuming I can just swap the bars out from flat to drops ?

Not sure what this will do to the setup of the bike - is it a good idea ?

Any advice welcome,



  • If it fitted you as a MTB with flat bars then it'll be too long for you with 'drops.
    I did this to a 1990 Ridgeback with Pace forks.
    You'll have to run a VERY short stem and/or shift the saddle well forward.

    On the shifting side, Sora does 7 speed STI units. Get 'em off eBay. Or go Retro with a set of 7 speed bar end shifters (that's what I did)
    Commute: Langster -Singlecross - Brompton S2-LX

    Road: 95 Trek 5500 -Look 695 Aerolight eTap - Boardman TTe eTap

    Offroad: Pace RC200 - Dawes Kickback 2 tandem - Tricross - Boardman CXR9.8 - Ridley x-fire
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