Solaris: drop bar conversion?

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gairym
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Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by gairym » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:18 pm

Afternoon all,

In a drastic departure from my normal modus operandi I'm thinking about downsizing my bike collection :shock:

I bloody love my Cotic 'Escapade' but.....am increasingly wishing I had more tyre capacity (40c is the absolute max I can get in there).

At the same time there's (arguably) too much overlap between my Solaris and Rooster to the extent that I really could get rid of one of them.

Long story slightly shorter, I'm thinking about putting a bouncy fork on the Rooster and having a choice of 29+ or 29" wheelsets, converting the Solaris to a drop bar'd mountain bike and getting rid of the Escapade (putting the wheels and a lot of the kit on the Solaris).

My question is one of geometry and suitability of the Solaris to be run with a drop bar.....

See the image below comparing the geometry of my Escapade with my Solaris.

Image

Lots of slight geom differences but the two obvious differences that are likely to affect things are the reach/TT length and head tube, no?

On paper the Escapade has 40mm height over the Solaris BUT in real life (as they're both setup now) the mid point of the head tube height (at 90° to the ground) is 940mm for the Solaris and 910mm for the Escapade (sus-fork and bigger volume tyre the main reasons I'm assuming - both of which will remain).

Equally, the chart shows that the Solaris has 50mm longer reach/TT length than the Escapade but.....in reality it's only 20mm (from the centre of the seatpost to the centre of the bar).

I currently rarely use the drops on the Escapade as it feels a little low so, according to my understanding of things, the Solaris could actually work out better for me, no?

Has anyone tried such a bold genre bucking maneuver? Is there an obvious issue that I'm overlooking? Could it work?

Obviously the best thing to do would be to try it and see but with completely different groupsets and brakes etc... it'd essentially involve completely dismantling and rebuilding two whole bikes and so a bit of thinking and forethought seems wise :-bd

Any advice, knowledge or other input gratefully received.....

Cheers, Gairy.
Last edited by gairym on Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:38 pm

It could certainly work.

You're probably going to require a short(ish) high rise stem to get the bars (especially the drops) in a usable position - never see the point of fitting drops to any bike unless they're actually of use. It may appear somewhat odd looking and to some, perhaps even ugly but it should (maybe) work.

This is what I had to inflict on my Haro to get it to work properly - rather than just look like it's working.

Image
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benp1
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by benp1 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:51 pm

If you rarely use the drops on the escapade, are you going to use them in the solaris?

What are you doing it for?

Could you try fitting various flat alt bars on the solaris to see what it's like?

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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by Pirahna » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:05 pm

The stack on a large Solaris is about 610mm. This is the distance between the centre of the bottom bracket and the top of the head tube. So the front of the Solaris is 29mm taller than the Escapade.

The reach of the Solaris is 48mm longer than the Escapade. So roughly speaking, to get the same position you'll need to change your current stem for something that's 50mm shorter and points down by 29mm.

My recommendation would be to look for a bike/frame that's designed to take drop bars and fat tyres. A Fargo for example.

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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by jameso » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:26 pm

Pirahna wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:05 pm
The stack on a large Solaris is about 610mm. This is the distance between the centre of the bottom bracket and the top of the head tube. So the front of the Solaris is 29mm taller than the Escapade.
Does that assume a (100mm?) sus fork on the Solaris? If so, fit a sus-corrected rigid and they may end up very similar in stack.

Generally these conversions don't look right on paper / in the numbers but assuming you can get the bar in a comfortable place there's no reason why you won't be happy riding it. In between road and MTB there's a lot of ways to do things.

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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:34 pm

The stack on a large Solaris is about 610mm. This is the distance between the centre of the bottom bracket and the top of the head tube. So the front of the Solaris is 29mm taller than the Escapade.

The reach of the Solaris is 48mm longer than the Escapade. So roughly speaking, to get the same position you'll need to change your current stem for something that's 50mm shorter and points down by 29mm.
But that's not allowing for the fact that the bars really need to be higher so the hooks on the drops become the prime off-road position as they are on a Fargo. If Gairy rarely uses the drops on the Escapade, then I'd hazard a guess it's because the bars are too low.
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by dlovett » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:35 pm

what site did you use to compare them?

cheers

d

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gairym
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by gairym » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:31 pm

Thanks for the responses folks!

The site is:

https://geometrygeeks.bike/

Stu's right that my current setup on the Escapade is too low for me to practically and comfortably use the drops for anything other than a short period of time and so I'm not worried about the height issue as the Solaris' position as it is will likely suit me better.

I plan to keep the suspension fork on there (at least for now) as I can always lock it out and it gets quite a bit of use around here.

The reach on the other hand might well be an issue. The Solaris already has a short 60mm stem and so to reduce this by 50mm means installing one of those crazy downhill non-existent stems which will likely look and handle funny. :???:

I might well risk spending an afternoon switching everything over to see if I like it but I'm not feeling quite as confident as I was earlier.

Hmmm....?
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:51 pm

The reach on the other hand might well be an issue. The Solaris already has a short 60mm stem and so to reduce this by 50mm means installing one of those crazy downhill non-existent stems which will likely look and handle funny. :???:

I might well risk spending an afternoon switching everything over to see if I like it but I'm not feeling quite as confident as I was earlier.
But do you have to reduce the stem length by 50mm? The Escapade isn't suiting you anyway, so why would you want to replocate it?
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gairym
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by gairym » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:05 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:51 pm
But do you have to reduce the stem length by 50mm? The Escapade isn't suiting you anyway, so why would you want to replocate it?
Totally, no need to replicate but.....I'm not fully convinced that it'll be comfy with that additional distance to the drops.

At the very least the flat/hoods will be where my flat bar is now and the drop position will be quite a bit higher than it currently is on the Escapade and so I'm thinking it's worth a try, no?
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:11 pm

At the very least the flat/hoods will be where my flat bar is now and the drop position will be quite a bit higher than it currently is on the Escapade and so I'm thinking it's worth a try, no?
I'd aim to get them higher so the drops are nearer the height of your current bars.
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by gairym » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:19 pm

The current stem on the Solaris is 60mm with +6° and on the Escapade it's 80mm with +30° and so I can get it a bit higher (and probably whack a spacer or two in there too) but it'll extend the reach even further.

We'll see.....
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robsmuddygloves
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by robsmuddygloves » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:41 am

Any recommendations for high rise stems?

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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by lune ranger » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:57 am

robsmuddygloves wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:41 am
Any recommendations for high rise stems?

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/stems/110-h ... amp-black/

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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by faustus » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:28 am

Another thing to bear in mind, which is always the case when looking at the hybridised area between mtb and drop bar bikes, is the compromise between bar type and terrain. It's personal choice and down to how much of certain types of terrain you'll be doing, but it's just to remember to think about whether the terrain you'll be riding on the drop bar solaris will be suited to having much narrower bars and your hands in a different position. Just that when it gets a bit more technical, drop bars might seem worse than normal flat or low rise bars. Basically it's just whether the balance of compromises works for your riding.

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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by metalheart » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:42 am

Would it not be easier just to put on a Jones bar (or something) on the Solaris?

That abomination of Stu's (no offence intended :grin: ) is a solution looking for a problem...

<mh: member of the self styled cotic style police>

:lol:
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:53 am

That abomination of Stu's (no offence intended :grin: ) is a solution looking for a problem...
Or maybe a problem looking for a solution :wink:

I think we perhaps need to remember that 90% of the time drops (no matter what they're fitted to) are little more than a fashion statement. Given that most folk including roadies spent the vast majority of their time riding the tops or hoods, it's perhaps fair to say they'd be much better served by some nice flat bars. :-bd
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by metalheart » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:00 am

Or maybe a problem looking for a solution :wink:
Yeah, I think thats what I actually meant...

However, I still stand by abomination... :lol:
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gairym
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by gairym » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:12 am

benp1 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:51 pm
What are you doing it for?

Could you try fitting various flat alt bars on the solaris to see what it's like?
Sorry, missed this reply.

And.....
metalheart wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:42 am
Would it not be easier just to put on a Jones bar (or something) on the Solaris?
So far I've tried the Velo Orange 'Caseys Crazy' bar, the Alpkit 'Confuscius' thingy and the On-one 'Geoff' offering.

The thing I find is that when the 'regular' (grips/lever) position is set at a comfortable distance then everything else (all the alt positions) are too much of a stretch for prolonged use.

Went back to wide/flat bars for Tuscany this year and had no hand/comfort issues but I do really like the multiple position options that my flared drops allow me.
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by metalheart » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:26 am

So far I've tried the Velo Orange 'Caseys Crazy' bar, the Alpkit 'Confuscius' thingy and the On-one 'Geoff' offering.
I thought it was a bit too obvious... (but decided to ask anyways...).
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by gairym » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:02 pm

So far the closest I've come to an actual conclusion is repeatedly thinking that maybe I should just keep the Solaris as it is and look into switching out the frame/forks of the Escapade for something with a bit more tyre capacity.

To follow through with that thought (if only as an intellectual exercise).....anyone got a suggestion for a drop bar suitable steel frame capable of taking a 2.1" tyre (ideally not insanely heavy)???
Last edited by gairym on Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by PaulB2 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:00 pm


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Re: Solaris: drop bar conversion?

Post by benp1 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:13 pm

I'm watching with interest, I also have a large Solaris. It's currently rigid with flat carbon bars but I have jones loops and velo orange crazy caseys in the garage to try out at some point.

Jones loops worked well on my el mariachi, which is fairly similar to the solaris, so reckon they should work quite well when I get round to fitting them

I also find I rarely use the drops on my Arkose, the hoods are very comfortable

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