FrankenMarin: Part 2

In the previous blog, I talked about the failed experiment with the Marin Fairfax SC1 with the bullhorn handlebars. In this post, I will talk about how the SC1 became FrankenMarin.

I have another cycle - a Bianchi Nirone Roadbike. I love that bike, especially its riding position. I like the dropbars, and the different positions they offer. So after the bullhorns, I started thinking about putting dropbars on the SC1.

Prep-work:

My Bianchi had undergone a reconstructive surgery in 2017, where I had upgraded the entire groupset to a Shimano Tiagra groupset. So I had the old roadbike integrated brake and shifters with me. The old Bianchi had a 3X8 Shimano groupset, which exactly matched the SC1 drivetrain. So my initial thought was to simply put on a dropbar, use the old integrated brake-shifters, and get going. But when you dont know much about a subject, its best to ask the best. 

Talking to the one and only Ashok Captain, I learnt that since the SC1 has V-brakes, the road bike brake-shifters would not work, since the brake levers are not configured for the V-brake cable pull. So I would have to buy dropbar brake levers compatible with V-Brakes.

Since the integrated shifters were out, I needed to think of a shifting solution. So again, I tried to make do with what I had, and use the MTB shifters with the brake levers removed. On this, AC said that it might not be the best looking solution, and the cabling will be untidy, and I might end up not shifting as frequently as I should. He suggested looking for bar-end shifters.

So I bought the following items:

1) Tektro RL520 Dropbar Brake Levers:

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/in/en/tektro-rl520-drop-bar-brake-levers/rp-prod34840?mx=a

2) Shimano Dura-ace Barend Bicycle Shift Levers (SL-BS64-8)

 https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-SL-BS64-8-Speed-Ultegra-Shifter/dp/B000F5EFOC/ref=sr_1_6_sspa?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1540379602&sr=1-6-spons&keywords=shimano+ultegra+6480&psc=1&smid=AMY4I718ZUBOU

3) BTwin Dropbar handle bar from Decathlon

I took all these to Cykler to work on the modification. The rest of the blog is photos from the work done:

1) Putting on the Dropbars with a long stem: I used an old stem from my road bike initially. We put this on, and I tried the bike for the new position. The stem was too long.

2) So, I bought a 50mm stem from Decathlon.

3) After the handlebar, brakes and shifters had gone on, Swapnil from Cykler did the cabling - I would not have been able to do this myself.

4) Once the cabling was done, we had a bit of trouble with the rear shifter, and how to position it to get all 8 gear positions. But we figured it out finally.

5) The bartape went on, and we were good to go.

6) A few adjustments, and the bike was ready.

It was a wonderful experience going through this entire process. Though it hasnt equipped me to do this again, it definitely has taught me a few things about the bicycle that I would not have learnt otherwise!

This has turned out to be a great modification, good for commutes, long rides, and even a bit of gravel and broken roads. Looking forward to many more rides!

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