Road-Bike Transformation: Part II

It’s almost complete. Okay, maybe never really complete but my bike looks completely different now, & officially has recognizable utilitarian-cruiser-commuter style.
The handlebars are key. It took some serious consideration to pick the right handlebars: How upright or leaned-over do I want to be? How’s it going to work with the way this bike fits me? What angle do I want my wrists to be at? How high do I want the bars? Do I want the classic look like the Albatross handlebars?

Or something completely unique like my sister’s?


To begin with, I knew I need a wider stance to give me more torque when I have my Urban Acres grocery crate on the back (ahhhh, maybe that’s why my rack is bent?… New rack will have to be in the next phase. Especially if I’m going to mount a dog basket/crate for my 30lb mutt…more on that later.)

I spent hours holding different handlebars at the Oak Cliff Bike Co (OCBC) handlebar wall & finally settled. I really like the angle of my wrists on these. Also happened to be one of the cheapest at about $30, plus labor – I decided to get professional help for this part. Good thing ’cause the bars are a bit smaller than my bike’s neck loop and required a shim or two to fit snug.


Then for the drink holder. Essential. There’s a classy little sweet circle that holds cups that get wider at the top – see this one a lot.
But I chose something that would hold a … coke bottle or other type of non-alcoholic beverage…. This one is somewhat malleable to accommodate various sized containers.

First things first: coffee.


A few days of heavy drink-holder use & it was slumping down. I tried tightening the screws, but the handlebars ate apparently just a bit too small for the fixture. Nothing a bit of duct-tape can’t fix tho! (bike work is generally incomplete without use of duct tape anyhow.) I folded two small pieces over on themselves to rid of sticky surfaces & put one on either side of the handlebar mount as a little filler. Perfect.

And, while the duct tape’s out… The zip ties aren’t quite keeping my other bottle holder from slipping sideways – luckily the black duct tape matches!


When I brought the bike in for a tuneup the smart boys at OCBC went ahead and shored-up my jimmy-rigged back rack too – looks WAY more sturdy, not to mention professional. Those guys do good work.


And lastly, to complete the handlebars, I replaced the old foam pieces I cut from my curley handlebars with fancy black leather grips. Classy yet only $15.

I’d heard that the trick to sliding them on easily is to spray hairspray in it all, but it seemed counter-intuitive (hairspray’s sticky!) so I scrimped on my first try and it got seriously stuck about half-way. It was a chore getting it off again. Lesson learned.

So, a liberal spray inside the grip as well and on all sides of the bar, and it slipped on effortlessly!

Next phase:
– new rack?
– dog basket crate (definitely.)
– chain guard! (to protect pant legs from chain grease & to protect chain grease from rain – now that I’m biking in work attire more & spring rainstorms are sporadic here in Dallas…. Come to think of it a poncho would be nice too.)

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About UrbanPedal

A urban planner by degree, bicycling enthusiast by birth, this is a forum to share the crazy biking and urban design inspiration that crosses my path.
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5 Responses to Road-Bike Transformation: Part II

  1. Rob says:

    I’m researching a handlebar replacement myself. I replaced drop bars with a flat bar first, but it’s still not upright enough. I need a real townie look. Going to the LBS tomorrow to fit some out.

    • UrbanPedal says:

      yeah, the handlebars really effect the angle you sit at – and it’s crazy how you can change one thing like the handlebars and then you’re getting a new seat that works better with your new angle, and changing the height of your seat… fun stuff! Good luck Rob!

  2. Pingback: Biking In Dallas » THIS!

  3. Pingback: Road-Bike Transformation: Part 1 | The Urban Pedal

  4. Justin says:

    Nice looking bike – and I have one of those mug holders, it’s great.

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