I've just bought a lovely Surly touring frame and I simply stuck all of my mountain bike components on it.
That means I've retained a flat handlebar. I'd really like to stick drop bars on though and change to road "brifters" without changing the drive train.
I've tried Googling this and it seems to be complex issue so any advice would be most welcome. I have Shimano Alivio gears, front and rear plus a Shimano Diore crank (with the external bottom bracket type). The rear is a 9-speed cassette (11-30) while the Diore triple crank is a 48-36-26.
I really want to stick with this, not just because of the expense of buying a whole new drive train but also this set up gives me a really low bottom gear (30 on rear 26 on front) for getting up hills with a fully laden touring bike.
I understand I may need a new front derailleur but I may be able to get away with keeping the rear derailleur and using a ten-speed brifter such as a Tiagra with the 9-speed cassette. Is this right? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.