I have a urban style bike that I want to convert from flat bars to drops.

Can anyone suggest brake levers that:

  • will be compatible with the BR-M355 calipers that came with the bike
  • will be compatible with the hoses fitted to the bike
  • are of standard brake hood construction and can be used as a comfortable hand position on drops (i.e. I'm not looking to somehow bodge installation of MTB levers)
  • are easily available in the UK
  • are not crazy expensive (< £200)
  • don't involve/require a cable to hydraulic conversion mechanism

Ideally, I'd prefer the levers don't include an derailleur gear shift mechanism, because the bike has an Alfine hub, for which I'll make separate provision for shifting. However, provided any derailleur shift system can be left disconnected without impacting comfort and braking performance, I could live with it.

If I absolutely have to, I could replace the levers, hoses, calipers and disks, but I'd rather not spend the money replacing the whole brake system if I can get away with only replacing the levers.

I understand the geometry of drops on this bike might not be ideal, and some may feel I would be better off simply replacing this bike with a road bike. That's not an option for me, and neither is owning a second bike.


  • Welcome to Bicycles Stack Exchange. Product recommendations are off-topic here which is why you're collecting close votes. You could try re-writing your question to ask if there is a class of products that meets your needs without a specific recommendation. May 18, 2019 at 19:29
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    Many of the "flat/drop" and "drop/flat" conversion questions work out to be quite expensive in parts, and you end up with a modified geometry. Do consider buying a second used bike instead, that way you have N+1
    – Criggie
    May 18, 2019 at 21:53
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    @Criggie. Yeah - totally understand that. However, I have no space for another bike so N+1 isn't an option. Alternatively, selling the bike I have to buy another with belt drive, IGH, hydraulic disk brakes and drop bars, probably won't be a cheaper option than just buying the suggested TRP brakes and cheap drop bars. And if the geometry turns out to be unworkable then I can eBay the brakes. May 18, 2019 at 22:09
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    @mattnz I'm not sure that's a good duplicate. The answers there are saying that everything must be SRAM, which is because the bike in that question has SRAM brakes. But this bike has Shimano brakes. May 19, 2019 at 12:21
  • Is this a better match? bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/1136/…, or should I continue looking though the 100 other search results of asked and answered questions for the exact match?
    – mattnz
    May 19, 2019 at 20:13

1 Answer 1


What you want to look for are hydraulic brakes for single-speed bikes. You can definitely get full sets including levers and calipers, I doubt you'll have luck finding levers that are compatible with the MTB calipers you have, check the manufacturers specs or get in contact with them directly to determine compatibility.

Not a recommendation, just an example, a little searching led me to TRP Hylex

  • Thanks. Didn't occur to me to search for single-speed. TRP Hylex seems to be my best option. As a bonus I can get an add-on Alfine 8 compatible shifter kit, if I can't somehow bodge the shifter I have. May 18, 2019 at 22:02

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