I am thinking of changing my Boardman HYB to a drop bar setup. Trying to avoid having to change the entire group set if I being honest as I am on a tight budget.

Currently, its Shimano Acera 2x9 and has hydraulic disk brakes.

I can't find any drop levers that support 2x9 and hydraulic disks. Unless I am just not looking in the right place?

What are my best options for keeping this low budget without loosing the hydraulic disks?

Hoping to be in a position to buy a new gravel bike in the next year or 2, so I don't want to be chucking loads of money at this conversion now.


  • 2
    Certainly no such Shimano shifter. I do not remember what microShift and FSA do. Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 12:02
  • microShift has a 2x9, but with mechanical brakes.
    – Rеnаud
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 12:25
  • 1
    I’d just stick with your current setup if you know you’re buying a gravel bike soon.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 14:28
  • 2
    This doesn't answer the conversion question but may be helpful: Look at Jones H-Bars and Surly Moloko bars, they offer more hand positions and are compatible with MTB components. I just put an H-Bar on my MTB and it was easy to move the brakes and shifters over. If your existing bars are too narrow you might need longer hydraulic lines.
    – Pacman
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 16:46
  • I think right now it's cheaper to sell the bike you have and buy a drop bar bike than try a conversion. It made more sense back when gravel bikes didn't exist, cyclocross bikes were expensive racing gear for a specific niche sport and brakes and shifting systems were mostly compatible with each other.
    – ojs
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 13:30

2 Answers 2


I think you are out of luck there.

There are expensive cable to hydraulic converters available.

You could get (equally expensive) 10 speed hydraulic brifters and use a 10 speed to 9 speed cable pull converter. This should work with your existing drivetain (you’d have an "empty" 10th gear).

But all of that would be a hack. Is the frame even short enough to be comfortable with drop bars instead of flat bars?

  • jtek components is one example of cable pull converters, but they're based in the US. If I were looking for these, I'd ask a bike store for advice.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 12:18

It's unfortunately more complicated than just finding a 2x9 shifter.

Pull ratios (the distance a cable has to "move" to shift from one gear to another) are different on road and mountain bikes groupsets (Acera is in the MTB range). Assuming you'd find a 2x9 with hydraulic brakes, they won't be directly compatible. There are adapters, but from what I've seen their price is in the same range as a Sora derailleur (the equivalent of Acera in road components). Not sure it's worth doing in this component range. (not true for for 7-9 speeds, see comment)

Also, there can be some incompatibilities regarding the fluids used in hydraulic disc brakes, if you mix the brands for the caliper (do you have Shimano or Tektro, is it mineral oil or DOT?) and the shifter, you will also need to make sure that fluids are compatible.

If you are on a budget, plan to buy a new bike next year and count on the sale of your current bike to buy the new one, take also in consideration that selling a modified bike is more complicated than a "stock" one.

  • Thanks for the correction, I "updated" the text.
    – Rеnаud
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 16:13
  • 1
    No, MTB 7-9 speed is compatible with road 7-10 speed. The 10 and 9 are the other way around. And some road 10-speed rear derailleurs like Tiagra 4700 use a different pull ratio so not all 10 speeds are compatible.
    – juhist
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 16:21

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