I bought a bike (Stevens 6x lite tour) a little while ago. I've been riding it very often and i love it. I've been making 50-60 KMS rides on weekends on it. But now i wish I had drop handle bars instead. The question is can I add a drop handle bar to my bike? And use it for light gravel riding and road biking? This is my first good bike and im new to biking but absolutely obsessed.
This used to be possible.
You could buy drop bar brake levers (without shifters) for both V brakes and cantilever/caliper brakes.
Then you could buy bar-end shifters to match your cassette.
Unfortunately, recently Shimano MTB 10-speed systems have shifted to a non-compatible "MTB" cable pull ratio, and road 11-speed systems (plus Tiagra 10 speed) have shifted to a non-compatible "road" cable pull ratio. So you won't find any bar-end shifters to match "MTB" 10-speed derailleurs.
Also, if the bike has hydraulic brakes, you need to buy hydraulic drop bar levers. For example, Shimano only sells hydraulic drop bar levers only with integrated shifters, at a horrible cost. Those shifters have "road" 11-speed ratio that is not compatible with any "MTB" derailleur.
Furthermore, the "road" and "MTB" front derailleur pull ratios differ and if using integrated levers/shifters, you need to have the correct ratio (bar-end shifters don't care)
So, here's a list of everything you need to change:
- Buy integrated brake levers and shifters for hydraulic brakes and 11-speed "road" ratio but 10 speeds (for example Tiagra 4700)
- Buy bar-end shifters with traditional pull ratio and 10 speeds (if you prefer to use bar-ends instead of the integrated ones -- but then you have non-functional shifters in the levers as well since they don't sell bare drop bar hydraulic levers)
- Buy a rear derailleur with traditional ratio (if bar-end) or 11-speed "road" ratio (if integrated levers/shifters)
- Buy a "road" pull ratio front derailleur, if using integrated levers/shifters -- you can omit this if choosing bar-end shifters
- Buy a double crankset (needed if you choose a "road" double front derailleur) -- with bar-end shifters you can omit this
- Buy drop bar and bar tape
- Buy a different length stem -- I'm almost certain your current stem is not of the proper length
- Buy tools to work on hydraulic disc brakes, to switch from flat bar levers to drop bar levers
I'd say this is a lot of expense.
A long time ago when I had a 8-speed hybrid bike, I was able to do the conversion by only salvaging a used drop handlebar, buying bar tape, buying 8-speed Ultegra bar-end shifters and buying Dia Compe V-brake drop bar levers. That was enough back then when components were compatible. No special tools required since brakes were operated by cables back then.
Is it worth it? I'd say buying a new bike is more expensive, so the big question is if you can get enough money by selling your current used bike to cover the difference. Back then when I did the conversion, it would not make sense to sell used and buy new. Today, it might make sense to choose or at least consider the selling/buying route.