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. enter image description here

  • 7
    This is a question that has been asked before on the site - you're looking to change from flat bars to drop bars, and replace all the controls. Try reading bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/72520 and bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/54582 and search for other flat-to-drop questions. Basically, its expensive and the results tend to be a mongrel. The pictured bike will be fine for light gravel riding.
    – Criggie
    Jun 22, 2021 at 10:30
  • 3
    There are other alternatives with a flat handle bar to have different hand position: bar ends, or different kinds of handle bars (loop, butterfly,...), that allow to keep your current transmission and brakes. I personally use ergonomic inside bar ends on my hybrid (SQLab 411, but there are other brands), that give a position closer to the hoods on a drop handle bar, while allowing an access to the brakes and partially to the shifters.
    – Rеnаud
    Jun 22, 2021 at 10:39
  • What do you hope to achieve? Honestly I don’t think there is much difference between narrow-ish flat handle bars and drop bars.
    – Michael
    Jun 22, 2021 at 12:41
  • I think the main problem that you're going to run into is finding road shifters/levers that are compatible with your brakes and derailleurs. The brakes look to be hydraulic, so I think they would be compatible. However, it's 10 speed, so you're looking at the Tiagra hydraulic shift levers, which I'm not sure if they are compatible with your deore derailleur
    – Kibbee
    Jun 22, 2021 at 13:08
  • 1
    Also, You have a 3x crankset, and there aren't any 3x hydraulic road shifters that I'm aware of, so you would have to switch to a 2x (or 1x system). Might not be worth it to spend so much money. You might be better off selling your bike and buying a gravel bike.
    – Kibbee
    Jun 22, 2021 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 3
    So to sum it up he’d have to change basically everything except the frame, wheels, seatpost and saddle. At that point you might as well buy a real gravel bike with a proper gravel bike frame.
    – Michael
    Jun 22, 2021 at 17:39
  • Oh..... This is insanely complicated. There is no way I'm gonna undertake this project on my new bike. But thank you so so so much for the extensive information. I do have an old bike lying around. I shall try to experiment on that one. Thank you again. Jun 23, 2021 at 11:44

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