Thinking of converting a flat bar hybrid bike (2023 Canyon Pathlite 6) to a drop bar. Looking for a Shimano drop bar shift / brake lever that will work with my current transmission and brakes. SLX 12S cassette 10-51, Deore XT mechanical shifter and derailleur, MT200 hydraulic brakes. Will any of the road levers work? The new 12s gravel GRX maybe? Please advise.

  • 1
    Simplest thing you can do is to buy "Surly Corner Bar" handlebar (or other "Alt-bar") and keep MTB brakes and shifters.
    – Edmundas
    Oct 27, 2023 at 9:05

1 Answer 1


The new GRX is the only Shimano road/gravel derailleur compatible with cassette you have. And there are only two levers that are compatible with this derailleur: the new GRX and the new 105 mechanical 12-speed.

Technically, for the brakes, there's a very big likelihood that you can keep the calipers, but I'm not sure it's worth it. They are entry-level (but excellent), but you are usually better of buying a bundle rather than the components separately (you'll need adapters as well). That would include the calipers and sometimes the rotors. Given the installation of hydraulic brake involves piercing a thin plastic film, it's also much easier to do with new calipers than used ones.

That being said, there are usually reserves on doing such conversions. Technical: the first one is that the geometry may not be adequate for drop bars. Also another problem that you might face is related to the cranksets: if the Pathlite has a 73mm bottom bracket shell, finding proper "gravel" cranksets is hard. And economical: you have a recent bike with good components, the new GRX has just being released and prices are very high (higher than Campy or SRAM), selling the Pathlite and buying a new gravel bike might be a better operation, especially if you need to pay for labour (the only thing you'll loose is the 80mm suspension). If you buy a bike with the 10-45 cassette, no problem to install a 10-51 cassette afterwards, you just need to change the derailleur cage (officially supported by Shimano). But the offering is limited now anyway.

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