It’s no secret that many older mountain bikes can be transformed into glorious gravel bikes, but one sticking point is how to overcome the issue of your flat-bar brake levers and shifters not fitting a drop handlebar. It seems Surly was wondering the same and created the Corner Bar.
Designed to fit regular 22.2 mm-clamp mountain bike brake levers and shifters, the Corner Bar aims to offer both flat and dropped riding positions without needing road bike-style brake hoods or a new drivetrain. It’s a quirky idea that makes a surprising amount of sense for cheaply converting a previously loved bike.
Notably missing is an obvious hood-like hand position, something Surly admits the bar was not intended to offer. However, the American bike company suggests attaching bits of cut-up mountain bike grip is one way to give yourself a perch in lieu of an actual hood.
The Corner Bar is made of Chromoly steel, and so like almost everything Surly creates, it’s not going to be light! Interestingly the bar features an older 25.4 mm clamp diameter – perfect for mating to a mountain bike from the ’90s and early 2000s. Adapter shims to run the bar in a modern 31.8 mm stem will be included, too.
Assuming you’re converting an old mountain bike then you may need longer cables/hoses for your gears and brakes. The bars are only available in widths of 46, 50 and 54 cm, and that’s pretty wide given the measurements are taken from hood to hood and not at the drops which flare out by 41º.
The Corner Bar is an interesting and unique option for those looking to add drops to a bike that was designed for flat bars. Meanwhile, those used to riding road bikes are likely to miss the ergonomics of a hood-based brake lever and so a more complex dropbar conversion may be what’s needed to ensure happiness with your Frankenbike.
Surly expects to land stock in the USA by September. More information can be found at Surly’s often amusing blog.