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  1. #1
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    Drop Bars On an Old Mountain Bike?

    Hi guys,

    I have an old Raleigh Bighorn, and would like to put drops on it to make it into a cross bike. What sort of parts will I need? I have a few quill stems kicking around, but the clamps are incredibly small. Would eBarf be my best bet?

    My bike is identical to this one in every way:

    http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-s...AdIdZ202251491

    Thanks guys,

    ~Ryan~

  2. #2
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    There are a bunch of examples of drop bar MTB conversions on the Touring & Commuting subforums, you can get plenty of ideas from those threads. At a minimum, you'll need to change your shifters & brake levers, plus the bars and stem.

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    Seņor Member 4Rings6Stars's Avatar
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    Make sure the top tube isn't too long for you to be comfortable in drops. You could always use a hybrid/short stem but they are fugly and can mess with steering.

    Also might try posting over in the cyclocross forum, there is a thread for just what you are talking about doing.
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    The stem will be the hard part because I think they are under sized at 22mm. So you will need a stem, bars,brake levers and probably use your old shifters on the top bar.

  5. #5
    Ellensburg, WA scozim's Avatar
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    Check your local bike shops and co-ops for parts. I just did this conversion last fall with touring in mind. I used bar end shifters but for cross you might want to look at some 7 or 8 spd STI brifters. What year is your bike?
    1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France;1982 Trek 610; 1980's Univega Supra Sport (fixie); 1975 Teledyne Titan; 1968 Peugeot PL8; ;1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1972 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1981 Trek 510; 1993 Trek 950 mtb; 1996 Klein Pulse II mtb; 1997 Klein Pulse Comp mtb; 1989 Peugeot Limestone hybrid (for touring); 1989 Spectrum Titanium

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    Senior Member TugaDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scozim View Post
    Check your local bike shops and co-ops for parts. I just did this conversion last fall with touring in mind. I used bar end shifters but for cross you might want to look at some 7 or 8 spd STI brifters. What year is your bike?
    +1 Also, check around as there are some drops that might be able to accomodate your existing brakes/shifters with shims. At a minimum you are going to have to do something with the stem. Velo Orange and others have a nice conversion adapter that replaces your quill stem. It slides right down into the headset and tightens like a quill but you can attach a threadless stem above. You might also look into the Origin 8, Gary 2 bars for this purpose. I think your brake/shifter set up might work on these with shims.

  7. #7
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    You'll need brake levers and shifters cuz road bars are generaly larger in diameter than the older mtb's, you can find them with the same clamp size on ebay as ayour existing stem. Be careful, this might become your favorite ride!!

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    And you'll probably make decent money selling off the BullMoose bars.
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  9. #9
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junior88 View Post
    Hi guys,

    I have an old Raleigh Bighorn, and would like to put drops on it to make it into a cross bike. What sort of parts will I need? I have a few quill stems kicking around, but the clamps are incredibly small. Would eBarf be my best bet?

    My bike is identical to this one in every way:

    http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-s...AdIdZ202251491

    Thanks guys,

    ~Ryan~
    They built a pseudo mixte version of that bike as well, my wife has one, I think logically the only way to accomplish such is to find a road bike with a trashed frame, that you could snag parts from, because you could end up chasing parts changes ad infinitum.

  10. #10
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    Nah...I purchased the parts for this conversion on line one rainy Saturday, not very pretty but a fun ride during the winter or over rough terrain.
    100_4014.jpg
    I think the drop bars put me out $10 on ebay, $15 for Tektro 200 levers, and my LBS for bar tape and new cables, kept the stem and shifters. Shifters are mounted near the stem, they're indexed so a bump with the back of my hand shifts up and a little thumb action for downshifting. Every winter when this comes out for the first time, I remember how fun it is to ride.
    Last edited by Velognome; 02-18-11 at 08:22 PM.

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    i've done a similar conversion

    I got a tall SR stem that brought the handlebars closer

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
    Nah...I purchased the parts for this conversion on line one rainy Saturday, not very pretty but a fun ride during the winter or over rough terrain.
    100_4014.jpg
    I think the drop bars put me out $10 on ebay, $15 for Tektro 200 levers, and my LBS for bar tape and new cables, kept the stem and shifters. Shifters are mounted near the stem, they're indexed so a bump with the back of my hand shifts up and a little thumb action for downshifting. Every winter when this comes out for the first time, I remember how fun it is to ride.
    Could you please show your shifter setup?

    Please?
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  13. #13
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    It's ugly but funtions very well for me. Origianally I was going to put Bar-ends on but after a season I'm content with this set up.
    100_4043.jpg

  14. #14
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by special_k View Post
    i've done a similar conversion

    I got a tall SR stem that brought the handlebars closer
    I can't quite make out the decals, what kind of frame is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
    Nah...I purchased the parts for this conversion on line one rainy Saturday, not very pretty but a fun ride during the winter or over rough terrain.
    Nonsense, that Iguana is a beauty!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
    It's ugly but funtions very well for me. Origianally I was going to put Bar-ends on but after a season I'm content with this set up.

    How'd you get the thumbshifters on that bar? Is it a smaller (diameter) bar?
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  16. #16
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    No, standard road bar, the metal is soft so I was able to reform the clamp to the larger dia. of the bar. It required a longer set screw which I had on hand.

    Nonsense, that Iguana is a beauty!
    In an F-150 with a bed full of beer cans kinda way I suppose- Thanx for the kind words Chris.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
    No, standard road bar, the metal is soft so I was able to reform the clamp to the larger dia. of the bar. It required a longer set screw which I had on hand.
    I've got a set of those style shifters... So, the screw with the little square base thingy?

    Ideally, I'd like to try a set of M732 XT shifters, somehow.

    I've got a set of Suntour Stem shifters I might want to try...

    I'm so not sure where I want to go with shifters. I want to try the Command Shifters, I want to try Kelly Take Offs...

    I pretty much want to be able to shift and not move my hands.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member velomateo's Avatar
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    I did this conversion to a co-workers old Fisher Hoo-coo-e-koo. I used an old Profile stem and 3ttt bars with Shimano barcon shifters. Brake levers are Tektro's. I think it turned out cool and he was very happy with it.


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    Imn 30 seconds or less:
    Keep it CV and it will get pricey but look and ride awesome. For the most affordable but still vintage. Try a Nitto Dirt Drop Stem, WTB dirt drop bars (a pair on the bay right now), Suntour bar end shifters and Dia Compe brake cable hanger. Or knock yourself out and make everything WTB. Remember, with a true dirt drop setup from the 80's the idea was to do most of your riding in the drops, not the hoods. Other vintage ideas for tall stem, Salsa P7 or P10. Don't forget the inline cable adjusters.
    Have fun....

    Last edited by Aemmer; 02-18-11 at 10:04 PM.
    Seek: Early 80's Mountain Goat Bar/Stem Combo.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami View Post
    I can't quite make out the decals, what kind of frame is that?
    It's a Cinelli Rampichino.
    http://www.cinelli.it/memorabilia/eng/044.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aemmer View Post
    I love that stem! how is it attached to the steerer?

  22. #22
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    Retro look. Modern parts set up on a vintage bike.
    Dirt drop:

    Seek: Early 80's Mountain Goat Bar/Stem Combo.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by special_k View Post
    I love that stem! how is it attached to the steerer?
    WTB LD stem (use your imagination).
    The fork has a plug in it.
    T
    Seek: Early 80's Mountain Goat Bar/Stem Combo.

  24. #24
    Get off my lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    When I originaly configured the bike I inteneded to primarily ride the drops, I don't , I stay on the hoods or just behind, rarely on the top and only in the drops in a head wind. Bar-ends look so cool and clean but wth the way I ride they would cause a further reach.

    Guess what I'm saying is; that before you spend some big $, get the dropbars, ride it a bit before you find a home for the shifters, they may not end up where you originaly thought they'd be. That was my experience anyway.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velognome View Post
    When I originaly configured the bike I inteneded to primarily ride the drops, I don't , I stay on the hoods or just behind, rarely on the top and only in the drops in a head wind. Bar-ends look so cool and clean but wth the way I ride they would cause a further reach.

    Guess what I'm saying is; that before you spend some big $, get the dropbars, ride it a bit before you find a home for the shifters, they may not end up where you originaly thought they'd be. That was my experience anyway.
    Yeah, when I have drops, I'm the same as you- I usually have my hands just behind the hoods- only in the drops when I'm in a headwind or I'm pretending to go fast. My beat up old man back won't let me do that "bent over" thing.

    I have an old Stumpjumper with the bullmoose bars- I'm probably going to get bar ends for that- it'll probably give someone a snit, but keep the thumbshifters and everything- I just need the alternate "palm in" hand position-
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

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