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Old 05-30-14, 07:15 PM   #3101
neo_pop_71
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
Thanks for the complements. I knew the KOM was a good bike when I got it (for only $70 on craigslist!), but it took the drop bars for me to really feel great on it. Since it's a tall bike with a high BB, the upright riding position felt like I was perched on top of the bike, not part of it.

Since it has a loud AMERICA!!! paint job, I call my bike "The King of 'Merica" or "The King" for short.

I originally wanted to try Nitto RM-14 Dirt Drop bars, but they're not in production and hard to find. (Well, they do currently make a Dirt Drop with a 31.8 clamp. I figured that out when I brought home my bike swap finds a couple weeks ago; I got that bar and the SQR bag shown. 1" threaded and 31.8 clamp are pretty much mutually exclusive, barring frankenstein solutions. Anyone want to buy a new 31.8 Dirt Drop bar?)

I had picked up the Nitto B135 bars in a parts lot earlier this year, so I gave them a try before buying a Midge. I can't compare the B135 to similar bars; my other bikes have: Nitto Moustache, Nitto B105 classic, and a flat bar on my MTB.

The B135 bars are the widest of Nitto's Randonneur bars, but they still feel a bit narrow at the top. Not too bad, though. I was able to get comfortable and you can tell by the 22" x 24" frame size that I'm not a small dude (6'1" 220#). I felt maybe a 1/4" or so of flex when I'm descending while on the bar ends. Not bad at all.

This thread gets into the differences between the B132 and B135 models. In short, the B135 has shorter ramps and longer drop ends.

I've found 5 usable hand positions on these bars: horizontal tops, top curve, ramps/hoods, hooks, and drop ends. The drop ends come back quite a bit more than most drop bars, and I've found that to be my favorite position. The ramp/hood position isn't as comfy as on my other bikes with more traditional drop bars, but then the el cheapo brake levers may not have very good hood shapes. These bars fit me well at this height, where the top is level with my seat but the drops are lower, for a more aggressive position.

Yeah, the KOM doesn't have anything that really differentiates itself from other top-end rigid MTBs from the era, just some small details. It's just a well-built, well-equipped bike. Mine was in very good original shape, with every original component but the seat. However, the frame has a ton of scratches (some nasty) from some metal storage hooks while it languished in the PO's garage. I'm gonna look for some touch-up paint (probably Testors) to cover them up.

My KOM was sold from Baraboo (WI) Schwinn, which apparently closed its doors at the end of the '88 season. I wonder if this bike was sold prior to closing or as part of a liquidation sale? The PO remembers riding the bike in high school in the 90s (purple registration sticker on the L seat stay) but doesn't know where it came from before that. The tread on the original Project KOM tires is at about 90%, but the sidewalls are all dried out.
Thanks Tim_Iowa for the detailed write up and the link (very helpful)! As a "Clyde" myself, 6' 225#, your specific details regarding the 1/4" flex is swaying me a different direction but I do like the fact that you get 5 full hand positions with those rando bars. I might be interested in your 31.8 Dirt Drop bars, for myself or one of my customers as they have all almost made the switch to 31.8 for everything (I'll PM you about the bars). As far as the KOM $70.00 was a serious score for an unmolested bike! Flip back the pages of your memory to 1988, by the time you paid taxes you were out almost a grand for the KOM ($950.00 out the door for my Cimarron LE), compared to a typical $300.00 mountain bike... at 3 times the price the KOM was a legit racer! Instead of bothering with Testors, hit up Ebay for a nice photo decal of "The King" to cover up those blemishes... beautify the KOM with the Elvis and all will be well with the world! "Thank you... thank you very much!"
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Old 05-31-14, 10:01 AM   #3102
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Originally Posted by neo_pop_71 View Post
As far as the KOM $70.00 was a serious score for an unmolested bike! Flip back the pages of your memory to 1988, by the time you paid taxes you were out almost a grand for the KOM ($950.00 out the door for my Cimarron LE), compared to a typical $300.00 mountain bike... at 3 times the price the KOM was a legit racer! Instead of bothering with Testors, hit up Ebay for a nice photo decal of "The King" to cover up those blemishes... beautify the KOM with the Elvis and all will be well with the world! "Thank you... thank you very much!"
Yup, I definitely scored on this bike. It was on Craigslist in my hometown; about an hour away. I drove up there the next saturday and grabbed it. I'm just glad that I can fully appreciate its patriotic glory and great ride now.

The scratches are all over the back of the head tube and under the top tube.

I should get this picture made into a decal and slap it on the back of the head tube!

And this picture somewhere too
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Old 05-31-14, 01:51 PM   #3103
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Schwinn Mirada

I've enjoyed seeing everyone else's conversions, some truly nice bikes that inspired me to take the plunge.

I originally commuted on a '72 Raleigh Grand Prix, but kept breaking spokes on San Francisco's badly paved streets. So 3 years ago I picked up an old Schwinn Mirada (early 90's I think) with clearance for fat tires. I set it up with rack & basket, fenders, dynamo lights, and Nitto Northroad handlebars - nice and upright as befits a commuter. Finally, this year I had to admit that despite this being my cheapest bike it's the one I prefer for most rides so I should fit handlebars better suited to long rides. I chose the Nitto Randonneur partly for the many hand positions, and partly because drop bar selection in a 25.4 size is limited.

It's a heavy beast, 37.5 lbs (well, really 40 lbs since I always carry my lock!) Although I occasionally dream of a lighter bike, reliability is more important - I do a lot of fully loaded backcountry tours in remote areas. Also, since this is still my commuter, I didn't want to put anything too expensive on it - I leave it locked up anywhere. I'm sometimes tempted to build a lighter bike for day rides - I'll keep coming back here for inspiration!

Miscellaneous bits:
  • Schwinn Mirada frame, 4130 cromoly main tubes, hi-ten rear triangle & fork
  • Shimano 3x9 drivetrain, front 42/32/22, rear 11-34
  • Forte Team 9-speed brake/shifters
  • Shimano DH-3N72 generator hub with Trelock 885 led headlamp (40 lux)
  • Schwalbe Big Apple 26"x2" tires
  • Velo-Orange Model 5 Sprung Touring saddle
  • Nitto Randonneur handlebars, Nitto Periscopa stem

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Old 05-31-14, 02:51 PM   #3104
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some great looking bikes being posted up. (and I'm a sucker for Schwinn)
Great looking bikes everyone! Keep it up! My next project should arrive sometime next week.....cant wait.
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Old 06-01-14, 12:00 AM   #3105
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Originally Posted by yangmusa View Post
Miscellaneous bits:
  • Schwinn Mirada frame, 4130 cromoly main tubes, hi-ten rear triangle & fork
  • Shimano 3x9 drivetrain, front 42/32/22, rear 11-34
  • Forte Team 9-speed brake/shifters
  • Shimano DH-3N72 generator hub with Trelock 885 led headlamp (40 lux)
  • Schwalbe Big Apple 26"x2" tires
  • Velo-Orange Model 5 Sprung Touring saddle
  • Nitto Randonneur handlebars, Nitto Periscopa stem

Hey yangmusa,

Thanks for posting your Schwinn! The build looks well thought out and the spec'd components are pretty choice, you certainly hung some nice parts on that frame... especially since you leave it locked up in a city well known for bike theft! Your trail shots are inspiring, I want to hit up the trails you ride, old growth tree lined trails with nobody on them... priceless!!!
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Old 06-01-14, 01:48 PM   #3106
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Here's a ~1995 Trek that came with Special Edition VW Jettas. Replaced everything except the wheels, seatpost collar, and headset. Built for girlfriend who likes road bikes but has short legs. Intended for gravel trails and commuting in Philly.





- Salsa Cowbell 3 bars. They're great
- 165 mm Sugino XD600
- $10 Tektro BMX mini-V's
- $15 Nashbar Streetwise in the rear
- Shimano Bar ends

The Streetwise tires (60tpi) and the mini-V's are a great deal. $50 and you're halfway there. The expensive parts are the bars, brakes, and bar-ends. Next time I'm going to find a junker road bike and bring everything over for a real budget conversion for myself.
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Old 06-01-14, 07:53 PM   #3107
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I've enjoyed seeing everyone else's conversions, some truly nice bikes that inspired me to take the plunge.

I originally commuted on a '72 Raleigh Grand Prix, but kept breaking spokes on San Francisco's badly paved streets. So 3 years ago I picked up an old Schwinn Mirada (early 90's I think) with clearance for fat tires. I set it up with rack & basket, fenders, dynamo lights, and Nitto Northroad handlebars - nice and upright as befits a commuter. Finally, this year I had to admit that despite this being my cheapest bike it's the one I prefer for most rides so I should fit handlebars better suited to long rides. I chose the Nitto Randonneur partly for the many hand positions, and partly because drop bar selection in a 25.4 size is limited.

It's a heavy beast, 37.5 lbs (well, really 40 lbs since I always carry my lock!) Although I occasionally dream of a lighter bike, reliability is more important - I do a lot of fully loaded backcountry tours in remote areas. Also, since this is still my commuter, I didn't want to put anything too expensive on it - I leave it locked up anywhere. I'm sometimes tempted to build a lighter bike for day rides - I'll keep coming back here for inspiration!

Miscellaneous bits:
  • Schwinn Mirada frame, 4130 cromoly main tubes, hi-ten rear triangle & fork
  • Shimano 3x9 drivetrain, front 42/32/22, rear 11-34
  • Forte Team 9-speed brake/shifters
  • Shimano DH-3N72 generator hub with Trelock 885 led headlamp (40 lux)
  • Schwalbe Big Apple 26"x2" tires
  • Velo-Orange Model 5 Sprung Touring saddle
  • Nitto Randonneur handlebars, Nitto Periscopa stem

I like everything about this. This is what I'm going for with my WIP conversion. Heavy but uber-dependable, big volume tires, sprung saddle, spending way more than it's worth to get it that way. I even like your blue/brown color combo, and judging by the amount of seat post and stem showing, you're long-of-leg, short-of-torso like myself.
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Old 06-01-14, 08:17 PM   #3108
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spending way more than it's worth to get it that way.
Ha ha, I probably did! Trying not to think about that But I like the way it rides, it gets me to work and back, and has been on some great tours without letting me down. So even if the frame wasn't "worthy" to make a nice bike, I still think the result was worth it.

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judging by the amount of seat post and stem showing, you're long-of-leg, short-of-torso like myself.
Yup, 6'4" and almost 36' inseam. By road bike standards the frame is laughably small. On the other hand, I do ride it on fire roads and single track a fair bit so the extra standover is welcome. I'm in two minds, keeping half an eye on Craiglist for a slightly larger and lighter frame...
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Old 06-09-14, 10:29 AM   #3109
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I finally have the conversion I've been working toward. I built up a Schwinn Cimarron a couple months ago, but I finally admited the frame was just too small for me. While looking over the TC Craigslist I found a 1990 Stumpjumper that looked to be in good shape. I picked it up for pretty cheap and it turned out it had a mediocre repaint that needed to be dealth with, but the frame itself was in great shape, inside and out. I got it back from the powder coater last Friday and built it up on Saturday, using mostly the parts I had used for the Cimarron (none of which were original to the Cimarron), with the exception of new wheels and dynohub, keeping only the headset that was original to the Stumpjumper. Below is the finished product. It's a fine commuter and a very good all around, although presently have 1 1/4" Paselas on it, limiting its offroad use to pretty fine gravel.


The Brooks saddle was from a previous bike I purchased. Pretty much had to get the tape to go with it.



The Suntour XC front and rear dearilleurs are from a 1986 Schwinn High Sierra. I built up the HS for my son and transferred over the newer indexed shifters because he prefers index and I prefer friction.



The rack is a Plante Bike Koko. At some point I will need to trim down those seat stay attachments.



I was a bit disappointed that the rear fender had to be attached with zip ties, but what can you do?



The dirt drop stem is from the same bike that had the Brooks on it, a 1988 Team Miyata that I bought midwinter and sold the frame to a BF member. The handlebars are randonneur bars from a $15 1984 Miyata 210.



My first shot at a dynohub. I feel no discernible drag from it and the light operates wonderfully (Planet Blaze), although I would prefer one of the fork mounted models. Too pricey at present.



I've really come to like the Tektro fork mounted brake cable hangers.



The cranks are not original to the bike, neither is the bottom bracket. The bb on the bike went with a cheaper STX crankset that sat farther out on the spindle of the bb. The Deore crankset is lower profile, so I had to take the bb from the Cimarron and switch it over. Perfect.



I took it about 20 miles on area trails last night for a shakedown. Nothing shook loose, so I think I'm good to go.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:45 PM   #3110
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@revcp, thanks for the photos and write-up but the pictures are not visible to us. You can probably seem them due to having the images in your browser cache but you've linked to a secure https site that is probably where you store and edit your pictures. There is most likely a way for you to choose different links to let those of us without your login info see your pics.

Just trying to help.
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Old 06-09-14, 04:16 PM   #3111
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@revcp, thanks for the photos and write-up but the pictures are not visible to us. You can probably seem them due to having the images in your browser cache but you've linked to a secure https site that is probably where you store and edit your pictures. There is most likely a way for you to choose different links to let those of us without your login info see your pics.

Just trying to help.
@Squeeze, thanks. Not sure what's going on, as the links are to my public folder in onedrive. I'll be around a pc again tomorrow morning and will figure it out. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 06-09-14, 04:19 PM   #3112
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Don't know if the pic links got changed, but I can see them fine. Nice bike! I'd maybe tighten up the motocross fenderline a bit but otherwise it looks great. Nice choice of color for the frame.
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Old 06-10-14, 12:16 PM   #3113
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Hmm, well, maybe it's just me who can't see them but they are still little white squares with red Xs inside today. Maybe that site is blocked at work, but usually I can see everything just fine. I'll try from home later.
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Old 06-10-14, 12:43 PM   #3114
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Hmm, well, maybe it's just me who can't see them but they are still little white squares with red Xs inside today. Maybe that site is blocked at work, but usually I can see everything just fine. I'll try from home later.
Yeah, I can only assume as you guess that onedrive is being blocked for you. I tried with my wife's Mac last night and could see the pics.
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Old 06-10-14, 08:32 PM   #3115
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I'm home now and can see them. Sorry for making bold claims of world-wide blackouts of your photos, but I just really wanted to see them! Thanks for posting so many and commentary. One of these days I'll have something to share in here but until then I'm stealing all the knowledge and inspiration I can from this thread.

@revcp (and anyone else), are the hoods of those vintage brakes as comfortable to ride on as modern aero brakes are? They look a little thin to grip comfortably compared to the thick and round grip area of more modern brakes.
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Old 06-10-14, 11:31 PM   #3116
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@revcp
Beautiful results! I really like the blue you chose for the Stumpy.
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Old 06-11-14, 06:38 AM   #3117
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I'm home now and can see them. Sorry for making bold claims of world-wide blackouts of your photos, but I just really wanted to see them! Thanks for posting so many and commentary. One of these days I'll have something to share in here but until then I'm stealing all the knowledge and inspiration I can from this thread.

@revcp (and anyone else), are the hoods of those vintage brakes as comfortable to ride on as modern aero brakes are? They look a little thin to grip comfortably compared to the thick and round grip area of more modern brakes.
@Squeeze, glad you got those pics to work. I wouldn't say the hoods are "as comfortable" as the platforms present day brifters create, and I have no experience with modern non brifter aeros, but the tops of the ones pictured (Dia Compe levers and hoods from a 1984 Miyata 210) aren't nearly as narrow as they look in the photo and they're very flat on top. They're plenty comfortable for me.
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Old 06-11-14, 06:44 AM   #3118
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@revcp
Beautiful results! I really like the blue you chose for the Stumpy.
Thanks, @WNG. I need to get a good sunlight photo to highlight the different colored flecks in the clear coat over the blue. When I showed the frame to my wife--excellent taste in everything, but not a cyclist--she said, "Well it certainly looks retro!" She followed by saying that that was actually a good thing, as it "fits" everything else on the bike. I have only a few more tweaks I need to do. The FD and RD are Suntour XC. I like them, but really prefer the Suntour Cyclone M-II on my Miyata 610, so over time I'll be on the hunt for a set to replace the XC derailleurs as I'm able. I also feel just a bit more stretched out than I would prefer, so I'll also be on the lookout ofr a dirt drop with a shorter reach, or maybe a technomic. Technomic might not work, however, as the height of the bars is spot on and I think I would need a very long reach technomic to keep the bars at the same height and not have them too close in.
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Old 06-11-14, 10:13 AM   #3119
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couple of VMTBDBC questions

Well, I decided to convert my '87 Mongoose ATB. The straw that broke the camel's back was a Salsa Woodchipper bar in good condition for only $130 on Craigslist.

Technically the Woodchipper was only 12$, but you have to factor in bar end shifters (Dia Compe ENE Gran Compes) and brake levers (Tektro RL340s), neither of which turned up in my parts bin.

Here's my questions:

1. what, in your view, is the optimal saddle-to-bar drop for a drop bar conversion?

I already have a 2006 KHS Solo One converted to drop bar / FG, but the TT is bit long and the drops feel perhaps a bit low--on the KHS the tops are level with the saddle.

2. Do you think there will be any pitfalls trying to thread the 25.4 Woodchipper bar through the (presumably 25.4) '87 Mongoose stem clamp? What should my plan b be?

3. any other advice or warnings before I initiate the conversion?

Before picture:
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Old 06-11-14, 10:33 AM   #3120
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^^^Don't forget the cost of new cables/bar tape into your conversion. Give the stem a go and see. If it doesn't work, this one probably should make life easier (but add $20 more to your costs). Drop seems to be person specific. With that B17-type saddle (can't tell saddle style for sure) most people prefer to be level with to a bit above the saddle (even more than a bit for some people) or at most an inch below it. Looks like it'll turn out nice when done. I've had a lower end Mongoose conversion that I really liked until I stupidly decided to repaint it, tore it down, got a coat of primer on and then life intervened before I got any further. One of these days, I'll get back to it.
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Old 06-11-14, 10:58 AM   #3121
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Originally Posted by belacqua View Post
Well, I decided to convert my '87 Mongoose ATB. The straw that broke the camel's back was a Salsa Woodchipper bar in good condition for only $130 on Craigslist.

Technically the Woodchipper was only 12$, but you have to factor in bar end shifters (Dia Compe ENE Gran Compes) and brake levers (Tektro RL340s), neither of which turned up in my parts bin.

Here's my questions:

1. what, in your view, is the optimal saddle-to-bar drop for a drop bar conversion?

I already have a 2006 KHS Solo One converted to drop bar / FG, but the TT is bit long and the drops feel perhaps a bit low--on the KHS the tops are level with the saddle.

2. Do you think there will be any pitfalls trying to thread the 25.4 Woodchipper bar through the (presumably 25.4) '87 Mongoose stem clamp? What should my plan b be?

3. any other advice or warnings before I initiate the conversion?

Before picture:
1. I don't think drop bars should ever have the tops above the saddle. You stem looks good if you can get the bar in. I would guess, as you speculate, that it is the length that is making the bar "feel" to low on the KHS. shorten it up and your torso comes up and your arm to torso angle shrinks which will be more relaxed feeling. I advocate for reach adjustment before height. Always go back if you can before you go up.

2. A front on shot would be telling. I think that stem has two bolts really close together? You can always try. Is it narrowed at the bottom? It looks like the slot is a little thin for the coin trick as you would need to get a thin M6 nut and a coin between the slot to make it happen. You could also wedge it open a pit with a piece of wood or hard plastic.

3. No, do it!!!!
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Old 06-11-14, 12:06 PM   #3122
Squeeze
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Cool Mongoose! It looks just like one I keep seeing on the Denver craigslist - the same size as yours, too (my size as well, which is why it keeps showing up when I search 23".)

Check it out:

BMX - Mongoose ATB






@revcp, thanks for the brake info. Looks like vintage-style brakes would be simpler to deal with and less expensive than aero levers too. So much good info in this thread for newbies like me. Thanks to all who participate in this thread.
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Old 06-11-14, 01:50 PM   #3123
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Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
Cool Mongoose! It looks just like one I keep seeing on the Denver craigslist - the same size as yours, too (my size as well, which is why it keeps showing up when I search 23".)

Check it out:

BMX - Mongoose ATB




If I were closer I'd buy that in a heartbeat. So that I could have two. I've been totally astonished by how nice mine is. Triple butted Cr-mo throughout. Sweet old Deore. Just awesome. Only drawback is 126mm rear spacing.
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Old 06-11-14, 02:01 PM   #3124
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My mongoose was 130, so I built a new rear wheel with 26" hoops laced to a shimano 105 8 speed hub I got a good deal on. Don't know why that wouldn't work for you. Of course that added another $100 or so to the conversion costs, especially after considering new cassette/chain.
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Old 06-11-14, 05:21 PM   #3125
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My $0.02....

1. Comfort and fit and intended use are my deciding factors for where the drop bar will be. If you have an established fitment on another bike with a drop bar, then measure and transfer it to your conversion as a basis. Then fine tune it for the nuances of the frame geometry of the mtb or hybrid.

I prefer the level saddle and bar set up of a French fit since that's what I grew up with and feel most comfortable for many miles. And so I like to recreate this sporting fit onto my drop bar mtb. I chose a rather quick handling geometry as my choice, it's what I'm used to and like. The results are a very well handling off-roader.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wng555...7637311503596/

Had the goals were a commuter, loaded tourer, town cruiser, and the frameset laid back, I may opt for a slightly higher bar height to saddle height. More upright for comfort.

Note, more often than not, unless you're starting with a frameset that's on the smaller size for you, the oem stem will be too long for a dropbar. Riding the hoods will be a stretch.
A shorter extension of 60-80mm will compensate for the longer top tubes of many mtbs, the exception are the mid 80s and older offerings.

2. I don't believe your factory original stem will work. Even if you get the woodchipper through it, extension will probably be too much.

3. Caveats....sometimes the Shimano bar-ends are too thick for certain 25.4mm drop bars. A Dremel honing session was needed for one of my hybrid conversions.
If you can't use the factory stem, be prepared to have a cable stop hanger alternative handy.
Mentioned already....get new cables and housing. The new lined housing has less friction, and if you wrap the bar-end cabling under the tape, you will want good 4mm lined index housing and 1.2mm die drawn SS cables....SRAM 1.1mm die drawn/Teflon coated shifter cables are the best.
Bar wrap: some generic bar wrap won't provide enough to do the job if both housings are under the wrap. Name brand stuff usually give you that precious few inches you'll need.
And if you go with a different stem, verify the stem size....22.2mm or 21.15mm. Some of the older bikes used the latter.
Going to aero brake levers, means you lose the threaded adjusters. inline adjusters are one solution, cable hangers with adjusters is the other.
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