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Old 03-26-13, 12:00 PM   #1376
geontemt
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Not drop bar but mountain bike conversions. My Trek 930 and my wife's Specialized Hard Rock Cruz.
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Old 03-27-13, 10:51 AM   #1377
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Here's an updated photo of my '92 High Plains. I got my front rack installed and added a set of NOS Axiom panniers from about the same time period as the bike. I also swapped the winter knobbies for a set of Michelin Trackers 1.85" that I am loving so far. Inexpensive and makes the bike a fast monster truck. Pedals are Sunlite Lock Jaws, my new favorite platform.

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Old 03-27-13, 11:41 AM   #1378
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Here's an updated photo of my '92 High Plains. I got my front rack installed and added a set of NOS Axiom panniers from about the same time period as the bike. I also swapped the winter knobbies for a set of Michelin Trackers 1.85" that I am loving so far. Inexpensive and makes the bike a fast monster truck. Pedals are Sunlite Lock Jaws, my new favorite platform.

looks good! The hoods look a little awkard from this angle. what is your primary hand placement? What kind of bag are you using for that front rack?
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Old 03-27-13, 12:16 PM   #1379
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The hood placement is odd, and admittedly wasn't my first choice, but for whatever reason, with how the Tektro levers mount it seems to be the most comfortable. I spend about 80% of my time on the hoods and they feel great. Maybe something to do with the WTB Dirt Drop bar vs. the shape of the more ergonomic hoods. They actually feel pretty normal and natural in my hand. I think the angle of the photo might make them looks a bit more extreme than they are in real life.

For the front rack, I don't usually use a bag, but if I do I have an old hiking frame pack I just use as a roll bag with a bungee cord or two to hold it down. Supposedly the rack is good for up to ~40lbs but I wouldn't want to test the limit.
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Old 03-27-13, 12:42 PM   #1380
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I would love to find this bag for that rack: https://www.performancebike.com/revi...Front-Bag.html
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Old 03-27-13, 01:31 PM   #1381
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I would love to find this bag for that rack: https://www.performancebike.com/revi...Front-Bag.html
I've been kind of keeping an eye out for something like that on eBay, it would work well since it doesn't have much support for panniers.
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Old 03-27-13, 01:43 PM   #1382
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I spend about 80% of my time on the hoods and they feel great.

obviously you like the set up but i don't get why one would do a drop bar conversion and then spend so much time on the hoods. I feel WAY more in control in the drops than on the hoods. but whatever works
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Old 03-27-13, 01:56 PM   #1383
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obviously you like the set up but i don't get why one would do a drop bar conversion and then spend so much time on the hoods. I feel WAY more in control in the drops than on the hoods. but whatever works
I agree. The only reason you should use drop bars is if you're going to use the drop portion most of the time!
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Old 03-27-13, 02:21 PM   #1384
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obviously you like the set up but i don't get why one would do a drop bar conversion and then spend so much time on the hoods. I feel WAY more in control in the drops than on the hoods. but whatever works
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I agree. The only reason you should use drop bars is if you're going to use the drop portion most of the time!
I'm planning on doing one of these conversions, and will likely spend more time on the hoods... I think it's still worth it b/c the hand position on flat bars makes my hands get numb really quickly. Riding the hoods does allow for a more parallel position, which is vastly more comfortable to me than flat bars. So while it might seem odd at first glance, there is some logic there. Just my 2 cents...
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Old 03-27-13, 02:34 PM   #1385
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I'm planning on doing one of these conversions, and will likely spend more time on the hoods... I think it's still worth it b/c the hand position on flat bars makes my hands get numb really quickly. Riding the hoods does allow for a more parallel position, which is vastly more comfortable to me than flat bars. So while it might seem odd at first glance, there is some logic there. Just my 2 cents...
+1,000 I have drop bars on all of my bikes. I never use the drops, but I do like the myriad of hand positions possible between the stem and the lever hoods.
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Old 03-27-13, 04:06 PM   #1386
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I'm planning on doing one of these conversions, and will likely spend more time on the hoods... I think it's still worth it b/c the hand position on flat bars makes my hands get numb really quickly. Riding the hoods does allow for a more parallel position, which is vastly more comfortable to me than flat bars. So while it might seem odd at first glance, there is some logic there. Just my 2 cents...
Oh, I agree totally that the flat bars are a total pain. I can't ride more than a couple of blocks with the kids before my hands get numb on my cheapo Next 7-speed. OTOH, I can go for hours on drop bars, no matter where I put my hands.

It's funny that mountain biking is totally different!
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Old 03-27-13, 04:16 PM   #1387
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I like the option of multiple hand positions. Most of the trail riding I do is a mix of climbing, flats, and short descents. The flats and hoods are fine for about 75% of it.
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Old 03-27-13, 05:43 PM   #1388
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+1,000 I have drop bars on all of my bikes. I never use the drops, but I do like the myriad of hand positions possible between the stem and the lever hoods.
This. Even on my full out road racing bikes I was in the drops maybe 20% of the time at most.
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Old 03-27-13, 05:50 PM   #1389
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well i guess there's a lot of "hood ridaz" here I only ride on the tops and hoods when i'm crusing
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Old 03-27-13, 06:15 PM   #1390
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Actually, my modern drop bar bike is set up as is fashionable today, high saddle to bar drop, with shallow drops. Drops only in really gnarly head winds or the occasional sprint. Since my C&V frame is actually too small, I have it set up like a modern bike, whilst it should be ridden with a fistfull of seatpost - the hoods are now roughly where the middle of the curve should be.
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Old 03-27-13, 07:34 PM   #1391
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well i guess there's a lot of "hood ridaz" here I only ride on the tops and hoods when i'm crusing
"Crusing (sic)" is what drop bar mtb conversions are all about.
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Old 03-27-13, 10:09 PM   #1392
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dang i misspelled a word on the internet

I don't do much cruising with my drop bar mtb.. it's more comfortable in the drops and then i feel like jamming instead of cruising.
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Old 03-27-13, 10:56 PM   #1393
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Here's an updated photo of my '92 High Plains. I got my front rack installed and added a set of NOS Axiom panniers from about the same time period as the bike. I also swapped the winter knobbies for a set of Michelin Trackers 1.85" that I am loving so far. Inexpensive and makes the bike a fast monster truck. Pedals are Sunlite Lock Jaws, my new favorite platform.

Nice! I'm also doing a conversion with a High Plains. In checking the geometry from the Schwinn catalogs, it's interesting to note that this bike has a touring geometry (73 degree seat tube, 70 degree head tube) versus the more common 70/70 MTB variety. All the more reason to do a drop bar conversion of it.
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Old 03-29-13, 11:04 AM   #1394
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Still working on getting enough silver on the olde Marin. Would really like to find a 390-ish mm touring fork for it.

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Old 03-29-13, 11:30 AM   #1395
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That's hot, Lester!

frantik (and others), it's really interesting to see all the approaches taken with these conversions. Some folks like to keep more of an upright position (I want to say "French fit" but that just seems wrong with all the resulting seatpost and stem), and others go for more of a modern road-bike setup where they won't actually be using the drops that much. I'm definitely in the former camp as I like to be comfortable in the drops and don't mind sacrificing some aerodynamics in the tops.
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Old 03-29-13, 12:29 PM   #1396
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Per the discussion above; The idea of the early drop bar Mtb's was to ride in the drops not the hoods. The benefit was a arguably better hand position than flat bars, and the bonus of using the flex in the bars as a form of early suspension (lost if riding on the hoods). Google Jacquie Phelan (her bike Otto) or vintage WTB racers to see some examples of a few early drop bar racers on their steeds. Most of the people here in this thread are putting together drop bar bikes more for cruising around on the road, commuting, or possibly touring. The needs of a Mtb riding tough terrain dictate being close to the brakes (on the drops). I think the idea of finding an old Mtb and bringing it back to life as a tourer etc... is great. Restoring a bike to early drop bar specs is over the top in vintage Mtb. cool.

Crappy pic but see how when riding in the drops in this WTB cockpit the brakes and shifters are accessible without removing the hand from the bars so control can be maintained in challenging terrain.



The WTB bars were designed with sweeping drops and very little space on top to ride on top let alone on the hoods :



Not saying one style is right or wrong but they are way different. Certainly a bike built for touring or commuting will benefit from multiple hand positions but for using on challenging terrain, the drops are where you want to be.

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Old 03-29-13, 12:52 PM   #1397
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That's hot, Lester!

frantik (and others), it's really interesting to see all the approaches taken with these conversions. Some folks like to keep more of an upright position (I want to say "French fit" but that just seems wrong with all the resulting seatpost and stem), and others go for more of a modern road-bike setup where they won't actually be using the drops that much. I'm definitely in the former camp as I like to be comfortable in the drops and don't mind sacrificing some aerodynamics in the tops.

for me a big part of it is the fact that the bars i prefer are flared out in the drops, so it's much more comfortable there, plus I feel like i have way more control. It does mean I need super riser stems though.. I lucked out with my first drop bar conversion, the stem it came with was perfect. All of the other bikes I've picked up have much lower stems which are no good for me.

For example, my newest toy that will be converted to a drop bar eventually.. the stem is too low, especially if i'd like to put a drop bar on. I've lowered the saddle a tiny bit since I took this pic, but it's still a lot of drop, especially if I were to add drops to the stock tem

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Old 03-29-13, 01:20 PM   #1398
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WTB dirt drops are not designed to have a comfortable "in the hoods" position: you're "supposed" to set up the brake levers so you can reach them while you're in the drops, as that is the "intended" riding position...like so:




Which is exactly why when I decided to set up my 1986 Specialized Rockhopper for touring I swapped to Nitto Noodle bars: it also allowed me to fit the Nitto h-bar bag holder between the bars for my vintage Kirtland h-bar bag.



This simple bar swap totally changed the feel of the bike and I am able to ride all day in the hoods or the drops now. Vital for touring IMO


Many folks advise of using a shorter stem for a drop bar conversion, well, this didn't work for me as I have long arms, and I actually ended up using a longer stem than what the bike was originally equipped with:
old stem: ~80mm

new stem: ~120mm


The longer stem also vastly improved the handling of the bike as well.

Just experiment guys: that's the fun part anyways
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Old 03-29-13, 01:48 PM   #1399
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I would do ride that so effing hard.
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Old 03-29-13, 01:49 PM   #1400
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Nice! I'm also doing a conversion with a High Plains. In checking the geometry from the Schwinn catalogs, it's interesting to note that this bike has a touring geometry (73 degree seat tube, 70 degree head tube) versus the more common 70/70 MTB variety. All the more reason to do a drop bar conversion of it.
Honestly the bike was a bit of a gamble and a Craigslist whim, but it worked out great. I have odd geometry myself, and with the stock stem, it was *perfect* for my no-torso-all-legs-and-arms ~6'1" geometry (23" frame). Handling is excellent and confident on and off road, its ridden great with over 50lbs on it, and the stock drivetrain is very stout and dependable.
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