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-   -   Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions (http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/828426-show-your-vintage-mtb-drop-bar-conversions.html)

wrk101 07-05-12 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by himespau (Post 14443561)
One thing to keep in mind is that mtbs often have a longer top tube than a road bike so when you put on drop bars it extends the reach even more. A somewhat tall stem, lots of seatpost, and a frame that's a size or two small are what made it work for me.

+100 You can see quite a bit of seat post on mine. My MTB has an 18 inch frame, whereas my racing bikes tend to be 56cm (22 inch). I tried a 19.5 inch MTB once. I really thought it was going to fit. But the long top tube, forget it. On my 18 inch Univega, the TT is just a tad short, so the additional length with drops is great. On my 18 inch Trek, the TT is longer. We'll have to see how drops turn out.

Cantis are an easier choice brakes wise.

cobrabyte 07-05-12 04:51 PM

Here's a few shots of my mid-80's Specialized Rockhopper with WTB dirt drop bars. A project that is very close to completion but I keep setting it aside for other projects...I need to get on that lol

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7192/6...d48a589f_z.jpg
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7062/6...b9b18e4a_z.jpg

ThermionicScott 07-05-12 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by himespau (Post 14443561)
One thing to keep in mind is that mtbs often have a longer top tube than a road bike so when you put on drop bars it extends the reach even more. A somewhat tall stem, lots of seatpost, and a frame that's a size or two small are what made it work for me.

The way I think about this is that an MTB will generally have a much higher bottom bracket than a road bike, resulting in a shorter seat tube, relative to everything else. My 20.5" Diamondback fits much the same as my 22" Bianchi Eros, for example.

cobrabyte 07-05-12 06:19 PM

Slack angles have a part in fit as well.

not_jason 07-05-12 07:02 PM

Well, let's start with this: I'm six feet tall and I ride a 58cm road bike, comfortably. What do you think would be a suitable size in a mountain bike for drop bar conversion? Most of what I ever seem to come across is under 20".

himespau 07-05-12 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by not_jason (Post 14444658)
Well, let's start with this: I'm six feet tall and I ride a 58cm road bike, comfortably. What do you think would be a suitable size in a mountain bike for drop bar conversion? Most of what I ever seem to come across is under 20".

I'm 6'2 or 6'3 and my 22" frame seems small. Not just because of the 8 or so inches (maybe 10-11 haven't looked recently) of exposed seatpost, but also the 140 mm stem. Now if I was more flexible and could handle a stem that was lower I probably wouldn't need one so long, but I have only a 2-3 inch drop at most from the saddle to the bars and a stem that tall gets pushed back rather far toward the seat due to headtube angle.

I am a bit oddly proportioned and have long monkey arms though.

MyBikeGotStolen 07-05-12 08:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oldpeddaller (Post 14443716)

I've got shallow drop bars with cable grooves and Tektro aero levers. I could fit V-brakes or canti's - which would work best with those levers?

I already have NOS indexed 7 speed stem shifters and although I'd probably prefer barcons, this is a "zero-budget" build so to those who use stem shifters with this set-up, are they OK?

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you would want to go with the cantis since the v-brakes will require extra parts or special road bike levers to work. Mine works fine with my cantis.

I use stem shift on mine, and really love it, even if they are major dorky (but then again, so is the whole bike!). The only down side I would see to the stem shifters is if you use a threaded to threadless adapter like I originally planned on doing. They will not work properly with that since it will have a bulge on the adapter that will probably interfere with the levers.

himespau 07-05-12 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MyBikeGotStolen (Post 14444876)
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you would want to go with the cantis since the v-brakes will require extra parts or special road bike levers to work. Mine works fine with my cantis.

That was my experience as well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MyBikeGotStolen (Post 14444876)
I use stem shift on mine, and really love it, even if they are major dorky (but then again, so is the whole bike!). The only down side I would see to the stem shifters is if you use a threaded to threadless adapter like I originally planned on doing. They will not work properly with that since it will have a bulge on the adapter that will probably interfere with the levers.

It depends on how tall your adapter is. I had a Soma Hi Rise adapter that didn't have any problems, but I had maybe 6" of adapter showing. Then I switched to using Kelly Take Offs which are expensive (and many people find them ugly), but are great in that they put the downtube shift levers right at your fingertips if you're on the hoods or tops. Not so easy to use from the drops though. Still, throw some interrupter brake levers on the tops and the Kelly's and you've got a bomb proof commuter with lots of functional hand positions for riding upright in traffic or getting more aero if you want.

KonAaron Snake 07-05-12 08:15 PM

I LOVE the v-brake set up with Tektros...it's not terribly expensive, it's more stopping power than cantis and they're easier to set up. If you aren't going brifters or fenders, this is by far the best approach IMO.

http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...7/IMG_0756.jpg

http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...7/IMG_0730.jpg

http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...7/IMG_0728.jpg

http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...7/IMG_0725.jpg

http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...7/IMG_0724.jpg

frantik 07-05-12 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MyBikeGotStolen (Post 14444876)
I use stem shift on mine, and really love it, even if they are major dorky (but then again, so is the whole bike!). The only down side I would see to the stem shifters is if you use a threaded to threadless adapter like I originally planned on doing. They will not work properly with that since it will have a bulge on the adapter that will probably interfere with the levers.

i'm still wondering if someone has used downtube shifters. you could use the older band-type bosses to add to a mtb w/o them

clasher 07-05-12 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frantik (Post 14444966)
i'm still wondering if someone has used downtube shifters. you could use the older band-type bosses to add to a mtb w/o them

I didn't think to even take pictures of it but a former housemate wanted a solid bicycle so I built her a late 80s Kona Fire Mountain (i think). It got a pair of band shifters for downtube ones instead of stems shifters I built for another friend... this one was a wicked 90s fluorescent pink mtb that got drop bars and all the goodies for loaded touring. Someone should made a stem spacer with downtube mounts on them, certainly that can't be any more obnoxious than stem shifters.

not_jason 07-05-12 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake (Post 14444943)

What is that shifter and where can I get them? If they can be gotten cheap enough, it seems like a good brifter alternative on budget builds. Looks fantastic.

KonAaron Snake 07-05-12 09:32 PM

Suntour Commands...I'm not thrilled with them, though I'm picky and spoiled by Campagnolo perfection. If I did the build again I'd have used brifters or maybe even the dread barcons.

They usually sell 75-100ish in decent shape, so while not brifter price, they aren't truly budget either.

frantik 07-05-12 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clasher (Post 14445038)
I didn't think to even take pictures of it but a former housemate wanted a solid bicycle so I built her a late 80s Kona Fire Mountain (i think). It got a pair of band shifters for downtube ones instead of stems shifters I built for another friend... this one was a wicked 90s fluorescent pink mtb that got drop bars and all the goodies for loaded touring. Someone should made a stem spacer with downtube mounts on them, certainly that can't be any more obnoxious than stem shifters.

aww too bad u didn't take a pic. i also wonder about thumb shifters on drops.. would have to widen the band but i bet u could jimmy one one a frankenbuild

Sixty Fiver 07-06-12 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by not_jason (Post 14445255)
What is that shifter and where can I get them? If they can be gotten cheap enough, it seems like a good brifter alternative on budget builds. Looks fantastic.

As stated, these are Suntour Command Shifters which do fetch as much as a set of new indexed bar end shifters... I have a set I am saving for some future project and they are not a commonly found part and ergonomically, they are an excellent design.

RFC 07-06-12 12:26 AM

I have to admit that I like canti's over V-Brakes. I have had both and find the V-Brake tolerances to be much narrower than canti's. As a result, I have converted most of my applicable bikes to canti's. Yes, canti's are a little difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, not at all bad. At the end of the day, both are fine and workable.

KonAaron Snake 07-06-12 05:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 14445630)
As stated, these are Suntour Command Shifters which do fetch as much as a set of new indexed bar end shifters... I have a set I am saving for some future project and they are not a commonly found part and ergonomically, they are an excellent design.

Ergonomically they are fantastic, you can easily shift from the drops, hoods or even flats. As far as shifting, it's chunky, not accurate indexing and the friction isn't really friction. I've heard that you can remove some bearings inside them for true friction shifting. I would not recommend them and will likely replace these at some point.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RFC (Post 14445660)
I have to admit that I like canti's over V-Brakes. I have had both and find the V-Brake tolerances to be much narrower than canti's. As a result, I have converted most of my applicable bikes to canti's. Yes, canti's are a little difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, not at all bad. At the end of the day, both are fine and workable.

They each have their place, but on a bike like this, I really like the v-brakes. I'd like to try some mini-vs at some point, preferably the Pauls.

Oldpeddaller 07-06-12 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MyBikeGotStolen (Post 14444876)
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you would want to go with the cantis since the v-brakes will require extra parts or special road bike levers to work. Mine works fine with my cantis.

I use stem shift on mine, and really love it, even if they are major dorky (but then again, so is the whole bike!). The only down side I would see to the stem shifters is if you use a threaded to threadless adapter like I originally planned on doing. They will not work properly with that since it will have a bulge on the adapter that will probably interfere with the levers.

Thanks, that's exactly the info I was looking for!

Oldpeddaller 07-06-12 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake (Post 14444943)
I LOVE the v-brake set up with Tektros...it's not terribly expensive, it's more stopping power than cantis and they're easier to set up. If you aren't going brifters or fenders, this is by far the best approach IMO.

http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...7/IMG_0756.jpg

http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...7/IMG_0730.jpg

http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...7/IMG_0728.jpg

http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...7/IMG_0725.jpg

http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...7/IMG_0724.jpg

Thanks Aaron - I think that maybe sub consciously it may have been your bike that planted this seed of an idea in my feeble mind!

Oldpeddaller 07-06-12 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by himespau (Post 14443778)
It depends on the tektro levers, but most likely it's going to be cantilevers. With most V-brakes you'll need a travel agent of some sort and you said this was to be a no budget build.

Ah, that's a point - I guess that would modify the amount of cable pull - simple and straightforward it is, then!

KonAaron Snake 07-06-12 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oldpeddaller (Post 14448555)
Thanks Aaron - I think that maybe sub consciously it may have been your bike that planted this seed of an idea in my feeble mind!

For what it's worth, I think it's a better, easier set up than cantis and it works very well. I was really happy about how that part of the bike worked out. The commands, not so much. I understand why suntour died in the market.

Captain Blight 07-06-12 06:55 PM

Oh, bite yer tongue! I got two bikes set up with Command Shift, both of them Treks. The 560 has the indexed ones and they work flawlessly. The trick to setting them up is to let the housings compress down for a few rides and then adjust the cable tension for a really good crisp 3-4 downshift. Everything else then falls into line. Mind you, you also need to have everything else matched properly, which I suspect you do.

My 616 has friction style, they came to me with the ball detent already removed, and they work quite well over 8 gears in back. So if you don't want yours, let me know and I'll gladly buy them. Far and away my favorite shifters.

KonAaron Snake 07-06-12 07:12 PM

Capt., I think that's part of the issue...deore rear dérailleur. I might shift to suntour and see if that helps. My lbs guys all assured me it wouldn't help much. If the friction mode worked, it would be ok. I probably will switch out and you're first to know!

Captain Blight 07-06-12 08:13 PM

Ohhhhh... If you're not using a later Suntour mech, that's the problem right there. Try one of the various XC models, a Pro by preference, with a 4-prong Winner. That should clear it up. FWIW I don't think Winner freewheels shift very well except in index mode. Somewhere in the forum archives, there's a Rosetta Stone with the info needed to build a Hyperglide cassette with Suntour index spacing. That would be handy to have. It would be too much hassle, but the Command Shifters are just *so* nice.

KonAaron Snake 07-06-12 08:44 PM

I'll give it a shot, but to be honest I've ridden commands with the xc pro and freewheel and thought they had the same issue. My cassette was spaced correctly, so it shouldn't be a problem. If the friction mode worked, it would be fine.


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