I have 2 mid 1990 steel framed hybrid bikes i have acquired and rode more when I was less fit. Now i ride steel framed bikes with drop bars.
One of the hybrids is a 1994 Trek Multitrak 720 and the other is a Univega via carisma. I dont think either one has original handlebars. The trek has upright ones and the Univega has flat mountain bike ones. The Trek has gripshift shifting and the Univega has trigger shift. Basically i dont like the handlebars or shifters on either bikes. I prefer drop bars and some form of friction shifters.
These arent my primary bikes, i ride steel framed road bikes mostly.
I have been planning on eventually getting Nitto Technomic headsets, drop bars, and bar end shifters for these 2 hybrids but havent done it yet due to expense and i have other bikes to ride (including a 1998 Jamis Aurora which is touring frame probably not much different than a LHT except 32mm is the max width tires.)
I do like the fat tires (38mm and 40mm) i have on these 2 bikes, for some rides i do on bad city streets and sidewalks (legal in Los Angeles to ride on sidewalks and some city streets are just too dangerous in my opinion.)
I am wondering if i would find it better in terms of weight of frame, or responsiveness of ride if i took the parts off these bikes and put them on a Surly Cross check new frame. Id have to get drop bars and stem for the crosscheck but and bar end shifters, but I dont like the parts re that I have on the hybrids anyway.
I dont know much about bike mechanics but i think most of the parts would work on a cross check frame. My thinking is the Trek frame is just too heavy but the Univega one, which is lighter, is probably not much worse than a Cross check. So i think moving parts to a cross check makes more sense with the Trek. On the other hand the stock parts on the trek arent so good so not sure they merit being moved to another bike... any thoughts?
My other idea is to just keep these bike as is for occasional use. They are ok for short city trips or bad weather bikes or maybe if i want to ride somewhere and not have one of my better bikes locked up outside for a long time, or also to have around if someone visits me and is a begnning rider and is more comfortable riding with me on a hybrid. They arent worth much to try to sell. The Univega though is a pretty good frame, i understand (although hideous in teal color if that is a factor i consider. Obviously a new Cross check frame is nicer to have.. I'd consider a LHT frame but i already have the Jamis Aurora and dont have any touring trips planned. The Univega's flat bar handlebars gives me wrist pain if i ride say 35 miles so i stopped doing long rides on that bike but it has Marathon Plus 38mm tires which are good and it has Exage XL parts which are better than the Trek's parts....
Another thought i had is maybe i should devote one of my bikes with racks (none of them have racks now, i use a messenger bag) so i could use it for shopping (but i have a car) or commuting (but the hybrids with the current handlbars are too uncomfortable for my commute, 14 miles each way, and slower and heavier than my road bikes..) I havent put racks on any of my bikes yet because i like to switch between bikes and it would get costly to get good racks on a few bikes, and also i do some recreational group rides and dont want to add weight to my road bikes when i am riding unloaded on group rides. So i wouldnt want to put racks on all of my bikes.
So i am just trying to figure out what to do with them and wondering if anyone has any thoughts from what I say. The Univega probably is worth converting to drop bar, because the frame is probably as good or better than the Cross check frame, i think and doesnt make financial sense to move parts over to a cross check frame.