I just undid one of my Frankenbike creations. I bought a Trek 970 lugged steel MTB frame a couple of years ago and built it up so I could get back into MTB riding after a long break. I had so much fun riding it, I decided to get a more modern bike and try racing. So I got the Specialized Rockhopper and had a lot of fun riding and racing it. The Trek was converted into a casual road bike with slick tires and a more upright riding position. Soon I will be getting a new MTB with the team discount from Oconee Outfitters that I get for racing for them last season. I'm parting out the Rockhopper, so I needed a MTB to ride in the meantime. The Trek was not being used very much in its new mode, so I decided to put it back the way it wuz. Witness the return of the rigid lugged steel mountain bike, Lugnut.
How it was set up for the road
How it looks now
One improvement this time is the front shifter. Instead of the indexed Rapidfire shifter I had been using, I put on an old Suntour bar top thumb shifter to handle the triple rings on the crank. I have never liked indexed front shifting. I can never set them just right to shift well and not rub the chain at either end of the range of rear gears. The Rapidfire shifter works great in the rear.
I had a great time riding the bike. The rigid front end was harsher going over roots and rocks, but the rear end was noticeably smoother on this steel frame than the aluminum bike was. It also steers more precisely and was more confidence inspiring in turns. I noticed a big improvement in my ability to make mid-turn corrections, especially on fast, sandy curves.
And the Rockhopper? Its parts are waiting to be made into something new.