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  1. #1
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Undoing a "Frankenbike"

    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.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  2. #2
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    Dang you, BD!!!
    I bought bike components to upgrade my Trek 730, to be an effective off-road and winter bike ... but decided last minute to put all those new components on a new frame.

    Your upgraded Trek 970 looks awesome. It was after I changed my mind about upgrading my Trek, that I found out that I could have upgraded the 1995 Trek 730's 7-speed grip-shifters ... with 2007 9-speed grip-shifters. I honestly thought grip-shifters had become obsolete and were not even available any more.

    Seeing your upgraded Trek is making me think about upgrading my Trek in a year or two. More than likely, I'll be going with modern grip-shifters, because I always liked them on my Trek.

    So, in that case, thank you, BD!!!

  3. #3
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Hey, I liked it when you had it in your Bridgestone-like config.

    That poor bike must be having an identity crisis.

    So the Brooks w/springs is your suspension? How does that work for you?

  4. #4
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    Good looking ride, Dawg. Nice work!

  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    Hey, I liked it when you had it in your Bridgestone-like config.

    That poor bike must be having an identity crisis.

    So the Brooks w/springs is your suspension? How does that work for you?
    Yes, I left out the Snidely Whiplash setup with moustache handlebars that I had done with the Trek earlier on. That was a better setup for the road and worked decently offroad.


    Ironically for such a versatile frame, it has a decal on the top tube saying "function specific design".

    The Brooks Flyer does a good job of smoothing out the bumps. Combined with the steel rear triangle, it is a smoother ride for the rear wheel than the Thudbuster on the Rockhopper. But in no way does it replace the 100mm of smooth and controlled action of the RockShox Tora in the front. The rigid front end takes a different riding style than the suspended bike and going as fast on bumpy trails is just not going to happen.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  6. #6
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Because of road debris from our recent heavy rainstorms, I rode my moutain bike about 15 mi / 25 km onroad yesterday morning. Despite its evolutionary dead-end chainstay mounted U-brake and front RollerCam brake, I really like my old school lugged steel mountain bike (see signature), one of the last made-in-America Schwinns. It is great on fire roads and other tame, nontechnical multitrack trails, and it makes a superb urban assault vehicle for errands and shopping over the potholes, mud, and fallen tree debris.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
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  7. #7
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    Trek 970's. Great Frameset and tubeset! My old one is about 250 miles from here and I'm itching to get it back. Had so many great rides on that bike up in the Adirondack mountains. I would love to see what that bike could do with a modern set of Race Lite Bontrager rims and some new tires.

    Well Done BluesDawg!
    A Mess of old bikes...
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Yes, I left out the Snidely Whiplash setup with moustache handlebars that I had done with the Trek earlier on. That was a better setup for the road and worked decently offroad.
    I really like that setup! I've got an old 970 and will have to give some consideration to pulling it down from storage and maybe going in the Snidely Whiplash direction. Only problem is that it's white.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  9. #9
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSLeVan View Post
    I really like that setup! I've got an old 970 and will have to give some consideration to pulling it down from storage and maybe going in the Snidely Whiplash direction. Only problem is that it's white.
    You afraid of going too fast or something?
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  10. #10
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Any problems with that bike on the dirt? Seeing I can't sell my Trek520 frame, I'm thinking of doing the same thing ... and like you, will wind up quite a distance between the headset and the bars.



    I'll lose the drop bars of course. The seat is at the right height for road riding so will probably drop for dirt. If I use that neck, with a set of bars that have some rise, the bars shouldn't be too bad. The hubs are DeoreLX. The rims are Bontrager Mavericks which are fairly solid and can be replaced when I finally destroy them. The frame is steel. There's plenty of standover height (the frame is too small for me on the road). It's got V brakes fitted.

    MTB drivetrain, mtb bars (with some rise and pull back, I don't like straight), knobbly tyres (with the 29ers now here, tyres shouldn't be a problem and there are hybrid tyres in 700c anyway).

    Is it a goer?
    Am I nuts?
    Where wouldn't I be able to ride this thing (bearing in mind I'm old enough to be here and with four thirds of stuffall mtb experience).

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    Any problems with that bike on the dirt? Seeing I can't sell my Trek520 frame, I'm thinking of doing the same thing ... and like you, will wind up quite a distance between the headset and the bars.
    Richard
    Not really the same thing at all, as I started with a mountain bike, but you can definitely make a dirt-worthy bike starting with a touring bike.
    If the bike is on the small side, I would probably go with a dirt drop or moustache bar rather than a flat or riser, making it more of a cyclocross bike than a mountain bike. But a riser would work if you want a very upright position. MTB top tubes are normally longer than road to compensate for the lack of reach with flat bars.

    Saddle height can be whatever you choose, but I don't run my MTB seat any lower than my road bike seat.
    See how much clearance you have for tires. If 2+ inch 29er tires won't fit, there are plenty of cyclocross tires that will.

    Gotta lose the dork disc and the reflectors whatever you do.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSLeVan View Post
    I've got an old 970 and will have to give some consideration to pulling it down from storage and maybe going in the Snidely Whiplash direction. Only problem is that it's white.
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
    You afraid of going too fast or something?
    Actually, Carl Jung wrote a book back in 1910 about the role played by white bikes in the dreams of mega-delusional males. ("Das Weise Fahrrad In Den Träumen Von Dumkopfs.") Interesting read.

    I would conclude from the above forum exchange that BSLV is probably a well adjusted guy with a healthy resistance to white vehicles.

    DG, on the other hand...

  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    BD

    Glad to see you went with a decent tyre in the Fire XC's. Although I prefer 1.8's- I have an oversupply of 2.1's from the Tandem- not that it will help much as it is so muddy at present- It will have to be the Mud Pro's in 1.8 for a while.

    Should be out for my first offroad ride in 6 months on Sunday so just hope the cafe still has a decent Breakfast.

    And it will still be on the Bianchi Hardtail but the concession is front suspension. 80mm travel set up hard but if the chest could take it-the rigid Project ll's may get a try out in a couple of weeks.They do steer better.
    Last edited by stapfam; 12-04-07 at 03:26 PM.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  14. #14
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    BD, how much did your 970 weigh when it was Frankenbiked into a Snydely roadster, and how much does weigh un-Frankenbiked?

    My (green) Trek 730 with (green) Brooks B17 ti-rail saddle weighs 27 lbs.

    Also, if you know the answer: What was the original Trek 970 bike designed for ... and what was the original Trek 730 designed for? Are there significant riding differences between the two models?

  15. #15
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorad View Post
    BD, how much did your 970 weigh when it was Frankenbiked into a Snydely roadster, and how much does weigh un-Frankenbiked?

    My (green) Trek 730 with (green) Brooks B17 ti-rail saddle weighs 27 lbs.

    Also, if you know the answer: What was the original Trek 970 bike designed for ... and what was the original Trek 730 designed for? Are there significant riding differences between the two models?
    I never weighed it in Snidely form. Not that it matters, but it weighs 29 lbs now. One lb. more than the Rockhopper.

    The purpose of the 970 is written right on the top tube, singletrack. It is a mountain bike. It was made to do what I'm doing with it, riding offroad. Except for the Brooks Flyer and the tall stem, it is set up very close to the way it was originally.

    I believe the 730 was a hybrid, in the old sense of the word. Set up like a mountain bike, but with narrower 700c wheels to be better for road riding.

    The 970 had 26" wheels, lugged frame and Deore DX level components. I think the 730 had 700c wheels, TIG welded frame and Alivio level components.

    I don't see any reason a 730 wouldn't make a fine all-rounder.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  16. #16
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    Good information, BD. You are right about the 730 coming with 700C wheels. A great thing about its frame size is that with its stock top tube having such an angle to clear the front wheel, it gives me some stand over clearance in front of the seat post. I'm keeping ideas for the Trek on the back burner.

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