I never really looked at old MTB's until I saw discussions at CrazyGuyOnaBike and here about turning old rigid, steel MTB's into commuters or rugged touring bikes. I also saw how many 50+ers are enjoyed their old rigid MTB's as "simple bikes," grocery getters or commuters...and decided to pick one up off Craigslist to turn into a fall/winter commuter.
My goal: to build a "poor man's" Surly Long Haul Trucker. I ended up changing a lot of stuff, but all-in (including the powder-coating), I spent about 50% of the price of a Surly LHT complete. The only thing I kept was the frame (powdercoated), the wheels, the derailleurs, the crankset, bottom bracket, outer and middle chainrings, and the brake handles and shifters.
So, some of you may recall that I sought your advice on which old steel MTB to get. I ended up with an '88 Specialized Stumpjumper, $100 from Craigslist. This is the bike "before":
I then later started a thread here about getting the frame powder-coated, which led me to strip the frame:
Which after powder-coating became this:
And finally ended up as this....
New: seatpost, stem, handlebar tape, Nashbar trekking bars, chain, rear cassette, 24t inner chainring, Marathon 26*1.75 tires, Planet Bike fenders.
Borrowed: Brooks Pro saddle, Shimano two-sided pedals (spd/platform), old Blackburn rack.