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Old 12-03-10, 09:27 PM   #226
Smokinapankake
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Agree on the quill to threadless (clamp on stem) option. Don't know why it didn't even cross my mind when I posted about cutting the steer.
Also agree about simply adding features you want. I'm lucky to have several options local to me when it comes to this. However, the fork on my Peugeot is merely 1020 steel, so I don't think I want to invest the time or effort into putting lowriders on it.
Besides, I have the perfect length and diameter steer tube and crown to fit it. They are from a Tange Switchblade fork made back in the late 80's to mid 90's. Problem is I don't have the legs to complete it!
I don't suppose it would be too difficult to fab up some legs, I just haven't gotten around to it.

Very nice Trek, I love the vintage MTB's!
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Old 12-03-10, 09:33 PM   #227
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Iím just going to sling this awful photo of this dirty KHS Montana Pro into the mix to make a point that quality vintage loaded touring bike conversions are out there for the taking. Late 80ís and 90ís steel MTBís that are well used and scratched-up are not very sexy bikes and often get kicked to the side of the curb. But if you are looking for a bike that you can throw a rack on and go touring for cheap, I can think of no better value than an old MTB. Iím on the road, living in a hotel, blah, blah, blah, go to the local Goodwill and find this bike for $15. True Temper OX frame with complete Deore XT gruppo. Thing is, I donít think this was just a lucky find, but that this type of bike shows up frequently because they donít appear to be very valuable to the owners. Just saying, Iíve become a convert from a vintage Italian road bike snob to a fan of the vintage pug-nosed workhorse MTB.
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Old 12-03-10, 09:54 PM   #228
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I’m just going to sling this awful photo of this dirty KHS Montana Pro into the mix to make a point that quality vintage loaded touring bike conversions are out there for the taking. Late 80’s and 90’s steel MTB’s that are well used and scratched-up are not very sexy bikes and often get kicked to the side of the curb. But if you are looking for a bike that you can throw a rack on and go touring for cheap, I can think of no better value than an old MTB. I’m on the road, living in a hotel, blah, blah, blah, go to the local Goodwill and find this bike for $15. True Temper OX frame with complete Deore XT gruppo. Thing is, I don’t think this was just a lucky find, but that this type of bike shows up frequently because they don’t appear to be very valuable to the owners. Just saying, I’ve become a convert from a vintage Italian road bike snob to a fan of the vintage pug-nosed workhorse MTB.
Still no takers on the frame, eh? I'll be in Caldwell, ID for a brief trip sometime in January - too bad I can't make it over to Pocatello. That was a nice find.
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Old 12-03-10, 10:25 PM   #229
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^^^^
Love to here from someone from Idaho,(OK, edit, I see your not from ID but close enough), first time ever here and think these are the nicest people I've ever met. Going skiing tomorrow at Pebble Creek and am stoked! Sunday I will strip the frame of the XT except not sure if I will clip the spokes to get the hubs and not sure about the Manitou fork, it is really very sweet but hard to ship. I found a local person here trying to sell vintage bikes, probably not going well, I thought I'd leave the frame, wheelset, and whatever I can't take at their shop door before I leave this winter wonderland.

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Old 12-06-10, 03:47 PM   #230
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Here are some pics of my MTB-to-touring-bike build. Started with a circa 98-99 Co-Motion "OR" (off-road) Co-Pilot frame that I got for around $450 on Ebay. Since it had S&S couplers on it, and came with an S&S case, I was pretty happy with that price. Originally had a Rock Shox Judy suspension fork on it, which I swapped out for a Surly LHT 26" fork that has lowrider rack mounts and dropout eyelets. It has a very long wheelbase and is great for touring. I had Bilenky Cycles braze rack bosses on the seatstays. If I ever get it repainted I'll probably have a few more things added, like a third set of bottle bosses and maybe a spoke holder on the chainstay.

I first built it up the night before I rode the C&O canal, literally finishing it up the day I left (I don't recommend this, but it turned out ok). The pic below with the front and rear panniers is from that trip. I've since updated the build somewhat, and the pics with the rear panniers only are the way it looks today (taken on my Oct. 2010 GAP tour). Finally, there is a pic of the bike packed in its S&S bag for the trip home from DC on Amtrak when I finished the C&O ride.

Build includes parts scrounged from my parts box, eBay, and a local swap meet or two:

-Derailleurs are XTR rear and XT front
-Shifters are LX thumbshifters
-V-brakes are AVID SD 2.5 magnesium, levers are Avid SD-Ti
-Crank is Sugino with Race Face outer ring and Sugino middle and inner, 48-36-24
-Cassette is XT 9-speed 11-34
-Hubs are White Industries, rims are Bontrager Mustang, 32 spokes
-Pedals are SR Low Fat Compe MTB with clips/straps
-Headset is Cane Creek S6 sealed cartridge bearing (I have a Chris King headset that I haven't had time to install yet)
-Tires when touring are Performance 1.25 road tires ("City ST/K" or something like that, a great value that hold up really well)
-Syncros seatpost, Ritchey Pro stem, Performance Forte carbon handlebar (probably will get rid of the carbon bar soon and go with alloy)
-Blackburn Expedition rear rack, Tubus Duo front rack, Cateye Enduro computer, Rhode Gear Flickstand
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Old 12-06-10, 04:41 PM   #231
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I was gone for a couple of days and this topic got some great action. Thanks to those that responded to my questions and added info.

As a relative newbie to the boards, i must say that it's challenging to keep up with all the acronyms. The more i hang out on here the more i learn but i'm wondering if there is a cheat sheet/guide somewhere.

@scozim Your Trek is amazing. What a great find that is to come with basically all of the things i'm looking for. Does it have the room and connections for fenders as well?

@briwasson One of the things that is still confusing me as i'm still trying to learn everything i can about bikes, is the fork conversion. All of the threaded vs. non-threaded talk combined with adapters, headsets, weird measurements is enough to make my head spin. Hopefully with time this will all make sense to me. Next time i hang out at my LBS i'll have to ask some questions about the fork. But briwasson, you converted a MTB with suspension forks by adding a Surly LHT fork, which is what i was thinking i could do. Did you have to mess with any weird conversions or was it an easy process. I'm not sure if the Surly is threaded or non-threaded.

Thanks again everyone. I'm patient as well as i have my vintage touring vessel for short trips that serves me well, but looking to build up a more serious machine for heavier trips.
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Old 12-06-10, 05:56 PM   #232
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The suspension fork that came with my Co-Motion had a 1-1/8" THREADED steerer. So, I was able to easily fit a standard 1-1/8" modern threadless steerer. Of course, had to upgrade the headset then, too. (Anybody need a really nice 1-1/8" threaded XTR headset? :-)

I have no idea if the Surly fork is exactly correct for my frame (rake, height, and all that). I took a gamble and it seems to ride just fine. I figured if it wasn't right, I'd just resell it on Ebay and get something else. I came in the ugly Surly army green color, so I had to do a quickie red paint job on it. I'll get it painted professionally sooner or later.

I kept the original suspension fork, and if I can find a threadless replacement steerer for it I'll be able to easily swap it out for the touring fork, giving me kind of a "transformer" bike, able to be a MTB or a road/touring bike.

Most MTBs have 1-1/8" steerers, usually threadless, but sometime threaded (like mine). Earlier MTBs, and some newer, cheaper ones, had 1" threaded steerers and use quill stems (my 1991 Cannondale MTB, for example). As you noted, you can get adapters to run threadless stems on threadless steerers. And, to confuse you even more, for a while a few MTB makers used oversize 1-1/4" steerers, both threaded and threadless. It can be hard to find stems for these, although Santana tandems still uses that size and you can get stems from them ($$$). Chris King makes a "devolution" headset (the 1-1/4" standard was originally marketed as an "Evolution" headset) that lets you convert a headtube built for 1-1/4" steerers back to 1-1/8".
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Old 12-06-10, 06:10 PM   #233
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I have wanted to do this type of conversion for a long time and listened to my LBS when they said the frame would fail under the weight after awhile and it is a point that i can see so i went toward another path and invested in a 86 Schwinn sprint that had been sitting around for the last 20 years. The frame is straight and can attest to the strength of the frame as i rode them like mountain bikes before they got popular. they can really take some abuse the only failures i had was the bolt on gear and that has been upgraded to match the intentions i have.
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Old 12-06-10, 06:20 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by drisee View Post
I was gone for a couple of days and this topic got some great action. Thanks to those that responded to my questions and added info.

As a relative newbie to the boards, i must say that it's challenging to keep up with all the acronyms. The more i hang out on here the more i learn but i'm wondering if there is a cheat sheet/guide somewhere.

@scozim Your Trek is amazing. What a great find that is to come with basically all of the things i'm looking for. Does it have the room and connections for fenders as well?

Thanks again everyone. I'm patient as well as i have my vintage touring vessel for short trips that serves me well, but looking to build up a more serious machine for heavier trips.
The bike was a lucky find - sitting in a customer's garage on flat tires when I was looking at their wrecked car. It was completely original down to the tires.

With the 26 X 1.95" knobby tires on it there's really no room for fenders right now - the front tire is barely clearing the fork. I believe the 1.5" tires that were on it provided enough room. I'm going to be getting some smaller, road style tires after the new year and expect to have enough clearance.
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Old 12-06-10, 08:28 PM   #235
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@scozim What a great pick up that was to find it sleeping somewhere in a garage. One more question that i have that i believe you eluded to earlier is about the fork on it. Of course your 87' has the braze-ons but from what i can tell not all Trek 800s came with braze-ons for the front fork. Do you know what the deal is with that?

So if anyone else comes on here in the future and also gets confused by all this talk about steerers, headsets, forks, etc, etc don't feel bad. I was pretty lost and had to venture off and educate myself. Wikipedia helped me out with this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headset_%28bicycle_part%29 so i know now what the difference is between all these parts and how they all work together. It seems that if i don't find a MTB with the front fork i want my next best bet is to at least find one with a headtube that is setup to run a 1-1/8" steerer. Seems like it would be relatively easy to find that size headset either threaded or threadless depending on the fork i find.

I'll be sure to follow up down the line when i get my rig up and running...
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Old 12-06-10, 10:05 PM   #236
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@scozim What a great pick up that was to find it sleeping somewhere in a garage. One more question that i have that i believe you eluded to earlier is about the fork on it. Of course your 87' has the braze-ons but from what i can tell not all Trek 800s came with braze-ons for the front fork. Do you know what the deal is with that?
From what I've been able to tell it was a pretty narrow window - like maybe 1986 and 1987, possibly 1988. You can definitely see the mid-fork braze on in the 1986 catalog photos. In 1984 and 1985 they're not there. 1988 lists front rack mounts in the specifications but it's not clear if those are just the eyelets that are being referred to. I've looked other mtb's since I bought this one 18 months ago and it is definitely a tough search to find the double eyelets and low rider braze on.
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Old 12-06-10, 11:14 PM   #237
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I can not call mine a 'conversion' since I bought my Dirt Research Bandelier new on ebay from a retailer, specifically to build up a touring bike. I got a pair of disc/rim brake wheels so I could put a front disc brake on it, and put on a 29er disc fork to raise the front end a little, and 'slacken' the steering. The frame is not made for disc, so I have V-brake/booster setup with Travel Agent to use road levers. Avid BB7 Road caliper and 203mm rotor. I wanted plenty of stopping power to haul me,the bike, the trailer, and all my stuff down from excess speeds.

I started with brifters, but after fighting with the front der., switched to bar ends and Tektro 200 levers. I presently have a 22/35/48 crank with 11/34 9spd RD. I have a crank set up with a Mountain Tamer Quad 20/28/39/53 that I can use with a custom 12/13/14/16/18/21/24/28/32 cassette. Time will tell which one goes on tour.

I made my own two wheel low center-of-gravity trailer, which still needs to have its fenders mounted.
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Old 12-07-10, 04:23 AM   #238
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I started with brifters, but after fighting with the front der., switched to bar ends and Tektro 200 levers. I presently have a 22/35/48 crank with 11/34 9spd RD. I have a crank set up with a Mountain Tamer Quad 20/28/39/53 that I can use with a custom 12/13/14/16/18/21/24/28/32 cassette. Time will tell which one goes on tour.
Wow, that`s a gear spread! Do you have an RD with 8 inch arm to pull up all that chain, or just wing it with a standard mountain bike long cage? Did you have to stretch the FD cage? Nice job on the trailer- looks like a very clean and neat build.
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Old 12-07-10, 05:37 AM   #239
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Cool trailer! What's the battery box for on the front?
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Old 12-09-10, 02:05 AM   #240
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Wow, that`s a gear spread! Do you have an RD with 8 inch arm to pull up all that chain, or just wing it with a standard mountain bike long cage? Did you have to stretch the FD cage? Nice job on the trailer- looks like a very clean and neat build.
I have not yet tried the Quad, but am using an XTR long cage 952 RD that works great with the 11/34, so hope the 12/32 will be good with Quad. Bar ends should give me all the pull I need, but I may have to 'cut back' on the big ring for chain slack reasons. I'll only find out when I try it!
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Old 12-09-10, 02:10 AM   #241
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Cool trailer! What's the battery box for on the front?
I am planning on carrying a small notebook and smart phone for Web access, so want to be able to charge them. Have a small ATV battery, charge controller, inverter (which go in the box), and a 12W solar panel I'll strap on top of my gear to keep the ATV battery up during the day, and charge whatever needs it at night. I also have NiMh AA and AAA rechargeables, to save money, and some environment.
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Old 12-09-10, 02:22 AM   #242
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The Swede in me really likes this bike... nice work.
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Old 12-10-10, 07:02 PM   #243
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Some guys in the C&V told me this is a 1984 MB-2, though the USA catalogue only goes back to 1985. Hope you can view the photos.
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Old 12-11-10, 12:54 PM   #244
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Nice setup! Not sure I would be able to ride that saddle though.
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Old 12-11-10, 03:09 PM   #245
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Thanks. To complete the bike, I'm presently looking for a smallish front rack designed to attach at eyelets in the fork dropouts.

Yeah, a lot of folks see that saddle angle and say "Ouch"! But it works for my anatomy (big butt; big sit bones) just fine.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:22 AM   #246
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Guess I throw my contribution up here. This was set up for commuting but I have always wanted to do some unpaved touring/camping trips on it.
I recently acquired some mountain drops and considering put them on it with bar end shifters. I need to figure out if the levers I have will work with the V brakes or if I need to convert to Canti's or swap the levers.


When it had trekking bars.
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Old 12-13-10, 11:42 AM   #247
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Yay another excuse to put a picture of my kuwahara up, 19.5" kuwahara Panther converted to Dropbar MTB its my do-all but will be touring on it here in the spring.



And a shot of both the dropbar MTBs
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Old 12-14-10, 11:34 AM   #248
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Now that is one laid back seat tube and head tube angle. I like it!

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Old 12-14-10, 12:10 PM   #249
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Yup makes for a nice stable ride even when i have the front rack on it and loaded, you can ride the thing at 4mph with no hands
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Old 12-16-10, 12:15 PM   #250
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Mine is still a work in progress. I'm currently working on improving the handlebars, seat, lighting, fenders, and installing a front rack with panniers.


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