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Vintage MTB To Upright Bar / Urban Bike Conversions

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Vintage MTB To Upright Bar / Urban Bike Conversions

Old 05-03-23, 02:26 PM
  #1076  
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Originally Posted by Chicago Al
Thanks Pompiere and DQRider! DQ, that exactly answers my question. And BTW, your bikes and pics here are an inspiration.
Thank you. It's nice to be appreciated.
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Old 05-07-23, 03:45 PM
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I've been reading and re-reading through this thread from the beginning, trying to get back into a bike-wrenching state of mind. This post jumped out at me as showing the kind of frame I'd love to find and build up for my wife. She definitely wants a step-through for her (projected) gravel/trail/vacation bike. I built her up a Bob Jackson mixte about ten years ago, a great bike but really a road machine, and mixtes with 26" wheels seem to be very rare indeed. Did you get this built, Korina? If so, you know what we need to see!


Originally Posted by Korina
I hear you. I finally noticed that they're threadless stems; I prefer quill. It's semi-custom; I'm sure I could find something amongst the 20 sizes they offer. Doesn't matter, I'm getting this beautiful, rare, Araya mixte for a lot less.

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Old 05-07-23, 04:29 PM
  #1078  
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Originally Posted by Chicago Al
I've been reading and re-reading through this thread from the beginning, trying to get back into a bike-wrenching state of mind. This post jumped out at me as showing the kind of frame I'd love to find and build up for my wife. She definitely wants a step-through for her (projected) gravel/trail/vacation bike. I built her up a Bob Jackson mixte about ten years ago, a great bike but really a road machine, and mixtes with 26" wheels seem to be very rare indeed. Did you get this built, Korina? If so, you know what we need to see!
{sigh} Not yet. Keep an eye out for step through Trek Andelopes/Mountain Tracks and Specialized HardRocks. Not high-end, because they're only girls' bikes, but pretty good; enough to do what she wants.
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Old 05-08-23, 10:08 AM
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Latest pic of the mongoose

The trunk bag has panniers that fold up in a zippered compartment on the sides when not in use. You can still stuff a few small things in those compartments when they have pannier in them. The trunk part is pretty spacey.

I've been trying to break in a brooks, the one with springs. I've had brooks on my road bikes without a problem but the leather must be thicker on this model. I can go for one ride then have to swap it out. I need another seatpost to make it easier. Honestly I'm about to give up on this particular brooks. I should have taken my one off my road bike when I sold it.



Here it is with panniers folded.

Here it is with the butt breaker. Ouch.
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Old 05-08-23, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by margoC
I've been trying to break in a brooks, the one with springs. I've had brooks on my road bikes without a problem but the leather must be thicker on this model.

Here it is with the butt breaker. Ouch.
If liking the Brooks, just not that one, consider one of the "aged" ("softened") variants. From this vantage point, yours looks like the Flyer model (guessing).

Myself, I've got a Brooks B67 Aged, and that seems to have softened-up the leather sufficiently to make the break-in period much briefer and more tolerable.

The ToPeak MTX trunk bags are pretty nice, for what they are. Have one. Lots of space for a smaller trunk unit.
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Old 05-08-23, 02:14 PM
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@margoC I hope you've been using the Proofide to help soften it. And don't forget you're sitting at a different angle on this bike; you might try fiddling with the saddle angles.

I also agree with Clyde; the "softened" version is much easier to break in; my B17 was comfy right out of the box.
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Old 05-08-23, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina
{sigh} Not yet. Keep an eye out for step through Trek Andelopes/Mountain Tracks and Specialized HardRocks. Not high-end, because they're only girls' bikes, but pretty good; enough to do what she wants.
Yikes!

Sorry to here this, anything I can do from here to help?
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Old 05-08-23, 02:56 PM
  #1083  
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Originally Posted by Korina
{sigh} Not yet. Keep an eye out for step through Trek Andelopes/Mountain Tracks and Specialized HardRocks. Not high-end, because they're only girls' bikes, but pretty good; enough to do what she wants.
Well, you could send it over this way, maybe I could get the project along a little further. Might take a while though...

Actually I wonder about the size...is it quite small? Araya bikes, of any type, are not common, but I did see another similar to yours on the Facebook page of a Canadian (BC) bike coop from a few years ago. That one had been converted to 1x9, and had a very tall stem and long seatpost on it.
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Old 05-08-23, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Chicago Al
Thanks Pompiere and DQRider! DQ, that exactly answers my question. And BTW, your bikes and pics here are an inspiration.
Originally Posted by DQRider
I have two bikes setup this way:

`84 Trek 850


As you can see, the bulge fits perfectly within V of the slingshot stem. And it provides a perfect spot to mount a bell.

`84 Dawes Ranger


On this application, a Sunlite Northroads Touring bar IIRC, I had to use hockey tape to get a good solid mount, as it seemed the leverage of the pullbacks and the O.D. of the tubing at the mounting points weren't quite compatible. I briefly considered filing the flats on the stem, but the tape worked just fine.

Hope this helps.
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The Sunlite North Road bar hits the sweet spot for my handlebar preferences.

The width, rise, and degree of sweep back just works well for me with the combination of a tall stem.

I think I have at least 6 of them , maybe 7, on the 11 bikes I currently have rideable .

Are those large rectangular blocks of stone on that bridge?

I'm guessing at least 2 of the reasons for the stones is to prevent autos from using the bridge and as benches to sit on.

Is that the Mississippi River the bridge crosses?

Also I concur with the commentor about your bike builds being inspiring. You give so much attention to detail and overall appearance along with functionality and definitely a cool vibe.

​​​​​​This is a fun thread.
Safe riding to you all.
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Old 05-08-23, 05:45 PM
  #1085  
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North Roads are my next bar to try out on my Miyata. I've got a few steel sets and if I like them I'll get an aluminium bar.
Here's a bridge shot taken during my shakedown weekend (Easter). Slingshot stems serve as a good mounting surface if you haven't got racks



Originally Posted by DQRider
I have two bikes setup this way:

`84 Trek 850


As you can see, the bulge fits perfectly within V of the slingshot stem. And it provides a perfect spot to mount a bell.

`84 Dawes Ranger


On this application, a Sunlite Northroads Touring bar IIRC, I had to use hockey tape to get a good solid mount, as it seemed the leverage of the pullbacks and the O.D. of the tubing at the mounting points weren't quite compatible. I briefly considered filing the flats on the stem, but the tape worked just fine.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-08-23, 06:06 PM
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No major update on my Miyata, but I spent the Easter weekend riding it while on a family holiday, so I've got a few ideas of what changes I'm going to try.
The tyres are a bit too wide, they're 2.30, and there is only just enough clearance with the rear wheel pulled all the way back into the dropouts. I can't fit fenders until I try something narrower. I've already fitted a front rack, just need to make up some brackets. I'm not happy with the angle of the Brooks B67, I want to tilt back more but this is the max the seatpost will go so I'll have to find an alternative. I'm also going to try out some North Road style bars.
It shifts really well with the old Suntour Power Thumbs, I was pleasantly surprise at how quickly I adapted to friction after who knows how many decades.
Despite the need to get the ergonomics right, I thoroughly enjoyed endless hours of riding lots of different terrain.




Originally Posted by Commando

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Old 05-08-23, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina
@margoC I hope you've been using the Proofide to help soften it. And don't forget you're sitting at a different angle on this bike; you might try fiddling with the saddle angles.

I also agree with Clyde; the "softened" version is much easier to break in; my B17 was comfy right out of the box.
I have a few non-brooks saddles I've gotten used to, I'll probably get that extra seatpost and switch them, maybe I'll live long enough to break it in, if not that's ok too. I should probably just sell it.

I've proofided it top and bottom. It's some thick hard leather, it has springs but they are of no help.
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Old 05-08-23, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by margoC
I have a few non-brooks saddles I've gotten used to, I'll probably get that extra seatpost and switch them, maybe I'll live long enough to break it in, if not that's ok too. I should probably just sell it.

I've proofided it top and bottom. It's some thick hard leather, it has springs but they are of no help.


The answer I have found to this dilemma is to let the saddles break Me in. I've mounted brand new, rock-hard (relatively speaking) Brooks' saddles to many of my builds, and ridden them all over the place, willy-nilly. Pretty soon, my sphincter was crooning Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb", as if all of the relevant nerve endings have been shattered. Even my ancient French ADGA, and that oh-so-thick newer Gyes don't bother me now. That's one way to do it, anyway.
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Old 05-11-23, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina
{sigh} Not yet. Keep an eye out for step through Trek Andelopes/Mountain Tracks and Specialized HardRocks. Not high-end, because they're only girls' bikes, but pretty good; enough to do what she wants.
I will indeed keep an eye out for a nice example of those, or any proper vintage MTB in a step-through version, but look what popped up on Chicago FB yesterday. It's a Bridgestone BB-1, a 1992-only model that slightly modified the CB-1. BB stands for 'Basic Bridgestone' or 'Best Buy' according to Mr Peterson's catalog that year. Member sedgemop had posted about a Raleigh Competition available near me in the 'are you looking' thread and when I went to look at that ad this was right below it.

Wife made a drive out to the far 'burbs to pick it up herself, as I had to be home with the electrician. (She checked for dents and made sure seatpost was free.) It's a 49cm frame, the larger of the two Ladies models according to the catalog, and probably as rare as most larger step-throughs are. Bike appears to be all original down to the tires. There's some room for improvement--it will get North Road bars for sure--but a very solid platform. And it's shiny red!

And..oh yeah...it was $20!

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Old 05-11-23, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Commando
No major update on my Miyata, but I spent the Easter weekend riding it while on a family holiday, so I've got a few ideas of what changes I'm going to try.
The tyres are a bit too wide, they're 2.30, and there is only just enough clearance with the rear wheel pulled all the way back into the dropouts. I can't fit fenders until I try something narrower. I've already fitted a front rack, just need to make up some brackets. I'm not happy with the angle of the Brooks B67, I want to tilt back more but this is the max the seatpost will go so I'll have to find an alternative. I'm also going to try out some North Road style bars.
It shifts really well with the old Suntour Power Thumbs, I was pleasantly surprise at how quickly I adapted to friction after who knows how many decades.
Despite the need to get the ergonomics right, I thoroughly enjoyed endless hours of riding lots of different terrain.
It looks like a very comfortable ride.

I've had Maxxis DTH tires before and liked them although I think mine were 2.15 width.

I have vintage friction Suntour shifters on my grocery getter late 80's early 90's Miele 650 mtb and they work flawlessly.


One side of shifter is missing rubber cover but that doesn't bother me.
It also has Sunlite North Road bars.

Last edited by cooperryder; 08-04-23 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 05-11-23, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Chicago Al
I will indeed keep an eye out for a nice example of those, as well as one of those Araya swoopy mixtes, but look what popped up on Chicago FB yesterday. Member sedgemop had posted in the 'are you looking' thread about a completely different bike, and when I went to look at that, this was right below it.

Wife made a drive out to the far burbs to pick it up herself, as I had to be home with the electrician. (She checked for dents and made sure seatpost was free.) Seat tube is about 19" CTT, big for a step-through MTB I think, which is good for my long-legged wife. Bike appears to be all original down to the tires. There's some room for improvement--it will get North Road bars for sure--but a very solid platform. And it's shiny red!

And..oh yeah...it was $20!

What a great find!
Looks very good.
Congratulations.
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Old 05-11-23, 04:00 PM
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Here are current pics of my Miele Aries 650 mtb.
(Made in Canada)

I often carry my 4 YO granddaughter hence the rear child carrier.

I still needed a basket so mounted a front rack and large Wald basket.
Wheel flop is awful especially with groceries in basket but I'm used to it.

Notice crank.

It is sporting a Dura Ace triple crank thanks to a triplizer
I think the rings are 42 , 40 ,26.

I need to change out that outer ring to a 44 when I get around to it.

I'm estimating I am close to 3000 miles perhaps a bit more on this beast I've had 3 or 4 years.



The tires are Continental Contact Speed in a 26 x 2.00".




Last edited by cooperryder; 08-04-23 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 05-11-23, 06:27 PM
  #1093  
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Originally Posted by cooperryder
Here are current pics of my Miele Aries 600 mtb.
(Made in Canada)

I often carry my 4 YO granddaughter hence the rear child carrier.

I still needed a basket so mounted a front rack and large Wald basket.
Wheel flop is awful especially with groceries in basket but I'm used to it.

Notice crank.

It is sporting a Dura Ace triple crank thanks to a triplizer
I think the rings are 42 , 40 ,26.

I need to change out that outer ring to a 44 when I get around to it.

I'm estimating I am close to 3000 miles perhaps a bit more on this beast I've had 3 or 4 years.



The tires are Continental Contact Speed in a 26 x 2.00".



Nice score on those tires. They are basically Unobtainium right now. Overall, a very nice build - Congrats!
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Old 05-11-23, 08:43 PM
  #1094  
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Wow, what a score! Congrats!

Originally Posted by Chicago Al
I will indeed keep an eye out for a nice example of those, or any proper vintage MTB in a step-through version, but look what popped up on Chicago FB yesterday. It's a Bridgestone BB-1, a 1992-only model that slightly modified the CB-1. BB stands for 'Basic Bridgestone' or 'Best Buy' according to Mr Peterson's catalog that year. Member sedgemop had posted about a Raleigh Competition available near me in the 'are you looking' thread and when I went to look at that, this was right below it.

Wife made a drive out to the far burbs to pick it up herself, as I had to be home with the electrician. (She checked for dents and made sure seatpost was free.) It's a 49cm frame, the larger of the two Ladies models according to the catalog, and probably as rare as most larger step-throughs are. Bike appears to be all original down to the tires. There's some room for improvement--it will get North Road bars for sure--but a very solid platform. And it's shiny red!

And..oh yeah...it was $20!

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Old 05-11-23, 11:37 PM
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'91 Rocky Mountain Fusion as a commuter (and possible occasional trail rider).

I bought it 'as is' from a local bike store/recyclers, dirty but my size. It was stock, cheap and didn't work very well - the crank, chain and cassette had been replaced and then hardly used, but the der. pulley wheels were like throwing stars. Cables were shot and the Deore XT/DX shifters (I had one of each) were knackered. So strip completely down, clean and grease, all new cables, brake pads, replaced the pulleys, a handlebar I picked up ages ago in a junk shop, Sunrace friction thumbies. It is crazy comfortable as a commuter, came out way better than I expected, shifts and brakes really smoothly.


Replacement seat is on the cards. I'd like to get fenders as it is a commuter, although not hugely urgent as we come into summer. I suspect that the rear u-brake + fenders will probably limit tire size, those are 1.95s right now. Once I'm certain I like the handlebars, I intend to tape some of the chrome to tame the cabling a little more. The bar ends out front give me lots of position choices. A cheap, fun ride.
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Old 05-12-23, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by LeftCoastJon
'91 Rocky Mountain Fusion as a commuter (and possible occasional trail rider).

I bought it 'as is' from a local bike store/recyclers, dirty but my size. It was stock, cheap and didn't work very well - the crank, chain and cassette had been replaced and then hardly used, but the der. pulley wheels were like throwing stars. Cables were shot and the Deore XT/DX shifters (I had one of each) were knackered. So strip completely down, clean and grease, all new cables, brake pads, replaced the pulleys, a handlebar I picked up ages ago in a junk shop, Sunrace friction thumbies. It is crazy comfortable as a commuter, came out way better than I expected, shifts and brakes really smoothly.


Replacement seat is on the cards. I'd like to get fenders as it is a commuter, although not hugely urgent as we come into summer. I suspect that the rear u-brake + fenders will probably limit tire size, those are 1.95s right now. Once I'm certain I like the handlebars, I intend to tape some of the chrome to tame the cabling a little more. The bar ends out front give me lots of position choices. A cheap, fun ride.
Another nice score!
Congrats...

"Crazy comfortable."
That's an apt description for many of these vintage mtbs converted to be more comfortable.

Good tires, the right handlebars that work for you as well as a comfortable saddle plus a mix of decent functional parts and there you go.

Like you I'm amazed at some of my builds coming out better than I expected.

Also one doesn't need to spend a ton of money to achieve good results.

Enjoy and safe riding to all.
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Old 05-14-23, 12:33 AM
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Hmmmm, this thread is making me want too many new projects...
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Old 05-16-23, 11:30 AM
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What is the best thing about end bars?
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Old 05-16-23, 12:14 PM
  #1099  
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Sounds like the setup to a joke....
Smokinapankake is offline  
Old 05-26-23, 09:46 AM
  #1100  
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Thanks to everyone for sharing their awesome rides!

One thing I've noticed is that many of these bikes are (or at least appear to be, based on saddle height) a larger size than the usual recommended Mtb fit. Just wondering if anyone has an opinion about the merits of going for a larger frame size.
SensibleCossack is offline  

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