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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 02-23-14, 07:02 PM
  #2776  
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I have a separate thread on this Kuwahara Aries - I have yet to check the serial number but I am guessing around 1983. I just purchased it a couple of days ago and it needed a lot of cleaning and detailing but I'm slowly getting there. Just test fitted some handlebars and stem and will be upgrading the drive train. I added the Tubus rack and Hutchinson Python tires. I will be repacking all the bearings as I go through it and am glad to finally have a vintage mountain bike with lugs and a traditional fork crown. Also like the fairly slender fork blades. Funny how Kuwahara put double eyelets front and back but no rear rack mounts. I am sure I saved 2 to 3 pounds just taking off the steel bull moose handlebars, original rack and tires, next is the cheaper all steel front and rear derailleurs as well as the Sugino triple crank set as it has steel chain rings but I have an alloy one waiting. This will be my grocery/ trail riding bike.







Last edited by VintageRide; 02-23-14 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 02-24-14, 09:58 AM
  #2777  
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Originally Posted by frantik
dirt drops from 1983

Really cool page shot frantik, thanks for sharing! I thought I had seen everything on the MOMBAT site but I overlooked this page... oh, to have had 4 grand for a Charlie Cunningham Indian... the illusive grail remains a dream!
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Old 02-24-14, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by VintageRide
I have a separate thread on this Kuwahara Aries - I have yet to check the serial number but I am guessing around 1983. I just purchased it a couple of days ago and it needed a lot of cleaning and detailing but I'm slowly getting there. Just test fitted some handlebars and stem and will be upgrading the drive train. I added the Tubus rack and Hutchinson Python tires. I will be repacking all the bearings as I go through it and am glad to finally have a vintage mountain bike with lugs and a traditional fork crown. Also like the fairly slender fork blades. Funny how Kuwahara put double eyelets front and back but no rear rack mounts. I am sure I saved 2 to 3 pounds just taking off the steel bull moose handlebars, original rack and tires, next is the cheaper all steel front and rear derailleurs as well as the Sugino triple crank set as it has steel chain rings but I have an alloy one waiting. This will be my grocery/ trail riding bike.




Love this build.
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Old 02-24-14, 12:44 PM
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dang i love that frame.. green and black lugged goodness
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Old 03-11-14, 01:39 AM
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anybody got some origin 8 gary bars (gary 2) looking to buy another bar or two
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Old 03-11-14, 09:10 AM
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I'm not sure if this counts as vintage but here is my late 90's Land Shark SS with some salsa woodchippers.

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Old 03-11-14, 09:22 AM
  #2782  
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Probably not going to find a Cimaron at that price. They are super rare, and when they pop up, they sell fast. Add to this rarity is you are looking for a specific size. Makes it tougher for sure. I lucked into mine at a garage sale, but it was in pitiful condition at the time (still a great deal). And I look for bikes every day, and go to garage sales every week. Even then, its the only one I have seen for under your $150 mark (in over six years of looking). $80 for the HS was a sweet deal as well.

And then realize if you find one outside your area, it is going to require shipping. Shipping is going to be about $100+/-, making the $150 mark unobtainium.

BBC has one for sale right now for $3500!
I know how you feel about certain Schwinn models, but how do you think something like a Miyata Ridge Runner stacks up in frame design/quality against a Cimarron? Is it even comparable?
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Old 03-11-14, 09:55 AM
  #2783  
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Miyata Ridge Runner is an excellent bike, go get it if you don't have it already!


General rule of thumb is aim high, as a nice vintage mtb might cost $25 to $50 more than a basic one. So my 1992 Trek 950, that originally sold for about $800, might bring $50 more than a Trek 800, that may have originally sold for $300. So for an extra $50, you get a bike that was almost 3X more expensive. So the wheels are better, better frame, all components are better, etc. Best deals on vintage rigid frame mtbs IMHO are the higher end ones from the big name manufacturers. I've had several "high end" mtbs, like the Univega Alpina Pro on the first page, and a couple of Trek 950s. Through 1993, the Trek 950 had a lugged steel frame. 1994 and newer was Tig welded. So if you prefer lugged, the late 1980s/early 1990s high end Treks are a nice choice.

On keepers, I try to get Deore components as a minimum. In the late 1980s, Shimano split Deore into many grades, so I would shoot for Deore DX as a minimum. My 1992 950 is mostly Deore LX, while my wife's 1992 Paramount Series 70 is Deore XT (one nice step higher).

Just looked at the 1989 Ridge Runner. That year was very well equipped, with Shimano Deore XT. That era XT was very nice, and attractive too. So at the right price, depending on condition, I'd buy it just for the components. 1988 was even better, with Deore XT and Miyata Splined triple butted frame tubing. Winner/winner!!

Component wise, many of the Cimarrons came stock with Deore XT as well. Cimarron had the unique fillet brazed head tube, lugged steel frame, which is somewhat a gimick, but I like it.

Last edited by wrk101; 03-11-14 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 03-11-14, 10:25 AM
  #2784  
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Miyata Ridge Runner is an excellent bike, go get it if you don't have it already!


General rule of thumb is aim high, as a nice vintage mtb might cost $25 to $50 more than a basic one. So my 1992 Trek 950, that originally sold for about $800, might bring $50 more than a Trek 800, that may have originally sold for $300. So for an extra $50, you get a bike that was almost 3X more expensive. So the wheels are better, better frame, all components are better, etc. Best deals on vintage rigid frame mtbs IMHO are the higher end ones from the big name manufacturers. I've had several "high end" mtbs, like the Univega Alpina Pro on the first page, and a couple of Trek 950s. Through 1993, the Trek 950 had a lugged steel frame. 1994 and newer was Tig welded. So if you prefer lugged, the late 1980s/early 1990s high end Treks are a nice choice.

On keepers, I try to get Deore components as a minimum. In the late 1980s, Shimano split Deore into many grades, so I would shoot for Deore DX as a minimum. My 1992 950 is mostly Deore LX, while my wife's 1992 Paramount Series 70 is Deore XT (one nice step higher).

Just looked at the 1989 Ridge Runner. That year was very well equipped, with Shimano Deore XT. That era XT was very nice, and attractive too. So at the right price, depending on condition, I'd buy it just for the components. 1988 was even better, with Deore XT and Miyata Splined triple butted frame tubing. Winner/winner!!

Component wise, many of the Cimarrons came stock with Deore XT as well. Cimarron had the unique fillet brazed head tube, lugged steel frame, which is somewhat a gimick, but I like it.
Just wanted your feedback, I already have an 85 1/2 Ridge Runner SE, was being thrown out. I considered the frame to be excellent as well, but wanted your expert input on it, I've got an STX wheelset, and a brifter conversion happening on it.. I think I'll need to discuss further with you as I upgrade the RD/FD but for now I'm justing a mixed bag from the parts bin.. I'll be posting this bike here later I'm sure and the STI thread and the drop bar thread
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Old 03-11-14, 12:22 PM
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Depending on the year, check your rear spacing. MTBs went from 130mm spacing to 135mm. Your newer wheels will likely be 135mm. Not the end of the world, but you will have to squeeze it in if your bike has 130mm spacing. Just don't be surprised.

The new seven speed STI are a great value if you go that route. Will need a road FD. Myself, I go with $13 tourney trigger shifters if I am trying to keep the cost down, or bar ends if the budget allows.

Not an expert by the way, but I do have opinions....
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Old 03-11-14, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by fiatjeepdriver
I'm not sure if this counts as vintage but here is my late 90's Land Shark SS with some salsa woodchippers.

love this bike.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Depending on the year, check your rear spacing. MTBs went from 130mm spacing to 135mm.
in the early-mid 80s they even had 126mm spacing
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Old 03-11-14, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Will need a road FD.
Not doubting you, but why? I thought (and I admit my thinking is most likely flawed) that the front derailleur was matched (somewhat) to the chainrings and not the shifter.
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Old 03-11-14, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Depending on the year, check your rear spacing. MTBs went from 130mm spacing to 135mm. Your newer wheels will likely be 135mm. Not the end of the world, but you will have to squeeze it in if your bike has 130mm spacing. Just don't be surprised.

The new seven speed STI are a great value if you go that route. Will need a road FD. Myself, I go with $13 tourney trigger shifters if I am trying to keep the cost down, or bar ends if the budget allows.

Not an expert by the way, but I do have opinions....
Actually it ended up receiving most of a 105sc group, some exage canti's and 2x8 105 STI's.. still got some work to do, and yes the wheels are 135 in a 130 rear end but it works just fine as expected.
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Old 03-11-14, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by arex
Not doubting you, but why? I thought (and I admit my thinking is most likely flawed) that the front derailleur was matched (somewhat) to the chainrings and not the shifter.
MTB FD typically have different cable pull rate than road FDs.


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Old 03-11-14, 06:32 PM
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There's a couple differences between road and MTB FD's.
First is the cable pull (road is shorter), though sometimes you can mess with cable mounting locations to make it work bit better.
Second is the FD's radius as compared to the chainring. Road RD's are typically a little bigger radius, but they can be made to work in most cases.
Finally, with Shimano FD's they are designed to be specific to the chain rings, with the "step down" at a specific point to engage the chain on the next ring.

To brifterize a top pull MTB frame will likely involve a lot of patience on your part. Sometimes you can use the shimano top pull CX derailleur, sometimes you need to resort to reworking a MTB derailleur a bit. I am tempted to put a bar end shifter for the FD on my Croll, as the front shifting is OK but not great. I may try the problem solvers 180 degree cable pulley, and find a good old school triple FD for it.
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Old 03-11-14, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bconneraz
love this bike.
So do I.

What a great bike.

Now that our Salsa El Mariachi just got traded for a new all arounder, I could get away with something like this beast.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by bconneraz
love this bike.
Originally Posted by gomango
So do I.

What a great bike.

Now that our Salsa El Mariachi just got traded for a new all arounder, I could get away with something like this beast.

Thanks. It's a fun bike that I should take out more than I do. I have 8 mtbs. My normal race hardtail jamis nemesis (hopefully replaced with either a rock lobster or another land shark if I can swing it) saw about 800 miles last year, my yo eddy (built up in August) saw about 200 miles, my gt zaskar was about 175 miles, this land shark was maybe 100 miles, then the total for my old jamis dragon, on one inbred, schwinn high sierra, and trek 950 saw another 80-100 miles not counting when I loaned them to others to get them riding.

TL DR; Too many bikes not enough time for them all.
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Old 03-14-14, 10:57 AM
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Just wanted to throw up an updated pic on the Dirty Gertie, been meaning to for a long time and just haven't. Please ignore the dirty, it hasn't been cleaned recently and our roads are almost done shedding salt. It will get a complete strip and clean this spring once I get my roadie back together.

They are just Shimano ST2300s but they do the job and do it well. Just wish I had a 3 speed for the front, I have the FD set to stop before going into the smallest cog but in Chicago we don't have hills so it isn't a big deal.

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Old 03-14-14, 12:30 PM
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Bomb proof Mike...absolutely bomb proof


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Old 03-14-14, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by OTS
Bomb proof Mike...absolutely bomb proof



Thanks! I get stares often, especially by guys on "real" CX bikes.

I know the DIY front fender is a little scary, but who else rolls around with an old whey protein powder container as a fender? Just this guy!
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Old 03-14-14, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by frantik
after riding on dirt drops for over a year, when i ride "normal" drop bars they feel so weird to me.. the brakes feel like they are in the wrong spot and the drops feel like they are bent inward. i just wish someone made a dirt drop bar that was a little narrower.. i love the flare but don't always need the width, especially when on the road.

i'm also strongly considering brifters or maybe even barcons.. the thumbies on the top of the bar are a cheap and easy solution but they're kind of a pain to shift, kinda like stem shifters.


btw here's some gary 2 bars on sale for $32.. normally they're like 38

Origin8 Gary 2 Road Handlebar Drop Bar Origin 8 33961 | eBay
I might have some narrower vintage dirt drops I would trade for wider vintage dirt drops. I have wide shoulders and the narrow ones drive me batty. Shoot me a PM if you like.

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Old 03-14-14, 09:15 PM
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holy moly! i'll shoot you a pm
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Old 03-15-14, 07:38 PM
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Just ordered some Campy brifters, waiting for them to come in the mail to finish up. I put the cane creek levers on there just to get an idea how everything would look. 20.9 lbs as pictured, Hoping to come in under 22 pounds when I'm done.

There's no cohesive color scheme right now but I might powder coat the fork black -- i feel bad cause the paint is in perfect condition but it doesn't match anything. Originally I was planning on doing a blue ano theme but all I have right now is the seat collar. The saddle came with the seat post and is pretty nice so i want to keep it, though it's red which doesn't go with everything like black. I might go with red and blue ano, or just a lot more blue, i dunno.

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Old 03-15-14, 08:59 PM
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Interested to see where this one goes. Lots of nice parts in that mix, I'm sure you'll pull it off into something that looks great. I'm more of a ti/black/silver fan in order of amount of color shown, but the ano thing is an interesting twist.
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