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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 10-20-14, 10:21 AM
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1989 GT Tequesta

Here's my project, a drop bar conversion of a GT Tequesta! I'm surprised there aren't more GTs on this thread. The thumb shifters that it came with conveniently had steel bands, so I was able to spread them a bit to fit on the ends of the drops so they operate like barcons. I also upgraded the crank.

I'd hoped it'd be lighter than 27.5 lbs, but that's with heavy pedals and tires and weight is only a part of how it rides. I also added personal touches such as pink bar tape and its many stickers. My favorite is the "Bacon Powered" one on the top tube

The thing rides great: it's smooth in the way only steel can be, and while it's heavier and slightly slower than a road oriented bike it doesn't feel sluggish. It's low profile so it's unlikely to attract thieves, and I'd like to try touring in the future and this would be a good bike to ride as well

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Old 10-20-14, 11:01 AM
  #3552  
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Originally Posted by Soundtallica
Here's my project, a drop bar conversion of a GT Tequesta! I'm surprised there aren't more GTs on this thread. The thumb shifters that it came with conveniently had steel bands, so I was able to spread them a bit to fit on the ends of the drops so they operate like barcons. I also upgraded the crank.

I'd hoped it'd be lighter than 27.5 lbs, but that's with heavy pedals and tires and weight is only a part of how it rides. I also added personal touches such as pink bar tape and its many stickers. My favorite is the "Bacon Powered" one on the top tube

The thing rides great: it's smooth in the way only steel can be, and while it's heavier and slightly slower than a road oriented bike it doesn't feel sluggish. It's low profile so it's unlikely to attract thieves, and I'd like to try touring in the future and this would be a good bike to ride as well

Interesting option with the thumb shifters. Got a close up of the set up?
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Old 10-20-14, 04:05 PM
  #3553  
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Thumb-bar-end shifter closeup

Originally Posted by scozim
Interesting option with the thumb shifters. Got a close up of the set up?
Here you go. It's simply an old Suntour XCE thumb shifter with the clamp spread open to fit on drop bars, rotated 90 degrees so the lever moves up and down instead of left and right. It works just like a bar end shifter, except better because they're positioned further outboard than a typical barcon, so you use your strong palm to shift instead of your weak fingers. It allows you to keep your grip on the bar while shifting too. You do need a steel clamp on the shifter for this to work though. I'm also surprised more people haven't done this yet, it's easier than any of the other shifting solutions I've seen on this thread and it works like a dream

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Old 10-20-14, 04:19 PM
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@Soundtallica I love it! I've wondered about the lack of GTs myself. But I search eBay pretty much daily and rarely see them. Maybe they didn't survive well? Love the DIY barcons and pink tape. I have a roll of pink Deda that was "too pink" for the girl I bought it for. I might have to use that on my Miyata project.
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Old 10-20-14, 04:47 PM
  #3555  
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Originally Posted by eastbay71
@Soundtallica I love it! I've wondered about the lack of GTs myself. But I search eBay pretty much daily and rarely see them. Maybe they didn't survive well? Love the DIY barcons and pink tape. I have a roll of pink Deda that was "too pink" for the girl I bought it for. I might have to use that on my Miyata project.
Thanks! I doubt there aren't many GTs on ebay because they didn't survive, as they were overbuilt and heavy but also some of the most bombproof frames made back then. There is a certain cult like movement around GT MTBs of that era (Tequesta, Karakoram, Avalanche, Zaskar, etc.) due to their unique triple triangle frames, indestructible reputations, and crazy paint schemes. People love them and probably aren't selling because of that!

Go for the pink tape, pink is hot!

Also, after some research, I discovered that pre-1993 Tequesta forks are a whopping 1.84 kg. Threaded steel forks today are 1.3 kg at most, and usually lighter than that. I'll be headed to the local bike co-op tomorrow to look for a lighter fork to shave 1+ lbs from my bike. I'll update once that is done.
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Old 10-20-14, 04:49 PM
  #3556  
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Originally Posted by Paramount1973
Jan Heine reduced the price of the Compass tires to $57 per tire, Tservs can be had for $38 with free shipping on Amazon, the difference is about $19 per tire without factoring in shipping.
Here's another vote for T'Servs!
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Old 10-20-14, 05:04 PM
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[QUOTE=Soundtallica;17234372]Thanks! I doubt there aren't many GTs on ebay because they didn't survive, as they were overbuilt and heavy but also some of the most bombproof frames made back then. There is a certain cult like movement around GT MTBs of that era (Tequesta, Karakoram, Avalanche, Zaskar, etc.) due to their unique triple triangle frames, indestructible reputations, and crazy paint schemes. People love them and probably aren't selling because of that!

I have to agree. This is one I picked up on CL for $50.00. Had to drive 80 miles, couldn't let that cloud paint job pass.

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Old 10-20-14, 05:43 PM
  #3558  
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Originally Posted by Soundtallica
There is a certain cult like movement around GT MTBs of that era (Tequesta, Karakoram, Avalanche, Zaskar, etc.) due to their unique triple triangle frames, indestructible reputations, and crazy paint schemes. People love them and probably aren't selling because of that!
Oh the bikes of the late 80's I was graduating from high school in '89. I had very reserved Trek 520 that was charcoal grey and red. Then there was my Raleigh Elkhorn MTB. Sea foam green and hot pink man I loved the paint schemes on bikes back then.
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Old 10-20-14, 06:47 PM
  #3559  
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Originally Posted by eastbay71
Oh the bikes of the late 80's I was graduating from high school in '89. I had very reserved Trek 520 that was charcoal grey and red. Then there was my Raleigh Elkhorn MTB. Sea foam green and hot pink man I loved the paint schemes on bikes back then.
Specialized had some pretty gaudy paint jobs too. I say that in a good way.
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Old 10-20-14, 06:54 PM
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@cs1 I see you are partial to the 80s Specialized bikes!

1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

Lets not forget the Kliens they were always day glo
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Old 10-20-14, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by eastbay71
@cs1 I see you are partial to the 80s Specialized bikes!

1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

Lets not forget the Kliens they were always day glo
Way too partial.
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Old 10-20-14, 09:35 PM
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Ok, now you guys talking GT's got me regretting I sold this bike. I bought it for $45 or $60 (memory fades) from a teenager who had an obvious growth spurt and it was too small for him. I completely overhauled it then sold it to a young lady whose car died. She needed reliable transportation. After her test ride ended with her big smile, she said, "I LOVE it!"
I hoped to make it a drop bar conversion but the top tube was too long. It was "Ghost Pink" or "Pink Smoke" color - pink with that black swirled smoke look. I loved that.
A Tequesta

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Old 10-21-14, 09:57 AM
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You guys are giving me ideas in my head and have me scouring Craigslist for cheap vintage mtb's
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Old 10-21-14, 04:54 PM
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I'm bending the rules a little here since this is a 700C hybrid... I do think it's worthy of a post since it's kind of a rare bird.

Ross Centaur CX 1992

Shimano Exage 500CX

Mostly what I did is "de-Fred" the bike. Someone attached every accessory known to man to this bike.



I don't like the way Shimano bar-end shift levers angle down, so I put some 600 DT levers on the bar pods.

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Old 10-22-14, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Paramount1973
Jan Heine reduced the price of the Compass tires to $57 per tire, Tservs can be had for $38 with free shipping on Amazon, the difference is about $19 per tire without factoring in shipping.
Shipping is free if you order two Compass tires. You can get 3 tservs for the price of 2 compass tires and there's not really a ton of difference between them. The Compass tires are slightly lighter and faster but it's pretty minimal and not really worth the extra expense.
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Old 10-22-14, 08:17 AM
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Ok, not a mtb 'drop bar' conversion, although I have done about 6 of those to this point & shared some of them, but this is a mtb conversion
with Nitto Albatross bars.

It is the 1986 Peugeot Orient Express that had the 'under chainstay' roller cam brakes & I know there are fans of them
but I could not get them to work right, (I think the springs were warped or something)
so I found these Tektro '26" Cruiser' sidepulls for $17 on ebay and gave them a try.

First ride on it yesterday after installing proved them to work very well for me.
They are beefy and swallow those 58 to 60mm fat tires with room to spare.
I will have to deflate the tire to remove wheel but that is not a huge issue for me.

I am enjoying this 'relatively' fat tire bike a lot.
It's rolling at a fraction under 30 lbs. which is quite a bit less than the 34 listed on the online 1986 Peugeot catalog.

Again with all due respect to the under chainstay roller cam fans this looks to be a decent alternative rear brake solution for
certain mtb's.
I guess for folks who wanted to not use any canti's you could use on both front & rear.
















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Old 10-22-14, 08:32 AM
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I forgot to mention, I did install this :

Shimano SM-CB90 In-line Brake Cable Adjuster with in-line barrel adjuster and cable quick-release

since those Tektro's did not have a quick release but it does not open them up enough to to remove those fat tires without deflating.




[h=1][/h]
Shimano SM CB90 in Line Brake Cable Adjuster Each | eBay
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Old 10-23-14, 08:12 AM
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1991 Speicialized with 8 Speed Campagnolo Euclid in progress. 73mm BB threw me off track, nothing like that in the parts bin, off to the bike shop.



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Old 10-23-14, 11:45 AM
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^ check this out: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...id-groupo.html
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Old 10-25-14, 05:50 PM
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I swapped out the 300lx group for suntour XCE and threw together some other parts from the bin. I had to buy a new stem, which was a little tricky since its 1 1/8" threaded. It's a nice ride.
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Old 10-25-14, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by striknein


I swapped out the 300lx group for suntour XCE and threw together some other parts from the bin. I had to buy a new stem, which was a little tricky since its 1 1/8" threaded. It's a nice ride.
Nice looking bike!
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Old 10-26-14, 12:13 AM
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Here is the likely final form of my Tequesta. I found a new stem to put myself in a better position for more relaxed riding and for trails (If I feel like being stretched out, I'll just ride my road or CX bike). I also upgraded the wheels, added a new fork (the original one wouldn't fit tires bigger than 1.9), and added a 48t chainring in front for speed on pavement. These changes shaved a pound off the bike, which I'm happy with. A set of fenders I have laying around will be added when precipitation comes.

I'm a pretty serious Cat 3 road racer with a 15lb Jamis Xenith road bike, 16lb Redline Conquest Team CX bike, and a 23lb Stumpjumper 29er hardtail (all of them are carbon), not the demographic that you'd expect to appreciate the bikes on this thread. Yet I find myself reaching for the Tequesta 80% of the time. The only times when I touch my other bikes are when I'm racing, riding with my fast friends, or when I'm on a trail technical enough to necessitate the Stumpy. Maybe I'm weird and maybe it's the offseason, but there's definitely some magic to vintage drop bar MTBs, they're so fun! They're versatile, go anywhere machines, and you don't feel bad about thrashing them!

It's also spectacularly fun to blow by rich posers and freds on carbon road bikes on this thing. Even better when you hear them panting and desperately trying to keep up behind you, their egos provoked at being passed by a $50 mountain bike of all things, and you just put on some more power and leave them behind. Work on the engine, it's not about the bike! And if I get left behind, I have an excuse: blame it on my heavy ass cheap clunker.

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Old 10-26-14, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Soundtallica
Here is the likely final form of my Tequesta. I found a new stem to put myself in a better position for more relaxed riding and for trails (If I feel like being stretched out, I'll just ride my road or CX bike). I also upgraded the wheels, added a new fork (the original one wouldn't fit tires bigger than 1.9), and added a 48t chainring in front for speed on pavement. These changes shaved a pound off the bike, which I'm happy with. A set of fenders I have laying around will be added when precipitation comes.
so what size chainrings are you running? 48/?/? it looks like a big jump from middle to big. how does it shift?
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Old 10-26-14, 03:39 PM
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Soundtallica, it's good to see someone else using thumbies as bar end shifters. I just set up my Trek 750 the same way. It's not a bad setup, especially since I already had the thumb shifters, but I will probably move to real bar end shifters in the near future. It's just a little more difficult to grip the bar and shift with the thumb shifters hanging down lower.
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Old 10-26-14, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by pcdmiele
so what size chainrings are you running? 48/?/? it looks like a big jump from middle to big. how does it shift?
48/32/22. The larger two rings shift perfectly. But since the big ring is so big, it positions the derailleur cage too high for the ramp that shifts the small ring to contact the chain when shifting to that ring. I countered this by setting the inner limit much further in than usual, so the bottom part of the cage can shift the chain into the little ring. It requires trimming after the shift but it works well, and I barely use the small ring, so it's all good.

Hooray for friction shifting. This setup likely wouldn't work with indexed gears!
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