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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 12-07-15, 09:02 AM
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@WalksOn2Wheels, of course it's your bike and you can do whatever you want. It just makes some who lived our formative years in the 80's & 90's a little sad to see that pink-to-purple fade lost forever. I still get a little choked up when I think about @Tim_Iowa 's red, white and blue '88 KOM.
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Old 12-07-15, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston
@WalksOn2Wheels, of course it's your bike and you can do whatever you want. It just makes some who lived our formative years in the 80's & 90's a little sad to see that pink-to-purple fade lost forever. I still get a little choked up when I think about @Tim_Iowa 's red, white and blue '88 KOM.
I understand. I think if you could see it in person, you would see it's much more mangled than it looks in hastily taken cell phone pics. I'll probably give it a good polish and run it as is for the near future. The parts currently set aside for the project look much worse than the paint.
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Old 12-07-15, 09:11 AM
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The irony here is that the pink/purple IS the TRUE vintage style.

Clearcoat alone will not protect the bare steel, unless it's a professionally applied product, and even then it's no guarantee. I once had a Mooneyes sprocket on one project, and the idiots at the hotel forced me to lock it outside. Well, the second day I was there they fertilized all the plants with liquid fertilizer, and included my bike in the process. Little did I know that the mooneyes sprocket was machined steel witha clearcoat. In a matter of hours it had rust under the clear. The hotel just laughed and refused to replace the damaged parts.,,,,BD
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Old 12-07-15, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
The irony here is that the pink/purple IS the TRUE vintage style.

Clearcoat alone will not protect the bare steel, unless it's a professionally applied product, and even then it's no guarantee. I once had a Mooneyes sprocket on one project, and the idiots at the hotel forced me to lock it outside. Well, the second day I was there they fertilized all the plants with liquid fertilizer, and included my bike in the process. Little did I know that the mooneyes sprocket was machined steel witha clearcoat. In a matter of hours it had rust under the clear. The hotel just laughed and refused to replace the damaged parts.,,,,BD
I'm not sure how any sort of clear on a sprocket would hold up at all. As soon as the chain hits it, it's going to take some of it off, leaving an in for the rust.

I might feel less inclined to strip the paint if it were 1) in better condition and 2) a really nice frame with some history. This one is second from BOTL as far as I can tell, and there are quite a few of them around, so I don't feel that it's particularly rare.

EDIT: Should I decide to go with another frame, I'll give you guys first dibs on it since you all seem to love the paint so much. It is cool and if it were in good shape, I wouldn't even think about stripping it, but every major tube has some pretty big scuffs.
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Old 12-07-15, 10:36 AM
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Rarity really had nothing to do with it. It's the "younger persons" outlook of "It's an old pos bike so it means nothing to me or anyone else", attitude. Akin to the fixie craze of hacking off the hanger and cable guides for the sake of a smoother look. Leave it alone unless it's really trashed has become my motto for older bikes.,,,,BD

I realize we're not going to see eye to eye on this, and that's fine.
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Old 12-07-15, 10:48 AM
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I'm not that old, but I'm not that young. I understand the appeal of the paint job and if it were in really good shape, I would absolutely not let myself strip it. I had a 1990 Bianchi with imperfect paint and heavy chipping behind the chainring, but it was good enough and it was friggin' Celeste, so there was no way I was going to touch it. It's fine if we don't see eye to eye on it, but I would appreciate not being compared to mid-2000's era hipsters drewing frames.
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Old 12-07-15, 11:12 AM
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So stripping it to bare metal and having to do constant sanding and oil rubdowns will be better than a few scuffs? Have you even tried polishing it out? Sounds kinda Drew to me, but what do I know. Knock yourself out, hehe.,,,, BD
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Old 12-07-15, 11:22 AM
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No, I have not tried polishing it out because if you actually saw the frame first hand, you would see that the scuffs are already down to the primer or down to the frame. After posting in here when I owned my other steel frame bikes, I'm starting to remember why I got tired of the C&V forum after a while.
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Old 12-07-15, 11:27 AM
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Some of us feel they are worthy of being saved, even the imperfect ones. I realize that pisses some people off..,,,,BD

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Old 12-07-15, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels
And probably the nicest thing will be the nearly new Tektro canti's I pulled from another bike after only a few months of use. I'll also try to reuse some metal "hammered" fenders I have from a 700c build that I have seen people reshape for 26" use.
Please report back on how the Tektro cantis install...the 720's were a no-go on an '88 MB2 I tried. Post spacing was too close as I recall. Also, I'd love to see how the 700c fenders go on when you spread 'em to decrease the radius. Looking forward to seeing it go together.

EDIT: See this post and forward...where we were discussing post spacing and the Tektro 720's (if that's the brake you're considering). Also, may vary a bit with rim width: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...l#post17815587

About the paint, you have to do what makes you happy. I have an MB2 at the powdercoaters right now, because 1) I wanted to save the frame, and 2) its gonna be a daily commuter and take a lot of abuse, and 3) orig paint was trashed, and someone had gone over it with blue housepaint with a brush. I will say, though, that that purple pink Specialized paint from that era is one of the few 'fade' jobs I ever liked. Keep us posted!

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Old 12-07-15, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by simmonsgc
Please report back on how the Tektro cantis install...they were a no-go on an '88 MB2 I tried. Post spacing was too close as I recall. Also, I'd love to see how the 700c fenders go on when you spread 'em to decrease the radius. Looking forward to seeing it go together.

About the paint, you have to do what makes you happy. I have an MB2 at the powdercoaters right now, because 1) I wanted to save the frame, and 2) its gonna be a daily commuter and take a lot of abuse, and 3) orig paint was trashed, and someone had gone over it with blue housepaint with a brush. I will say, though, that that purple pink Specialized paint from that era is one of the few 'fade' jobs I ever liked. Keep us posted!
Good points on the canti's. They are specifically for CX applications, so the spacing may not work. I'll have to try and throw them on tonight and see how they fit. The ones that came on the bike were really cheap no-name v-brakes with matching no-name levers. I like my v-brakes on the CX bike, but want to stick with canti's here.
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Old 12-07-15, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels
Good points on the canti's. They are specifically for CX applications, so the spacing may not work. I'll have to try and throw them on tonight and see how they fit. The ones that came on the bike were really cheap no-name v-brakes with matching no-name levers. I like my v-brakes on the CX bike, but want to stick with canti's here.
Yeah, I wound up going with vintage diacompe 986's, fwiw. I had a silver pair and scored a black pair on eBay. While I'm here, I know folks have stripped these. If I want to strip and polish the black to match the silver, just use paint stripper and then buffing wheel? Looks like they are just painted as opposed to anodized. Figured that's an appropriate question for this thread, since so many of us grab/adapt parts out of the bin for these builds...
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Old 12-07-15, 01:46 PM
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I did a quick measurement on my bike while I was at home for lunch. The spacing on the Rockhopper was the same as the modern CX frame on the mantel, however rim width could make it complicated. I think the other thread linked was referring to touring specific bikes with narrow spacing.
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Old 12-07-15, 02:29 PM
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Go for the bare metal, you can always paint it later. The bare metal thing has it virtues, on a '50's Ford...eh? But on some of the ratrods, it's kind cool, I've got a an old fame that I was preparing to paint and decided to leave it bare for now. So I say go for it....it's cheaper than paint anyway.


I left this frame oiled and it's held it's state of oxidation for the last few years in an unheated building.
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Old 12-07-15, 02:31 PM
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A quick mockup during my lunch break and yeah, everyone is going to say it's too small.



But as expected, it's really close to my other bikes. It's at 3 inches of saddle to bar drop, which is 2 less than my current rides and about an inch less of reach, which would make sense for an upright position. I'll see how it feels once I get bars on it, but so far it's about as I expected fit-wise. Could I use a 22" instead of the 20" frame? Well, yeah, but here we are.

The more I think about what I want out of this project, the more it makes sense to actually build an entirely separate bike. So this might end up being the "budget" build to get my feet wet and see how I like it. Then I can slowly collect bits for the next one and eventually sell this one.
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Old 12-08-15, 12:24 AM
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Quick update as I was able to hang some parts on the bike tonight: The Tektro 710 canti's fit just fine and align nicely with the rim.

I was going to use an old 105 road crank I had, but the darn thing was too low profile and the small ring was hitting the chain stay. Then I suddenly remembered my wife's bike we got years ago that she doesn't ride. It had a square taper triple on it. I test fit it and it was perfect! The FD I'm using is road, so I can only drop down 10 teeth so I just took the granny gear off. I was thinking a triple might net me a 48/38 setup, but I checked the rings and they are 52/42 which is what I was going to use anyway. Oh well. but on the plus side, it was a specialized branded crank. Perfect.
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Old 12-08-15, 05:38 AM
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Old 12-08-15, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
Can we help you with something?
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Old 12-08-15, 08:55 AM
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Nope. Just watching the build unfold. That and I was actually eating popcorn at the time.,,,,BD

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Old 12-08-15, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels
A quick mockup during my lunch break and yeah, everyone is going to say it's too small.



But as expected, it's really close to my other bikes. It's at 3 inches of saddle to bar drop, which is 2 less than my current rides and about an inch less of reach, which would make sense for an upright position. I'll see how it feels once I get bars on it, but so far it's about as I expected fit-wise. Could I use a 22" instead of the 20" frame? Well, yeah, but here we are.

The more I think about what I want out of this project, the more it makes sense to actually build an entirely separate bike. So this might end up being the "budget" build to get my feet wet and see how I like it. Then I can slowly collect bits for the next one and eventually sell this one.
Looks like it would fit me. Are you another cyclist who has magnificently enhanced legs?
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Old 12-08-15, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by WalksOn2Wheels
Quick update as I was able to hang some parts on the bike tonight: The Tektro 710 canti's fit just fine and align nicely with the rim.

Then I suddenly remembered my wife's bike we got years ago that she doesn't ride. It had a square taper triple on it...
Hey, that's good news the Tektro's worked for you. One less thing! I guess the post spacing is a little wider on your frame. I also see you decided to embark down the dark path of pilfering components from your wife's bike. I did that once, and it didn't work out so well, but that's a story for another day. I, too, am looking forward to seeing it come together!

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Old 12-08-15, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by RFC
Looks like it would fit me. Are you another cyclist who has magnificently enhanced legs?
6'2" with an 80cm seat height. I actually sat on the bike briefly after getting the crankset and bars in the stem and it actually felt pretty good. Like I said, it's actually a more relaxed position compared to my other two bikes and those don't even feel "extreme" to me.
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Old 12-08-15, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Yes, that frame looks too small. But the good news with such a build, almost all, if not all, of the parts will be transferrable. So I say, go with it. And keep an eye out for a good deal on a 22 inch frameset. Realize there is a lot of variation in top tube length on vintage MTBs. And if you decide you like the 20 inch fit, stick with it and ignore internet advice such as mine.

In the world of N+1, I have no problem with bare metal steel frame. Its not like its some super rare frame.
Yeah, I can't remember if I said it in another thread or not, but with the long term plans I have, this is probably better as a budget bike and I can collect parts and a frame for a whole new build.
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Old 12-08-15, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by simmonsgc
Hey, that's good news the Tektro's worked for you. One less thing! I guess the post spacing is a little wider on your frame. I also see you decided to embark down the dark path of pilfering components from your wife's bike. I did that once, and it didn't work out so well, but that's a story for another day. I, too, and looking forward to seeing it come together!
In my case, we bought this bike, a road bike converted to flatbar (how appropriate for this thread ), years ago and she's ridden it like 3 times, so parts are occasionally borrowed. She's fine with it. It would be good to get it back together 100% for next summer, though...
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Old 12-08-15, 05:17 PM
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So you do know that a longer spindle might let you use the 105 crank? Spindle length is usually dependent on the cranks, and not the frame. Unless you were trying to get away with using what was already on the bike. Done that before myself.,,,,BD

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