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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 02-16-16, 07:09 PM
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I think I have the skipping issue sorted. It's going to take some more riding, but I'm pretty sure right now that the issue was with the front derailleur wasn't in quite the right position. I fiddled with it a bit this morning on my way in to work, and the trip there was skipless, as was my trip home tonight.

I'm not 100% sure, though, because when it was skipping it was on the middle chainring (new), and today I had it on the largest chainring. It's barely conceivable there's something wrong with the middle chainring, but I'm pretty sure I just need to get used to friction shifting again.
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Old 02-17-16, 10:21 AM
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Lots of good stuff in here lately, as always! Here's a recent shot of mine. I've posted this bike before, but not this picture.



Originally Posted by arex
Still need to replace the front brake housing and tape the left bar. There's an elbow adapter at the cable hanger that just isn't working out, and the housing isn't long enough to reach the hanger by itself.

This won't fix your housing shortage problem, but have you tried a fork-mounted cable hanger? Performance Bike stores have them in stock, or at least the one near me does. I bought one on a whim after happening upon it in the store just before I did my drop bar conversion. The neat thing about it is it has a cable adjuster with a lot of travel built in, so as my new cable stretched, I could easily tighten it up again.

Forté Fork Mount Cable Hanger
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Old 02-17-16, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by arex
I think I have the skipping issue sorted. It's going to take some more riding, but I'm pretty sure right now that the issue was with the front derailleur wasn't in quite the right position. I fiddled with it a bit this morning on my way in to work, and the trip there was skipless, as was my trip home tonight.

I'm not 100% sure, though, because when it was skipping it was on the middle chainring (new), and today I had it on the largest chainring. It's barely conceivable there's something wrong with the middle chainring, but I'm pretty sure I just need to get used to friction shifting again.
Sometimes a new chain on a used cassette will skip a bit at first and then settle down. It's unlikely that the front derailleur could cause skipping. If you are using friction shifting it is possible that the rear derailleur wasn't quite trimmed correctly but it sounds like you have matching 7 speed indexed shifters to a 7 speed cassette? Or am I wrong. Where did you find the 7 speed bar-ends BTW? Another possibility is a worn out rear derailleur. if the pivots and bushing have become sloppy you can get a derailleur the sits on an angle and twists so that when you apply force the chain moves out of alignment with the cogs and causes it to skip. Pedaling lightly usually keeps it at bay.
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Old 02-17-16, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine
Sometimes a new chain on a used cassette will skip a bit at first and then settle down. It's unlikely that the front derailleur could cause skipping. If you are using friction shifting it is possible that the rear derailleur wasn't quite trimmed correctly but it sounds like you have matching 7 speed indexed shifters to a 7 speed cassette? Or am I wrong. Where did you find the 7 speed bar-ends BTW? Another possibility is a worn out rear derailleur. if the pivots and bushing have become sloppy you can get a derailleur the sits on an angle and twists so that when you apply force the chain moves out of alignment with the cogs and causes it to skip. Pedaling lightly usually keeps it at bay.
I think what was happening was that the front derailleur was pushing lightly on the chain, causing it to skip at the chainring, rather than at the cassette. Like I said, it seems to have settled down since fiddling with the friction shifter...yesterday it wasn't skipping at all.

Come to think of it, the barends weren't Ultegra 3x7's, they were 3x8's, new. I also have a pair of used Suntour 3x7 barcons that I almost used, except they're kind of chewed up and ugly. I might use those on another bike.
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Old 02-17-16, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeeze
This won't fix your housing shortage problem, but have you tried a fork-mounted cable hanger? Performance Bike stores have them in stock, or at least the one near me does. I bought one on a whim after happening upon it in the store just before I did my drop bar conversion. The neat thing about it is it has a cable adjuster with a lot of travel built in, so as my new cable stretched, I could easily tighten it up again.

Forté Fork Mount Cable Hanger
I considered using one of these, but I wasn't sure if it was long (tall) enough to give me sufficient clearance for the correct length of straddle cable. I might pick one up tonight to play with and see if it'll work.
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Old 02-17-16, 02:29 PM
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I'm sure you'll do your own research, @arex, but if it helps any, here's a zoomed-in picture of mine that I took on a test ride right after doing my conversion. That cable is so new that you can see the brake cable coming down from the handlebar is still curved, but perhaps it will be of some help. I added a red line to show the lowest point of exposed cable.

Mine:



Yours:



I'm not trying to get you to change your setup, believe me, but talking about bikes is way more fun than working.
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Old 02-17-16, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by arex
I considered using one of these, but I wasn't sure if it was long (tall) enough to give me sufficient clearance for the correct length of straddle cable. I might pick one up tonight to play with and see if it'll work.
Alas, I have no pic, but I can tell you I used one with no problems on my Univega conversion with those sweet red anodized low-profile DiaCompe cantis. I later migrated the full parts group to a smaller DB Apex, and rebuilt the Univega as a mountainbike again. On the second build I used Alivio cantis that stuck way out in the typical manner. So I can tell you that they work with both styles of cantis, and no complaints from the new owners, either. Why can't we just keep everything we build? Life ain't fair, I tell ya!

P.S. You should really consider a Shimano link wire if you're not running fenders or a reflector bracket. My next build is gonna be a v-brake setup which eliminates the straddle wire/cable hanger issues, if anybody has any MTB conversions with drop-v levers I'd love to see some pics of those.

Last edited by Taxi Rob; 02-17-16 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 02-17-16, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BigSung
Quick question on bar end shifters. How would Shimano Ultegra BS64 work as bar end shifters for 3x7 drivetrain? Ultegra BS64 is a 3x8 shifter, but I believe it should work on 7 spd. Any pros and cons on Ultegra BS64?

I have been monitoring Suntour barcons, but it's a little more pricier than I want to spend. Ideally I might go the route of replicating the current setup on my Salsa Vaya by using barcon for FD, and brifter for Rear.
NO. Find a set of BS50's. If you run the BS64 or the SunTours, you won't have reliable indexing. Either would be fine for a friction-only setup. And the front won't be an issue since none of the above have front indexing.
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Old 02-17-16, 07:31 PM
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[QUOTE=Squeeze;18544318]I'm sure you'll do your own research, @arex, but if it helps any, here's a zoomed-in picture of mine that I took on a test ride right after doing my conversion. That cable is so new that you can see the brake cable coming down from the handlebar is still curved, but perhaps it will be of some help. I added a red line to show the lowest point of exposed cable.

Mine:



The cable looks weird because it hasn't been pushed over into the little notch yet. Look closely and you will see a little tooth and a second place for it to sit.
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Old 02-17-16, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Taxi Rob
NO. Find a set of BS50's. If you run the BS64 or the SunTours, you won't have reliable indexing. Either would be fine for a friction-only setup. And the front won't be an issue since none of the above have front indexing.
Another option is to obtain shifter pods from Rivendell along with a set of spacers/washers. Then you can adapt Shimano 7-speed downtube shifters to bar end use. I did this on my Trek 660.
Silver Bar End Shifter Pods Mounts (Pair) - 17068
Shimano Bar end Shifter Spacer/washer (Pair) - 17135
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Old 02-17-16, 08:47 PM
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Just saw this in a bike mag. Interesting new interpretation on the drop bar conversion.

$2000 MSRP, so I think I will just stick with my drop bar conversion.


Trek 920:

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File Type: jpg
trek 920.jpg (66.1 KB, 798 views)

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Old 02-18-16, 12:50 AM
  #4737  
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Look at those chainstays... I wonder how it handles loaded at the rear only
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Old 02-18-16, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Taxi Rob
P.S. You should really consider a Shimano link wire if you're not running fenders or a reflector bracket. My next build is gonna be a v-brake setup which eliminates the straddle wire/cable hanger issues, if anybody has any MTB conversions with drop-v levers I'd love to see some pics of those.
I don't have fenders now, but I'm trying to make allowances for them in the future. I'm mostly just using what came in the Tektro kit.

I considered V-brakes at one point, but decided to just try and keep it simple with what I knew how to work with.
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Old 02-18-16, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by wesmamyke
The cable looks weird because it hasn't been pushed over into the little notch yet. Look closely and you will see a little tooth and a second place for it to sit.
Much appreciated! I'm a n00b when it comes to wrenching on bikes, and my drop-bar conversion was the first time I had changed cables on a bicycle. I assume by now that cable is where it needs to be, as that bike was my almost daily commuter from the conversion in July through mid-December when I switched back to driving every day, due to Colorado winter temperatures. I didn't notice any problems, but I'll have to pull the bike down from the ceiling hooks in the garage this weekend and see if the cable is where it ought to be.

Just about everything I know about working on bikes has come from this forum, and the majority of it from this thread, specifically.
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Old 02-24-16, 01:35 PM
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did 160 miles on this sunday and it officially rocks. i kinda feel bad making this as my "beater" now
new bars, new old 3x9 XTR/XT Deore combo, new old cambium saddle

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Old 02-24-16, 02:00 PM
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What kind of hub is that on the front?

Originally Posted by Mumonkan
did 160 miles on this sunday and it officially rocks. i kinda feel bad making this as my "beater" now
new bars, new old 3x9 XTR/XT Deore combo, new old cambium saddle

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Old 02-24-16, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by arex
What kind of hub is that on the front?
sturmey archer xl-fdd, big ass drum brake with generator
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Old 02-24-16, 03:03 PM
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Here's an old nishiki that I converted into a gravel/cross bike. Eight speed with a compact double front. I put a fork from ebay on it I got cheap so I could run 700C wheels and I relocated the rear brake bosses so I could use a 700C wheel in back. I welded the brake parts as well as new cable guides on with a little 110V stick welder, worked great. I've done a lot of single track as well as cross racing with the bike. Love the thing, I'll have to add up the total cost, but it's been awhile. Got the bike initially for $20 off craigslist. Built it pretty much from stuff laying around the basement, other than the BB, and the brakes parts.

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Old 02-24-16, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Taxi Rob
My next build is gonna be a v-brake setup which eliminates the straddle wire/cable hanger issues, if anybody has any MTB conversions with drop-v levers I'd love to see some pics of those.
Here's a couple of pics. Do you need a close up? I swapped from cantis to linear pull last fall. Didn't get a close up yet. I switched over the brake levers also.
The brakes are ORIGIN8 and the levers TEKTRO for linear pull. The tech at O8 said that's what they use, since they don't brand a linear pull lever. My LBS had both, so got them there.

bike photo

another bike photo

one more photo

last photo

PS - I haven't installed it yet, but I got a clamp on cable stop. Right now the housing is taped and zip tied to the top tube. Don't know if you can see that in the pics.

Last edited by mrv; 02-25-16 at 08:01 PM. Reason: fixed links. i think.
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Old 02-25-16, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Mumonkan
sturmey archer xl-fdd, big ass drum brake with generator
Interesting choice - I was thinking of using that when I built up my commuter, but ended up going with the Shimano DH-3N80 and existing v-brakes. How do you like it? How's stopping power?
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Old 02-25-16, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by yangmusa
Interesting choice - I was thinking of using that when I built up my commuter, but ended up going with the Shimano DH-3N80 and existing v-brakes. How do you like it? How's stopping power?
its certainly not a 2 piston disc with 203mm rotor, but it performs excellently. ive used the smaller version previously and i was happy with it, the rear is an x-rdc which is also a drum brake. with compressionless housing and a good set of levers, theyre actually quite good. i can skid out the rear but i havent played around with endo wheelies yet

i like drums for townies, commuters and rain bikes because they always perform on the same level, and ask essentially nothing from you maintenance wise
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Old 02-25-16, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mumonkan
the rear is an x-rdc which is also a drum brake. with compressionless housing and a good set of levers, theyre actually quite good. i can skid out the rear but i havent played around with endo wheelies yet

i like drums for townies, commuters and rain bikes because they always perform on the same level, and ask essentially nothing from you maintenance wise
I just sold off my townie with that setup, I found the smaller 70mm drum brake to be fully inadequate on my first attempt, I rebuilt the front wheel with the larger 90mm brake+dyno hub and it was okay. I was hoping to try it out on a MTB build but I already had too much in the wheels (650b Weinmanns.) To anyone who is thinking of doing this, don't bother with the 70mm front hub unless you're building a bike for your sub-100lb kids to ride exclusively.
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Old 02-25-16, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mrv
Here's a couple of pics. Do you need a close up? I swapped from cantis to linear pull last fall. Didn't get a close up yet. I switched over the brake levers also.
The brakes are ORIGIN8 and the levers TEKTRO for linear pull. The tech at O8 said that's what they use, since they don't brand a linear pull lever. My LBS had both, so got them there.
bike photo1
another bike photo
one more photo
last photo in this post

PS - I haven't installed it yet, but I got a clamp on cable stop. Right now the housing is taped and zip tied to the top tube. Don't know if you can see that in the pics.
Pics aren't visible from either of my browsers. Privacy settings?
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Old 02-25-16, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Taxi Rob
I just sold off my townie with that setup, I found the smaller 70mm drum brake to be fully inadequate on my first attempt, I rebuilt the front wheel with the larger 90mm brake+dyno hub and it was okay. I was hoping to try it out on a MTB build but I already had too much in the wheels (650b Weinmanns.) To anyone who is thinking of doing this, don't bother with the 70mm front hub unless you're building a bike for your sub-100lb kids to ride exclusively.
I never noticed a lack of performance of the SA drum brakes on my drop bar conversion.
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Old 02-25-16, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by debit
I never noticed a lack of performance of the SA drum brakes on my drop bar conversion.
I think youu misunderstood, the 90mm is fine, the 70mm version is underwhelming
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