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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 08-01-16, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
That Pink Panasonic is awesome! What it needs more than anything, is turquoise and pink Harlequin(sp?) cotton bar tape. Turquoise main color, with pink diamonds showing through. I am already loving it, but that's the only wrap option I would use on that bike. Of course that means I'd have to teach myself how to do it.,,,,BD


How in heck do you do that??

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Old 08-01-16, 08:35 PM
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NocoRider, Howdy;

Thanks for the thoughts and experiences. Much appreciated.

When you found the GT suggested height to be to tall for you would you say that
the amount you lowered the bars was equal to or close to that as the distance from
the hoods to the drops for the set of bars you had on the bike at the time?

I'm stuck in Limbo for the time being. Waiting for the new forks to arrive then the fun
begins along with more head scratching and questions ... Absolutely love a good project!

hank
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Old 08-01-16, 09:39 PM
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Maybe I was wrong...

My '94 (so I claimed) Stumpjumper has a serial number of 95*******.

So is my '94 actually a '95?

Also, my feeble brain and my iPhone still can't manage to post pics. I'll keep trying.
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Old 08-01-16, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by hankaye
When you found the GT suggested height to be to tall for you would you say that
the amount you lowered the bars was equal to or close to that as the distance from
the hoods to the drops for the set of bars you had on the bike at the time?

I'm stuck in Limbo for the time being. Waiting for the new forks to arrive then the fun
begins along with more head scratching and questions ... Absolutely love a good project!
hank
I dropped the bars about an inch - or roughly half the stem extension. I'll see how that goes. My other Frankenbikes have about 1.5" of drop from the seat to the bars but I went with a very wide (52cm) Nitto Dirt Drop on this bike - the other Frankenbikes have traditional road bars so the fit and feel are very different. Ahhhh bike projects, gotta love 'em
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Old 08-02-16, 07:45 AM
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35mm, Howdy;

Originally Posted by 35mm
Maybe I was wrong...

My '94 (so I claimed) Stumpjumper has a serial number of 95*******.

So is my '94 actually a '95?

Also, my feeble brain and my iPhone still can't manage to post pics. I'll keep trying.
Intresting ... my '95 Stumpjumper's Ser. # starts with 94M **** .....

hank
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Old 08-02-16, 08:06 AM
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Hybrid Everything

Somewhat inspired by this thread, here's my "new" hybrid for kicking around on. It's a 1993 Trek Multitrack 720 that I got off of Craigslist. I was psyched about the extremely clean frame, and it has the same geometry as the touring 720. However, on closer inspection, even if the bike was clean, most of the components were kind of crappy to start with; and in comparison to the touring 720, the original bike weighed in at 27.2 pounds, so the frame may be made of solid steel.

After stripping off all of the parts, repacking all of the various bearings, and frame-savering it (and finding that it does actually have tubes), I decided to go hybrid in every possible way. I started with the mustache bars, which led to the non-aero levers. It has a perfect road-frame fit for me (58 cm) and 700C diameter wheels, although I then put on the widest and cheapest city tires I could find (700 x 37 Continental City Rides, for now). I haven't decided if I should go with fatter tan sidewalls (Paselas?) or maybe cyclocross tires, but it looks like it will take up to 45mm wide or so. Finally, I decided to try single speed, so it's got a cheap Nashbar SS conversion kit; a beautiful new Sugino crank; and is setup as 38 x 16, which feels a bit too big for the trail but OK on the road.

Finished building it last night, and it was all shiny and clean, and I haven't even wrapped the handlebars yet. With the SS setup it is "down" to 26.2 pounds (still). Then I hopped on it for a "test ride" this morning with a wrench in my pocket, that then led to trails and paths near my house, that then became an hour or so... it was pretty fun.
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Old 08-03-16, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeclub
Somewhat inspired by this thread, here's my "new" hybrid for kicking around on. It's a 1993 Trek Multitrack 720 that I got off of Craigslist. I was psyched about the extremely clean frame, and it has the same geometry as the touring 720. However, on closer inspection, even if the bike was clean, most of the components were kind of crappy to start with; and in comparison to the touring 720, the original bike weighed in at 27.2 pounds, so the frame may be made of solid steel.
......
There is actually no comparison between your Trek hybrid 720 and the original 720 touring bike. The original 720 (introduced in 1983) was a full double-butted Reynolds 531 frame, hand brazed in Wisconsin and is considered one of the very best touring bikes ever built.

Not that your hybrid 720 is any less cool, just that there is no comparison. Trek keeps recycling the 720 model number and I think now it's an aluminum road bike or something.
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Old 08-03-16, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeclub
Somewhat inspired by this thread, here's my "new" hybrid for kicking around on. It's a 1993 Trek Multitrack 720 that I got off of Craigslist. I was psyched about the extremely clean frame, and it has the same geometry as the touring 720. However, on closer inspection, even if the bike was clean, most of the components were kind of crappy to start with; and in comparison to the touring 720, the original bike weighed in at 27.2 pounds, so the frame may be made of solid steel.

After stripping off all of the parts, repacking all of the various bearings, and frame-savering it (and finding that it does actually have tubes), I decided to go hybrid in every possible way. I started with the mustache bars, which led to the non-aero levers. It has a perfect road-frame fit for me (58 cm) and 700C diameter wheels, although I then put on the widest and cheapest city tires I could find (700 x 37 Continental City Rides, for now). I haven't decided if I should go with fatter tan sidewalls (Paselas?) or maybe cyclocross tires, but it looks like it will take up to 45mm wide or so. Finally, I decided to try single speed, so it's got a cheap Nashbar SS conversion kit; a beautiful new Sugino crank; and is setup as 38 x 16, which feels a bit too big for the trail but OK on the road.

Finished building it last night, and it was all shiny and clean, and I haven't even wrapped the handlebars yet. With the SS setup it is "down" to 26.2 pounds (still). Then I hopped on it for a "test ride" this morning with a wrench in my pocket, that then led to trails and paths near my house, that then became an hour or so... it was pretty fun.


I can't see the pictures, I'm not sure if it's just me. At any rate those are fun bikes. I had a 750 multitrack that I had set up as a drop bar for a while, but it was too small for me and I could never get it right. They're basically 29ers before that was a thing. I'd love to get my hands on one in my size, I think they have room for up to 45s, and the early model 750s had mid-fork eyelets. If I could find one I'd set it up with a Jones bar, front and rear racks, fat tires, and make a bikepacking/bombproof commuter out of it.

Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
There is actually no comparison between your Trek hybrid 720 and the original 720 touring bike. The original 720 (introduced in 1983) was a full double-butted Reynolds 531 frame, hand brazed in Wisconsin and is considered one of the very best touring bikes ever built.

Not that your hybrid 720 is any less cool, just that there is no comparison. Trek keeps recycling the 720 model number and I think now it's an aluminum road bike or something.

Didn't the earliest 700-series multitracks have the same geometry as one of the 80s touring rigs? I'm thinking the 92-93 models had the geometry of the 500-series touring bikes or something, but without googling it I can't recall. They quickly changed them to basically a MTB geometry with 700c wheels though.


Yeah the later aluminum multitracks with unnecessary suspension and goofy squishy seats are hideous looking piles of dung.
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Old 08-03-16, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
There is actually no comparison between your Trek hybrid 720 and the original 720 touring bike. The original 720 (introduced in 1983) was a full double-butted Reynolds 531 frame, hand brazed in Wisconsin and is considered one of the very best touring bikes ever built.

Not that your hybrid 720 is any less cool, just that there is no comparison. Trek keeps recycling the 720 model number and I think now it's an aluminum road bike or something.
I'm (sadly) aware that there's no comparison in quality, I was just interested in trying out the geometry, which I think I did compare once and found them to be identical or similar, I can't remember. At least I know what size original 720 I could fit now, I think, if I ever come across one.
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Old 08-03-16, 08:08 AM
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Early 700 Multis had the same geometry as a 520 touring, but with a flat bar. I just turned a 700 Multi into a gravelcross bike, and it's awesome.
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Old 08-03-16, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ksryder
Didn't the earliest 700-series multitracks have the same geometry as one of the 80s touring rigs? I'm thinking the 92-93 models had the geometry of the 500-series touring bikes or something, but without googling it I can't recall. They quickly changed them to basically a MTB geometry with 700c wheels though.
Yeah, from what I understand by comparing geometry charts found on Vintage Trek Bikes- Information on Steel Road Bicycles made by the Trek Bicycle Corporation, bike the early 90s 700 series had the same frame geometry as the very late 80s/early 90s 520, but with a different fork and downtube cable stops instead of shifter brazeons. I have a '90 520, and recently got a '92 750 to make into a similar dropbar adventure touring rig for my partner. I'll post some pics of that conversion as it happens!
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Old 08-03-16, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ksryder
I can't see the pictures, I'm not sure if it's just me. At any rate those are fun bikes. I had a 750 multitrack that I had set up as a drop bar for a while, but it was too small for me and I could never get it right. They're basically 29ers before that was a thing. I'd love to get my hands on one in my size, I think they have room for up to 45s, and the early model 750s had mid-fork eyelets. If I could find one I'd set it up with a Jones bar, front and rear racks, fat tires, and make a bikepacking/bombproof commuter out of it.
Hopefully the pictures are fixed for you and everyone else now. I basically had the same idea once I got it: I decided to live with the heaviness as long as it fit and it was sturdy enough to ride off-road when I felt like it. I think I could fit 40s but haven't decided the right tread that can both off and on-road.

Originally Posted by ksryder
Yeah the later aluminum multitracks with unnecessary suspension and goofy squishy seats are hideous looking piles of dung.
Agreed, they're awful-looking, from the graphics to the tubes. I wish somehow that I had gotten a U.S. built Trek, but I think that would have to be earlier than the 90s, which is usually the oldest I'm willing to go because the parts are still sort of OK, or I can reasonably fit new or replacement parts.
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Old 08-03-16, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeclub
Hopefully the pictures are fixed for you and everyone else now. I basically had the same idea once I got it: I decided to live with the heaviness as long as it fit and it was sturdy enough to ride off-road when I felt like it. I think I could fit 40s but haven't decided the right tread that can both off and on-road.



Agreed, they're awful-looking, from the graphics to the tubes. I wish somehow that I had gotten a U.S. built Trek, but I think that would have to be earlier than the 90s, which is usually the oldest I'm willing to go because the parts are still sort of OK, or I can reasonably fit new or replacement parts.


Looking good! Yeah, I think mine was about 26 pounds or so when it was built up with gears, but a smaller size. Not much different weight than a MTB, really. Super fun bikes and they rarely pop up on my local CL, and if they do they're priced unrealistically.
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Old 08-03-16, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeclub
Somewhat inspired by this thread, here's my "new" hybrid for kicking around on. It's a 1993 Trek Multitrack 720 that I got off of Craigslist.
That's great. I have one in my garage right now that I stripped down and am hoping to do a similar single speed conversion on in the very near future. Glad to hear they are a fun ride!
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Old 08-03-16, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeclub
Finished building it last night, and it was all shiny and clean, and I haven't even wrapped the handlebars yet. With the SS setup it is "down" to 26.2 pounds (still). Then I hopped on it for a "test ride" this morning with a wrench in my pocket, that then led to trails and paths near my house, that then became an hour or so... it was pretty fun.
That looks great. I love the fade paint jobs on those old multitracks.

First impressions on the moustache bars? I did a drop bar conversion on my '93 930 but am finding the extension to be too long for me, so am thinking about upright bars. Deciding between moustache and something with more sweep-back.
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Old 08-03-16, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ksryder
....

Didn't the earliest 700-series multitracks have the same geometry as one of the 80s touring rigs? I'm thinking the 92-93 models had the geometry of the 500-series touring bikes or something, but without googling it I can't recall. They quickly changed them to basically a MTB geometry with 700c wheels though.
...
The Trek 750 has the reputation as being an almost identical frame to the Trek 520, and that's mostly true. The 520 (I believe) used slightly thicker tubing since it was sold as a touring bike, similar to the old 720. The 750 was set up (gearing, flat hybrid-style bars, etc.) as a hybrid. But yeah those frames are essentially the same and they're both great - full DB 4130 chromoly.

Lower in the series, the 720 in some years was straight-gauge chromoly, and the 700 might even have some high-tensile steel.
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Old 08-03-16, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
That looks great. I love the fade paint jobs on those old multitracks.

First impressions on the moustache bars? I did a drop bar conversion on my '93 930 but am finding the extension to be too long for me, so am thinking about upright bars. Deciding between moustache and something with more sweep-back.


I can't speak for bikeclub but I did the moustache bars on my 750 for a while too -- while they helped get an ill-fitting bike to fit better, I found that I didn't have enough hand positions for a ride of any real length. In the future I want to try something like a Jones bar, or a Razor bar from Oddity Cycles.


But some people love moustache bars; ymmv.


Right now the moustache bars are on a cheap fixed gear conversion I made as a beater bike. They're good for short commutes.
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Old 08-03-16, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
That looks great. I love the fade paint jobs on those old multitracks.

First impressions on the moustache bars? I did a drop bar conversion on my '93 930 but am finding the extension to be too long for me, so am thinking about upright bars. Deciding between moustache and something with more sweep-back.
I'm intrigued by the velo orange crazy bar:

(also comes in silver and alloy)
enough to put it on a new bike I'm building for my wife. Don't have the setup complete, but going to use mtb lever/shifter combos on the swept back parts where the diameter is appropriate for them and run the brake line under the tape up to the bull horn like area (road bike diameter) were there will be cross-style interupter brake levers. It seems like it should work, but I'm not sure about the angle for the interupter levers on the horns. Might require big hands. Might work for you too.
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Old 08-03-16, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau
I'm intrigued by the velo orange crazy bar:

(also comes in silver and alloy)
enough to put it on a new bike I'm building for my wife. Don't have the setup complete, but going to use mtb lever/shifter combos on the swept back parts where the diameter is appropriate for them and run the brake line under the tape up to the bull horn like area (road bike diameter) were there will be cross-style interupter brake levers. It seems like it should work, but I'm not sure about the angle for the interupter levers on the horns. Might require big hands. Might work for you too.
I was on the verge of ordering an alloy Casey bar last week for this build. Ultimately I wanted something simpler though so I held off on it.

It is pretty cool that it has a mix of 22.2 and 23.8 diameters so you can run bar ends, thumbies, city brakes, cross levers, or MTB brakes all on the same handlebar.
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Old 08-03-16, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Falcon3
Early 700 Multis had the same geometry as a 520 touring, but with a flat bar. I just turned a 700 Multi into a gravelcross bike, and it's awesome.
Yeah, my brotherinlaw converted a 750 Multitrack into a gravel bike earlier this year- its mostly all original, just friction bar ends, new stem, new bars, new brake levers.
Really capable bike now.
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Old 08-03-16, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
First impressions on the moustache bars? I did a drop bar conversion on my '93 930 but am finding the extension to be too long for me, so am thinking about upright bars. Deciding between moustache and something with more sweep-back.
I just finished a 30-mile ride mostly on pavement and some gravel, in the city and on bike paths, and yesterday I probably did about 10 miles on pavement, gravel and some single track. My feeling based on riding the bike for the last two days only is that the mustache bars are great for the city and singletrack, and I'm not sure about the pavement yet.

In the city and on bike paths, it is easy to sit upright and yet have quick steering at low speeds. Similar in that way to the Albatross, which I have on another bike, but narrower and encouraging more tuck.

On single track, I was surprised how much I liked the bars, since leaning forward actually makes it easier to steer aggressively around things. I thought it would be the other way around, since when I often brake I start to lean back and engage the brakes, but maybe this is because I haven't mountain biked for a lot of years (and wasn't that good to start with).

The one area I'm not sure about yet is on pavement for long stretches. There are lots of hand positions, but I found myself learning quite heavily on my hands. Maybe as I get more used to them I will learn to relax my arms a bit more and not put so much weight on my hands.

When I was thinking about the mustache bars, I really liked this forum corrspondence. This description made clear where bars fit relative to one another, so I could figure out where the mustache bars fit in compared to others (and the other ones that I've tried). In the second or third message down:

Looks like the morphing progression of drops to upright bars could go:

Drops
Midges
Moustaches
Albastaches
Albatross
Boscos

Last edited by bikeclub; 08-03-16 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Added bar taxonomy article and URL.
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Old 08-03-16, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
The Trek 750 has the reputation as being an almost identical frame to the Trek 520, and that's mostly true. The 520 (I believe) used slightly thicker tubing since it was sold as a touring bike, similar to the old 720. The 750 was set up (gearing, flat hybrid-style bars, etc.) as a hybrid. But yeah those frames are essentially the same and they're both great - full DB 4130 chromoly.

Lower in the series, the 720 in some years was straight-gauge chromoly, and the 700 might even have some high-tensile steel.
My year 720 has straight-gauge chromoly throughout, hence my joking about solid tubes, and the 700 has high-tensile steel stays and fork.
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Old 08-03-16, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
I was on the verge of ordering an alloy Casey bar last week for this build. Ultimately I wanted something simpler though so I held off on it.

It is pretty cool that it has a mix of 22.2 and 23.8 diameters so you can run bar ends, thumbies, city brakes, cross levers, or MTB brakes all on the same handlebar.
The MTB version of the Casey's Crazy Bar is on special right now at Velo-Orange.
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Old 08-03-16, 01:15 PM
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replaced the tyres on my Bridgestone today with 2" Schwalbe Marathon Supreme .... I'm approx 5km/hr faster now than when I used the 2 inch knoblies .... I still need to play around with the pressures though. I have the back pumped to 70 psi, and the front is at 65

the tyres are wide .... they look like motorbike tyres

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Old 08-03-16, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dim
replaced the tyres on my Bridgestone today with 2" Schwalbe Marathon Supreme .... I'm approx 5km/hr faster now than when I used the 2 inch knoblies .... I still need to play around with the pressures though. I have the back pumped to 70 psi, and the front is at 65

the tyres are wide .... they look like motorbike tyres
Those are great tires. I have the 700x32 version on my commuter. I just sold my LHT with 26x1.6's, and I used to have the 29x2.0 version on my winter commuter.

My experience is that they don't really respond to low pressure the way something like a Schwalbe Big Apple does, but there is a sweet spot where you get nice comfort without sacrificing too much in the way of rolling resistance. I use something like 70/75 on my 700x32's. On the fatties you're rolling I would guess something more in the 40-50 range would be great.
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