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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 01-14-17, 01:04 PM
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And it starts
Research Dynamics Coyote three frame, with a Spinner fork. I have had a hard time finding any information on this frame. It has internal cable routing for the rear brake. The part that I found intriguing is the top tube is fairly short (55cm). My thought was it would make a good candidate for a drop bar conversion. I was given the Nitto stem, and scored the Specialized BB-1 handlebars from a Forum member (via Facebook ). I have a full Mountain LX kit, that I'll probably end up using to finish it up.

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[IMG]IMG_20170113_164716760 by Chris Wilson, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 01-16-17, 05:13 PM
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Q: What's psychedelic, reptilian and has 20 speeds?

A: A Giant Iguana

Before:



After:



Here's the thread.
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Old 01-16-17, 05:21 PM
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That's an amazing transformation.
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Old 01-16-17, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
My understanding is that those clamp-on shifter bosses almost always slide down the tube without some sort of braze-on or "nub" (like the one that holds cable stops in the same position). I was going to do something like that on one of my bikes, but my research at the time showed that a lot of people seem to have problems with them. I went with bar-ends instead.
I don't know if you're referring specifically to the Origin8 or clamp on shifters in general, but I put regular old clamp on Suntour DT shifters on my commuter without any kind of stop or nub, with a little scrap of inner tube and they haven't slipped in the 4 years I've had it.
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Old 01-16-17, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris W.
And it starts
Research Dynamics Coyote three frame, with a Spinner fork. I have had a hard time finding any information on this frame. It has internal cable routing for the rear brake. The part that I found intriguing is the top tube is fairly short (55cm). My thought was it would make a good candidate for a drop bar conversion. I was given the Nitto stem, and scored the Specialized BB-1 handlebars from a Forum member (via Facebook ). I have a full Mountain LX kit, that I'll probably end up using to finish it up.

Cheers,
Chris

[IMG]IMG_20170113_164716760 by Chris Wilson, on Flickr[/IMG]
Interesting project. LX is a great mtn group.

Also interesting you mentioned a spinner fork. I have one on my newly acquired GT Karakoram elite MTB. Never heard of this maker. Would like to know more if anybody has to share ?

Last edited by 3speedslow; 01-16-17 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Spell chk
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Old 01-16-17, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Interesting project. LX is a great mtn group.

Also interesting you mentioned a spinner fork. I have one on my newly acquired GT Karakoram elite MTB. Never heard of this maker. Would like to know more if anybody has to share ?
Spinner is a taiwan company. They are now owned by another company, but still make forks.
I have seen them on bikes made between '85 and '92, both road and ATB/MTB frames.
I think Fuji had a good number of bikes with spinner forks from 89 thru 91 or so. My '90 fuji has one.

Ive seen them on GT and diamondback bikes too.
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Old 01-16-17, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeeze
I happened to see this on craigslist today. I do not know the seller and am certainly not shilling for him by posting this here.

What caught my eye, other than seeing a drop bar MTB conversion on craigslist in the first place, and beyond the delightfully mis-matched handlebar tape, are downtube shifters. I've seen someone's orange Stumpjumper posted here with DT shifters, but this is the only other MTB I remember seeing with them.

Is this some kind of aftermarket clamp-on DT shifter mount that I've never heard of or seen before? I'm not looking to buy them, but just thought it might make for good discussion.

Or were those original equipment from the manufacturer? I'm guessing not.

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Old 01-17-17, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Interesting project. LX is a great mtn group.

Also interesting you mentioned a spinner fork. I have one on my newly acquired GT Karakoram elite MTB. Never heard of this maker. Would like to know more if anybody has to share ?
Spinner is a very well established and very fine maker of bicycle forks. If I'm not mistaken that's all they make. A lot of mountain bikes from the 90s (seems like MOST, actually) had spinner forks. I had to replace the fork on my precious '89 Trek 970 and was very happy to find a Spinner fork.

Just because it's a Spinner doesn't mean it's 100% chromoly like mine. They OEMed for everything from Trek's early Singletrack series, to lower end "value" bikes and everything in between, so they made a lot of hi-ten forks too. But they are all good quality and I would trust a Spinner fork any day.
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Old 01-17-17, 04:54 PM
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Shimergo enthusiasts! I just found this while looking around for something else. FD-R773 is a DA 7700 10-speed triple FD that is sized for road rings, but takes Shimano MTB (or Campy Powershift) cable pull. It would also go great with barcons or the higher level friction-like Ergos. Nine bucks!

Shimano FD-R773 10-speed Road Front Derailleur Braze-On | 50% - 70% Off | Top Deals | Bikewagon.com
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Old 01-17-17, 05:33 PM
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@mstateglfr and @Jeff Neese Thanks all for the great info about the Spinner forks.
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Old 01-18-17, 07:59 AM
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Should I follow my head or my heart?

I have decided that I want to convert one of my old mountain bikes to a drop bar adventure bike that can be ridden on multi-surface rides. The other one will be fitted with an xtracycle rig and turned into an errand bike. The two bikes are a 1993 Paramount Series 50 I have owned since new that still has the original paint (beautiful Candy Red) and a 1994 Diamond Back Apex I bought off ebay several years back with a home paint job. I really like both bikes but I am struggling with the choice.

Paramount-This is my heart choice. I bought this new in 93 as a 24 year old with a more flexible back. I had previously had a Giant ATX 760 and a Fisher Montare. The Paramount was by far the best bike I had bought and I was very proud of it. I rode it on my one and only trip to Moab in 93. It was built with Tange Prestige and is lugged (love the lugs). My stepson bolted up the xtracycle to it and toured the country on it many years ago and I still have the woven friendship bracelet that became his tour mojo on it. I turned it into a get-around-town-bike for my daughter more recently. It has been well loved by several of us over the years. This seems an obvious choice but it is smaller than the Diamond Back and requires a longer stem and seatpost. Since it is a 1 1/8" threaded headset, it is hard to find dirt drop type stems for it and my back ain't what it used to be.

Diamond Back-This bike is bigger and more easily fitted. It is a fine bike and the tig welded tubing is not junk (True Temper TT Lite). I have used it as a commuter and as a mountain bike. I have had a lot of fun on it. It fits better without extreme measures. Definitely a more rational choice. But, I don't have the same deep love for it. I am sure it would be a fine choice.

I am leaning toward going with my heart. What say all of you? Have you had to make a similar choice? What did you choose?

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Old 01-18-17, 08:46 AM
  #5512  
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Originally Posted by beicster

Paramount-
This seems an obvious choice but it is smaller than the Diamond Back and requires a longer stem and seatpost. Since it is a 1 1/8" threaded headset, it is hard to find dirt drop type stems for it and my back ain't what it used to be.

Diamond Back- It is a fine bike and the tig welded tubing is not junk (True Temper TT Lite). I have used it as a commuter and as a mountain bike. I have had a lot of fun on it. It fits better without extreme measures.
For your Paramount- Origin8 1-1/8" Threaded to 1-1/8" Threadless Quill Stem Adapter
There are others like the Origin8 branded as Profile Design and Dimension too, if you want a slightly different look or black instead of silver.

This will resolve your problem of getting the stem into a comfortable position since flatbar to drop conversions often need a higher stem setup to get the hands to the original bar height.
Slap on a threadless stem with a 35degree angle or whatever you need in the length you want, and you are good to go.


Of course, A True Temper Dback Apex is nothing to sneeze at.
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Old 01-18-17, 10:26 AM
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If I go with the Paramount (and just typing the post made me lean harder in that direction) the adapter you linked to is my fallback option. I would love to find a dirt drop type stem in 1 1/8" as the first option because I like the way they look better.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 01-18-17, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by beicster
Should I follow my head or my heart?

I have decided that I want to convert one of my old mountain bikes to a drop bar adventure bike that can be ridden on multi-surface rides. The other one will be fitted with an xtracycle rig and turned into an errand bike. The two bikes are a 1993 Paramount Series 50 I have owned since new that still has the original paint (beautiful Candy Red) and a 1994 Diamond Back Apex I bought off ebay several years back with a home paint job. I really like both bikes but I am struggling with the choice.

Paramount-This is my heart choice. I bought this new in 93 as a 24 year old with a more flexible back. I had previously had a Giant ATX 760 and a Fisher Montare. The Paramount was by far the best bike I had bought and I was very proud of it. I rode it on my one and only trip to Moab in 93. It was built with Tange Prestige and is lugged (love the lugs). My stepson bolted up the xtracycle to it and toured the country on it many years ago and I still have the woven friendship bracelet that became his tour mojo on it. I turned it into a get-around-town-bike for my daughter more recently. It has been well loved by several of us over the years. This seems an obvious choice but it is smaller than the Diamond Back and requires a longer stem and seatpost. Since it is a 1 1/8" threaded headset, it is hard to find dirt drop type stems for it and my back ain't what it used to be.

Diamond Back-This bike is bigger and more easily fitted. It is a fine bike and the tig welded tubing is not junk (True Temper TT Lite). I have used it as a commuter and as a mountain bike. I have had a lot of fun on it. It fits better without extreme measures. Definitely a more rational choice. But, I don't have the same deep love for it. I am sure it would be a fine choice.

I am leaning toward going with my heart. What say all of you? Have you had to make a similar choice? What did you choose?

Bear in mind that changing to drop bars is almost certainly going to affect the fit.
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Old 01-18-17, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro
Bear in mind that changing to drop bars is almost certainly going to affect the fit.
That is one of the benefits of the Paramount that I forgot to list. It has a shorter top tube so the reach will be less.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 01-18-17, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by beicster
Should I follow my head or my heart?
Ö
I am leaning toward going with my heart. What say all of you? Have you had to make a similar choice? What did you choose?
Go with the bigger frame for the dirt-drop.

Iím about 5í11Ē and have an 18Ē 1990 KOM S7, which I think is pretty similar to your bike, that I bought new when I was 20. Back in those days, the style was to get a too-small frame with a lot of saddle-to-bar drop. Like yours, my KOM has played a number of different roles over the years, and Iím more attached to it than any of my other bikes. A few years ago, I put on a super tall stem and some riser bars along with a few other modifications to make it my winter bike. I donít think it would make a good dirt-drop because the frame is too small.

I also wanted a dirt-drop, so I picked up a 21Ē Miyata for that conversion project, I really like how it turned out. You can see both bikes on the bike page on my bolg.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr
For your Paramount- Origin8 1-1/8" Threaded to 1-1/8" Threadless Quill Stem Adapter.
Please donít put a threadless adapter on either one of those bikes. Itís an inelegant hack that looks horrible and performs even worse. Both of those bikes deserve the effort and quality of the quill stems they were designed for. Just my opinion of course.
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Old 01-18-17, 10:41 AM
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Kingston, that Miyata looks nice. Bikes like that are why I am interested in pursuing a drop bar mountain bike.

The Apex came with a threadless, so there would not be an adapter on it. I agree that adapters are inelegant, but I may do it anyway. Given that I have all the parts I need to make any of these switches (other than one or two inexpensive stems) I would not feel obligated to stick with any of these changes if they just did not work.
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Old 01-18-17, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by beicster
I would love to find a dirt drop type stem in 1 1/8" as the first option because I like the way they look better.
Here are two that I know of. There may be others.

This one at Nashbar comes in different sizes. Use the Select an Item pulldown menu to see the choices.

Nashbar - Welcome!

This is the one I have on my drop bar '90s MTB. It comes in black and silver. A link to each:

Sunlite Alloy 2-Bolt Stem - 1-1/8" x 80mm, 25.4mm Clamp, 25-Degree, Black Anodized

Sunlite Alloy 2-Bolt Stem - 1-1/8" x 80mm, 25.4mm Clamp, 25-Degree, Silver Anodized
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Old 01-18-17, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Squeeze
Here are two that I know of. There may be others.
Thanks, Squeeze. I like that Sun Lite stem with the two bolts. That is handy. And, inexpensive enough to take a chance on.
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Old 01-18-17, 11:38 AM
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Wow, thats a strong opinion.

- Threadless stems allow for easier bar mounting, which reduces scratching and frustration.
- Many of the dirt drop/flared bars are an incredibly tight fit around the hooks for a quill stem.
- The original stems you speak of were made for flat bars and not drops. There often isnt enough rise.
- A threadless stem allows for 31.8 bars which is an incredibly common size at this point.

But all that aside, I am not sure what the reduced performance claim is about. Its a piece of metal clamped to another piece of metal. How does it perform worse than a long/tall quill stem? I have found threadless conversions to be plenty stiff, especially when mated to a 31.8 drop bar.


Of course there is also this in 1 1/8 - Sunlite Alloy 2-Bolt Stem - 1-1/8" x 80mm, 25.4mm Clamp, 25-Degree, Silver Anodized
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Old 01-18-17, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Wow, thats a strong opinion...
Just an opinion. I agree with all of your points about the ease-of-use of an adapter plus threadless stem. It does take more planning and effort to find a quill stem and bar combo that works. On the other hand, you can also just buy a gravel bike off the rack, which is way easier than converting an old MTB. My dirt-drop has a quill stem, so I know it's more difficult. I also know it's possible. For me personally, things worth doing are worth doing right. Again, it's just my opinion. Feel free to ignore it. We all have different preferences.

Regarding the performance thing, adapters plus the stem are more flexible and heavier than a good quill. I donít think thatís really debatable. Personally I would suffer the admittedly very minor performance hit if it wasn't such an ugly and obviously lazy solution. I have never heard anyone make the case that an adapter plus stem looks better than a quill.
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Old 01-18-17, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeeze
Here are two that I know of. There may be others.

This one at Nashbar comes in different sizes. Use the Select an Item pulldown menu to see the choices.

Nashbar - Welcome!

This is the one I have on my drop bar '90s MTB. It comes in black and silver. A link to each:

Sunlite Alloy 2-Bolt Stem - 1-1/8" x 80mm, 25.4mm Clamp, 25-Degree, Black Anodized

Sunlite Alloy 2-Bolt Stem - 1-1/8" x 80mm, 25.4mm Clamp, 25-Degree, Silver Anodized
The Nashbar stem is actually fairly light.
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Old 01-22-17, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeeze
I happened to see this on craigslist today. I do not know the seller and am certainly not shilling for him by posting this here.

What caught my eye, other than seeing a drop bar MTB conversion on craigslist in the first place, and beyond the delightfully mis-matched handlebar tape, are downtube shifters. I've seen someone's orange Stumpjumper posted here with DT shifters, but this is the only other MTB I remember seeing with them.

Is this some kind of aftermarket clamp-on DT shifter mount that I've never heard of or seen before? I'm not looking to buy them, but just thought it might make for good discussion.

Or were those original equipment from the manufacturer? I'm guessing not.

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This may be the orange Stumpjumper you saw earlier with the downtube shifters. I had the shifter attachments brazed on before the frame was powder coated. I happen to like that type of shifter. Since then, I installed Suntour command shifters but couldn't get them to work smoothly with the Shimano components of the drivetrain. Just recently I installed Deore 7 speed thumbies. Really like them.


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Old 01-23-17, 12:53 PM
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After test fitting a few things on the Paramount, I ultimately went with my head and built up the Diamond Back. The Paramount was just a bit too small and required an awful lot of stem. I took pictures but the place I used to store my photos is having an issue and I have not picked a new one yet. The files are too big to add as an attachment. As soon as I have decided where to store my stuff online, I will link them. I am pretty darn excited about the result.
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Old 01-24-17, 05:45 PM
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1991 Parkpre Hammer 1x10 with splatter paint job. Unfortunately is about an inch too short for me, so I'll be passing the radness on to someone slightly shorter of leg.

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