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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 02-26-17, 10:48 PM
  #5551  
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Originally Posted by Coreyk
And it's rolling.

First impression is it's a fast bike with whippy, racy handling. Even with the long wheelbase and that mongo WTB tire up front, it's faster than my Volpe from a standing start. Just shy of 26 lbs in this configuration.
Looks good, and sounds like it's nice and light. Wouldn't expect whippy, though. That oversize tubing and MTB geometry makes it look like it'd be really stiff.
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Old 02-26-17, 10:54 PM
  #5552  
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman
Looks good, and sounds like it's nice and light. Wouldn't expect whippy, though. That oversize tubing and MTB geometry makes it look nice and stiff.
Thanks!

I may be perceiving it as an effect of the replacement fork. It's about 5-7 mm shorter than the original Rockshox Judy, and weighs far less. The thing is totally hip-steerable, and a little too sensitive for me to ride without hands just yet.
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Old 02-27-17, 08:59 AM
  #5553  
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Originally Posted by VintageRide
I have been thinking of converting the 1985 Kuwahara Sierra Grand I acquired ( free ) over to some rando handlebars - it appears that a Nitto Technomic stem will work ( or a dirt drop ) - I have two other bikes I use them on and like the V.O. rando handlebars.

Obviously I will need brake levers and would prefer bar end shifters, any suggestions as to fenders? I imagine V.O. sells some for 26" wheels. Although I do not use the bike that much it is great for those times I go onto trails, the conversion might have me taking it out more which would be a bonus. It is actually a very good looking machine with nice lugs and other frame details - double eyelets, rear rack mounts, double water bottle bosses, vertical rear dropouts,scalloped seat stay caps I understand it was pretty well top of the line for the production year. Any thoughts?

I actually feel perhaps I should just leave it stock as i like the bull moose handlebars but regardless I will definitely hold onto the original parts if I go ahead.


Measure the stem first, some of those bull moose bars were BMX sized. I had a Ross with that size, I ended up using a threaded to threadless adapter. Worked well. If the stem is 22.2mm diameter (normal road size), then I would pick up one of these (they come in several sizes):

Sunlite Alloy 2-Bolt Quill Stem - 180 x 22.2 x 80mm, Silver

On shifters, if you want to conserve cash, then stem shifters work fine. I've also used flat bar thumb shifters, as long as they have a steel band, then use a longer bolt and they will fit road bars. Personally, its tough to beat the Suntour barcons.

I think my Ross conversion is on this thread somewhere.

https://www.bikeforums.net/18272251-post4459.html
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Old 03-04-17, 09:40 PM
  #5554  
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I've got one to add to the mix. My 1989 Diamondback Apex had been hanging in my garage for a long time. I recently saw a project that was under way the OP was working to convert their old Apex to a drop bar gravel grinder so I decided to do the same. My bike originally had a 7-speed cassette and a MTB triple on the front. I purchased some nearly new 10 spd compatible Deore 32 hole hubs/Mavic rims (rim brakes) and added a Deore LX RD and then a SRAM 10 spd 12-32 cassette and Shimano 10 spd chain (all from eBay). I found a steal on a Shimano M590 Deore 9-spd Touring Triple 48-36-26 in 175mm arm length. I purchased some Shimano 105 triple 5703 shifters and a 105 triple FD. This all got cobbled onto the frame with an Origin8 1" to 1 1/8 threaded -> threadless converter with a 110mm 25degree stem and a pair of FSA handle bars (why is it called a pair of bars). Lastly I added some XT M8020 Trail Wide Platform Pedals. This is all rolling on Schwalbe Marathon 26in x 1.5in tires. Thus far I'm happy with how it has turned out. I think I sunk ~$400 into a pristine MTB frame that I've owned from day 1 so now I have an expedition grade touring rig/gravel grinder for a responsible price and all the critical components are now new less the frame/fork/headset/canti brakes/seat post/and saddle...




10-spd RD and 12-32 SRAM


9-spd Touring Triple 48-36-26 works well with 10-spd back end.


Straight Fork Blades and new wheels/hubs and upgraded canti shoes (yes the fronts are on reversed)


Drop bars and 105 STI Brifters make up the cockpit.


Really liking the flexibility offered in the 31.8 stem.


New skins and upgraded shoes for better stopping...


This saddle will remain on at least one of my bikes as it supported me on a 4400 mile 3/4 Transcontinental Loop around the US of A way back in '82 on a then new Raleigh Gran Sport, but that's a different story...

Last edited by RideMyLeMond; 03-04-17 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 03-04-17, 11:20 PM
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Freaking solid bike dude! I love it.
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Old 03-05-17, 07:36 AM
  #5556  
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I have always loved the paint on that Apex. Reminds me of an Easter egg.
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Old 03-05-17, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by RideMyLeMond
I've got one to add to the mix. My 1989 Diamondback Apex had been hanging in my garage for a long time. I recently saw a project that was under way the OP was working to convert their old Apex to a drop bar gravel grinder so I decided to do the same.
That may or may not have been me. I am loving mine so far but I wish mine had the original paint on it. Yours looks great.
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Old 03-05-17, 01:06 PM
  #5558  
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Originally Posted by beicster
That may or may not have been me. I am loving mine so far but I wish mine had the original paint on it. Yours looks great.
Thanks, the one I saw I believe was posted by fleslider. In this thread as Post #17;

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ond-backs.html

Actually, I found the old posts from another Blog;

https://bikewright.blogspot.com/2015/...amondback.html

https://bikewright.blogspot.com/2016_...chive.html?m=0

There doesn't appear to be a conclusion to this project.

Last edited by RideMyLeMond; 03-05-17 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 03-05-17, 06:45 PM
  #5559  
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Originally Posted by johnnytheboy
Nice build, and I like you dodged the obvious choice of pink tape. The eggplant looks great.

I've also had several components made by the same company that manufactured your rear derailleur.

Last edited by simmonsgc; 03-08-17 at 09:34 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-05-17, 06:59 PM
  #5560  
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Originally Posted by RideMyLeMond
I think I sunk ~$400 into a pristine MTB frame that I've owned from day 1 so now I have an expedition grade touring rig/gravel grinder for a responsible price and all the critical components are now new less the frame/fork/headset/canti brakes/seat post/and saddle...
Wow, that's an all-out project. Those smoke paint jobs are great, I agree. For that 10-speed rear end...you cold set the rear triangle, yes? Did the paint hold together or did you get any crazing/cracks? I had that trouble when I cold set an old lugged Trek MTB rear end for a friend. Kindly let us know how you like the shifting/brifter setup, esp. the front shifting. I always stick bar ends on these builds, but maybe I should consider branching out. That's a great looking build you did. Congrats!
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Old 03-05-17, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by simmonsgc
For that 10-speed rear end...you cold set the rear triangle, yes? Did the paint hold together or did you get any crazing/cracks? I had that trouble when I cold set an old lugged Trek MTB rear end for a friend.
I didn't have any issue with the new hubs fitting into the rear dropouts. So no, I did nothing to set the width of the rear triangle.

Originally Posted by simmonsgc
Kindly let us know how you like the shifting/brifter setup, esp. the front shifting. I always stick bar ends on these builds, but maybe I should consider branching out. That's a great looking build you did. Congrats!
The RD shifts without too much issue, although if I had a Shimano cassette it would possibly be crisper. The FD on the triple crank is well lets just say the it's a work in progress... I hope to get that dialed in to behave better without going too far and dumping the chain when going to the inner. Worst case, a chain keeper may be the final solution.

It's a somewhat heavy bike, knew that going in, I just wanted to revive this old ride and get out on some local trails/fire roads and currently my other bikes have no business in those places.
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Old 03-07-17, 09:05 AM
  #5562  
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Originally Posted by johnnytheboy

That is a very attractive build. What tires are those?
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Old 03-07-17, 09:38 AM
  #5563  
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Originally Posted by VintageRide
I have been thinking of converting the 1985 Kuwahara Sierra Grand I acquired ( free ) over to some rando handlebars - it appears that a Nitto Technomic stem will work ( or a dirt drop ) - I have two other bikes I use them on and like the V.O. rando handlebars.

Obviously I will need brake levers and would prefer bar end shifters, any suggestions as to fenders? I imagine V.O. sells some for 26" wheels. Although I do not use the bike that much it is great for those times I go onto trails, the conversion might have me taking it out more which would be a bonus. It is actually a very good looking machine with nice lugs and other frame details - double eyelets, rear rack mounts, double water bottle bosses, vertical rear dropouts,scalloped seat stay caps I understand it was pretty well top of the line for the production year. Any thoughts?


I actually feel perhaps I should just leave it stock as i like the bull moose handlebars but regardless I will definitely hold onto the original parts if I go ahead.









I don't know. That's pretty sweet in stock trip, especially with that cool bullmoose that looks like it has a nice rise to it unlike some.
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Old 03-08-17, 02:56 AM
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Oh no! I've just bought a full Ultegra groupset (shifters, rear and front derailleur, cassette and chain) for my planned Kona Lava Dome -92 conversion, and from your pictures it seems as I can use my old Deore LX with the drop bar shifters. Will they work with my old 7-speed LX (90's)?
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Old 03-08-17, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jwgh
Oh no! I've just bought a full Ultegra groupset (shifters, rear and front derailleur, cassette and chain) for my planned Kona Lava Dome -92 conversion, and from your pictures it seems as I can use my old Deore LX with the drop bar shifters. Will they work with my old 7-speed LX (90's)?
What model Ultegra?
And did you get STI shifters or bar end Ultegra shifters?
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Old 03-08-17, 08:55 AM
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Ultegra ST-6800 shifters, Ultegra RD-6800SS rear (short cage)
The shifters are STI
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Old 03-08-17, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Coreyk
That is a very attractive build. What tires are those?
If I am not mistaken, those look like Resist Nomads. https://www.sgvbicycles.com/products/resist-nomad-tire-tan-html?variant=32748527055
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Old 03-09-17, 01:18 AM
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Old 03-09-17, 01:37 AM
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^^^^^ Man, @bendoza , all I can say is YES. That looks awesome!
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Old 03-09-17, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jwgh
Ultegra ST-6800 shifters, Ultegra RD-6800SS rear (short cage)
The shifters are STI
No, an older 7sp MTB RD wont work with 11sp 6800 shifting.
That original RD would work with 7, 8, 9, or older 10sp STIs(not current Tiagra).
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Old 03-13-17, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ApolloSoyuz1975
Not bad. I've been wondering if anyone makes 7/8"--1-1/8" spacers that would make the rise look more "integrated."
The spacers typically come in metric heights. The two options for a single spacer would be a

20mm = 0.79"
25mm = 0.98" - this is typically sold as 1"

7/8 = 0.875" which is 22.23mm. If you have a friend with some machining tools it would be possible to reduce a 25mm spacer.

Just do a search and you'll find lots of sources and options on colors and material choice - that is so long as you're fine with carbon fiber or aluminum. :-)

Hope this helps,
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Old 03-13-17, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bendoza
Okay, you've definitely caught my interest. Can't leave me hanging though, the devil is the in details. What are you using to shift? Those don't look like brifters, also that wheelbase is so long it looks like it's in two time zones.
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Old 03-13-17, 01:02 PM
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Very nice, not many do this here in England. I've just bought an early 90s Ridgeback (early English MTB brand). Frame is Tange Prestige with a DX groupset

It'll have a drop bar makeover once I've collected it.

Interesting thread guys.

J.
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Old 03-13-17, 05:40 PM
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^^ awesome, Tange Prestige and DX... good combination.

Not familiar with the model you speak of. Is it 26" wheeled or 700 cm ?
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Old 03-13-17, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by romperrr
Okay, you've definitely caught my interest. Can't leave me hanging though, the devil is the in details. What are you using to shift? Those don't look like brifters, also that wheelbase is so long it looks like it's in two time zones.
i have a bar end shifter on the left side. wheelbase is about 105cm.


Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel
^^^^^ Man, @bendoza , all I can say is YES. That looks awesome!
thanks!
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