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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 10-22-17, 10:29 PM
  #5726  
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Chris,
Pretty sure the fork is a Tange Struts.

In terms of components, I used a Nitto Technomic Stem with 80mm reach. I had one lying around with 120mm, but the reach was a bit of a stretch. I was really hoping for a Dirt Drop, just because I prefer the aesthetic of the positive rise, but the shop near me only had one with 25.6 bar clamp. For bars, I used Salsa Short and Shallows. The levers are Exage Motions. The tires, Schwalbe Marathons 26 x 1.75, were probably the most expensive part of the build. Damn, they are heavy too. When they finally go out (which will probably be a while), I'll opt for something a little lighter.

The bike's top tube measures about 59-60cm, and I'm about 6'2".

I'll post some more photos soon once I reattach the front fender and take my camera out.

Voltaire, that MB-O is gorgeous. I'm a sucker for Bridgestones. Who would have thought a white paint would turn out so beautiful?
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Old 10-24-17, 09:35 AM
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My ratty low budget SS is almost ready. I've removed the toe clips and shortened the chain already. Will probably swap the seatpost and the saddle as well, and I'll install a celeste bar tape instead of the black. I will get a better rear derailleur instead of this one, as this Altus C50 is heavy and ugly as hell.
I will need a longer BB axle though, the crankset almost rubs the chainstays. Another problem is that there's roughly 2-3 threads holding the lockring of the headset because the brake house stopper is quite thick, so this isn't quite the final form of this bike.

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Old 10-29-17, 01:31 PM
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Just made some updates to my '89 GT Karakoram.......

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Old 10-30-17, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by scale
bottom of the pedal stroke inline with the seat tube on the center of the pedal axle to the top of the saddle.
If you have the same saddle and pedals then saddle position "should" be straight forward:

1. Set saddle angle to match other bike(s)

2. Initial saddle height. I go from the center of the BB 'cuz all my bikes run 175mm cranks, but pedal to top of saddle is fine too.

3. Plumb line from nose of saddle to center of BB. Adjust setback accordingly...

4. Double check saddle height as the curve some saddles may change height by a bit.

Yes different pedals can affect saddle height. Different shoes can also do this. The change is small but I can definitely feel the difference between my summer and winter shoes.

My road race bike with Speedplay pedals has a different saddle height than my CX and GG bikes which all have Crank Brothers mtb pedals.

A good LBS should be able to do an accurate setup: compare measurements of your leg angle and video your pedal stroke.

Also note the Q-factor will likely be different from a road bike to a mtb (wider BB and different crankset). Some folks are sensitive to this as well. Also note that for pedal bindings, the pedal design can affect the Q-factor. For greatest accuracy with pedal bindings, measure from the center of the bindings and not from the face of the crankarm.

One other thing which could be causing inflammation in your knees is if you're riding in significantly higher or lower gears (spinning or using much more torque).

Good luck,
Greg
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Old 11-01-17, 07:06 AM
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One of my most favorite thread on this site. Good job all.
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Old 11-01-17, 10:00 AM
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This has been my favorite thread since I discovered this forum a few years back. There have been some cool new bikes posted here lately, but I know I'm not alone in wanting to see more.

How about a Roll Call?

Post a recent picture of bikes we've seen before, or show us your latest creations that you never got around to sharing. Here's mine on a weekend ride from my house, pausing for a photo op in front of some bison.


Last edited by Squeeze; 11-01-17 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 11-01-17, 03:16 PM
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I have been a regular peruser of craigslist for 8 years. I have seen some unbelievable mountain bikes come up for really great deals. This thread inspired me to build one of these bikes, and wouldn't you know... I can't hardly find a single good candidate anywhere near my area for over a month now. Praying to the craigslist gods that someone lists a real doozy.
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Old 11-04-17, 08:11 PM
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I have a question for anyone that's found themselves wanting "taller" gearing on a dropbar conversion. On the wheel, I have a rear freewheel setup, which more or less limits me to 13 or 14 teeth for the highest gear - and currently I have a Tourney megarange 14-34 7 sp that aside from the 14t limit, seems to do everything I want it to. Chainrings are Alivio 22 34 42, late 90s. Since I don't really seem to have a need for the 22t chainring, have lots of use for the 34, and don't find the 42 tall enough...I'm thinking a cross crankset would be the ticket. 50/34 double to replace my mtn triple. The current one is Alivio from the late '90s, square taper, on a Trek 830. Am I correct to assume that's it's just a matter of unbolting the old one from the axle, and bolting this one on, or am I missing some very important aspect of spacing - like it's going to rub the chainstays or require a new fd or something? I'd like to make this change so I can get higher speeds with a more normal cadence, but I don't want to go down a rabbit hole if it's going to require swapping out too many components.
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Old 11-04-17, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake
^^^ Love the Bridgestone!! What tires are those?

A few changes over time...
Your Huffy may be the best looking Huffy I have ever seen. Very nice job.
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Old 11-04-17, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bcpriess
I have a question for anyone that's found themselves wanting "taller" gearing on a dropbar conversion. On the wheel, I have a rear freewheel setup, which more or less limits me to 13 or 14 teeth for the highest gear - and currently I have a Tourney megarange 14-34 7 sp that aside from the 14t limit, seems to do everything I want it to. Chainrings are Alivio 22 34 42, late 90s. Since I don't really seem to have a need for the 22t chainring, have lots of use for the 34, and don't find the 42 tall enough...I'm thinking a cross crankset would be the ticket. 50/34 double to replace my mtn triple. The current one is Alivio from the late '90s, square taper, on a Trek 830. Am I correct to assume that's it's just a matter of unbolting the old one from the axle, and bolting this one on, or am I missing some very important aspect of spacing - like it's going to rub the chainstays or require a new fd or something? I'd like to make this change so I can get higher speeds with a more normal cadence, but I don't want to go down a rabbit hole if it's going to require swapping out too many components.
Triples almost always are going to use a longer BB spindle than a double. You will also likely need a longer chain.
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Old 11-04-17, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Triples almost always are going to use a longer BB spindle than a double. You will also likely need a longer chain.
So... the double won't cause any issues since it requires less of the spindle?
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Old 11-05-17, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bcpriess
So... the double won't cause any issues since it requires less of the spindle?
If you are using the same spindle, you will probably be okay. Mountain bike chain stays flare out to clear the fatter tires, and you have to watch the clearance between the chain wheels and the stay. Even the large ring can hit the stay if you make a drastic change in size, like from compact gearing (42) to road gearing (52).
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Old 11-05-17, 06:26 AM
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hey, anyone into drop bar conversions with suspension forks??? is there anything that makes that a particularly bad idea?

Originally Posted by Guadalupe2
Hey everybody,
Long time lurker, first time poster. This thread is great, thanks for all the inspiration. I've been following it for a few months now and decided to convert my old 90s rockhopper to a drop bar build. I got it off craigslist a year or two ago for only $100 (came with the flame paint job). I was lucky enough to find some suntour barcons at a shop for only $30. I was a complete novice in regards to bike mechanics prior to this and I think everything turned out all right. Nothing broke when I took it on the trail.
that's pretty rad! but what is it that's going on with your bottom headset cup?
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Old 11-05-17, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Triples almost always are going to use a longer BB spindle than a double. You will also likely need a longer chain.
is that really almost always? i was under the impression that spindle length just varies a lot with different brands and years..... i know my Takagi tourney XT triple cranks need a huge 124mm spindle, where some 90s Alivio cranks used a 118 i believe...
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Old 11-05-17, 11:30 AM
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Hey guys. Planning on doing the West Coast and then the Baja Divide next summer and I want to go the 26 drop bar conversion route.

I've been lurking CL for a while and when I see a frame I want, I think I'm going to powdercoat it and potentially replace the whole group (would like to be riding on fresh components for a large tour). Are there any recommended groupsets that I could buy new for builds like this? Of course it depends on the bike, but this could help me narrow down my bike search as well.

Also, for the Baja Divide tubeless seems like a must. That isn't out of the question for an old 26r, yeah? I just need to buy a modern wheelset that is tubeless compatible? Excuse my ignorance- this style of cycling is all new to me
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Old 11-05-17, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by antmaster5000
Hey guys. Planning on doing the West Coast and then the Baja Divide next summer and I want to go the 26 drop bar conversion route.

I've been lurking CL for a while and when I see a frame I want, I think I'm going to powdercoat it and potentially replace the whole group (would like to be riding on fresh components for a large tour). Are there any recommended groupsets that I could buy new for builds like this? Of course it depends on the bike, but this could help me narrow down my bike search as well.

Also, for the Baja Divide tubeless seems like a must. That isn't out of the question for an old 26r, yeah? I just need to buy a modern wheelset that is tubeless compatible? Excuse my ignorance- this style of cycling is all new to me
If you are getting a groupset, you will have to do a drivetrain-only groupset as modern mountain/touring groupsets are oriented toward disc brakes, and presumably your vintage 26" wheeled bike will need rim brakes. Shimano groupsets are available cheaply on sites like Chain Reaction, Wiggle, Merlin, etc...

If you want bar end shifters-
I would look at either a Deore or Deore XT groupset. Deore if you want a triple crank and XT if you want a 1x. Just make sure the bar ends you get match your gearing, or that you run in friction.

If you want brifters-
Look at a SRAM groupset - GX or Rival or Force. They come in both a double and 1x option.

Regarding triple vs. 1x-
The nice thing about the triple is you will preserve your high gears (road-oriented) while still getting low mountain gears. The nice thing about a 1x is it's lighter and simpler (no FD or front shifter), which is good for off-road touring especially. You can get a good gear range with 1x if you get a wide-range cassette, like a 10-40 tooth. If you were privileging the Baja Divide aspect of this, I would go 1x. If the road tour aspect, I would think about a triple, but a 1x with a 34-40 tooth chainring and a big cassette would be suitable as well.

Regarding wheels and tubeless-
The only prebuilt 26" tubeless ready wheels you are going to find are meant for modern downhill mountain bikes. Which use disc brakes and wider tires than a vintage frame would accommodate. So if you want rim brake tubeless-ready 26" wheels you are going to have to either build wheels yourself or get your LBS to build them for you. Velocity Cliffhanger rims come in 26", rim brake, and tubeless ready and are made in the US. Those would be my recommendation. You will also need a tire that is explicitly tubeless compatible and there are plenty of 26" tubeless tires out there to choose from.

Last edited by TenGrainBread; 11-05-17 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 11-05-17, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_galpal
is that really almost always? i was under the impression that spindle length just varies a lot with different brands and years..... i know my Takagi tourney XT triple cranks need a huge 124mm spindle, where some 90s Alivio cranks used a 118 i believe...
Both of those are relatively long.
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Old 11-05-17, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_galpal
hey, anyone into drop bar conversions with suspension forks??? is there anything that makes that a particularly bad idea?



that's pretty rad! but what is it that's going on with your bottom headset cup?
Most vintage suspension forks I come across are worn out. So its an additional expense to repair/rebuild, adds weight, plus rigid frame vintage mtbs are plentiful. The newer you go, you will tend to run into longer and longer top tubes, which can make sizing a challenge.
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Old 11-05-17, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by antmaster5000
Hey guys. Planning on doing the West Coast and then the Baja Divide next summer and I want to go the 26 drop bar conversion route.

I've been lurking CL for a while and when I see a frame I want, I think I'm going to powdercoat it and potentially replace the whole group (would like to be riding on fresh components for a large tour). Are there any recommended groupsets that I could buy new for builds like this? Of course it depends on the bike, but this could help me narrow down my bike search as well.

Also, for the Baja Divide tubeless seems like a must. That isn't out of the question for an old 26r, yeah? I just need to buy a modern wheelset that is tubeless compatible? Excuse my ignorance- this style of cycling is all new to me
Find a lightly used vintage bike instead. I picked up a nice Trek 8000 for a very affordable price. Showed little to no sign of wear based on the lack of rim brake wear (anodized rims) and more. Price was about what a NOS RD would cost you. I find vintage parts to be very robust, particularly ones with light wear. Bikes are like other fitness equipment, bought for the best reasons, then put up and ignored. Eventually they end up sold or donated. And the cycle begins again. Easy enough to spot "rode hard, hung up wet" versus "little to no wear".

On my own 1988 Cimarron, that bike was definitely rode hard and hung up wet. But I still grabbed it for $15....And I am still using the original RD, brake calipers and crankset. Wheels and FD were toast. But the other 1988 Cimarron I just sold was the opposite, a garage queen indeed!
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Last edited by wrk101; 11-05-17 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 11-05-17, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
If you are getting a groupset, you will have to do a drivetrain-only groupset as modern mountain/touring groupsets are oriented toward disc brakes, and presumably your vintage 26" wheeled bike will need rim brakes. Shimano groupsets are available cheaply on sites like Chain Reaction, Wiggle, Merlin, etc...

If you want bar end shifters-
I would look at either a Deore or Deore XT groupset. Deore if you want a triple crank and XT if you want a 1x. Just make sure the bar ends you get match your gearing, or that you run in friction.

If you want brifters-
Look at a SRAM groupset - GX or Rival or Force. They come in both a double and 1x option.

Regarding triple vs. 1x-
The nice thing about the triple is you will preserve your high gears (road-oriented) while still getting low mountain gears. The nice thing about a 1x is it's lighter and simpler (no FD or front shifter), which is good for off-road touring especially. You can get a good gear range with 1x if you get a wide-range cassette, like a 10-40 tooth. If you were privileging the Baja Divide aspect of this, I would go 1x. If the road tour aspect, I would think about a triple, but a 1x with a 34-40 tooth chainring and a big cassette would be suitable as well.

Regarding wheels and tubeless-
The only prebuilt 26" tubeless ready wheels you are going to find are meant for modern downhill mountain bikes. Which use disc brakes and wider tires than a vintage frame would accommodate. So if you want rim brake tubeless-ready 26" wheels you are going to have to either build wheels yourself or get your LBS to build them for you. Velocity Cliffhanger rims come in 26", rim brake, and tubeless ready and are made in the US. Those would be my recommendation. You will also need a tire that is explicitly tubeless compatible and there are plenty of 26" tubeless tires out there to choose from.
This is very useful- thanks so much! Hopefully you'll guys see more of me in this thread as my project comes along.
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Old 11-05-17, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jcb3
Did a double conversion on my 1989 Nishiki Cascade. Drop bar conversion and 650B conversion.
Did you have to change the brakes? It's a 12mm difference from 26in wheels to 650b. Just curious. Thanks.
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Old 11-06-17, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mrv
Did you have to change the brakes? It's a 12mm difference from 26in wheels to 650b. Just curious. Thanks.
Yes, I installed Tektro CR710s to get the extra reach
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Old 11-06-17, 12:58 PM
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How do you guys feel about composite carbon for these bikes? Think it could hold a touring load and singletrack terrain?

Looking at a '93 Trek 8700 on Craigslist.
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Old 11-06-17, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bcpriess
I have a question for anyone that's found themselves wanting "taller" gearing on a dropbar conversion. On the wheel, I have a rear freewheel setup, which more or less limits me to 13 or 14 teeth for the highest gear - and currently I have a Tourney megarange 14-34 7 sp that aside from the 14t limit, seems to do everything I want it to. Chainrings are Alivio 22 34 42, late 90s. Since I don't really seem to have a need for the 22t chainring, have lots of use for the 34, and don't find the 42 tall enough...I'm thinking a cross crankset would be the ticket. 50/34 double to replace my mtn triple. The current one is Alivio from the late '90s, square taper, on a Trek 830. Am I correct to assume that's it's just a matter of unbolting the old one from the axle, and bolting this one on, or am I missing some very important aspect of spacing - like it's going to rub the chainstays or require a new fd or something? I'd like to make this change so I can get higher speeds with a more normal cadence, but I don't want to go down a rabbit hole if it's going to require swapping out too many components.
What about just going to something like 28/38/48 chainrings?
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Old 11-06-17, 07:38 PM
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1988 Bridgestone MB/2 project

Hey folks--

Haven't been posting much lately. I did sorta finish my '88 MB/2 commuter project, after like 2 1/2 years. I moved some stuff to Google Photos, and I suppose I'll just put a link to the album here, because I have all the pics there. I hope it works, and I hope you enjoy looking at my project, such as it is.

I had fun with it. Did sandblasting myself, and made a headset spacer. Did a couple (beginner) leather projects, making my own top tube and chainstay protector. I used a tall Technomic to get the bars where I wanted, so I needed the top tube protector to be safe. Used a couple decals I bought from JR at VeloCals, and also made my own vinyl cut decal in a makerspace at school. For where I live, this might be the perfect all-rounder-- good for commuting, gravel-gliding, and general good times. I'll add some fenders at some point. I have a nice velo-orange 650B set I could easily re-radius to 26".

Thanks to @malcala622 for the SCR5 levers, @jeirvine for scoring the fenders for me at the yard sale, and @RobbieTunes for the front derailleur (although none may remember at this point, this project has taken awhile!). Other than that, this wasn't a 'fussy' build. Just parts-bin stuff.

Thanks for looking, and I hope the album link works!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/MDAIyNhATgwuzGlR2
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