Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 01-25-19, 07:08 PM
  #6351  
tricky 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Upper Left, USA
Posts: 890
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 179 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Aww View Post
Ye, I have, but just to put it together and check if I want to ride this, with 3x8 Sora shifters that time (well, different setup overall). Had issues with getting the FD to not to touch chain at big chainring/small wheel, or one of the smaller ones. But you are correct, it is worth a try, there is still time to make it into perfection. At the moment, I'm not having all the parts on the same place as the bike is, so in a week or two, I'll just try to put it all together and we'll see .)
I did some googling. I found this. https://www.modernbike.com/shimano-a...ont-derailleur Check the cable pull, but maybe this would work? Here are a few more. https://www.modernbike.com/front-der...ullisdual-pull
tricky is offline  
Old 02-03-19, 03:32 PM
  #6352  
RicardoDeGalvez
Newbie
 
RicardoDeGalvez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Nashville Tennessee
Posts: 2

Bikes: A blue one

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have just picked up an old mountain bike frame and planning to convert to a drop bar for commuting, errands, and maybe touring. I am assuming I would want to put more road oriented gears on it, is that correct?

There are single braze-ons at the front and rear. I have seen fenders and rear racks attached to the same braze-on, Is there any reason I wouldn't want to do this?
RicardoDeGalvez is offline  
Old 02-03-19, 07:03 PM
  #6353  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
Thread Starter
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 21,879

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 65 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 607 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by Aww View Post
Been checking this thread for ages, awesome conversions everyone.

If it is not OT here, I might ask for advice, since I'm in the process of converting early 90s mtb to drop bars.
The issue is about the front derailleur, I have 3x7 road STIs (RSX) ready for this, and would love not to lose any chainring. So far it is - those 3x7 STIs, FD-M561 front derailleur (31.8, cable comes from the top), and crankset is not decided yet, got plenty to choose from.
From what I have read, road STIs have different cable pull for the front derailleur (same for rear one) than mtb STIs, therefore if I just connect it the way it is, it won't be possible to reach one part of the crankset. Using road tripple cranks won't help (?). Has anyone gone through the same with any simple sollution?
From what I understand, it seems that
- I can find a road fd (needing less cable pull), which seems unlikely because of the 31.8 and cable from the top. Or are there any?
- I can connect it the way it is and make it 2x7, with both clicks on STIs needed for each shift. Easiest, but would prefer not to do this.
- I can try to customize the FD somehow - have seen some pictures, but still pretty unsure how and if I can make it.

Am I missing any option, or an easy but still reliable fix?
.)
Ideal for me would be to install both STI shifters, but use the front lever just as a brake. Then install either a bar end shifter, or a DT shifter to control the FD. I prefer friction on the FD anyway. Since my Cimarron does not have shifter mounts on the DT, I would just pull out an orphan bar end shifter for one side. Sure, it might look a little odd, but functionally it would work great.
wrk101 is offline  
Old 02-04-19, 12:06 AM
  #6354  
biketroubadour
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by alecjahn View Post
What was the symptom you had that led you to the single click setup fix? I can't get my FD to extend enough and the current idea is a narrower BB. I can shift into that gear just fine but with the limit screw all the way out and I'm on small (rear) to big (front) the chain rubs (fd not extending enough). If I press on the brifter more it will, with the limit screw all the way out, easily pull enough cable (beyond the final click). It's just not indexing with enough pull. It kinda seems like this might be the key for my setup (XT fd) but I'll have to get it on the work stand and spend some more time with it.
You'll probably need a shorter BB axle. But it also sounds like you cable tension may be too low if you have lots of movement beyond the final click. I'd start by increasing tension, & if that isnt working go with a bb around 2-3mm shorter to start.
biketroubadour is offline  
Old 02-04-19, 05:19 AM
  #6355  
beicster 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Berea, KY
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 140 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by RicardoDeGalvez View Post
I have just picked up an old mountain bike frame and planning to convert to a drop bar for commuting, errands, and maybe touring. I am assuming I would want to put more road oriented gears on it, is that correct?

There are single braze-ons at the front and rear. I have seen fenders and rear racks attached to the same braze-on, Is there any reason I wouldn't want to do this?
I have been doing that for years on various bikes and other than being a bit more fiddly to install, I have never had a problem with it.
__________________
Andy
beicster is offline  
Old 02-06-19, 02:55 PM
  #6356  
due ruote 
Senior Member
 
due ruote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,652
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Mounted a bag. An excuse to post another pic and keep this thread going!

due ruote is offline  
Old 02-06-19, 04:25 PM
  #6357  
simmonsgc
Senior Member
 
simmonsgc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NC High Country
Posts: 641
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Mounted a bag. An excuse to post another pic and keep this thread going!
Great pic, great looking bike.
simmonsgc is offline  
Old 02-07-19, 11:28 AM
  #6358  
due ruote 
Senior Member
 
due ruote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 6,652
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 477 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by simmonsgc View Post
Great pic, great looking bike.
Thanks.
due ruote is offline  
Old 02-10-19, 07:19 PM
  #6359  
biketroubadour
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Aww View Post
Been checking this thread for ages, awesome conversions everyone.

If it is not OT here, I might ask for advice, since I'm in the process of converting early 90s mtb to drop bars.
The issue is about the front derailleur, I have 3x7 road STIs (RSX) ready for this, and would love not to lose any chainring. So far it is - those 3x7 STIs, FD-M561 front derailleur (31.8, cable comes from the top), and crankset is not decided yet, got plenty to choose from.
From what I have read, road STIs have different cable pull for the front derailleur (same for rear one) than mtb STIs, therefore if I just connect it the way it is, it won't be possible to reach one part of the crankset. Using road tripple cranks won't help (?). Has anyone gone through the same with any simple sollution?
From what I understand, it seems that
- I can find a road fd (needing less cable pull), which seems unlikely because of the 31.8 and cable from the top. Or are there any?
- I can connect it the way it is and make it 2x7, with both clicks on STIs needed for each shift. Easiest, but would prefer not to do this.
- I can try to customize the FD somehow - have seen some pictures, but still pretty unsure how and if I can make it.

Am I missing any option, or an easy but still reliable fix?

Thanks for ideas in advance, got about a week to think about this, then I'll have some time to play with the conversion, post pics and such .)
if you can find one of these pulleys at your local bike co-op, you can mount it above or below the fd to change cable pull direction as needed. Then you can get a 31.8 braze on adapter & use any braze on style 3 speed road derailleur you want. If you look back a few posts at my purple Concorde, that's exactly what I did to be able to use a 105 fd even though the frames cable guides are for top pull mtb fd's. I just mounted the pulley below the 105 fd sent the cable down to the pulley, around it & up to the fd. You might have to do something clever to adapt the band to 31.8 though (bolt an extra length of aluminium with bolt holes on each end in there most likely)
biketroubadour is offline  
Old 02-11-19, 10:57 AM
  #6360  
3speedslow
Senior Member
 
3speedslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Jacksonville, NC
Posts: 7,150

Bikes: A few

Mentioned: 90 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1188 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
^^This would be cheaper then using the Problem Solver adaptation.
3speedslow is online now  
Old 02-11-19, 01:39 PM
  #6361  
HarborBandS
HarborBandS
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Chicago Western Suburbs
Posts: 227
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 141 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
^^This would be cheaper then using the Problem Solver adaptation.
I used a Problem Solver's "Cross Clamp with Cable Pulley" over the weekend to convert a top-pull frame to a bottom pull derailleur and STI brifters, and it works beautifully. They are about $20, and seemingly more robust than this vintage Sturmey Archer piece--but it's the same idea.

I'll post the bike when it's done, though it's a 2002 Trek 7500 FX "Fitness Bike" with 700c wheels instead of a proper 26" mountain bike. But the frame and components were totally MTB, so the conversion is similar.

Last edited by HarborBandS; 02-11-19 at 01:46 PM.
HarborBandS is offline  
Old 02-11-19, 04:14 PM
  #6362  
3speedslow
Senior Member
 
3speedslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Jacksonville, NC
Posts: 7,150

Bikes: A few

Mentioned: 90 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1188 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
^^True, I’ve no doubt it would work. That’s why I also have one waiting for a project, if one comes up. I just thought as far as cost wise...
3speedslow is online now  
Old 03-09-19, 01:45 PM
  #6363  
scale
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,423
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 190 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i am building out a stumpjumper conversion now and i am going to start with some surly open bars rather than drops. I will likely want to convert over to drops at some point. I have no idea on stem heights for either setup at this point. I am thinking of getting one of those Sunlite adjustable quill stems:

https://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-Adjus...r=8-8-fkmrnull

They are not surprisingly heavy and seem to give a good range. THey seem a bit dorky but i guess who cares. I like that it has the 2 bolt cap for quick bar changes. Its either that or get a quill to threadless adapter and then guess at stem length and angle over and over until i get it where i want it. Sure you can get adjustable threadless stems but those look even worse and chances are with the adapter would be much heavier.
scale is offline  
Old 03-09-19, 02:18 PM
  #6364  
BradH
Catching Smallmouth
 
BradH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: In a boat
Posts: 405

Bikes: 1990 Specialized Sirrus Triple, 1985 Trek 460, 2005 Lemond Tourmalet, 1984 Schwinn LeTour 'Luxe, 1988 Trek 400T, 1985 Trek 450, 1997 Lemond Zurich, 1993 Diamond Back Apex, 1988 Schwinn Circuit, 1988 Schwinn Prologue, 1978 Trek TX700, Sannino

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
1989 Rockhopper Comp. I'm going level toptube this time.
BradH is offline  
Old 03-09-19, 05:18 PM
  #6365  
2cam16
Senior Member
 
2cam16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: San Mateo,Ca.
Posts: 2,488

Bikes: TOO MANY

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 563 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by BradH View Post
1989 Rockhopper Comp. I'm going level toptube this time.
Love the look of this one!
2cam16 is offline  
Old 03-10-19, 09:18 AM
  #6366  
Aww
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts



(hope photos are not too huge)
It has been a while as everything takes me a bit longer than expected, but finally managed to test ride this.
First of all, thank you all for advice, it was really helpful.
In case anybody was going through the same in the future - the FD pull of 3x7 Shimano RSX STIs (and I believe any other road STIs, too) doesn't pull enough cable to use mtb FD, or at least it didn't in my case (using STX FD). Using road triple FD helps, in my case random Tiagra. It needed a thing very similar to the problem solvers one to use bottom pull FD on a frame designed for top pull. They are sometimes used on cheap 90s mtbs, thatš where I got one, and attached it to the fender mount close to bottom bracket. Works fine so far.

The bike itself... rides perfect, and even though it is equipped with STX which was nowhere close to top of the line (and is about correct for the frame), it's about 12kgs.
Hope it qualifies as classic or vintage, it is about 1994/5.
Heavy Tools bikes are probably not really common worldwide, they used to be early 90s Austrian mtbs, both steel and aluminium, the company also made pretty cool loose mtb clothes. Then they disappeared for a couple years and the brand was probably sold, then they returned before 2000 with cheap and pretty bad hobby market mtbs.
Their bikes from early 90s are all of the most classic mtb look, no design features and such, as you can see.
Aww is offline  
Old 03-10-19, 09:55 AM
  #6367  
TenGrainBread 
Senior Member
 
TenGrainBread's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,615
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 611 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 22 Times in 16 Posts
Originally Posted by Aww View Post

How is it to ride with those handlebars? They look a bit narrow and they are traditional road race bars which make riding on the hoods difficult.
TenGrainBread is offline  
Old 03-10-19, 10:14 AM
  #6368  
Aww
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
How is it to ride with those handlebars? They look a bit narrow and they are traditional road race bars which make riding on the hoods difficult.
They are narrow indeed, and actually the saddle, stem and the handlebars might still be changed. So far, tried this on my commute in a huge city with lots of terrible condition roads, and for the short distance, it is fine (also I am used to narrow bars on road bikes). Wouldn't be so enjoyable for longer trips though, so I am still considering a change.
Aww is offline  
Old 03-10-19, 07:17 PM
  #6369  
BradH
Catching Smallmouth
 
BradH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: In a boat
Posts: 405

Bikes: 1990 Specialized Sirrus Triple, 1985 Trek 460, 2005 Lemond Tourmalet, 1984 Schwinn LeTour 'Luxe, 1988 Trek 400T, 1985 Trek 450, 1997 Lemond Zurich, 1993 Diamond Back Apex, 1988 Schwinn Circuit, 1988 Schwinn Prologue, 1978 Trek TX700, Sannino

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 2cam16 View Post
Love the look of this one!
Thanks. Frame measures 56cm C-T but longish on the TT. With the 73 degree ST and 70 degree HT I was able to end up with the same reach as my road bikes with only a stem 1cm shorter than I would use on a 56 square frame. I wrapped the bars, put on fenders and took it for a ride today. I really like it. The BB is lower than my 93 DB Apex and it just feels right.
BradH is offline  
Old 03-11-19, 07:49 AM
  #6370  
zjrog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 843

Bikes: 1986 KHS Fiero, 1989 Trek 950, 1990 Trek 7000, 1992 Trek 1400, 1998 Cannondale R200, 2010 Performance Access XCL9R

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by Aww View Post
In case anybody was going through the same in the future - the FD pull of 3x7 Shimano RSX STIs (and I believe any other road STIs, too) doesn't pull enough cable to use mtb FD, or at least it didn't in my case (using STX FD). Using road triple FD helps, in my case random Tiagra. It needed a thing very similar to the problem solvers one to use bottom pull FD on a frame designed for top pull. They are sometimes used on cheap 90s mtbs, thatš where I got one, and attached it to the fender mount close to bottom bracket. Works fine so far.
I have a 29er that has Sora 3x9 brifters, pulling a Shimano SLX RD, and a SRAM X5 FD. Shifts just fine. But I didn't set it up, that was done by the kid that gave me this bike. He did say finding a FD that worked was tough.
zjrog is offline  
Old 03-11-19, 09:46 AM
  #6371  
NocoRider
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Northern Colorado
Posts: 29

Bikes: 3 Frankenbikes (Stumpjumper, Karakoram, Trek 930), Fuso, Tarmac Pro, '72 Fuji Finest, Soma Saga, El Diente, Cannondale tandem, 2 mountain bikes, more...

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
I have a 29er that has Sora 3x9 brifters, pulling a Shimano SLX RD, and a SRAM X5 FD. Shifts just fine. But I didn't set it up, that was done by the kid that gave me this bike. He did say finding a FD that worked was tough.

Mixing & matching road/mountain FD's and shifters is anything but obvious. The obvious challenges:

- Cable pull ratio vary with generation and across brand.

- Top versus bottom pull.


Not so obvious...

- Road FD's are designed for the narrower bottom bracket shells so they do not always have the reach to push the chain to the large chainring on the wider bottom bracket shell in MTB's.


One fix (hack?) I've used is to install the FD with a larger clamp and add a shim on the side of the crankset to push the FD a couple mm to the right. Old inner tubes can be cut to make shims and a bit of contact cement (aka rubber glue) can be used to build up a shim.


Another work around: Use a friction or ratchet type shifter instead of an indexed shifter (eg. use bar end shifter, Campy 9 & 10 spd shifters, various old mtb thumb shifters, etc)


Greg - one of these years I really am going to post some pic's...
NocoRider is offline  
Old 03-11-19, 09:58 AM
  #6372  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 9,299

Bikes: '76 Paramount, Salsa Timberjack, Burley Samba, Terra Trike

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1393 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 21 Posts
I tried a side swing SRAM X5 on my Shimergo bike (for maximum dissonance) and it worked ooookay in bottom and middle rings. It also handled the big road triple really well. But shifting, there was rub on the FD in the big ring with the two smallest cogs. It worked better when I put on a Sora FD. Doubles are a lot more forgiving.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 03-11-19, 10:18 AM
  #6373  
zjrog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 843

Bikes: 1986 KHS Fiero, 1989 Trek 950, 1990 Trek 7000, 1992 Trek 1400, 1998 Cannondale R200, 2010 Performance Access XCL9R

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by NocoRider View Post
Mixing & matching road/mountain FD's and shifters is anything but obvious. The obvious challenges:

- Cable pull ratio vary with generation and across brand.

- Top versus bottom pull.


Not so obvious...

- Road FD's are designed for the narrower bottom bracket shells so they do not always have the reach to push the chain to the large chainring on the wider bottom bracket shell in MTB's.


One fix (hack?) I've used is to install the FD with a larger clamp and add a shim on the side of the crankset to push the FD a couple mm to the right. Old inner tubes can be cut to make shims and a bit of contact cement (aka rubber glue) can be used to build up a shim.


Another work around: Use a friction or ratchet type shifter instead of an indexed shifter (eg. use bar end shifter, Campy 9 & 10 spd shifters, various old mtb thumb shifters, etc)


Greg - one of these years I really am going to post some pic's...
Cool info! The SRAM X5 on my bike, is indeed a top pull MTB FD...
zjrog is offline  
Old 03-11-19, 10:52 AM
  #6374  
Squeeze
High Plains Luddite
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 571

Bikes: '90s MTBs, '96 Allez

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by BradH View Post
...it just feels right.
It looks right, too. Nice bike!
Squeeze is offline  
Old 03-13-19, 05:58 PM
  #6375  
dumpsterhuffy
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Statesville, NC
Posts: 25

Bikes: '83 Mountain Goat Escape Goat, '86 Schwinn Cimarron, '86 Cannondale SM600, '85 Velocitech Mountain Machine, '89 Klein Quantum, c. '80 Chamberlin minivelo, c. '70 Bottecchia Giro D'Italia, 2015 Salsa Mukluk, '70 Raleigh DL-1, +other stuff

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If a drop bar'd Klein Pinnacle is the poor man's Cunningham, then the Cannondale SM600 is a poor man's Klein. This one is from 1986, and wears all the original components, minus the bars (Nitto Randonneur), stem (Specialized, from an old Stumpjumper), Dia-Compe non-aero brake levers, Shimano barcons, and early '90s Specialized Cannibal tires. Bar and brake lever angle are optimized for riding in the drops, and the rando bars are a rideable placeholder until I can get my hands on a pair of true, flared dirt drops. The history (bike was once a part of the MOMBAT collection) and patina of the bike make me question the wisdom in further customization, but if the drop bar concept works for me in the long run it'd be really cool to strip the frame and reapply black decals to make it a more visually correct homage to a Cunningham.




dumpsterhuffy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.