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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 06-19-20, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeeze
That looks great!

Does anyone know if those late '80s Specialized MTB have a wide enough frame to take a modern 8/9/10-speed rear wheel? I saw a twin of that one (same size and color) on craigslist recently that tempted me but it had a 6-speed rear wheel and I figured I just wouldn't bother with it for that reason alone.
You can run higher speeds, but you may be dealing with a 130mm spacing. Some of them have 135mm spacing which is easier to find a rear for.
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Old 06-19-20, 04:09 PM
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Thanks @katsup.
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Old 06-19-20, 08:02 PM
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Well I finally get to make a post on this thread after drooling for a few years. Picked up this Peugeot Europe Express today and honestly don't really need to change much at all. It looks 100% original and barely ridden. I will be putting on some rando or mustache bars but I'm considering just replacing the full cockpit so I don't mess with the original one in case I want to bring it back. Will probably do the same with the tires, they're also original and look like they've barely been ridden out of the shop. Reynolds 531 frame, Rigida wheels, Deore XT, and a Brooks Conquest All Terrain saddle that literally still has little plastic covers on the springs. Any suggestions on what to do? Plan is to get some racks on here and use it for touring / bikepacking.

Last edited by bieterman; 06-19-20 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 06-19-20, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bieterman
Well I finally get to make a post on this thread after drooling for a few years. Picked up this Peugeot Europe Express today and honestly don't really need to change much at all. It looks 100% original and barely ridden. I will be putting on some rando or mustache bars but I'm considering just replacing the full cockpit so I don't mess with the original one in case I want to bring it back. Will probably do the same with the tires, they're also original and look like they've barely been ridden out of the shop. Reynolds 531 frame, Rigida wheels, Deore XT, and a Brooks Conquest All Terrain saddle that literally still has little plastic covers on the springs. Any suggestions on what to do? Plan is to get some racks on here and use it for touring / bikepacking.
I got one of those as a cannibalized frameset, built and rode it for a while then sold it to a friend. Those plastic covers on the seat springs? If they lace up then they're probably from a Troxel baby seat; they kept toddlers' digits from being pinched in the springs.
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Old 06-19-20, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
I got one of those as a cannibalized frameset, built and rode it for a while then sold it to a friend. Those plastic covers on the seat springs? If they lace up then they're probably from a Troxel baby seat; they kept toddlers' digits from being pinched in the springs.
Nice! They do not lace up - they are just plastic strips with a little "cereal box" clasp - one for each spring. I can't imagine they're meant to stay on there.
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Old 06-20-20, 05:32 AM
  #6756  
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Originally Posted by bieterman
Nice! They do not lace up - they are just plastic strips with a little "cereal box" clasp - one for each spring. I can't imagine they're meant to stay on there.
We had a child seat way back when that had similar covers to go over the seat springs. They were not laced, just a "put tab A in slot B" arrangement. I have seen new Brooks saddles in the box, and they did not have any sort of cover on the springs.
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Old 06-20-20, 07:53 AM
  #6757  
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Originally Posted by katsup
You can run higher speeds, but you may be dealing with a 130mm spacing. Some of them have 135mm spacing which is easier to find a rear for.
I have a RockHopper from 86 or 87 and it is running 8sp wheels. Somewhere along the way it must have been stretched just enough for 135s. I canít recall if Iíve measured. It might be a bit under 135.

Iím going to post an honorary pic since it was a drop bar conversion for most of the last three years until I switched to swept bars so I can ride slower when I ride with my kids.

Otto



Last edited by ofajen; 06-20-20 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 06-20-20, 11:02 AM
  #6758  
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'95 StumpJumper gravel bike

Stumbled on a '95 SJ M2 frameset (with headset) for cheap. Already had many of the parts--Deore crankset, Deore pedals, Soma Highway One bars, FSA CX brakes, Fizik Aliante saddle, Vittoria Randonneur Pro tires and tubes, bar stem,. cables and housing. Picked up an LX Parallax wheelset for $50, a set of barely used 3x8 Microshift brifters for $30, new Microshift FD ($10) and RD ($15), Tange Seiki 73x127 bb ($15), chain. The only "splurge" was a set of silver bb bolts with the red dustcaps for $10. I'm surprised how light the finished product is. Very quick and nimble.​​​​​​​ I like an aggressive set up, so the saddle/bar differential works for me.
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Old 06-20-20, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Pompiere
We had a child seat way back when that had similar covers to go over the seat springs. They were not laced, just a "put tab A in slot B" arrangement. I have seen new Brooks saddles in the box, and they did not have any sort of cover on the springs.
That must be what these are. Interesting! That makes me feel better about taking them off. No babies here, just bikes.
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Old 06-20-20, 03:53 PM
  #6760  
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Originally Posted by revcp
Stumbled on a '95 SJ M2 frameset (with headset) for cheap. Already had many of the parts--Deore crankset, Deore pedals, Soma Highway One bars, FSA CX brakes, Fizik Aliante saddle, Vittoria Randonneur Pro tires and tubes, bar stem,. cables and housing. Picked up an LX Parallax wheelset for $50, a set of barely used 3x8 Microshift brifters for $30, new Microshift FD ($10) and RD ($15), Tange Seiki 73x127 bb ($15), chain. The only "splurge" was a set of silver bb bolts with the red dustcaps for $10. I'm surprised how light the finished product is. Very quick and nimble.​​​​​​​ I like an aggressive set up, so the saddle/bar differential works for me.
Nice bike. Stumpys are/were Specialized's racing mtb., hence the light and nimble. My RockHopper is the next model down, then HardRock. All are great bikes, but Stumpys are harder to find, as they were used and used up by pros who usually trashed them. Enjoy your ride!
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Old 06-22-20, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Korina
Nice bike. Stumpys are/were Specialized's racing mtb., hence the light and nimble. My RockHopper is the next model down, then HardRock. All are great bikes, but Stumpys are harder to find, as they were used and used up by pros who usually trashed them. Enjoy your ride!

Yeah, they are great frames. This is my fourth. Back in the 80s I built up a Stumpjumper Sport that served as my tourer/commuter/car till I retired in in the mid 90s to buy an A1 (Aluminum) Rockhopper. Toured with that one as well. My elder son's present bike is a '91 Stumpjumper that I built for him (townie bars, Shimano dynohub, mix of shimano and Suntour components) and had powder coated a light blue. And now this '95 Very Red that I think I'll keep around for a bit. The stable is now nearly complete, as I'm toying with looking for a $250-$300 MTB. I've seen immaculate Rocky Mountain Elements, Scott Pros, etc. going in that price range.
v
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Old 06-22-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by revcp
... I'm toying with looking for a $250-$300 MTB. I've seen immaculate Rocky Mountain Elements, Scott Pros, etc. going in that price range.
v
Goodness where is this magical place* where immaculate old mountain bikes are selling for $250-$300!? I'd be lucky to find a trashed version in that price range.

*Twin Cities MN must be heaven.
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Old 06-22-20, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO
Goodness where is this magical place* where immaculate old mountain bikes are selling for $250-$300!? I'd be lucky to find a trashed version in that price range.

*Twin Cities MN must be heaven.
They don't show up often, but with everyone "needing" 650b, 29, etc., etc., 26" MTBs are occasionally treated as if they were boat anchors. The hardtail Scott Pro that I just missed sold for $250. I've seen two RM Elements, full squish, for under $300.
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Old 06-22-20, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by revcp
They don't show up often, but with everyone "needing" 650b, 29, etc., etc., 26" MTBs are occasionally treated as if they were boat anchors. The hardtail Scott Pro that I just missed sold for $250. I've seen two RM Elements, full squish, for under $300.
Ok gotcha.
I should clarify I'm in Canada so with the current exchange rate would be closer to $340-$400. Here's an example of what's available here; https://vancouver.craigslist.org/van...144829077.html
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Old 06-28-20, 08:31 AM
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Not steel, but my '99 GT build is rocking as my gravel bike

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Old 07-02-20, 08:06 PM
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Finally got mine done.
1986 Schwinn High Sierra.
Bought it via FB Marketplace for $30. And trust me, it wasn't in good shape. The frame was a little rusted, but no physical damage.
So stripped down. Powder coated, and then carbon drop bars, Microshift R7/R8 groupset, and Shimano 105 crankset. Wheels borrowed from my other MTB and Bontrager Connection Trail tires.
I have the "After" Pic first, then the "Before" below it.


After

Before

Last edited by friday1970; 07-03-20 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 07-02-20, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by friday1970
Finally got mine done.
1986 Schwinn High Sierra.
Bought it via FB Marketplace for $30. And trust, it wasn't in good shape.
So stripped down. Powder coated, and then carbon drop bars, Microshift R7/R8 groupset, and Shimano 105 crankset. Wheels borrowed from my other MTB and Bontrager Connection Trail tires.
Nice job, that turned out great
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Old 07-03-20, 07:58 AM
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I am messing around with an 88 Trek 800 and it looks like a great candidate for a conversion project. Digging through my pile of bars, I cannot find any drops that will work with this stem. It isnít a matter of diameter, I canít seem to get them situated properly to ďmake the cornerĒ. The area where the pinch bolt is too wide to accommodate the bars, are some stems just not compatible with drop bars?
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Old 07-03-20, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by trailmix
I am messing around with an 88 Trek 800 and it looks like a great candidate for a conversion project. Digging through my pile of bars, I cannot find any drops that will work with this stem. It isnít a matter of diameter, I canít seem to get them situated properly to ďmake the cornerĒ. The area where the pinch bolt is too wide to accommodate the bars, are some stems just not compatible with drop bars?
Correct. When the stem's clamp area is viewed from the front a V shape is more likely to let you work the curve of the bar past the clamp while parallel vertical edges of the clamp will probably prevent that. I have filed/ground a clamp and successfully worked the bars past but would not do that on someone else's bike. I figure I can endanger myself as much as I dare.
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Old 07-03-20, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by trailmix
I am messing around with an 88 Trek 800 and it looks like a great candidate for a conversion project. Digging through my pile of bars, I cannot find any drops that will work with this stem. It isnít a matter of diameter, I canít seem to get them situated properly to ďmake the cornerĒ. The area where the pinch bolt is too wide to accommodate the bars, are some stems just not compatible with drop bars?
Yes some MTB stems are too wide to use a dropbar. That's where a 2-piece stem with a removeable face plate comes in real handy.

Cheers
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Old 07-04-20, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Voodoocurt
Not MY conversion but the one owner before me... Iím not sure I like it yet, Iíve got some fiddling to do with it to get it just right but always wanted a 90ís Stumpy, and I think this is a Ď90 or Ď91. I added a vintage Blackburn rack for a bag for the family, and I love those Sim Works/Panaracer Homage tires. Got it cheap too.... it also came with ALL the original components.

Voo
Hi Curt, how is the bike for shifting set up like that? Do you find it in any way inconvenient to have to change hand positions to shift while riding in the City?
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Old 07-04-20, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by friday1970
Finally got mine done.
1986 Schwinn High Sierra.
Bought it via FB Marketplace for $30. And trust me, it wasn't in good shape. The frame was a little rusted, but no physical damage.
So stripped down. Powder coated, and then carbon drop bars, Microshift R7/R8 groupset, and Shimano 105 crankset. Wheels borrowed from my other MTB and Bontrager Connection Trail tires.
I have the "After" Pic first, then the "Before" below it.

Look at the wheelbase on that thing!
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Old 07-04-20, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism
Correct. When the stem's clamp area is viewed from the front a V shape is more likely to let you work the curve of the bar past the clamp while parallel vertical edges of the clamp will probably prevent that. I have filed/ground a clamp and successfully worked the bars past but would not do that on someone else's bike. I figure I can endanger myself as much as I dare.
Thanks, that is what I was afraid of. It is a shame too, that stem really tied the bike together.
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Old 07-06-20, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by prairiepedaler
Look at the wheelbase on that thing!
Roughly 112cm.
It is so weird to look down and see my front wheel sticking so far out in front of me. It does ride smooth though. Can't wait to ride it more.
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Old 07-06-20, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by friday1970
Roughly 112cm.
It is so weird to look down and see my front wheel sticking so far out in front of me. It does ride smooth though. Can't wait to ride it more.
I bet it floats over the rough/loose stuff, nice work.
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