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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 07-06-20, 06:48 PM
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Great

Originally Posted by prairiepedaler
Look at the wheelbase on that thing!
no toe overlap I am sure.👍
I think bikes with toe overlap are defective. heheehe
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Old 07-07-20, 12:12 AM
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I only came here to look but now you got me thinking now ...... wow some stunning bikes I wonder if my wife will let me
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Old 07-07-20, 11:39 PM
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Here's a beginning. This Nishiki hybrid frame had more paint damage than I was willing to tolerate just to not have to do the work. The first image is the original ebay photo and the second is a random Google image of a complete bike in the same size.Here's a teaser of my initial removal of the decals and the frameset/stem with the first coat of primer. I was going to leave it blue and get Velocals to make me some more in a non-blinding color, but it just had too many paint scratches on top of the top tube for me to keep it. I think I'll just leave it decal-free. I haven't chosen a color for sure, but I've been using a local auto paint shop for both color and clear for a few years now. That stuff has proven to me it'll cure, and durability is not an issue. I bought the 2K clear on Monday, and I will go back to the shop this week for the chosen color (leaning toward gloss black or metallic gunmetal grey).








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Old 07-08-20, 09:02 AM
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I am currently working on getting an old Jamis Diablo set up this way. The front brake is a standard canti, but the rear is mounted under the chainstay and is a bmx style "U" brake.

1) I need to replace the rear brake - anyone have recommendations?

2) Will standard road levers work with these brakes? Which levers will pull the correct amount of cable for these brakes? Something like a Tektro RL340 or a SRAM S500?

Thank you!
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Old 07-09-20, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheseldine
I am currently working on getting an old Jamis Diablo set up this way. The front brake is a standard canti, but the rear is mounted under the chainstay and is a bmx style "U" brake.

1) I need to replace the rear brake - anyone have recommendations?

2) Will standard road levers work with these brakes? Which levers will pull the correct amount of cable for these brakes? Something like a Tektro RL340 or a SRAM S500?

Thank you!
I don't have a specific rec, but U-brakes should work fine with standard road levers, just like cantilevers. Avoid the tektro levers that are designed for v-brakes.
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Old 07-10-20, 02:09 AM
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Color and clear done. The stem isn't in the image, but it's now matte black.

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Old 07-10-20, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by B17
Color and clear done. The stem isn't in the image, but it's now matte black.

Looking good! Is it black with metal flake?
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Old 07-13-20, 09:39 AM
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A long-running project of mine - a doomsday tourer. Made sense to finish it up now. A 1986 Kuwahara MTB frame I bought off a forum member with period-flavored bombproof parts added such as first gen Shimano Deore XT deerhead derailleurs, Sun-Ringle Rhino Lite rims laced to Deore hubs, Dia-Compe barcons, Nitto dirt drop stem, One-One Midge, etc. Would love to add a Brooks Champion Flyer saddle, fenders, and Tubus or Blackburn Outpost racks one day.







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Old 07-14-20, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by wintermute
A long-running project of mine - a doomsday tourer.
Well done, sir!
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Old 07-14-20, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO
Looking good! Is it black with metal flake?
Thanks! It's Ford Magnetic Metallic Grey
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Old 07-30-20, 04:57 PM
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Finally have one to add: 1989 Panasonic MC-4300. Originally it came with full Suntour XCM, 6 speed rear but I found a full Deore XT 7 speed donor bike for cheap that was too small, so out with the old and in with the slightly less old... bars, stem, and 8 speed 105 brifters from the local co-op, a threadless quill adapter thatís been banging around forever, and weíre in fat city (or should I say cat city as the MC in MC-4300 stands for Mountain Cat?)!



And on a second shake down run to go get some fresh grown corn and then a stop at the local spring for some cooling spring water:




This is my latest attempt at drop bar riding, and itís starting to come together for me. Iím having some trouble just getting used to the positions; seems northroad style bars are my favorite so far. But Iíll put some more miles on before I finally decide to tape these bars or replace them....
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Old 08-01-20, 01:50 PM
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Why do you say you'd probably have to run a dirt-drop angled stem or Technomic? Because of the geometry of the frame? I'm just curious because I'm thinking about doing something similar
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Old 08-04-20, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Washbear
Why do you say you'd probably have to run a dirt-drop angled stem or Technomic? Because of the geometry of the frame? I'm just curious because I'm thinking about doing something similar
Probably geometry. Old mtbs have stupid long top tubes, add drop bars on top of that, and you're riding face down, folded in half. Mine has a short stem and swept bar to compensate.
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Old 08-06-20, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Washbear
Why do you say you'd probably have to run a dirt-drop angled stem or Technomic? Because of the geometry of the frame? I'm just curious because I'm thinking about doing something similar
Originally Posted by Korina
Probably geometry. Old mtbs have stupid long top tubes, add drop bars on top of that, and you're riding face down, folded in half. Mine has a short stem and swept bar to compensate.
That's why you'll see a lot of bikes on this thread with a lot of stem and seatpost showing. My bike in post #6797 is a good example.
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Old 08-06-20, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Korina
Probably geometry. Old mtbs have stupid long top tubes, add drop bars on top of that, and you're riding face down, folded in half. Mine has a short stem and swept bar to compensate.
+1
I recently did a drop bar conversion** on a Trek 970(I need to post some pics here..turned out GREAT..did a 130 mile short tour with it fully loaded and it handled beautifully)..I noted while researching models that the early '90s (1990-1993) 970's had about a 1.5 to 2cm shorter top tube than the mid to late 90s 970's (and presumably the 950's, 990's). Big difference when adding drop bars. I went with Ritchey ErgoMax drop bars..they have a 10mm rise and 4 degree sweep back..both helped in getting the fit right. At this point, the my drop-bar 970 fits very close to my road bikes in terms of reach. Stack is a bit taller..by design.

**I rode the flat OEM bar version of my 970 for 20 miles after I first got it.."folded in half"...like a 4-5 inch drop Yikes. OK-ish for one short ride, but I wouldn't make a habit of it..certainly not touring.
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Old 08-06-20, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wintermute
That's why you'll see a lot of bikes on this thread with a lot of stem and seatpost showing. My bike in post #6797 is a good example.
Yikes! Have you tried going with a (much) shorter stem? Maybe a rando bar with a decent amount of rise and shallow drops?
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Old 08-06-20, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina
Yikes! Have you tried going with a (much) shorter stem? Maybe a rando bar with a decent amount of rise and shallow drops?
I don't set mine quite as high as that, but it's not that far off. As far as the Midge bars go, I love them and they are one of the classic dirt drop bars, with a very shallow drop. The usual advice is to set them up so the drop is the default position. I prefer mine rotated from what's shown there so the drop is closer to horizontal.


Last edited by due ruote; 08-06-20 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 08-11-20, 03:42 PM
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Picked up a great looking 1996 Trek 970 with all original parts. I want to go rigid but feel guilty getting rid of the fully-functioning Quadra 21R. Any advice?
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Old 08-11-20, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fmac
Picked up a great looking 1996 Trek 970 with all original parts. I want to go rigid but feel guilty getting rid of the fully-functioning Quadra 21R. Any advice?
Why feel guilty? Pick up a rigid fork and put the Quadra 21 in storage in case you want to put it back on later.
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Old 08-11-20, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by beicster
Why feel guilty? Pick up a rigid fork and put the Quadra 21 in storage in case you want to put it back on later.
Good question. It's more that the bike is complete with original LX and System 2 Components throughout. I can deal.

Question -- what would be an appropriate rigid fork to swap? The 1996 spec manual shows that the 900 series of that era are spec'ed for an Axle to Crown of 408mm, with a tolerable range of 408 mm - 430 mm. Is it as simple as finding a fork with an AtoC in that range, such as that Surly Troll (even if it isn't suspension-corrected)?
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Old 08-12-20, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by fmac
Good question. It's more that the bike is complete with original LX and System 2 Components throughout. I can deal.

Question -- what would be an appropriate rigid fork to swap? The 1996 spec manual shows that the 900 series of that era are spec'ed for an Axle to Crown of 408mm, with a tolerable range of 408 mm - 430 mm. Is it as simple as finding a fork with an AtoC in that range, such as that Surly Troll (even if it isn't suspension-corrected)?
Suspension travel was relatively short in 96 as compared to now. The Troll fork is 420 AC so it will work fine. You could also look for a used fork from that time period which would likely be a similar AC. That will get you in the correct area.
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Old 08-13-20, 01:50 AM
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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.
​​​​​​​Wow! Excellent work! Bike looks modern but not out of place with those components! What tires you running?
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Old 08-13-20, 02:40 AM
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Pearl.





RANDNNER (!?)



Gravel Stumpy, rev 3.

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Old 08-13-20, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by fmac
Question -- what would be an appropriate rigid fork to swap? The 1996 spec manual shows that the 900 series of that era are spec'ed for an Axle to Crown of 408mm, with a tolerable range of 408 mm - 430 mm. Is it as simple as finding a fork with an AtoC in that range, such as that Surly Troll (even if it isn't suspension-corrected)?
Yes, a rigid fork with axle to crown in the appropriate range. To state the obvious, higher fork crown height means slacker head angle and more trail (all else equal). So you might also look at the fork offset of the original fork and of different current options.

Iíve had good experience with rigid forks from carboncycles.cc, which are available with different types of steerers, fork crown heights, and brake mounts. Theyíre made in Taiwan, relatively light (compared to steel Surly!), and pretty inexpensive (<$200 with carbon blades, close to $100 with aluminum). There was a recent review on Bike-rumor by someone who put one on an older Moots 29er frame.
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Old 08-13-20, 05:54 AM
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Posting my 1988 Univega Alpina Uno in here again.

It went through a period with full fenders, racks and basket-- (first photo) but it started to see some singletrack so I stripped it down and put some tires on it that could handle the dirt a little better. I recently swapped the exage rear derailleur for a Suntour VX GT that I had in the parts bin. It's anachronistic, but it shifts better and looks way cooler. Swapped out the exage front cantis for some tektros.

Just picked up the Ruth Works Brevet bag which has the perfect capacity for the 30-60 miles rides I tend to take this bike on. Did a route the other day that had singletrack, gravel and pavement. Perfect.




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