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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 09-29-21, 06:48 AM
  #7201  
gthomson
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Could these bikes be used in a gravel bike race or do they have specific rules as to what makes a gravel bike?
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Old 09-29-21, 07:22 AM
  #7202  
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
Could these bikes be used in a gravel bike race or do they have specific rules as to what makes a gravel bike?
No race that I have been in or read about has limited the style of bicycle. The only rule has been you must pedal fully under your own power- so no e-assist.

There are often times separate podium categories for singlespeed and fatbike, which helps show just how varied the bikes used can be.
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Old 10-04-21, 01:56 AM
  #7203  
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Originally Posted by mechanicmatt View Post
Zooming into your pic, I'd say your front derailleur is mounted too high. Try lowering it down to where you are a few millimeters of above the big gear teeth, align it parallel to the big cog, and try again. That should be a good derailleur for what you attempting.
Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
PCons713,
I was going trough my 970 today and had to disconnect the FD cable..which means I "lost" my perfect nice-shifting setup on the front end. It was tough getting it back(apparently I stumbled into the right setup when I first assembled it on the first try..). After futzing with it for a while with marginal success I disconnected the cable, loosened up the inline barrel adjuster to about mid-travel and started from scratch. Followed a mix of Calvin Jones/Park Tool video and RJ-Bike Guy's video..a little more tweaking & I now have good FD shifting back. Whole setup (success) seems to be particularly sensitive to the low limit screw adjustment. Determined my RD hanger was a bit out of alignment(slight DR rumble after completely setup) and fixed that..but that's a different issue. Please post back if you ever get yours adjusted in. I may be picking up another similar bike(same components) and it would be good to know where you netted out.
Yes, it has required a bit of adjusting and seems like it will work out well. Still not 100% but it is getting there, and a little touch to the barrel adjuster mid-ride is ok for now.

Originally Posted by EB_AZ View Post
Sweet build pcons! Thanks for sharing this here. These 90's Treks make such classy drop bar conversions, especially with a modern bar/stem setup.

If you don't mind me asking, what make/model of threaded to threadless stem adapter did you use here? I am doing a really similar conversion on a 1992 Trek 7000 with a 1 1/8" threaded headset (same Deore LX groupset that will be coupled to the same 3x7 Microshift shifters on a modern bar/stem setup) but am struggling to find a 1 1/8" to 1 1/8" adapter that is tall enough (and reputable/safe enough) to allow me to use a more common 7 stem rather than a normal/shorter adapter and high-rise 35-40 stem (like I had to do on an '89 Hardrock build I did last year) to achieve a similar stack height and bar position. Your adapter extension and stem setup is what I am looking for as well, so any and all information you can provide here would be much appreciated!
I'm using a no-name stem adapter which I bought a while ago, so I don't know which website. I can't recall how tall this one is but I know its either 160 or 180mm. In this photo it isn't quite extended to the max height, so I can still bring the tops level with the saddle if needed. Maybe I'm wrong, but I haven't heard of many quill stem failures on the fork insert part so I'm not very concerned about the reputability. I think most fail near the handlebar clamp.


Last edited by pcons713; 10-04-21 at 03:48 AM.
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Old 10-04-21, 07:53 AM
  #7204  
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Originally Posted by pcons713 View Post
Yes, it has required a bit of adjusting and seems like it will work out well. Still not 100% but it is getting there, and a little touch to the barrel adjuster mid-ride is ok for now.
To me your front derailleur is either a bit high or twisted, but maybe it's just the picture angle. Here are some pics that I tried to take straight on to help from a similar vintage derailleur that if have. I took pics from all three gears so you can compare spacing. I also took a pic from above, sometimes with these old derailleurs I pinch the front end slightly, you can see it in the last picture. It seems to help. The big difference though is that I'm using a friction front shifter which lets me micro adjust my shifts.




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Old 10-06-21, 06:05 PM
  #7205  
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UPDATE:



The Super Maxy non-drive arm had a crack (along with a variety of other factors) made fitting a proper bottom bracket difficult. I went with a SunXCD and had them install a new headset as well. Definitely need new brake pads. Plenty of little things need to be fine-tuned, but it's a bike! I can't wait to get on some good off-road terrain to really try this thing out!
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Old 10-06-21, 07:10 PM
  #7206  
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Originally Posted by Rooney View Post
The Super Maxy non-drive arm had a crack (along with a variety of other factors) made fitting a proper bottom bracket difficult. I went with a SunXCD and had them install a new headset as well. Definitely need new brake pads. Plenty of little things need to be fine-tuned, but it's a bike! I can't wait to get on some good off-road terrain to really try this thing out!
Love those SunTour 3 pulley derailers! Which one is it? I can't quite tell from the pic.
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Old 10-06-21, 09:38 PM
  #7207  
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
Could these bikes be used in a gravel bike race or do they have specific rules as to what makes a gravel bike?
Mine isn't really suited for racing (I don't think so anyway), but I did build it with all sorts of road types in mind. It'll suit for those trips when I'm even hesitant to take the LHT.
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Old 10-06-21, 10:44 PM
  #7208  
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Originally Posted by thorstein View Post
Love those SunTour 3 pulley derailers! Which one is it? I can't quite tell from the pic.
Its a Cyclone MK-II body that I attached a 3-pulley to. It was a clean swap from the original GT cage. For as much as I also love the look, it seems to get very temperamental if the hanger is even slightly misaligned.
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Old 10-06-21, 10:46 PM
  #7209  
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Originally Posted by pcons713 View Post
Yes, it has required a bit of adjusting and seems like it will work out well. Still not 100% but it is getting there, and a little touch to the barrel adjuster mid-ride is ok for now.



I'm using a no-name stem adapter which I bought a while ago, so I don't know which website. I can't recall how tall this one is but I know its either 160 or 180mm. In this photo it isn't quite extended to the max height, so I can still bring the tops level with the saddle if needed. Maybe I'm wrong, but I haven't heard of many quill stem failures on the fork insert part so I'm not very concerned about the reputability. I think most fail near the handlebar clamp.

This fender setup is so clean. Are the pannier rail looking bits functional?
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Old 10-07-21, 08:24 AM
  #7210  
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Loving all the tan wall options showing up on the vintage drop bar MTBs. I went with the Maxxis DTH for mine. But the Billy Bonkers and the Gravel Kings look pretty sweet.

Here's my ride in its latest iteration (photo is from summer though). She's a pretty steady gravel road climber. The only thing I may change yet is the stem setup. Maybe doing a threadless stem adapter quill stem. Actually, how I go about that might depend on a recent observation I had of the steering behavior. I'd been riding a vintage flat bar MTB a bit on some single track trails and hadn't gotten out on the drop bar MTB much. First ride I took on it again, I felt a sensation like it wanted to steer into the corners. I can't recall noticing that phenomena before and I don't think I have on my road bike either (though, I haven't been riding it for a while either and not since I road the flat bar MTB more). Can it be something to do with stem height, or length? Or some combination of them?


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Old 10-07-21, 10:43 AM
  #7211  
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Originally Posted by Rooney View Post
Its a Cyclone MK-II body that I attached a 3-pulley to. It was a clean swap from the original GT cage. For as much as I also love the look, it seems to get very temperamental if the hanger is even slightly misaligned.
Interesting! Mine is an original XC body that hasn't given me any trouble even after repairing the broken off b-stop tab. I'm on the lookout for derailer bodies that could be subbed in when it finally fails for good.
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Old 10-07-21, 11:10 AM
  #7212  
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My friend gave me this MTB and I turned into a drop bar singlespeed. I later donated it to the local co op.
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Old 10-07-21, 02:38 PM
  #7213  
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Originally Posted by mattk42 View Post

First ride I took on it again, I felt a sensation like it wanted to steer into the corners. Can it be something to do with stem height, or length? Or some combination of them?

so, you never noticed it before on this bike? i would guess if you're used to how it or other mtb's handle with flat bars, then it could be just that. mtb's aren't really geometrically designed for drop bars. so, your weight distribution changes going from flat bars to drops particularly at the front wheel. more of your weight is toward the front wheel and your sensitivity towards it's handling would be accentuated. and, weight distribution affects how front trail/wheel flop behaves
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Old 10-07-21, 02:39 PM
  #7214  
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These bikes look so rad, I really want to make one and those tan wall tires give it that extra bling. I notice most people have to raise the handle bars significantly, is that because the ergonomics of the mountain bike frame require it or more of a personal choice? I admit, I like the look of the builds using a road bike stem and bars but want it be comfortable enough. This is the bike that I would be converting if I can do it.

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Old 10-07-21, 02:40 PM
  #7215  
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What a beauty. What size are those DTHs and where were you able to find them? I've been looking for the fatter version of those but can't seem to find them.
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Old 10-07-21, 02:54 PM
  #7216  
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
These bikes look so rad, I really want to make one and those tan wall tires give it that extra bling. I notice most people have to raise the handle bars significantly, is that because the ergonomics of the mountain bike frame require it or more of a personal choice? I admit, I like the look of the builds using a road bike stem and bars but want it be comfortable enough. This is the bike that I would be converting if I can do it.
head tubes are typically shorter and top tubes are longer on mtb's compared to road bikes. and, putting drop handlebars on greatly increases how far it is to reach brake levers and the drops themselves. a shorter and taller stem is the solution bringing the handlebars closer to you.
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Old 10-07-21, 09:09 PM
  #7217  
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93 Rockhopper single speed
not sure about the silver/grey bar tape but I get tired of always using black. Thinking about adding racks

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Old 10-08-21, 02:35 PM
  #7218  
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
so, you never noticed it before on this bike? i would guess if you're used to how it or other mtb's handle with flat bars, then it could be just that. mtb's aren't really geometrically designed for drop bars. so, your weight distribution changes going from flat bars to drops particularly at the front wheel. more of your weight is toward the front wheel and your sensitivity towards it's handling would be accentuated. and, weight distribution affects how front trail/wheel flop behaves
Never. Been riding it as it's shown for several years too. It and a 80-something Schwinn Premis. Well, the Maxxis DTH tires are a more recent addition, and then I mostly rode gravel after putting those on. Where I noticed the steer into corner feeling was on a bike path recently. The flat bar MTB in question is a early-mid 90s Tequesta. I see we have similar bikes.
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Old 10-09-21, 12:31 PM
  #7219  
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Originally Posted by mattk42 View Post
Loving all the tan wall options showing up on the vintage drop bar MTBs. I went with the Maxxis DTH for mine. But the Billy Bonkers and the Gravel Kings look pretty sweet.

Here's my ride in its latest iteration (photo is from summer though). She's a pretty steady gravel road climber. The only thing I may change yet is the stem setup. Maybe doing a threadless stem adapter quill stem. Actually, how I go about that might depend on a recent observation I had of the steering behavior. I'd been riding a vintage flat bar MTB a bit on some single track trails and hadn't gotten out on the drop bar MTB much. First ride I took on it again, I felt a sensation like it wanted to steer into the corners. I can't recall noticing that phenomena before and I don't think I have on my road bike either (though, I haven't been riding it for a while either and not since I road the flat bar MTB more). Can it be something to do with stem height, or length? Or some combination of them?


Love your tail light! I need to figure out a tail light mount for my old Blackburn rack. All the lights I have strap to the seat post, which is useless when you put a bag on the rack.
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Old 10-09-21, 04:21 PM
  #7220  
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Originally Posted by RichSPK View Post
I need to figure out a tail light mount for my old Blackburn rack.
There used to be little alloy loops that fit over the back end of those racks for reflector mounting. You could probably use P-cllps to approximate one, or drill through the joint where the top loop and stay run together for an inch or so and bolt through there. I've done that.
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Old 10-09-21, 08:08 PM
  #7221  
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
There used to be little alloy loops that fit over the back end of those racks for reflector mounting. You could probably use P-cllps to approximate one, or drill through the joint where the top loop and stay run together for an inch or so and bolt through there. I've done that.
Yeah, I think the solution involves P-clips.
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Old 10-10-21, 04:13 AM
  #7222  
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Technically still not a MTB, but pretty close.

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Old 10-14-21, 03:58 AM
  #7223  
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Originally Posted by wesmamyke View Post
This fender setup is so clean. Are the pannier rail looking bits functional?
Yea the rack works well, the fenders are built sturdier than normal and are stiff enough to manage panniers as long as it isn't overloaded. I typically commute with about 6kg on each side at most and have no problems at all (rated up to 8kg on each side). Took a bit of time to install and I had to trim the end with a Dremel to fit the chainstay clearance, but happy with the results. You can find info on the fender/rack combo here https://www.hebie.de/en/protection/m...guards/alumee/

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Old 10-18-21, 08:54 PM
  #7224  
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this thread inspired a Drop Bar build, the candidates are a '94 Single Track 920 in Purple (love the color) and a '96 in Green. The Green fits better at 21" so its likely the one, the purple will either get moved on after it donates/swaps some of its better parts to the green (def the tan wall tires!) - or just become a family loaner/campground cruiser for the wife. I did put 40 miles on the purple before deciding its just too small. Unfortunate as its really nice and clean.

The only new parts I plan to buy for the Green are some Micronew 7 spd brifters. I have the 10 spd version on a recent build, and for the money - very happy. I think I have the rest of the part on hand which puts me well under $200 for the total build.

question - at 42-32-22, and a 11-28 cassette in 7 spds, seems to spin out on any kind of downhill , trade off is some insane low ratios for climbing which could come in handy on a trip we are planning to Colorado next summer - but would 48-38-28 be better for mostly road use? I'm an average, maybe improving, but def average cyclist. How would the 42-11+ combo be on a relatively flat rail trail such as the Katy Trail or Mickelson?
I ride a 50/34 11-28 set up mostly on my road bikes in my area. the 34/28 is enough for my toughest climbs (prob not tough to you hill climbers)

thanks for any input!




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Old 10-18-21, 10:48 PM
  #7225  
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Originally Posted by justcynn View Post
I did put 40 miles on the purple before deciding its just too small. Unfortunate as its really nice and clean.
Dang! Too bad about that purple one being too small cause that color is SO GOOD!

Originally Posted by justcynn View Post
question - at 42-32-22, and a 11-28 cassette in 7 spds, seems to spin out on any kind of downhill , trade off is some insane low ratios for climbing which could come in handy on a trip we are planning to Colorado next summer - but would 48-38-28 be better for mostly road use? I'm an average, maybe improving, but def average cyclist. How would the 42-11+ combo be on a relatively flat rail trail such as the Katy Trail or Mickelson?

I ride a 50/34 11-28 set up mostly on my road bikes in my area. the 34/28 is enough for my toughest climbs (prob not tough to you hill climbers)
I also ride 50/34 11-28 on my two newer bikes and good with 34/28 for the tougher climbs too. My vintage road bikes (mostly mid 80s tourers) vary just a bit, but all triples mostly 50/40/30 12-28, which I'm also happy with. I've done two Mountain Bike Drop Bar Conversions, one with 48/38/28 12-28 and the other with 46/36/26 12-28. Both bikes about the same year, build quality and components and I find myself liking the 46/36/26 better. Not sure I've ever even used the 26 granny gear so I guess the 46/36 combo is my sweet spot.
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