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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 10-30-21, 09:36 AM
  #7226  
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So many cool bikes here

This inspired my most recent build. Iím lurking until I get to 10 and will post pictures
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Old 10-30-21, 10:22 AM
  #7227  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
If that is the reach you need, then it too much stem.
...it also probably means the bike's geometey isn't ideal for you, but many of these bikes fit that reality.
If the Stem is being used simply because it's what you have, maybe pick up a different one and some 26.0 or 31.8mm bars.
Its 100% because its the only stem I have that fits at the moment. The bike was intended to be a parts bin build/flip, though I guess finding a better stem wouldn't be the end of the world.

Originally Posted by Classtime
With all that seatpost, your stem may work fine. I would put some cranks and pedals on it and spin a bit before going any further with the build.
Its a small frame (19" seat tube, 22" top tube) that I intended to fit a smallish person, but with that stem it might actually work for me. Its just too bad I have like 5 MTB conversions for myself. I'll throw on a crank and maybe ride it around for a minute as a single speed, see how badly it wants to throw me over the bars.
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Old 11-01-21, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by degan
Its 100% because its the only stem I have that fits at the moment. The bike was intended to be a parts bin build/flip, though I guess finding a better stem wouldn't be the end of the world.
I'd suggest going off the measurements from your fav road (ish) bike. Here's what I do...

1. Setup saddle position (height and setback from BB)
2. Set stem/bar position (drop and reach)

Stem length does affect handling but IMO that length stem is fine. Also note that with typical head tube angles on these bikes (72 ish degrees) so raising the stem beings the bars back towards the rider. In the 80's the top tube length tended to be similar to a comparable sized road bike but around 1990 this started to change and top tubes started getting much longer. Thus I will start a drop bar conversion fit by setting the saddle and then setting the bars appropriately.

Last edited by NocoRider; 11-01-21 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 11-01-21, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mattk42
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?
The sensation you're feeling is called "wheel flop". There are a number of factors which combine: rake, trail and wheel weight. Here's an article which dives into how headtube angle, rake, trail affect how one's bike will handle.

My 26'er dropbar conversions all have a significant amount of wheel flop but also handle very well at speed.
All About Steering

Last edited by NocoRider; 11-01-21 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 11-01-21, 02:39 PM
  #7230  
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Originally Posted by SpudBoi
This inspired my most recent build. Iím lurking until I get to 10 and will post pictures
Don't lurk, engage! Admire others' bikes, ask questions, talk about yours! What bike did you convert?
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Old 11-01-21, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by degan

Is this too much stem? The stem it had on it was garbage and this was the only 25.4 stem I had. Its a 135! Riding the hoods, the hands would be right at or maybe just past the front hub. I'm thinking of building it up just to see what the ride characteristics are like.
Too really know you will have too ride it as is and try a shorter one one as well.
It's worth doing just to see.
I tried different lengths just to see and by accident I found a length that let's me look over my shoulder and not unintentionally steer in that direction. That was a ten mill difference.
​​​​​​So for a good handling bike it's important.
And you won't be able know till you try.
Even if that is wrong you will get used to it and it will seem fine.
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Old 11-01-21, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by NocoRider
I'd suggest going off the measurements from your fav road (ish) bike. Here's what I do...

1. Setup saddle position (height and setback from BB)
2. Set stem/bar position (drop and reach)

Stem length does affect handling but IMO that length stem is fine. Also note that with typical head tube angles on these bikes (72 ish degrees) so raising the stem beings the bars back towards the rider. In the 80's the top tube length tended to be similar to a comparable sized road bike but around 1990 this started to change and top tubes started getting much longer. Thus I will start a drop bar conversion fit by setting the saddle and then setting the bars appropriately.
Yeah, the only way to get a drop bar setup I like on a long TT MTB was to find a tall stem with like a length of like 40mm. That always felt twitchy and unstable, not to mention looked ridiculous. Thats why my favorite MTBs to convert are 80s MTBs. This one just fell into my lap.

Originally Posted by blamester
Too really know you will have too ride it as is and try a shorter one one as well.
It's worth doing just to see.
I tried different lengths just to see and by accident I found a length that let's me look over my shoulder and not unintentionally steer in that direction. That was a ten mill difference.
​​​​​​So for a good handling bike it's important.
And you won't be able know till you try.
Even if that is wrong you will get used to it and it will seem fine.
Yeah I'm going to at least get it riding and see how it feels. It was intended to be a parts bin flip so I'm not looking to fit it to myself or anything. If it rides well I'll give it a full overhaul and see if I can explain to potential buyers why a 48 CM bike is being advertised to people 6' tall.
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Old 11-02-21, 01:36 PM
  #7233  
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Originally Posted by no67el
Thanks Ork-- those Hollowtech setups seem to be pretty widely available, either the M6000 or the M5100. Are you running a 10-speed chain/cassette? Interesting that the chain retention is good without a clutch RD. It would be nice not to have to source a new derailleur, just in the interest of keeping costs down...
Sorry for the delay in replying! I'm using a 10-speed cassette and (IIRC) an 11-speed chain. That said, I've previously used a 10-speed with no problems. I think the narrow/wide chainring takes most of the credit for avoiding dropped chains.
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Old 11-02-21, 03:53 PM
  #7234  
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Originally Posted by degan

Is this too much stem? The stem it had on it was garbage and this was the only 25.4 stem I had. Its a 135! Riding the hoods, the hands would be right at or maybe just past the front hub. I'm thinking of building it up just to see what the ride characteristics are like.
Only you will know. I have matched the distance from the nose of the saddle to my handlebars on all of my bikes: road, touring, and drop bar conversion. With the longish TT on most MTBs, I have chosen carefully. Thats a LONG stem in your picture for sure. I would not let the stem dictate the geometry of your build. Instead, base It on what works best for you, which might be this stem, or it could be another one.

I have seen dramatically different top tube lengths in the same brand and era MTBs, for the same ST length. At least 2 inches of variation, which is 50mm.
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Old 11-02-21, 06:16 PM
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The Warthog in the sand.


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Old 11-05-21, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by NocoRider
The sensation you're feeling is called "wheel flop". There are a number of factors which combine: rake, trail and wheel weight. Here's an article which dives into how headtube angle, rake, trail affect how one's bike will handle.

My 26'er dropbar conversions all have a significant amount of wheel flop but also handle very well at speed.
All About Steering
Aha! Thanks for the info! The tires I recently put on it (Maxxis DTH) are lighter than what I had before (Schwalbe Marathon). Maybe that was enough to make the wheel flop more pronounced. It does seem to handle really well though. I don't think it's so much of an impact on the actual steering, more just an impact on how the steering feels.

Originally Posted by Wilbur76
The Warthog in the sand.
That's a gorgeous warthog.
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Old 11-05-21, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilbur76
The Warthog in the sand.


Dang, that beast looks ready to take on the zombie apocalypse!
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Old 11-17-21, 10:48 AM
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This was an early Covid project...

My '92 Paramount Series 90 (owned since new), silver-brazed Prestige built by the Keirin guys @ Panasonic. Specialized BB-1 drops w/Nitto MT-11, XC-Pro 1x7s drivetrain w/Euclid crankset (mmm...Greaseguard), 987 cantis w/RRL-SR levers (mmm...drillium) , Campy Atek rims & DTH rubber on XC-Pro hubs. Still have the original flat-bar cockpit in a drawer.

Suffers from a bit of wheel-flop, but still a favorite. My all-purpose ride...greenway w/family, gravel, urban commuter, bring it!








Last edited by dookie; 11-17-21 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 11-17-21, 01:03 PM
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those levers are ridiculously cool!
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Old 11-17-21, 01:27 PM
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Finally got to 10 posts. Here's my recent 950 project, picked up as frame and fork at the local co-op and then finished up out of the parts bin. I've been surprised at how much I like it.
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Old 11-18-21, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by SpudBoi
those levers are ridiculously cool!
Yeah. Aside from being made of drillium, I don't recognize the shape. What are those levers?
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Old 11-18-21, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by RichSPK
Yeah. Aside from being made of drillium, I don't recognize the shape. What are those levers?
https://trpcycling.com/product/rrl-sr/
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Old 11-18-21, 10:49 AM
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How do they feel? I have a pair, but haven't mounted them yet. I pulled them out of the packaging and they seemed a bit plastick-y
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Old 11-18-21, 11:48 AM
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I love this thread so much!

Did anyone make steel disc brake mountain bikes back in the day?

Everything I see with discs is aluminium ....

Dookie, that Paramount is awesome !
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Old 11-18-21, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau
How do they feel? I have a pair, but haven't mounted them yet. I pulled them out of the packaging and they seemed a bit plastick-y
I'm very pleased with them. There is a non-drilled version that may be slightly different (but I doubt it). They are solidly built and very smooth. They fit my hands well and the odd lever bulge is in the perfect spot for a bit of extra leverage when braking while on the hoods. Pair well with the 987s at least...

Last edited by dookie; 11-18-21 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 11-18-21, 02:49 PM
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May I ask a question?

When you do a drop bar conversion, how do you handle the V brake cable pull? I have read that the STI levers used with the drop bars do not pull enough cable to activate the V brakes versus a road bike center mount caliper type rim brake. I converted my vintage Peugeot from down tube shifting to MicroShift levers, but the brakes were a non-issue. I would love to convert my hybrid to drop bar, but the brakes are holding me back. Thanks for any info!
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Old 11-18-21, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by lhill
When you do a drop bar conversion, how do you handle the V brake cable pull? I have read that the STI levers used with the drop bars do not pull enough cable to activate the V brakes versus a road bike center mount caliper type rim brake. I converted my vintage Peugeot from down tube shifting to MicroShift levers, but the brakes were a non-issue. I would love to convert my hybrid to drop bar, but the brakes are holding me back. Thanks for any info!
I used cantilever brakes on my Trek 950 pictured above, they work great. I hear you can get an add-on to V brakes that will provide the leverage needed. I think there's actually some info further up in this thread about it...
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Old 11-22-21, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by lhill
When you do a drop bar conversion, how do you handle the V brake cable pull? I have read that the STI levers used with the drop bars do not pull enough cable to activate the V brakes versus a road bike center mount caliper type rim brake. I converted my vintage Peugeot from down tube shifting to MicroShift levers, but the brakes were a non-issue. I would love to convert my hybrid to drop bar, but the brakes are holding me back. Thanks for any info!
+1 All the things SpudBoi said.

Also, there are linear-pull (V-brake) road levers available, though they're not common. I have Tektro RL520 levers on my old Univega, and they work great.
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Old 11-24-21, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MH20
I have loved this concept since I first saw ...
Exactly what inspired me in a german mtb forum! Currently rethinking my 1995 scott vantage 2.0. Its 1x8 by using a 9 speed xt shifter. That makes a little trouble when u don't shift correctly. What i need is a new 9 speed freehub or even new wheels like the mavic crossride 26 UB. Hopefully santa wont forget me this year.

Moreover these maxxis crossmark look good but feel like glue on the street. Which ones Do you think i should take? Conti speed king or Conti Grand Prix? I really want it as fast as possible.

It's bit small so a drop bar would make it even more uncomfortable for me. But damn that would look amazing.

Last edited by Byebyebayern; 11-24-21 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 11-24-21, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Byebyebayern
Currently rethinking my 1995 scott vantage 2.0. Its 1x8 by using a 9 speed xt shifter.
Pic Assist - https://www.bikeforums.net/g/picture/23226113

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