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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 01-20-13, 02:51 PM
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There isn't much you can do with the black chrome, save for getting some chrome polish on it. The finish on my High Sierra is mottled in some places, and the fork is a few shades lighter than the frame for some reason... There is a tiny area on the fork where the smoked layer of chrome has peeled off, revealing a layer of bright silver chrome beneath, I gather that this is a multi-layer plating.
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Old 01-20-13, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RFC
Yes, black paint on chrome. It goes black when photographed, but in person you can see the effect of the combination.
Weird, must be different from my 87 model.
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Old 01-20-13, 03:13 PM
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I sold a 94 Team Marin frame to a coworker since it was too small for me. He recently got it built up as a straight bar single speed mountain bike. I never thought to suggest drop bars. Anyway with the right parts and my Kooka levers I also sold him, he got it to around 22 pounds. If that frame had been a size bigger, I'd have built it up the same way but with drop bars. I will take my camera next time I go to work, and try to get him to bring it. It looks amazing.

Meanwhile My Rasta-ized single speed Schwinn Super Sport is nearing mockup completion. Waiting on my new Deore V brakes and travel agents to show. Unfortunately it's an 08 frame, so it doesn't really fit anywhere on the forum. I will post it here regardless. Maybe someone will like it, hehe. It's 20 pounds, 13 ounces right now, before the brakes and travel agents.

This project was inspired by a bike belonging to RevChuck, a member here. He brought in a Giant cyclocross? framed bike, and got the shop I work at to install V brakes and travel agents to go with the drop bars. It really was cool as heck, and it got the wheels turning. His was multispeed though. Mine will be single speed until I put together a complete 10 speed group. Right now I have a 105 5700 rear shifter, and an Ultegra 6600 RD. I need wheels, a front shifter, cranks, and a front derailleur.,,,,BD

Once I get it turned into multispeed, It ill get a set of 35c knobbies, and I will go play in the mud. For now, street and light paths though the woods.
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Old 01-20-13, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami
Weird, must be different from my 87 model.
I don't think the black is chrome plating. Instead some kind of a thin coating.
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Old 01-20-13, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by RFC
I don't think the black is chrome plating. Instead some kind of a thin coating.
Now that I look at it again, it doesn't really look like paint. Among other reasons, it's too thin-- a thin layer over regular chrome. Can our chief engineer give us some clarification?
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Old 01-20-13, 05:48 PM
  #781  
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Just curious, has anyone adjusted their saddle position drastically or used a zero-setback seatpost for the old mountain bike frames with the really slack angles?

I've found that I'm more comfortable on my Cimarron (70 ht and st angles) if I push the saddle forward on the rails. As I understand it, this has the effect of making the seat-tube angle steeper and shortening the top-tube, which seems like a good idea for using frames with these geometries as drop bar road bikes.

Any drawbacks to moving the seat far forward other than it looking strange?
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Old 01-20-13, 07:02 PM
  #782  
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Originally Posted by RFC
Now that I look at it again, it doesn't really look like paint. Among other reasons, it's too thin-- a thin layer over regular chrome. Can our chief engineer give us some clarification?
In my case, the black layer had a piece hanging loose on the dropout face, so I broke it off. It was definitely metallic and thin (cut my finger on it!) The chip held together very well, I was able to fold it in half without breaking it, I'm pretty sure a paint chip wouldn't do that. Having said that, my bike doesn't look as dark as yours, so maybe it was just a stained (from a black topcoat, mostly gone now) layer of chrome that I took off?

This is pure speculation on my part, I don't know anything about the process that Schwinn/Giant actually used.
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Old 01-20-13, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami
In my case, the black layer had a piece hanging loose on the dropout face, so I broke it off. It was definitely metallic and thin (cut my finger on it!) The chip held together very well, I was able to fold it in half without breaking it, I'm pretty sure a paint chip wouldn't do that. Having said that, my bike doesn't look as dark as yours, so maybe it was just a stained (from a black topcoat, mostly gone now) layer of chrome that I took off?

This is pure speculation on my part, I don't know anything about the process that Schwinn/Giant actually used.
Whatever the black layer is, it is very thin and is translucent.
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Old 01-20-13, 07:18 PM
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whatever your guys black chrome is, it sounds a lot different from what i've got on my univega.. mine seems like it's closer to anodized or smoked or something like that. on the chainstay there are a few spots where it looks like the top coat came off in patches but it is still smooth there
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Old 01-20-13, 07:24 PM
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My dad had one of those Schwinns and we had a Univega Alpina Uno in the shop with that finish. I figured they were done just like chromovelato frames. Not sure what the English name for that surface treatment is.
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Old 01-20-13, 11:51 PM
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OK, well, 1997 isn't really vintage, but here's my rigid fork mtb -> {foul weather, commuter, utility, pub** bike conversion.





It's a 1997 Diamondback Sorrento - was my dad's first mtb. He put it in the attic for about 5 years, and then I used it to commute to college. It's been sitting around and I've been itching to get a racked, fendered touring bike, so it was the perfect candidate. Threw one some drop bars and levers I had sitting around, some 1.25" slicks, SPD/platform pedals, a new rear rim, and a new saddle. It's great, and really almost as fast as my Ti road bike for commuting and such.

The shifters are one thing that is especially odd. I wanted bar cons but no way I was shelling out close to $100 for a bike where my entire budget was about that. I found some Shimano Tourney thumb shifters for $17 shipped. Threw them on, had to find longer bolts to hold the clamps (road vs mountain bar diameter) but they work great and are reasonably ergonomic placed where they are.
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Old 01-21-13, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cs1
1982 - 1986 were lugged. 1982 - 1984 had a biplane fork. There were some TIG welded first year Stumpjumpers. They are quite rare.
They are both TIG welded, if I remember correctly one is an 81 and the other one an 82

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Old 01-21-13, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by guzziee
They are both TIG welded, if I remember correctly one is an 81 and the other one an 82

Only the first batch of 500 made from October through the end of December 1981 had the lugged crown fork with "SPECIALIZED" on the downtube and "STUMPJUMPER" on the top tube near the headset. Late 1982 Specialized switched from tig-welded frames to lugged frames. I have a tig-welded '82 and a lugged '82 as well as that tig-welded '82 beater I posted a page or two back. Cool photo, you can see how the ovalized the bottom of the seat tube for maximum weld surface. Guzziee your '81 and '82 are time capsule pieces! I remember when mine still had the foam grips and "Stumpjumper" seat. Your pair are looking amazing together, especially for being 30 and 31 years old! Thanks for sharing!

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Old 01-21-13, 06:53 PM
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Oh well, I was looking for a lugged model anyway. I like the early ones, but the lugs are key in my appreciation level. Not saying tig welded is bad, it just screams late eighties mtb to me.,,,,BD
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Old 01-21-13, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
Oh well, I was looking for a lugged model anyway. I like the early ones, but the lugs are key in my appreciation level. Not saying tig welded is bad, it just screams late eighties mtb to me.,,,,BD
Try realstevin7, he might have a lugged 83 or 85 he got from me a while ago.
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Old 01-22-13, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Are they the same size? I have found on conversions that I can go up a full size or so compared to my regular mtb. I did try to stretch it another size up, that did not work.

On the black chrome, I would not touch the finish. If there is rust, follow one of the various rust threads, spot treat with OA or whatever. I certainly would NOT PC a black chrome frame.

I'm a big fan of chrome (black or otherwise), so I would give a serious look at the High Sierra. Get some polishing compound, and dig in.
What do you recommend for polishing chrome?
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Old 01-22-13, 04:28 PM
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Simichrome or similar. If it is looking good, I'll just wax it.
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Old 01-22-13, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
Simichrome or similar. If it is looking good, I'll just wax it.
+1 to Bill and Simichrome!

Simichrome works so much better than any other product I've ever tried, save the time and elbow grease and get some!

https://www.simichrome-polish.com/

Who knows what those crazy Germans put in that stuff but it sure works wonders!!!

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Old 01-23-13, 03:40 AM
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finished converting my 1989 Apex into a single speed drop bar conversion.. hopefully will get a chance to take pics soon
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Old 01-23-13, 11:07 AM
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Frantik, I'll be most interested in the pics, ride report and how you did it, ie; parts you used and anything that had to be worked out.
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Old 01-23-13, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mainstreetexile
Just curious, has anyone adjusted their saddle position drastically or used a zero-setback seatpost for the old mountain bike frames with the really slack angles?
I had to do that with my plastic saddle otherwise there was too much set back. Now with my Brooks on there I use a regular setback post
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Old 01-23-13, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow
Frantik, I'll be most interested in the pics, ride report and how you did it, ie; parts you used and anything that had to be worked out.
this build was actually pretty easy because I had all the parts on hand already. most of the parts were take offs from my modern single speed cross bike... I'll post full details when i post pics
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Old 01-23-13, 02:11 PM
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Ok, here's a few pics

My 89 Apex has been like the red-headed step child bike.. ever since I got it, I've never really liked the ride.. it's weird and twitchy.. I blame the straight fork but who knows. Handling was just "ok" with a flat bar.. I tried a trekking bar and that actually wasn't half bad.

When i first got it, I pulled all the Deore II bits off and even swapped the HG freehub body from the wheels over to another bike, putting the UG hub on these wheels. The UG hub lent itself to making a SS, so I originally made one with a broken shimano 600 derailleur and a shimano 600 road crank with a giant 52t ring and 22 cog in the back.

More recently, I pulled the shimano 600 crankset from the bike for my modern Motobecane single speed, and then also pulled the Deore brakes and put them on the SS as well. The other night I got a wild hair and realized I could put the handlebars, brakes and crankset from the SS onto the Apex frame. I had everything on hand I needed except a chain, so I built it up and grabbed a chain..

I was hoping it would be a good combo, but it's not the anatomic road bar and need for a short stem make the handling worse than a flat bar. A wider dirt drop bar is probably a better choice, but I think whatever bar you put on this bike, it's just a dud. I also was never particularly impressed with the brake levers or the cantis, even before installing them on this bike. I think the Avid Shorty 4 cantis might function ok with better pads, but the stock pads leave a lot to be desired. I used old style straddle cables because the z-wires that came with the Avid brakes were for 700c wheels. I was hoping the straddle cables would allow for better adjustment and perhaps better braking, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.

Overall, not surprising to not be excited about a build made almost completely out of unwanted parts In the spring I may try flipping this bike as a drop bar conversion... would be interesting to see if there is interest. I think the fact it has a road bar and is a single speed could attract a younger audience who might otherwise not be interested in an old mountain bike.







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Old 01-23-13, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by frantik
Ok, here's a few pics

My 89 Apex has been like the red-headed step child bike.. ever since I got it, I've never really liked the ride.. it's weird and twitchy.. I blame the straight fork but who knows. Handling was just "ok" with a flat bar.. I tried a trekking bar and that actually wasn't half bad.

When i first got it, I pulled all the Deore II bits off and even swapped the HG freehub body from the wheels over to another bike, putting the UG hub on these wheels. The UG hub lent itself to making a SS, so I originally made one with a broken shimano 600 derailleur and a shimano 600 road crank with a giant 52t ring and 22 cog in the back.

More recently, I pulled the shimano 600 crankset from the bike for my modern Motobecane single speed, and then also pulled the Deore brakes and put them on the SS as well. The other night I got a wild hair and realized I could put the handlebars, brakes and crankset from the SS onto the Apex frame. I had everything on hand I needed except a chain, so I built it up and grabbed a chain..

I was hoping it would be a good combo, but it's not the anatomic road bar and need for a short stem make the handling worse than a flat bar. A wider dirt drop bar is probably a better choice, but I think whatever bar you put on this bike, it's just a dud. I also was never particularly impressed with the brake levers or the cantis, even before installing them on this bike. I think the Avid Shorty 4 cantis might function ok with better pads, but the stock pads leave a lot to be desired. I used old style straddle cables because the z-wires that came with the Avid brakes were for 700c wheels. I was hoping the straddle cables would allow for better adjustment and perhaps better braking, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.

Overall, not surprising to not be excited about a build made almost completely out of unwanted parts In the spring I may try flipping this bike as a drop bar conversion... would be interesting to see if there is interest. I think the fact it has a road bar and is a single speed could attract a younger audience who might otherwise not be interested in an old mountain bike.

What tires and hoops?
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Old 01-23-13, 02:40 PM
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Oooooh, Back in Black.

I'd be singing AC/DC to myself anytime I got within sight of that bike!

Kickass!
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