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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 02-16-13, 10:13 PM
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^ rockhopper is placed above hardrock in the specialized line up, but once specialized went to "direct drive" tubing it's kind of mysterious exactly how the frames are constructed.

unless the rockhopper is significantly older than the hard rock, it's probably equal or nicer in quality.
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Old 02-16-13, 10:14 PM
  #977  
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Originally Posted by bobotech
So I want your opinions. I found a rather rough yet complete Specialized Rock Hopper frameset today with the drivetrain still intact. This will be the basis of my drop bar conversion, moving over the parts on my late model Hard Rock.

Is the Rock Hopper a better frame than the old Hard Rock that we have at the co-op?
You don't mention year of Rockhopper but almost assuredly yes, better than Hard Rock. There was a Rockhopper 26 which had a slightly crappier frame than the average Rock Hopper but most are pretty nice.
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Old 02-16-13, 10:23 PM
  #978  
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Originally Posted by IthaDan
What's to hate? That thing looks like one hell of a backroad bomber.
+1, that's a cool looking bike, and I love the paint! I thought the later Super Sports had a straight bladed fork, is that the original one? The rake and head tube angle look pretty relaxed (not unlike many of the older MTB's we've been converting to drop bars,) how does this one handle in comparison to an MTB?
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Old 02-16-13, 11:18 PM
  #979  
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It seems a little reluctant to tuck into a tight curve, like when you drop the outside pedal and put your weight on it to lower the center of gravity. I've tried that and even with all my weight on the one foot it feels light( a normal road bike you can feel your weight bear down on the one pedal). I may get the hang of it sooner or later, and be swooping around on it. I am definitely having to "feel it out" It feels neutral sometimes, until you really start leaning, but it never feels scary. It handles a little like a slack mtb, that will carry the speed of a road bike. In other words, It's docile like an early mtb, but it is light enough to get some actual speed.

It's an 08 model, and has the original fork. With the stock parts it weighed a ton, Altus 8 speed and big thick Suntour cranks, suspension seat post and a saddle that Serfas would be proud of, with "bio tuned" on the side. It is an N'litened frame... I had it built up once before with road bars, but weighed between 26-29 pounds during that build. Now it's under 22. It made a humongous change in how the bike feels!,,,,BD

https://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...e#.USBrpR2ORqc
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Old 02-17-13, 12:43 AM
  #980  
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
Well, you guys let one hybrid in a while back. Well, this is hybrid taken to the extreme roadie side. Most may argue it doesn't belong here, and they may be right(being not a mtb, and not vintage). In my opinion it has taken a utilitarian flat bar bike, and turned into a drop bar bike, which is what this thread is about. I'll understand if you hate it, but it is what it is. An extremely comfortable rocket of a bike. It scoots along VERY well, though I haven't put a speedometer on it yet. 21 pounds 13 ounces as it sits. It's going ten speed soon though, and then the frame may be replaced by something more cyclocross in nature.,,,,BD

This looks surprisingly awesome. I want to ride it!
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Old 02-17-13, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by frantik
^ rockhopper is placed above hardrock in the specialized line up, but once specialized went to "direct drive" tubing it's kind of mysterious exactly how the frames are constructed.

unless the rockhopper is significantly older than the hard rock, it's probably equal or nicer in quality.
Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
You don't mention year of Rockhopper but almost assuredly yes, better than Hard Rock. There was a Rockhopper 26 which had a slightly crappier frame than the average Rock Hopper but most are pretty nice.
I'm not sure on the year. It does say "direct drive" on the sticker below the top tube on the seat tube. I kind of wonder if this frame is worthy of being powder coated before I convert it or should I just let it be?
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Old 02-17-13, 05:08 AM
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i'd skip the powder coat myself
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Old 02-17-13, 10:39 AM
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I can't speak to the specifics of your Rockhopper's era without a picture to see the decals but I can tell you that my '91 Stumpjumper Comp (matte gray w/red decals) had the "Direct Drive" Prestige tubing. You might be able to nailed it down by looking at the components. I do know with some certainty that anything "Direct Drive" ran through the '90's and then was switched up around the big Y2K rollover. Oh yeah, hideous paint schemes would be indicative of the late '80's and early '90's if that helps. I'd spend the dough powdering a Stumpjumper, the Prestige is worth the expense but like frantik, I'd pass on doing that to a Rockhopper.
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Old 02-17-13, 10:43 AM
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It seemed like every Specialized steel bike had a Direct Drive sticker on it during that time period, that I've ever seen. Were there levels within the DD tubing?,,,,BD
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Old 02-17-13, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by acoffin
This looks surprisingly awesome. I want to ride it!
If you're under 5'11" bring your own seatpost, I lucked out that I just tall enough to use it, at 6'1" Makes me wonder if both the Super Sport and Defy frames were built by Giant in 08. Geometry similarities, that would allow the use of this post. I have about an inch of extra showing, past the aero portion.,,,,BD
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Old 02-17-13, 10:58 AM
  #986  
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I wouldn`t go for new paint or PC on any frame before building it up and trying it out first. You can always strip it back down for prettifying once you know for sure whether or not you like it. My opinion, anyway.

Re; Direct Drive tubing- my 89 Rh Comp just says
"Custom Gauge
Triple Butted CrMo
Taiwan"
No mention of tubing brand. Hope that helps.

While it`s light enough by my standards, frankly I`m disappointed in the sloppy work. Looks okay on the big tubes, but kind of bird turd reminiscant for the hard to reach spots between the stays, around the bridges. No fancy paint job on the horizon for this one.

General Spec mtb model question: My understanding is that they slapped the "Comp" label on bikes with upgraded components compared to non-Comp bikes, frames being equal. Is that correct?

Oh, my not so pretty Hopper now has a permanet stem instead of teh adjustable model that I used for fitting, so the bike is now about as done as it`s going to get. It does come out under 25#, but only when naked - pump + tool/tube bag stay on all my bikes permanently, so that puts it up to almost 26. I`ll do a final photo shoot when my wife gets back from her weekend trip because she has our camera.
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Old 02-17-13, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by neo_pop_71
I can't speak to the specifics of your Rockhopper's era without a picture to see the decals but I can tell you that my '91 Stumpjumper Comp (matte gray w/red decals) had the "Direct Drive" Prestige tubing. You might be able to nailed it down by looking at the components. I do know with some certainty that anything "Direct Drive" ran through the '90's and then was switched up around the big Y2K rollover. Oh yeah, hideous paint schemes would be indicative of the late '80's and early '90's if that helps. I'd spend the dough powdering a Stumpjumper, the Prestige is worth the expense but like frantik, I'd pass on doing that to a Rockhopper.
Well here are some pics of the frame and the components that were still on the frame:

Exage 400lx components


Tubing sticker and puppy


Some of the worst paint problems on the frame, the chainstays have a lot of black paint rubbed off, the white isn't reflection, it is missing paint












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Old 02-17-13, 12:13 PM
  #988  
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Originally Posted by bobotech
Some of the worst paint problems on the frame, the chainstays have a lot of black paint rubbed off, the white isn't reflection, it is missing paint

Well I got busy with washing the frame and low and behold, the white turned out to be paint that came off with a scotch brite pad. I am now waxing it and will see what I think once I rubbed the wax down. But there still is a fair amount of paint missing but the above pictured part is fine now.
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Old 02-17-13, 12:28 PM
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This is a 1992 Rockhopper with the same Shimano Exage 400 LX grouppo that yours has. I'm almost certain that your is a 1991 model, the '92 catalogs has a few Rockhopper models but none that came in black. If I'm not mistaken, '92 was the last year that anyone was using Bio-Pace cranks, in '93 Shimano went to black Deore LX cranks. Stay with the rigid headset and fork set up, hopefully the headset is still in good shape. If so, clean it and pack it with Phil Wood grease and you're solid. If you swap the fork and headset you are going to have issues because every single Japanese/Taiwanese made Specialized bike that I've ever owned or worked on had JIS, not ISO reamed head tube and crown race. If budget is your plan, stick with the stock set up... as long as the headset isn't wasted.

Good luck!

p.s. Singlespeed? Those semi-vertical dropouts went away mid-year in '92, so you have the potential for a nice singlespeed without the need for a chain tensioner... always cool in my opinion, nothing to break or get snagged up!
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Old 02-17-13, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
It seemed like every Specialized steel bike had a Direct Drive sticker on it during that time period, that I've ever seen. Were there levels within the DD tubing?,,,,BD
Again, I can't speak to other models aside from the Stumpjumper, I would assume the same model variations applied, but to answer your question... yes. In 1991 Specialized made 7 Stumpjumper models, all came with the same CroMo rigid fork, but each had different frame specs but were "Direct Drive" models. The standard Stumpjumper was double butted CroMo, The "Comp" was Tange Prestige with double butted CroMo stays, and the "Team" was full Tange Prestige. After that the models got into Metal Matrix M2, then carbon tubes with CroMo lugs, and finally the Epic Ultimate with carbon tubes and titanium lugs. Each model came with a better grouppo mix too... Deore DX SIS II on the standard all the way up to Suntour XC Pro on the Epic Ultimate.

Last edited by neo_pop_71; 02-17-13 at 01:11 PM. Reason: sp. error
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Old 02-17-13, 05:14 PM
  #991  
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Finally done with my Scott drop bar conversion. Not sure of the year of manufacture, maybe someone would be able to tell me that. After years of off-again on-again searching through ebay and craigslist, finally found a good candidate that wasn't Hobbit-sized. I can't stand a lot of seatpost showing or being being hunched over. It measures out at about 22.5" to center of toptube, 23" to top of seattube, or in the 57 to 58 cm range. I'm about 5'9" and it fits me perfectly. It had thru-tube cable routing. It was labeled Scott "Comp", the original paint was a little rough and it had a couple minor dents in the top tube and down tube that I wanted to fix plus the pink had to go. So I elected to do a rattle-can repaint. I was able to source some decals as well. I was told when I bought it that it had canti bosses but soon found out that wasn't quite true. I thought that if I really came to like the frame, I would braze on some rear canti bosses. I managed to find a NOS Suntour XC Power Roller Cam rear brake. A little tricky to set up but seems to be working fine. Nothing really fancy for the rest of the components just good solid stuff. Probably the most comfortable bike I have now.


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Old 02-17-13, 05:22 PM
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^ wow man, I bet you could conquer continents with that bike. Amazing build and very smart idea of mounting the shifters on that extra bar. No knee interference?
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Old 02-17-13, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Italuminium
^ wow man, I bet you could conquer continents with that bike. Amazing build and very smart idea of mounting the shifters on that extra bar. No knee interference?
Thanks, no, no knee clearance issues. Hoping to do some camping/touring with it (if I ever get enough time off from work).
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Old 02-17-13, 05:58 PM
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That Scott, Rocks!! Superb job! I was trying to wrap my head around that silver bar at first, then noticed the shifters, and was like Ohhhhh! Awesome! You can put bar ends on if you ever get tired of the twisties, too. Or even STI's if you can find em:-),,,,BD

You could mount all kinds of stuff on that bar too Lights(upside down to clear the bag), computers, phone mount, GPS mount. Very nice!
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Old 02-17-13, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by norwood
plus the pink had to go
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Old 02-17-13, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
That Scott, Rocks!! Superb job! I was trying to wrap my head around that silver bar at first, then noticed the shifters, and was like Ohhhhh! Awesome! You can put bar ends on if you ever get tired of the twisties, too. Or even STI's if you can find em:-),,,,BD

You could mount all kinds of stuff on that bar too Lights(upside down to clear the bag), computers, phone mount, GPS mount. Very nice!
Thanks, I appreciate that. I had an old Profile aerobar with these mounting brackets and a length of 7/8" alum. tubing and had one of those "lightbulb" moments. I love twisty shifters except oddly enough on straight bar mountain bikes.
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Old 02-17-13, 07:47 PM
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The Scott looks fantastic! I know what you mean about the frame sizing -- I'm just over 6' and all legs, and it took me FOREVER to find a 23" framed bike. Even then, I'm running a tall stem & more seat post then I would normally like.
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Old 02-17-13, 07:49 PM
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Has anyone here ever tried to sell their creation locally? I have a couple mtn frames and a ton of components.. I would consider slapping a few together and selling them. Hell, I even have some 9 speed brifters hanging around here somewhere.... Anyway, do they sell well? They are unique, yet functional, enough.
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Old 02-17-13, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Refresco
Has anyone here ever tried to sell their creation locally? I have a couple mtn frames and a ton of components.. I would consider slapping a few together and selling them. Hell, I even have some 9 speed brifters hanging around here somewhere.... Anyway, do they sell well? They are unique, yet functional, enough.
I think a lot of it would depend on where you are. In an area with an active cycling/commuting segment, I think there would probably be some interest, but in an area that's not too bike savvy, I think most people would just scratch their head and move on.
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Old 02-17-13, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Refresco
Has anyone here ever tried to sell their creation locally? I have a couple mtn frames and a ton of components.. I would consider slapping a few together and selling them. Hell, I even have some 9 speed brifters hanging around here somewhere.... Anyway, do they sell well? They are unique, yet functional, enough.
I have one waiting to sell this spring/summer that is a single speed and drop bar. single speeds and fixed gear are popular out here, so i think the combination might get some interest, certainly more than a standard multi-gear mtb with drops.
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