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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 02-17-13, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by norwood
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.
I think I know those aero bars! I see them more than I want to sometimes, working as a bike mechanic. If you ever switch to 9 speed(assuming it's not already) You can use the Sram attack shifters. They work well! I had them on my 9 speed conversion P-1AM. Sadly I never even got to take it offroad with the new shifters. My ex convinced me to sell it, then she packed up and left a month later. I'd rather have the bike back, than her. I did get nearly $600 for a bike I paid $218 for out the door, employee price. (before mods of course).,,,,BD

Here are the Attack 9 speed shifters, they have a cool rough finish metallic charcoal.



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Old 02-18-13, 12:15 AM
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Today I finished detailing the the '85 Cimarron frame that came out of a dumpster. Once I got the filth removed, I found badly oxidized paint but there's just about nothing that Zymol can't restore to a nice luster. Aside from a few bad spots, the frame shined up pretty well, not bad for almost 30 year old paint. My next task was to see what SimiChrome would do to the original XT "Deerhead" components. Like the frame, the parts polished up well, and together the bike is doing a fine job of hiding its age. The Nitto Technomic stem paired with the Nitto Albatross bar make for a versatile and comfortable cockpit. I bolted on a pair of Ciussi Elite water bottle cages, fitted some new bamboo fenders, and installed a vintage Cannondale rear rack. I swapped the new Oury grips for the stock Schwinn grips, just one more stock part that'll live on with this restoration. My neighbor was out walking his dog and stopped to ask if I got a new bike, I explained the whole dumpster thing and blew his mind that the bike is nearing a 30 year old salvage from the garbage.
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Old 02-18-13, 12:50 AM
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Great work, Norwood! Totally agree about the look of oodles of seatpost and stem, it can be hard to avoid when converting.

That flat-bar add-on to mount shifters is pretty slick -- I took the easy route by converting mine to fixed-gear.
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Old 02-18-13, 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Great work, Norwood! Totally agree about the look of oodles of seatpost and stem, it can be hard to avoid when converting.
As I can appreciate what Norwood and ThermionicScott mean about ample seatpost and stem... I'm of the completely opposite mindset when it comes to frame design and the seatpost/stem relationship. For my trail bikes this is especially true, I wholeheartedly follow the designs of Charlie Cunningham, small tight triangles make for a stiff frame. When I picked up my Bridgestone MB-1, I wanted a small frame, one much too small for my 6' frame but with the right stem and tall seatpost... I'd have my dream dirt drop bike. I love this bike, it's hands down the best bike I've ever owned, pure joy in the dirt!!!

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Old 02-18-13, 02:28 AM
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Still playing around with the cockpit of the Team Marin, a process that often takes a year or so for me. Since this pic I've unflipped stem to +6 degrees but that feels too tall, needs to be under a 10mm spacer i think. Also think I need to go with a 90mm stem (currently 110 on there). Also thinking about VO tall stack stem but I think -17 deg would be too low for this old man on this steerer. I was SOOO tempted by the Soma ES fork I saw in a shop but I'm not near rich enough for $140 fork ATM.

This was the first ride with CX tires, 37 front, 30 rear. Plenty of clearance for bigger front and back.


Untitled by Lester.L., on Flickr


Untitled by Lester.L., on Flickr

Once I decide it's warm enough I'll get some clips and straps pedals on there...


Suntour Cyclone pedals. by Lester.L., on Flickr
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Old 02-18-13, 07:52 AM
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That looks like a lot of steerer tube showing for a threadless fork? Just saying,,,,BD
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Old 02-18-13, 09:05 AM
  #1007  
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Originally Posted by Bikedued

Great looking build! Definitely don't hate it.
But, how is it working out with those V brakes and Tektro R200a road/canti brake levers? Wouldn't the V brake specific model would have been a better choice?
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Old 02-18-13, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by seely
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.
It seems like this is the consensus for tall folks, but it was interesting to read neo-pop's perspective too. I am 6'4" and not sure whether I can make even a 23" work well. I also wondered about this here. The top tubes on these bikes tend to be longish, but the slack angles make them effectively shorter.

Any other of you tall guys/girls want to share suggestions or solutions? Or photos?
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Old 02-18-13, 11:23 AM
  #1009  
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Originally Posted by inkandsilver
The top tubes on these bikes tend to be longish, but the slack angles make them effectively shorter.
Can someone explain how this works? Most of the early mtbs I've seen have 70/70 angles, which seems like it would make the long top tube a long top tube. For example, my 23" frame with a 60cm top tube with 70/70 angles would still have the distance between the top of the seatpost and the top of the stem be 60cm.

It seems like the only way to make the top tube effectively shorter would be to have a steeper seat angle then head tube angle. Am I missing something?
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Old 02-18-13, 11:31 AM
  #1010  
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Originally Posted by neo_pop_71


Today I finished detailing the the '85 Cimarron frame that came out of a dumpster. Once I got the filth removed, I found badly oxidized paint but there's just about nothing that Zymol can't restore to a nice luster. Aside from a few bad spots, the frame shined up pretty well, not bad for almost 30 year old paint. My next task was to see what SimiChrome would do to the original XT "Deerhead" components. Like the frame, the parts polished up well, and together the bike is doing a fine job of hiding its age. The Nitto Technomic stem paired with the Nitto Albatross bar make for a versatile and comfortable cockpit. I bolted on a pair of Ciussi Elite water bottle cages, fitted some new bamboo fenders, and installed a vintage Cannondale rear rack. I swapped the new Oury grips for the stock Schwinn grips, just one more stock part that'll live on with this restoration. My neighbor was out walking his dog and stopped to ask if I got a new bike, I explained the whole dumpster thing and blew his mind that the bike is nearing a 30 year old salvage from the garbage.
That's a great looking bike!
I've just found that for me, with the smaller frames I can't get my butt back far enough to take some of the weight off my hands and wrists which of course leads to a great deal of discomfort. So I'm hunched over, hands numb, wrists sore, and my neck/shoulders killing me. I'm not a racer/athlete and don't want to be. Probably the most comfortable bike I've ever owned was a 25" frame Raleigh Technium. Unfortunately I sold it after listening for so long from those who said it was "much too big for me". Regretted that ever since.
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Old 02-18-13, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mainstreetexile
Can someone explain how this works? Most of the early mtbs I've seen have 70/70 angles, which seems like it would make the long top tube a long top tube. For example, my 23" frame with a 60cm top tube with 70/70 angles would still have the distance between the top of the seatpost and the top of the stem be 60cm.
Here's how I understand it: assuming you want to keep your knees at the same position relative to the BB as your other bikes, you would need to move your saddle forward on a bike with slack angles, backward on a bike with steep angles. Moving the saddle forward "eats up" some of the top tube length -- I think the rule of thumb is 1cm for every degree of seat tube angle.

At the same time, a slacker HT angle puts the bars closer to you than a steeper HT angle, also "shortening" the top tube a little.
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Old 02-18-13, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Here's how I understand it: assuming you want to keep your knees at the same position relative to the BB as your other bikes, you would need to move your saddle forward on a bike with slack angles, backward on a bike with steep angles. Moving the saddle forward "eats up" some of the top tube length -- I think the rule of thumb is 1cm for every degree of seat tube angle.

At the same time, a slacker HT angle puts the bars closer to you than a steeper HT angle, also "shortening" the top tube a little.
Interesting, thanks Scott. That makes sense when you add saddle placement into the mix.

I remember looking around about saddle placement with slack angles and found a post on lovely bicycle that talks about what you mention, moving the saddle forward to effectively steepen the seat tube angle. I posted here before and asked if people tended to move their seats forward on these conversions to counteract the slack angles, but I didn't hear any responses and a lot of the pictures I see seem to still have the seats pretty far back.

In fine-tuning the fit on my cimarron, I've ended up with a short/tall stem and my saddle as far forward as it will go on the rails and this seems to be comfortable for me (since the top tube was way too long to start with).
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Old 02-18-13, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued
That looks like a lot of steerer tube showing for a threadless fork? Just saying,,,,BD
It is a lot. That's why I'd like a VO tall stack stem. If only they made them in a 90-100 degree variety. I think the 73 degree would be to low. If there were such a beast I could just run that stem with less than 10mm of spacers.

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Old 02-19-13, 09:19 AM
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Here is my 1988 Peugeot Canyon Express that I finished yesterday. I think I still need to tweek it a little. The Gary bars seem ridiculously wide. I'm going to have to take it on a longer ride than just up and down the street before I can decide if I like it or not.






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Old 02-19-13, 09:37 AM
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Woah.

Also, I think the WTB Speed V Comp is one of the most underrated saddles around for distance riding. It's cheap too!
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Old 02-19-13, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by big_heineken
The Gary bars seem ridiculously wide. I'm going to have to take it on a longer ride than just up and down the street before I can decide if I like it or not.

nice build, and yeah the gary bars are pretty wide especially if you are used to road bars. but compared to other dirt drop bars, the gary bars are actually the least wide.
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Old 02-19-13, 06:36 PM
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My On-One Midge bars are wider than the Gary bars and they have more flare in the drops but the drops are flatter than the more traditional "road bar" shape of the Gary bars. Looking at your bar/lever set up, I can't imagine riding on the hoods for long, your hands are so far in front of the axle. Yikes! It seems to me that you be really stretched out, not saying that it doesn't work for you but wow! I didn't care for the Gary bar and I gave mine to a friend... I love the Midge bar, super comfortable with plenty of hand positions.
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Old 02-19-13, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by WNG
Great looking build! Definitely don't hate it.
But, how is it working out with those V brakes and Tektro R200a road/canti brake levers? Wouldn't the V brake specific model would have been a better choice?
If you look closer you can see the thin profile side view of the Travel Agents. The brake feel is rather light and responsive, and I could do an endo if I was sure I wouldn't crack my skull, lol. I had a set of brand new carbon fiber TRP cross levers GIVEN to me as well, so those are on there too. The braking power is amazing from either lever, and is almost overkill for a single speed in a flat area.,,,,BD

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Old 02-19-13, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by inkandsilver
It seems like this is the consensus for tall folks, but it was interesting to read neo-pop's perspective too. I am 6'4" and not sure whether I can make even a 23" work well. I also wondered about this here. The top tubes on these bikes tend to be longish, but the slack angles make them effectively shorter.

Any other of you tall guys/girls want to share suggestions or solutions? Or photos?
24"
I would prefer a more racey frame but I take what I can get


Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Here's how I understand it: assuming you want to keep your knees at the same position relative to the BB as your other bikes, you would need to move your saddle forward on a bike with slack angles, backward on a bike with steep angles. Moving the saddle forward "eats up" some of the top tube length -- I think the rule of thumb is 1cm for every degree of seat tube angle.

At the same time, a slacker HT angle puts the bars closer to you than a steeper HT angle, also "shortening" the top tube a little.
Yes, maybe. This bike is very close to how I have my road bikes fitted. ~60cm top tube with ~130mm stem. The reach is a bit less being upright with a higher positive rise stem but I am still pushing my saddle all the way back.

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Old 02-19-13, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by striknein
Woah.

Also, I think the WTB Speed V Comp is one of the most underrated saddles around for distance riding. It's cheap too!
Agreed! My personal favorite.
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Old 02-20-13, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by seely
Agreed! My personal favorite.
+1

I like how these saddles work well as road or mtb saddles. I've bought a few.

Cambria is selling the Pro-Gel version of these for $35 right now online, which has a more-expensive look to it and a little more comfy, if heavier.
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Old 02-21-13, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by striknein
Woah.

Also, I think the WTB Speed V Comp is one of the most underrated saddles around for distance riding. It's cheap too!
Agreed 100%! I have a Speed V, and now a friend just gave me a Pure V. He was on a year long search for his favorite saddle, and knowing WTB comfort I gladly accepted it. Also was a partial prepayment for recabling his Specialized Venge, which is a brutal job that often doesn't work correctly once you're done. I'm up for it though.,,,,BD
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Old 02-21-13, 11:07 AM
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Got started on my Crosscut earlier in the week. It's not actually going to have the mustache bars, I just tacked them on right now for a more complete look. I have a pair of Salsa Woodchippers for it, but am waiting on my order of a 31.8 stem and a quill to threadless adapter to arrive.

Since the bike is white and has a black replacement fork, I tried to stick with white and black components as much as possible. I like the way it is turning out.


'92 Schwinn Crosscut by Yo Spiff, on Flickr


'92 Schwinn Crosscut by Yo Spiff, on Flickr


'92 Schwinn Crosscut by Yo Spiff, on Flickr


'92 Schwinn Crosscut by Yo Spiff, on Flickr

It may get topped with this reborn Selle Anatomica saddle that RHM did for me.

RHM Custom by Yo Spiff, on Flickr
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Old 02-21-13, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Yo Spiff
Got started on my Crosscut earlier in the week. It's not actually going to have the mustache bars, I just tacked them on right now for a more complete look. I have a pair of Salsa Woodchippers for it, but am waiting on my order of a 31.8 stem and a quill to threadless adapter to arrive.

Since the bike is white and has a black replacement fork, I tried to stick with white and black components as much as possible. I like the way it is turning out.


'92 Schwinn Crosscut by Yo Spiff, on Flickr


'92 Schwinn Crosscut by Yo Spiff, on Flickr


'92 Schwinn Crosscut by Yo Spiff, on Flickr


'92 Schwinn Crosscut by Yo Spiff, on Flickr

It may get topped with this reborn Selle Anatomica saddle that RHM did for me.

RHM Custom by Yo Spiff, on Flickr

Yep, that is totally the frame I had a while back.
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Old 02-21-13, 11:49 AM
  #1025  
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Originally Posted by realestvin7
Yep, that is totally the frame I had a while back.
So it IS yours, not just one like it? I picked it up from a guy in the Forest Hill area who buys and sells a lot of stuff on Craigslist. He always has some ads running. I think he's making at least a few extra $ at it. I wonder how many stops it made between you and I? When did you get rid of it?


It had some spots of surface rust here and there. Nothing a little rustoleum couldn't hide from all but a very close inspection.
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