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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 04-25-13, 07:25 PM
  #1726  
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Originally Posted by pcdmiele
the anti drop bar mtn bike.
That is so obscene....
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Old 04-25-13, 10:57 PM
  #1727  
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For some reason makes me think of the office guys who change into Harley guys when the weekend comes. lol. Person who just wanted a mtb but damn thing hurts my back bending over so I'll pull a little fixaroo.
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Old 04-26-13, 02:20 AM
  #1728  
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This one is painful...

With the recent Panasonic postings, that got me thinking today about my ol' 7 Up colored Panasonic Mountain Cat. Last summer my cousin asked if I had a bike that I could lend him, he wanted to get some exercise and planned on hitting some fire roads near his home. I pulled out my '87 Panasonic MC-7500, the 18 speed XT set up was all tuned and ready to roll, I just needed to dust it off. Jump ahead ahead 8 months to today... these pictures speak for themselves!



Months of neglect and being left outside has aged my poor old friend! I snapped these pics where I found the bike behind his garage as the sun was going down. I promptly took my bike and loaded it into the back of my truck, we shared a few colorful words, and I ended the exchange with a swift crack to his nuts. I certainly don't want to paint the picture that the Mountain Cat 7500 was in pristine condition but it was in good condition for being 25 years old, obviously, it's been reduced to poor condition at best! Pretty sad... like I let an old buddy down or something.

This is what the bike looked like new:

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Old 04-26-13, 02:38 AM
  #1729  
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dang how much of that was done in the last 8 months? and did u really kick him in the nuts?
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Old 04-26-13, 03:14 AM
  #1730  
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Originally Posted by frantik
dang how much of that was done in the last 8 months? and did u really kick him in the nuts?
frantik, I tell 'ya what... most of the bad spots that are rusting where not there when he received the bike. Typical paint chips and scratches but nothing like mess, none of my bikes have that kind of abuse! I am a former boxer and kickboxer, so I could have easily kicked him, but I felt compelled to straight "punch the bag" if you will. The sunlight was fading but his face did turn a few shades red as I waved goodbye with one finger.
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Old 04-26-13, 04:55 PM
  #1731  
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Originally Posted by inkandsilver
Thrifty Bill, I'm curious -- what kind of price have you been able to get for your conversions? I am working on one that I like, but will be keeping an eye out for a larger frame, too. Thanks!
I've yet to sell a conversion. They have all been for family or friends only. I have been thinking about selling one. I have one person that bought another bike from me that does want one.

I've been thinking of building one, but using stem shifters instead. Those darn Suntour barcons have pretty good value, and most of the buyers I see really don't like them.

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Old 04-26-13, 04:57 PM
  #1732  
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WOW, that is disgusting what happened to that MC 7500.... That would really piss me off.
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Old 04-26-13, 05:21 PM
  #1733  
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That mountain cat abuse brings a tear to my eye.
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Old 04-26-13, 05:35 PM
  #1734  
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
That mountain cat abuse brings a tear to my eye.
Sounds like it also brought one to the eye of the perpetrator.
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Old 04-26-13, 06:12 PM
  #1735  
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Originally Posted by due ruote
Sounds like it also brought one to the eye of the perpetrator.
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Old 04-26-13, 06:19 PM
  #1736  
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Originally Posted by wrk101
I've yet to sell a conversion. They have all been for family or friends only. I have been thinking about selling one. I have one person that bought another bike from me that does want one.

I've been thinking of building one, but using stem shifters instead. Those darn Suntour barcons have pretty good value, and most of the buyers I see really don't like them.
that's a good idea about using stem shifters on a potential flip mtb

I haven't attempted to sell a drop bar conversion either but I think/suspect they would fetch more than the average mtb. Even the junkiest road bike goes for $100 around here, while it's not uncommon for good quality mtbs to go for under $100 (all of my mtbs except 2 were purchased for $80 or less). it's possible the drop bars would "hide" the fact it's an mtb, or at least make it more appealing to those looking for road bikes or hybrids.
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Old 04-26-13, 07:33 PM
  #1737  
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I just scored a banged up early 90's Stumpjumper. It's a 20-inch, with a really bad ding in the top tube. As soon as I get it fixed (any recommendations?) I'll build it up and post it here. No before pics, was too anxious to get it torn down for repair.
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Old 04-27-13, 02:36 AM
  #1738  
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These may have been posted already but they are a great simple inexpensive solution for drop bar mountain bikes. I have a set on a work in progress at the moment and while they arent as nice as many other shifters, they will do the job for most folks I think. I'll post some pics of the work in progress when it's a bit more put together. . .

https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Handle...r+top+shifters


(Not sure why the amazon link is so pricey- we stock and sell these at our shop for their MSRP which is around $17. Shop around or try your LBS for a better deal before you buy for sure!)
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Old 04-27-13, 02:41 AM
  #1739  
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^ i was just thinking about those today for someone who was asking me about building them a drop bar mtb
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Old 04-27-13, 06:48 AM
  #1740  
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I did this price estimate for the person who I mentioned above that was asking about drop bar conversions. ( I put the actual parts i'm thinking of in parentheses for you guys)

Handlebars - $40 (Gary II)
Brake levers - $40 (Cane Creek SCR-5)
Stem - $30 (threadless adapter + cheap threadless stem)
Shifters - $20 (Shimano A050)
Handlebar tape - $10 (from LBS)
New cables - $10 (from LBS)

If you don't have any parts on hand, a conversion can run around $150


some updates..
I think I finally found an ok stem for the Trek 8300 composite.. if it's still too small I may have to break down and get one of those threadless extension things.. one threadless clamp is already ugly enough .. I have a 40 degree stem with a 130mm extension.. it's not the same shape as the "LD" stem but still kinda reminds of the same geometry. I also have some Suntour XCE shifters coming.. they have have steel clamps, and I'm interested to see if the Suntour XC Pro shifters I have can be swapped onto the steel clamps and then put on a drop bar. Otherwise i'm considering filing down the original XC clamps to get them to fit on a drop bar.. need to remove about 1mm from all around the clamp to make it fit.

I'm considering this same strategy for the Shimano Deore XT thumbies i have.. I have some "plain" Deore thumbies with steel bands, and I'm 99% sure thumbies themselves are the same except the steel band and the plastic cap that has the branding. If they are different, I could just swap the XT caps onto the deore bodies These will go on the Jamis, which i'm also planning the drop bar treatment for. I've been slowly cleaning up and acquiring XT parts for the Jamis, but I haven't gotten any of the drop bar specific parts yet.. I need a stem that will take a drop bar first, and I really don't want to use a threadless adapter
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Old 04-27-13, 07:43 AM
  #1741  
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If you went with 2 of the 3 rings (gravel bike), and used Veloce brifters (assuming indexed shimano RD with 7 or 8 speed cassette already on the bike), it would be something like...

Handlebars - $40 (Gary II)
Stem - $30 (threadless adapter + cheap threadless stem)
Handlebar tape - $10 (from LBS)
Campy Veloce brifters (inc cables) - $105 (from Ribble)

If you wanted to retain all the rings, then the triple brifters are about $175. They kinda stick it to you for the one extra click...

You might be able to make the veloce double brifter work on a triple as there are four index FD settings, whereas the triple brifter has five.

Plus shipping on the stuff.

Just a little different possibility if the bike has the right stuff to build off of (shimano indexed).
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Old 04-27-13, 08:28 AM
  #1742  
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Sure wish I could drop bar this 1985 Cimarron. Barends too expensive and I just don't think I could live with stem shift, though.


schwinn cimmaron by Wheel Deals Vancouver, WA, on Flickr
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Old 04-27-13, 08:37 AM
  #1743  
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^ do those shifters have an alloy or steel clamp? if they are steel you can easily put them on a drop bar

Originally Posted by Chrome Molly
If you went with 2 of the 3 rings (gravel bike), and used Veloce brifters (assuming indexed shimano RD with 7 or 8 speed cassette already on the bike), it would be something like...

Handlebars - $40 (Gary II)
Stem - $30 (threadless adapter + cheap threadless stem)
Handlebar tape - $10 (from LBS)
Campy Veloce brifters (inc cables) - $105 (from Ribble)
The brifters you're suggesting are 10 speed right? that means you need a 10 speed cassette too. you could use an vintage 7/8 speed cassette with some vintage brifters which you might be able to get cheaper than $100.. but you can get used brakes and shifters for cheap too
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Old 04-27-13, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by frantik
^ do those shifters have an alloy or steel clamp? if they are steel you can easily put them on a drop bar
They're the original spec XT with cast clamp. I think I have a nice pair of SR shifters with PowerShifter-style clicks and a steel band clamp, maybe I'll give that a whirl, since someone already swapped out the XT rear derailleur for a Deore unit.
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Old 04-27-13, 10:11 AM
  #1745  
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Originally Posted by frantik
^ do those shifters have an alloy or steel clamp? if they are steel you can easily put them on a drop bar



The brifters you're suggesting are 10 speed right? that means you need a 10 speed cassette too. you could use an vintage 7/8 speed cassette with some vintage brifters which you might be able to get cheaper than $100.. but you can get used brakes and shifters for cheap too
Not really necessary. Campy 10 speed shifters have worked well for a number of people here with shimano 8 speed rear derailleur and cassette. It's called a Shimergo setup and is supposedly the cheapest way these days to do brifters on an 8 speed if you don't have a working vintage set hanging around, though the prices on the veloce keeps going up. Used to be too that there wasn't a difference between double and triple shifters with Campy Ergos as all could do both. I wonder when that changed.
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Old 04-27-13, 11:04 AM
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Yep, shimergo. Campy 10 speed controls work with shimano rear setups in 8 speed, and I have had good luck with 7 speed (in those cases where you're limited to freewheels - it works OK, just have to futz with the stops a bit more). If I have a cassette to work with, I'll just swap in 8 speed spacers between the cogs and a 8 onto 10 freehub spacer on the inside of the cassette.

So depending on what you start with, it could be a sorta cheap setup. Later MTB's had 8 speed indexed controls, and the only potential gotcha is that you need to find a way to get less cable pull on the mountain front derailleur (usually putting the cable on the inboard side of the "post" works for that). The only thing you get with the new Veloce triple brifters is one extra click, otherwise identical.

You can maybe see in the thumbnail how the cable was placed on the inboard side of the FD. I included couple of gratuitous pictures of my Croll (which is now sub 23 with the crossrides and X0 tires). Just got it cleaned up from a morning gravel jaunt, and it was gleaming in the sun. I may eventually want a top swing FD that better matches the angle of the frame, but for now callin' it done. Neighbor putting his snow thrower away and getting out the planters in the background, life is good...
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Old 04-27-13, 11:34 AM
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So when did Veloce (and I'm assuming other levels) go from having like 6 (or 12) clicks on the left to just having 2 or 3? It was my understanding that they used to have a lot of clicks that you could use for detailed trimming but that also allowed for either type of crank. Is that wrong?
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Old 04-27-13, 11:41 AM
  #1748  
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There are about six or so "up" clicks, but only two "down" stops. The triple throws in one more "down" stop, and maybe two more "up" clicks.

IIRC at one time there was much more up and down tuning, but I'm quite sure what I describe above is what you get with Veloce. It has a fancy term that I can't remember. Effectively when working a double crank, you can stagger the two down stops in such a way that you can get "high" and "low" ranges of the cassette in both rings (with the limit screw on the FD being the "lower" on the inner ring, acting as the third down stop). Trying to use double controls on a triple would give up some of the "high/low" range trim, since you'd need to set it up to center on the chainring instead of splitting it up.

Sorry if that's impossibly vague, but that's the only way I know to describe it.
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Old 04-27-13, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Chrome Molly
There are about six or so "up" clicks, but only two "down" stops. The triple throws in one more "down" stop, and maybe two more "up" clicks.

IIRC at one time there was much more up and down tuning, but I'm quite sure what I describe above is what you get with Veloce. It has a fancy term that I can't remember. Effectively when working a double crank, you can stagger the two down stops in such a way that you can get "high" and "low" ranges of the cassette in both rings (with the limit screw on the FD being the "lower" on the inner ring, acting as the third down stop). Trying to use double controls on a triple would give up some of the "high/low" range trim, since you'd need to set it up to center on the chainring instead of splitting it up.

Sorry if that's impossibly vague, but that's the only way I know to describe it.
That's not impossibly vague, well said Chrome Molly! You just exactly explained why I ran the Sugino Super Maxy double crank on my Cimarron, I wanted that flexibility. The added benefit of a swaged crank gives me unlimited possibilities for chain ring combinations, a forged crank would have limited my options.

As far as "ShimErgo" is concerned, I loved the idea when I read about it and that's why I opted for the budget buy Shimano Sora brifters to try it out. The Sora are the only Shimano brifter similar to the Campy Ergo shifters that use a paddle to shift. If I dig the set up, then I'll be replacing the inferior Shimano shifters with the much nicer Campy set up. I'm not generally opposed to new tech stuff, I do love the older stuff for the quality, but there are some nice advancements... "ShimErgo" blends well and is almost ideal for our retro drop bar conversions. Here is some good reading plus pictures for you visual learners like me, Chuck Glider goes into specific details on his blog about his "ShimErgo" conversion. https://workingoncycles.blogspot.com/...your-bike.html
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Old 04-27-13, 01:00 PM
  #1750  
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Back top the dirt drop handlebar subject, I wanted to again state my fondness for the On-One Midge bar... it's and awesome handlebar and right now it's the best deal going! A page back I posted links to many dirt drop bars, here are some actual photos of the Midge bar that just arrived in the mail, only took two days with free shipping. There was some arguments on a different forum as to whether or not the Midge bar can run bar end shifters, yes it can as pictured. I installed the left over Dura Ace bar end mount, I ran the shifter on a PAUL Thumbie on my 96'er 1X9 conversion, so even a modern bar end shifter will mount up securely on the Midge.
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