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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 09-19-13, 05:16 PM
  #2376  
seely
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WOW. Great deal IMHO. I wish I had the cash, I would love to give this a good home (and some drop bars). Check out that rear chainstay length!

Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Anyone in the Joliet IL area? If this was either a) my size or b) not so far away, I'd be all over it. Nice Panasonic lugged frame, full Deore, and really clean.

I know there's a CL thread, but thought this might get more interest here.

http://chicago.craigslist.org/sox/bik/4073178519.html

[h=2]Panasonic MC 4500, Tange frame, Deore - $100 (Frankfort)[/h]
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Old 09-19-13, 06:03 PM
  #2377  
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
As far as I can tell, the only drawback to the Midge bars is the mouse gets covered up by the stem clamp.
I wish the flat part of the drops were about an inch longer, and they had about four degrees of sweep for comfort on the tops and to bring the drops back further. That said, they work pretty well as is and beat the heck out of regular road bars for the intended mission.

Last edited by Chrome Molly; 09-19-13 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 09-19-13, 06:55 PM
  #2378  
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I know you guys have seen this bike a few times much, but I am approaching about 800 miles on this bike this year (hoping to hit 1k before the year is over). This thing sees about 95% of the riding duty in the 3 bike stable. The bike is about ready for a headset, and could use a good cleaning but it has been an absolute beast. I have started hammering down brick paved alleys in favor of smoothly paved streets when I can, because I can

One thing to note, I need to incorporate some in-line barrel adjusters for the brakes. I have only had to adjust the cable hanger once to account for pad wear, but this could get annoying quick.



edit: ignore the cross chaining

Last edited by gt eunuch; 09-19-13 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 09-19-13, 08:57 PM
  #2379  
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^I'd have to say it's hard to ignore this degree of cross-chaining!!!
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Old 09-20-13, 08:48 AM
  #2380  
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Originally Posted by frantik View Post
^ nice.. i considerered converting my tandem but i needs wide handlebars to control it well.

here's my girlfriend's newly converted 1988 Rockhopper Comp
frantic, if you don't mind I have a couple of questions. First, what shifters are you using? and second, I noticed on another of your bikes you had the Geax Street Runner tires on it. Do you notice much difference between those and the Roadsters? I have the Street Runners on one of my bikes and like them very much.
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Old 09-20-13, 09:31 AM
  #2381  
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Originally Posted by neo_pop_71 View Post
Agreed, I'm with due ruote, I find riding on the hoods very comfortable on my On One Midge bars. Thankfully my friends are part junkies so I have tried all the bars... Gary, Gary II, Woodchipper, and new WTB (I'd like to try a vintage bar to see if there is a difference as I bet there is a significant one)... for me the Midge wins hands down. The cool part is the Midge bars are half the price of the Woodchipper, usually on sale for $29.99, and come with free domestic US shipping. Here is the front and back view of the cockpit set up:
I don't have a photo to share, but I've had the same experience with the Soma Portola which is fairly similar to the Midge. Riding and braking both on the hoods and in the drops felt pretty good at least with Cane Creek SCR-5 levers.
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Old 09-20-13, 09:43 AM
  #2382  
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Thanks for all the mentions of different dirt drop models. I was only aware of a handful and a search for the word "dirt drop" didn't turn up much. For the benefit of others that may be searching for such bars, here is the list of models I have so far. If I overlooked anything, let me know.

Salsa Woodchipper
Soma Portola
Soma Junebug
Origin 8 Gary
WTB dirt drops
On-One Midge
Ragley Luxy
Nitto RM-014F

The history-of-dirt-drops

Last edited by Yo Spiff; 09-20-13 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 09-20-13, 10:06 AM
  #2383  
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
Why exactly did you not like riding on the hood. I am going to purchase some woodchippers in the near future. I tired some WTB dirt drops but found the hoods unusable, they really were meant as a drop bar only bar, which did not make them a good touring bar (which is what I thought they would be good for). The woodchippers appeal to me because they are wide at the hoods and don't flare till after the hood, so the tops to hoods are like a regular bar, but the drops are wide and shallow. To me this makes sense, a wide hand position on the hoods, useable shoulders and wider drops for control. I had broad shoulders and am 6'3" so I like wide bars. the narrow hood position on other off road drop bars doesn't do it for me.
It was last July when I last used them, and it was on an aluminum cx bike that was already on its way out with me so my memory is kind of foggy. I sold the bike shortly thereafter. My main problem was reaching the brakes. I'm not sure if I had it set up right. I'm 6'2" with wide shoulders, and I normally like the drops. The length of the drops are HUGE---there are at least three different positions you can put hand and shoulders in. Overall, I tend to be happy with maes or rando bends, though, so the dirt drops are take some getting used to.


Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
Not sure exactly what info you want to know. I have Tektro RL-340 levers on it, which are wide and comfortable. I recently tried some RL-520 levers, which are made for v-brakes and I hated them. They worked better with my brakes, but not nearly and comfortable on long rides. I may change the bike to cantilevers. My photo above shows how the hoods are oriented. It may be a personal preferences kind of thing. I don't ride on the drops much, usually just when fighting a stiff headwind. I'm a hood rider and I tend to keep my levers fairly high and not in the most friendly position for actuating from the drops. I probably use a shorter stem than many other do. I think the one I have on this bike now is 80mm extension. I have found they are more reachable than other bars, however. The shallower splayed out drops are also fairly comfortable when I do ride on the drops.
Thanks! This is helpful. Like I said above, my memory is a bit foggy, so it's good to have input before I put these on another bike.
Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
I haven't tried either of those bars but for reference in case anyone's interested, here's a shot of my Midge bars.
Hey, than's for that! I like looking at the different dirt drops because there are subtle angle differences in setting up the drops relative to the levers.

Both of you guys, Due Route and Yo Spiff, have done a great job setting up those bikes.
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Old 09-20-13, 10:45 AM
  #2384  
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Just ordered a set of the midge bars. At $30 for a pair I can take the chance that I may not like them, but all the reviews I have read were positive about the aspects I care about. I love the one pair of Woodchipper I already have, but they are a bit pricey unless I luck out with a good find like I did with the first pair. I'll probably try them out on the tandem first, and if the reach is too far, they will go on something else.
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Old 09-20-13, 02:54 PM
  #2385  
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I found these article helpful in determining that I want to try woodchippers after not liking WTB dirt drops...

http://twentynineinches.com/2010/01/...-a-comparison/

http://twentynineinches.com/2010/05/...-final-review/

I also think it is cool the woodchipper comes in two different widths which I think is great and the width is the width at the hood I believe which means a 46 will be great.

@ TimmyT: I find anything under 44cm at the hood totally intolerable. I will ride a vintage 42 on a short ride and on my track bike (for actual track riding) this is why I think the woodchippers are the only dirt dropish bar I would like for riding on the hoods.
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Old 09-20-13, 05:36 PM
  #2386  
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
@ TimmyT: I find anything under 44cm at the hood totally intolerable. I will ride a vintage 42 on a short ride and on my track bike (for actual track riding) this is why I think the woodchippers are the only dirt dropish bar I would like for riding on the hoods.
I don't mind under 44 at the hood, but I need some width on the drops. There's also such a thing as "too much drop" as well as "not enough." The woodchippers are pretty shallow, I seem to recall. I have woodchipper moto aces (25.4 clamp), and I'll have to check them out later.

I definitely looked at what Guitar Ted had written before I bought mine. He's got a lot on that site that is useful.
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Old 09-27-13, 04:39 PM
  #2387  
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My Miyata Ridgerunner SE is back, I opted for a bit longer stem and skipped on putting strange Scott's on, I am now debating on putting on fenders and a pletscher rack though...


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Old 10-06-13, 11:28 PM
  #2388  
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/10757602@N08/9549954418/

Finally getting around to posting the build, at least as it stands now. The complete progression, complete with photos, is available on Flickr.

A set of trekking bars saw duty while I saved up for drop bars and the other related component upgrades (bar end shifters, etc.), but the conversion is now complete. Drive train is 3x8 (all Deore except for the cransket which is Alivio b/c I wanted square taper). Could never get the cantis set up the way I wanted, so I bit the bullet and bought some Avid SD7 v-brakes and Tekro RL520 levers. Love the setup.

After some difficulties with a rear wheel from Handspun (not build quality issues - tire compatibility issues), I ended up building my own rear wheel, too. Best rear wheel I've ever had, and it's the first one I've built myself. Over 1,000 miles on it now, and it's still as true as the day I built it! I just put Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour 26 x 2.0" tires on last week after getting fed up with sidewall failures on the cheaper Michelin City tires I was trying to use.

Anyway, bike's coming along. Still on my upgrade list are:

Brooks saddle
SPD pedals
Front rack(s)
Dynamo hub front wheel build and lighting

Last edited by EKW in DC; 10-07-13 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 10-07-13, 01:51 AM
  #2389  
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Originally Posted by EKW in DC View Post
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2806/9...13a09cb8_c.jpg

Finally getting around to posting the build, at least as it stands now. The complete progression, complete with photos, is available on Flickr.

A set of trekking bars saw duty while I saved up for drop bars and the other related component upgrades (bar end shifters, etc.), but the conversion is now complete. Drive train is 3x8 (all Deore except for the cransket which is Alivio b/c I wanted square taper). Could never get the cantis set up the way I wanted, so I bit the bullet and bought some Avid SD7 v-brakes and Tekro RL520 levers. Love the setup.

After some difficulties with a rear wheel from Handspun (not build quality issues - tire compatibility issues), I ended up building my own rear wheel, too. Best rear wheel I've ever had, and it's the first one I've built myself. Over 1,000 miles on it now, and it's still as true as the day I built it! I just put Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour 26 x 2.0" tires on last week after getting fed up with sidewall failures on the cheaper Michelin City tires I was trying to use.

Anyway, bike's coming along. Still on my upgrade list are:

Brooks saddle
SPD pedals
Front rack(s)
Dynamo hub front wheel build and lighting
Hello EKW in DC,
The link you provided is bad, no photos available, just an FYI.
Cheers,
-D-
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Old 10-07-13, 09:55 AM
  #2390  
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Originally Posted by neo_pop_71 View Post
Hello EKW in DC,
The link you provided is bad, no photos available, just an FYI.
Cheers,
-D-
Odd. Thanks for the heads up. It was working last night. Editing original message with a new URL.
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Old 10-07-13, 10:17 AM
  #2391  
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Your Trek 830 came out great... really nice build!
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Old 10-07-13, 10:45 AM
  #2392  
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Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
I would add around that same time: More people were getting high speed internet, bicycle forums were picking up speed. Collecting and sharing of old Mtb's on the internet became more popular and the early stuff from Potts, Cunningham, Nichol became some of the first desireable things to find. LD's and dirt drop bars were never that plentiful and price soon followed demand.

Last edited by Aemmer; 10-07-13 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 10-08-13, 10:06 PM
  #2393  
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So I have a question for the members about frame size. I recently was given an old Diamondback rigid frame MTB. It's actually in pretty good shape and rides well, but it's too small for me. Would this be a good candidate for a drop bar conversion? I've never done one, so I don't know if it's best to use a frame a bit smaller than one would use mountain biking, a bit bigger, or the same size.

Thanks,
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Old 10-08-13, 10:46 PM
  #2394  
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Originally Posted by Sprayman View Post
I've never done one, so I don't know if it's best to use a frame a bit smaller than one would use mountain biking, a bit bigger, or the same size.
I would think a bit smaller would be a little better, as mountain bikes tend to have longer top tubes than road bikes due to their (normally) upright riding position.
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Old 10-09-13, 01:57 AM
  #2395  
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Originally Posted by EKW in DC View Post
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10757602@N08/9549954418/

I just put Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour 26 x 2.0" tires on last week after getting fed up with sidewall failures on the cheaper Michelin City tires I was trying to use.

EKW,

I bought a pair of these Michelin City 26x1.85 tires for work. What kind of sidewall failures are you having?

BTW, I like how the Trek turned out.
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Old 10-09-13, 07:01 AM
  #2396  
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Originally Posted by Sprayman View Post
So I have a question for the members about frame size. I recently was given an old Diamondback rigid frame MTB. It's actually in pretty good shape and rides well, but it's too small for me. Would this be a good candidate for a drop bar conversion? I've never done one, so I don't know if it's best to use a frame a bit smaller than one would use mountain biking, a bit bigger, or the same size.

Thanks,
Sprayman
The only potential problem with a small frame will be getting the bars high enough. To ride offroad, the drops of the bars should be at the same height as a flat bar would be. In order to ride the smaller frame, you'll need to raise the seat quite a bit. The higher the seat is in relation to the top tube, the longer the stem will need to be to maintain "proper" bar to seat drop. If you want to ride on the road and don't mind a large amount of drop, then go for it.
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Old 10-09-13, 09:05 AM
  #2397  
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Originally Posted by likebike23 View Post
The only potential problem with a small frame will be getting the bars high enough. To ride offroad, the drops of the bars should be at the same height as a flat bar would be. In order to ride the smaller frame, you'll need to raise the seat quite a bit. The higher the seat is in relation to the top tube, the longer the stem will need to be to maintain "proper" bar to seat drop. If you want to ride on the road and don't mind a large amount of drop, then go for it.
Hey Sprayman,

The challenge with a smaller frame is it requires a tall stem to get the bars at the ideal height as likebike23 stated. There's no one position for a dirt drop set up but a good goal to keep in mind is your bar height needs to be close to your saddle height. If you're running a 1 inch or 1 1/8th inch threaded fork and headset, your tall quill stem options are fairly limited, many go with a Nitto Dirt Drop stem. That was same Nitto stem came stock on the 1987 MB-1 that Grant Petersen put together for Bridgestone. I'll include a photo pulled from online that shows various Nitto stems, they're all set equally at the limit line so you can see the difference in height and length. Also, I've included a photo of a 1987 MB-1, notice how the stem clamp is close to the saddle height, any less puts a great deal of stress on your wrists.

Attached Images
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File Type: jpg
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Old 10-09-13, 09:21 AM
  #2398  
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Originally Posted by Sprayman View Post
So I have a question for the members about frame size. I recently was given an old Diamondback rigid frame MTB. It's actually in pretty good shape and rides well, but it's too small for me. Would this be a good candidate for a drop bar conversion? I've never done one, so I don't know if it's best to use a frame a bit smaller than one would use mountain biking, a bit bigger, or the same size.

Thanks,
Sprayman
Wrong size. Ideal size, at least for me, is about half way between my typical MTB size and road bike size. YMMV.
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Old 10-09-13, 03:41 PM
  #2399  
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Sold my Stumpjumper the other day, thought I had good reasons, liked the guy I sold it to, he was totally psyched and paid a good price, and still I regretted it almost immediately.

So I consulted a famous specialist (Bianchigirl, thanks!) and she said take one of these and call me in the morning. It's a bit of a hot mess (replacment fork and some other odd bits) but I think it will work out well. I'll post more pics later on.



[edit] Parting shot of the old ride:

Last edited by due ruote; 10-09-13 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 10-09-13, 09:44 PM
  #2400  
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Originally Posted by neo_pop_71 View Post
Hey Sprayman,

The challenge with a smaller frame is it requires a tall stem to get the bars at the ideal height as likebike23 stated. There's no one position for a dirt drop set up but a good goal to keep in mind is your bar height needs to be close to your saddle height. If you're running a 1 inch or 1 1/8th inch threaded fork and headset, your tall quill stem options are fairly limited, many go with a Nitto Dirt Drop stem. That was same Nitto stem came stock on the 1987 MB-1 that Grant Petersen put together for Bridgestone. I'll include a photo pulled from online that shows various Nitto stems, they're all set equally at the limit line so you can see the difference in height and length. Also, I've included a photo of a 1987 MB-1, notice how the stem clamp is close to the saddle height, any less puts a great deal of stress on your wrists.

Neo Pop 71;
Very insightful advice. Thank you. I'm glad you mentioned stress on the wrists, as that's a problem I've had on many bikes over the years. That leads me to think that converting this old Diamond Back may not be a good idea. I like those first two Nitto stems on the left; the other three would have me leaning much farther forward than would be comfortable. I'll keep them in mind when I finally find a good conversion candidate.

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