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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 10-11-13, 09:11 PM
  #2426  
Sprayman
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Originally Posted by Paramount1973 View Post
Many older mountain bikes have slack headtube angles, 70 degrees or even less. I don't see how you are going to get to 'twitchy' on these as opposed to a road bike with a 73 or 74 degree headtube. My Schwinn High Plains has a 70 degree headtube and even with a short, upright stem the thing steers like a truck. Unless you are using real short reach drop bars, your hands on drop bar hoods or in the drops will be at or beyond where they would have been with a stock stem and flat bars. It's the length of the reach on the bars plus the stem that matter. With my next conversion, I am looking for a bike with a 52 or 54 cm top tube. I have lots of choices for raising the seat and the bars.
Paramount;
Thanks for the insight, and I'll ask you the same question I asked Neo pop. Would you attempt a conversion on an old Trek 830 Antelope? From the picture the top tube looks pretty long to me.
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Old 10-12-13, 12:27 AM
  #2427  
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Originally Posted by Sprayman View Post
Neo pop;

Wow. Thanks for the time and effort it took to write that post. Your technical expertise obviously surpasses mine. I'm really just a hack that tends to get himself in over his head (but has a lot of fun doing it).

So let me ask your opinion on a particular bike. Locally, there's a Trek Antelope 830 for sale, dirt cheap, but it looks to me like it has a long top tube. The gap from the rear tire to the seat tube doesn't look as far as the gap on your Stumpjumper. If you were looking to do another conversion, would you bother with an Antelope?
Thanks and you're welcome but by no means am I an expert, I've built a good number of bikes, but I too have questions and when I do I turn to wrk101 aka "Thrifty Bill", frantik, Scooper aka "Stan the Man" Cooper (king of all things Schwinn), or T-Mar and his wealth of bike history. Thanks again fellas!

As far as that Trek 830 near you for $30.00, I checked out the Craigslist ad, and I would pass on that if I were you. It's not a great frame, no great components to get excited about, and you are correct about the long top tube to go with the sport/recreational geometry. That bike will be heavy and will almost certainly have a lifeless ride. Best you hold out for a better frame, one will turn up... patience grasshopper!

-D-

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Old 10-12-13, 01:06 AM
  #2428  
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Originally Posted by Sprayman View Post
Paramount;
Thanks for the insight, and I'll ask you the same question I asked Neo pop. Would you attempt a conversion on an old Trek 830 Antelope? From the picture the top tube looks pretty long to me.
It depends on the actual length of the top tube versus what you would ride on a road bike. With a slack seat tube angle you can shove the saddle forward a bit to recover some length but my opinion is that you want to stay at about the same length as your road bike fit. The Trek 830 is not a bad candidate, the frame was double-butted chromoly and you would be ditching the steel handlebars anyway. I would also ditch the steel stem and use a VO or Soma alloy quill stem converter so that I could use a threadless stem with a faceplate. You would have many more options that way to adjust the fit the way you want. The VO converter has pretty good height extension and the Soma even more.
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Old 10-12-13, 10:07 AM
  #2429  
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I just checked out the ad and Yeah, I kinda like that 830. It's a 1987. Full CrMo frame, double butted main tubes. As neo says, it'll be heavy with all stock parts but I think those still ride sweet.

If the 87 is like the 1986, then 57.7cm TT is pretty long in the 18" size but both the 20 and 22" only have a slightly longer 58.2cm.

Also mentioned before are the way slack angles. A zero setback seatpost will put saddle more over the BB and shorten reach a bit.
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Old 10-12-13, 12:38 PM
  #2430  
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This is definitely one of my top ten threads of all time as it is so chock full of "bad" ideas...

My Cascade keeps on rolling and this spring I built new wheels with some custom Arvon freewheel hubs and CR18 hoops, I changed the rear d back to a Cyclone GT after this pic was taken and tweaked the half step with some NOS Biopace chainwheels.



On those bad ideas... I have been collecting a bunch of vintage XTR parts thinking I'd build up the Kona Explosif frame I have with those but have decided that I will go SS (I already have a geared hardtail and the Moulden) and and roll the biggest and fattest tyres I can fit in that frame. Found some high flange hubs laced to Araya RM 20 rims (36/4 cross) from what was probably an early 80's Kuwahara and these will handle those boots really well and have a White freewheel for that set up and will run the XTR crank as a superlight single.

I have some Dura Ace levers to fit to some dirt drop bars since the XTR STI's (8 speed) won't be needed but will use the XTR cantis.

It will be stupid light.
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Old 10-14-13, 12:15 AM
  #2431  
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Decided to take my build out for some gravel grinding (at times more like river rock pounding).
Without its shifter, it ran as a single speed 42x15. It will run 1x6 with a 14-30t HG freewheel and 105 RD. The 92 Hardrock Cruz rode well. But the front tire proved to be defective with a flat spot that was annoying at speed. Ride report here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post16158658


Eastern Canal-018 by WNG555, on Flickr
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Old 10-14-13, 03:18 PM
  #2432  
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Originally Posted by WNG View Post
Decided to take my build out for some gravel grinding (at times more like river rock pounding).
Without its shifter, it ran as a single speed 42x15. It will run 1x6 with a 14-30t HG freewheel and 105 RD. The 92 Hardrock Cruz rode well. But the front tire proved to be defective with a flat spot that was annoying at speed. Ride report here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post16158658


Eastern Canal-018 by WNG555, on Flickr
That is one of my favorite rides!

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Old 10-14-13, 04:01 PM
  #2433  
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I just picked up a '88 Panasonic MC 4500 frame with some other stuff on it. Size: big. I had built up a smaller lugged frame of similar design for touring/camping, but it felt cramped, so i decided to go all "french fit" for the next project. I still haven't decided on drop bars or north roads, but I'll be sure to post pics of it here if I go the drop bar route...



My question is, I've seen all kinds of generalized advice re: sizing of the frame to the rider, and the considerations taken for selecting a stem. All due respect, but this is crazy, given the wildly divergent geometry taken by hardtails thru the years. My main geared MTB is a late 90s Kona Hahanna with classic NORBA geo; it' an 18", fits me perfectly as a regular trailbike, but I first built it as a tourish beast with drop bars... On that one, I settled on a 110mm stem with very little rise, despite the long TT-- the slanting TT gave me the height, but I cannot articulate why I settled on a somewhat long stem. It didn't stretch me out, exactly, and stubbier ones made me feel cramped. I think I have an 80 or 90mm on it now,with risers, for real mtb-duty...

(For the record, I like to ride 57cm road frames, although the shop fit me at a 56cm, and i'd sooner ride a 58cm than a 56, typically.)

OTOH, the Miyata I was rocking for a while has the same type of geo as the Panasonic I just got, but it's a 19.5" frame. It feels tiny to me, despite the standover being pretty close to ideal. Even with some wide bullmooose bars with a lot of reach,it feels cramped. I can tell that i'd need a stupid-long extension on a stem to run dropbars with it, and i'd need a lot of the quill exposed to get the bars up high enough. Those mid-to-late 80s mtb frames had geometry that diverged pretty far from the frames of the 90s-- shorter toptubes, shorter headtubes, longer chainstays, and when the 18"fits bigger than the 19.5", you know there's some significant differences. So,I'd suggest to others reading this thread to take the generalized advice with a grain of salt.... What's true for a 90s Hardrock may not be true for an 80s Stumpjumper...
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Old 10-14-13, 07:27 PM
  #2434  
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
That is one of my favorite rides!

I remember, that's why I had to find the entrance to this dam. Now I can ride out to Scottsdale along the Arizona Canal. I need to get cracking on my gravel grinder replacement!
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Old 10-15-13, 07:38 AM
  #2435  
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If anybody is looking for a frame to build up, I've got a 1989 Stumpjumper frameset for sale.. 19.5 c-c seat tube, 22.5 top tube. Would probably be suitable for a drop bar conversion for someone who rides a 56cm road bike

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...umper-Frameset
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Old 10-21-13, 04:52 PM
  #2436  
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Youse guys are right, I f@cked up. Bus has a big steering wheel, but a Formula One car does not. Think too, of those fixies with short hbs.
for a given bar width, the hands are virtually the same distance from the steering axis no matter what stem you are using
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Old 10-21-13, 05:03 PM
  #2437  
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Originally Posted by anixi View Post
I love it! That is so cool, very awe inspiring!
I did the same with a 1992 kona explosif
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Old 10-21-13, 11:20 PM
  #2438  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Then this thread is a success! Part of my purpose was to show some love for conversions, and encourage others to give it a try. The old rigid frame mtbs continue to be great values IMHO, and while not racing bikes, they can be turned into nice commuters, recreational rides, whatever.
rigid frame mountain bikes will do anything except hi-level racing or heavy mountain biking! the fact that there are so many wonderful frames sitting in garages and basements all over the world is exciting.
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Old 10-22-13, 04:21 AM
  #2439  
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Originally Posted by gabriel1 View Post
I did the same with a 1992 kona explosif
That's a great Explosif you built gabriel1, there is something cool about a bike that gets shown a lot of attention... I can't explain it, you can just tell fits and is loved by the rider. Thanks for sharing, yours has rekindled my desire to go find a rigid Kona and build something unique!

I've opted to pass on my geared drop bar mountain bikes for this single speed for my local get around bike. It's built from spares (minus the bamboo fenders) but the lugged Ishiwata construction makes for a really enjoyable ride. It's a 1986 Nashbar Terra XT that was made in the same Japanese facility by the same builders that were making the Stumpjumpers, same geometry, and came with full Shimano "Deerhead" XT group. This Nashbar has one bright point where it beats my 1986 Stumpjumper, the Terra XT has a beautiful gold metal flake "Sunset Orange" paint finish that's much nicer than the solid color Stumpjumper. I wish it came out better in the photos...



The "Deerhead" XT group has been utilized on my 1988 Schwinn Cimarron LE rebuild that'll be done with in a day or so. I'm re-dishing my Superbe Pro wheelset for a 8 speed 13-32T freewheel to replace the 13-32T 6 speed freewheel that's presently on the bike.
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Old 10-22-13, 07:36 AM
  #2440  
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Originally Posted by surreal View Post
My question is, I've seen all kinds of generalized advice re: sizing of the frame to the rider, and the considerations taken for selecting a stem. All due respect, but this is crazy, given the wildly divergent geometry taken by hardtails thru the years. My main geared MTB is a late 90s Kona Hahanna with classic NORBA geo; it' an 18", fits me perfectly as a regular trailbike, but I first built it as a tourish beast with drop bars...(For the record, I like to ride 57cm road frames, although the shop fit me at a 56cm, and i'd sooner ride a 58cm than a 56, typically.)

So,I'd suggest to others reading this thread to take the generalized advice with a grain of salt.... What's true for a 90s Hardrock may not be true for an 80s Stumpjumper...
Yes, advice is definitely generalized. I tried to make my 18 inch Alpina Pro fit (page one), and it is just too small. Meanwhile, my 18 inch Trek 950 fits OK. I was hoping the Alpina would fit, as it has a chrome frame. I tried to get a sweet Trek mtb in a 19.5 inch size to work, too big.

The good news is good mtbs are available at low pricing, so the drop bar bits can easily be transferred from one bike to the next. I ended up with a 20 inch Cimmaron.

Meanwhile, on road bikes, I am typically 56cm (22 inch).
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Old 10-22-13, 10:40 AM
  #2441  
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Finished up this Bianchi Grizzly (1988 I think). The fork is a replacement. I'll probably wind up getting it and the stem PC'd at some point. I'll most likely stick with black unless someone knows of a dead ringer for celeste, and I know that's thorny because of the color shift year to year.

I had to mod the stem a little to fit the Midge bars.

It's also sporting a set of mis-matched wheels. Oh well, another set will come along eventually and until then these will serve. I have a pretty high tolerance for Frankenbikeism.
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Old 10-22-13, 11:03 AM
  #2442  
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Originally Posted by neo_pop_71 View Post
That's a great Explosif you built gabriel1, there is something cool about a bike that gets shown a lot of attention... I can't explain it, you can just tell fits and is loved by the rider. Thanks for sharing, yours has rekindled my desire to go find a rigid Kona and build something unique!

I've opted to pass on my geared drop bar mountain bikes for this single speed for my local get around bike. It's built from spares (minus the bamboo fenders) but the lugged Ishiwata construction makes for a really enjoyable ride. It's a 1986 Nashbar Terra XT that was made in the same Japanese facility by the same builders that were making the Stumpjumpers, same geometry, and came with full Shimano "Deerhead" XT group. This Nashbar has one bright point where it beats my 1986 Stumpjumper, the Terra XT has a beautiful gold metal flake "Sunset Orange" paint finish that's much nicer than the solid color Stumpjumper. I wish it came out better in the photos...



The "Deerhead" XT group has been utilized on my 1988 Schwinn Cimarron LE rebuild that'll be done with in a day or so. I'm re-dishing my Superbe Pro wheelset for a 8 speed 13-32T freewheel to replace the 13-32T 6 speed freewheel that's presently on the bike.
that nashbar is frickin gorgeous! iwould have liked to use a stem like that but i couldnt find one in the bigger diameter that my project 2 fork steerer tube uses! superbe pro hubs!! oooh, i had some on my benotto road bike that was stolen outta my garage!!
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Old 10-24-13, 11:13 PM
  #2443  
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I'm finally done with my 1988 Schwinn Cimarron LE! I played around with the gearing, both front and rear, and that meant swapping different wheels. In the end it was the "Deerhead" XT derailleurs and brakes that worked the best. I had to play with the adjustment screws on the derailleurs, out in the back to get all 8 cogs of the 13-32T freewheel, and in on the front since i wasn't running the 28T chain ring on the 50/39 Super Maxy cranks. After a few months if I dig the set up and want to stay with it, I'm going to dump the cheap Shimano brifters and pick up a set of Campy Ergos. It's a utility build with the mix of old and new components, I'm sure that mix offends the purists, but I wanted to go with what worked best regardless of being period correct. I'm definitely enjoying the bike... what's not to love about a fillet brazed and lugged 4130 bike!

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Last edited by neo_pop_71; 10-24-13 at 11:39 PM. Reason: photo problem
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Old 10-25-13, 08:37 AM
  #2444  
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Nice looking cimmaron neo_pop. How does it shift with the combo of friction Deerhead stuff and indexed brifters? I always like to hear about different combos that work even though they shouldn't.
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Old 10-25-13, 08:48 AM
  #2445  
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Great job on the Cimmaron. Makes a nice comparison with my green Cimmaron LE.

On keeper bikes, I have zero problems with a frankenbuild. Many of my keepers are that way. For resale, I tend to build with matching components.
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Old 10-25-13, 09:55 AM
  #2446  
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Hey neo_pop



Nice, nice resto
Where did you score the decals?
Very nice !
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Old 10-25-13, 10:10 AM
  #2447  
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Originally Posted by likebike23 View Post
Nice looking cimmaron neo_pop. How does it shift with the combo of friction Deerhead stuff and indexed brifters? I always like to hear about different combos that work even though they shouldn't.
Thank you likebike23, I appreciate the kind words. The shifting took quite a bit of trial and error to get right. The Sora shifters are 8 speed, I tried both a 6 and 7 speed freewheel, it hit most shifts but wanted to jump around in the middle gearing. Once I found a new 8 speed freewheel with the same 13-32T gearing and set everything back up, it nails every shift just right. Knowing I can always default to some 8 speed bar end shifters I have in the bin and run them on friction if the indexing isn't working well give me some peace of mind. I figure cycling has come full circle for me, when I started racing friction was it and it was good, then all the "high tech" stuff that can't be adjusted easily on the fly, and now I looking to return to friction if the tech stuff isn't up to snuff. So far, it's been a great bike, well worth all the effort!

Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Great job on the Cimmaron. Makes a nice comparison with my green Cimmaron LE.

On keeper bikes, I have zero problems with a frankenbuild. Many of my keepers are that way. For resale, I tend to build with matching components.
Thanks Bill, always good to collect some praise for someone that's built as many nice bikes as you've put together! Your Cimarron LE has always been more svelte than mine in the weight weenie class, I could never get mine into the 25's like yours... so I gave up and went with what components aesthetically appealed to me. I'm with you on my build approach with those that I know will earn a permanent hook in the collection versus those that I'm on the bubble about keeping. I'm certainly motivated to build something unique, especially these days when all the new bikes sort of look the same to me!
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Old 10-25-13, 10:17 AM
  #2448  
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Originally Posted by OTS View Post
Hey neo_pop



Nice, nice resto
Where did you score the decals?
Very nice !
Thanks OTS! The NOS water slide decals came from an Ebay seller in Illinois. They were listed with a $20 Buy It Now price with free shipping. The set came with the 4 top tube and down tube decals pictured, plus the "Schwinn Quality" and "4130" decals for the seat tube. I feel very fortunate to have happened onto the listing.
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Old 10-25-13, 11:01 AM
  #2449  
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That Cimarron is really nice, well done sir. Good to know that the old shimano RD's will shift well with the newer indexed stuff.
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Old 10-25-13, 11:28 AM
  #2450  
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Location: Arrid Zone-a
Posts: 5,964

Bikes: I used to have many. And I Will again.

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+100 neo! That Schwinn looks great. Dare I say, it looks better than new. That Brooks is a nice classy touch, well executed. Had me staring a the pics to get in all the details.
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