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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 06-12-19, 06:49 AM
  #6451  
Cl904
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Now with Shimano 600ex levers and suntour barcons.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:59 AM
  #6452  
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Originally Posted by belacqua View Post
Question for you all--I want to try my '94 stumpjumper as a drop bar, but I can't get the bars high enough while keeping the reach manageable.

what do you think about putting a new aftermarket fork in (1'' threadless, 260mm steerer) and using spacers to get the stem mounted high on the steerer?

also, any recommendations on a fork that would work?
Is the stock fork threadless, or are you using an adapter?
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Old 06-12-19, 10:01 AM
  #6453  
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stock is 1" threadless!

also, the Dimension forks I'm looking at have 26 cm steerer, which seems like it would give me about 5cm of additional rise over what I've got now. Maybe something with even longer steerer might be available?

Last edited by belacqua; 06-12-19 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:06 AM
  #6454  
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Originally Posted by belacqua View Post
stock is 1" threadless!

also, the Dimension forks I'm looking at have 26 cm steerer, which seems like it would give me about 5cm of additional rise over what I've got now. Maybe something with even longer steerer might be available?
Could you have the original fork steerer threaded and use a quill stem?
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Old 06-12-19, 10:28 AM
  #6455  
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I hadn't thought of this--thanks for the idea. My initial thought is I wouldn't want to try installing a new headset in my garage if I could avoid it, and the new threadless forks run about $80, so it would be hard to beat the economy and simplicity of swapping.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:32 AM
  #6456  
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but here's the other question I'm grappling with today--what do I really stand to gain by putting drops on this rig--favorite mtb in my small collection--when I already have bar ends.

Not a rhetorical question. I am hoping to use the thing for 5+ hour gravel rides.
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Old 06-12-19, 11:43 AM
  #6457  
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Originally Posted by belacqua View Post
I hadn't thought of this--thanks for the idea. My initial thought is I wouldn't want to try installing a new headset in my garage if I could avoid it, and the new threadless forks run about $80, so it would be hard to beat the economy and simplicity of swapping.
You would have to confirm that the Inner diameter of the steerer is correct but I dont think you would need a new head set. If you have the longer steerer is threaded you could use a spacer under a 1" nut and lock ring.
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Old 06-12-19, 01:27 PM
  #6458  
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Originally Posted by belacqua View Post
stock is 1" threadless!


Thank you for sharing this information. I bet I'm not the only one who learned from this.

I've heard of 1" threadless but haven't seen it before. Recently I was looking at a '95 Trek 990 in my size on craigslist. Like yours, it had its original matching rigid fork (always highly desirable to me) and a stem that looked a lot like the one on your Stumpjumper. I figured someone had used a threaded-to-threadless converter and liked the "slammed" stem look. I would have wanted to put drop bars on it and would have had no idea what I was getting into. Fortunately for me, the seller was asking WAY too much for the bike, but it was fun to think about for a while.

Last edited by Squeeze; 06-12-19 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 06-12-19, 01:32 PM
  #6459  
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MTBs started using threadless and/or 1-1/8" head tubes way way way before they moved to road bikes. In the 90s it seems like it was the wild west as far as what spec you would find on any particular bike. On the same model years you might find a quill stem with an oddball diameter on one bike, but on a different make you'll find 1" threadless. It was wild.
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Old 06-12-19, 01:42 PM
  #6460  
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Originally Posted by belacqua View Post
but here's the other question I'm grappling with today--what do I really stand to gain by putting drops on this rig--favorite mtb in my small collection--when I already have bar ends.

Not a rhetorical question. I am hoping to use the thing for 5+ hour gravel rides.
https://www.rivbike.com/products/nit...ess-stem-16252

What are thoughts on using one of those with a shim?
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Old 06-12-19, 07:59 PM
  #6461  
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Originally Posted by belacqua View Post
but here's the other question I'm grappling with today--what do I really stand to gain by putting drops on this rig--favorite mtb in my small collection--when I already have bar ends.

Not a rhetorical question. I am hoping to use the thing for 5+ hour gravel rides.
drops will give you a bunch more hand positions, which is great for those longer rides. personally i run drops higher than i would flats on these bikes, like so that the drops are about where my hands would be height-wise on flats. this gives me a more comfortable up-right position when riding on the tops of the drops, or in the hoods, and i'm still comfortable when going into the drops
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Old 06-17-19, 08:18 PM
  #6462  
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follow up on post 6414, some shots of a drop conversion in action. A freind wanted to do the new adventure cycling Arkansas high country loop. https://bikepacking.com/routes/arkan...orthwest-loop/
Since I don't own a real gravel bike, and did not want to ride 240 miles on a flat bar, took the Gary Fischer Marlin. Used my regular panniers. We did it in three days. I lived. The last day riding home was fifty miles of rain, which felt really good on the 150+ mosquito bites. Really, we counted when the swelling went down enough to see them. The other guys got about ten or so each.
  1. DISTANCE

    242 Mi.

    (389 KM)
  2. DAYS

    3-4
  3. % UNPAVED

    51%
  4. % SINGLETRACK

    0%
  5. DIFFICULTY (1-10)

    4
  6. % RIDEABLE (TIME)

    100%
  7. TOTAL ASCENT

    18,920'

    (5,767 M)
  8. HIGH POINT

    2,511'




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Old 06-20-19, 04:50 PM
  #6463  
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FYI...

How to get a Road Front Derailleur to work on a Mountain Bike frame...

The 73 mm wide MTB bottom bracket shell prevents use of some road front derailleurs as they are designed a 68 mm road BB bracket shell. This problem is most common for folks trying to use brifters (STI, Ergo Shifters, Double Tap) which work best when used as a complete system including the front derailleur.

The fix I used for this issue was to use larger clamp for the FD and fashion a shim using pieces of old inner tubes to make a shim which would push the derailleur about 3mm farther to the right. It just took a bit of patience and some contact cement...

-OR- for those who want an engineered solution

Check out this Jtek Eccentric Shim:

Jtek Eccentric Shim for Front Derailleur

Disclaimer: I have no association with Jtek but I do think this product is useful for making drop bar mountain bikes.
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Old 07-03-19, 08:13 AM
  #6464  
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Geez, this thread is fantastic! Love the creativity and practicality in these builds. Good on yas!

I’m in the beginnings of putting together my ‘97 MUSA Trek 820 from my college days as a drop bar all-rounder. My 4yo son wanted to paint it so I stripped everything off, stripped the frame, and Spencer and I gave it a pretty good rattle-can paint job. Slowly going back together, and it’s been really special to do this with Spence. Hope when it’s done it rides half as good as some of your builds look!


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Old 07-03-19, 05:59 PM
  #6465  
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Older 24-in wheel Trek 800 built up with MicroNEW 3x7 brifters for my 12 year old son.


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Old 07-03-19, 07:30 PM
  #6466  
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Very cool, Rusty! Little man will have a blast!

Working on sorting out the cockpit on the 820. These are Soma Portolas, and they’re a new shape for me. Fiddling with lever position... and the little doodads where the cable housing meets the levers seems an odd size. Housing is loose in the nipple but a housing end seems too big to fit right. Thinking about cable routing too. Both shifter cables run the bottom tube. Rear brake on the top tube. Advice on setting things up appreciated!

Still deciding on what to run for a rack / basket / bag up front. I have Carradice Barley and Pendle saddlebags that I considered hanging from the bars, but with the non-aero levers and the really tall stem, not sure this will work. Leaning towards a rack with either a basket and bag or a rando bag. Thoughts? Anyone have a canti-mount front rack they’re not using?

Bikes are fun, eh?

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Old 07-03-19, 07:44 PM
  #6467  
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Originally Posted by RyanAK View Post
Working on sorting out the cockpit on the 820. These are Soma Portolas, and they’re a new shape for me. Fiddling with lever position... and the little doodads where the cable housing meets the levers seems an odd size. Housing is loose in the nipple but a housing end seems too big to fit right. Thinking about cable routing too. Both shifter cables run the bottom tube. Rear brake on the top tube. Advice on setting things up appreciated!

Still deciding on what to run for a rack / basket / bag up front. I have Carradice Barley and Pendle saddlebags that I considered hanging from the bars, but with the non-aero levers and the really tall stem, not sure this will work. Leaning towards a rack with either a basket and bag or a rando bag. Thoughts? Anyone have a canti-mount front rack they’re not using?

Bikes are fun, eh?
awesome bike! it reminds me a lot of the direction i'm going with my univega. very similar. what kind of gearing are you going to run? are you using bar end shifters? if so, you could have the housing exit the bar tape a few wraps in and just loop down to your downtube, that's how i set up my specialized and it works great. seems like a typical solution.

not sure what to tell you on the rack/bag situation, i'll be running a rack on mine for sure. i kind of have my eyes on the blackburn bootlegger rack at the moment, i like a wide rack.

bikes are super fun
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Old 07-03-19, 07:57 PM
  #6468  
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Going to stay with the original Shimano Altus 3x7 for now. Well... Altus except for the Alivio RD. Everything is in good shape now that it’s all been removed and cleaned/maintenance done. Shimano 8sp bar-ends. I originally thought to have the housing exit the bar tape from the drops after a few wraps, but wonder about clearing whatever rack/basket/bag I run. A basket or big-ish bag may get in the way of the big loops running forward and turning back to the downtube. But maybe not...

hmmm....

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Old 07-04-19, 12:44 AM
  #6469  
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Has anyone on here done the opposite of this, a roadbike to a mtb?
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Old 07-04-19, 03:08 AM
  #6470  
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Originally Posted by Sp1990 View Post
Has anyone on here done the opposite of this, a roadbike to a mtb?
I think that is what's going on with the gravel bike conversions. Everyone is asking "how big a tire will fit in my old road bike frame".
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Old 07-04-19, 01:38 PM
  #6471  
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+10 Tire width will get you. 1980s rigid frame MTBs are plentiful, at reasonable to low pricing. And they tend to have more reasonable top tube length. Later MTBs got really long top tubes, making them more of a challenge to convert to drops and get them to fit.

To get cantilever brakes on a road bike, you are talking touring bike, and touring bikes tend to be at the higher end price wise. I've got Fat Franks on one of my conversions, those tires are 2.35 inches wide which is approximately 60mm wide. I haven't seen a road bike that can handle anything close to that.

I have used my Prologue racing bike with 25mm tires on packed gravel trails. Just have to keep your awareness up. Obviously not ideal or anything I would recommend. Had I lost control and wiped out, I would be kicking myself for sure.
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Old 07-04-19, 04:03 PM
  #6472  
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Schwinn Cimarron

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Old 07-04-19, 04:12 PM
  #6473  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
I have used my Prologue racing bike with 25mm tires on packed gravel trails. Just have to keep your awareness up. Obviously not ideal or anything I would recommend. Had I lost control and wiped out, I would be kicking myself for sure.
No kidding. So off-road funnybiking is a thing these days, is it?

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Old 07-05-19, 07:12 PM
  #6474  
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Originally Posted by Pompiere View Post
I think that is what's going on with the gravel bike conversions. Everyone is asking "how big a tire will fit in my old road bike frame".
Old roadbikes are always being given to me or on the curb but I dont have a need for another roadbike. Now a gravel grinder or old mtb i definitely have a need for.
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Old 07-05-19, 09:10 PM
  #6475  
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Originally Posted by leftthread View Post
Do you think a drop bar conversion would also work well with a flat-bar hybrid frame, 700c/35 wheels?
Oh yes definitely. I thought I'd built a tough touring bike with a hybrid conversation, (fenders and all), until I saw these awesome bikes!
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