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MTB Drop conversion search continues

Old 03-18-20, 02:58 PM
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jpjpjp
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MTB Drop conversion search continues

As a "quarantine" project I've decided to try to find a cheap older and rigid MTB to convert to drop bars, to be used mainly for gravel and light singletrack, but also for grocery runs/light touring. In short, a flexible beater. And while I'm not new to riding bikes, I'm relatively new to building them out/modifying them, so I'm looking for your suggestions/recommendations/wisdom.

Here is what I've found in my area (Baltimore, MD):

-Specialized Hard Rock COMP https://baltimore.craigslist.org/bik...091019719.html
-Bridgestone MB5 Trail Blazer https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...6051264305456/
-Specialized Cross Road https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...8138341158889/

Ideally, I talk the seller down to as close to 100 as I can get them.

Thanks for the input in advance!
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Old 03-18-20, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jpjpjp View Post
As a "quarantine" project I've decided to try to find a cheap older and rigid MTB to convert to drop bars, to be used mainly for gravel and light singletrack, but also for grocery runs/light touring. In short, a flexible beater. And while I'm not new to riding bikes, I'm relatively new to building them out/modifying them, so I'm looking for your suggestions/recommendations/wisdom.

Here is what I've found in my area (Baltimore, MD):

-Specialized Hard Rock COMP https://baltimore.craigslist.org/bik...091019719.html
-Bridgestone MB5 Trail Blazer https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...6051264305456/
-Specialized Cross Road https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...8138341158889/

Ideally, I talk the seller down to as close to 100 as I can get them.

Thanks for the input in advance!
I like that Crossroad, but it's a hybrid not a mtb., and the one I favor. It should do what you want. IMO, of course.
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Old 03-18-20, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
I like that Crossroad, but it's a hybrid not a mtb., and the one I favor. It should do what you want. IMO, of course.
Yeah, you know... it's the one I lean towards, for those 700's, too.
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Old 03-19-20, 03:23 AM
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Brakes:
Watch out for compatibility issues with the pull rate on the levers and calipers.
Old school levers and v-brakes can be a problem.
New levers and old cantilevers should be ok, but always check the action.

Shifters:
What are you planning for shifters?
Brifters, down tube clamp on style or perhaps a Suntour command shifter?

Mixing brands and vintages( of index type systems) can be a problem.
Friction stuff generally works with mixed brands.

This may be the more difficult aspect of your project.

Good luck.
rusty
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Old 03-19-20, 05:24 AM
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Which one fits? They all look like different sizes, especially that Hard Rock.

You might want to be sure you are buying a full ChroMoly frame and fork.
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Old 03-19-20, 05:33 AM
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Of those, I like the Crossroads too, if it fits. Itís a small bike.
Keep your eyes open for a Rockhopper. They are a step up from Hard Rock but below Stumpjumpers. Fairly plentiful and often priced well.
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Old 03-19-20, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Which one fits? They all look like different sizes, especially that Hard Rock.

You might want to be sure you are buying a full ChroMoly frame and fork.
I havenít met with sellers yet, but Iím about 6í 1íí, so I think they should all be in my range.

Originally Posted by 100bikes View Post
Brakes:
Watch out for compatibility issues with the pull rate on the levers and calipers.
Old school levers and v-brakes can be a problem.
New levers and old cantilevers should be ok, but always check the action.

Shifters:
What are you planning for shifters?
Brifters, down tube clamp on style or perhaps a Suntour command shifter?

Mixing brands and vintages( of index type systems) can be a problem.
Friction stuff generally works with mixed brands.

This may be the more difficult aspect of your project.

Good luck.
rusty
Iím thinking brifters right now. Derailleurs are Shimano and all of these look like they have triggers, so Iím banking on compatibility.
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Old 03-19-20, 06:23 AM
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At 6' 1" the MB5 and Crossroads will be too small for you. The Hardrock may fit. Crossroads frames in your size will look like this. Notice the length/space at the back of the head tube. A good place to check with a quick glance to determine size on a vintage (horizontal top tube) steel bike.

Road bikes in your size will show 1.5 to 2x the amount of space shown at the back of the head tube. Of course this will always vary according to the geometry and proportions of a given frame, but it will at least give you a rough idea when perusing ads that don't give any dimensions.
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Old 03-19-20, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Hudson308 View Post
At 6' 1" the MB5 and Crossroads will be too small for you. The Hardrock may fit. Crossroads frames in your size will look like this. Notice the length/space at the back of the head tube. A good place to check with a quick glance to determine size on a vintage (horizontal top tube) steel bike.

Road bikes in your size will show 1.5 to 2x the amount of space shown at the back of the head tube. Of course this will always vary according to the geometry and proportions of a given frame, but it will at least give you a rough idea when perusing ads that don't give any dimensions.
Hmm.. I see. Just found a Rockhopper that looks to be in good condition and that looks to be that size. Will try to get it test ridden soon.
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Old 03-19-20, 12:48 PM
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Is there a list, era, or brand of mountain bike with shorter top tubes? Every time Iíve tried this I run into the top tube length issue. Every time being two times...
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Old 03-19-20, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
Is there a list, era, or brand of mountain bike with shorter top tubes? Every time I’ve tried this I run into the top tube length issue. Every time being two times...
Heh. I always run into the opposite problem with road bikes. All the MTBs I come across have longer top tubes w/resp to seat tube length. I've only come across two road bikes with top tubes (slightly) longer than the seat tube.
One compromise I was surprised to find is this Trek '91 750 Multitrack. 22.5 x 22.5, center-to-center. I suspect the smaller ones have a long top tube/short seat tube though.
EDIT: I verified that the smaller Multitracks have a short seat tube/long top tube. I have the next size down in a 730, and it measures 21.5" seat tube (C2C), and 22.5 TT (C2C).
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Old 03-19-20, 03:51 PM
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This is likely to be too large (though top tube clearance is less important on a conversion than it would be for a mtb ridden off-road).

GT Karakoram - $75 (Ellicott City)

https://baltimore.craigslist.org/sea...0&min_price=10

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Old 03-19-20, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
This is likely to be too large (though top tube clearance is less important on a conversion than it would be for a mtb ridden off-road).

GT Karakoram - $75 (Ellicott City)

https://baltimore.craigslist.org/sea...0&min_price=10

DANG Clang... you psyched me out!!! I thought that was local to us!!!
That's a good deal.
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Old 03-19-20, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jpjpjp View Post
As a "quarantine" project I've decided to try to find a cheap older and rigid MTB to convert to drop bars, to be used mainly for gravel and light singletrack, but also for grocery runs/light touring. In short, a flexible beater. And while I'm not new to riding bikes, I'm relatively new to building them out/modifying them, so I'm looking for your suggestions/recommendations/wisdom.

Here is what I've found in my area (Baltimore, MD):

-Specialized Hard Rock COMP https://baltimore.craigslist.org/bik...091019719.html
-Bridgestone MB5 Trail Blazer https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...6051264305456/
-Specialized Cross Road https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...8138341158889/

Ideally, I talk the seller down to as close to 100 as I can get them.

Thanks for the input in advance!
I like the crossroads. You should look for a 58CM road frame, and 19-21" MTB and Hybrid frame, in theory that would be your size. Early 90's hybrids have basically touring geometry. I've known several people who have taken Crossroads and converted to drops. Trek Multitracks, especially the lugged variety like others are saying, have close to 520 geometry and frame clearance for 700c x 42c (maybe larger, I just happen to have one).

Geometry is everything though, doesn't matter if the bike is cheap or expensive, got to have a frame to fit. That Hardrock looks to be in the best shape of what you have shown.
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Old 03-20-20, 06:55 AM
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After consideration and further searching, I'm now looking at this Rockhopper, which I believe is a '96.... But it's hard to know exactly based on color scheme alone. Seller is pretty unresponsive as far as details go. Will need to switch out a good number of parts, but seller is willing to come down to 50, maybe lower...


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Old 03-20-20, 07:06 AM
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I would guess that will fit the bill perfectly!
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Old 03-20-20, 07:33 AM
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My advice is always the same, look for a higher end model with higher end parts. I have found several MTBs in the last few weeks with XT components.

Typically when you find high end parts, it will also have higher end frame materials.


A MTB that originally sold for $900 might be available for $100, while one that originally sold for $250 might be available for $75.


FB marketplace can be a very good place to find bikes, as sellers are using it more and more, while buyers aren't. I've seen some incredible deals on FB marketplace.
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Old 03-20-20, 12:02 PM
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that rockhopper at 50 is the way to go. great frame, nice shape, great price. and it should fit you being a taller frame. I wouldn't hesitate to aquire it if I was looking to start a drop bar mtb project.

make sure the stem and seat post arent stuck
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Old 03-20-20, 12:53 PM
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Nice one for 50 bucks.
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