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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

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Show Your Vintage MTB Drop Bar Conversions

Old 07-29-19, 02:32 PM
  #6501  
t_e_r_r_y
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finally got the last piece of the puzzle for my univega in the mail this morning (that 94bcd chainring took forever to show up). i have some fine adjustment to do, and now that the bike is "done", i need to start saving for racks and lights and bags and things, but i'm excited to take it on it's first long ride!





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Old 07-29-19, 03:47 PM
  #6502  
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Originally Posted by t_e_r_r_y View Post
finally got the last piece of the puzzle for my univega in the mail this morning (that 94bcd chainring took forever to show up). i have some fine adjustment to do, and now that the bike is "done", i need to start saving for racks and lights and bags and things, but i'm excited to take it on it's first long ride!

Someone stabbed your fork with a bunch of bolts

Cool bike, your selection of parts look nice with the purple silver paint.
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Old 07-29-19, 03:49 PM
  #6503  
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Someone stabbed your fork with a bunch of bolts

Cool bike, your selection of parts look nice with the purple silver paint.
thanks! i shouldn't lack for mounting places when it comes time to load it up with stuff, that's for sure.
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Old 08-08-19, 10:20 AM
  #6504  
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Originally Posted by t_e_r_r_y View Post
finally got the last piece of the puzzle for my univega in the mail this morning (that 94bcd chainring took forever to show up). i have some fine adjustment to do, and now that the bike is "done", i need to start saving for racks and lights and bags and things, but i'm excited to take it on it's first long ride!




Tell me about those tires! I'm setting up my 30yo xc bike as a gravel bike and am looking for tires that will work well both on and off pavement.

Thanks
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Old 08-08-19, 10:24 AM
  #6505  
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Originally Posted by dickbandit View Post
Here is my 1988 Univega Alpina Uno with Nitto Dirt Drop stem and Soma Portola Bars. Just finished up this build yesterday and took it out this morning. WOW. Loved this bike before, but it's so much nicer to have multiple hand positions.

How do you like those Country Rock tires? I'm setting up my 30yo xc bike for gravel and am finding there aren't many 26" "gravel" tires out there.

Thanks
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Old 08-08-19, 10:43 AM
  #6506  
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Originally Posted by rando_couche View Post
How do you like those Country Rock tires? I'm setting up my 30yo xc bike for gravel and am finding there aren't many 26" "gravel" tires out there.

Thanks
They have a nice smooth ride on pavement and a great ride on the gravel roads I've taken them on. Plus, you can't beat the price.
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Old 08-08-19, 12:56 PM
  #6507  
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Originally Posted by rando_couche View Post
Tell me about those tires! I'm setting up my 30yo xc bike as a gravel bike and am looking for tires that will work well both on and off pavement.

Thanks
at ~$30 for a tire, tube, and a couple tire tools, they're great! a little bit on the heavy side at around 2lbs each, but i wasn't sure how big of a tire i could fit in this frame and didn't want to drop $70 on something like a rene herse tire to find out it wouldn't fit. i'm glad i went this route, i'm having a lot of fun with them so far.

i did some pretty loose and rutty single track climbing on this bike last weekend, with grades up to 15% or so, and i didn't have any traction issues at all at ~35lbs in each tire. i had planned to air down some if needed, but didn't end up needing to. did a super loose gravel descent on the same ride as well and they performed really well.

on road, they are awesome. the center inverse filing (or however you'd describe that) makes for quick, quiet rolling, and they are super grippy ripping corners at speed.

here's where i got them if you're interested - https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 08-08-19, 01:47 PM
  #6508  
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Originally Posted by rando_couche View Post
I'm setting up my 30yo xc bike for gravel and am finding there aren't many 26" "gravel" tires out there.
Gah! I have some! Bike's at home and I don't remember the name! They're 2.1 gravel racing tires, I remember that. I'll check when I get home.

ETA: Kenda Small Block 8. Really nice, quite grippy.

Last edited by Korina; 08-08-19 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 08-08-19, 01:55 PM
  #6509  
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30 years ago this was a cutting-edge xc bike (Tange Prestige road tubing, lugs, etc. Very light). Last weekend I built it up with stuff from the parts bin and the coop, thinking to use it as an allroad/gravel bike. I'd forgotten what a great bike it is. Time to replace the 200 gm road bars with something more substantial but other than that it's just right.
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Old 08-11-19, 11:55 PM
  #6510  
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Originally Posted by jskita View Post
It WAS sort of black chrome. Sadly, I set it up with swept bars for an exchange student and he's now it's new owner. I always wanted a 26 incher like that but doubt I'd build another.
Well, if you ever do, and want another black chrome one, I can recommend the 1986 Schwinn Sierra. I built one up for my lady, as her tourer. It turned out real nice. It looks like I never took photos of the finished build, so it looks like I can avoid getting flamed for posting it here, as it's not drop bar!
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Old 08-12-19, 03:00 PM
  #6511  
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is that a lime green Davidson?

Hi all,

Is the lime green bike a Davidson? I can't make out what it is.

I have a street steed built up from a 88 Fisher Montare (under stay U brake), XT derailleurs , Bontrager BC-X rims (26"), LX hubs, DX thumbies, Diacomp SS4 levers, Selle Italia Lycra recovered, Specialized slicks. I had intended to do a drop bar conversion, but couldn't resolve issues with new Tecktro levers, a new road bar, and some Shimano barcons.

All the bikes presented here are an inspiration.
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Old 08-15-19, 11:27 PM
  #6512  
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Looking to do one of these conversions myself. I've got this a hybrid Specialized bike lying around and a 2x10 sram apex groupset not currently in use and was wondering if the conversion would work well with the frame I have. Thanks for any insight!

Edit: Need a few more posts to actually post pictures, but here's the link if it's allowed: imgur.com/gallery/YS4EwGk
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Old 08-16-19, 07:27 AM
  #6513  
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Originally Posted by Zestiquant View Post
Looking to do one of these conversions myself. I've got this a hybrid Specialized bike lying around and a 2x10 sram apex groupset not currently in use and was wondering if the conversion would work well with the frame I have. Thanks for any insight!

Edit: Need a few more posts to actually post pictures, but here's the link if it's allowed: imgur.com/gallery/YS4EwGk
I don't see why not. Just as long as you get the fitment to your liking, it should be a good one.
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Old 08-16-19, 09:08 AM
  #6514  
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Originally Posted by Zestiquant View Post
Looking to do one of these conversions myself. I've got this a hybrid Specialized bike lying around and a 2x10 sram apex groupset not currently in use and was wondering if the conversion would work well with the frame I have. Thanks for any insight!

Edit: Need a few more posts to actually post pictures, but here's the link if it's allowed: imgur.com/gallery/YS4EwGk
You are at step 1: find a good donor. You have completed that step! Thats the step that costs the most money.

Now measure the rear drop out spacing and compare to the wheel you plan to use. Front derailleur clamp diameters also vary a lot, can be shimmed if they are too large. Basically look at the donor parts and see how they attach, and see if those attachments match you're hybrid.

Dump the suspension seat post if you have one on that hybrid and buy a $15 replacement on eBay or Amazon (get the right OD of course).
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Old 08-16-19, 02:29 PM
  #6515  
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Originally Posted by t_e_r_r_y View Post
finally got the last piece of the puzzle for my univega in the mail this morning (that 94bcd chainring took forever to show up). i have some fine adjustment to do, and now that the bike is "done", i need to start saving for racks and lights and bags and things, but i'm excited to take it on it's first long ride!


@t_e_r_r_y Sweet set up! Tell me about that stem set up you have. Is the Cigne stem mounted over a quill adapter? I'd have to get the adapters for the stem to fit my 25.4 mm Midge bars. Just curious why you chose the Cigne vs. something like a Nitto dirt drop? I definitely like the easy bar removal allowed by the Cigne but I'm curious as to how the height and bar reach distance varies between the two.
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Old 08-16-19, 03:06 PM
  #6516  
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Originally Posted by badger_biker View Post
@t_e_r_r_yIs the Cigne stem mounted over a quill adapter?.
That's a threadless steerer on that Surly fork.
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Old 08-16-19, 04:21 PM
  #6517  
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Originally Posted by badger_biker View Post
@t_e_r_r_y Sweet set up! Tell me about that stem set up you have. Is the Cigne stem mounted over a quill adapter? I'd have to get the adapters for the stem to fit my 25.4 mm Midge bars. Just curious why you chose the Cigne vs. something like a Nitto dirt drop? I definitely like the easy bar removal allowed by the Cigne but I'm curious as to how the height and bar reach distance varies between the two.
thanks! my alphina is 1 1/8 threadless, so i was going to have to go with something like this. i've always loved the look of an ld stem, and originally i wanted the crust version, but they were out of stock and a lot more expensive than the vo stem, so i just went with that. i'm happy with it! i had to wait until i had my cranks, seat post, and seat before i could cut my steerer tube down on the new surly fork to set the bar height, but once i cut the tube down it was all simple and straightforward.

i'm not sure how the bar reach and height varies between this stem and others, it's the only one i've had, but vo has all of the dimensions on their site. they have a longer reach version too, but this bike frame has a pretty good top tube length so i went with the shorter stem.
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Old 08-17-19, 11:58 PM
  #6518  
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
You are at step 1: find a good donor. You have completed that step! Thats the step that costs the most money.

Now measure the rear drop out spacing and compare to the wheel you plan to use. Front derailleur clamp diameters also vary a lot, can be shimmed if they are too large. Basically look at the donor parts and see how they attach, and see if those attachments match you're hybrid.

Dump the suspension seat post if you have one on that hybrid and buy a $15 replacement on eBay or Amazon (get the right OD of course).
The parts I'm planning on attaching include a braze-on front derailleur, which I'll probably need to find an adapter for. Anyway, thanks for the advice! Hopefully when I get started I can contribute a little to this thread
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Old 08-18-19, 05:06 PM
  #6519  
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Originally Posted by rando_couche View Post
30 years ago this was a cutting-edge xc bike (Tange Prestige road tubing, lugs, etc. Very light). Last weekend I built it up with stuff from the parts bin and the coop, thinking to use it as an allroad/gravel bike. I'd forgotten what a great bike it is. Time to replace the 200 gm road bars with something more substantial but other than that it's just right.
As a tall guy myself, the proportions and fit on this look great. More (and slightly bigger) pictures?
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Old 08-19-19, 01:21 AM
  #6520  
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In light of some recent rides having considerable sustained gradients...



...I decided that I'd like a gear lower than 24-28 for the particularly steep spots. So I replaced the cassette on my '84 Stumpy.

Previous:

11-13-15-18-21-24-28

New:

11-13-15-18-21-24-28-32

Chainrings stayed the same, 48-38-24. On gravel, it works great as a classic wide-range triple; on the road, it transforms into a 1.5-step-plus-granny arrangement. The extra cog gives me some bonus low-end without messing anything up. And by giving the middle ring a lower low-end, I shouldn't need to shift into the 24T as often; this is nice, because the 38->24 shift is pretty dramatic.



The new cassette raised the wrap to 45 teeth, and the Alivio M360 derailleur on the bike was looking pretty strained. So I replaced it with a similar-looking but longer-cage Alivio T4000.



I was worried about chain length, but a new 116T chain turned out to be exactly the right length out of the box. Super convenient!

The 8-speed cassette is wider than the 7-speed cassette was, so I had to remove the cassette spacer that had been on the freehub. The big cog is thus farther inboard than before. Unfortunately, this made the chain rub both the tire and fender when in the small-big combo.

So I moved the chainline outboard. And, since I had way more NDS clearance than I needed, I made the q-factor smaller at the same time.

The old bottom bracket had a 118mm spindle. The new one has a 115mm spindle...



...And a huge 4mm DS spacer.



I haven't dialed in the FD adjustment. The chain is intermittently dropping upon shifts to the small ring, and I'm having a hard time preventing it with shifting technique. But the shifting is otherwise very crisp. Since the lower run of the chain isn't getting stuck, I might try the lazy option and see if a simple chain keeper makes the problem disappear.

I'm also trying out a cockpit change. I switched to a very slightly longer stem to prevent my knees from hitting the bar tops when riding out of the saddle, and I also switched to a Nitto B115 handlebar; it has the same width in the drops as the previous bar, but the hooks have a bit of flare. Here's the bike in its old iteration:



And here is the new:



I'm contemplating moving the hoods up the bars a bit, but otherwise things seem pretty good.

Importantly, the bike's subtly-visible but explosively-present road attitude seems to be preserved. I've been mostly off the bike in the last month and a half due to achilles injury, so I'm not at my best, but I had a bit left in the tank yesterday when we reached pavement near the end of the ride. Someone went to the front and set a gentle 18mph cruise, but the RTP ELs roared against the mercy. I moved to the front, checked that everyone was on, and began to lift the pace. The speedometer responded to power. 19, 20, 21... keeping forearms level in the hoods wasn't as natural as with the old setup, but the hooks felt great. 22, 23, 24... the road was non-technical and the view was clear, I got into the phantoms. The new location of the tops perfectly balanced the forces, I was on the rivet at zero effort. 25... soon, only one person remained on my wheel. Excellent.

Last edited by HTupolev; 08-19-19 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 08-19-19, 10:13 AM
  #6521  
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Good stuff, @HTupolev. I'm trying to learn about chainlines now and I appreciate the pictures and descriptions.

Unrelated, I took just one photo during a 15-mile ride yesterday and thought it looked good enough to post here.

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Old 08-19-19, 01:20 PM
  #6522  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Importantly, the bike's subtly-visible but explosively-present road attitude seems to be preserved. I've been mostly off the bike in the last month and a half due to achilles injury, so I'm not at my best, but I had a bit left in the tank yesterday when we reached pavement near the end of the ride. Someone went to the front and set a gentle 18mph cruise, but the RTP ELs roared against the mercy. I moved to the front, checked that everyone was on, and began to lift the pace. The speedometer responded to power. 19, 20, 21... keeping forearms level in the hoods wasn't as natural as with the old setup, but the hooks felt great. 22, 23, 24... the road was non-technical and the view was clear, I got into the phantoms. The new location of the tops perfectly balanced the forces, I was on the rivet at zero effort. 25... soon, only one person remained on my wheel. Excellent.
i love it! i wish i had people to ride with. i'm running a 1x10 with a 36t on the front, in my highest gear(11/36) i'm doing low 20s on the tarmac, but i've been thinking about bumping it up to a 38t to get a little more out of it out on the road. riding solo all the time, tho, there's not much pushing me to go any faster.
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Old 08-20-19, 05:21 PM
  #6523  
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Originally Posted by Zestiquant View Post
Looking to do one of these conversions myself. I've got this a hybrid Specialized bike lying around and a 2x10 sram apex groupset not currently in use and was wondering if the conversion would work well with the frame I have. Thanks for any insight!


Edit: Need a few more posts to actually post pictures, but here's the link if it's allowed: imgur.com/gallery/YS4EwGk

Should you want/need wide gearing you'll need a mountain cassette which will also require moving to a mountain rear derailleur. Fortunately SRAM 10 speed road/mountain have the same cable pull so a 10spd mtn RD will work with the road brifters.


One gotcha with many 10spd RD's is they do not have a barrel adjuster for cable tension so you'll need to put one in-line.


Other gotcha's in building a frankenbike which mixes road and mountain parts.

- MTB's have a 5mm wider bottom bracket (68mm vs 73mm). This causes a bunch of issues...

- Road cranksets which have pre-assembled BB axles (aka typical 10 speed stuff) won't fit.

- Road FD's designed for a 2x setup may not have enough reach to push the chain onto the large chainring. A larger FD clamp plus a shim can be used to offset the road FD farther right to fix this problem.

- Cable pull of FD's is not well documented. So indexed shifting with a road shifter and MTB FD may be problematic.

- MTB cranksets have much smaller chainrings rings. This may cause shifting problems for a road FD which is designed for a 50 to 53 tooth chainring. My frankenbikes have large-ish cranksets for this purpose and I use large cassettes to get low gears.


If looking at vintage bikes, you'll do much better if you find steel as they can be cold-set (aka bent) to fix misalignment of the frame and also to accommodate the 135mm rear wheel needed for a 10spd cassette. For example I have a '89 Stumpjumper Comp which had 126mm rear wheel spacing. I pushed out each side 4.5 mm (ish) so it would fit the 135mm rear wheel with cassette. Aluminum doesn't like to be bent (it promotes failure). Titanium is really really hard to bend as it wants to spring back, but most Ti frames will have 135mm spacing. Carbon cannot be bent to a new shape and like Ti, most if not all carbon frames will have 135mm spacing.


Hope this helps,

Greg
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Old 08-23-19, 02:35 AM
  #6524  
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Hi everybody.
I just finished to look at the 261 pages, where I grabbed some fantastic ideas.
Thanks to everybody posting such nice pictures of your hard work .

As I recently purchased a "new" daily bike for my son, I have now at disposal his old Scott arapahoe that he has used during the last 3 years (purchased 20 at that time).
(the new bike is visible in this thread
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...e-caliper.html

I wanted at first to sell it again for the same price, but after thinking about it I could not resigned to do so, and I finally have decided to keep it and make a travel bike for my wife from it.
It will be an interesting and fun project , also to learn my son how to build a bike from A-Z .

We already tested the geometry and have a agreement on the new color
It means that almost 50% of the job is already done

I come back again with the result, probably only in some months !




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Old 08-25-19, 09:26 PM
  #6525  
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Originally Posted by 10eroftheyear View Post


The Fisher I'm working on....new stem should be here today at some point
That Salsa(?) bike on the left is cool
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