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Vintage MTB To Upright Bar / Urban Bike Conversions

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Vintage MTB To Upright Bar / Urban Bike Conversions

Old 05-26-23, 11:10 AM
  #1101  
Schweinhund
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Just a glimpse, I've posted it before but not in this thread.
Story first.
Bought this at a homeless boot sale (no home, no yard...)
It was a pair of mismatched crap wheels, a huffy bar and stem, and one brake lever. The front derailleur was present, and the cable guide.
The bay of E was the handlebar source, I had dislocated a shoulder in a work related accident and the bar angle reduced the discomfort while riding.
Cranks were castoffs from someone else's upgrade, Stem was a pull from a pacific, shifters were from a Cycle Pro that moved on to a better life, Brake Levers were a la Amazon, and the wheels were from a 1993 rockhopper that was too big for me so I parted out and got double for the f/f than I paid for the original bike. (Covid!)
Assimilated the rest...

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Old 05-26-23, 11:16 AM
  #1102  
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Yes it's dirty, I ride this bike every single day.
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Old 05-26-23, 02:58 PM
  #1103  
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One more, 1990 Rockhopper
Those Bontrager tires are a bargain. Low rolling resistance, don't pick up thorns like some tires do and good quality control.








I'd change it out, but it's super smooth

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Old 05-26-23, 11:30 PM
  #1104  
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Originally Posted by SensibleCossack
Thanks to everyone for sharing their awesome rides!

One thing I've noticed is that many of these bikes are (or at least appear to be, based on saddle height) a larger size than the usual recommended Mtb fit. Just wondering if anyone has an opinion about the merits of going for a larger frame size.
Standard MTB fit is compact by nature so as to be able manhandle them for control.

Bigger frames ride better? more like a well mannered upright/urban, road bike as long as they fit which is more important with an MTB frame being used as such IMO.

Many of us have and had road frames that are on the small side and have used workarounds to make them fit only to find out that a properly fitting frame rides magnitudes better all the while having thought they were fine with too much seatpost and too tall stems.
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Old 05-27-23, 03:38 AM
  #1105  
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Originally Posted by SensibleCossack
Thanks to everyone for sharing their awesome rides!

One thing I've noticed is that many of these bikes are (or at least appear to be, based on saddle height) a larger size than the usual recommended Mtb fit. Just wondering if anyone has an opinion about the merits of going for a larger frame size.
That's obvious, when you think about it. These bikes have been built for comfort, not banging around off of trees and rocks in the woods. The larger frames flex more, softening the bumps, and you have more room to stretch out, so the upright bars make more sense. The best of the breed are basically beach cruisers with lightweight frames and high quality components, with the gearing to go anywhere you want. The ultimate all-rounder, if you will.


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Old 05-27-23, 08:23 AM
  #1106  
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Terrific B/W Photo

Originally Posted by DQRider;

[img
https://i.imgur.com/IAtg4vb.png
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Brilliant B/W photo DQRider

The layers with the tall grass, prominent tree, river, barges, boats, and tall trees on other side of river are super.

Also the lighting and smooth velvety layers in the sky help make it all come together.

You should enter this one in some show.

Also cool bike!

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Old 05-27-23, 08:57 AM
  #1107  
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Originally Posted by DQRider
That's obvious, when you think about it. These bikes have been built for comfort, not banging around off of trees and rocks in the woods. The larger frames flex more, softening the bumps, and you have more room to stretch out, so the upright bars make more sense. The best of the breed are basically beach cruisers with lightweight frames and high quality components, with the gearing to go anywhere you want. The ultimate all-rounder, if you will.


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Amazing composition
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Old 05-27-23, 10:06 AM
  #1108  
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That really was a magical morning...



Thank you for the nice comments. Bikes and photography are the most complimentary of hobbies.
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Last edited by DQRider; 05-28-23 at 09:07 AM. Reason: Can never leave well enough alone.
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Old 05-27-23, 05:07 PM
  #1109  
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Originally Posted by DQRider
That really was a magical morning...



Thank you for nice comments. Bikes and photography are the most complimentary hobbies.
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I love the stark urban-ness of this shot. Without the bike, it's already a really good photo... but a bit "photography 101," if you know what I mean.

Add the bike, with its mix of curves and lines, organic and mechanical, and especially the shadow of the bike, and now it's in that boundary layer between artistic and realistic that black & white photography does better than any other medium.

Do you have an archive of your work somewhere?

--Shannon
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Old 05-27-23, 06:33 PM
  #1110  
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Originally Posted by ShannonM
Do you have an archive of your work somewhere?
--Shannon
Only this: DQRider's uploaded images - Imgur

Please pardon the slight deviation from our usual subject matter...

I did freelance motojournalism for many years (Diary of a Café Racer, Backroads Diary, and Rush Hour Rambling) and had quite a body of work on the interwebs, but all those servers have died, and my images along with them. Then, when I switched to pedal-bikes, I put everything on Photo-Bucket, and we all know about that fiasco. Rather than pay for ransomware, because that is essentially what they did, I just left them and went to Imgur. I still have my old Kodachrome slides in big, thick binders from my years in the Marine Corps. Here are a few I've had converted...


3 Mama-sans at the paper recycling plant. (Actually, probably o ba chans.)


My buddy Bob (Sgt. Coats) on the flightline at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan.


RF-4B Phantoms over Guam.


Dad in MN National Guard, me in USMC, Operation Team Spirit, Korea, 1988


Last photo I ever shot of Dad, 2018.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
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Old 05-27-23, 10:19 PM
  #1111  
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@DQRider, maybe it's time for an artistic bike photography thread. I'd do it, but I take pics, not photos.
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Old 05-27-23, 11:08 PM
  #1112  
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Originally Posted by Korina
@DQRider, maybe it's time for an artistic bike photography thread. I'd do it, but I take pics, not photos.
Ugh. I suppose I deserved that. Sorry folks, for being so self-indulgent. Drillium Dude already has a wonderful thread for artsy bike photos. I've been a frequent contributor..

Korina, please explain to me the difference between "pics" and "photos". I ask this as a man who had to budget his enlisted Marine Corps pay to support two conflicting addictions: film and beer.

For me, there have been only "happy snaps", and "photographs". The difference being that the advent of auto-focus, auto-exposure, auto-everything cameras, and then the infernal "Smart Phones", has enabled any idiot to capture images good enough to post to their social media pages... these are "happy snaps".

Photographs, or "photos", are images captured by competent photographers and artists which exceed the mere documentary function of "pics" and venture into the artistic expression of a moment in time, captured in such a way as to convey the emotion felt when the viewer experiences the situation which has been captured with exceptional skill through technical means.

Or something...

You're welcome.
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Last edited by DQRider; 05-27-23 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 05-28-23, 08:15 AM
  #1113  
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Sounds like the difference between a Film and a Movie
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Old 05-28-23, 11:28 AM
  #1114  
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I don't know about "happy", but otherwise you got it. Pics convey information; think CraigsList bike ads.

I wasn't complaining, not at all, I love your photos. I just forgot about the artsy photos thread, sorry.

Originally Posted by DQRider
Ugh. I suppose I deserved that. Sorry folks, for being so self-indulgent. Drillium Dude already has a wonderful thread for artsy bike photos. I've been a frequent contributor..

Korina, please explain to me the difference between "pics" and "photos". I ask this as a man who had to budget his enlisted Marine Corps pay to support two conflicting addictions: film and beer.

For me, there have been only "happy snaps", and "photographs". The difference being that the advent of auto-focus, auto-exposure, auto-everything cameras, and then the infernal "Smart Phones", has enabled any idiot to capture images good enough to post to their social media pages... these are "happy snaps".

Photographs, or "photos", are images captured by competent photographers and artists which exceed the mere documentary function of "pics" and venture into the artistic expression of a moment in time, captured in such a way as to convey the emotion felt when the viewer experiences the situation which has been captured with exceptional skill through technical means.

Or something...

You're welcome.
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Old 05-28-23, 04:24 PM
  #1115  
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As I was scrolling these photos, I immediately noticed the happiness and pride on the young guys face in this 'happy snap'. Then I read the caption that it was you with your dad so it gave more life and emotion to the pic.

Then scrolling further and seeing the slightly more lived and softer face of your dad gave him life, and reading the caption created a well of emotion. Being the photographer you probably don't have a lot of 'photographs' of you and your dad together, but that 'happy snap' is a great pairing with his portrait. Sorry for your loss, mate


Originally Posted by DQRider
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Dad in MN National Guard, me in USMC, Operation Team Spirit, Korea, 1988




Last photo I ever shot of Dad, 2018.


We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

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Old 05-31-23, 01:50 PM
  #1116  
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Originally Posted by Frkl
Here is the latest bike for my kid to ride to school and everywhere. This replaces an early 1990s Diamondback swept-back-bar conversion that was stolen. Man, I was really building up a collection with a progression of frame sizes so that everything could be passed down to the next youngest. But I guess this means I have to keep on building "new" ones. Oh, the tears of sorrow sweetly shed

The frame is a European spec and paint-job Marin Muirwoods from 1989 or 1990, depending on what vintage serial number thread you trust. You will be hard-pressed to find an American/UK/English-language catalog example of this. This is retro cred on the sly, I suppose. But who cares? It has a "super cool" black/white splatter paint job, so says my kid, and that's all that matters. Imagine that: in 2023, an 11-year old thinks a 1989 paint job is "super cool." Nothing is new, I suppose . . .

I kept it intentionally ratty to avoid the theft problem, and I kept the original Araya rims because they really do appear to be bomb-proof after 30 years. I restrung the back to a new hub because I like excuses to build wheels, but kept the 7-speeds, why not? I resto-modded a bit, in my opinion, to realize the full potential of the frame. Rear shifting is now XT, braking is done with LX cantis with Koolstop pads. Levers are "Shogun," a mid-1990s and now defunt aftermarket brand in Germany, but these are cold forged and machined and lighter than . . . anyone's business. Shifter (1x7) is a modern Acera trigger unit. But, really, this performs as well as anything current and better than anything before, and costs about 10 USD, so why not?

The bike meets all German street safety specifications (hence spoke reflectors), proving that a commuter can still be, well, cool enough for an 11-year-old.

I love this. The matching stem with canti pulley really ties the room together.
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Old 05-31-23, 02:35 PM
  #1117  
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Originally Posted by merziac
Standard MTB fit is compact by nature so as to be able manhandle them for control.

Bigger frames ride better? more like a well mannered upright/urban, road bike as long as they fit which is more important with an MTB frame being used as such IMO.

Many of us have and had road frames that are on the small side and have used workarounds to make them fit only to find out that a properly fitting frame rides magnitudes better all the while having thought they were fine with too much seatpost and too tall stems.
Thanks for the feedback! I've been fortunate to be able to collect a number of old mountain bikes ranging from 18" to 23" (in the seat tube measurement) to experiment with. They all fit. Sort of. I'm just under 6' and can barely stand over the 23" but it rides so nice on the street that I keep finding reasons to hang onto it. It was my everyday commuter for about a year, but the reach to the straight handlebars would make my shoulders ache on longer rides and I started looking for other sizes of bikes, and looking into upright handlebars and different stems, etc. I had been convincing myself that I needed a smaller frame, but now that I have some I've noticed that they ride differently and don't always fix the shoulder issue. Oddly enough the 18" and the 23" are both really comfortable in different ways. I'm definitely not arguing with the assertion that a properly fitting bike will ride better -- I think that's undoubtedly true. I guess I'm just not sure what my fit is for this style of riding. My bets are on the 20" or 22" -- I just need to keep experimenting with handlebars and different stems.

Originally Posted by DQRider
That's obvious, when you think about it. These bikes have been built for comfort, not banging around off of trees and rocks in the woods. The larger frames flex more, softening the bumps, and you have more room to stretch out, so the upright bars make more sense. The best of the breed are basically beach cruisers with lightweight frames and high quality components, with the gearing to go anywhere you want. The ultimate all-rounder, if you will.
I'll add my praise for the pics (and photos). Thanks for sharing them!

A comfortable all-rounder is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm still experimenting with the various sizes and different styles of bars, which has been a lot of fun, hoping to dial in a bike (or two...or three...or...) to keep. I am realizing that for most of my life I turned my nose up at flat handlebars with any kind of sweep. "Cruiser" was a bad word -- they couldn't be a serious bike, could they? Man, I've been missing out. These have been so much fun to ride.
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Old 05-31-23, 05:12 PM
  #1118  
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Originally Posted by SensibleCossack
Thanks for the feedback! I've been fortunate to be able to collect a number of old mountain bikes ranging from 18" to 23" (in the seat tube measurement) to experiment with. They all fit. Sort of. I'm just under 6' and can barely stand over the 23" but it rides so nice on the street that I keep finding reasons to hang onto it. It was my everyday commuter for about a year, but the reach to the straight handlebars would make my shoulders ache on longer rides and I started looking for other sizes of bikes, and looking into upright handlebars and different stems, etc. I had been convincing myself that I needed a smaller frame, but now that I have some I've noticed that they ride differently and don't always fix the shoulder issue. Oddly enough the 18" and the 23" are both really comfortable in different ways. I'm definitely not arguing with the assertion that a properly fitting bike will ride better -- I think that's undoubtedly true. I guess I'm just not sure what my fit is for this style of riding. My bets are on the 20" or 22" -- I just need to keep experimenting with handlebars and different stems.



I'll add my praise for the pics (and photos). Thanks for sharing them!

A comfortable all-rounder is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm still experimenting with the various sizes and different styles of bars, which has been a lot of fun, hoping to dial in a bike (or two...or three...or...) to keep. I am realizing that for most of my life I turned my nose up at flat handlebars with any kind of sweep. "Cruiser" was a bad word -- they couldn't be a serious bike, could they? Man, I've been missing out. These have been so much fun to ride.
I'll add to it with this, even two same size bikes may, can, will fit differently for many reasons including geometry but none of this is always a hard science.

Plenty can be mental, physical, imagined, willed to be and many other things.

Another huge factor for me can be settling into a bike, frame, fit or adjustment that can be very small and take time to adjust to.

It may seem good or bad at first only to find out it gets better or worse later, don't assume it is bad to begin with as you may find it works well after some miles.

After a while you can get the hang of it if you keep an open mind, some things apply to one bike but not another, the proof is in the riding and sometimes it takes a lot.
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Old 05-31-23, 07:20 PM
  #1119  
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My favorite bar is the Velo-Orange Tourist Bar. The bikes may be compact, but the top tubes are loooooong for bombing down hills; add a long stem and you're riding in the Superman pose. Good luck with your quest, and please show us pics of your bikes!

Originally Posted by SensibleCossack
Thanks for the feedback! I've been fortunate to be able to collect a number of old mountain bikes ranging from 18" to 23" (in the seat tube measurement) to experiment with. They all fit. Sort of. I'm just under 6' and can barely stand over the 23" but it rides so nice on the street that I keep finding reasons to hang onto it. It was my everyday commuter for about a year, but the reach to the straight handlebars would make my shoulders ache on longer rides and I started looking for other sizes of bikes, and looking into upright handlebars and different stems, etc. I had been convincing myself that I needed a smaller frame, but now that I have some I've noticed that they ride differently and don't always fix the shoulder issue. Oddly enough the 18" and the 23" are both really comfortable in different ways. I'm definitely not arguing with the assertion that a properly fitting bike will ride better -- I think that's undoubtedly true. I guess I'm just not sure what my fit is for this style of riding. My bets are on the 20" or 22" -- I just need to keep experimenting with handlebars and different stems.



I'll add my praise for the pics (and photos). Thanks for sharing them!

A comfortable all-rounder is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm still experimenting with the various sizes and different styles of bars, which has been a lot of fun, hoping to dial in a bike (or two...or three...or...) to keep. I am realizing that for most of my life I turned my nose up at flat handlebars with any kind of sweep. "Cruiser" was a bad word -- they couldn't be a serious bike, could they? Man, I've been missing out. These have been so much fun to ride.
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Old 06-03-23, 01:33 PM
  #1120  
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Here's my 1990 Tequesta.


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Old 06-06-23, 02:22 PM
  #1121  
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Originally Posted by Korina
My favorite bar is the Velo-Orange Tourist Bar. The bikes may be compact, but the top tubes are loooooong for bombing down hills; add a long stem and you're riding in the Superman pose. Good luck with your quest, and please show us pics of your bikes!
I've been interested in the Velo-Orange Tourist bar, so thanks for the recommendation, I think that might just nudge me over the edge to an actual purchase.

I like that they seem to be a happy medium in degree of sweep, amount of rise, etc. And it looks like you can grab the bars closer to the stem if you want to switch up hand positions, too.
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Old 06-06-23, 07:01 PM
  #1122  
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Originally Posted by SensibleCossack
I've been interested in the Velo-Orange Tourist bar, so thanks for the recommendation, I think that might just nudge me over the edge to an actual purchase.

I like that they seem to be a happy medium in degree of sweep, amount of rise, etc. And it looks like you can grab the bars closer to the stem if you want to switch up hand positions, too.
And they're not expensive either.
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Old 07-14-23, 01:07 PM
  #1123  
cooperryder 
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I do feel 'full of joy' riding my vintage Peugeot
(1978 U10).
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Old 07-24-23, 04:50 PM
  #1124  
dualresponse
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1990'mtb frame found in trashcan. I've put 1000's of miles on it over the last 25 years or so. Rusted, abused, hand me down parts. Time for a dolled up restomod! 26 inch to 700c conversion, moved the v-brakes, then redid it all and went hydraulic. This bike now identifies as disc brake. Lovin' it!
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Old 08-04-23, 08:16 AM
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I'm immensely enjoying riding my 1994 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo vintage MTB converted more towards urban cruising.

I'm finding these Continental Contact Urban tires to be a good smooth rolling, not terribly heavy tire with good flat resistance. They are reasonably priced also.

Pretty favorable review in the tires here:
https://www.bicyclerollingresistance....-contact-urban

Last edited by cooperryder; 08-04-23 at 08:24 AM.
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