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  1. #1
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    MTB to drop bar cycloccross

    I know this has been done before, but here is my conversion from flat bar 26" mt bike to drop bar 'cyclocross' bike. The head angle (due to suspension corrected fork) is more relaxed than a 'real' cyclocross bike, but it actually handles very well and is very stable at speeds around 30 mph (fastest I've hit so far). Also I can fit a full sized 29er mt bike tire on the front, if I feel the need to. I took the cheaper route for the drop bar cockpit conversion. It cost about $90 including new brake cables. It sits at exactly 25 lbs. with the bottle cage mounted. Not super light, but it will handle some gnarlier terrain without worry. I haven't ridden a drop bar bike since I was 12 years old (I'm 48 now), so I didn't want to jump right in without knowing how I would like it. I figured I can get a feeling for it without investing in another bike. I will probably end up buying a dedicated cross frameset eventually, but I am getting to like the drop bars after my first (25 mile) ride.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MTB to drop bar cycloccross-trek-rigid-3.jpg  

    MTB to drop bar cycloccross-trek-drop2.jpg  

    MTB to drop bar cycloccross-trek-drop1.jpg  


  2. #2
    CS2
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    Very nice conversion. That needs to go in the drop bar MTB thread. How about some more details. I see some friction shifters on the flats.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

  3. #3
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    Hey thanks CS2! I am amazed by how well the $15 SunRace shifters work. They are made for mtb diameter bars but with a small bit of filing and 2 longer screws, they mount nicely on the narrow tops of the 31.8 bar. The bar is a Nashbar GC compact drop ($20 with coupon). I started on thumbshifters back in 1989 and really never saw why they lost popularity. I like the fact that you can drop the whole cassette in one swift motion, as well as being able to trim the front derailleur so there is never chain rub. I found when riding on the hoods I can just move a hand inward and bump a shifter very quickly to drop into another cog/chainring. Simple & effective (not to mention cheap).

  4. #4
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaliScott View Post
    Hey thanks CS2! I am amazed by how well the $15 SunRace shifters work. They are made for mtb diameter bars but with a small bit of filing and 2 longer screws, they mount nicely on the narrow tops of the 31.8 bar. The bar is a Nashbar GC compact drop ($20 with coupon). I started on thumbshifters back in 1989 and really never saw why they lost popularity. I like the fact that you can drop the whole cassette in one swift motion, as well as being able to trim the front derailleur so there is never chain rub. I found when riding on the hoods I can just move a hand inward and bump a shifter very quickly to drop into another cog/chainring. Simple & effective (not to mention cheap).
    If you're looking to go more expensive Paul Components makes their thumbies mounts for drop bars. You can use Shimano barcon shifters on the top like you have only indexed. Of course the price is a lot more.
    Truthfully, your solution is just as nice and a lot less money. Good luck.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

  5. #5
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    Nice conversion. I like the look of that frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliScott View Post
    I started on thumbshifters back in 1989 and really never saw why they lost popularity.
    I am in the same boat. I started riding in 1990 and I really love the thumbshifters. I am finishing up a build of a 1995 Yokota frame with XT 7 speed thumb shifters. I am tempted to try the IRD 9 speed thumbshifters on a future build but that may be a couple years after the Salsa Bucksaw is completed.
    Flotilla or Buffet.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by yakkoTDI View Post
    Nice conversion. I like the look of that frame.



    I am in the same boat. I started riding in 1990 and I really love the thumbshifters. I am finishing up a build of a 1995 Yokota frame with XT 7 speed thumb shifters. I am tempted to try the IRD 9 speed thumbshifters on a future build but that may be a couple years after the Salsa Bucksaw is completed.

    Thanks yakko. Yokota! I haven't seen that name in years, I would love to see some pics of that one when you get it built up. I ran those XT 7 speed thumbshifters for years, til I (finally) broke em! The SunRace are 8 speed, I'm running 7 now though. I was considering barend shifters, but actually the top-mounted shifters seem so much more accessible from the hoods position. I have Sram Plasma gripshifters on my Heckler, I still prefer those over any trigger shifters. You can dump a whole cassette and trim the front mech just like with thumbshifters.

  7. #7
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    I am picking it up from the shop Saturday. They are putting on some Jagwire for the brakes and shifters. I will get some pics up after that.
    Flotilla or Buffet.

  8. #8
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaliScott View Post
    I started on thumbshifters back in 1989 and really never saw why they lost popularity.
    I still own my first MTB a 1989 Rockhopper Comp complete with 7 sp thumb shifters. I have a hard with trigger shifters.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

  9. #9
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    I like your conversion...And I'm also fan of thumb shifters. I run Paul's Thumbies on both my MTB's one is XTR the other is XX/XO. Super fast, light weight, accurate and durable.
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  10. #10
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    In another recent post, the contributor showed a picture of thumbies mounted ahead of the hooded brake lever. If I recall correctly, the brake lever is made by Tektro, and has the mounting holes machined in and is made for this application. Would be a better position than what I'm seeing here.

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  11. #11
    The devil is an angel too
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Malcolm View Post
    In another recent post, the contributor showed a picture of thumbies mounted ahead of the hooded brake lever. If I recall correctly, the brake lever is made by Tektro, and has the mounting holes machined in and is made for this application. Would be a better position than what I'm seeing here.

    Eric
    You are thinking of Gevenalle, formerly known as Retroshift. Shifters - Gevenalle


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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    I still own my first MTB a 1989 Rockhopper Comp complete with 7 sp thumb shifters. I have a hard with trigger shifters.
    That is so cool! My first mtb was a 1988 Schwinn High Sierra, wish I still had it.

  13. #13
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaliScott View Post
    That is so cool! My first mtb was a 1988 Schwinn High Sierra, wish I still had it.
    That's why God invented ebay.
    1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1992 Stumpjumpers. 1995 Waterford 1200, 1999 Waterford RSE, plus a garage full of steel frames.

  14. #14
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    Thanks FrozenK for the clarity.

    This is what I was referring to, they are a lot more practical I feel.

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Malcolm View Post
    Thanks FrozenK for the clarity.

    This is what I was referring to, they are a lot more practical I feel.

    Eric
    They are marketed as a more affordable alternative to brifters. I don't know if the ergonomics work, but they are interesting. I think they also sell the levers without shifters so you can uae your own thumb shifters.

  16. #16
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    Nice hack caliscott ! Reminds me of original John Tomac.

    This thread also reminded me of my first (non toysrus) mountain bike : yokota toulumne. Shimano 200gs.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Procter View Post
    Nice hack caliscott ! Reminds me of original John Tomac.

    This thread also reminded me of my first (non toysrus) mountain bike : yokota toulumne. Shimano 200gs.
    I thought I would take a gamble, procter (pun?) but I really like it! Ya, the old Tomac Yeti/Manitou bike with the Tioga disc rear wheel! Doubt I will do any Kamikaze runs with it though, lol.

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