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  1. #1
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    1987 Stumjumper conversion into ???

    Well, some folks on this forum may think it blasphemy, but I am just about done with my project of converting my 22-year old Stumpjumper Comp bike that I bought new, into something, well, completely different...

    It's a long story, one that I might blog on when I find the time, but it comes down to the fact that I was inspired to start riding again when my son returned from bicycle mechanic school at UBI in Oregon, and he put together a fixie from old parts. I decided I never liked the white /pink pearlescent color frame my LBS fixed me up with as a result of my original BLUE frame suffering a wrinkle in the top tube. So, I started taking the parts off with the simple intention of refinishing it. I've attached the "before" photo (well, this one shows that I actually already attacked the top tube with paint stripper, just to see how hard it was going to be).

    Sharp eyes will note that this was the era when Specialized came up with the magic combination of U-brakes and 1st generation Biopace chainrings... plus, dig that Breezer-Angell Hite-Rite. When my son saw the Hite-Rite, he thought it was some sort of old-school suspension device.
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  2. #2
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    ... finished results

    so I spent about two weeks of spare time stripping the paint off of the frame, only to find out when I took it to a powder-coating service that they sand-blast the old finish off anyway.

    In the process of deciding on what parts to keep and overhaul, and what parts to replace, I discovered that just about everything on this bike was at least two generations past obsolete. In any event, here is what I ended up with...


    and here is the evidence that it's the same bike...
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  3. #3
    illuminaughty
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    It's different for sure. Why did you go with V-brakes? I think keeping the U-Brake and front canti would have made a sleeker build. More pics please, I'd like to see a front angle view.

  4. #4
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    conversion photos...

    I was obviously going for that "Pashley Guv'nor" '30s English path racer look...
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  5. #5
    illuminaughty
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    That's why I'm curious about the V-Brakes, they kinda take away from the "look". But it's cool.

  6. #6
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    Why V-brakes?

    Several reasons... Ever since they came out with V-brakes, well, ahem, linear-pull brakes, I have preferred that design. I never could get my U-brake to work very well; I guess I probably should have taken it to a BMX shop. While my son was attending UBI, I remembered the fact that we had not one, but two bikes, including his mom's, with the dreaded U-brake in our garage, and I sent him an e-mail of this fact and suggested he bring it up in class. Apparently, the U-brake discussion was the topic of the day.

    When my son came back from UBI and he helped me out with my conversion, he had suggested that I convert to the linear-pull design. Of course, this involved brazing on a set of brake bosses on the seatstays, which is another story in itself.

  7. #7
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    another photo

    Here is the cockpit view...

    I guess in retrospect, the v-brakes are a bit of an anachronism... but I'll have to admit, they work better than the canti/u-brake combination ever did.
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  8. #8
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    Seriously, after the initial shock, it's really a fine makeover. Definitely has the look you were going for!
    Ron

  9. #9
    illuminaughty
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    It kinda grows on you, doesn't it?

    One more question...since you added posts for the V brakes, why didn't you remove the old U-brake ones? Would have been cleaner. I'm not trying to be critical, just curious.

  10. #10
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by da'HOOV
    It kinda grows on you, doesn't it?

    One more question...since you added posts for the V brakes, why didn't you remove the old U-brake ones? Would have been cleaner. I'm not trying to be critical, just curious.
    Would grinding off the U-brake posts have any effect on the chainstays? I've got an 86 Stumpy at home that's going to get rebuilt. I'd love to have cantis front & rear.

  11. #11
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    Looks great! I like the color combo and new path racer inspired bar set up, but is the cockpit too short? I imagine it is pretty upright, which of course isn't bad---esp with a suspended Brooks!

    And not to pile on, and yes, the v-brakes are fine and don't bother me, but man, it would have looked really clean with the u-brake.

    Sweet ride!

  12. #12
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    make that 1987 StumPjumper conversion into ???

    Dang, I wished I'd had spelled the title correctly... that's what I get for those late-night posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by da'HOOV
    One more question...since you added posts for the V brakes, why didn't you remove the old U-brake ones? Would have been cleaner. I'm not trying to be critical, just curious.
    I don't mind the questions. It's actually a loooong story. I started on this thing last June. Once I removed the parts and the paint, the next step was to braze on the rear brake studs. The guy who did this work was a wrench who worked with my son at a true LBS here in Austin, TX. I brought the frame in to him, and he asked me if I wanted to have him remove the U-brake studs while he was at it. At the time, I had no idea of how this bike was going to end up. I had never seen or heard of a "Pashley Guv'nor," and I was probably just going to use rattle cans to paint the frame. All I knew was that I wanted v-brakes all the way around. Because I really had no idea of where this was going to end up and whether the rear v-brake would even work, I told the guy to leave the U-brake studs on. Well, now it doesn't make sense, because I have absolutely no plans to ever go back to the U-brake. Maybe I will look into grinding the dang things off.

  13. #13
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    Funny thing about the color - and the set-up

    Quote Originally Posted by yo-Nate-y
    Looks great! I like the color combo and new path racer inspired bar set up, but is the cockpit too short? I imagine it is pretty upright, which of course isn't bad---esp with a suspended Brooks!

    And not to pile on, and yes, the v-brakes are fine and don't bother me, but man, it would have looked really clean with the u-brake.

    Sweet ride!
    So, once I got the original paint off, again, all I knew was that I wanted v-brakes all the way around... call me irrational, but I reasoned that if Specialized and other MTB manufacturers stopped using the U-brake as a bad habit back in the late '80s in favor of v-brakes, there must have been something to this "new" design.

    I started constructing a paint booth in my garage, and then my son mentioned the possibility of powder-coating. I contacted one service here in Austin and went there. All I knew was that I wanted black. My initial concept was that I was going to do an "art bike" sort of thing, in which I was going to install old silver clarinet keys on the main triangle. I may still do that on another bike, so don't nobody go steal my idea, now. Well, I went to the powder-coater, and I mentioned "black," and he suggested that he had this special color called "wet black" that was actually specified for Harley Davidson motorcycle frames. That was all it took.

    The next idea was that I was going to go "commuter" with it. Rack, fenders, bell, etc. I started looking around for bars and wound up with the Bontrager "Courier" model. Originally I was going to have them in the normal upright position. Then somewhere I spotted these Schwalbe Fat Frank creme "tyres." O.k., "commuter/cruiser" would be the concept. Now, this frame was made when a 1.95 inch tire was considered "wide." I had to make sure a 2.35 inch tire would fit... Just barely, but these tires would need new rims. An excuse to get new Mavic rims with eyelets. But fenders would now be out of the picture. No way would they fit.

    Then at that point, I saw a photo of the "Pashley Guv'nor." Simply turn my bars upside-down, and with these creme tires, I would have a pretty fair facsimile of the same thing.

    So, while I didn't start out with that concept, I kind of ended up there. Yes, the cockpit is now a little cramped, but my son says it sure looks cool.

  14. #14
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty W.
    So, once I got the original paint off, again, all I knew was that I wanted v-brakes all the way around... call me irrational, but I reasoned that if Specialized and other MTB manufacturers stopped using the U-brake as a bad habit back in the late '80s in favor of v-brakes, there must have been something to this "new" design.
    Actually, they started using all cantis. Then went to a U-brake in the rear and canti in the front. Back to cantis on both ends. Then sometime in the mid nineties Linear Pull V-Brakes and now disc. There were a few mfgs that used a U-brake front & rear but not many.

  15. #15
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    What I MEANT to say was...

    Quote Originally Posted by CS2
    Actually, they started using all cantis. Then went to a U-brake in the rear and canti in the front. Back to cantis on both ends. Then sometime in the mid nineties Linear Pull V-Brakes and now disc. There were a few mfgs that used a U-brake front & rear but not many.
    You're right... plus, some folks used that obscure roller-brake somewhere in there, correct? at least I didn't have one of those...

    Hey, send me a p.m. if you need my front canti for your '86 Stumpy.

  16. #16
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    I like it. Good job.

    J
    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

    Want:
    650B rims or wheel set. 80's vintage 32 or 36 x 135mm

  17. #17
    PCC
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    I believe that the original intent was to find a more powerful rear brake and that mounting it to the underside of the beefier chainstays would give you a better braking platform compared to mounting it to the thinner, more flexible seatstays. Then people reported that the U-brake would pack up with mud and cause all kinds of problems relating to that so they went back to cantilevers. Shimano came out with the first V-brakes, IIRC. My '89 Stumpie Comp had cantilevers on both ends.

    Looks great. I may do something like that to my '89 if I don't sell it first.

  18. #18
    underachiever
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    wicked pissa.

  19. #19
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    I dig it
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  20. #20
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCC
    I believe that the original intent was to find a more powerful rear brake and that mounting it to the underside of the beefier chainstays would give you a better braking platform compared to mounting it to the thinner, more flexible seatstays. Then people reported that the U-brake would pack up with mud and cause all kinds of problems relating to that so they went back to cantilevers. Shimano came out with the first V-brakes, IIRC. My '89 Stumpie Comp had cantilevers on both ends.

    Looks great. I may do something like that to my '89 if I don't sell it first.
    My 89 Rockhopper Comp has cantis on both ends. The 88 had a U-brake out back.

  21. #21
    bonked
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    I like it. Kind of ironic in a way, to take a mtn bike and make it look kind of like something somebody would have taken in the 70s and turned into a klunker. Might be an interesting direction for my 89 Stump Comp.
    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    That is one big f'n dude!
    Yes I am!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty W.
    I was obviously going for that "Pashley Guv'nor" '30s English path racer look...

    Think I found his inspiration:

    http://www.electrabike.com/home.php

    Nice job on the conversion.

    Looks like the link doesn't work properly. Electra makes a line called the Amsterdam. The Balloon 8D model looks a lot like his conversion.
    They had to replace my metal plate with a plastic one

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty W.
    So, while I didn't start out with that concept, I kind of ended up there. Yes, the cockpit is now a little cramped, but my son says it sure looks cool.

    It definitely does

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty W.
    You're right... plus, some folks used that obscure roller-brake somewhere in there, correct? at least I didn't have one of those...

    Hey, send me a p.m. if you need my front canti for your '86 Stumpy.
    If you ever run into those awful roller brake parts, please send them my way. Thanks.

  25. #25
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    My inspiration, guv'nor

    Quote Originally Posted by cousineddie
    Think I found his inspiration:

    Electra makes a line called the Amsterdam. The Balloon 8D model looks a lot like his conversion.
    Cousin Eddie, the Amsterdam is close, but here is my real inspiration...

    I noticed a Guv'nor this past weekend down at Mellow Johnny's, Lance Armstrong's bike shop in downtown Austin. I might ride my bike down there on Saturday and see if they'll let me take a side-by-side photo.
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  26. #26
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    Not to start up the whole "why v-brakes" thing again, but...

    Due to a number of factors, it took us a while to build up the wheels and put this thing together. Final assembly took place about three weeks ago. That's when we noticed the new rear brake studs were brazed in the wrong place. They were too high. Even with doing some serious Dremel grinding on the lower end of my brake calipers, the brake pads approached the rim at too weird an angle. It looks kinda like the guy who originally did the brazing work (who had since left the state) had measured for road wheels, not MTB wheels. So, I started working on various solutions, including trying out my old front cantilever brakes. But that would then require either buying another set of cantlevers for the front, or having a mis-matched set of brake levers.

    Then, by the magic of searching the internets, I ran across this problem-solver piece called the "Bombshell VPS." A custom CNC aluminum piece that bolts in place of the original brake studs, and relocates the studs up or down about 19mm. I had to saw off the existing brake stud, drill out a hole, tap some threads, bolt the Bombshell VPS piece on, and screw a new brake stud onto the VPS. Here's a photo.
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  27. #27
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    I like your version better than the Pashley.

  28. #28
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty W.
    Then, by the magic of searching the internets, I ran across this problem-solver piece called the "Bombshell VPS." A custom CNC aluminum piece that bolts in place of the original brake studs, and relocates the studs up or down about 19mm. I had to saw off the existing brake stud, drill out a hole, tap some threads, bolt the Bombshell VPS piece on, and screw a new brake stud onto the VPS. Here's a photo.
    That might be able to help those who are trying to put 700C wheelsets on their bikes.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by yo-Nate-y
    I like your version better than the Pashley.
    +1

    The Pashley is cool.. very period looking, but I think that fork is a bit too much. I like modern interpretations of old bikes.. a fork with a bit less rake would have looked better.. which is why I dig this conversion. The front dyno hub on the Pashley is sweet though...the Ibis Scorcher has great lines.

    fwiw rollercams and u brakes are essentially synonymous when talking brake timelines/ mounting locations.

    -Schmitty-

  30. #30
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    Controls

    Thanks for the feedback, boys and girls...

    I wanted to show one more photo - the controls.

    Paul Love Levers 2.5
    Rivendell silver shifters set on silver-anodized Paul Thumbies
    Lizard skins lock-on grips, black clamps replaced with silver

    Since the frame was black, I wanted to do something a little different for the cockpit. The Rivendell shifters don't really coordinate with the Paul thumbies right out of the box. I had to fabricate some nylon inserts to make them work correctly.
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  31. #31
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty W.
    Thanks for the feedback, boys and girls...

    I wanted to show one more photo - the controls.

    Paul Love Levers 2.5
    Rivendell silver shifters set on silver-anodized Paul Thumbies
    Lizard skins lock-on grips, black clamps replaced with silver

    Since the frame was black, I wanted to do something a little different for the cockpit. The Rivendell shifters don't really coordinate with the Paul thumbies right out of the box. I had to fabricate some nylon inserts to make them work correctly.
    Very nice job on the bike. Wether you like it or not the craftsmanship is excellent. This is one nice bike.

    When does the next project start?

  32. #32
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    Next up -

    Quote Originally Posted by CS2
    Very nice job on the bike. Wether you like it or not the craftsmanship is excellent. This is one nice bike.

    When does the next project start?
    Thanks. I think I'll ride this one for a bit and flip it to fund the next one.

    The LBS at which my son works is a Surly dealer. About half way through this project, I discovered the Karate Monkey concept. I now have a real hankering to do a similar treatment to a black-framed KM. If I get to do that project, I'll be sure to post the results.

  33. #33
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    Twin sons of different mothers

    O.K., last post here, I promise...

    here are a couple of side-by-side photos of my converted bike alongside a Pashley Guv'nor, at Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop in Austin.
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  34. #34
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    Still out there Lefty? I've got to post to this super old thread because I just looked at a 1987 Stumpy with a u-brake. I was close to buying it, but I noticed that the small chainring interfered with the chainstay, and the large chainring interfered with the u-brake right side arm when the brake was applied. It was all Biopace, of course. It looks like one of your 'before' photos shows the same problem. Is it common, and what is the fix?

  35. #35
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    zombie thread

    Quote Originally Posted by True Track View Post
    Still out there Lefty? I've got to post to this super old thread because I just looked at a 1987 Stumpy with a u-brake. I was close to buying it, but I noticed that the small chainring interfered with the chainstay, and the large chainring interfered with the u-brake right side arm when the brake was applied. It was all Biopace, of course. It looks like one of your 'before' photos shows the same problem. Is it common, and what is the fix?
    Wow, True Track, this certainly is an old thread.

    To be honest with you, I don't recall the Biopace chainrings interfering with either the chainstay or the u-brake, but I do recall a fairly frequent problem with chain-suck. I think my "before" photo shows a "Shark Fin" piece I put on the chainstay to try to cut down on that. I should have replaced the crank and chain rings the first rattle out of the box due to significant wear.

  36. #36
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    Likely too short of a bottom bracket spindle was installed at some point.

    Unless the frame is significantly (visibly) bent from a side impact, that is...
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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    Thanks for the replies.

    I was just thinking the same thing, Craig. First check to see if the rear triangle is tweaked to the right, then look into the crank spindle offset or length. It's hard to imagine that the brake bosses were fixtured wrong, but that's what it first looked like to me.

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