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  1. #1
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    Vintage Parts Mods

    Was looking at nighhtshade_rider's Trailmaster again, and the "Suntour VX derailleur modified for use on oversize seattube" got me thinking....

    I'm guessing there were lots of cool mods that preceded the "off the shelf" stuff we can get today...were there any other "common" mods from back in the day?

    I think I have an XTR front derailleur that has a custom clamp for a Manitou somewhere in my pile of stuff...


    What do you guys have/remember that you can share?



    Steve

  2. #2
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    I know that we used to drill out presta rims to fit schraders all the time back in the day because presta rims were cheaper.
    That's the only mod I ever remember.

  3. #3
    DFA
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    Acquired a rear Hope GT floating brake and Big Un off a Gt Lobo.




    Used some of the parts to make a floating brake for a San Andreas w. modular front mount to experiment with pivot location.



    Which eventually morphed into this.


  4. #4
    Retro on Steroids
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    Mafac cantilever brake arms didn't swing open wide enough to admit an inflated 2.125 tire. You could cut a half inch or so off the back end of the front pads, and you had to file a bevel into the aluminum holders for the rear brake blocks.

    You will find that treatment on any of the original Ritchey MountainBikes.

    Magura motorcycle brake levers did not connect naturally to Mafac bicycle brakes. The motorcycle cables are much thicker. With a small lead melting pot and some brass ends, I made a lot of brake cables.

    The first thumbshifters only came in the right hand variety, so one would be used backwards on the left side, creating an asymmetric look.

  5. #5
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    Mafac cantilever brake arms didn't swing open wide enough to admit an inflated 2.125 tire. You could cut a half inch or so off the back end of the front pads, and you had to file a bevel into the aluminum holders for the rear brake blocks.

    You will find that treatment on any of the original Ritchey MountainBikes.

    Magura motorcycle brake levers did not connect naturally to Mafac bicycle brakes. The motorcycle cables are much thicker. With a small lead melting pot and some brass ends, I made a lot of brake cables.

    The first thumbshifters only came in the right hand variety, so one would be used backwards on the left side, creating an asymmetric look.


    That's what I'm talking about...cool stuff RR....Thanks for sharing.



    Stdve

  6. #6
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    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  7. #7
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    i drilled a hole in the bottom of the legs on my Manitou 1 forks so that they didnt go into hydraulic lockout....dang air would come out but wouldnt go back in and they would get stuck in the bottomed out position....I tapped my fork and added a loose fitting plastic screw that worked great and stopped debris from entering the tubes.

  8. #8
    DFA
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    Balance tube between the air valves on Mags so the pressure in both legs remained the same.

  9. #9
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFA View Post
    Balance tube between the air valves on Mags so the pressure in both legs remained the same.


    Sounds cool...pics?




    Steve

  10. #10
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    Not fair, Rumphy.

    Everything on a Cunningham has been modified.

    Couple more. Joe Breeze made an adapter block that let you use a 4-wire Brooks saddle with a Campy micro-adjusting seatpost. On Breezer #2 he made a shim to fit the motorcycle handlebars to the bicycle stem.

    How about the old shingle on a Blackburn rack for a rear mudguard? BMX number plate zip tied under the down tube for a front mud deflector?

    One night I watched Gary Fisher use an Xacto knife to shave down and re-shape the knobs on a Uniroyal Nobby tire. He gave the tread more bite, and he saved the trimmings to see how much weight he had taken off.

  11. #11
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    Love yer posts. I'm so new-school! Apparently...

  12. #12
    Hit The Road Cyclery
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    I know Suntour made brake levers with "integrated" thumb shifters (IE bolted on), but I've never seen these anywhere else. Maybe CK can shed some light on them, although he's seen the bike they're on in person and I don't remember him knowing anything about their origins.

    Vintage Parts Mods-umtb-left-lever-2.jpg

    Vintage Parts Mods-umtb-complete-cockpit.jpg

  13. #13
    Retro on Steroids
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    Why did links appear in my post above? How can we get rid of them?

  14. #14
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    I don't see any links in your post, so you must mean the viglink crap. You can shut those off in your profile.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/profile.php?do=editprofile

    Change "show inserted links" to "no". Folks set to "yes" will still see them, which is yet another reason I hate viglink on forums... so you'll also want to set to "no" the box for "allow inserted links in my posts".

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the tip on the links...proved to be a good mod

  16. #16
    Humanoid Lobster
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    I get a "403 - Forbidden" error when I try to make that change to my profile.
    Don't call it a gooseneck.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFA View Post
    Balance tube between the air valves on Mags so the pressure in both legs remained the same.
    what would be the purpose of that?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repack Rider View Post
    Not fair, Rumphy.

    Everything on a Cunningham has been modified.

    Couple more. Joe Breeze made an adapter block that let you use a 4-wire Brooks saddle with a Campy micro-adjusting seatpost. On Breezer #2 he made a shim to fit the motorcycle handlebars to the bicycle stem.

    How about the old shingle on a Blackburn rack for a rear mudguard? BMX number plate zip tied under the down tube for a front mud deflector?

    One night I watched Gary Fisher use an Xacto knife to shave down and re-shape the knobs on a Uniroyal Nobby tire. He gave the tread more bite, and he saved the trimmings to see how much weight he had taken off.

    Would love to see that tire! Any pics? That's one tire that could have really used some more and sharper edges!

  19. #19
    DFA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed View Post
    what would be the purpose of that?
    It's an old moto trick from when air forks were de rigeur. The valves on the forks were connected with a single filler valve. It balanced the pressure out between the forks so you would have even pressure in both legs. Seen it done on Mags before. MBA featured it as a Mag hop-up at one point.

    The infamous "tach 'n speedo" forks off a 76 Yamaha YZ. The canisters on the tops of the forks had a floating piston in them, and both the top and fork legs had separate valves (you can see the second balance tube to the forks in the pic). You ran low pressure in the forks and high(er) pressure in the top of the canisters, effectively giving you crude 2 stage damping.


  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    Those crosstrac's were are cool bikes. The fork has me puzzled. Looks familiar. Brand?
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleCentury View Post
    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

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

  22. #22
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    Crosstrac
    *** --- *** --- ***

  23. #23
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    I sure would love to have a crosstrac in my collection....never seen one...but they were way ahead of their time (them and FOES) in terms of suspension travel.

  24. #24
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    Doh!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    Crosstrac
    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

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

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleCentury View Post
    Does brakepads are backwards or no...!?

  26. #26
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    Thinking back now I'm not sure what the point was, and I do recall seeing it around more than just in our shop or area.

    Anyway, prior to short cage versions being available we would swap short cages off broken Shimano road derailleurs onto XT rear derailleurs. 88 or so maybe? Why we didn't just run 105s or 600s on our mtn bikes is beyond me at this point, probably because we had the parts laying around and figure why not. And for cool factor or something since nobody else had short cage XT derailleurs at that time unless they did this trick.
    Quote Originally Posted by banks
    That is one big f'n dude!
    Yes I am!

  27. #27
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    No, the brake is behind the fork, the pad is mounted backwards to the brake but its correct with the rotation of the wheel. I think I just confused myself
    Technology dragass

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefmiguel View Post
    No, the brake is behind the fork, the pad is mounted backwards to the brake but its correct with the rotation of the wheel. I think I just confused myself
    That was kind of my point that the "long" part of the brake pad is pointing forward when is suppose to be on the trailing edge..

  29. #29
    DFA
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    That was kind of my point that the "long" part of the brake pad is pointing forward when is suppose to be on the trailing edge..
    Forward is the trailing edge.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFA View Post
    Forward is the trailing edge.
    Exactly the shorty part is suppose to be the leading edge..

  31. #31
    DFA
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    Exactly the shorty part is suppose to be the leading edge..


    And that's exactly how the pads are set up. I think you're confusing leading edge. It's the part of the pad that makes contact with the braking surface (discounting toe in on bicycle brakes) in the direction of rotation.


  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFA View Post


    And that's exactly how the pads are set up. I think you're confusing leading edge. It's the part of the pad that makes contact with the braking surface (discounting toe in on bicycle brakes) in the direction of rotation.

    Maybe I'm mistaken on the brake pads but for sure on the crosstrac the front brakes where located on the back side of the forks..

    Something like this.

  33. #33
    DFA
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    Maybe I'm mistaken on the brake pads but for sure on the crosstrac the front brakes where located on the back side of the forks.
    Yes. And the short side of the pads is mounted towards the rear, which is the leading edge of the pad, which is correct (for the fronts).


  34. #34
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    Remembered I had something modded that makes me smile....







    Steve

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFA View Post
    It's an old moto trick from when air forks were de rigeur. The valves on the forks were connected with a single filler valve. It balanced the pressure out between the forks so you would have even pressure in both legs. Seen it done on Mags before. MBA featured it as a Mag hop-up at one point.

    The infamous "tach 'n speedo" forks off a 76 Yamaha YZ. The canisters on the tops of the forks had a floating piston in them, and both the top and fork legs had separate valves (you can see the second balance tube to the forks in the pic). You ran low pressure in the forks and high(er) pressure in the top of the canisters, effectively giving you crude 2 stage damping.

    Yeah, I just don't get why they'd need to be even. The forks now house the spring in one leg and the damping in the other, so a big imbalance, but because they're connected via the axle, arch, and crown it doesn't matter.

    Are those old moto forks really air sprung? I don't know my 70s moto stuff, but I'd have guessed coil springs in those old forks. They've had air bleeder valves on them for the past 20+ yrs and as of last year some of the motocross bikes are now running air forks. Some of the top pros are liking them, some are sticking with coils.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFA View Post
    Yes. And the short side of the pads is mounted towards the rear, which is the leading edge of the pad, which is correct (for the fronts).

    Pads look backwards to me. You don't run them that way on the rear wheel which is the same orientation.

    I owned a crosstrack fork in mid 90s for a DH bike and it was great for the big hits but not so good in the chop. No negative spring to combat the weird air spring curve, but they were low pressure so it wasn't awful.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed View Post
    Pads look backwards to me. You don't run them that way on the rear wheel which is the same orientation.
    Thanks for the reaffirmation, I was starting to wonder if I was going senile..

  38. #38
    DFA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed View Post
    Pads look backwards to me. You don't run them that way on the rear wheel which is the same orientation.
    Exactly. Look at the pic of M900 brakes below. Short arm (top in pic) are rears. Long side of pad goes to the rear (leading edge). Long arm (bottom in pic) are fronts. Short side of pad goes to the rear (leading edge). That is the correct set-up. If you run the fronts on forks like a Crosstrak, Pace, or IRD TL5 that mount the brakes on the back side of the fork you have to swap the pads between sides to run them in the correct direction.



    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    Thanks for the reaffirmation, I was starting to wonder if I was going senile..
    See above pic. Not senile, just ignorant of the correct way the asymmetrical pads are set up on M900 front and rear brakes.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFA View Post


    See above pic. Not senile, just ignorant of the correct way the asymmetrical pads are set up on M900 front and rear brakes.
    Okay two birds with one stone...

    Here are some pictures of one of my many projects, not exactly VRC but at least the are "Cantilever" brakes.

    Notice the way the pads are mount it (the cartridge even has a arrow pointing forward, plus the "Release" pin goes in the back of the pads)
    Vintage Parts Mods-img_5530-l.jpg

    I chop them off because I was running them on my Empella cross bike with STI road bike levers and I don't like "travel agents".
    Vintage Parts Mods-img_5523-l.jpg

  40. #40
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    Here are a couple cranksets I modified to mount a cassette cog as a granny ring. The Suntour crank has an 18t granny and the Cooks crankset has a 17t granny. Both have 28t rings that were 74mm bcd, I modified them to 94mm bcd.

    The cogs are held onto the cranksets by short sections of freehub bodies, with external threads. I used bottom bracket lockrings and cogs drilled to 56/58mm to hold the freehub bodies onto the cranks. The 'granny gear' cogs are then slid on, and tightened in place with lockrings. I've been riding these setups for years and they work pretty well. This is sort of my home-made alternative to the Mtn Tamer Triple and the White Industries Limbo Spiders.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vintage Parts Mods-suntour-xc-pro-18t-granny-28t-middle-5.jpg  

    Vintage Parts Mods-1013022319a.jpg  

    Vintage Parts Mods-cooks-cranks-17-28-44-shot-1.jpg  

    Vintage Parts Mods-cooks-cranks-17-28-44-shot-2.jpg  


  41. #41
    DFA
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    Quote Originally Posted by patineto View Post
    Okay two birds with one stone...

    Here are some pictures of one of my many projects, not exactly VRC but at least the are "Cantilever" brakes.

    Notice the way the pads are mount it (the cartridge even has a arrow pointing forward, plus the "Release" pin goes in the back of the pads)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I chop them off because I was running them on my Empella cross bike with STI road bike levers and I don't like "travel agents".
    Click image for larger version. 

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    We're not talking about XT brakes w. cartridge pads, though. With the M900 brakes and the asymmetrical M900 pads shown in the pic on the Crosstrak fork the orientation is correct. It is the way they were designed and the way Shimano recommends them to be set up. Exen the Shimano XTR group photos show the pad orientation to be long side facing forward on the front, long side facing rearward on the rears.


  42. #42
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    Again not exactly VRC but a fun project none the less..

    So the fork on one of my cross bikes was to short to fit the cable hanger, so what to do...!?!?

    Well mount a rollamagic to the stem.
    Vintage Parts Mods-img_0849-m.jpg

    I use one of the frame cable stop for V-brakes that fit the stem almost perfectly, also made a small stop so the rollamagic will not rotate when braking.
    Vintage Parts Mods-img_0843-l.jpg

    It has works perfectly for the last 4 years with out a single issue.
    Vintage Parts Mods-img_0854-m.jpg

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFA View Post
    long side facing rearward on the rears.

    Yes, opposite of the Crosstrac photo. :|

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by IF52 View Post
    Thinking back now I'm not sure what the point was, and I do recall seeing it around more than just in our shop or area.

    Anyway, prior to short cage versions being available we would swap short cages off broken Shimano road derailleurs onto XT rear derailleurs. 88 or so maybe? Why we didn't just run 105s or 600s on our mtn bikes is beyond me at this point, probably because we had the parts laying around and figure why not. And for cool factor or something since nobody else had short cage XT derailleurs at that time unless they did this trick.

    My son is currently running a Dura Ace cage on a m900 rear on his road bike. Shifts like a champ

  45. #45
    DFA
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFA View Post
    long side facing rearward on the rears.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed View Post
    Yes, opposite of the Crosstrac photo. :|
    Yes. The pads are supposed to be run long side rearward on rears and long side forward on fronts regardless of which side of the fork the brake is mounted on.

  46. #46
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    Do It Yourself

    Here's a cheap alternative for wide range gearing. I took a bmx chainring spider and filed it to fit a freehub body. The top 2 'cogs' are 36t, and 42t. The 36t ring has some ramps and some oddly shaped teeth that help with shifting under load.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vintage Parts Mods-redline-spider-36-42-chainrings-cogs-conversion-4.jpg  

    Vintage Parts Mods-redline-spider-36-42-chainrings-cogs-conversion-2.jpg  

    Vintage Parts Mods-redline-spider-36-42-chainrings-cogs-conversion-3.jpg  


  47. #47
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    Any way you slice it, those pads on that fork are mounted wrong.
    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

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

  48. #48
    DFA
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff View Post
    Any way you slice it, those pads on that fork are mounted wrong.

  49. #49
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    Re: Vintage Parts Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff View Post
    Any way you slice it, those pads on that fork are mounted wrong.
    No. They're not. Just because the brakes are mounted on the rear of the fork, does not mean that the pads will change orientation. You mount the pads 'backwards' because the brakes are 'backwards'.

    Sent from my C6606 using Tapatalk 2

  50. #50
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    At the risk of derailling the "which way should XTR brake pads face?" thread.....



    Some Manitou modded derailleurs: (XT and XTR)








    Steve

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