Litespeed Obed - 1x11 adventure dropbar conversion- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Litespeed Obed - 1x11 adventure dropbar conversion

    Hey folks, new here. Looking for some help with an old '98 Litespeed Obed to gravel/adventure dropbar conversion.

    I know I could just go out and buy a 29er 'gravel bike' or something similar, but I love this old titanium frame and I think this seems like a neat use for it.

    I'm having trouble sourcing 26" tires of course, but that's the least of my troubles now that I've been all over the webs trying to find drivetrain parts.
    It's currently got a SRAM 9sp cassette, shimano XTR long derailleur, Shimano XT square taper cranks, and an oldschool thumb shifter on wide riser bars. A total mix and match of what was lying around years ago...

    I'm envisioning a 1x11 setup, newer shimano crankset with updated BB, and adventure flared dropbars with shifter/levers. I looked into to just getting some old SORA shifter/levers to work with my 9sp setup, which I still may do, but I'm unsure if these will work with the 9sp mtb XTR. Also, the current components are semi warn, so it seems a little dumb to drop $150 on 9sp shifters to match them and only end up with 9 gears.

    My biggest question is how to match the roadbike style shifter/levers with mtb drivetrain, or would it be best to purchase an entirely road bike drivetrain and fit it to the Litespeed? Are newer 68mm road bike BB compatible with an older mtb such as this?

    I know, it's a lot. Hoping there are some 26 diehards on here that have accomplished such a conversion. Thanks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Litespeed Obed - 1x11 adventure dropbar conversion-frankenbike.jpg  


  2. #2
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    This is a cool project. I know it's the least of your worries but I'd recommend continental race kings for the tires, they're fast rolling, tubeless ready, and long wearing. As for the drive-train yeah it's a bit challenging here's an article that should help you with mixing and matching drive-train parts: https://bike.bikegremlin.com/1278/bi...compatibility/

    As for the BB and crank, any threaded external bb should work, and road cranksets designed for a 68mm shell are perfectly compatible. On my bike I'm using white industries G30 cranks, their gravel/road 1x setup. If you want to just get a road drive-train that will work well especially with a 26er. Given the same set of gears a 26ers climbing gear is effectively lower/easier than a 700c bike due to the smaller diameter of the rear wheel. So you can have a really great setup with an 11 speed 11-42 sram apex type goupo. If that's a bit pricey check out microshift's advent X group-set, it's 10 speed so it might fit on the hub you already have, plus its cheap. https://www.microshift.com/en/produc...tain/advent-x/

    Path less pedaled recently did a review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jErtf9kZVno
    °Rodando Por Ti!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the detailed response! I'll check out those tires.
    I recently stumbled across the Sunrace 11-46 MX3 10sp cassette, but now that you remind me that 26ers have lower gearing, maybe I don't need to go above 11-42. I've read that anything above 10sd get's harder to mix and match between road shifter/levers and mtb derailleurs. The Adventx looks like an interesting option. As mentioned by PLP, they feel a little clunky compared to Sram or Shimano. Strange too that when on their site I'm not seeing any pricing or 'add to cart' option? Do you get the same?
    Another road block is brakes. It'd be great to have discs but of course the frame doesn't have a mount. I haven't been able to find any worthwhile adapters. Could go v-brake in the back and disk in the front, but this would add to the list and price. Is it worth it? I'd like to buy a carbon rigid fork, so I must commit to a front brake setup beforehand. I'm leaning towards sticking with the Shimano XT v-brakes that are already installed to keep things simple and uniform. Any thoughts?

  4. #4
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    Yeah microshift is a bit funny that way, they don't do e-commerce through their site, usually I have to search around to find it for sale somewhere. I found the group in question up on universal cycles here: https://www.universalcycles.com/sear...roShift&order=

    I think often times people dislike the front disc rear rim brake combo for no rational reason other than it doesn't match. Go for it if you really want, but you can get really good brake performance out of v brakes with a bit of tuning. Good brake housing, correct pad adjustment, and good quality thin brake pads (thicker pads have often been put on bikes, because OE's don't expect people to ever do maintenance.) and brake boosters can all reduce flex in the system for increased power. The main advantage of Disc's IMO is that you don't wear away your rim over time, but you don't have expensive carbon hoops so it's less of a tragedy.

    A have your cake and eat it too option if you're really set on a carbon fork Carver bikes makes a rigid fork with canti studs and disc mount, so does exotic. Never ridden either so you may want to look up reviews. Of course you also need to choose axle to crown height wisely. https://www.carboncycles.cc/index.ph...3&p=199&tb=001 XC 410 - Carver Bikes

    Choosing disc brakes makes finding a carbon fork easier, but depending on your budget a good handmade steel fork could be really great with rim brakes. Custom means it can be tuned to your weight, and rim brake designs can be made less stiff near the hub adding a bit of vertical compliance. You'll have to add up the costs but builders like Walt Works, Igleheart, and Oddity-cycles, all have pricing around 400 dollars. (650 for a ti uni-crown fork from oddity). Just food for thought because I love these builders work.
    °Rodando Por Ti!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CromolyCowboy View Post
    As for the BB and crank, any threaded external bb should work, and road cranksets designed for a 68mm shell are perfectly compatible.....
    This is very much incorrect. Unless the Obed is weirdly specced with a 68mm shell, ext BBíed road cranks will NOT work. Your BB shell is 73mm. You need MTB cranks. If you want to use road cranks, you can do so with a square taper set up. ie White Indistries VBC cranks. Just make sure you have the chainstay clearance.

    Personally, Iíd just keep the drivetrain you have now. 9-sp MTB stuff should work with road shifters. Double check that. Dropbar, and youíre done. May need a shorter stem as youíre lengthening the reach with your road bars.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Thanks 2:01. If I measure across the bottom bracket housing in the frame I get 68mm, not sure what that means. As far as I know, and BSA 68/73 will work?

    I've been researching frame geometry...Huge rabbit hole I'm sure many others have fallen into. It's been interesting to recognize that the Minute fork that I threw on there(in the picture) is longer than the frame came with. This brought me to BB height and drop specifically, and the height of the head tube in relation to the seat. It seems like a good idea to me, while picking out a new rigid fork, to aim as close to the original spec as possible, or to even lower it slightly to drop the BB. I'm also leaning towards a slightly greater offset in the new fork to increase the wheelbase. Any thoughts on this?
    Here's the original brochure for the 1998 Litespeed lineup for reference and entertainment. http://mombatbicycles.com/MOMBAT/Bik...speed-1998.pdf

  7. #7
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    If itís got a 68mm BB shell, then Iím wrong. (And apology owed to CromoCowboy in that case!). Still would need to make sure the crank arms clear the chain stays.

    For geo, Iíd go with factory specs whenever possible. Increase offset and you will slow the steering. Lose that quickness. Unless thatís what you want. 425 to 445mm rigid fork (depending on geo) and youíre set to go.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    If itís got a 68mm BB shell, then Iím wrong. (And apology owed to CromoCowboy in that case!). Still would need to make sure the crank arms clear the chain stays.

    For geo, Iíd go with factory specs whenever possible. Increase offset and you will slow the steering. Lose that quickness. Unless thatís what you want. 425 to 445mm rigid fork (depending on geo) and youíre set to go.
    No worries 2:01 I should've qualified my statement not knowing his bike, I just haven't worked on a lot of 26ers with 73 mm shells. I'll Second the fork comments though, for one thing you're just not going to find many high offset 26er forks, I've looked high and low for one for my own bike. That being said you would only want to do that if you were also slackening the head tube angle. Doing a bit of googling I found that this bike was specd for 63mm travel forks so according to this site FAQLoad - Mountain bike suspension fork axle to crown measurements
    you're hovering right in between 440 and 420. The geo chart of the bike says you have a 72.5 seat-tube angle and a relatively high bb at 11.75 inches, given that I wouldn't go toward the high end of that spectrum. A 420 fork I think would suit this bike and its purpose well. Maybe leaning toward the shorter side of offset as well, maybe 38mm.
    °Rodando Por Ti!

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