About 9 months ago I started nerding out about old steel mountain bikes. I was a fiend! I spent way too much time a lunch lurking through MOMBAT and trolling Craigslist looking for bikes. I wrecked my single speed last December and was looking for a get-around. Something that would haul me to and fro bart and various activities with dog, books, and whatever in tow. I found this old Stumpjumper for sale up in Healdsburg and convinced my buddy John to drive me up there and that was that.
The bike is pretty much how I got it with only a few changes. The brooks saddle of course is not original. It's a B17 S. The "S" stands for short and while it's supposed to be woman's specific (it's also a little wider in the back) if I even have to get another one I think I'd just stick to the regular B17. I got a Cetma rack a few months ago, another Craigslist score. The virtues of a front load have been expounded on for a long time and I don't have anything particularly new to add to the conversation but I am considering getting a Pass & Stow in the future. The tires had to be replaced. When I got the bike there were some dry rotting 1.95 on there. I rode those for about a week and then got some Panaracer Pasela Tourguards. I went down a few sizes to 1.5 and when the time comes to get new tires I think I'll opt for a 1.75 at least.
Brake cables, housing, and pads are all new. Unfortunately I have yet to replace any of the shifter cables (or any of the drive train whatsoever haha!) which is one of those things I'll get around to one of these days... I'm sure. I got a Crane bell for ringing at ding dongs. I got a beautiful stainless steel king cage to replace the one that came on the bike. Now, seriously people, I want to draw your attention to the GOLD PUNK SPIKE Trik Topz. Trik Topz are of some controversy here at the shop. We're always arguing about who's are cooler! I trust that you'll agree that mine are the best. Perhaps my favorite upgrade on this bike however, is the grips! I was introduced to ESI grips at another bike shop that I worked at a few years ago, the now deceased Left Coast Cyclery. My co-worker, resident weirdo, and long time wrench Miles got a pair and swore by them. When I got the bike I popped some old cork composite grips on there. The funniest thing happens when you get a bike like this, you actually start riding it on trails. Cork just wasn't going to do. My buddy Nell had some ESI grips and also only had rave reviews. We started getting them at the shop and that was that. I will say this as calmly as possible with out trying to sound like a crazy person: ESI grips are the handlebar grip in the world. They are silicone as opposed to rubber they will never get sticky and degrade the way petrol based rubbers do, they don't absorb water the way cork does, they feel awesome on the trail and on city streets, and they come in a bunch of really cool colors.
I think old steel mountain bikes make awesome everyday street bikes. They aren't in vogue (quite yet) and you can still get a high quality older bike for not very much cash. Slap some slicks on there (swap out tires like me when you want to ride trails), a rack and you're gold! If you have any questions on converting your old mountain bike into a townie just stop by the shop anytime and we can chat about it.
I got big dreams for this bike. A dynamo wheel, lights, and fenders are coming soon! I just have to get another mountain bike first!