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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently picked up a late 80's Rockhopper of CL that I'd like to build into a drop bar commuter/gravel/touring bike. A few current specs:

- Frame size 21.5"
- Stock drivetrain.. Shimano Deore set with Light Action thumb shifters (SIS for the rear)
- Ratted out seat
- Continental TourRride 26x1.75 tires
- No racks
- Cantilever up front and u-brake in back

I'd like to keep this relatively budget build and I'm looking for your help in selecting the right components for the intended use. Here are a few current thoughts but would love any feedback/opinions:

- Stem: Kalloy dirt drop quill stem at 100mm
- Bar: Origin8 Gary-2 25.4mm
- Brakes: Keep brakes as is.. need recommendation on levers that will provide right pull with cantilever/ubrake setup
- Shifters: Planning to keep thumb shifters up top on Gary-2 but would be interested in any bar-end shifters that would be compatible with current derailleurs
- Racks: Would like to be able to run panniers with rack in back and possibly a min-rack up front
- Seat: Seat recommendation that won't break the bank (ie. Brooks B17) but will hold up for a 2-3 day tour

I've been to the local coop with no luck on quill stem extenders or dirt drop bars but assume I will be more successful with brake levers, shifters and racks. Any other considerations would be greatly appreciated! Bicycle tire Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim Bicycle wheel
 

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Any Shimano bar-end shifter up to 8spd will work on your '88 RH Comp. The standard drop-lever from them also works with the u-brake and canti's, but not great. For commuting you may want to think about switching the front up with a v-brake since it will work way better.

If you ride this hard enough you may crack the chanstay, I did that to mine. Also, the forks were the weak link on these and SpecialEd redesigned/beefed them for later years.

Won't comment on the rest since fitting on the bike is a personal choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Any Shimano bar-end shifter up to 8spd will work on your '88 RH Comp. The standard drop-lever from them also works with the u-brake and canti's, but not great. For commuting you may want to think about switching the front up with a v-brake since it will work way better.

If you ride this hard enough you may crack the chanstay, I did that to mine. Also, the forks were the weak link on these and SpecialEd redesigned/beefed them for later years.

Won't comment on the rest since fitting on the bike is a personal choice.
Thanks for your feedback. Going to keep this mostly dedicated to streets and light loaded gravel as I have a hardtail 29er for the trails. With the weaker chainstays and forks how would you recommend loading for a 2-3 day tour? Any issues with a front mini rack or rear pannier rack?

Thanks for the recommendation on the vbrakes up front. Should also make for a slightly easier cable routing with the conversion to drop bar. Will see what I can find at the coop next week on vbrakes and bar end shifters.

Thanks
 
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