Bicycle Mechanics - Looking for suggestions - Converting MTB (Giant SE) to comfort bike for a gal pal
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06-24-09, 08:18 PM
A gal pal had a surprisingly great time riding with me at a vacation resort. (it sucked for me as I rolled along at 10-12mph on my road bike tossing in a few 60 second sprints to alleviate the boredom)
She really liked the single speed beach cruiser style bike rather than the bike she has at home (a bike I left there - Image Below) - a Giant Boulder SE.http://www.giant-bicycles.com/_upload_us/bikes/models/zooms/2009/Boulder-SE-(Street)-Black.jpg
Anyway my question is:
Can I do a pseudo conversion by swapping handlebars so it has a the same comfort style of a beach comber?
If so, anyone recommend a style of handlebar?
Or is it too much grief because I will have to deal with the shifters and easier to just get her a used beach comber?
TIA for suggestions
06-24-09, 08:55 PM
Smooth tires will make the biggest difference.
Dimension (a QBC brand) markets a "34 degree sweep" bar that mimics beach cruiser bars. They're not very expensive and most any LBS should be able to order you one. I'm 95% sure her existing levers and shifters will fit but you'll probably need longer cables and have to recable the bike.
06-24-09, 09:21 PM
I love my cruiser-barred mountain bike. I cruise yard sales and the like just fine with a bolt-upright position. I went with really wide ones to ensure plenty of knee clearance, makes it tough to get in and out of the door, but I like the improved knee clearance over the Nitto Promenades I tried, but bent when I hit a little dirt jump (no dirt jumping for the cruiser bars). Like retro sez, long cable housing is key!
It didn't really take that long to do. Find a bar with proper clamp diameter, get new shifter and brake cables with housing, swap it all out.
06-24-09, 09:32 PM
Looking at that Giant, though, I just don't know. With the huge suspension fork on there and already high handlebars, cruiser bars might put the grips up around her shoulders! I suppose you could flip the stem and put it under some spacers as needed.
A gal pal had a surprisingly great time riding ...the single speed beach cruiser style bike rather than the bike she has at home ...Can I do a pseudo conversion by swapping handlebars so it has a the same comfort style of a beach comber?
Why not start by swapping out the stem to a short reach DH/BMX stem? One piece of kit to be replaced to find out if she can enjoy her MTB or not. Should put her hands about where a back swept handlebar would have put them albeit in a different angle. For starters you wouldn't even have to change the cables, the excess might be unsightly but fully functional for a test ride or two.
Not that swapping bars would be a huge undertaking either, but there's no way of telling if it'd be enough to give the bike the feel she's after.
06-25-09, 05:05 AM
actually I just bought a boulder se and rode it for the first time yesterday. LUVED it compared to my old steel frame tank. just wish it had smoother tires, it came with agressive tires. anyways, just like everyone else said, switch the tire to smooth tread (or no tread) road tires and possibly a different bar. just the tires alone should make a huge difference. by the way, the pic failed to come up, is it the black boulder with street tires or blue with agressive tires?
06-25-09, 07:28 AM
I have a Giant that is much like that one. For street riding, I changed out the tires for 1.5" city type tires. [ I will probably get another set of wheels & tires , later. Much faster now, & no noise like the old " mud grip " mountain bike tires. I replaced the stem with an adjustable stem to raise the handlebars & get a better angle. I was going to the replace the adjustable stem with one of the right angle, but it is a good one & I have just left it in place. It still has the original handlebars. It now rides a lot better & faster on paved roads, but to make it more perfect, gear changes would be needed. I will leave it like it is & enjoy it.
06-25-09, 09:08 AM
Thanx for the suggestions. All excellent.
Will have to check to see if it has an adjustable stem. If not, I have one that might work.
Never thought about the tires, but I am sure that will help a lot.
As for the handlebars, Lester that is one very snazzy shape.
For street riding, I changed out the tires for 1.5" city type tires.
It still has the original handlebars. It now rides a lot better & faster on paved roads
actually I just bought a boulder se and rode it for the first time yesterday. LUVED it, just wish it had smoother tires, anyways, just like everyone else said, switch the tire to smooth tread (or no tread) road tires and possibly a different bar. just the tires alone should make a huge difference. by the way, the pic failed to come up, is it the black boulder with street tires or blue with agressive tires?
Link was purloined directly from Giant's website. I do not have that specific year of the pic (I think mine/hers is an 06)
06-25-09, 09:11 AM
You'll need new cables and housing, bit it can be done. I did many upright conversions when I worked at a shop near Sun City.
06-25-09, 10:44 AM
Are any of you married?
I just spoke to her and offered to tweak "MY" bike for her. Her comment, "the bike is too masculine. I am into aesthetics."
She pointed out that the beach comber we rented had a nice basket on the front. Without even keeping an open mind about potential mods, she is saying it won't work. Also is telling me that the gearing is harder than the single speed beach comber. When I try to explain that is probably from the knobby tires and poor gear selection (ie: not shifting the gears correctly), I get dissed as I am too dismissive of her opinion.
Apologies for the wasted inquiry. Now I realize why she is a gal pal and not a GF.
I cannot wait to get my bike returned.
06-25-09, 10:52 AM
ha, at least she'll ride with you. as for my wife, I spent 3 hrs cleaning up her ancient huffy 10 spd, put a large comfy seat on it, new grips and brake pads...........and she hasnt rode it yet. we both know the bike is just a bit too small, but I was gonna surprise her with a new bike next yr for mothers day IF she kept up with it this year. dont think thats gonna happen.......
06-25-09, 01:12 PM
Cruiser bars or hi riser bars+1 1.25 road slicks=a neat bike. Jack
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