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  1. #1
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    Questions on modding a mtn bike

    Hey folks, 6'2" 245 Portlander here. I picked up a 26" 21-speed Magna Silver Canyon on CraigsList a while back and I'm looking to get it modified for a regular commute to work (obviously something I'm going to have to build up to). The components all look stock at the moment and my first change is going to be to slicks. I'm thinking of the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes as the area I would be riding through has a lot of construction (nails and staples), partying kids (broken glass), and thorn bushes. It will be all on road, so I'm not worried about the off-road traction capabilities, I just don't want to have to mess with flats if I don't need to. I had it suggested to me that I also change the gears, the seat, and pad the handlebars. I already know how to size a seat properly and can figure out the handlebar padding, so my only concern really is the gears. What are people's thoughts on this? Any suggested manufacturers? The commute would end up being 12 miles both ways over some moderate inclines, but nothing major. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    -Mark

  2. #2
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Gearing should be fine for commuting. You just won't use the lower gears very often.

    Do you have braze ons for a rack?

    Things to add:

    • Lights front and rear
    • Rack for utility purposes
    • fenders (Keep the crud off your bike and you in wet weather)

    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  3. #3
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    I'd have to double check about the braze ons for a rack, but I definitely have mounting holes for a fender and that was a given here in the NW Glad to hear I don't have to mess with the gearing though as those guys can get expensive. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    IF you have a lot of stop & go, a smaller, lighter tire allows you to accelerate easier. It's also less weight to push uphill.
    I'll assume the bike has a 14-28 cogset? As you get in better condition, you may find that you are spinning out in top gear. At that time, you could maybe go to a different FW, something like a 13-28.

  5. #5
    Member bigmallard's Avatar
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    I do the same thing that you do. I live in Gainesville, FL so I deal with the same stuff. Invest is some semi-slick style tires with a Kevlar bead. That will keep you from changing your tube too often, and keep you safe when it rains.

  6. #6
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    Semi-slicks? I didn't think there was a problem with hydroplaning due to the low speed and the narrow tires. Is that not the case?

  7. #7
    jcm
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    Totally slick tires are best, but for all practical purposes, few would notice the difference between completely slick or almost so. Hydroplaning on a bike is not supposedly possible, I've read. I agree with going to a lightweight, skinny 1.25" tire like Serfas Baristas. They take 100lbs and seem fairly puncture reisitant. I've also used 1.5" Armadillos with good success, but they are heavy and you can feel the difference in resistance. Still, for such a short ride, the Armadillos would be good.

    On the other hand, if the route is as nasty as you say, some 1.75" or 2" knobbies might be even better because there is not much tire touching the surface. Just pump 'em up to 80lbs to get a slightly easier roll.

    Your gears are fine. I would use this bike to dial-in the set-up for comfort and weatherproofing (handlebars, saddle, fenders, rack, etc.).

    These are the Serfas: http://i3.tinypic.com/4hx4zl1.jpg

  8. #8
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    For flat avoidance: every 5 mi inspect tires and remove glass with a knife, consider rim tape if you have double walled rims, consider Mr Tuffy.

    Seats people speak highly of Brooks $$$.

    gears: Probably not the best use of your time if you are talking flat terrain and commuting speeds. Products you might consider are internally geared hubs, and shimano mega range freewheel cassette.

    If the bike is used you might need to overhaul the hubs and bottom bracket. True the wheel. replace cables.

    see parktool.com for info on hubs and truing.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
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    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  9. #9
    jcm
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    geo8rge wrote: "Seats people speak highly of Brooks $$$."

    Maybe I misunderstand, but commonly found Brooks saddles are not that expensive. A B17, their best seller, costs about $60 or less. A B67 costs about $90 with S&H. You can spend much more and be much less satisfied on a synthetic saddle.

    I will say that my Sequoia Elite came with a $35 Specialized Milano (probably because they knew I'd toss it), but it was fine for under 40 miles, so something like that would work for a short commute, I'm sure.

  10. #10
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    Thanks again for all of the excellent suggestions. I think I'm going to go with the Serfas Baristas like jcm suggested as I can pick them up locally and they are definitely not going to break the bank. I'll tweak the other hardware as time any my budget allow

  11. #11
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    Isn't Magna one of the Target/Walmart brands? If so, I wouldn't sink too much into upgrading that bike. If you find you really enjoy commuting by bike, you'll probably be better served updating to a different ride in the future. For now, road-ish tires, racks and fenders, and then anything cheap that increases your comfort, and go for it. That would be my recommendation.

    Jim

  12. #12
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    Dangit, you're right. Fortunately I didn't get ripped off here so that's not a biggie. Thanks for pointing that out, Seamus.

  13. #13
    Parts Guy Gravity Worx's Avatar
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    Mr. Tuffy tire liners will go a long ways in preventing flats, especially if you are running semi slicks or slicks.
    In Portland you don't have the goat heads so much like we do here in Boise, but there are still stickers, small tacks, glass pieces from car crashes, and the like that cause the flats.
    They are cheap and work well.

  14. #14
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    See Sheldon Brown's Definition of Hydroplaning,

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ho...l#hydroplaning

    For the solutiong to hydroplaning fears.

    Paul

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