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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-02-07, 08:50 AM   #1
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Bike build or upgrade current ride

Hey everyone!

Well, my Doc told me I need to exercise more and with rotten knees running is out of the question. I used to be a big biker and would like to get back into the sport. My current bike is a 95 GT aggressor hard tail that has a broken fork I am trying to see if GT will honor the recall of the shock to date they told me it was too old and they wouldn't honor it . I called the Office of Consumer Affairs and they told me they would see if they couldn't change their mind

So here I sit w/ a broken bike that requires a new 1" threaded fork. I really do not do much mountain biking and plan on road riding mainly w/ some light to moderate trail riding thrown in. I read about cyclocross bikes and thought that would be a good route to go.

I am cannot afford to lay out the money for a new road bike, even a entry level one. I was thinking of fixing the forks and riding the GT, then buying a frame and swapping my components over. Then was hit with the possiblity of all the components not being able to swap. I know the brake levers/shifters wont, possibly the cranks, I would need new wheels, ect. So I may be waisting my time (and $$) there.

Is it possible to convert my Gt into a more road freindly bike. If so what would some of the collective's recommendations be? I am 41 and 5'7" about 256lbs.

Thanks!
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Old 08-02-07, 09:01 AM   #2
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Possible, sure -- buy a Surly Cross-Check (or similar), swap everything across, put some slicks on, and you have a pseudo-roadie. But for low money, you can buy a perfectly reasonable roadie, new or used, that will be the real deal. Look at bikesdirect.com, and check out chunkyd's review of the Dawes.

Re: your front fork -- check this link.
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Old 08-02-07, 09:01 AM   #3
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My suggestion to you would be the Trek 7.2 FX or similar commuter style hybrid. They are excellent bikes with Aluminum frame and fork, without suspension (this is good!). They come in at a very reasonable price at around 410.
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Old 08-02-07, 09:09 AM   #4
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if as in my case,finances are a bother,buy a new fork and,put it in. problem solved. you are on the road.
later you can get some road tires for your bike. thats phase 2. then you can just ride until you decide to do something else as far as your bike goes.
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Old 08-02-07, 09:18 AM   #5
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It's possible, but not real cost effective.

First, a 1" Threaded fork isn't made anymore, and that's likely why GT is waffled on the warranty and recall....they likely don't have anything to replace it with, short of a new frame. I might have one in my parts bin, but I don't think I do, I can't remember if I already disposed of it or not. If I do have it though, you can have it for shipping cost. (Don't hold out for this though!)

What I'd do, twere me, is check out Ebay. You can get a pretty decent older road bike there if you shop ', right. At 5'7", you'd be looking at a smaller frame, around 52-54 cm, likely a 54.

I'd take a good hard look at this bike, for example!
http://cgi.ebay.com/Peugeot-Corbier-...QQcmdZViewItem

or
http://cgi.ebay.com/OLD-APOLLO-10-Sp...QQcmdZViewItem

I'll keep my eye open for others, set my aggregators hunt for something for ya!
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Old 08-02-07, 10:19 AM   #6
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Thanks! My inseam is 30", I have been looking on ebay and locally too. My LBS wants to sell me a new Fuji. It is a nice bike but way out of the budget.

I had the same considaration as you concerning GT and their resistance to help. I posted in the Mechanics forum too about the fork swap. I was finding the hunt for a decent replacement fork difficult and thought maybe I caould swap a 1" crown onto a 1 1/8 fork but a no-go there too. Someone suggested a Road fork swap. That is what brought me to here.

I was looking last night and saw many affordable ebay specials but most had shifters on the downtubes. While I am not ruling that type of bike out, I am familiar w/ that type of bike as my father had an old Schwinn road bike set up like that. I felt real uncomfortable riding it and trying to shift, as I thought I would crash due to my wobbling.

If I cannot find something I guess I will buy some road tires and a ridgid fork and save my nickles. I need to get riding soon.
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Old 08-02-07, 10:19 AM   #7
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So I've done both, I bought a steel frame from nashbar, put my used parts on it and a new fork. it cost me around 250 when I was done, later I upgraded the wheels to 700c mountain rims with cross tires, that cost me another 200. you can do it but it takes time and patience to get the right parts.

Ebay is a great option

http://cgi.ebay.com/2007-NEW-ROAD-RA...QQcmdZViewItem

that's new and would be a great starter.

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-ALUMINUM-ROA...QQcmdZViewItem

Is another great bike, New as well.

bottom line is it really depends on how much time you want to spend working on building the bike.
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Old 08-02-07, 10:26 AM   #8
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+1 on the Nashbar Frames. Back in April they had their Steel MTB Frame on sale for $30 with a seatpost. Now mine was a full new build with the only used part was my Brooks Leather saddle.
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Old 08-02-07, 10:47 AM   #9
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You could patrol the local classified ads, thrift stores, etc. for an old hardtail with a rigid fork that is the right size for your bike. You can pick these up CHEAP! Make sure it is a good fork that has nice long blades. The bike companies used to call these "suspension ready" forks. They were longer than regular forks so that you would not change your frame geometry if you swapped out to a suspension fork.

A rigid fork would go a long way toward making your bike more road-friendly. Plus, you'd have some spare parts. Plus, you could start your collection of old beaters in your garage, which is a great way to rekindle the romance with your wife or girlfriend. They just love having piles of old bikes and parts taking up space in the garage, and they love it when you spend hours wrenching on your bikes instead of talking to them.

Have fun!

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Old 08-02-07, 10:53 AM   #10
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I tried the upgrade thing on my Fuji Absolute 3.0. (Hybrid) I changed to road bars, added Shimano Tiaga shifters,changed the cassette to 12-35 from 11-32, changed the chainring gears to 39/59 from 42/53. reduced the tire size from 700x28 to 700x25.

After all this I thought that I had a Road Bike. It rode like crap. The geometry of the frame made adding drop road bars to the bike ride a little wierd. I was told that it had something to do with the way I was now located on the bike. I'm not sure if you plan on doing as much as I did, but my advice to you is don't . Save you money and purchase your bike already design and configured to do the type riding you want/plan to do.

I re-installed all the stock components back on the bike as it was when I got it, sold the bike (took a $100.00 loss) and sold all the road bike components. (I pretty much broke even of the parts sales)

I then went out and purchase a new Fuji Roybaix Pro. I'm very happy now .
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Old 08-02-07, 11:20 AM   #11
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If $$ is tight,Don't to forget to check thrift stores(goodwill etc.) and craiglist. BE CAREFUL on ebay. Some jack up the shipping cost and pic.s can make a bike look MUCH BETTER than it is. Example: here is a pic of mine. While it's no where close to new looking it looks "OK" and I would probably bid on it if the price was low. I assure you looking at it personally would reveal it's a rust bucket. (but I like it and it was FREE on craiglist)
Code:
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Old 08-02-07, 11:26 AM   #12
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Plus, you could start your collection of old beaters in your garage, which is a great way to rekindle the romance with your wife or girlfriend.
That would make the wife REAL happy After a recent move my garage is packed w/ boxes still.
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Old 08-02-07, 11:29 AM   #13
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I have been hitting pawn shops too just in case. I passed a junk store this AM that had some bikes out front I might stop by later.

Thanks for the ideas.

If I where to buy a frame are the guts in the cranksets different sized? What are some pitfalls to avoid.

I am still leaning toward just getting mine on the road or buying a cheapo off of ebay.
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Old 08-02-07, 11:29 AM   #14
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i just googled 1 inch threaded bike fork and, i found a bunch of em. on ebay is a chromed jr gt fork for $19.99 buy it now. plus their were quite a few others available.
oh yeah, the one on ebay is item # 7233162005. i dont know why i didnt copy the url,but i didnt.
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Old 08-02-07, 11:30 AM   #15
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If $$ is tight,Don't to forget to check thrift stores(goodwill etc.) and craiglist. BE CAREFUL on ebay. Some jack up the shipping cost and pic.s can make a bike look MUCH BETTER than it is. Example: here is a pic of mine. While it's no where close to new looking it looks "OK" and I would probably bid on it if the price was low. I assure you looking at it personally would reveal it's a rust bucket. (but I like it and it was FREE on craiglist)
+1 to being careful on ebay, I have had good luck with ebay, but it's been mostly with frames that I have built up. Shopping on ebay just means the you need to do your research and know what you want to spend before you lay down the cash .
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Old 08-02-07, 11:32 AM   #16
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I have been hitting pawn shops too just in case. I passed a junk store this AM that had some bikes out front I might stop by later.

Thanks for the ideas.

If I where to buy a frame are the guts in the cranksets different sized? What are some pitfalls to avoid.

I am still leaning toward just getting mine on the road or buying a cheapo off of ebay.
Yep, there are several different bottom brackets.
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Old 08-02-07, 11:43 AM   #17
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You could probably find a 1" threadless rigid fork, a cheap stem (check JensonUSA or PricePoint), and some 26" slicks and have a very capable hybrid.

Another option is the Nashbar MTB frame and fork - $49 last I checked.

Once you're back riding and feeling good, save up for a newer road bike. Keep an eye on craigslist, yard sales, and ebay in the meantime. Good luck!

Jim
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Old 08-02-07, 12:13 PM   #18
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#7233162005 is for a BMX bike. There are plenty of BMX forks as there are road forks. The real problem is that I need a 1" threaded w/ a 5" stem. There are very few suspention forks out there that meet this criteria, unfortunatly. The ones that are availible areold and worn out. There are some RST forks that pop up for sale but the cost is working near 100.00.

That is why I thought about buying a new frame and swapping my components over. A Frame w/ 1 1/8th stem will give me vast # of choices. That raised another question after I saw the Frames on Nashbike for 100.00. Could I build a road bike or even a cyclocross using the Nashbike frame and swapping over the majority of my components. Or would it be more cost-effective to get my GT on the road and save my cash.

Riding this desk of mine ain't helping.
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Old 08-02-07, 12:17 PM   #19
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#7233162005 is for a BMX bike. There are plenty of BMX forks as there are road forks. The real problem is that I need a 1" threaded w/ a 5" stem. There are very few suspention forks out there that meet this criteria, unfortunatly. The ones that are availible areold and worn out. There are some RST forks that pop up for sale but the cost is working near 100.00.

That is why I thought about buying a new frame and swapping my components over. A Frame w/ 1 1/8th stem will give me vast # of choices. That raised another question after I saw the Frames on Nashbike for 100.00. Could I build a road bike or even a cyclocross using the Nashbike frame and swapping over the majority of my components. Or would it be more cost-effective to get my GT on the road and save my cash.

Riding this desk of mine ain't helping.
Straight up, I'd build off of the Nashbar frame, given that option set. If you are interested, they also have a touring bike frame, relaxed geometry and good tubing. The Nashbar frames do have ugly looking welds, but they are strong!
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Old 08-02-07, 12:41 PM   #20
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Straight up, I'd build off of the Nashbar frame, given that option set. If you are interested, they also have a touring bike frame, relaxed geometry and good tubing. The Nashbar frames do have ugly looking welds, but they are strong!
Do you think I will have problems fitting my components? I'd hate to get involved swapping then have to stop and buy parts. My biggest worry is fitting the cranks.

I really appreciate everyone's help. I hope it shows, as I really need the help!
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Old 08-03-07, 04:55 PM   #21
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It might be easier to help you out if we knew how much you were willing to spend. I'm just thinkin' that if you and the doc are concerned about your health you should spend the money to get a bike that you're going to enjoy riding. If you can commute on the bike, it won't take you long to "get your money back" through savings on gasoline. And, if you really start getting fit, maybe it'll keep you off of some pretty expensive medications (blood pressure, cholestorol, diabetes.) For $700-$800 you can get a really good bike that serve many purposes - fitness, recreation, commuting. For something in that price range, I'd recommend a Jamis Aurora or Fuji Touring. They are both touring bikes that have a fairly upright position (in comparison to racing bikes) that are made of steel and have a really comfortable ride. They come with all the necessary braze-ons so that you can attach racks and fenders. Your current bicycle sounds like a "project." No problem there... but it might take you a bit of time to get up and rolling... if frustration doesn't win out first. Put out the money, get a nice ride, and get out on the road.
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Old 08-03-07, 05:37 PM   #22
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your LBS might have a fork or two that they would be willing to let go for a steal. slap some slicks on that gt and ride it until you can save up for a new bike!
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Old 08-03-07, 06:14 PM   #23
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Do you think I will have problems fitting my components? I'd hate to get involved swapping then have to stop and buy parts. My biggest worry is fitting the cranks.

I really appreciate everyone's help. I hope it shows, as I really need the help!
I would go talk to your LBS about a fork, they might definitely have one. Also from looking at sheldon's website 1" threaded seems to be a pretty common standard. See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ha-i.html#headset

On another not if you are planning on making the component swap etc. Sheldon's website is a must read. It is a major resource for me, I have several good books on bicycle maintenance and repair, and I use his website far more.

Actually, oddly enough the cranks are probably your least worry. Assuming your cranks are standard square taper (which they probably are) all that might need to be done is a new bottom bracket to get your chain spacing correct. Its quite possible that your existing one would work as with a GT of that era your BB is almost certainly 68mm english threaded.

Rear derailer should work no problem. If you stay flat bar the shifter for the rear should be fine.

If you stay with your existing 26" wheels your brakes (cantilever I assume) should work fine, and thus so should your brake levers. If you go to 700c wheels you will likely need new brake calipers, but your levers might still work (again assuming you stay flat bar).

Front derailer would be the likely problem if it didn't fit the new frame. And depending on its style even if you change the front derailer you can probably still use the front shift levers.

That said if you need to improve your health and fitness a bike is a good way to do it, but it should be comfortable and enjoyable and a new bike may be very much worth the cost.
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Old 08-04-07, 12:19 PM   #24
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After mulling over the sage advice given to me in the past days and speaking with the wife, I have come to the conclusion that I will ride my bike that I have now, it isn't a bad bike at all, but I will buy some less aggressive tires.

I am still waiting to hear from The Office of Consumer Affairs regarding the recall of the forks and GT not wanting to follow through. I spoke to them on friday and was told to wait until Tuesday to call as they should know something by then.

I am going to save my money and get a decent bike, although I am intriguged by the Dawes I saw listed. I will stop by the bike shop Monday and ask if they can get me a ridgid fork and some tires.

Thanks to everyone's help!
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Old 08-04-07, 01:40 PM   #25
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Nashbar is running a sale this weekend with free standard shipping. Coupon code 87A1FS. They have these tyres on sale. Hutchinson Top Slick Mtb Tire. 26 x 1.2 , at $9.99. That's about a 30mm width. You may also need thinner tubes. You can wait for the answer regards the fork, but if your going to ride the road, a rigid steel fork would be best and of course the cheapest. Beyond those changes you'd just be wasting money. Best to save and buy a real road bike later.
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