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  1. #1
    Senior Member tallteacher's Avatar
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    MTB for road riding?

    How many of you ride MTB's on the road exclusively? I have never owned a road bike. I have looked at the BD road bikes (another thread) and am considering one of those

    I have an old, circa 1994, mongoose zero-g mtb that is still in pretty good shape (LX derailers, XT rapid fire shifters and V brakes).

    These are my thoughts on possible options:
    1. replace the worn out maintou 4 forks (stacked elastomers) and crank set and get some slicks for riding on the road, and maybe some bend bars to keep me a lil more upright (shoulder consideration after surgery #3 overall)

    2. Conisdering a 29er with front suspension. From what I have read some bigger fellas prefer the 29er to a std 26"

    most of my riding would be road with the OCCASIONAL trail ride or single track thrown in

    good forks and cranks will be less that an entry level 29er...and it is hard to find supension forks that take v brakes..any help or suggestions would be appreciated

  2. #2
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    i am not sure what a 29in fork on a 26in frame would do to the steering response, but i know that people do it. if you go this route, i would look for the fork you like the best (or get the best deal on) and if you can not mount your current brakes on it, just pick up a front disk brake. after all, they can be had cheap and you will be buying a new front wheel anyway.

  3. #3
    Senior Member tallteacher's Avatar
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    If I replaced the fork I would keep the whole bike 26". If I go the 29er route it would be a whole bike most likely

    Can you add a disc brake to an older hub??

    Looking at the price of forks it seems cheaper to get a whole bike
    Last edited by tallteacher; 01-17-10 at 12:55 PM.

  4. #4
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    sorry, i misunderstood your post. i would agree, if you want to go 29in then a new bike is your best bet.

    disk brakes require a disk specific hub.

    buying a new, aftermarket fork can be quite expensive. generally they are quite a bit better than what comes on entry level bikes. if you are looking to stay on the cheap, you may be better off buying a slightly used fork on ebay that somebody has upgraded.

    i am not a big guy, but not short either: 6' 175lbs and i still chose to ride a 26in bike. both have pros and cons but i think the differences are largely inflated. most of them are centered around trail riding anyway...

    the only real difference that i can see applying in your situation would be strength and geometry (if your a big guy) if you build a 26 and 29in wheel with the same hubs, spokes, and rims, the 26in wheel will be stronger/stiffer. with that said, a well built 29in wheel is more that adequate. 29in frames also generally give a guy/gal a little larger frame (not always though)

  5. #5
    Senior Member trustnoone's Avatar
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    IMO after 16 years your money would be better spent on a new bike. If you plan to ride mostly on the road and only a few trails i recommend considering a cyclocross bike or a road bike and keep the Mongoose. Keeping purpose built bikes in the garage is better than trying to find a one bike to do it all. A new 29er would be tempting too.

    If you are thinking the next bike will last 15 years too get exactly what you want. It's worth it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by trustnoone View Post
    IMO after 16 years your money would be better spent on a new bike. If you plan to ride mostly on the road and only a few trails i recommend considering a cyclocross bike or a road bike and keep the Mongoose. Keeping purpose built bikes in the garage is better than trying to find a one bike to do it all. A new 29er would be tempting too.

    If you are thinking the next bike will last 15 years too get exactly what you want. It's worth it.
    i agree about the cyclocross bike. they are wonderful. unless you are doing a lot of trail riding i think they are a great all round bike for anyone. get yourself a cyclocross bike, keep the mtb, and if you find yourself not riding the mtb sell it later on.

  7. #7
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    My opinion is to get the roadbike, you will become addicted and MTB will be a secondary "hobby" not a passion. Why do you ask? It's what happened to me. I do ride MTB but only when it's too bad out to ride. Road riding can become very addictive especially if you join a club and get riding with groups. Whatever you choose, have fun.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  8. #8
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I will sometimes ride my MTB (knobbies and front supsension) just for a workout while my wife rides her roadie. I'd have to say riding the hardtail on the pavement is a terrible ride at a good speed. Once I hit 19-20, the fornt end floats somewhat like the feeling of driving a boat. IMO, if you want something to ride on the road, forget the front suspension. Also had a rigid, it was much better on the road than the hardtail.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    Hi. I have an old Diamonback Sorrento and last year was my first year cycling in a long, long time. I decided to ride what I had and liked it just fine. I bumped up against the imaginary limitation of "running out of gears". Going down-hill. Sometimes. I got my hands on a "vintage" road bike and rode around on that too. It is faster and handles much better BUT here's the thing: the MTB was fine. If I were you m(and I'm not) I would chuck the fork and get a used or take-off RIGID fork from a LBS and have them fit/install it since some MTBs are designed specifically to wor with shock-forks but yours being a '94 I doubt that it was. Get them to put on some 26" road tires and call it a day. That might no be a GREAT road bike or a GREAT MTB any more but it will be the most versatile bike that you will ever own and it will be DIRT CHEEP to get back into cycling. After a year you will be in better shape and have a better idea of what kind of cycling that you like. At THAT point you can get a cross bike or a road bike or a hybred or whatever you want. THat's my advice. It is free and without a doubt, worth what it costs.
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Tall Cool One's Avatar
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    a couple of years ago I took my 1996 Cannondale mountain bike (No suspension) and put handlebars with 2" of lift and road slicks on it. It was a nice improvement over running the knobbies on the road. It was a good way to get a little boost in performance. BUT, it will be very difficult to hang with guys on road bikes. I just placed an order for a new road bike at my LBS. I can't wait to get it.

  11. #11
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    It seems you can go in a couple of directions. First price out what it would cost to replace the items you have listed (fork, crankset, tires). Depending on what you decide it could get pricey. I commute on a hardtail (99 Jamis exile) and the only thing i've changed are the saddle, tires, stem, and grips. Everything added up would be about a $100.

    If the changes you decide to make do get pricey I would definetly think about another bike. I believe MTB's have a shelf life when ridden hard due to metal fatigue (if i'm wrong feel free to correct). However, I believe they are talking about bikes ridden on the mountain and not bikes that just see commuter use.

    I couldn't help answer the debate between 26" and 29" tires, but test ride both and see what you think. Also let the LBS know you plan on primarily riding it on the road and get their opinion. If I remember correctly 26" get up to speed faster than 29", but the 29" tend to roll with less effort once going (again if i'm wrong feel free to correct).

    Also think about what the primary use of your bike will be. If it's commuting and short distances than either a MTB, Cyclocross, hybrid, or whatever, any of them will usually do fine. If you are talking about some kind of long distance with 95-99% if the time on pavement then i'd look into Cyclo, Road, or Touring. Basically what do you want to do that your current bike can't do; and why?
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  12. #12
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    I agree 100% with mr,grumpy (post #9). Slap a rigid fork and some road tires on that MTB and start riding. That will give you plenty of time to decide what type of bike (or bikes ) you really want. Here is my early-90's rigid Raleigh:



    She's no speed demon but with the 1.5" road tires she gets along quickly enough and will still handle light trail riding just fine. The riser bars make it a very comfortable ride. I have a faster all-around bike that I use more often and I plan to buy a more road-ish bike in the spring, but this bike will always remain in my stable.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  13. #13
    Senior Member tallteacher's Avatar
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    As I keep looking I am leaning towards making my current bike road worthy (rigid fork, crank and bottom bracket, probably even new bars - up and backswept)
    What road tires for mtb do you recommend? I see some kendas on ebay for $4-8 + shipping (about 15)...still sounds cheaper than I could get in a bike shop - will a LBS mount tires you buy there cheap or free? Although I think i still have some tire mouting tools somewhere

    Since my bike is old but still in rather good shape i may also rebuild my worn out Manitou 4 forks... I can get a spring setup to replace the elastomers or even a hydrolic one for $38 and about $90 respectively... that way when I DO get a new bike I will still have this one set up to ride

  14. #14
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    I have been riding my 1994 Norco Nitro since, let's see, 1994. I am looking at a third fork. I replaced the rims and Bottom Bracket last November. I have a set of rims for the road and a set for the trail. It works for me. I mainly ride to stay in shape, I lost my racing illusions somewhere in the previous century. Good luck with your decision. I have been playing with the idea of a 29er. Twisted soul that I am.
    Last edited by Daspydyr; 01-17-10 at 10:24 PM.
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  15. #15
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    For my commuterized hardtail I have Specialized Fatboys (26*1.25 100psi) about $20 a piece if I remember correctly. I like them and they roll fast. Some flat problems when they were new but nothing for a while now that I can remember. My LBS mounted mine for free but I think most shops would if you buy the tires from them.

    How much do you think the total for your upgrades will be and will you be doing the wrenching yourself? Otherwise it may get pricey if your LBS does it. Learning how to do repairs is always a good skill to have anyways.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member tallteacher's Avatar
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    I have replaced tires before but it has been awhile. I like to think I am fairly mechanically inclined so if I order tires online I would do those myself, but if i get them at a LBS and they install for free why should I upset the apple cart?

    20-40 for tires est. (probably will need new tubes as well if I go skinnier than my knobbies right?)
    36 for new handle bar (bar and shipping from ebay - I havent researched fully to see what I really want/need, but Im thinking bent bars)
    20-40 for a rigid fork (from ebay... will check LBS for any cast offs or trade ins that will take my v brakes)
    97 for new LX crank and bb from ebay - again when the times come..Ill check LBS for trade ins or whatnot

    203-243 est total to get my hardtail road worthy for serious riding

    are special tools needed to change a BB? how do i know which style of bb I need? From what I have seen in ads there are different types...is it based on bearing? I really AM mechanically inclined HONEST!!! I just never in all my years worked on my bicycles...cars..house..motorcycle..yes....bicycle..no..go figure

  17. #17
    Senior Member mr,grumpy's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know how attached you are to the Benjamens in your wallet BUT if you really, really, really are going to have to spend two hundred and FIFTY dollars on that bike (and I don't see how) you might just want to fork over the extra hunski for a new, LBS, entry-level hybrid bike and call it a day. Of course, you can fix up the old bike over time and I think that all of your numbers are really inflated from what you'll have to spend so........
    "I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
    "MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
    Rides:
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    1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
    2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
    2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
    2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


    My little bike blog.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tallteacher View Post
    I have replaced tires before but it has been awhile. I like to think I am fairly mechanically inclined so if I order tires online I would do those myself, but if i get them at a LBS and they install for free why should I upset the apple cart?
    Because you will get flats if you ride on the road much and you will need to know how to install/remove tires and fix flats. Better to practice in your garage than out on the side of the road. FWIW, I don't have a single bike that isn't equipped with tires levers, a spare tube, a patch kit, a pump, and a multi-tool...

  19. #19
    Senior Member tallteacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
    Well, I don't know how attached you are to the Benjamens in your wallet BUT if you really, really, really are going to have to spend two hundred and FIFTY dollars on that bike (and I don't see how) you might just want to fork over the extra hunski for a new, LBS, entry-level hybrid bike and call it a day. Of course, you can fix up the old bike over time and I think that all of your numbers are really inflated from what you'll have to spend so........
    that was quick numbers off the cuff mostly by looking at ebay. I have seen good deals on CL locally and have not yet talked with my LBS about getting replacement parts...i must say i have sentimental attachment to that bike since i have had it so long

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