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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 03-22-10, 04:15 PM   #1
tdbmd
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New "everyday" bike?

Good afternoon,

First, let me say that over the last 9 months I went from going out of the Clydes club to now being back into the Clydes club, but back on the bike today and started running again last week, so hopefully things will start going the right way!

My question is: Is it easier to convert a mountain bike into more of a commuter/easy trail bike or is that more headache than it is worth? I have a couple of dedicated road bikes, but sometimes just want to hop on a bike after work for a few miles on the streets or paved trails. I know there are some hybrid bikes out there but can I change out the tires/handlebars on my mountain bike to achieve the same thing or do those bikes actually have a different geometry? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 03-22-10, 04:29 PM   #2
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If you have road bikes, why would you want to turn an MTB into a road bike? The one exception I can think of is if you didn't want to leave your very expensive road bike outside where it could be stolen or damaged. In that case, a hardtail MTB makes a decent commuter, assuming you change the tires. Full suspension MTBs don't accommodate racks and bags well.

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Old 03-22-10, 05:10 PM   #3
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Pubb,

That is kind of my thought, sometimes I don't want to put on the full kit, bike shoes etc. or want to ride to the store, or just cruise around town, where the road bike is a bit of a hassle. My mountain bike is a hardtail. So there are some thinner tires for mountain bikes?
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Old 03-22-10, 05:47 PM   #4
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Thinner isn't the answer - easier rolling is. Lots of 26" slicks out there to turn your MTB into a city cruiser. I like Panaracer Ribmos and Continental Contacts... and Schwalbe Kojaks, too, if you're steering clear of potholes and road debris and want something really swift and plush. Put a riser bar on, or mustache bars, a nice saddle, a rack and a folding grocery pannier, and there you are. Perfect around-town bomber.
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Old 03-22-10, 05:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for the insights. My current tires are 26x1.95. That is what I am looking for, as I don't really do any serious singletrack with my MTB. The most off road is a gravel road or trail. What are riser or mustache bars? Thanks for the information, guys.
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Old 03-23-10, 08:51 AM   #6
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If you're trying to do it more inexpensively, go with the smaller end of what your current rims can take. I would avoid going too thin as you might wind up with pinch flats (depends on your weight, load, tire pressure etc)

At 260lbs, I found fairly smooth 26x1.5 tires were a good compromise in terms of comfort, speed, and ability to support my fat butt. My wife, who is significantly smaller, went with 26 x 1.25s

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Old 03-23-10, 09:59 AM   #7
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I run these http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_10000_200519 on all our rigid MTBs. It rolls pretty nicely on pavement (I can cruise comfortabley at 18+ MPH) but still does well on trails. We use these bikes primarily for camping (where they will be on everything from campground roads to fire roads to trails) but they also get out occasionally for trips around town. If you want to set up the MTB for street only, narrow slicks are a better choice.
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Old 03-23-10, 10:10 AM   #8
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Thanks for the link. I will check it out. I have seen some tires that have a bit of tread, but are still mostly smooth, so I will look at them.

Can you set up a cycle computer on a MTB? I have them on my road bikes and like the data that I get from them. I guess you could go with a GPS wristwatch, but those things are pretty pricey.
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Old 03-23-10, 10:28 AM   #9
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Are there some handlebars that have just some upward curve, to allow a more comfortable position, without going to drops?
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Old 03-23-10, 11:17 AM   #10
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Yes, quite a few.

1) Mustache bars - Think of drop bars, only where the drops go outward instead of down. These can either be brutally uncomfortable, or the best thing about bikes ever. Everyone is different, and what might work for some won't for others. (This applies to all handlebar styles.)
2) Mary bars - Sort of like beach cruiser bars designed for more serious applications, allows a more upright riding position and more leverage for maneuvering. (Rivendell calls theirs Bullmoose bars - mary bar wasn't butch enough, I guess.)
3) H-bars - Popular with touring cyclists who use MTBs - Kind of like mary bars, only with bullhorns so you can really lean into it on climbs and sprints, and a flat bar part as well for in-between. It's a really nifty, elegant design.
4) North Road (or Albatross) bars - Think city bikes and dutch bikes. Upright cruising, even more laid back than mary bars. (Velo Orange sells a less expensive version.)
5) Riser bars - flat bars, with the ends raised higher. Most common type on this list.

You can google all of those terms for pics and articles explaining their pros and cons. I personally like H-bars and Albatross bars.
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Old 03-23-10, 11:22 AM   #11
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Thanks for the names to look for.
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Old 03-23-10, 11:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdbmd View Post
Can you set up a cycle computer on a MTB? I have them on my road bikes and like the data that I get from them. I guess you could go with a GPS wristwatch, but those things are pretty pricey.
Cyclocomputers work fine on MTBs.
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Old 03-23-10, 01:23 PM   #13
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Cyclocomputers work fine as long as:

you mount the sensor close enough to 'see' the magnet.
you calibrate the computer to the tire size (e.g. changing from 700c to 26" or vice versa)

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Old 03-23-10, 09:46 PM   #14
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I have a MB that takes 1.25 inch tires and they are great for commuting. The gears are too low so I only use it in winter when there is a pile of uncleared snow to go through.

Didn't make any other adjustments to the bike. You can't put tires that skinny on a lot of MBs because the rims are too wide. I only picked this one up (super cheap!) because it would take narrow tires.

Normally I commute on 27 x 1 1/4 inch tires on the old 12 speed bikes. They are practically ideal for me.
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Old 03-25-10, 02:57 PM   #15
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I am going to check with my local bike shop to see what they have in for road tires for my MTB
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Old 03-25-10, 09:05 PM   #16
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I converted an old MTB into a dedicated commuter/family hauler:



It originally had 2.125" knobbies but now runs with 1.5" slicks. The rack on the bike is specific to the child carrier but last year I had a regular rack on it (plus fenders which now live on my daughter's commuter) and I used it with a pannier for regular commuting duties. This bike has riser bars - you can see in the pic how the controls "rise" above the mounting point on the stem. These bars offer a 3" rise and create the upright, comfortable cockpit I was looking for. Another choice for bars that provide multiple hand positions without going to drops is trekking bars:



I'm in the process of securing a set of these for another bike
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