Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-06-17, 03:48 PM   #1
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Bikes: Fuji Boulevard FS MTB; Specialized Langster; 1979 Schwinn Collegiate; 1979 Generic Japanese step through frame/single speed w/ 26"wheels
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Fuji MTB Commuter Conversion

I recently purchased this aluminum-frame Fuji MTB for next-to-nothing on craigslist in order to convert in to a commuter as I will be mostly riding on paved trails with my kids or to and from work.


A lot of people asked me "why not just buy a road-bike?"


I am only 5'8" so step-over height on most road bike frames is an issue. Also, I am just not used to drop handlebars or the shifter location on road bikes. I have always ridden MTBs so I am just more comfortable on them. The MTB frame is a bit heartier with front shock absorbers so that helps with the unpredictable nature of commuting with the potholes, curbs, etc.


So far I have ridden it to work for about a week with good results, saving $6/day on parking alone.


I am thinking about converting it over to a single-front chainring and only using the middle ring (might as well get rid of all the bits I don't need). Also, I am going to ditch the lousy, worn out Kenda MTB tires for the Michelin Protek tires (in the 26x1.4 size) pictured. Also small stuff like maybe an underseat fender and a set of the strapless toe clips they sell at REI.


The hope is to get a legit commuter for next to nothing - the budgetary constraints are in place because I can't really sell it to my wife that we're cutting down commuting costs if I dump tons of $ in to this project.


Any other hints/tips/encouragement appreciated!!! (And no making fun of the stock Suntour crankset and fork - those are here to stay for at least the next year - the fork until I can decide if I want to upgrade to a nicer Manitou/Rock Shox or go solid carbon fiber ... the crankset I really could care less until it breaks)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FujiBike.jpg (23.5 KB, 175 views)
File Type: jpg tire.jpg (14.2 KB, 172 views)

Last edited by davei1980; 07-06-17 at 03:53 PM.
davei1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 04:11 PM   #2
acidfast7
http://www.538.nl
 
acidfast7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid
Posts: 6,497
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Not sure whether it helps or not, but most of Europe commutes on a non-road/race (depending on which variant of English you speak), and we get by OK.

When I lived in Germany, most commuted on a hardtail MTB or what Americans call a hybrid.

So, I think you're in excellent shape.
acidfast7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 04:13 PM   #3
acidfast7
http://www.538.nl
 
acidfast7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid
Posts: 6,497
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 146 Post(s)
Also, my BSO thread is good for showing savings, and your initial outlay would be even less
acidfast7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 04:25 PM   #4
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Bikes: Fuji Boulevard FS MTB; Specialized Langster; 1979 Schwinn Collegiate; 1979 Generic Japanese step through frame/single speed w/ 26"wheels
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Awesome, Thanks!
davei1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 05:25 PM   #5
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International
Posts: 2,755
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 341 Post(s)
Welcome to bikeforums! You are doing everything right if speed is not your prime concern. Smooth street tires make for faster, easier riding. Sitting upright is better for traffic awareness, and wider, 26" wheels and tires tend to be more resilient than thinner 700 wheels. My main commuter is a more of a touring bike with a longer wheelbase, and fatter tires (although 700s). But for over 15 years I commuted exclusively on a MTB-based commuter. It is now my back-up commuter/utility bike and with studded snow tires my winter bike.

What I did was to add taller (higher) gearing to my MTB commuter to get higher cruising speeds. I've never ridden any distance with a suspension fork, but it seems most people here recommend locking it out for commuting.

Sturdy, comfortable, capable...MTB based commuters are a very good way to go.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 14923664335050.jpg (96.4 KB, 168 views)
BobbyG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 05:38 PM   #6
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Bikes: Fuji Boulevard FS MTB; Specialized Langster; 1979 Schwinn Collegiate; 1979 Generic Japanese step through frame/single speed w/ 26"wheels
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Thanks and that's a full on urban assault vehicle you got there!!

And you're correct, as long as I can do 8.9 miles in 40 minutes I am happy. I am lucky my building has showers and whatnot but I am usually not that gross, it's very cool and dry, lo humidity in the mornings here in E Wa.

I am having a blast so far riding and wrenching. So much less stressful than driving during peak hours. Just tried to adjust my rear derailleur with mixed results! I am mechanical, just no experience with bikes.

Your comment about the forks makes me lean toward a CF disc brake fork as opposed to a better shock. I have seen CF forks for like $60 on Amazon
davei1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 05:49 PM   #7
Abe_Froman
Senior Member
 
Abe_Froman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Chicago
Bikes: Marin Four Corners, 1960's Schwinn Racer in middle of restoration, mid 70s Motobecane Grand Touring, various other heaps.
Posts: 1,274
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4908 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
Thanks and that's a full on urban assault vehicle you got there!!

And you're correct, as long as I can do 8.9 miles in 40 minutes I am happy. I am lucky my building has showers and whatnot but I am usually not that gross, it's very cool and dry, lo humidity in the mornings here in E Wa.

I am having a blast so far riding and wrenching. So much less stressful than driving during peak hours. Just tried to adjust my rear derailleur with mixed results! I am mechanical, just no experience with bikes.

Your comment about the forks makes me lean toward a CF disc brake fork as opposed to a better shock. I have seen CF forks for like $60 on Amazon
No need to spend $ on a CF. buy the best tires you can afford, then full fenders, a frame pump, and a spare tube. That will have you set for quite a while.
Abe_Froman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 06:19 PM   #8
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Bikes: Fuji Boulevard FS MTB; Specialized Langster; 1979 Schwinn Collegiate; 1979 Generic Japanese step through frame/single speed w/ 26"wheels
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
No need to spend $ on a CF. buy the best tires you can afford, then full fenders, a frame pump, and a spare tube. That will have you set for quite a while.
Point well taken, I just thought if I was replacing the existing fork then I may just go CF as opposed to alloy since they're getting pretty cheap.

What do you think about the Michelins I picked out?

I am going to see how this year goes, I am not sure I am hardcore enough to ride in the rain so I may just get a little underseat fender but we will see; liking it so far!

I am lucky that I have flexible office hours - it would be tricky if I was punching a time clock. All things to consider if your employer is bike friendly
davei1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 06:35 PM   #9
Abe_Froman
Senior Member
 
Abe_Froman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Chicago
Bikes: Marin Four Corners, 1960's Schwinn Racer in middle of restoration, mid 70s Motobecane Grand Touring, various other heaps.
Posts: 1,274
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4908 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
Point well taken, I just thought if I was replacing the existing fork then I may just go CF as opposed to alloy since they're getting pretty cheap.

What do you think about the Michelins I picked out?

I am going to see how this year goes, I am not sure I am hardcore enough to ride in the rain so I may just get a little underseat fender but we will see; liking it so far!

I am lucky that I have flexible office hours - it would be tricky if I was punching a time clock. All things to consider if your employer is bike friendly
Check out this site for tire info - tires in the touring section would make excellent commuter tires if you want something durable.
Bicycle Rolling Resistance | Rolling Resistance Tests

Fenders are really good because you stay dry when pavement is wet but it's not raining. You'd be shocked at how wet you can get on a 40 min ride when it rained an hour prior.
Abe_Froman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 06:35 PM   #10
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Orangevale CA
Bikes: '76 Paramount, 02 Hardrock, '98 C'Dale XR800, '04 Burley Samba
Posts: 7,575
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 770 Post(s)
That all sounds fine to me. I wouldn't swap out or remove any parts unless they're broken and I wouldn't upgrade past Acera level. I'd only bother upgrading the fork if you are going real trail off-road and then you should get some nice tires at the same time.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 07:03 PM   #11
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Bikes: Fuji Boulevard FS MTB; Specialized Langster; 1979 Schwinn Collegiate; 1979 Generic Japanese step through frame/single speed w/ 26"wheels
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
Check out this site for tire info - tires in the touring section would make excellent commuter tires if you want something durable.
Bicycle Rolling Resistance | Rolling Resistance Tests

Fenders are really good because you stay dry when pavement is wet but it's not raining. You'd be shocked at how wet you can get on a 40 min ride when it rained an hour prior.
Good call... thanks again for the advice
davei1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 07:34 PM   #12
hermanchauw
Senior Member
 
hermanchauw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Singapore
Bikes: Voodoo Hoodoo, Peugeot Metro, Omitaya Sogno 111
Posts: 225
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
I would change the fork to rigid crmo.

As for brakes, after trying v brakes, BB7 and hydraulics, i have found the least inconvenient is v brakes.
hermanchauw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 07:42 PM   #13
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Bikes: Fuji Boulevard FS MTB; Specialized Langster; 1979 Schwinn Collegiate; 1979 Generic Japanese step through frame/single speed w/ 26"wheels
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
I would change the fork to rigid crmo.

As for brakes, after trying v brakes, BB7 and hydraulics, i have found the least inconvenient is v brakes.
Any advantage to CrMo vs CF other than $? I am not seeing any advantage to keeping the shock absorber. Also, I am dumb. What are v brakes? I have mechanical disk brakes in front and rim brakes in the back and am happy with that configuration
davei1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 07:52 PM   #14
hermanchauw
Senior Member
 
hermanchauw's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Singapore
Bikes: Voodoo Hoodoo, Peugeot Metro, Omitaya Sogno 111
Posts: 225
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
I would trust steel over carbon anytime for strength and durability.

V brakes also goes by the name "linear pull (cantilever) brakes" or something like that. It's a rim brake commonly used in mtbs and frames that take fat(ish) tires like 2.0".
hermanchauw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-17, 08:03 PM   #15
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Bikes: Fuji Boulevard FS MTB; Specialized Langster; 1979 Schwinn Collegiate; 1979 Generic Japanese step through frame/single speed w/ 26"wheels
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hermanchauw View Post
I would trust steel over carbon anytime for strength and durability.

V brakes also goes by the name "linear pull (cantilever) brakes" or something like that. It's a rim brake commonly used in mtbs and frames that take fat(ish) tires like 2.0".
Ok that's what's on the rear. Front is a disc. The fork will definitely be a winter project
davei1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-17, 08:20 AM   #16
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail
Posts: 6,735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
I recently purchased this aluminum-frame Fuji MTB for next-to-nothing on craigslist in order to convert in to a commuter as I will be mostly riding on paved trails with my kids or to and from work.


A lot of people asked me "why not just buy a road-bike?"
Lol you already answered that question!

You're in good shape, just ride and enjoy. 8.9mi in 40 min is pretty fast in my book!

Those michelins should do fine. I do think they look oddly like car tires (flat contact surface), but I'm sure they'd be fine -- definitely better than a standard mtn knobby tire

Last edited by RubeRad; 07-07-17 at 08:33 AM.
RubeRad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-17, 08:35 AM   #17
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Bikes: Fuji Boulevard FS MTB; Specialized Langster; 1979 Schwinn Collegiate; 1979 Generic Japanese step through frame/single speed w/ 26"wheels
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Lol you already answered that question!

You're in good shape, just ride and enjoy. 8.9mi in 40 min is pretty fast in my book!

Those michelins should do fine. I do think they look oddly like car tires (flat contact surface), but I'm sure they'd be fine.
Ok so the 40 minute comment is mesleading - I live on a road which runs along the Spokane River. There is a paved trail which follows the river all the way downtown where I work. Since the trail follows the river the whole way, there's minimal hills, the steepest part is an overpass, put there to avoid a busy intersection.

Because of the trail, I don't interact with traffic a ton. There are days in which I don't hit the brakes until I am almost all the way there. So I think my 8.9 miles is a little quicker because I don't hit many stop lights or intersections

Thanks for the feedback on the tires;
I don't want to be completely lost if I encounter gravel or road construction.
davei1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-17, 08:51 AM   #18
Abe_Froman
Senior Member
 
Abe_Froman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Chicago
Bikes: Marin Four Corners, 1960's Schwinn Racer in middle of restoration, mid 70s Motobecane Grand Touring, various other heaps.
Posts: 1,274
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4908 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
Ok so the 40 minute comment is mesleading - I live on a road which runs along the Spokane River. There is a paved trail which follows the river all the way downtown where I work. Since the trail follows the river the whole way, there's minimal hills, the steepest part is an overpass, put there to avoid a busy intersection.

Because of the trail, I don't interact with traffic a ton. There are days in which I don't hit the brakes until I am almost all the way there. So I think my 8.9 miles is a little quicker because I don't hit many stop lights or intersections

Thanks for the feedback on the tires;
I don't want to be completely lost if I encounter gravel or road construction.
Still, ~15mph on an upright bike is nothing to sneeze at. Not blazing fast, but certainly not poodling along.
Abe_Froman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-17, 09:07 AM   #19
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Bikes: Fuji Boulevard FS MTB; Specialized Langster; 1979 Schwinn Collegiate; 1979 Generic Japanese step through frame/single speed w/ 26"wheels
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
Still, ~15mph on an upright bike is nothing to sneeze at. Not blazing fast, but certainly not poodling along.
Thanks Abe - I will take that as a compliment! I just didn't want to give misleading information! Not bad for a 37 year old CPA who doesn't exercise!! It helps that I am not a huge guy I think....
davei1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-17, 09:08 AM   #20
Abe_Froman
Senior Member
 
Abe_Froman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Chicago
Bikes: Marin Four Corners, 1960's Schwinn Racer in middle of restoration, mid 70s Motobecane Grand Touring, various other heaps.
Posts: 1,274
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4908 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
Thanks Abe - I will take that as a compliment! I just didn't want to give misleading information! Not bad for a 37 year old CPA who doesn't exercise!! It helps that I am not a huge guy I think....
No problem

38 year old guy in sales management here
Abe_Froman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-17, 11:23 AM   #21
no motor?
Senior Member
 
no motor?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Bikes: Specialized Hardrock
Posts: 5,283
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 341 Post(s)
A lot of us ride hardtail MTBs to work and back because they make great commuters, others start with one and move on to something else when the desire for something different is there. If you ride it like it is for a while and replace parts as they wear out you'll have a better idea as to what to replace them with.
no motor? is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-17, 12:34 PM   #22
davei1980
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
davei1980's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: E Wa
Bikes: Fuji Boulevard FS MTB; Specialized Langster; 1979 Schwinn Collegiate; 1979 Generic Japanese step through frame/single speed w/ 26"wheels
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
A lot of us ride hardtail MTBs to work and back because they make great commuters, others start with one and move on to something else when the desire for something different is there. If you ride it like it is for a while and replace parts as they wear out you'll have a better idea as to what to replace them with.
I like it. Thanks for the sound advice
davei1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-17, 07:52 PM   #23
RunForTheHills 
Senior Member
 
RunForTheHills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: California
Bikes:
Posts: 296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
You will need lights when the days start getting shorter again. A rack and pannier would make your commute more comfortable if you have to carry clothes, documents, or a laptop to and from work or want to do some shopping on the way home.
RunForTheHills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-17, 08:51 AM   #24
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail
Posts: 6,735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
Ok so the 40 minute comment is mesleading - I live on a road which runs along the Spokane River. There is a paved trail which follows the river all the way downtown where I work. Since the trail follows the river the whole way, there's minimal hills, the steepest part is an overpass, put there to avoid a busy intersection.

Because of the trail, I don't interact with traffic a ton. There are days in which I don't hit the brakes until I am almost all the way there. So I think my 8.9 miles is a little quicker because I don't hit many stop lights or intersections
And I'd guess you have a faster time if you're following the river downstream, a little slower on the way back up...
RubeRad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-17, 09:04 AM   #25
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint
Posts: 17,287
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1179 Post(s)
FWIW - was looking over some old notes recently & back when I was going thru bike changes & making comparisons, my best commute time was on a MTB w slicks. don't know if the same would hold true today, but that really surprised me
rumrunn6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:32 AM.


 
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.
I HAVE A QUESTION