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  1. #1
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    Convert the 26" ATB to a quasi-road bike?

    Right now I've got one of these.

    I then got a road bike and was quickly spoiled by having skinny, high-pressure tires, closer-spaced gearing and, of course, drop handlebars. I stopped riding the Muirwoods.

    The road bike I've got, though, a bike with a carbon fork/105 gruppo/ritchey parts is one that I don't want to leave locked up for very long and/or out of sight. Further, I want something that will easily mount a rack- probably something with cantilever brakes- and with room for fenders as well.

    The rack and fenders part of the consideration actually describes the Muirwoods.

    So, I was thinking about adding the following to the Muirwoods:
    26" 100psi+ slick tires- not sure which ones yet; this is a make-or-break consideration
    44cm road handlebars
    sora ST-3304 shifters for triple crankset/8-speed cassette
    sora 13-26 8-speed casette

    Again the biggest question is if or not I can find a high-pressure 26" tire, meaning at least 100psi. I've got 80psi tires on it now and there's more rolling resistance than I would like.

    Some questions that remain are whether the Sora cassette will mate to my ATB rear wheel, as well as if it will work with my Alivio rear derailleur which itself is made for 7 or 8-speed ATB cassettes. If the Alivio rear derailleur won't work I could go to a Tiagra 8-speed derailleur.

    I should note that I could get the shifters, cassette, rear derailleur and handlebars at a pretty good discount.

    The whole reason I'm even considering doing the above is because I've already paid for the Muirwoods and it's still pretty much new. The condition and longevity of its parts aren't really in question. Further, I don't think it would be too attractive to thieves with the low-grade parts I have in mind.

    A reason not to bother is because I could just buy an older touring bike that would couple the features of my road bike (skinny tires/close-ratio gearing/drop handlebars) with those of my Muirwoods (easy rack & fender compatibility).

    Any thoughs are welcome.
    Last edited by thirdin77; 12-15-07 at 02:21 AM.
    FOR SALE:
    NEW Ritchey Pro 27.2 x 350 x 25mm-offset seatpost
    NEW Dura Ace 7703 9-speed triple 28.6 front derailleur
    USED Ritchey Pro 30deg 110 x 31.8 stem
    USED Specialized Comp 20-28deg 110 x 31.8 adjustable stem

  2. #2
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5425

    Inflate to 85-100 PSI.

    All 8-speed cassettes are created equal as far as spacing goes. Going with smaller cogs is fine, it's just when you go to bigger ones that you can run into problems with the upper jockey wheel hitting the cassette. If you have 8-speed indexed shifting on the rear, you should be fine.

    7 speed cassettes are spaced a little further out, but they usually work. I'm running an 8 speed cassette on my 21 speed (7 rear) hybrid. I just adjusted it so it doesn't hit the lowest gear.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    As long as you don't use more then a 28T cog, a Sora rear derailer will work. However, any Shimano shifter will shift a Shimano rear derailer. The rear derailer isn't really speed spefic, the shifter controls how much cable is pulled each shift and how many shifts is performed.

    The front is a very different story. You may not be able to use a chainring bigger then a 48T due to frame clearance.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  4. #4
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    It's too bad you don't have disc brakes on the Marin, 'cause you could lace road rims to disc hubs and run your favourite road tires.
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
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  5. #5
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    Id did it to my Scott Sub 20. Hated it. Coverted it back.

    Some things you should know:

    1). Your rear derailuer/cassette should work fine. Your front will probably not. Shimano makes a 'top mount' and a 'bottom mount' (for lack of technical terms...the ring around the tube is either above or below the majority of the derailuer stuff). Those Sora brifters require a 'top mount'. My Acerla or Alivo or whatever it is a bottom mount. You will not get all three front rings to work unless you have a top-mount. A new Sora derailuer should not cost you much.

    2). You will need in-line cable adjusters as you will not have down-tube shifter bosses whihc is where they normally mount. These are cheap, but cvan be hard to find as I have found bike shops go through alot of these.

    3). Your biggest problem (or at least mine) will likely be fit. Mountain bike generally have long top tubes, whihc means you will likely need a very short stem to get the right reach. This will affect the handling if you ever get comfortable.

    4). I do not like the thumb-down-shift of the Sora, and would likely prefer 105.

    5). I found the brifters not to work as well in bad weather (particularily snow). This may or may not be a consideration. It is where I live.

    As for the tires, I am running 110 PSI 26" slicks.

    Good luck!
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  6. #6
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    You mean like this:
    Non semper erit aestas.

  7. #7
    M_S
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    Don't forget a shorter stem to adjust for the fact that you'll be riding on the hoods/in the drops.

  8. #8
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    Re: the tires -- Specialized makes two that would suit your needs. One is a 26 x 1.0 slick, 100PSI. The other is also 26 x 1.0 with a minimal pattern, 115 - 125 PSI.

  9. #9
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
    Right now I've got one of these.

    I then got a road bike and was quickly spoiled by having skinny, high-pressure tires, closer-spaced gearing and, of course, drop handlebars. I stopped riding the Muirwoods.

    So, I was thinking about adding the following to the Muirwoods:
    26" 100psi+ slick tires- not sure which ones yet; this is a make-or-break consideration
    44cm road handlebars
    sora ST-3304 shifters for triple crankset/8-speed cassette
    sora 13-26 8-speed casette
    a set of these should satisy the need for speed:
    http://www.schwalbetires.com/stelvio_350

    i come from a somewhat similar background, and have been riding a road-centric mtb for years. I've tried most of the skinny 26" tires slicks out there, and I like the ride & durability of the Schwalbe the best.

    I've used 1" to 1.95" tires and honestly, the speed diff isn't much, maybe 1-2mph tops between the heaviest slowest vs. skinniest fastest. I've settled on around 1.5" as a good compromise - able to absorb some ruff stuff and still pretty quick

    FWIW
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  10. #10
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstantRider View Post
    Re: the tires -- Specialized makes two that would suit your needs. One is a 26 x 1.0 slick, 100PSI. The other is also 26 x 1.0 with a minimal pattern, 115 - 125 PSI.
    I've read several reviews about the Fatboys(first link) sliding in the rain. That would kill it for me. I've used the All Conditions(second link) in 700cc on several bikes and love them.

    thirdin77: do you want the look of a drop bar or the riding position? A trekking bar will give you the same riding position and multiple hand holds,but it'll only cost you $20 and use your stock controls. REI sells the same one that came stock on my Safari:
    http://www.rei.com/product/629508

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/F600/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
    Right now I've got one of these.

    I then got a road bike and was quickly spoiled by having skinny, high-pressure tires, closer-spaced gearing and, of course, drop handlebars. I stopped riding the Muirwoods.

    The road bike I've got, though, a bike with a carbon fork/105 gruppo/ritchey parts is one that I don't want to leave locked up for very long and/or out of sight. Further, I want something that will easily mount a rack- probably something with cantilever brakes- and with room for fenders as well.

    The rack and fenders part of the consideration actually describes the Muirwoods.

    So, I was thinking about adding the following to the Muirwoods:
    26" 100psi+ slick tires- not sure which ones yet; this is a make-or-break consideration
    44cm road handlebars
    sora ST-3304 shifters for triple crankset/8-speed cassette
    sora 13-26 8-speed casette

    Again the biggest question is if or not I can find a high-pressure 26" tire, meaning at least 100psi. I've got 80psi tires on it now and there's more rolling resistance than I would like.

    Some questions that remain are whether the Sora cassette will mate to my ATB rear wheel, as well as if it will work with my Alivio rear derailleur which itself is made for 7 or 8-speed ATB cassettes. If the Alivio rear derailleur won't work I could go to a Tiagra 8-speed derailleur.

    I should note that I could get the shifters, cassette, rear derailleur and handlebars at a pretty good discount.

    The whole reason I'm even considering doing the above is because I've already paid for the Muirwoods and it's still pretty much new. The condition and longevity of its parts aren't really in question. Further, I don't think it would be too attractive to thieves with the low-grade parts I have in mind.

    A reason not to bother is because I could just buy an older touring bike that would couple the features of my road bike (skinny tires/close-ratio gearing/drop handlebars) with those of my Muirwoods (easy rack & fender compatibility).

    Any thoughs are welcome.
    I'd council against doing too much to the Marin. It's a $400 bike to begin with. You can easily spend $400 on upgrades to have a $400 that's worth $800. A brand new LHT complete cost in the range of $900 and you'd have a better all around bike.

    Some things to think about if you go the upgrade route:

    You'll need new brakes or at least Travel agents to make the linear brakes work. If you went with bar end shifters instead of STI, you could get Diacomp V-brake road levers. But that's not necessarily a cheaper way to go. Cost in the end would probably be about the same.

    Bar end shifters will work with the C100 front derailer the bike currently has. STI probably won't. Front derailers are cheap but it's still more money to spend.

    In looking at the costs of upgrading, don't forget the little things. You'll need bar tape and new cables. Not expensive but not free either.

    You might need a new stem to accommodate the road bars.

    Look at the costs of the upgrades, figure in 6 to 10% more for shipping and/or taxes, figure in an additional 5 to 10% for the stuff you found out you need but didn't have. Then really think about what kind of bike you'll end up with compared to new one.

    I'm not trying to rain on your parade. I just trying to get you to think realistically about the bike.
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  12. #12
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    My vote would be to start over with another bike.

    I'm not much of a tinkerer though, and tend to sell bikes if "fixing" one requires more than a seat/stem/bar change.

    As far as tires, there are a great many options out there. I wasn't a big fan of the Tom Slicks, though you could do a lot worse. The Specialized Nimbus is a nice commuting tire. I would be choosing between those and one of the Schwalbe offerings. My preference, when I was riding a MTB, was 1.5" or wider tires. I really liked the 2" Big Apple and found it to be just as fast as the thinner tires. This is contrary to what you're looking for though.

  13. #13
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    I can speak to this issue since I just made my own frankenbike just like you are describing. I took an old specialized rock hopper with a 19" frame, I typically ride a 16.5" in a mountain bike, complete with it's original alivio group and fitted it with drop bars and brifters. Since it has a quill stem and I didn't want to buy a new fork I purchased a quill stem adapter from nashbar and put a road stem with like a 125 degree rake to it (read it sets the handlebars much higher than a typical stem would) and fitted it with some road bars. I used sora brifters with Tektro Oryx brakes.
    balindamood is right, the front d will not work with these brifters, at least it won't hit all three rings. I have adjusted mine so that they work fine with the larger two and just don't shift to the smallest ring. I have found that some parts of my hilly commute have become a little harder, but I am getting stronger for it so it's not all bad. I am actually thinking about swapping out my triple for a better quality compact double and calling it good. I think that should work.
    The bike has turned out great for me. It is incredibly comfortable and I like it a lot as a commuter bike. The brakes work OK although I wish I could mount some disks on it. Maybe I could weld some disk tabs on?
    Price wise people are making a good argument, put the money into a new bike. For me since I already had the almost valueless specialized just sitting around I'm really only into it about $200.
    I have commuted on both flat and road bars and my franken bike is working great for me so far.
    I also have used a few different slicks and have found that I like 1.5-1.25 slicks at between 90-100 PSI. My current set up is cheep performance 1.25 slicks that pump up to 85 psi, and I'd like them a little harder.

  14. #14
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMaxx View Post
    The bike has turned out great for me. It is incredibly comfortable and I like it a lot as a commuter bike. The brakes work OK although I wish I could mount some disks on it. Maybe I could weld some disk tabs on?
    interesting setup. don't try welding on disc tabs - i understand most folks who have tried, regretted it. Esp on the fork - it's not designed for it and would likely be unsafe. Nashbar sells a disc rigid fork for $50. cheers
    beer-bottle target

  15. #15
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    acroy
    Thanks for the advice. I thought about it but would buy a new frame before I'd actually go though with it.

  16. #16
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    Update from the OP.. per the advice I was given I got some Trekking handlbars and have done a few test rides with them. They totally change the functionality of the bike. While pulling up on those side hand positions I feel like I can sprint easily more quickly than on my road bike. The forward hand position also lets me have a posture on the bike similar to that of having my hands on the hoods of a road bike, though not quite; I adjusted the seat to its aft-most position and still feel like I can't stretch out as much as I would like. I wonder if this bike is too short for me.

    So my first question is would it be a bad idea to get a seat post that would let me set the seat even farther back? Can going "too" far back result in injurious pedaling mechanics?

    Also what I'm noticing while riding around on the bike's still original 26" 80psi tires is how.. uh.. bouncy the ride is. Many would call this comfort but to me the footing, for lack of a better term, feels unstable.

    So now my second question is- will thinner, higher-pressure 26x1" tires feel more like 700x25 road tires? Or will there still be a lot of play in the sidewalls? I'm looking at the Tioga City Slicker (26x1.0", 115 max psi, 66 TPI) because I can get a deal on them. FWIW I'm now used to riding around on 700x23 tires and dodging pavement defects so I figure I could do so on high-pressure 26" tires.

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