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  1. #1
    Member goodchap's Avatar
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    Lots of questions from a newbie to commuting

    I use a mtb that has been rescued from the bin. Its a noname pos, but have been doing the job for 3 weeks now on a daily 10 mile round trip (its been 4 months since i got it but only used til now to do light shopping in the weekends).
    What ive done was to swap the 2 inch knobby tires with 1.5 inch slicks, new saddle, and brake shoes, clean and oil it, thats all it needed.

    Now:
    Its a 17.5" frame with 26" tires. I`m 5`11" and Ive raised the seatpost to the maximum height possible (leaving about 2 inches inside the frame) but my knees are still bent while pedalling and can only fully extend them if I stand up.
    -Is that normal? Is that frame the right size for me?

    But I want to go faster. My biggest issue at the moment is headwind. I would love to buy a road bike, but can`t afford one right now. Would it be possible, given the frame size and my height, to install drop handlebars for a more aerodinamic position, without having to hunch my back to fit between the handlebars and the seat?

    Given if I could find some thinner rims, are there any tires less wider than 1.5 inches? I cant really put anything narrower than 1.5" at the rims the bikes having right now. I want more speed, I dont do any tracks or downhill, not even light offroading (I used to do, 10 years ago, with my first mtb, but quickly realised that it wasnt my cup of tea, speeding on tarmac is what I really like).

    I only try to just slightly convert my bike without spending too much since theres no point and the frame size seems a bit small for me, this is just until I can afford a road bike.

    Im sure i have more questions, but would be happy if someone in the knowledge would clear these for me atm, thanks.

    When i got it:


    And now:



  2. #2
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Rough seat post height adjustment can be done by sitting in the saddle and pedaling backward with your heels on the pedals. If you don't get full extension of the legs, the saddle is too low. It looks like you frame is too small for you. I'd expect you to be on a frame closer to 20". That being said, you can get a longer seat post to at least get the saddle height right. I wouldn't put much into a bike that doesn't fit. Start putting aside a bit here and there when you can and be on the lookout for a deal on a road bike that fits.

  3. #3
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    Not to be a toad, but some of the things you are contemplating are going to cost say ~150 bucks (i.e. a new pair of wheels). I'd save for a new bike. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/thehour.htm 279 to your door. Minimal assembly required. Yes it's ss/fixie, but all the kids are doing it... and if you get past the stink of it, it IS fun.

    Drop bars won't help, as you need to be much higher up. The frame looks way small, and that seat angle is a little troubling. I don't think the magic bullet you are looking for exists. I mean, you could probably troll CraigsList for a decent geared road bike for 150.

  4. #4
    Senior Member envane's Avatar
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    Nothing kills your performance like having your seat too low. I'd save up for a any bike that fits.

  5. #5
    Middle-Aged Member MikeyBoyAz's Avatar
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    Origin8 makes drop bar ends... though that really wouldn't solve the other issues with the bike, the seat angle bugs me too, should be level or up, not down. In stead of drops you could go to the Profile design Jammer GTs, they allow you to tuck the head down, though stability is reduced... the plywood effect is reduced.. and they can be moved to your next bike. go to your LBS and check if they have any seat post take offs ( posts removed from other bikes due to upgrades).. they are cheap.

    if you go with full drop bars you have to change out your shifters... more money... (no good)
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  6. #6
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Sounds way too small to me. That depends on you though. At 6'2 or 3, I'm finding my 22" mountain bike with drop bars to be a bit small. With a lot of seatpost and a 140 mm stem it sort of works, but I think you're going to find that if you do the transition you're going to spend a lot of money to make a bike that still doesn't fit well.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member badrad's Avatar
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    i have a 20 year old Raleigh, and just a month ago i tried a set of Schwalbe CX Pro tires 1.35 inch (they are cyclocross, but high pressure). I pumped them up to the max - 95 psi, and wow - what a difference. I have been using that for my longer commutes where i want a bit more speed. Previously i had been running the Raleigh with a cheap pair of 1.25 inch Tioga city slickers but only up to 50 psi (the max rating) and they still rode like heavy tires. Major difference when riding a higher pressure tire. I just used them with the orginal wheels, fit no problem.

    The Schwalbes cost a bit more than what i had budget ($35 each), but after putting in the set, I have absolutely no regrets - i just wish i hadn't waste my money on those crappy Tiogas.

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    Can you measure the post that's currently on the bike? For $20 you can get a 400mm post. If the one that's one there now is 350 that should help a little. That's the only money I'd put into the bike.

  9. #9
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    You can buy a longer seat post to get your saddle up high enough ($25). you can also change the handlebars to drops ($30), but you may also need to replace brakes ($25) and/or shifters ($65) as well. Since that looks like a quill stem you might also be able to raise the handlebars as well. I know SixtyFiver has a rigid MTB with drop bars.

    My Specialized FatBoys are 26*1.25 up to 100 psi. Nashbar slicks are also 1.25" ($20).

    So probably a rough estimate of $165 if you do change everything. If you have parts lying around and shop around you can probably do it for cheaper.
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  10. #10
    Member goodchap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    Rough seat post height adjustment can be done by sitting in the saddle and pedaling backward with your heels on the pedals.
    Will do that later. How much of the seat post needs to be inside the frame? Would 1 inch be enough? Cause if so, I could still raise it by 1 more inch.
    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    It looks like you frame is too small for you. I'd expect you to be on a frame closer to 20". That being said, you can get a longer seat post to at least get the saddle height right. I wouldn't put much into a bike that doesn't fit.
    It is small. I`ll just get a longer seatpost and thats it.

    Quote Originally Posted by silent_chief View Post
    Not to be a toad, but some of the things you are contemplating are going to cost say ~150 bucks (i.e. a new pair of wheels).
    I just noticed that. I was thinking about buying used items, but im not gonna start fishing for parts for something that im not intending to use for too long anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by silent_chief View Post
    Drop bars won't help, as you need to be much higher up. The frame looks way small, and that seat angle is a little troubling. I don't think the magic bullet you are looking for exists. I mean, you could probably troll CraigsList for a decent geared road bike for 150.
    The seat angle...i know. I was CERTAIN that someone will point that out and I was right lol. somehow always had a problem with the seats squashing my whatnot, and if its level or up, its very...uncomfortable. I didnt think there was a magic bullet to transform my bike into a road bike, I know you cant simulate 52/12 on 700 with something that is smaller, its just like youd try tatooing a 29 inch penis on your 26 inch penis...its not gonna work.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyBoyAz View Post
    In stead of drops you could go to the Profile design Jammer GTs, they allow you to tuck the head down, though stability is reduced... the plywood effect is reduced.. and they can be moved to your next bike.
    Useless on my next bike, too expensive for my current bike, just googled them for a price check, thanks for the idea anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyBoyAz View Post
    if you go with full drop bars you have to change out your shifters... more money... (no good)
    I didnt know that, thanks for the heads up. No drop bars then.

    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Sounds way too small to me. That depends on you though. At 6'2 or 3, I'm finding my 22" mountain bike with drop bars to be a bit small. With a lot of seatpost and a 140 mm stem it sort of works, but I think you're going to find that if you do the transition you're going to spend a lot of money to make a bike that still doesn't fit well.
    Quote Originally Posted by badrad View Post
    i have a 20 year old Raleigh, and just a month ago i tried a set of Schwalbe CX Pro tires 1.35 inch (they are cyclocross, but high pressure). I pumped them up to the max - 95 psi, and wow - what a difference. I have been using that for my longer commutes where i want a bit more speed. Previously i had been running the Raleigh with a cheap pair of 1.25 inch Tioga city slickers but only up to 50 psi (the max rating) and they still rode like heavy tires. Major difference when riding a higher pressure tire. I just used them with the orginal wheels, fit no problem.

    The Schwalbes cost a bit more than what i had budget ($35 each), but after putting in the set, I have absolutely no regrets - i just wish i hadn't waste my money on those crappy Tiogas.
    My tires only go up to 60 psi...not sure what pressure they have since I cant be bothered to buy a pump with a gauge, but compared to my previous 2" knobbies...the bike freakin flies.

  11. #11
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodchap View Post
    How much of the seat post needs to be inside the frame? Would 1 inch be enough? Cause if so, I could still raise it by 1 more inch.
    Go by the minimum insertion mark on the seat post. 1" is not enough. Usually want it to be in past where the top tube and seat stays intersect the seat tube. Less than that and there won't be enough support. Get a longer tube if possible and make sure you get the right diameter. They come in dozens of diameters and you need to match exactly or you'll have problems.

  12. #12
    Papaya King waynesworld's Avatar
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    There should be a minimum insertion line on the seatpost, but maybe they don't all have that.

    You definitely need a larger frame. The only way I can see to make that one work is with a longer seatpost (if that is possible) and a really long riser stem. Don't fret though, used mountain bikes are usually pretty cheap (if you want another mountain bike), and you can transfer your tires and seat to the new one.
    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
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  13. #13
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    My suggestions is try and find someone that wants to sell a bike and trade your bike on in something that fits better. YOu might even be able to do a straight up trade for a similar vintage road bike. The bike you have now looks pretty solid. You could sell it if you have enough cash to buy a larger sized bike of some kind before getting rid of this one. It looks liek you did a really nice gjob on this bike. I think you can find something used that will work out better than this bike. I would look to get something that fits and I wouldn't even mess with buying a longer seatpost unless its like $15.
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  14. #14
    Member goodchap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesworld View Post
    There should be a minimum insertion line on the seatpost, but maybe they don't all have that.

    You definitely need a larger frame. The only way I can see to make that one work is with a longer seatpost (if that is possible) and a really long riser stem. Don't fret though, used mountain bikes are usually pretty cheap (if you want another mountain bike), and you can transfer your tires and seat to the new one.
    Well, there isnt. Or if there is, isnt visible due to the seatpost having surface rust. I couldnt get it off no matter how much i sandpapered it. Wanted to paint it, but just wrapped it in black electrical tape. Turned out to look surprinsigly good. I don`t want another mtb. I used to hate roadies for not being able to jump on and off curbs, but thats the only advantage a mtb has over a roadie, and I somehow lost that too with the skinny tires, so theres really no point for buying another mtb when all i want is speed. Yesterday a chick on a road bike overtook me and there was no way she was stronger or in better shape than i am (i used to commute for a about a week with the knobbies before replacing them and i was still performing quite good) and I couldnt keep up with her for too long to admire the view, so yeah, dont want another mtb. And she wasnt even trying to race me, just effortlessly increasing the distance between us. F mtb`s.

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterpile View Post
    My suggestions is try and find someone that wants to sell a bike and trade your bike on in something that fits better. YOu might even be able to do a straight up trade for a similar vintage road bike. The bike you have now looks pretty solid. You could sell it if you have enough cash to buy a larger sized bike of some kind before getting rid of this one. It looks liek you did a really nice gjob on this bike. I think you can find something used that will work out better than this bike. I would look to get something that fits and I wouldn't even mess with buying a longer seatpost unless its like $15.
    Wow, thanks. Its the first time someone compliments my bike. The thing is, that after being broke all the time, I`m picky too. Because I dont want a vintage road bike, I want something like this:

  15. #15
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    I also have a mtb that is too small. I did replace the seatpost with a longer one and it made enough of a difference for me to start commuting, but I too hunger for a faster bike. So in my experience, a longer seatpost may help you put off the purchase because it does make a big difference to have your legs in the right place. I've been sorely tempted to buy this http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_xi_steel.htm if you can put together the $300 and don't mind buying online/not from a LBS/putting it together yourself.

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