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  1. #1
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    Making a mountain bike a better road worthy bike?

    Hello all. I have a '03 Gary Fisher Advance that I currently do not take off road (nor do I plan to). My back is crap and trail riding doesn't go well with my back. That being said, I ride on the streets a lot for exercise and the occasional errand. I have recently added road tires to the bike (26x1.5) and have a Nashbar solid fork on the way.

    I'd like for the bike to faster and smoother. Currently, shifting with stock components is anything but smooth and quick. Also, the largest chain ring seems to rub the derailer when pedaling hard - which I tend to not use as a result.

    I don't want to spend much more money on the bike since it is a lower level GF, but I do like it, and want to keep it. Road bike is in the near future - most likely a fixed or singlespeed.

    Any thoughts or ideas? Would a tune-up be a good choice? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Zan
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    First, adjust your front de. that way you can pedal in your high gear .

    Can you throw caliper brakes on your bike? if so, you may be able to replace the brake system + wheelset with road brakes and road wheels (you know, the 27" or 700c wheels). These are a lot faster than mountain bike tires. Still, you're running 26x1.5, which IS small .

    if it's a mountain bike, you might be able to remove the smaller chain rings and keep just the large one. you'll then have no use for the front de. or the shifting mechanism. you'll save weight by removing these parts. if you are just on the roads, i don't see why you'd need the smaller chain rings.

    If you're not keen on spending money on new things, all you really can do is maintain the bike as is:

    clean chain
    lube everything
    repack hubs
    repack bottom bracket
    run tires at max PSI
    wear tighter fitting clothes
    remove excess things on the bike you don't use
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  3. #3
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    1.25"/90 PSI tires like this: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5430 would speed things up a little. The tires you already put on likely are a huge improvement over the original tires, though, so stick with them if you like 'em.
    Save your money for the new bike, and just adjust, fine-tune, clean & lube, etc. what you have.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tpelle's Avatar
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    I found that riding longer distances on the road was murder to my hands with the stock flat bars. I put Nashbar trekking bars on in place of the flat bars on my Trek 820, and the multiple hand positions they provide has cured that problem.
    Steel Club = BF-STL-00064

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    Thanks for taking the time to reply.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zan View Post

    I started to do this today. The large chain ring and 7 gears on the cluster provide plenty of opportunity to shift. This has turned into a bigger project than my noob ass was ready for. I broke the chain with the Park chain removal tool, but didn't think about how I am going to put the chain back together. I guess I am going to go look for a KMC missing Link.

    if it's a mountain bike, you might be able to remove the smaller chain rings and keep just the large one. you'll then have no use for the front de. or the shifting mechanism. you'll save weight by removing these parts. if you are just on the roads, i don't see why you'd need the smaller chain rings.

    I will have to do some reading/self-educating for some of these things, but I certainly appreciate the ideas.

    If you're not keen on spending money on new things, all you really can do is maintain the bike as is:

    clean chain
    lube everything
    repack hubs
    repack bottom bracket
    run tires at max PSI
    wear tighter fitting clothes
    remove excess things on the bike you don't use

  6. #6
    One Tough Cookie. Black Bud's Avatar
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    Add long ("ski-style" they are sometimes called) bar ends to the handlebars to get the hand positions; not as expensive as a new handlebar. (They can be bar-taped for comfort if you desire.)

    They are also very handy if you need to do "field repairs" on the road since they also make a great "stand" for an upside-down bike.
    A bad day on the bike is better than a good day at work!!

    My discussion board, another resource for the "utility" and commuter cyclist: "Two Wheeled Commuter: The Everyday Cyclist"

  7. #7
    Always planning a tour birvine's Avatar
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    If a road bike is "on the way" you might want to re-consider adding a whole lot of money to an older bike. Parts added one-by-one can get costly to the point that you spend more than you would for a new bike. Now, if you are emotionally attached to the bike (I have to admit this is the case with an older bike I have) why not add parts as you find them on e-bay or CL. Put on some drop bars with a higher stem. I just added bars, Dia-Compe brak levers and bar-end shifters to one of my Cannondale bikes - it is a XC bike but want to tour with it without having to buy a touring bike. It was a few hundred dollars.

    Good luck and have fun.

  8. #8
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    I have an old Kaitai which I also love, solid fork hard tail etc. But it was old, ghost shifting on hills, or not shifting when I wanted it to. So I got a cheapo set of shifters, brakes derailleurs and for about 150$ I have a brand new bike. I say cheapo components but, everything I got was an upgrade from original. If you don't want to spend a lot, the first thing I would try is just to change the cables, housing, and tires. That could make a huge difference for little money. Haynes makes a bicycle maintenance how-to book and theres a website : http://bicycletutor.com/ which seems like it could be really helpful if your stuck on fine tuning your derailleurs. Riding a well tuned bicycle is such a pleasure - especially compared to a clunker with bad brakes and shifters.

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    Thanks for all the great replies. I appreciate the input. As a few have mentioned, bar ends are probably a must. After about 6 miles or more, my hands do get pretty numb. I even started to think I might have already put too much money into the bike, but realized except for the fork, everything else could be removed easily if I wanted to sell it anytime (seat, computer, pedals).

    I need to spend some time adjusting the rear derailleur as it has some slop in it - new cables may be the trick. I will check out the bicycletutor site. Thanks! Overall, I am pleased with it as a wannabe hybrid.

    For now, I will hang onto it. It was my first somewhat 'real' bike so to speak. Even thought it is a low-end mountain bike, I enjoy it. At least it wasn't a department store wreck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Bud View Post
    Add long ("ski-style" they are sometimes called) bar ends to the handlebars to get the hand positions; not as expensive as a new handlebar. (They can be bar-taped for comfort if you desire.)

    They are also very handy if you need to do "field repairs" on the road since they also make a great "stand" for an upside-down bike.
    Can you please provide a pic of what this looks like? I'm sure I'm not the only one in the dark on this.
    -- Ron
    1. 2008 Giant FCR3 [hybrid; main bike]
    2. Schwinn World Sport 4130 [mixte road bike; red]
    3. year ?? Specialized RockHopper Comp (18-spd mtn bike; all Shimano Deore parts)

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    " I'd like for the bike to faster and smoother. Currently, shifting with stock components is anything but smooth and quick. Also, the largest chain ring seems to rub the derailer when pedaling hard - which I tend to not use as a result."

    Are you getting rub in the largest cog or two only? IF so, that's normal, and called cross chaining. It's not recommended!
    According to- http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...ance&Type=bike
    Your cogs are a 13-34. Maybe a set like a 13-26 would be better? You'd have closer spaced gears, and they'll shift a bit better, since there isn't such a large jump between adjacent cogs.
    Does that have a cassette of Free Wheel?

  12. #12
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyc View Post
    Thanks for all the great replies. I appreciate the input. As a few have mentioned, bar ends are probably a must. After about 6 miles or more, my hands do get pretty numb.
    Better idea is to swap the whole bar for a trekking/butterfly bar. Many hand positions,you can get aero,and it'll use your stock controls.


    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/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

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    Bill,

    It was just the largest (48t) chain ring that was rubbing -using any of the rear 7 gears. Since it is just on the street, I removed the front derailleur and will eventually just run one front chain ring (1x7) - for now though I have the chain permanently on the 48t. Those combinations provide plenty of gear - I actually wouldn't even mind going with a 50t or 52t, but don't want to run into any fitment issues with the rear chain stays.

    It is a free hub and cassette.

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    " I'd like for the bike to faster and smoother. Currently, shifting with stock components is anything but smooth and quick. Also, the largest chain ring seems to rub the derailer when pedaling hard - which I tend to not use as a result."

    Are you getting rub in the largest cog or two only? IF so, that's normal, and called cross chaining. It's not recommended!
    According to- http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...ance&Type=bike
    Your cogs are a 13-34. Maybe a set like a 13-26 would be better? You'd have closer spaced gears, and they'll shift a bit better, since there isn't such a large jump between adjacent cogs.
    Does that have a cassette of Free Wheel?

  14. #14
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    Not a bad idea. Any cheap recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Better idea is to swap the whole bar for a trekking/butterfly bar. Many hand positions,you can get aero,and it'll use your stock controls.


  15. #15
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Nashbar has them. REI used to have them(they were called safari bars),but they haven't been in stock for a couple months.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/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

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