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Old 08-20-12, 12:17 PM   #1
Amnesia180
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Modifying a bike?

Hi All,

I'm not sure where to post this, so have put it in here for now.

Firstly, Hi! I'm new to the forum and have noticed a wealth of information, so hopefully I'll be able to get some great advice too.

I currently have a Claude Butler Mountain Bike.... approximately 10 years old. It is in pretty good condition, and does the job for my quarter of a mile commute to work!

However, I would like to upgrade my bike... either by getting a dedicate bike, or a second hand frame and changing the wheels etc.

My current bike doesn't shift gears very well, I think the cable needs adjusting and the tyres need replacing.

I'm interested in either a touring bike or a hybrid bike as I will be using it to commute to work, but also for bike rides with the wife, but I want the freedom of being able to go on much longer bike rides by myself. My current bike just isn't up to that because of the lack of working gears and it just seems to have become a lot of effort to ride over the years.

So, any advice for pointing me in the right direction? Would a good place to start be to just change tyres and upgrade/sort out my existing bike (which would obviously be cheaper), or get a second hand frame of a tourer etc...

I am a total newbie to all of this, so I'm sorry if some of what I've said makes no sense.

Many thanks!
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Old 08-20-12, 12:22 PM   #2
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It's always good business to make sure what you already own is up to par as new before throwing money at a different bike new or used.

Once you get you current bike in tip top shape then consider adding items to it's build.
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Old 08-20-12, 12:30 PM   #3
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Have you been getting it serviced regularly? Getting a mechanic to take a look would be good idea - 10 years isn't particularly old for a bike. An overhaul and some new components would probably transform it, without going to the cost of a new one. Of course, if you are just itching to buy a new bike, then this is as good a reason as any
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Old 08-20-12, 05:47 PM   #4
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Worn tires and poor shifting are not reasons to buy a new bike (if you WANT a new bike, that's another thing). You can get new tires in any bike shop and install them yourself in about 10 minutes. The shifting problems are likely caused, or at least worsened, by a lack of lubrication. Get some chain lube at any bike shop and lubricate the chain, levers and all the places on the derailleurs where parts pivot or move against each other. If that doesn't fix it, remove, lube and replace the shifter cables. And if THAT doesn't fix it, google "adjusting bicycle derailleur" and follow the instructions.
Or buy a new bike. But I'd tune up the old one first.
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Old 08-20-12, 05:57 PM   #5
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I agree with others. Pay for an complete overhaul/cleaning of current bike and then reevaluate.

For instance...do you even use the mountain bike for riding off road? If not ditch the XC tires and put on some slicks....it will make a huge difference.
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Old 08-20-12, 06:17 PM   #6
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Same as others above, slick tires, new bearings (which should be changed every year or two anyway) and a good lube and clean and I bet your old bike will be like new. Also there is another thread in (Classic and Vintage I think), where people have put drop bars on MT. Bikes some with a few extra tweeks to make good touring and/or commuters. Most the tweeks are easy DIY projects or fairly inexpensive (compared to buying a new bike) to have a good repair shop do.
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Old 08-20-12, 09:01 PM   #7
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I agree with the others. Fix up the mtb and put on some slimmer slicks and you will basically have a hybrid.
Use the mtb for your 1/4 mile commute.
Spend money on a used touring bike for future long rides.

Last edited by Timothy; 08-20-12 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 08-21-12, 02:08 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone. I may look eventually at getting a used touring bike... but for now, I think a hybrid might be the way to go as it'll give me some experience riding on different tires etc.I've made a post in the MTB section, but can anyone offer advice on tires, general maintenance of my current bike? The gears are the main thing I'm worried about, as well as my bike brake squeaking really badly (doesn't look like it needs a new pad, so might just need adjusting).
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Old 08-21-12, 02:22 AM   #9
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A lot of the old rigid mountain bikes actually make good touring bikes. Getting slick tires should improve the ride on roads and paths. Tell us what size your rims are and i'm sure you'll get a lot of tire recommendations. I agree with the others, it sounds like your bike will be good with a little maintenance. Getting all of the bearings re-greased will really make a difference. Claude Butler is a respectable make, so it's probably worth taking care of. Your bike can be made to feel new again.
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Old 08-21-12, 05:27 AM   #10
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Here is what I did with my old mountain bike. This one is a 1989/90 Giant Iguana. I used it as a trail bike, commuter and neighborhood cruiser. It has now been reborn as my expedition bike.

Get the one you have checked out and see what it needs to make it ride properly. For a 1/4 mile "commute" I would probably just walk.

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Old 08-21-12, 06:02 AM   #11
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Thanks all, I'll find out the size of my bike and wheels etc later.Yes, I should just walk the "commute" haha, but the idea being I want to do longer bike rides and have a bike that I could easily cruise down to the local town 6 miles away. I just want a good riding bike, that will be mainly used on roads but I can also take on the odd path along the canal etc.Plus, I love the bike I have at the moment so I think by "upgrading it" or at least servicing it and getting some better tires will massively improve the use I give it.
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Old 08-22-12, 04:34 AM   #12
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I've been in touch with my local indepedant bike guy who offers a full service (brakes, suspension, gears, lubrication, oils, fitting) for £20. The tyres are 2 for £20 for a hybrid tyre and he will also fix some handle bar ends for those longer journeys. All in all, it'll be around £60 (including pads, fitting, service, tyres etc). I thought 2 for £20 on tyres sounded a little cheap... I think he said the brand was "Rowley" but he may have been saying Raleigh...? He did say they are hybrid tyres meaning I can use them on pavement and canal tracks etc and said on average they reduce energy used by 15%... I'm new to all of this, so how does that sound?
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Old 08-22-12, 06:53 AM   #13
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Doesn't sound like a bad deal. If I'm no mistaken that be about $90 (give or take) US. Sound like a decent deal with all that you'd get out of it . Tune up, tires with install, and bar ends with install, and a fitting. Sounds like a great deal.

The tires are probably decent enough. If you want to you could toss in a few more bucks for some Kevlar lined ones for more protection.
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Old 08-22-12, 07:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by conradpdx View Post
If you want to you could toss in a few more bucks for some Kevlar lined ones for more protection.
and/or some tire liners for another $15 or so.

If he has to deal w/ road trash like I do - it's money well spent.
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Old 08-22-12, 09:59 AM   #15
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So do you want a bike with 700c wheels, to N+1 to your 26" wheel MTB?

FWIW, a folding bike wont take up much room at home or stowed indoors at work.
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Old 08-23-12, 01:11 AM   #16
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Hi there,Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by N+1?
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Old 08-23-12, 01:57 AM   #17
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The perfect number of bikes you need to own = N + 1, where N = number of bikes you currently own.
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Old 08-23-12, 02:18 AM   #18
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Tyres are one of the most critical elements of a commuter bike: they decide whether you arrive on time.
I like Schwalbe Marathon, they are a std product for good commuter bikes, easy to fit and good value.
If you hate working on bikes and want to spend more money, the Marathon Plus version has much higher level of protection but is hard to fit and remove. You practically eliminate all punctures with M+.
Whichever you select, dont skimp on tyres, even on a cheap bike.
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Old 08-23-12, 04:41 AM   #19
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Tyres are one of the most critical elements of a commuter bike: they decide whether you arrive on time.
I like Schwalbe Marathon, they are a std product for good commuter bikes, easy to fit and good value.
If you hate working on bikes and want to spend more money, the Marathon Plus version has much higher level of protection but is hard to fit and remove. You practically eliminate all punctures with M+.
Whichever you select, dont skimp on tyres, even on a cheap bike.
+1
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Old 08-23-12, 03:38 PM   #20
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I commented on your other post in the Mountain Bikingsection of the forum. In short, get thebike that you have now tuned up, put a set of road tires on (about 26x1.4),start riding, and adjust your bike to your comfort.
A few weeks ago I was thinking the only way I was going toride was to get a hybrid. After a newset of tires, some seat and handlebar adjustments, and about 80 miles on my oldMTB; I am starting to feel guilty wanting a new hybrid. That old MTB has had more miles in the last 3weeks than Iíve put on it in the 12 years Iíve owned it.

Last edited by clarkbre; 08-23-12 at 03:47 PM.
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