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  1. #1
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    Using my Cannondale M400 as a Hybrid?

    Hey-

    I bought an M400 (8-speed) new in '99 to use as a Hybrid to get to the Central Park tennis courts. So it has been barely used, and since moving to NJ, it's been used even less!

    Now that my kids are starting to ride bikes, I would like to upgrade the wheels on the M400, and keep my Avid V brakeset. Seems all 26" MTB wheels are Disc brake only? Does it make more sense to upgrade to Disc brakes, or can I find a reasonable set of non-disc rims?

    The stock Weinmann rims and cheap hubs weigh a ton, and are not true anymore, which is why I'd like the beautiful M400 frame to have better wheels without spending too much.

    What are my options?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by AndyK; 08-01-10 at 05:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Where are you looking for mountain bike wheels? Plenty of rim brake compatible out there. Disc brakes are not needed unless you ride in very adverse conditions. They are great im sure, but not NEEDED. Most roadbikers get along down mountain roads with crappy caliper brakes

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Wheelset.aspx

    Rim AND disc compatible. Rhyno Lites were very popular on a mountain bike forum that I frequented 8 years ago (has since been closed). Price is right, you may need to true them up after the first few rides. Take your time and you can get rims reasonably true with a spoke wrench and your break pad as reference.

    I have some Sun cr-18 rims laced to LX hubs. Amazingly strong wheelset that has stood up to my weight. I also had Sun ZJ18 rims laced to STX-RC/Formula hubs, Those saw lots of mountain biking, jumping logs, smashing into logs (I wasnt always good with finesse) and plenty of road and canal path riding, They are now on the bike I just built this week for my brother. Still hold even tension and are pretty true for low end rims. I have trued them to about 0.5mm runout and they are 8 years old. The Rhyno lite are a much stronger rim, and Deore hubs are decent for the money as well. $95 leaves room for some good tires and tubes They are heavy but that gives you a better workout
    Last edited by nymtber; 09-12-09 at 01:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    Find a good set of alloy rims and get some Schwalbe Big Apples or Fat Franks and Nitto Albatross or porteur bars. You can create a Retrovelo Paul without having to spend that kind of cash. A fast-rolling, wide tire hybrid!

  4. #4
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    I ordered a set of Rhyno Lites in black and Deore LX hubs from bicyclewheels.com. Now the entire bike will be Deore LX equipped. Bicyclewheels.com supposedly builds the wheels there and true them up before sending them out, so for $150, I should be set. My V brakes stop PLENTY well for following the kids at 10 mph! So will my Race Face riser flat bars. I mostly ride my road bike, so I wanted to maintain the "coolness" of mountain bike bars and looks with hybrid tires on the M400.

    Thanks, I'll post a pic of my "Hybrid" as soon as the wheels come in, and the new saddle, stem, and chain! It needs some TLC after spending time in the shed!

  5. #5
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    Update: Finally.
    I got the wheels, and tuned up the bike. Problem is, as soon as I start riding, my wrists and arms start hurting, along with my shoulders and neck. I finally got around to taking a photo against the garage door, and it strikes me that the bike is WAY too small for me, and the saddle to bar drop way too big.

    Question is, do I need to scrap the frame, and look for a larger one, or would a riser stem make it OK to ride? I think the frame is a gonner myself, but if opinion says it's fine with a different stem, so be it! All the parts and the frame are like-new, so keeping it, or keeping the parts and finding another frame are options too. Thoughts?


  6. #6
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
    Update: Finally.
    I got the wheels, and tuned up the bike. Problem is, as soon as I start riding, my wrists and arms start hurting, along with my shoulders and neck. I finally got around to taking a photo against the garage door, and it strikes me that the bike is WAY too small for me, and the saddle to bar drop way too big.
    These things are true.

    Question is, do I need to scrap the frame, and look for a larger one, or would a riser stem make it OK to ride? I think the frame is a gonner myself, but if opinion says it's fine with a different stem, so be it! All the parts and the frame are like-new, so keeping it, or keeping the parts and finding another frame are options too. Thoughts?
    Riser stems scare me. Metal fatigue is a problem with stems anyway, but with risers it is amplified by leverage. A better solution imo is fitting a BMX stem and cromo BMX bars. You could get 7 inches of rise this way very safely. Otoh, you'd still have a bike designed for a MUCH small rider than you - I'd worry you would be too upright.

    VERY IMPORTANT: have you checked that the seatpost isn't extended past the safety limit? It should be marked. This is a real safety issue - the frame could snap at seat tuve/top tube junction if the post is over extended. Usually at the worst possible moment while you are riding it.

  7. #7
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    I bought the Ritchey seatpost because it is very long, and well below the safety limit. I am also thinking the frame is just too small for me. My road bikes are 58cm and 62cm, and this one is only 20" or roughly 52cm.

    I should just cut my losses, and sell the entire bike on Craigslist. Then, buy something my size. Seeing the photo again makes me realize I made a mistake buying the bike new in 1999! What was I thinking?

  8. #8
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
    I bought the Ritchey seatpost because it is very long, and well below the safety limit.
    That was smart.

    I am also thinking the frame is just too small for me. My road bikes are 58cm and 62cm, and this one is only 20" or roughly 52cm.
    Assuming the same geometry an MTB should about 5cm "smaller" than a road bike.

    I should just cut my losses, and sell the entire bike on Craigslist. Then, buy something my size. Seeing the photo again makes me realize I made a mistake buying the bike new in 1999! What was I thinking?
    If you bought this in a bike store and the fit is as bad as the picture implies, they should be ashamed.

    So - if the bars were at the same reach, but 7 inches higher, how do you think the bike would feel? Would the bars be high enough? Would the top tube be too short?

    The good news is that if you sell you should get a good price - why not buy a good used bike for whatever the sale brings?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    The good news is that if you sell you should get a good price - why not buy a good used bike for whatever the sale brings?
    What do you think I should ask for an M400 with like-new but 10 year old Deore drivetrain, Race Face bars and stem, brand new Rhyno Lite rims, Avid V brakes?

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