First, hello to all BikeForum members! Great site here...
I have a 1998-99 Specialized Rockhopper A1 FS Comp that I've had since new. I mostly used to do a lot of trail riding, and even went to a ski mountain to try some mild downhill with it.
That was then and this is now, and I don't really trail ride anymore because of lack of friends that want to go.
I use the bike now as a commuter, and this summer I want to do a Triathlon with it. I've tried road bikes in the past and I'm not a fan. The tires are too narrow for the crappy roads around here and they jar my fillings out. They also seem to be uncomfortable for me.
I have some slicks for it already, but I want to pick your brains what else I can do in terms of making the gearing more suitable for road. I am also thinking about changing the fork over to rigid, since it is blown anyway. I am not familiar with how to pick out forks or cranks, so specific hints would be great. Thanks in advance!
Your cranks will work okay as a commuter. For a fork - I suggest you get a good quality steel one that fits the frame and can fit V-Brakes for a 700C wheel. If your wheels are 26 inch - this may present some problems. Please let us know what it's running now so we can do a work-around. New wheels will likely be needed as commuter bikes would be best off with 700 X 28C (or less than 28C) tires. This makes you nimble and quick in situations as a commuter - and get you to work faster.
Originally Posted by Cateye
Only panthers007 is stupid enough to believe that this is a good idea.
Being its a rockhopper, I am about 99% sure its 26" wheels. You can put slicks on that and have a decent bike for commuting, depends how far you commute. Triathlon? Probably not if you want to be competitive, at all. You may want to change out the largest ring on the crank for something with more teeth for road, You likely have a 42 or 44 now, maybe step up to a 48? I am going to assume its an 8 speed, and if your cassette doesnt get down to 11 tooth small cog, a new cassette wont hurt, either. Definitely go with a steel fork, maybe a Surly 1x1? Inexpensive and should be strong... Get some puncture resistant tires, Specialized Armadillos, Schwable Marathon plus, etc. The only puncture I have had in the past 15 years was from a sharp piece of rock going through my supremely cheap walmart slick MTB tires... Removed rock, patched tire, and away I went. Luckily It held pressure till I got home, found it flat the next day.
Unless your doing more than 10 mile commutes, 26" tires are fine. Been there, I was happy with it. You likely wont be very competitive in the bike portion of a triathlon without a dedicated road bike, however. Unless its an off-road triathlon...
Thanks for the input so far guys!
Yes, they are 26" wheels and an 8 speed rear cassette.
I'm thinking maybe for the triathlon I will rent a road bike, to see if I like doing them first.
The Specialized will be primarly for commuting.
Nymtber - I liked that fork you pointed out, have you had one?