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Old 05-16-11, 08:29 AM   #1
capitalA
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Question Mountain bike to hybrid conversion, can it be done?

I really want to start getting into cycling for fitness and recreation but all I have is a mountain bike. I can't afford to buy a whole new hybrid bike right now but would like to "convert" what I have into something easier and more comfortable to ride by changing the tires, seating, and handlebars. I have a NEXT with aluminum frame, 26" wheels. Can it be done? and Any suggestions? I'm on a pretty tight budget.

OR I suppose, do you know where I can find a cheap but good hybrid bike?
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Old 05-16-11, 11:20 AM   #2
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You can make changes to your bike. It is a Wally World bike, so I wouldn't throw too much money at it, but here are some possibly inexpensive changes I can suggest.

First of all, I wouldn't change the handlebars. Your bike probably has basic mountain bike riser bars, which are similar to what you would find on a hybrid. There are better bars out there, but not if you are on a tight budget.

Second, Changing your seat to a more comfortable one may be fairly inexpensive. Wal-Mart sells a Zefal seat for about $17 that works quite well on my son's mountain bike conversion. Here is a link: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Zefal-Saddle-5627/14264317

Finally, you can put some inexpensive street tires on your rims and really improve your efficiency. I put Continental TourRide tires on my son's bike. They are puncture resistant and can be purchased from Amazon for a reasonable price. My commuter bike has Continental Contact tires that would also work, but they are more expensive.

Let us know if you have any other questions!
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Old 05-16-11, 12:39 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestions! I plan on getting a good hybrid eventually I just can't right now so I don't plan on throwing a lot of money into what I have, just want to make it easier to ride.

I looked those tires up on Amazon. They come in two sizes, 20 and 16. Does it matter or is it personal preference and what is the difference?

For future reference what is a good starter hybrid bike?

Last edited by capitalA; 05-16-11 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 05-16-11, 03:39 PM   #4
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My suggestion is..... ride your bike as is for now, and save up some money for a good used hybrid. I would not put any money into a Next bicycle JMHO.

Last edited by Capecodder; 05-16-11 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 05-16-11, 03:42 PM   #5
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My suggestion is..... ride your bike as is for now, and save up some money for a good used hybrid. I would not put ant money into a Next bicycle JMHO.
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Old 05-16-11, 04:01 PM   #6
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For future reference what is a good starter hybrid bike?
The one that I have is a good starter hybrid. It is an entry-model with an appropriate price. I got it for $400 at Sports Authority. It is by no means a BSO, but it is also not a high end bike.

My bike: http://www.eccyclesupply.com/k2bikes...at_id=5&b_id=2

This is what it actually looks like:
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Old 05-16-11, 04:44 PM   #7
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My suggestion is..... ride your bike as is for now, and save up some money for a good used hybrid. I would not put ant money into a Next bicycle JMHO.
You have a point...but I haven't ridden my bike in a while (years) and the tires are dry rotting so I need tires regardless.

Ok, so I'm saving up for a good hybrid, what are some suggestions for a good one?
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Old 05-16-11, 04:45 PM   #8
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Ok, so I'm saving up for a good hybrid, what are some suggestions for a good one?
What's your budget?
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Old 05-16-11, 05:43 PM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions! I plan on getting a good hybrid eventually I just can't right now so I don't plan on throwing a lot of money into what I have, just want to make it easier to ride.

I looked those tires up on Amazon. They come in two sizes, 20 and 16. Does it matter or is it personal preference and what is the difference?

For future reference what is a good starter hybrid bike?
You don't want 20 or 16, but 26x1.75. Here is a link to the tires we bought for my son's bike:
http://www.amazon.com/Continental-To...5588910&sr=8-5
When you navigate to the link shown, click on the 26x1.75 tire size.

A less expensive tire option can be found at Wal-Mart or Academy: Bell 26" comfort bike tires with Kevlar flat protection. They are made by Innova. They are cheaper, offer flat protection, and can be picked up at your local store (saving shipping charges and wait time). My daughter's old mountain bike recently got a pair of these. They don't roll quite as well as my son's or my Continental tires, but they are a good deal for the price. Don't let the "comfort bike" label fool you, as they are simply multi-surface tires that are designed mainly for street use.

Make sure you pick up a set of tubes as well. I don't recommend the slime-filled tubes, as my experiences with them have been less than optimal. Tires with flat protection work better for me than slime tubes.
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Old 05-16-11, 06:32 PM   #10
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I bought a new mountain bike about 6 weeks ago thinking that is just what I had to have. It is a nice entry level bike and does me just fine but I was wanting to ride the roads more than the trails. I tried to sell my new bike but I refused to take a big hit on the price. I ended up keeping it and found a decent older mountain bike for a very reasonable price. I picked it up and did some minor repairs and adjustments that it needed and spent $40 on new tires and tubes for it. I put 26x1.5 Kenda city slicks on it, it rides and rolls much easier now. I put a new saddle on it this past weekend and and for just over $100 I have a nice hybrid to ride around on the roads and hardpack trails with. I still have my new mountain bike that I ride too.
Here is my new to me hybrid, frame is a 96 Rockhopper best I can figure.
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Old 05-16-11, 07:24 PM   #11
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What's your budget?
A couple hundred dollars....anything out there for that? lol
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Old 05-16-11, 07:25 PM   #12
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A couple hundred dollars....anything out there for that? lol
No, not really. I got the cheapest hybrid that I could find, for $300 on sale from $400. It's $400 now.
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Old 05-16-11, 07:26 PM   #13
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You don't want 20 or 16, but 26x1.75. Here is a link to the tires we bought for my son's bike:
http://www.amazon.com/Continental-To...5588910&sr=8-5
When you navigate to the link shown, click on the 26x1.75 tire size.

A less expensive tire option can be found at Wal-Mart or Academy: Bell 26" comfort bike tires with Kevlar flat protection. They are made by Innova. They are cheaper, offer flat protection, and can be picked up at your local store (saving shipping charges and wait time). My daughter's old mountain bike recently got a pair of these. They don't roll quite as well as my son's or my Continental tires, but they are a good deal for the price. Don't let the "comfort bike" label fool you, as they are simply multi-surface tires that are designed mainly for street use.

Make sure you pick up a set of tubes as well. I don't recommend the slime-filled tubes, as my experiences with them have been less than optimal. Tires with flat protection work better for me than slime tubes.
Ah, thanks!
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Old 05-16-11, 07:27 PM   #14
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No, not really. I got the cheapest hybrid that I could find, for $300 on sale from $400. It's $400 now.
Well that's ok, just gotta save a little longer.....so, what's good in that price range?
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Old 05-16-11, 07:31 PM   #15
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Well that's ok, just gotta save a little longer.....so, what's good in that price range?
The one I showed you. I'll quote the post to remind you. Most hybrids are in the $500-$800 range (Specialized Sirrus to name one)


Quote:
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The one that I have is a good starter hybrid. It is an entry-model with an appropriate price. I got it for $400 at Sports Authority. It is by no means a BSO, but it is also not a high end bike.

My bike: http://www.eccyclesupply.com/k2bikes...at_id=5&b_id=2

This is what it actually looks like:

Last edited by AlphaDogg; 05-16-11 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 05-16-11, 07:32 PM   #16
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A couple hundred dollars....anything out there for that? lol
I bought a "91 Trek 720 fitness bike at a yard sale and spent about a hundred on it and have
a nice bike for under $150.

I put 5k miles on a Next MTB last summer with a set of the Bell Kevlar belted tires. Sold it
at the yard sale for $50. The tires really made a difference.
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Old 05-16-11, 07:57 PM   #17
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Craig's List. An good early MTB without suspension can be had for under $100-; then spend the balance on tune up and upgrades. Like Mudcat did (see above with picture).
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Old 05-16-11, 07:57 PM   #18
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I bought a "91 Trek 720 fitness bike at a yard sale and spent about a hundred on it and have
a nice bike for under $150.
I think the OP was looking for a new bike, but garage sales always hold treasures!

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I put 5k miles on a Next MTB last summer with a set of the Bell Kevlar belted tires. Sold it
at the yard sale for $50. The tires really made a difference.
Kevlar belted tires really are great! I haven't gotten a single flat for the 300mi I have put on my kevlar belted tires. With my standard tires, I got a flat every 50mi or so. The goatheads here are horrible! Actually, I did get two flats on my front kevlar belted tire. The first flat was a slow leak on my terrible stock tube with slime installed. I was just eager to get rid of the slime. The second flat was a torn valve stem from my incompetence.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:05 PM   #19
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I bought a "91 Trek 720 fitness bike at a yard sale and spent about a hundred on it and have
a nice bike for under $150.

I put 5k miles on a Next MTB last summer with a set of the Bell Kevlar belted tires. Sold it
at the yard sale for $50. The tires really made a difference.
I saw those tires at walmart. I might end up going back to get them. I think I might be on this bike for a while, going back to school soon so funds are going to be almost non existent for a while, lol .... good to know your Next MTB lasted you as long as it did. Hoping the new tires really do make that much of a difference.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:11 PM   #20
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I have the Bell tires on my hybrid too - tough, reliable. Here is an Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Bell-26-Inch-C...5598166&sr=1-5

I bought mine at the local Wal-mart. They work well on pavement and not bad on gravel. I have about 1000 miles on them, with very little wear. I run them at 70 psi (sidewall says 40 - 65 psi); and I am a big guy.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:16 PM   #21
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I have the Bell tires on my hybrid too - tough, reliable. Here is an Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Bell-26-Inch-C...5598166&sr=1-5

I bought mine at the local Wal-mart. They work well on pavement and not bad on gravel. I have about 1000 miles on them, with very little wear. I run them at 70 psi (sidewall says 40 - 65 psi); and I am a big guy.
Very good to know, thanks!
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Old 05-16-11, 08:18 PM   #22
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I bought a "91 Trek 720 fitness bike at a yard sale and spent about a hundred on it and have
a nice bike for under $150.

I put 5k miles on a Next MTB last summer with a set of the Bell Kevlar belted tires. Sold it
at the yard sale for $50. The tires really made a difference.
+1 I wouldn't be in a hurry to buy a different bike, but I would certainly go for the tires. The Bell Kevlar belted tires are a good buy, and will make riding longer distances much easier. If you are coming from mountain bike knobbies, the new tires will really improve your bike's rolling resistance. It will feel like a completely different bike.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:29 PM   #23
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Yeah. Slicks will add an entirely different feel to your bike. But if you find that your bike just isn't cutting it, it may be time for a new one.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:33 PM   #24
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You have a point...but I haven't ridden my bike in a while (years) and the tires are dry rotting so I need tires regardless.

Ok, so I'm saving up for a good hybrid, what are some suggestions for a good one?
I would just put new tubes and tires on your bike and make sure everything else is in working order. Ride it until you can afford a new or decent used one. I have a older Raliegh bike I bought year ago and just now getting back into riding again. Wal-Mart sells some decent bikes like Schwinn and Mongoose. Pick a budget and buy the best bike that you can in that price range.
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Old 05-17-11, 06:26 PM   #25
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I do have another question. My bike has 21 speeds, resistance wise, which combinations of speeds would be similar to riding a hybrid? Would it be like constantly riding in 1:1, etc.
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