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  1. #1
    Senior Member PandaExpress's Avatar
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    Older Bianchi mountain bikes, good for converting to hybrids?

    Looking for a hybrid bike to turn into a commuter, and I keep running into these 1980s-1990s Bianchi mountain bikes: Nyala, Ocelot, Lynx, etc. I was wondering if anyone had experience with changing out the tires and using them as commuters? They look like durable, reasonably light frames. Is that the case? And is it possible to add a frame mounted rear rack and fenders to these?

    Here's an example of what I'm looking at, a 94 Ocelot:

    http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/2616650161.html

    One last related thought. I have a buddy with an old road bike frame that he wants to build into a hybrid for me. The thing is, I'm really more comfortable with riser bars than drop bars and I'm expecting to carry a decent amount of stuff on this bike (grocceries, lunch, work stuff, etc.) Would a chromyl steel road bike frame work for the type of city commuting I'm thinking of? Or am I better off sticking with a hardtail mountain bike like the Bianchis I'm looking at?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    2003 Bianchi Lynx MTB bought new. Her name is Judy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PandaExpress View Post
    Looking for a hybrid bike to turn into a commuter, and I keep running into these 1980s-1990s Bianchi mountain bikes: Nyala, Ocelot, Lynx, etc. I was wondering if anyone had experience with changing out the tires and using them as commuters? They look like durable, reasonably light frames. Is that the case? And is it possible to add a frame mounted rear rack and fenders to these?

    Here's an example of what I'm looking at, a 94 Ocelot:

    http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/2616650161.html

    One last related thought. I have a buddy with an old road bike frame that he wants to build into a hybrid for me. The thing is, I'm really more comfortable with riser bars than drop bars and I'm expecting to carry a decent amount of stuff on this bike (grocceries, lunch, work stuff, etc.) Would a chromyl steel road bike frame work for the type of city commuting I'm thinking of? Or am I better off sticking with a hardtail mountain bike like the Bianchis I'm looking at?
    i got my 2003 lynx for trail riding. neck injuries sustained on a different bike forced me to make mods to it: riser bar, riser stem (zoom brand), stem spacers and a different seat. what truly started out as a pain in the neck became a joy. it has hauled my fat butt without complaint for 8 years. i have different tires for different seasons, nothing over $35@. replaced the chain (third), bottom bracket (still good, but needed different for...), the crankset i replaced. all within the past 12 months. sunlite saddlebags ($40 8 years ago), a delta seat post rack ($58 8 years ago), and blackburn lights ($12 8 years ago) )are the only accessories. well, i do have an alien light (topeak, $8 last year)) strapped to the stem. the rack is rated to 25 lbs., but i routinely carry 40. i keep it indoors. factory weight was 29 lbs.

    if you want closeups, just state of what and will do.
    Last edited by ka0use; 12-05-11 at 07:10 PM.

  3. #3
    ^ JBC. jbchybridrider's Avatar
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    Panda your spot on with your assessment of old MTB's turned hybrid not only are they interesting to look at and the cool factor but seem to have huge potential for customizing and fitting to your needs.
    There frames feel great to ride solid yet comfortable able to take huge tyres or skinny tyres.
    Many older mtb's have excellent brazed on rack mounts on the seat stays and the frames take a lot of weight. I've even seen a 700c Bianchi mtb from long before the 29er craze from around mid 80's early 90's.
    I have a 89 Peugeot mtb and with my current back problems it looks like the best bike I have that I can set up for my comfort needs and I have many to choose from.
    Also road bikes can be set up well with flat bars but if comfort is what your looking for a mtb is a better starting point and stronger for carrying loads "thats my opinion anyway"

    Here's my bike mostly original. Since this pic I've fitted a 3ttt stem 20mm shorter and bought Scott Pedderson canti arms.
    I have a Kalloy adjustable stem also so if I wanted I could sit totally vertical, maybe if I have a spinal fusion sometime in the future

    kaOuse, I always pay respects on Anzac day
    2010 Custom Carbon JBC, 1990 Ricardo Pinnacle, 1988 Ricardo Elite, 1983 Ricardo Varsity, 1990 Peugeot Hurricane, 1977 Dawes Galaxy GT, 2007 Pinarello F3-13, Custom aussie made 1980 Columbus SL racer, 1975 Calton Rapide, 1995 Olympia Fusari, 1993 Basso Viper.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    Not a Bianchi, but from 80’s. One of my conversions I have put lots of miles on. The bike was a garage sale find for $10.
    Before


    After


    Tires made the ride.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  5. #5
    ^ JBC. jbchybridrider's Avatar
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    Nice bike Bud but there's something about the before pic that looks better. Just cant figure out why ?
    2010 Custom Carbon JBC, 1990 Ricardo Pinnacle, 1988 Ricardo Elite, 1983 Ricardo Varsity, 1990 Peugeot Hurricane, 1977 Dawes Galaxy GT, 2007 Pinarello F3-13, Custom aussie made 1980 Columbus SL racer, 1975 Calton Rapide, 1995 Olympia Fusari, 1993 Basso Viper.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbchybridrider View Post
    Nice bike Bud but there's something about the before pic that looks better. Just cant figure out why ?


    Yep I know what you mean. She did look a lot better back in the mid 80’s. Twenty five years of wear and tear on her sure added up. Her ride is still as nice as it ever was though maybe even firmer now. But you are right she’s put on a few pounds between then and now, at least 15. All I can say is she’s all mine and I love her. ;-)
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  7. #7
    Senior Member javal's Avatar
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    jbchybridrider: that Peugeot looks great. A kind of version of them 80┤s "trek bikes".
    the rider makes the bike - steel club member 198

  8. #8
    ^ JBC. jbchybridrider's Avatar
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    Thanks Javal there's a few more pic's on page 129 "Post pictures of your hybrid" if you missed it.
    2010 Custom Carbon JBC, 1990 Ricardo Pinnacle, 1988 Ricardo Elite, 1983 Ricardo Varsity, 1990 Peugeot Hurricane, 1977 Dawes Galaxy GT, 2007 Pinarello F3-13, Custom aussie made 1980 Columbus SL racer, 1975 Calton Rapide, 1995 Olympia Fusari, 1993 Basso Viper.

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