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Old 09-25-11, 11:55 PM   #1
PandaExpress
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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?
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Old 12-05-11, 08:02 PM   #2
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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 08:10 PM.
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Old 12-06-11, 05:27 AM   #3
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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
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Old 12-06-11, 07:22 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-07-11, 01:21 AM   #5
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Nice bike Bud but there's something about the before pic that looks better. Just cant figure out why ?
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Old 12-07-11, 09:10 AM   #6
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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. ;-)
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Old 12-07-11, 12:45 PM   #7
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jbchybridrider: that Peugeot looks great. A kind of version of them 80┤s "trek bikes".
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Old 12-08-11, 03:03 AM   #8
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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.
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