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  1. #1
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada fretman's Avatar
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    Can you ride a mtn bike on a city street?

    Hello and please excuse my ignorance if this is a dumb question. It's been about 20 years since I rode a bike. Now I'm living close to work...it's approximately 3 miles. I decided to ditch the car and bus and just bike it in instead. I looked at the hybrids and tried one. However, I felt it was kind of weak and frail. I wobbled around quite a bit. I'm not sure if it was because the frame or tires were very thin and light. In other words, I didn't feel very comfortable.

    Now I would like to try a mountain bike instead. I haven't taken a test ride yet. I thought I would ask this forum first. Therefore, how does a mountain bike feel on a city street. I know by just looking at the bike that it's sturdier than a hybrid.

    I also heard that you can buy a mtn bike and then just swap tires or something? Is that correct?

    Every salesperson I've talked to told me that the hybrid models would be suited for me but when I tried it out I just didn't feel safe.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    BTW, the last bike I had had no speeds and a big banana seat.

  2. #2
    Long Haul Truckin' Jaye's Avatar
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    Absolutly you can ride a MTB on the street. If you wind up using it almost exclusively on the street you can get a pair of slick or semi-slick tires for it and it will feel even nicer. That being said I would probably recomend staying with a hardtail frame for street, no need for the extra suspension and pedal bob.

  3. #3
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretman
    Hello and please excuse my ignorance if this is a dumb question. It's been about 20 years since I rode a bike. Now I'm living close to work...it's approximately 3 miles. I decided to ditch the car and bus and just bike it in instead. I looked at the hybrids and tried one. However, I felt it was kind of weak and frail. I wobbled around quite a bit. I'm not sure if it was because the frame or tires were very thin and light. In other words, I didn't feel very comfortable.

    Now I would like to try a mountain bike instead. I haven't taken a test ride yet. I thought I would ask this forum first. Therefore, how does a mountain bike feel on a city street. I know by just looking at the bike that it's sturdier than a hybrid.

    I also heard that you can buy a mtn bike and then just swap tires or something? Is that correct?

    Every salesperson I've talked to told me that the hybrid models would be suited for me but when I tried it out I just didn't feel safe.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    BTW, the last bike I had had no speeds and a big banana seat.
    A mountain bike would be great for you! Here is why:

    1) You can buy slicks for it.

    2) You can buy a suspension seatpost to take the edge off things

    3) You can be more "cool" with a mountain bike.

  4. #4
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretman
    Hello and please excuse my ignorance if this is a dumb question. It's been about 20 years since I rode a bike. Now I'm living close to work...it's approximately 3 miles. I decided to ditch the car and bus and just bike it in instead. I looked at the hybrids and tried one. However, I felt it was kind of weak and frail. I wobbled around quite a bit. I'm not sure if it was because the frame or tires were very thin and light. In other words, I didn't feel very comfortable.

    Now I would like to try a mountain bike instead. I haven't taken a test ride yet. I thought I would ask this forum first. Therefore, how does a mountain bike feel on a city street. I know by just looking at the bike that it's sturdier than a hybrid.

    I also heard that you can buy a mtn bike and then just swap tires or something? Is that correct?

    Every salesperson I've talked to told me that the hybrid models would be suited for me but when I tried it out I just didn't feel safe.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    BTW, the last bike I had had no speeds and a big banana seat.
    Tires:

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...lick+Tire.aspx
    http://www.bikeparts.com/search_results.asp?ID=XR1081
    http://www.bikeparts.com/search_results.asp?ID=MA2160
    http://www.bikeparts.com/search_results.asp?ID=MA1041
    http://www.bikeparts.com/search_results.asp?ID=TG2303
    http://www.bikeparts.com/search_results.asp?ID=WT1241

    Dual Tires:

    http://www.bikeparts.com/search_results.asp?ID=HL5321

    seat posts:
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/sub/145-Seatposts.aspx

  5. #5
    biketilldeath snoopz666's Avatar
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    your best bet for tires would probobly be the maxxis hookworms since they come in 2.5, and it sounded like you liked the feel of wide mtn bike tires.
    2005 norco aline

    trees: natures brakes(they work really well. although they kinda hurt)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaye
    Absolutly you can ride a MTB on the street. If you wind up using it almost exclusively on the street you can get a pair of slick or semi-slick tires for it and it will feel even nicer. That being said I would probably recomend staying with a hardtail frame for street, no need for the extra suspension and pedal bob.
    Exactly. I ride my hardtail mtn bike everywhere. To the store, the bike shop, the gym. I just throw on some 1.5" tires and head off.

  7. #7
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada fretman's Avatar
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    Hardtail/Softail? Slim tire, wide tire, slick tires? Sounds like I've got alot to learn. Instead of bothering everyone here on this forum by asking basic questions how bout giving me a site where I can learn more for myself. That way I won't get bamboozled by a shady salesperson. Thanks.

  8. #8
    DMN
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    Middle-ground Communist DMN's Avatar
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    A Hardtail is a bike with only a front fork (or sometimes not even that). A softtail is a bike with rear suspension , otherwise known as a HT (Hard Tail) and FS (full suspension).


    The best way to learn is just to use the search function on this forum. Enter a term and see what posts pop up and read them.
    The views expressed above are badly thought out and hastley typed. Any spelling or gramatical mistakes, are, their to annoy.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Road bike = long road trips
    Race bike = very fast commuteing
    Comfort bike = comfort
    Mountain bike = Stability

    I would say that if a mountain bike is built for people slaming into rocks and ditches then it must be stable.
    If it is built for people goine 40K downhill in the wet then it must have good brakes and traction from the tires.
    Buy a brand name from a bike store and not a box store
    I have a cheap Iron Horse (A known brand name) and my wife just got a Haro (known brand name). We know those bikes are going to stop on a dime and last a long time.

    Mountain bikes have the big tires and brakes which make them safe on the roads. It slows them down a bit but the security is worth it.
    A person has enough to worry about with the traffic then have to worry about the bike not being able to take the rough parts of the road or side walk.

    Good luck and have fun trying the bikes out

  10. #10
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    If you ask this same question over in the Road Bike forum most would likely recommend a hybrid or a road bike for your intended purpose....
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  11. #11
    I'm still young, ok? Trasselkalle's Avatar
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    Not to mention, MTBs on the road gives you: no risk for flat tires when you pass railroads, hit bumps, etc. Even hitting glass is usually fine. They do great in snow and on ice, also. MTBs are pretty much the only bikes ever sold in Sweden nowadays (and everyone has a bike - not just some people - everyone) for that reason and the added coolness factor of them (much easier to sell and market than the traditional road bikes).

  12. #12
    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    I have an old road bike a mtn bike and a dropped bar hybrid (or turing bike). Ride what you like, where you like.

    Joe

  13. #13
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    Ooohh, so now we have a goodie two shoes user entering the mtb world, great first post. It's been a while (actually, I only come occasionally and only see the newbie's aol'ing it up. Sorry to the rest of you goodie-two shoe newbies. Just kidding.)

    As for using MTB on streets - go for it. Speed (with right tires), strength and price, you dont have to pay much to get a reliable mtb. 300 can get you a pretty decent workhorse . A little extra money paid to a bike shop goes a lot farther than the little less you pay for a department store bike. I'm not assuming that you are going to get a department store bike, but it's a mistake I made, and I had to pay for.

  14. #14
    King of the Forest Totoro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretman
    Every salesperson I've talked to told me that the hybrid models would be suited for me but when I tried it out I just didn't feel safe.

    BTW, the last bike I had had no speeds and a big banana seat.
    Those salesmen at Walmart sure know their bikes.
    .
    .

    Quote Originally Posted by fretman
    Therefore, how does a mountain bike feel on a city street. I know by just looking at the bike that it's sturdier than a hybrid.
    I have an Ibex 450 mountain bike and I ride it on the road in the winter on the same routes as my road bike. It's just better in the snow, ice, and the sand they dump on the roads.

  15. #15
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada fretman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hooligan
    Ooohh, so now we have a goodie two shoes user entering the mtb world, great first post. It's been a while (actually, I only come occasionally and only see the newbie's aol'ing it up. Sorry to the rest of you goodie-two shoe newbies. Just kidding.)

    As for using MTB on streets - go for it. Speed (with right tires), strength and price, you dont have to pay much to get a reliable mtb. 300 can get you a pretty decent workhorse . A little extra money paid to a bike shop goes a lot farther than the little less you pay for a department store bike. I'm not assuming that you are going to get a department store bike, but it's a mistake I made, and I had to pay for.

    I know that some local bike shops will switch the tires for you and then you just pay the difference. But would you recommend I keep the stock tires and also get tires that are more suited for street riding. What is the disadvantage of using the stock tires on the street? Will I ruin the pavement or something?

  16. #16
    Bike rider Elisdad's Avatar
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    You will only wear down the knobbys on the tires and slow yourself down. Slick tires will be much better than knobby tires for your intended purpose. I'd only recommend keeping the stock tires if you think you'll ever try riding unpaved trails. They'll uselessly take up space in your home if you never use them.

  17. #17
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    I decided to try commuting with my Kona Blast on knobbies this part Thursday. It's 25km to work from home and we have a great bike trail network here in town so I figured why not. I also took my trailer with me because I had to get my daughter from daycare.

    The 25km run was such a pain because of how inefficient I felt with the knobbies. I met a workmate who was riding his hybrid Kona Dew Deluxe and he was killing me on the roads. The knobbies, the gearing and pulling the trailer made me very slow. My cadence was relatively high but I was moving SLOWLY. I'm in pretty good shape and I didn't feel tired, I just felt slow.

    That night I went to Mountain Equipment Co-op and bought some 26 x 1.5 Tioga City Slickers.
    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1119752049173


    My first test with my Kona with the City Slickers was Friday morning. I met a buddy of mine who is a roadie and we went out to do a 35km ride. I obviously could not keep up with him (better bike, better rider) but at least I felt more efficient with the lower rolling resistance. My next commuting test will be next Thursday and Friday (I have to take the car the other days because of picking up and dropping off kids). I'll reduce my commute by about 3-4 km because I've decided to drive to the bike path. The roads from my place to the bike path are not very bike friendly (no paths, lots of cars)

    My one complaint was that it was a serious pain in the arse to get the knobbies off the rims and don't look forward to swapping back and forth between the two sets. Other than that I'm looking forward to reducing my gas consumption by 20%+ percent wihle the weather is good.
    Last edited by santiago; 06-25-05 at 09:30 PM.
    First Class Jerk

  18. #18
    Proud To Be An American EXCALIBUR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretman
    Hello and please excuse my ignorance if this is a dumb question. It's been about 20 years since I rode a bike. Now I'm living close to work...it's approximately 3 miles. I decided to ditch the car and bus and just bike it in instead. I looked at the hybrids and tried one. However, I felt it was kind of weak and frail. I wobbled around quite a bit. I'm not sure if it was because the frame or tires were very thin and light. In other words, I didn't feel very comfortable.

    Now I would like to try a mountain bike instead. I haven't taken a test ride yet. I thought I would ask this forum first. Therefore, how does a mountain bike feel on a city street. I know by just looking at the bike that it's sturdier than a hybrid.

    I also heard that you can buy a mtn bike and then just swap tires or something? Is that correct?

    Every salesperson I've talked to told me that the hybrid models would be suited for me but when I tried it out I just didn't feel safe.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    BTW, the last bike I had had no speeds and a big banana seat.
    Like you, after many years I decided to get back into biking for its aerobic benefits. Running was killing my knees. I wanted a bike that I could use to ride on the streets and get to the tennis courts. Since most of my friends had mountain bikes, that's what I went for. I got a Giant Rincon. It is a hardtail. After riding on knobbys on the streets, believe me, you will want to change them to street tires. Your handling will improve as well as your speed. As I rode more and more on the streets, I realized that the Rincon was heavy and starting to hold me back. After about a year, my LBS took in my Rincon and made it possible for me to upgrade my bike to a hybrid. I got the Giant Cypress SX. It is a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. Giant describes it as, "a road bike with flat bars." This bike is perfect for me. To repeat, all of my riding is done on the streets. With the Cypress SX, my average speed increased immediately and cycling is much more enjoyable. My freind and mechanic at my LBS commented that I should have gotten a road bike to start with in the first place. I am glad I went the route I did to rediscover the fun of biking again. Perhaps you should indeed start off with a mountain bike. Ride it and have fun. If you get more into biking, you can always upgrade your bike to a hybrid or ultimately a road bike. Good luck.
    EXCALIBUR
    2004 Giant Cypress SX 2006 Giant OCR 3

  19. #19
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    Fretman.... go for it!

    but DO NOT get a walmart type bike and put some good city type tires on them. Also, get the fit right! If you're leaning too far over ....or the top frame bar nearly castrates you then you its not fitting right!

    I commute to my university and am absolutley loving my Continental Town and Country tires http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Tire/product_23376.shtml ... They're awesome on the roads and on some easier earth

    Oh yeh and since you're newbie bookmark this site...it has awesome info
    http://www.mtbr.com/

  20. #20
    Wildman joelsp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by santiago
    My one complaint was that it was a serious pain in the arse to get the knobbies off the rims and don't look forward to swapping back and forth between the two sets. Other than that I'm looking forward to reducing my gas consumption by 20%+ percent wihle the weather is good.
    I'm gonna throw this out there, because this is an idea I had for my MTB.
    I was thinking I could get a second set of wheels made, and just pop the wheels in and out depending on my riding. Of course, this would involve buying not ony the wheels, but a second det of disc rotors, and another cassette, but as far as convenience goes, it would be awesome.
    Assuming you could spend an extra say, 300 bucks on that, would it work??
    Trek 4500 Disc
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  21. #21
    Bike rider Elisdad's Avatar
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    Sure it'd work. I've thought about it too, but I opted for a cheap used rigid mountain bike. I just keep road ready tires on that bike and leave my main bike alone. A lot cheaper than $300.

  22. #22
    Proud To Be An American EXCALIBUR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battle_Rattle
    Fretman.... go for it!

    but DO NOT get a walmart type bike and put some good city type tires on them. Also, get the fit right! If you're leaning too far over ....or the top frame bar nearly castrates you then you its not fitting right!

    I commute to my university and am absolutley loving my Continental Town and Country tires http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Tire/product_23376.shtml ... They're awesome on the roads and on some easier earth

    Oh yeh and since you're newbie bookmark this site...it has awesome info
    http://www.mtbr.com/
    The Continental Town and Country are very dependable tires for riding a mountain bike on the streets. Our local police department equips all their patrol bikes with these tires. For a smaller cross section and faster riding street tire, the Geax Street Runner is another option.
    Last edited by EXCALIBUR; 06-26-05 at 03:57 AM.
    EXCALIBUR
    2004 Giant Cypress SX 2006 Giant OCR 3

  23. #23
    Show Me What'cha got Blazinall91's Avatar
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    ANSWER TO THE LYRICS GAME

    If i'm not mistaken is that Gavin Rossdale, the singer of Bush, then again i could be wrong

  24. #24
    I'm still young, ok? Trasselkalle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisdad
    You will only wear down the knobbys on the tires and slow yourself down. Slick tires will be much better than knobby tires for your intended purpose. I'd only recommend keeping the stock tires if you think you'll ever try riding unpaved trails. They'll uselessly take up space in your home if you never use them.
    Wear down the knobbys? The sides of the tires will start to crack up of old age way before the knobs wear down. I agree slick tires are nice, but they are by no means something you "need". On my rigid MTB, I've biked on the same tires for well over 10 years (45 min to 1 hour a day, including winter) without them showing much wear on the knobbys. On my road bike, I did wear down the slicks enough to buy new tires, but never on my rigid MTB with MTB tires.

  25. #25
    Proud To Be An American EXCALIBUR's Avatar
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    10 years on one set of tires has to be some sort of Guiness World Record.
    EXCALIBUR
    2004 Giant Cypress SX 2006 Giant OCR 3

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