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  1. #1
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    Can you turn a hybrid into a mtn bike?

    I have a Trek 7.3 FX. I want to get a mountain bike and/or upgrade to a road bike but being a poor student, I don't have much coin at my disposal. I got advice from someone to save for a road bike and throw knobbed tires on my hybrid and get a new fork with suspension.

    I'm no mechanic and I don't know enough about bikes to know whether knobbed tires would fit on my hybrid or work with the brakes I have. Anyone knowledgeable with opinions?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
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    Don't waste your money converting or upgrading to a MTN or Road bike. Get another set of tires (700C x 25C size) that are knobbed and you'll do fine in dirt. Keep the non-knobbed tires for road use. It shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes of tire swapping to "convert" into one or the other. Don't worry about your brakes, they'll work with either tire.

    Don't go upgrade crazy, just ride what you have until you get serious about one sport or the other, THEN choose a specific bike. Cyclocross riders essentially use a road bike with cantilever brakes to go off road. The first mountain bikes were essentially cruisers with knobby tires. You don't need to have fancy equipment to go out on the trail or the road.

  3. #3
    Bad Company dminor's Avatar
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    It can be "kind-of" done but you will be less-than-pleased with the result for mountain biking. I put a suspension fork on my wife's Specialized Expedition; it already had (gearing-wise) a mountain drivetrain and I could put knobs on in place of the hybrid tires. But the geometry would be less than optimal and the standover height would be too high for rough terrain.

    If you have a suspension fork laying around that you can mess with give it a go; but I'd advise against putting any real money toward the project.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Kind of funny - I had a same exact question, but for a Scott Sportster P5. Sorry if I'm hijacking your thread.

    The question I have is - can I put a 26" rim on the Scott Sportster and/or replace the folk/rim combination? I thought that since it already have the front suspension, it may be easy to add thicker rim/tires (or replace the folk/rim combination)?

    I'm a roadie and just getting into MTB scene and will be buying a Specialized hardtail (rockhopper?). The Scott is for my wife and was hoping that I could convert them to full MTB (instead of buying another bike for her). The main purpose for these bike is to ride the trail around our area (not paved or hard packed - rather its rough trail with roots, rocks, logs, etc).

    Thanks

    Here are some specs of the Sportster,

    Frame
    New Evo/Aero Alloy 06 tubing
    w Evo D/O 700

    Fork
    Suntour NEX 4000, Susp. fork
    1 1/8, 50 mm travel
    Integrated 700C

    Headset
    Ritchey Zero Stack OE

    Derailleur (Rear)
    Shimano Acera
    RD-M 340L 24-Speed

    Derailleur (Front)
    Shimano FD-CO51

    Shifters
    Shimano ST-EF 50-7 blk

    Brake Levers
    Incl. in SL

    Brakes
    SCB-32-AL blk

    Crankset
    Shimano FC-TX 71
    28/35/48 w CG

    Hub (Front)
    FM 31 QR 36L black

    Hub (Rear)
    FM 31 QR 36L black

    Rims
    Alesa Zac 19 blk/cnc/wo
    Eyelet 32H 700 C

    Tires
    Maxxis 205 700x35C

  5. #5
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    you'll need some new components:

    link
    link
    link

    and thats just to start. There you have a basic light XC setup. If you want to get into some rougher stuff you'll need to upgrade.

    EDIT: and if you want to get into what people call "trail riding" : link

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by leamcorp View Post
    Kind of funny - I had a same exact question, but for a Scott Sportster P5. Sorry if I'm hijacking your thread.
    The V-brakes make it impossible to switch to 26" rims. Unless you buy a set of disc wheels and brakes for it. Slap some cyclocross tires on there and it should be OK to a point. It'll be a bit more difficult to go to the real technical stuff, but if you're just starting out the trails you'd be riding are OK.

    To the OP, ignore the upgrademania that was suggested by Benli. Since you're asking to use a hybrid on trails, you're a beginner and you should start out on easier trails.

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    i'm gonna do that then - get knobbed tires and switch out. i am a beginner .. i hear ppl talking about how a road bike is so much faster and such and i get caught up in the frenzy =/

    well, thanks a lot for the replies, especially papercutninja.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloverjem View Post
    i'm gonna do that then - get knobbed tires and switch out. i am a beginner .. i hear ppl talking about how a road bike is so much faster and such and i get caught up in the frenzy =/

    well, thanks a lot for the replies, especially papercutninja.
    in all seriousness, you might be more satisfied in the long term if you simply bought a mountain bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloverjem View Post
    i'm gonna do that then - get knobbed tires and switch out. i am a beginner .. i hear ppl talking about how a road bike is so much faster and such and i get caught up in the frenzy =/

    well, thanks a lot for the replies, especially papercutninja.
    a road bike is faster but if you live in denton texas then you're gonna be slowing down to maneuver around potholes every 6 seconds anyway.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloverjem View Post
    i'm gonna do that then - get knobbed tires and switch out. i am a beginner .. i hear ppl talking about how a road bike is so much faster and such and i get caught up in the frenzy =/

    well, thanks a lot for the replies, especially papercutninja.
    Cleverjem, I've started out with Trek 7300 (which is now 7.3FX). When I switched over with road slick, it made a huge difference... enough that I went 20 miles ride that day. Previously, max I went was more than 5-6 miles and wasn't very enjoyable at best. The slick made it so much more enjoyable.

    The bad thing is - I got hooked doing long distances and bought a new road bike month later (fair warning). I now do 130-160 miles per week. The difference between the road bike and hybrid with slick is only incremental, however, over longer period it does add up. With the slick on my hybrid, I did 70-90 miles per week. The difference are faster speed (about 4-5 mph for me) and having a lighter bike (18lb vs 28-30lb?). Hope that will give you an idea.

    As for my MTB - I think I'm just going to buy 2 MTB for both me/wife. The trail I've tried is bit too rough for my hybrid. There are too many jumps/logs/rocks on this trail and I'm afraid that I'll break the frame or ruin the rims. Was hoping I could save some money, but should of known better.

  11. #11
    WAARRGH! silver bullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenLi View Post
    you'll need some new components:

    link
    link
    link

    and thats just to start. There you have a basic light XC setup. If you want to get into some rougher stuff you'll need to upgrade.

    EDIT: and if you want to get into what people call "trail riding" : link
    Next time, put a couple of s into your message.

  12. #12
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    Cloverjem, no problem. There isn't any sense in spending lots of cash on something you don't necessarily know you want to do. Your bike is perfectly capable of handling the basics of both. It'll climb and do ok on easy dirt trails, and still be relatively quick on tarmac. If you decide you're into road biking more or vice versa, then how much are you out on the extra set of tires? $50? Just enjoy your bike. Have fun!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by papercutninja View Post
    Don't waste your money converting or upgrading to a MTN or Road bike. Get another set of tires (700C x 25C size) that are knobbed and you'll do fine in dirt. Keep the non-knobbed tires for road use. It shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes of tire swapping to "convert" into one or the other. Don't worry about your brakes, they'll work with either tire.

    Don't go upgrade crazy, just ride what you have until you get serious about one sport or the other, THEN choose a specific bike. Cyclocross riders essentially use a road bike with cantilever brakes to go off road. The first mountain bikes were essentially cruisers with knobby tires. You don't need to have fancy equipment to go out on the trail or the road.
    I'm almost positive there are no knobby tire sin 700 x 25, and I wouldn't want to ride then off road if they exited anyways. That's really skinny.

    Fortunately the OP can just get a set of cyclocoss tires. You'll probably have room for 700 x 35, but you can mesure and/or take the bike into a sho to see. You'll basicaly have a flat-bar cyclocross bike, with only a change of tires, which will be perfectly suitable for light off road riding.

    Then you can start saving up for another bike if you choose.

  14. #14
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    The first time I rode singletrack I did it on a fully rigid hybrid (Giant Sedona) that I bought off craigslist. Just put some knobbies on and go ride. Save your money for a purpose built bike later.

  15. #15
    Join the BLK MRKT MulletArgyleman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenLi View Post
    in all seriousness, you might be more satisfied in the long term if you simply bought a mountain bike.
    yeah, unless this is what you want to do(be positive) - waste money converting a h/b into a mtb - well....you need to think again.
    "No I told you I wanted it in blue-green. Not Aqua!

    quote - Random biker

    Are you a MulletArgyleMan?

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