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  1. #1
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    Transform into a Mountain bike?

    Okay. It's time for me to ask something stupid.

    I recently bought a bike I love. A Marin Coast Trail. It's the first bike I've owned in my adult life. I'm 28. I picked that one because it's some what veratile, but for the most part, a dirt path/road bike to ride around the neighborhood with my 6 year old boy that just learned how to ride.

    Because of my curiosity, I ended up seeing how it would handle on some heavy off-roading. Meh. So so, as you could imagine.

    I'm not ready to buy a second bike (yet) and my question is probabyl difficult, but if I get some new rims and mountain bike tires, would I be some what more capable of handling rough terrain? I've examined mountain bike frames compared to the frame of mine and what seems to be the biggest difference is the way the handle bars are raised and slightly angled.

    Some of you experts could tell me -- what makes the largest difference between the two bike types that would hold me back?

    In the future when my boy is more able-bodied on the bike, I'll get a true mountain bike. But for now, am I just wasting my thoughts on trying to suffice?

  2. #2
    Hardrocker
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    Yes, definitely, getting a beefier wheelset and tires will definitely make a difference in off road ability.

    But look at it this way, you'll likely spend around $150 to 200 altogether for the wheelset and tires, and the msrp of your Marin is only $320.

    Here's my suggestion. Keep taking your Marin off road once in a while. It shouldn't get beat up too bad. In the meantime, save up and buy a proper mountain bike once you have $400 - $500 to spare.

  3. #3
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    I had no idea wheels would be that expensive.
    What's a good web store for parts/accessories?

  4. #4
    Hardrocker
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts300 View Post
    I had no idea wheels would be that expensive.
    What's a good web store for parts/accessories?
    Jensonusa.com

    You'll see that the wheelsets basically start at $100 or so.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like your going to quickly progress off road and enjoy it.
    Would not recommend those $100 wheelsets unless your a fly weight.

  6. #6
    World's slowest cyclist.
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    What size wheels come on the Marin? Can you just put on a set of knobies and ride the snot out of the bike?

  7. #7
    Senior Member FlatFender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbgobie View Post
    Sounds like your going to quickly progress off road and enjoy it.
    Would not recommend those $100 wheelsets unless your a fly weight.
    BS, last time I checked, jenson was selling a deore/Rhynolite wheelset that is super durable for ~$90. Great wheelset.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_F View Post
    What size wheels come on the Marin? Can you just put on a set of knobies and ride the snot out of the bike?
    26" tires.

    That was more or less the main question I had when I started this thread. I couldn't discern the frame differences (other than handle bars) between mine and a mountain bike... leading to certain disadvantages, whatever they are.

  9. #9
    World's slowest cyclist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts300 View Post
    26" tires.

    That was more or less the main question I had when I started this thread. I couldn't discern the frame differences (other than handle bars) between mine and a mountain bike... leading to certain disadvantages, whatever they are.
    How wide are the rims? Check how much clearance you have between your tire and the side of the frame, especially on the front at the top of the fork, and on the rear near the seat and bottom bracket (chainstay and seatstay). That'll give you some idea of how wide a tire you can fit.

    Maybe bring the bike to your LBS and ask if you can try some wider knobies on the bike to see if they'll fit. My guess is you'll at LEAST be able to fit 1.9" wide tires, maybe 2.1", 2.3" may be a stretch. Buy a set of knobies and go for a ride.

    I've kinda wanted to try and see how well one of these hybrid type bikes does mimicing a full rigid mountain bike. My guess is it'll do pretty well, but not as well as a pure MTB.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Watts, I think what Chris is saying is that you could get new tires (knobby mountain bike tires) and put them on your current wheels. This would be a much cheaper option than replacing your entire wheelset. 26" is your wheel size, not your tire size; your tire size would be in the 1.5"-2.5" range.

  11. #11
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    Ah. Sorry about that (shows what I know ) The tires are 1.95" Kenda Kross Plus.

    It looks like a 2.5" would be pretty large for this frame. If there was any flex or momentary jerking of the wheel a tire that size might rub.

    Evidently there are TONS of tire options. I'll see what would fit... and I'll have to give one a try.

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