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View Poll Results: Can I turn my hybrid into a mountain bike?
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Old 02-05-12, 03:03 PM   #1
Imperton
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Can I put mountain bike tires on my hybrid and get a hybrid mountain bike?

Hello!

I want to get into mountain biking, but I don't have a proper mountain bike. What I do have is a hybrid bike with 700c wheels. Can I put some 29" knobby tires on my hybrid and make it into some sort of mountain bike on the cheap? This is my suspension fork, but how much MTB tire can I fit in it? And will it work turning a hybrid into a MTB with better tires, or should I just quit being dumb and fork out the money and get a real MTB?
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Old 02-05-12, 03:07 PM   #2
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Can you post a link to your bike?
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Old 02-05-12, 03:17 PM   #3
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It's a norwegian sporting goods store bike, so I can't find it online. I do have the list of the specifications though, if that's any help.
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Old 02-05-12, 03:21 PM   #4
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You've really got 2 questions, first, can an MTB (29er) tire fit on Hybrid rims, the answer for this is probably, both are 700c, and dependant on the bike spec. the hybrid rims may be wide enough, all depends on what you have, if they will fit in the frame, that depends on your frame and how close th clearances are.

the second question, can you use a hybrid as an MTB, the realistic answer for this is no, the fork & frame you have will be fine for smooth tracks, but go off road properly, and it will show it's limitatons / start to fall apart quickly. If you want to get off road, get a purpose built MTB, but getting one which will do the job properly won't be a budget option.
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Old 02-05-12, 03:24 PM   #5
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What's the name/model of it? And specs would help. Especially the kind of fork. Long story short, I expect if you plan riding rough trails then 700c hybrid wheels wouldn't hold up to the abuse. I would think you'd be truing them constantly until you finally folded them in half.
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Old 02-05-12, 03:33 PM   #6
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The fork is a Suntour SF10-NEX4610 V2 MLO 700C and the rims are Weinmann XTB26. I will probably buy a proper(and expensive) mountain bike then and keep the hybrid as a cheap road and transport bike.
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Old 02-05-12, 03:37 PM   #7
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Yes you can. Just make sure the width will fit, a local bike shop should be able to tell you. What you are doing is what they did to make the first Cyclocross bikes. I like the idea (in a way) of riding it hard until the fork needs rebuild/replace. By that time you will have a good idea whether or not it is for you. Particularly if its a dept store bike. Just be aware that if you put really wide tires on narrow rims, you will need to keep the pressure down so you wont crack the rim. Yes, I've learned the hard way. Good luck.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:01 AM   #8
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I have done this. It was relatively hard to find a rear tire that cleared, which in my case I settled on the Bontrager 29-3 29x2.0" tire. It is well-known to run narrow, about 1.8", and doesn't have knobs that stick out to the sides.

The front was far worse because my bike has a 80mm Magura/Cannondale headshok fork that I believe was meant for a 26" MTB, not a hybrid or 29er at all. There is plenty of width, but hardly any room in the crown. I have a 19mm wide rim, which could be a factor as well. One would expect a tire to bulge upward slightly, increasing diameter, when mounting a tire on a narrow rim compared to a wider one.

I couldn't even fit tires with a low profile knob, like a WTB Nano(raptor) 29x2.1, Kenda Slant Six 29x2.0, or Specialized Fast Track LK 29x2.0.

Eventually I solved this with an oversized cyclocross tire: Schwalbe Smart Sam 700x45. The casing has less volume and even though it's pretty wide, the sidewall and tire diameter is less than any 29er tire. Having gone through a lot of hassle with the front tire, I would just buy a pair of the 45mm Smart Sam and call it good enough. They should fit most hybrids with a suspension fork. (If you have hybrid that's more like a flatbar road bike, like a Trek FX, they usually can't do more than 35mm cyclocross tires.)


Now I'm saving up for a full suspension 29er. Salsa Spearfish, Giant Anthem X 29er, something like that.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imperton View Post
. . . or should I just quit being dumb and fork out the money and get a real MTB?
This.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:19 AM   #10
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This.
Tires are much cheaper than a 29er. If you can buy a 29er right now, do it. If you can't and the tires are what is keeping you off singletrack, get the tires and save up.

But I do agree a hybrid with small 29er tires is not a long-term solution, or anywhere near as effective as a real MTB.
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Old 02-07-12, 11:41 AM   #11
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Yes and no. The tire size would be limited by frame clearance but you could at least install cyclocross tires. The real issue is frame strength. Assuming you have clearance to fit 29er tires on your frame, a hybrid still isn't designed to take the kind of abuse that a full scale MTB bike is usually subjected to. So how well it stands up to use depends on how hard you use it.
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