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Old 06-29-14, 09:13 PM   #1
jenbike
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can you ride MTBs on pavement longterm>?

Long story short, I should have bought a hybrid bike or other bike better-suited to mostly-street riding, but I bought a MTB. It's a Schwinn Frontier and I got it because it reminded me of the MTB I rode as a teen (when I rode last; I am now 33) and have since learned that I do not need to touch the ground with my feet at a standstill, and that doing so is bad for the knees. I had tested some comfort hybrids but I felt very offbalance and uncomfortable on them.. I have since learned that I probably have to relearn how to ride a bike fully after watching the video about proper starting/stopping; I had no idea about this at all.

If I raised the seat and just went at it, would this MTB be a truly horrible ride for the paved streets, as people are all telling me that it now is? I would really prefer not to return it to the store since any hybrid would be at least $100 more than this was, and I just don't have the money, and if I layaway it, I will be missing out on the whole summer at this financial rate. I am thinking that for now, I can tough it out, and save for some hybrid tires for it. I am not utterly and horribly upset at not getting maximum efficiency at this point; I just want a bike to get on and ride.
I am planning on raising the seat more and making a go of it in a safe carless area tomorrow, to see how that goes. If it is really tough not to wobble a lot, I will see about selling a few things on ebay and just going back to the store with it, but I would prefer not to.
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Old 06-29-14, 10:02 PM   #2
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There is a BF thread in the C&V forum about vintage MTB drop bar conversions. Simplest way to ride on pavement is to install smooth-rolling balloon tires like Schwalbe's Big Apple or Continental's new Retro Ride line.

You'll roll faster on pavement and in more comfort.
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Old 06-30-14, 08:01 AM   #3
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A mountain bike will be fine on the road for light riding. The biggest difference will be the tires and handlebars. The tires, designed for offroad use will have big knobs on them and on the road will give a good vibration and wont roll all that fast. I would put a street tire on which is less resistance. It sounds like money is an issue so I wouldnt worry about bars right now because if you switch to road bars it will require new brake levers and shifter levers..
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Old 06-30-14, 08:06 AM   #4
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A drop bar conversion on a MTB is not the easiest thing to do and it may or may nor work well depending on the geometry of your bike.

An MTB can make a fine bike for general purpose riding with a few, inexpensive modifications. The first is slick tires. You'll have to figure out how fat you want to go but personally I like 26 x 1.5 inch tires for general all purpose riding/commuting. It's what I use on my MTB/drop bar conversion/commuter. YMMV.

The second mod that can really help is a trekking bar. Drops require new shifters/brake levers whereas your existing components will work fine with a trekking bar. They are popular in Europe and frankly they make a lot of sense as they give you xtra hand positions. I use trekking bars on one of my MTBs. I'm a long time road rider and I love my drops. That said, the trekking bars immediately felt comfortable; they're great. Here's a pic of the my bike with 26 x 1.5 inch tires and trekking bars:

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Old 06-30-14, 08:07 AM   #5
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For running a MTB on the street, these are *great*!

Nashbar Slick City Tire - Normal Shipping Ground
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Old 06-30-14, 08:08 AM   #6
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My mountain bike rides roads more often than not
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Old 06-30-14, 08:18 AM   #7
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As has been said, change the tires, Keep the bike. Save the Knobbie tires in your storage area. You're only 33. You may want to take that puppy off road some day. All you have to do is put the knobbies back on and go. IMHO, hardtail mtbs make the best commuter bikes while offering more versatility than a hybrid. In my opinion, you bought the correct bike.
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Old 06-30-14, 02:03 PM   #8
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Thanks for your replies; I feel better now. I like the idea of the trekking bar. I figure that I can easily afford new tires in a few weeks.

Main thing now is that I am getting more comfortable riding again and after a week of short rides every day, instead of feeling exhaustion, I want to go out again for a second time today.
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Old 06-30-14, 02:49 PM   #9
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You've got the right idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenbike View Post
Thanks for your replies; I feel better now. I like the idea of the trekking bar. I figure that I can easily afford new tires in a few weeks.

Main thing now is that I am getting more comfortable riding again and after a week of short rides every day, instead of feeling exhaustion, I want to go out again for a second time today.
Sometimes I take my old Raleigh mtb out for a ride just because it's fun, like being a kid again. I try to remember to throw a patch kit and a pump in my bag, but that's about it. No computer.

My road bike is for long epic rides, 30, 40 or 100 miles. Tools, spare tube, rain gear, food blah blah blah...

Now, if I left tomorrow to cross the country, and I had money for a new wheelset and new rear derailleur, the mtb would be my choice, with knobbies or slicks.

since I'm perpetually broke, I guess I'd take the road bike, cause I've got more stuff for it, like tubes and tires, newer drivetrain parts, etc.

But, some of those "ride around the block" mtb rides wind up being 20 or 30 miles. No big deal, just a little slower.
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Old 06-30-14, 04:15 PM   #10
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That's what sold me on the mtb. I felt like a free little spirit on it. I still have some of the moves from my teen years and the handling is something that I was used to before, which gives me confidence.
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Old 06-30-14, 04:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
For running a MTB on the street, these are *great*!

Nashbar Slick City Tire - Normal Shipping Ground
I wouldn't recommend a thin slick in the 26" size. They give a very harsh ride. Its so unpleasant I hate them. A balloon tire is much more comfortable and is akin to riding on the clouds.
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Old 06-30-14, 06:22 PM   #12
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I wouldn't recommend a thin slick in the 26" size. They give a very harsh ride. Its so unpleasant I hate them. A balloon tire is much more comfortable and is akin to riding on the clouds.
Interesting. I switched to 1.5" street tread on one of my MTB's to make an all weather utility bike out of it and thought the ride very comfortable.

Another vote for trekking bars! I have them on the aforementioned MTB and a Hybrid and love them.
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Old 06-30-14, 11:25 PM   #13
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I wouldn't recommend a thin slick in the 26" size. They give a very harsh ride. Its so unpleasant I hate them. A balloon tire is much more comfortable and is akin to riding on the clouds.
Its all subjective.

Similar to discussions about frame construction and materials, it all depends on weight, riding style, and surface conditions.

I use Schwalbe Durano 26X1.1 tires at 100PSI.
I find them to be smooth, compliant and accurate.
Anything bigger seems like a waste of energy on reasonably smooth pavement.
Even cheap Maxxis 26X1.0 tires ride acceptable for me. (flat resistance is non existent however)
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Old 07-01-14, 02:43 AM   #14
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1.0 tires are so thin they transmit road vibration and shock up to the frame. They contribute a harsh ride in the 26" size. 1.5 tires are as thin as you can go and still have a comfortable ride.

Balloon tires work better on the 26" size because the wider the tire, the greater riding comfort. On pavement, knobbies have poor rolling ability so a smooth thread tire is more desirable.

Thin tires work well in 700 C because the frame is better designed to absorb road shock for a pleasant feeling ride.
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Old 07-01-14, 04:01 AM   #15
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I had the opposite experience.
My previous Giant hybrid with 700X28C tires had more road vibration then my Cannondale CAAD3 with 26X1.1 tires.
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Old 07-01-14, 09:52 PM   #16
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I tried going this route and found that it wasn't for me. I have a dual suspension mtb though. Not sure if you have a hard tail or not so you may not experience the same as me. I didn't put skinny slicks on mine. I put 2" street tires on there and although it was fun riding around on the streets, it wasn't fast enough for me. I wanted something a bit quicker and more nimble. So I bought a commuter and I love it.

With the slicks on my mtb, maintaining a 13-14 mph pace wore me out. But in my hybrid, I can keep that pace for longer periods. But, if you're on a budget, then try the slicks. It's a cheap way to see if it'll work for you.
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Old 07-02-14, 10:57 AM   #17
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Buy this book... Mastering Mountain Bike Skills - 2nd Edition: Brian Lopes, Lee McCormack: 9780736083713: Amazon.com: Books I ride my 1984 Peugeot CE MTB with WTB Velociraptor tires. I average 20 + mph the mtb tires do slow me down compared to my PX10 which is a 1972 race bike. Love my mtb as the weather and roads in the Dakotas are harsh
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Old 07-02-14, 11:11 AM   #18
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Really awesome on pavement and the trail... and well suited for long distance.



My Diamondback is a surprisingly good urban assault bike... the rollout on the Specialized tyres is very good on pavement although they really excel when the road is not a road.

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Old 07-02-14, 11:15 AM   #19
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I routinely ride my Trek MTB 20-25 miles on pavement. If i were to look to go further, I would be inclined to buy a road bike of some sort.
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Old 07-02-14, 11:15 AM   #20
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Yes if u r wanting a commuter bike stay with the hardtail. And I persona
lly would put hybrid tries just in case u need to go offroading for a bit.
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Old 07-02-14, 08:17 PM   #21
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Nice advice and bikes. My mtb is a hardtail. I would like to put the thinner tires on it; saw my friend's today and he has those and says that it still smashes good on trails, but he also uses it as a daily commuter All Year..
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Old 07-06-14, 04:31 PM   #22
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Really awesome on pavement and the trail... and well suited for long distance.



My Diamondback is a surprisingly good urban assault bike... the rollout on the Specialized tyres is very good on pavement although they really excel when the road is not a road.

I love my diamond back mtn bike I am getting ready to convert it over to street use also so I don't half to ride my recumbent this winter very much
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Old 07-06-14, 05:09 PM   #23
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A good hard tail mountain bike makes an excellent all purpose bike. The frame and components are durable and the gear range is wide. This means you can climb just about any hill with a payload in any level of fitness.
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Old 07-06-14, 07:47 PM   #24
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Here is what I did with my mtn bike to make it more user friendly to go to work with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az2y...=youtube_gdata enjoy
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Old 07-09-14, 07:06 PM   #25
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Nice!
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