Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Converting an old MTB into a SS cruiser...?

    I have a 1996 Gary Fisher Tassajara that I used to ride on the trails back in my teens. It's been sitting in my garage for the past several years as I have a newer/better bike that I ride on the trails nowadays.

    Anyways, I'd like to get the old Fisher up and running again (two broken derailleurs) as a fun little neighborhood cruiser and though a SS might be just the ticket. I have no idea where to begin or what I need to do, but was hoping someone here could give me some pointers or point me to a link that could help me in this process.

    I figure there is quite a bit I'd need to do in order to get her going which includes:
    - new front fork (currently have a Manitou Mach 5 on the front and want rigid)
    - new rear hub (flip flop or cassette?)
    - chain tensioner (I assume I need one since the GF has vertical drop outs)
    - crank
    - brake levers
    - new wheels / tires

    Like I said earlier, I'm a complete noob when it comes to SS bikes so any help would be much appreciated... so please don't hesitate to (constructively) criticize my plan and or suggest alternative options which don't include buying another bike... my wife simply won't support a 4th bike.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    In a crate
    Posts
    371
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Does it have a tappered crank? That way you can take off the gear rings and leave one.
    Remove freewheel or cassete. Better if freewheel because it's bolt on.
    You might not need the tensioner if your frame is set up correctly. You need horizontal drop outs and preferably with limiter screws.
    Count teeth on front gear ring, and think of what you want in the rear. I have 46/16 for my road bike. For a cruiser, either 50's/20's or 40'/20's if you don't want speed.
    Higher is the front means harder/faster, lower in the rear means harder/faster
    some guides can help you too.

    IMHO:
    Cruisers can be found dirt cheap and there are loads of parts you can get for them. A mountain bike would be pretty bad for one too.

  3. #3
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,621
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Step one is identify if you have a freewheel or cassette. If you have a cassette, you can convert to single speed simply by removing all your extra gears and putting a single cog and spacers on. If you have a freewheel, you need a new single speed freewheel.

    If you have a rear derailer that isn't too broken, you have a chain tensioner.

    If you have a crank arm with chainrings that bolt on, you can remove the extra ones and have a single speed crank.

    As far as the fork, you just need to find a new fork. Not any cheap way to replace that.

  4. #4
    :)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    duluth
    My Bikes
    '07 Pista, '09 Fantom Cross Uno, '8? Miyata, '67 Stingray, '0? Zoo mod trials, Tallbike, Chopper, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '67 Triumph Chopper, '69 CB350, '58 BSA Spitfire, '73 CB450
    Posts
    3,391
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post

    As far as the fork, you just need to find a new fork. Not any cheap way to replace that.
    Except for buying one used or trading.
    Quote Originally Posted by Santaria View Post
    because physics has more street cred than tarckstars.

  5. #5
    Senior Member typeDvorak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    kcmo
    Posts
    52
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't know if money is an issue or not, but if you want to get fancy purchase a 29 fork to build a 69er cruiser. I read about it here at mtbr. You can take advantage of the rake/offset change a new fork offers to build a bike that will have super stable steering a'la cruiser. Maybe upgrade to a disk brake up front. I know this kind of is killing a fly with a boomstick, but can one really negate that riding a 69er doesn't make a good pick-up line? Sup gurl, want to ride the bars of my 69er? The bike, a beast with two backs.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the feedback, I'm going to have take a better look at the hub to determine what I have. It's all Shimano Alivio and STX componentry. I was planing on going down to the next swap meet to see if I can get a cheap front fork and maybe some other components.

    This whole SS thing looks very fun and interesting to me, I can't wait to get my bike set up!

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    31
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    By 1996, everything was cassette.

    You'll need the following parts:

    1) A cassette -> SS conversion kit for the rear wheel. http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/167...ersion-Kit.htm

    2) Single ring chainring bolts - the bolts you have right now are longer, so that they can hold two rings on the crank

    3) To tension the chain - two choices. One - use a "magic ratio" - http://eehouse.org/fixin/formfmu.php OR use some sort of chain tensioner. Deraileur will work, but a true SS chain tensioner will perform a bit better.

    Check the magic ratio calculator before you buy anything.

    and spend a few bucks on slick tires - it'll be way faster and more comfortable than knobbies.

  8. #8
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, USA
    My Bikes
    My War
    Posts
    18,405
    Mentioned
    16 Post(s)
    Tagged
    6 Thread(s)
    Best MTBs for conversion are pre-1987 or so. They often had horizontal drops, limousine wheelbases, laid back angles, rigid forks, etc. Much more cruiserish than most 1996 MTBs.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  9. #9
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,014
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I made a 1995 Tassajara into my SS commuter. Mine didn't have removeable chainrings, so I replaced the crank and am running 38/18 without a chain tensioner (magic ratio.) My wheel has a Freehub so I was easily able to remove the cassette and put on the 18T cog. In my opinion it's comfy, but I definitely wouldn't call it a cruiser. Overall I'm very happy with it. It's relatively light, feels quick, and can handle mild single track all day long. Mine was fully rigid from the factory. I don't expect you'd have too much trouble finding a rigid fork to replace your suspension fork.

    I'll post a picture when I get a chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by blitzoid View Post
    By 1996, everything was cassette.
    This is not correct. There are many, many examples of bikes with 7-speed freewheels made during that time and post 2000.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for all the feedback everyone, I appreciate it.

    Looks like this can potentially be an easier conversion than I thought.

    In regards to my comment about it being a cruiser, that's probably a misnomer on my part. My road bike and mountain bike aren't the best for attaching my daughters trailer and that's primarily what this bike will be used for... neighborhood jaunts.

  11. #11
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,014
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Post a picture when you're done! Here's mine:

    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •