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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    The MTB to touring bike conversion and rebuild begins

    I have decided that it's time for new life to the old Haro MTB. Bought this bike new from the bicycle hanger in Missoula in the early 90's. It was such an ugly a** orange that they couldn't sell it to anyone but a tight a** like me that didn't care about color just price. So it has serve me well since then and I have recently gotten the bug to build a touring bike on a budget (maybe) and this is my donor. Plans are to upgrade the rapid fire Altus shifters and components to Deore thumb shifters and derailers. New saddle, paint, fenders, racks, panniers, and tires. And try to keep it all under $300. So we'll keep track and see. So far I have score some parts:

    NIB Brooks B17 saddle for $40 off of CL. Guy threw in an xtra long Nitto head stem when I got there. Deore LX thumb shifters and derailers--eBay $40. Nashbar waterproof panniers on sale now $71 shipping included for both front and rear.

    So I'm at $151 sbout 1/2 way to my limit (ugh!!!) I'm not gonna make it I think. I just found a few chipped teeth on my middle chain ring so there's some more money for a crank set.

    So I need some recommendations on tires. I have 26x1.95 Tioga City Slickers on it now. Is this to wide? If so how skinny should I go?

    Any recomendations on a cost effective BB? I figured I'd replace it while it's apart but it doesn't seem bad at all. Do I just clean it up and reinstall or replace for piece of mind on the road?

    But I'll start off with some pics of the ugly beast. Let the fun begin!






  2. #2
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    Ha, "paint job" looks the the $15 special I picked up at local thrift store, gotta love the florescent fade! I've been using Shimano UN-26 BB's (around 10 bux) for my piece o crap builds, but maybe all you need is new ball bearings for your old cup and cone. Curious, what technique are you using to paint it? Was contemplating painting mine, like stripping paint and rattle canning it or just sanding it down.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Looks like a fun build. Keep us posted.

    Oh, don't forget to check CL and eBay for some nice deals on parts.

    My commuter/tourer build

    Most parts are from CL. $<300 total.
    "Cycling is for pleasure not penance"

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    The "paint job" did leave something to be desired. The bright orange is what it looked like before the sun took it's toll. And it was reflective!
    I've got an HLVP *** that I could shoot it with but that takes so much clean up every time you spray. A small item like a frame would be 5 min. od spray and 1/2hr cleanup,
    do that for 3-4 coats and it gets old. I've had good luck with Duplicolor rattle cans on other stuff so I may give that a shot.
    I am a CL scrounge but I everything for sale is in Boise and I live 40 miles away so I have to factor fuel in all my purchases.
    But when the saddle came up for $40 I had to make the trip to get it. I need to get a crank puller and BB tool.
    I have never taken a cartridge type apart before. Are they rebuildable? Guess I'll see when I get in there.
    My LBS here is closing shop (i wanna cry!). So I'm gonna try to see if they have anything on closeout before they shut the doors next week.
    Then it's back to having to travel to get any parts.

  5. #5
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I like free View Post
    So I need some recommendations on tires. I have 26x1.95 Tioga City Slickers on it now. Is this to wide? If so how skinny should I go?
    I have 26x2.0 Marathons on my MTB Conversion and I like the size. There was a sale recently on Marathons at biketiresdirect so i got a backup pair, but they only had 1.75's. I think that will be fine too. I prefer bigger tires on a loaded bike. No real logic to it, it's just what I like. Marathons will ruin your budget though - not sure which inexpensive brand would be best for you. I'm a tightwad too, but have had less than positive experiences with cheapie tires on tour - to me the durability and expected life of the Marathon is worth the extra money.

    I like your project. Keep the updates coming.

  6. #6
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    I think I'm going to stick with the 26x1.95 Tiogas that are on there for now. They have some good life left in them so I'm going to get my money outta them before I buy anything new.
    That is unless a screaming deal comes by and I may get some skinnier to try.

  7. #7
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    The point of the cartridge BB is you just toss it when it is shot.

  8. #8
    It's true, man.
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    There's no good reason NOT to start with a new bottom bracket. It's too big a pain to replace out on the road to get chintzy with in all the comforts of home.

  9. #9
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    I understand thepoint on the BB. Very cheap insurance. Gonna head to my LBS before they close down for good and see if they have anything left. If not I'll order one. Need to get the tools to pull it as well.

  10. #10
    Senior Member m_yates's Avatar
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    Shimano UN54 bottom bracket is only $19.20 right now from Niagara Cycle or Tree Fort. It is what I've used for the last 5000 miles, after my "Chin Haur" brand bottom bracket failed. The Shimano UN54 has worked great. Never any creaks or clicks and still spins smoothly.

  11. #11
    It's as easy as riding a dannwilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVC45 View Post
    Looks like a fun build. Keep us posted.

    Oh, don't forget to check CL and eBay for some nice deals on parts.

    My commuter/tourer build

    Most parts are from CL. $<300 total.
    I've been toying with the idea of drop bars on my MTB conversion. How do you like 'em?
    "It doesn't get easier, you just go faster."

  12. #12
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    I like 'em just fine. Its the barend shifters I'm not too sure now, if I would keep. I somehow manage to hit my knee on it when I stand on a climb.

    I might just add, I no longer have that bike. But I got the same shifter set up on my other bike.
    "Cycling is for pleasure not penance"

  13. #13
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    Ordered a new crankset last night (ebay) and found a set of fenders at the shop for $28 so were adding another $60. So were at $210 now! This adds up quick!

  14. #14
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I like free View Post
    Ordered a new crankset last night (ebay) and found a set of fenders at the shop for $28 so were adding another $60. So were at $210 now! This adds up quick!
    Ayup...try maintaining and upgrading a fleet of 30 bikes

    I have 4-5 rebuilds/upgrades going at the moment,

    One of which is converting an old rigid Giant Iguana MTB to an expedition tour bike.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  15. #15
    Senior Member wrobertdavis's Avatar
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    I like free,

    I think you will find your stock handlebar setup gets old and weary in a hurry for touring. Conversion to drop bars is expensive (new brake levers/shifters/stem/handlebars/tape). Many people seem to be happy with trekking bars and you can keep your existing shifters and brake levers. Trekking bars are available at Nashbar cheap. Amazon (Niagra) sells a nice alloy Northroad style handlebar cheap that would use your existing brake levers and shifters, but require longer cables. I put a set of these on my wife's bike and she says its the most comfortable bike she has ever ridden.

    You are going to find like many people do - conversions are not cheap, but you can save $500-$700 over buying a new bike. Also touring setups are not cheap either, by the time you buy all jimcracks and geegaws that make it really nice. Fortunately, you can get there in an iterative manner, taking small steps at time and watching CL and ebay. That is half the fun.

    Good luck!
    Bob
    2008 Cervelo R3
    2011 Surly LHT
    1992 Miyata Triplecross set up for commuting
    1992 Miyata 914
    1980's Univega Gran Sprint
    I ride 5000 miles/year in Texas with wind, rain, heat, armadillos, and wild boars.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannwilliams View Post
    I've been toying with the idea of drop bars on my MTB conversion.
    Do it.


  17. #17
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    I like my randonneur bars too! Like wrobertdavis says, half the fun is getting the pieces to do a conversion. Also, you get to decide exactly what those pieces will be!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    Occasional poster countrydirt's Avatar
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    This is my donor bike that I am beginning to work on.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink

    I like what you are doing!

  19. #19
    Canadian Chick Aquakitty's Avatar
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    That's sweet, do you have a thread on the build info?

    Quote Originally Posted by mijome07 View Post
    Do it.


  20. #20
    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquakitty View Post
    That's sweet, do you have a thread on the build info?
    No, but I can give it here. Bought the SS 29er (which can go 1x9) online, along with the other parts. never had any interest in riding with flat bars.

    Installed:

    FSA Omega compact drop bars
    Cane Creek Drop V levers
    Jagwire cable/housing
    Profile Design bar tape

    Later installed:

    Alex DH-19 wheels (handbuilt from BWW)
    Sette saddle
    Sette stem
    Sette suspension seatpost

    Future installments:

    disc wheel set
    suspension fork w/ remote lock out
    saddle
    drop bars (maybe)
    disc brakes
    tires
    adjustable seat post (w/ remote for descends)

    As is, it rides well on and off road. But it'll ride a lot better off road with those 'future upgrades'. At 28 lbs. +/- it not exactly light. But I can climb well on/off road. Not concerned about the added weight in the future. I can benefit from the extra control.

    I bought this as my do-everything bike, though it doesn't 'shine' in all areas.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by I like free View Post

    So I need some recommendations on tires. I have 26x1.95 Tioga City Slickers on it now. Is this to wide? If so how skinny should I go?
    It's too wide if you don't weigh much and aren't carrying much and want to ride fast otherwise if this is a budget assembly don't change it until it's worn out or the tires are old hard and slick and you need something stickier for wet roads.

  22. #22
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    Got the frame sanded and painted today. Used appliance enamel (white). Supposed to be super hard so we will see.
    Sprayed with a Preval sprayer and I highly recommend them for something bike size or small projects.
    *** with 1 cartridge was $5 and spare cartridges are $4. They claim to spray 16oz per cartridge but it was more like 10-12.
    I used about 1.5 cartridges for the frame and forks. I'll get some pics up as soon as it drys.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Well I got it back together, just waiting on a few parts to finish it off. Still need the BB, bars and tape, and crankset. Thenit should be ready to ride again. Here's a few pics, not real good
    quality the lighting in my garage sucks.




  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Anyhow I think I saved quite a bit by rebuilding this bike instead of buying a new one. The totals so far are:
    Paint and supplies $35 (hardware store)
    FSA crankset: $21 (eBay)
    BB:$25 (Niagra Cycle)
    Fenders:$28 (LBS)
    seat:$40 (CL)
    panniers front and rear: $70 (nashbar)
    Deore LX shifters and derailuers: $35 (eBay)
    bars and tape:$30 (nashbar)

    $284 so far. I still need to get racks or fab some up so I figured another $70-80 for that. Then I should be done for the time being. I'm sure it will
    always need one thing or another but I feel pretty good about the build and the costs overall, and it was fun!

  25. #25
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    It's done!!!!! Well almost, I ordered the wrong length BB so I have to send it back, can't put the new crankset on until I get that. So I installed my old crankset and will run
    that for a few weeks until it gets here. Wasn't able to use the Deore front derailuer, it was to big for my seat tube. Was going to check and see if they sell shims for that.
    Anyhow the old one was good enough. The Deore shifter are great and I'm glad I got the kind that go between index and friction as I found out I like friction a whole lot better.
    I have the front panniers on the rear for now as I really don't need that much room all the time. But overall I think it turned out pretty well and I ended up with a pretty decent
    tourer for about $350.






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