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Dilemma. Convert my MTB or start over with a new bike?

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Dilemma. Convert my MTB or start over with a new bike?

Old 10-03-14, 03:21 PM
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dbrown417
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Dilemma. Convert my MTB or start over with a new bike?

I don't commute a lot these days, in fact not at all for work anymore as my route would be certain suicide, but I like to get out and ride for both exercise, errands, and pleasure when I can. I have a Diamondback Response (3-4 years old) that I received in a trade, and I've made it a little more road-friendly to make it more of a multi-purpose bike. I swapped out the fat knobbies for some 1.9" Continental Doublefighter tires (smooth rolling center tread makes it roll much quicker), added some WTB comfort grips, and I'm planning to ditch the front derailleur keeping the front ring to make it a 1x8.

This thing weighs in just under 35 pounds, and even in my inexperience, I know this is a heavy bike. My ideal setup would be a relaxed touring-type geometry, rigid front fork, and drop bars (shallow ergo's or dirt drops?). I'm conflicted if I should spend any more money upgrading this heavy frame, or if I should put those funds towards a new bike altogether. I would probably spend $250 before this DB is set up like I want, and that kind of seems ridiculous on a "cheap" bike like this. Unfortunately I can't budget anything over $400 if I'm going to buy new. I do like the process of upgrading what I already have, half the fun is the tinkering IMHO, but I really like the idea of starting with THE right bike to be set up like I want.

I guess I'm just looking for opinions/advice, what you would do, or your take on what you learned from your build/purchase. Any input is really appreciated.


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Old 10-03-14, 03:30 PM
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Trekking bars[$25] let you use the brake levers and shifters you have Now.



Long Blade 'suspension corrected' rigid fork would be step 1) One can carry front Panniers then .. EZ to reach in & get things out, then.. standing over the bike .

they weigh less than the Fork on there too.
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Old 10-03-14, 05:34 PM
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35lb !!!

I would not spend anything on it and I'd get rid of it as soon as I could find a good replacement.

Not much point in changing to a new bike under $400 but second hand you should be able to get something quite nice.

I would aim for less than 25lb with light tires but go a little over that if it was really nice and the reason it was over 25lb is weight of accessories.
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Old 10-03-14, 06:14 PM
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Switching to a rigid fork from a suspension fork would take some weight off since ditching the Rockshox Dart on my commuter saved me around 4 pounds.
Going beyond that to drop bars isn't worth the effort or cost since you can get a used touring bike or cyclocross bike for $4-500 and have a lighter bike with no kludges or compromises.
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Old 10-03-14, 06:23 PM
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35 lbs is a lightweight for me
If you have the money, why not? When you get the idea for a new bike, it's like an itch you can't scratch . . . There is only one way to fix it, ha ha! I think a suspension adjusted rigid fork, drop bars and maybe some Big Apples would give you a nice all-terrain bomber and scratch that itch Whatever you decide, have fun, be safe!
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Old 10-03-14, 06:39 PM
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My ideal setup would be a relaxed touring-type geometry, rigid front fork, and drop bars

Don't spend a lot of money trying to modify your mountain bike. Look around for deals, and be ready to move fast if your dream bike turns up on the used market or someone offers you a deal. You should be able to find a bike that is at least 8 or 10 lbs lighter than what you currently own.

I am thinking you might want to look for something like the Giant AnyRoad, Jamis Bosa Nova, All City Spacehorse, Specialized AWOL, Salsa Vaya, or even the Surly Pacer. Or if you want more road ish, maybe the Cannondale Synapse or Giant Defy?
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Old 10-03-14, 06:40 PM
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Not worth investing in, just watch for a good deal on something used... especially considering what time of year it is.
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Old 10-03-14, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dbrown417 View Post
I'm planning to ditch the front derailleur keeping the front ring to make it a 1x8.

I do like the process of upgrading what I already have, half the fun is the tinkering IMHO, but I really like the idea of starting with THE right bike to be set up like I want.
Since you like to tinker.......perhaps a Bikes Direct Flat-Bar would fit you well. Aluminium frame and carbon fork, yeah+++.

$370, under budget, as is. Sell current lead sled and you're into it for even less.

I'd be money ahead if I had done that when I was thinking about it. Instead I decided to build my own from a bare frame and save money.
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Old 10-04-14, 09:14 AM
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There's a thread somewhere in the touring section about drop bar conversions on rigid steel MTBs. The people that have them love them.
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Old 10-04-14, 09:56 AM
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I appreciate all the input, I think I'm going to set my sights on a new lighter bike. I really want a rigid drop bar setup, and I don't want to still be stuck with a 30lb anchor after upgrades to my current bike.

Did some digging on Bikes Direct, and came across this one: Gravity Liberty CXD. Carbon fork, disc brakes, drops, room for wider tires... Anyone see any reason why I shouldn't go with the Liberty? I'm not familiar with Bikes Direct but I've heard the benefits of buying from them, I have no problem assembling my own bike and it definitely seems like you can get more bike for the money from BD. It's a little more than I wanted to spend, but I'm cheap, so...

Thanks for the advice everyone, by all means keep it coming...
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Old 10-04-14, 10:17 AM
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Mountain bikes are adaptable to a lot of purposes, but unless you are into working on bikes for a hobby, it's probably not worth it in dollars to convert it into something it's not. Older bikes with rigid forks and cantilever brakes are more convertible than current ones. Take the drop bars and rigid fork, for example. If it fits you as it is, it will be an inch too long with drop bars, which sit further forward. You're going to need brake levers and shifters, or brifters. Because it has disk brakes which take V-brake cable pull, you'll want to replace those with road disk calipers. Between fork, bars, brifters, calipers, tape, cables, probably a stem, you are getting into some money.
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Old 10-04-14, 11:50 AM
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I would sell that bike rather than trying to make it do something it really wasn't designed to do. Put that money towards your Gravity Liberty, which will suit your needs better. If for some reason you decide to drop money on this bike, Fietsbob advice was what I would do.
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Old 10-04-14, 12:18 PM
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My take on this.
If it's just about the weight you can invest into an electric engine there are good kits for less than 300$. Going for a new bike is like starting all over again, you guaranteed to have other expenses coming and since you're not investing into a carbon bike the weight gain won't be so great.
If it's about more than just the weight: fit, gears.... then like other said just get rid of this one.
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Old 10-04-14, 12:33 PM
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Everyone needs n+1, so add a road bike that suits your current desire to change things up a bit.

Your current bike will work excellent as both off road fun and as a utility around-town vehicle, just lock the front shocks, add a rear rack and clip-off panniers.
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