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500 grams is diff between steel versatile MTB and racebike. Worth it?

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500 grams is diff between steel versatile MTB and racebike. Worth it?

Old 10-24-17, 11:36 AM
  #51  
Ironfish653
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$20 brakes, whether they are V's, calipers, or canti's can all be made to work well, but try stuffing a 1.95 tire through a 'road' brake caliper.

The geometry of these bikes is what makes them versatile. Usually 72* head and seat angles, with flat top tubes and low stand-over. Stem and bar changes are simple, and can make it an upright city bike, a flat-bar urban run-about or drop-bar long distance tourer.
Most of the big name bikes (Trek, Giant, Specialized, Cannondale) were well made, and the ubiquitous 3x7 Shimano LX is good serviceable stuff.
Tires are commonly available from 1.5 slicks to 2.2 knobbies, and everything in between. A 26x1.95 will roll nicely over just about anything. I admit to having pretty decent bike handling skills, and if I can see it, I can ride to it.

For the casual rider, comfort and ease of use are as if not more important than light weight and speed.
That's why older MTB's get the nod. For many of us, commuting / utility riding means hauling ourselves and a bunch of stuff to work, to class, the gym, whatever. Depending on where you are, riding in the road may not be a (safe) option. I have a 13 mile route to work, and there are a couple of stretches where I will not ride in the traffic lanes (45-50mph, high volume, and curbs on both sides) My MTB is much easier to ride on the sidewalk than the road bikes, more comfortable, and it doesn't pay much of a speed penalty.
My Cannondale has racks, lights, and i'll probably replace the mudguards with full fenders, as it has mounts for all of that. The Bridgestone has room for racks and fenders, but not all of the mounts, and my Softride doesn't have room to carry anything but a couple of water bottles.
I also ride home after dark, so the advantange of a commuter MTB, is that the bike can handle things like bumps, gravel, and other irregularities in the dark, so that I can focus more on moving the thing down the road.
I've done plenty of not-as-intended things with my road bikes, too, but the XC bike needs a lot less looking after.
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Old 10-24-17, 05:21 PM
  #52  
Sy Reene
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
Re-purposing older rigid MTBs into quality tourers and commuters is one of my specialties. Here are a couple of my recent builds:



]
Wow.. I think I used to own that exact same color/model Trek 930.. great with a kiddie-seat mounted on the back and the gripshifters.
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Old 10-24-17, 05:43 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Wow.. I think I used to own that exact same color/model Trek 930.. great with a kiddie-seat mounted on the back and the gripshifters.
The gripshifters weren't my idea - I built this bike for my wife, and she was the one who wanted them. I'm not a fan, but she loves them.
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Old 10-24-17, 07:45 PM
  #54  
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Hehe, gripshifters, from a mechanic/enginering/cable run/materials and look plus installing POV I am not fan.

But from a cost, durability, intuitive use POV I can totally understand why people like them! I have never yet managed to break one or even worked on a broken one, they always work, are pretty forgiving for people not used to shifting with (any) other systems and cost next to nothing. I honestly wish someone would make nicer ones of almost all metal parts that allow really easy replacement of cable.
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Old 10-25-17, 07:22 PM
  #55  
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i think the weirdest thing about this thread is that it's assuming all other things are equal, which they aren't. the wheel sizes are still different, headset and shifter options are probably different.

simply put, it doesn't really matter because the wheels and many other parts are going to be so vastly different that it would be near impossible to build them up in such a way to compare equally.

all that said, i think what others have mentioned is the most important - these frames are built for different purposes... you should know if you've ridden different bikes before. they're just going to ride differently because of the geometry.
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Old 10-26-17, 03:29 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by bike_galpal View Post
i think the weirdest thing about this thread is that it's assuming all other things are equal, which they aren't. the wheel sizes are still different, headset and shifter options are probably different.

simply put, it doesn't really matter because the wheels and many other parts are going to be so vastly different that it would be near impossible to build them up in such a way to compare equally.

all that said, i think what others have mentioned is the most important - these frames are built for different purposes... you should know if you've ridden different bikes before. they're just going to ride differently because of the geometry.
I am not sure that in this case what you state is totally factual. Just look at the build linked above,.. imagine those with skinnier tires drop bars,.. and stripped from pannier and mudguards,.. getting pretty close to road type setup. On the frames I linked headsets are both 1 inch, could in theory be interchanged, the geometry is rather similar since the Rockhopper was intended for fast riding too. Most shifters would work equally well on both bikes, any bar or stem that would fit one would fit the other, top notch Mavic etc rims tend to be available in both sizes (perhaps not if you are looking for Carbon or something, but yeh that goes contrary to my entire premise/thread). I have ridden oh,.. 1000s? of different bikes both from a professional bike mechanic POV and before that from a person growing up in Holland pov. I would say the one thing that might not be quite comparable is the bottom bracket height, but here too the difference is not so huge that it could not be compensated by for (somewhat) by varying the crank length. The thing is I find more and more that while geometry IS important the other measurements of a frames (from a similar period) do not vary that much.. I mean I ride 51.5cm high frame at 183cm but also 58cm frame sometimes, I have made many measurements and a lot of stuff simply stays (almost) equal! By simply varying the length of seat post and stem, or moving the seat you can get same extension and distance between them on many frames. The axle to axle distance is usually is within 0.5 to 1.5 cm of each other on 80% of the bikes I work on. More and more I find frame material, tire selection, handlebar and seat selection make a potentially huge difference in actual ride qualities, a lot of the rest,.. is often quite psychological, especially for the layman/novice cyclist, not that I am suggesting you are one! I actually find this realization very liberating, that I can ride almost any frame I care to and make it do far more than people would perhaps expect from that bike "type".

Last edited by v1nce; 10-26-17 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 10-27-17, 03:15 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by v1nce , Quote:

".. imagine those with skinnier tires drop bars,.. and stripped from pannier and mudguards,.."

I am having fun with a rig like that. Not bad!
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