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Bicycle Consolidation

Old 01-10-19, 12:19 AM
  #26  
gorillimo
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Originally Posted by IchbinJay View Post
That's probably the best advice I've heard yet. I agree about the flat bars too. For some reason, I find putting my hands on the metal close to the stem very comfortable and efficient. I used to do this a lot when my only ride was a single speed mountain bike.
Id never had a bike without drop bars until I tried North Road bars. You need to ride them a bit. As you get used to them, youll be surprised how many positions they provide. Really, how much time do you spend in the drops.....
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Old 01-10-19, 06:00 AM
  #27  
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Jones H-loop handlebars. I can't do one bike because I don't want to ride my good bike in the snow and salt. My good bike is a Giant ATX lite. It was listed as a MTB. I had the bike shop assemble it with the Jones bars and really like them. In the wide position, it's my Mountain Bike. The two inward hand positions and It's my road bike. The tires are a bit wimpy for off road, but I ride the pavement more often.
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Old 01-10-19, 07:27 AM
  #28  
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Another handlebar option, if you're interested in working with one of your current bikes or retrofitting another one, is a so-called butterfly bar (I've also seen it called a trekking bar). Here's my 1997 Trek 750 with one:


IMG_20170726_192116774 by jnjadcock, on Flickr


IMG_20170801_192847682 by jnjadcock, on Flickr

I took it off and put a MTB riser bar on it, but I'm going to try the butterfly bar again on it. There are a lot of hand position options, and you can get a butterfly bar in different sizes and shapes/contours. Some are a little more "squatty" front to rear, some are more rounded, almost circular-shaped. Mine are 570mm wide, which is about at the narrow range for me (I prefer at least that wide). But I have wide MTB bars (with bar ends) on my Roam and wide MTB bars (without bar ends) on my MTB, and I'd like something different on this 750, so I'm trying the butterfly again, but with thumb shifters this time (for more grip area on the straight sections).
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Old 01-11-19, 12:04 PM
  #29  
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Red face

Yeah, I'd go hardtail MTB frame and a really good 100mm air fork with lock-out. The fork should weigh in around 1580 grams.

Two wheel sets. Bar of choice.

If you spend time on the big wheel when riding these events, I'd do chainwheels that worked for both. Maybe keep a 3x8 with 11-34 out back and 22-34-48 up front.

Since you are trail riding, you don't need DH speed capable disc's and that will save some weight. A lot of hardtail MTB frames have lugs for both brakes, so you can do more with wheel options ... Also make it easier to acquire a somewhat older frame and build as you wish

Something with 1-1/8" steer will give you tons of light weight options for stem rise & reach and bars sizes.

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Old 01-11-19, 10:39 PM
  #30  
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Since bikes need maintenance and sometime things break, it would be good to keep a backup back, especially if you ride every day.
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Old 01-12-19, 09:46 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by BrocLuno View Post
Yeah, I'd go hardtail MTB frame and a really good 100mm air fork with lock-out. The fork should weigh in around 1580 grams.

Two wheel sets. Bar of choice.

If you spend time on the big wheel when riding these events, I'd do chainwheels that worked for both. Maybe keep a 3x8 with 11-34 out back and 22-34-48 up front.

Since you are trail riding, you don't need DH speed capable disc's and that will save some weight. A lot of hardtail MTB frames have lugs for both brakes, so you can do more with wheel options ... Also make it easier to acquire a somewhat older frame and build as you wish

Something with 1-1/8" steer will give you tons of light weight options for stem rise & reach and bars sizes.
I've considered this option as well. I used to ride a Raleigh M80 on the road with high pressure hybrid tires (Michelin Country Rocks) and was surprised at how fast it was on the road. As long as the trails weren't too wet, it handled well off road.
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Old 01-12-19, 10:42 AM
  #32  
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It's not the ideal road bike, but it's maybe the best do-all option ... With the right stem/bars and saddle/seatpost it will go a long ways toward your one-bike option
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Old 01-12-19, 03:07 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by IchbinJay View Post
(Michelin Country Rocks)
These are the best kept secret in 26" hybrid tires. They come in one width (1.75"/44mm), and only two diameters (26" and 27.5"), but they're very comfortable, smooth, fast, and inexpensive. Great bargain in hybrid tires. I wish they made a 29x1.75 (700x44). They'd be my next tire purchase.
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Old 01-12-19, 07:37 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
These are the best kept secret in 26" hybrid tires. They come in one width (1.75"/44mm), and only two diameters (26" and 27.5"), but they're very comfortable, smooth, fast, and inexpensive. Great bargain in hybrid tires. I wish they made a 29x1.75 (700x44). They'd be my next tire purchase.
I agree; they were great for light off road riding. The only thing I didn't like is that they were very thin under the tread. I was constantly picking thorns out. However, with some tire liners, they'd be great.

If I do end up getting a hybrid or gravel, I will probably seek out some WTB Allterrainasauras (or whatever they're called now). Years ago, I had these on a Bianchi Volpe and they were fantastic. The Volpe was too heavy and clumsy though. It also had awful toe overlap.
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Old 01-15-19, 06:22 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by IchbinJay View Post
Has anyone ever consolidated their fleet (quiver) down to one bike, especially a hybrid? Trying to get my stable down to one steed is my Holy Grail. Obviously, there are going to be some limitations in eliminating a mountain bike, but I'm mostly looking to replace my road bike since it gets the most use. I typically ride about 30-40 miles a week. I have already sold off my mountain bikes, but I really miss riding in the woods on occasion. Yet, I don't want to completely abandon a 30 mile road ride after work. Any ideas or suggestions are most welcome!
While this thread has been up, I picked up two bicycles to work on over the winter.
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Old 01-16-19, 07:25 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
While this thread has been up, I picked up two bicycles to work on over the winter.
While this thread has been up, my one bike has been to Mordor recruiting Orcs to crush all of your bikes.
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Old 01-18-19, 08:59 AM
  #37  
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Old 01-18-19, 07:09 PM
  #38  
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Imagine, you're on a group ride, clad in lycra with your A group bros. Suddenly, you hear a noise off to your right. In the woods, just behind the trees, emerges a man on his bike--his only bike. He's smiling from ear to ear as you slog away in your sweaty paceline. He bursts out of the trees and onto the road. He's riding right next to you, as if he belongs to the group. His audacity unnerves you. You and the chain gang drop the hammer, just to show him who's boss. Then, as suddenly as he appears, you see his bike and Camelback dissapper into the treeline. You and your pals laugh--for a bit.

Then it's back to the grind on your carbon bike that looks like everyone else's. Back to your kit that looks like everyone else's.

It’s then that you realize a garage full of bikes can't bring you happiness. You've spent thousands of dollars to ride as fast your pals when all you really wanted was the chance to ride like the wind. To ride where you want, when you want. You thought you needed every bike in the store to be happy, but all you really needed was a bike to set you free.

But it's too late now you realize. You're just a cog on a wheel with your club ride pals and it's a chain that can't be broken. They can’t be broken.
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Old 01-19-19, 01:45 PM
  #39  
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Maybe ...

But even if I don't have Type A buddies and never owned any Lycra, it would not be me. Trails are too different than pavement to make that work.

22T front granny and low pressure knobbies are useless on the asphalt, and 52T road gear and high pressure 1.25 tires are useless in the dirt on a climb ...

Pick the tool for the job
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Old 01-19-19, 02:50 PM
  #40  
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If you split the difference, they will come
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Old 01-20-19, 01:17 PM
  #41  
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Maybe ... It's not really the way I go though. I have bikes hanging the tractor shed for visiting relatives once a year. Two for just me, an eBike project to explore EV stuff. And my wife has two (one may become an eBike). I'm 70, so gears and saddles that work where they work mean something to me.

But, I get your point. I have a Trek 820 Antelope red-frame waiting for it's turn in the bike stand. Full on gravel thing. If it works well, I will loose some of them ...
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Old 01-20-19, 02:26 PM
  #42  
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All right, I give up. To be honest, you're right. I did the cross bike/one bike thing a few years ago without much success. At the time, I was riding a heavy ill-fitting Bianchi Volpe. Now, with the advent of lighter gravel bikes, I think I might have a shot at finding that happy medium. Of course, I'll be slower on the road and out gunned on the trails. However, I only get out about twice a week if I'm lucky and the terrain is very flat.
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Old 01-20-19, 08:44 PM
  #43  
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Aw, never give up. You can do it with more modern stuff

My world is not flat. Yeah, sure the Silverado trail only drops 150' in 18 miles, but it is up and down all the way along. Some mile long flat'ish stretches, but mostly it undulates along. And that is the flattest route around for me ...

Everything else is serious hills in every direction but one ...

Your case sounds different. Sounds like a well thought out gravel bike will work for you (mostly), and that is a good thing
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Old 01-21-19, 08:21 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by BrocLuno View Post
Aw, never give up. You can do it with more modern stuff

My world is not flat. Yeah, sure the Silverado trail only drops 150' in 18 miles, but it is up and down all the way along. Some mile long flat'ish stretches, but mostly it undulates along. And that is the flattest route around for me ...

Everything else is serious hills in every direction but one ...

Your case sounds different. Sounds like a well thought out gravel bike will work for you (mostly), and that is a good thing
Thanks for the words of encouragement! I'd definitely like to hear from more people who've done this though.
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Old 01-21-19, 12:29 PM
  #45  
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Wink

Look in Hybrid and Gravel forums. There are lots of conversion bikes. I just ran across a thread in Classic & Vintage about drop bar conversions on MTB's last night. Quite a few pictures.

I'm sure it's all over the country, and the MFG's are just following what the public is doing and trying to sell something ...

As I see it, the main difference is in the seat stays and the chain stays, and maybe fork rake... The MTB's all have longer chain stays so they can be ridden up steep slopes. Road bikes suck the wheel right up to the seatpost and would be unable to climb as steeply. Fork rake is called slack in MTB world, but it's still about how lively the front end is. Forks w/ or w/o offset axles can fix some of this in short order if you wish

There are some inspiring build-outs in this thread: Multi-Track

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Old 01-21-19, 04:06 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by BrocLuno View Post
Fork rake is called slack in MTB world, but it's still about how lively the front end is. Forks w/ or w/o offset axles can fix some of this in short order if you wish
There may be multiple uses for some of these terms. Fork rake, also called offset, is how far forward of the steering axis the front hub's axle is. There is more information posted on this blog. The term "slack" is often used to describe head tube angles (also described on that blog) that are "slacker" than traditional. There's no real set definition that I'm aware of, but it seems to be used to describe head angles less than about 69 or 70 degrees. The lower the angle, the further away from vertical the steering axis gets. All this stuff definitely influences how a bicycle "feels" or "handles".

(This is one reason I'm a huge proponent in a test ride before a bike purchase...it's sometimes difficult to predict how the bike will feel out on the road just by looking at a few frame geometry numbers.)
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Old 01-21-19, 07:35 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by BrocLuno View Post
Look in Hybrid and Gravel forums. There are lots of conversion bikes. I just ran across a thread in Classic & Vintage about drop bar conversions on MTB's last night. Quite a few pictures.

I'm sure it's all over the country, and the MFG's are just following what the public is doing and trying to sell something ...

As I see it, the main difference is in the seat stays and the chain stays, and maybe fork rake... The MTB's all have longer chain stays so they can be ridden up steep slopes. Road bikes suck the wheel right up to the seatpost and would be unable to climb as steeply. Fork rake is called slack in MTB world, but it's still about how lively the front end is. Forks w/ or w/o offset axles can fix some of this in short order if you wish

There are some inspiring build-outs in this thread: Multi-Track
Thanks for the tip. Some of those refurbished Multi-Tracks are quite nice looking--very trail worthy too.
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Old 01-21-19, 07:36 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
There may be multiple uses for some of these terms. Fork rake, also called offset, is how far forward of the steering axis the front hub's axle is. There is more information posted on this blog. The term "slack" is often used to describe head tube angles (also described on that blog) that are "slacker" than traditional. There's no real set definition that I'm aware of, but it seems to be used to describe head angles less than about 69 or 70 degrees. The lower the angle, the further away from vertical the steering axis gets. All this stuff definitely influences how a bicycle "feels" or "handles".

(This is one reason I'm a huge proponent in a test ride before a bike purchase...it's sometimes difficult to predict how the bike will feel out on the road just by looking at a few frame geometry numbers.)
After all these years you'd think I'd be able to learn some of the lingo. So just to clarify, I'd probably be looking for something with "slack" geometry just because I find it handles better off road, especially going down some hills and embankments.
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Old 01-21-19, 08:45 PM
  #49  
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Yeah, but in the MTB world, "slack" is pretty slow handling compared to say the average "Gravel" bike. It is an enhancement if doing big drops with fast run-outs. But often considered somewhat of drawback if doing quick flowing technical trails. An advantage in rough stuff (does not get knocked off line easily), but is not considered "quick" or "lively" ...

I think dropping by a LBS and taking one for a ride would answer all your questions. Since I'm rarely over 25 MPH on dirt, I do not like slow handling. If it was like when I rode off-road motorcycles (a lot), I was a neutral guy. Only in desert bikes, where 100 mph was possible, was I looking for "slack"
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Old 01-22-19, 07:06 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by IchbinJay View Post
After all these years you'd think I'd be able to learn some of the lingo. So just to clarify, I'd probably be looking for something with "slack" geometry just because I find it handles better off road, especially going down some hills and embankments.
Maybe. Early last year, I bought a new 2018 Giant ARX. You can read more about the bike, and why I returned it, here. In short, the geometry made for slightly "weird" handling to me. It had a relatively slack 68 degree head tube angle as I recall, but it didn't have a high fork rake to move the axle forward, so it had a ton of trail (nearly 100mm). This made for a lot of "flop" -- meaning the fork would want to flop over to the left or the right at slower speeds. The bike gained a ton of stability at high speed, but it wasn't very stable at low speed.

I ended up returning the bike and bought a 2018 Roam instead. The Roam has a more conventional frame geometry, with a head angle of 70.5 degrees I think and a trail of 79mm. There's a lot less "flop", less self-steer, and more conventional handling with this bike. The head angle isn't as steep as racing bikes (which are often in the 73-74 degree range), but it's also not as slack as it was on that ARX or other types of mountain bikes. It seems that a slight difference in head angle makes a big difference in how something rides.

My biggest mistake with the ARX was letting the numbers tell me what I wanted. After reading this or that, I just knew that I wanted a "slack" bike and it was the best for me and so on. The test ride for 30 seconds around the parking lot to check frame fit wasn't nearly enough to let the handling of the bike reveal itself. That happened only after I got it home and started riding it and thinking, "wait a minute...this feels kind of strange..." I don't say this to say that a slack bike is good or bad -- but it probably will ride a little different from what you're used to, so give it a good test ride before purchase.

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