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Can I convert My Road Bike ?

Old 01-16-20, 03:25 PM
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BradleyL 
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Can I convert My Road Bike ?

I guess I will just put it out there. I was trained on a mountain bike with old school 26" wheels. After a time of inactivity, I went back to a mountain bike, tried a fixed gear, and then went to a road bike.
I decided that I am better suited to a hybrid sport and desire to get my "butt" in gear and ride.
I currently own a BMC Grand Fondo gf02 with a Shimano 105 group set. Can I convert my BMC to a hybrid sport bike with all terrain 26" 32c wide tires or is this a flakey idea ?
All comments appreciated.
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Old 01-16-20, 03:30 PM
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Hi, and welcome.

You couldn't really convert this bike to use 26" wheels, if that's what you're asking, no. You'd need SUPER long reach brake calipers to reach the smaller diameter rims, and those wouldn't work very well. You'd also lower the whole bike by a good bit, and you'd be at a higher risk of pedal strikes in corners (a dangerous thing). I would recommend selling the BMC and buying a true hybrid bike.
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Old 01-16-20, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BradleyL View Post
Can I convert my BMC to a hybrid sport bike with all terrain 26" 32c wide tires or is this a flakey idea ?
How are you going to stop when your brakes do not reach the rim on the 26" wheels? I guess you could stop with your heel like the flintstones.


You are better off selling the bike and buying what you'll ride.

Edit: Beaten by hokiefyd
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Old 01-16-20, 03:44 PM
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Would staying with the 622 x 15c wheel and replacing the tires with a 32c elicit the same response ?
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Old 01-16-20, 03:46 PM
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Anything is possible with the sawzall & angle grinder!!!

This was my installing a 20x4.25 "FAT" tire onto my road bike.




As far as doing a drop bar to flat bar conversion. It is very possible to do. But, there are a bunch of caveats to work around, for example dealing with "brifters", as well as Shimano changing derailleur pull between Road and MTB for 10 & 11 speed.

I wouldn't change wheel and tire size from 700c to 26" unless you have disc brakes. Some people, however, have mounted 650b tires on vintage steel frames.

You could find a frame you like... and move the components over onto the new frame, but you'll have to deal with road/hybrid/mtb differences.
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Old 01-16-20, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BradleyL View Post
Would staying with the 622 x 15c wheel and replacing the tires with a 32c elicit the same response ?
I think the stock tires on that bike are 28mm, so installing 32mm tires would be a relatively minor change. You wouldn't need different brakes or any other parts. As long as your frame, fork, and brake calipers have clearance for the very slightly larger tires, you shouldn't have any problems with this swap.
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Old 01-16-20, 04:55 PM
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If it were me, rather than go thru the gyrations necessary to convert your road bike, I'd be looking for a used mtn.bike to convert, or a used hybrid. Converting a road bike with all that is involved may get costly and time consuming. Plus, another bike in the garage can't be a bad thing! If you like to work on bikes, there are usually any number of used, older, fully rigid mtn.bikes on CL and Fleabay, as well as used hybrids.

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Old 01-16-20, 11:38 PM
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Is yours the 105 disc version? If so there's a chance to fit 26" wheels and tires, as 26x2.3 has about the same diameter as 700x23. Lateral tire clearance may be an issue, though.

Otherwise look for 700x30-32C gravel tires, a flat handlebar, flat bar brake levers with road pull (Shimano Tiagra are economical and look just fine). 105 is probably 10 or 11 speed, so check out Microshift thumb shifters with the correct indexing. Reverting to a road bike would also be fairly easy if you retained the STI brake-shift levers and drop bars.

Last edited by PDKL45; 01-17-20 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 01-17-20, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by PDKL45 View Post
Is yours the 105 disc version? If so there's a chance to fit 26" wheels and tires, as 26x2.3 has about the same diameter as 700x23. Lateral tire clearance may be an issue, though.

Otherwise look for 700x30-32C gravel tires, a flat handlebar, flat bar brake levers with road pull (Shimano Tiagra are economical and look just fine as well as shifters). 105 is probably 10 or 11 speed, so check out Microshift thumb shifters with the correct indexing. Reverting to a road bike would also be fairly easy if you retained the STI brake-shift levers and drop bars.
Nope the BMC is equipped with 105 caliper brakes. Thanks,I appreciate the information.
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Old 01-17-20, 12:48 AM
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Maybe look for a bike swap? Or sell the BMC to fund the purchase of a dedicated hybrid? In the end it may be easier, due to geometry issues, not to mention the hassle of changing all of the components.
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Old 01-17-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by PDKL45 View Post
Maybe look for a bike swap? Or sell the BMC to fund the purchase of a dedicated hybrid? In the end it may be easier, due to geometry issues, not to mention the hassle of changing all of the components.
Thanks.As this seems to be the general consensus, I will trash the conversion idea and focus on a dedicated sport hybrid.
I have been out of the main street bike world for quite a while and would appreciate recommendations on a decent "solid" sport hybrid and the components to look for.
Can one be had for $500 to $1000 ?
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Old 01-17-20, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by BradleyL View Post
Thanks.As this seems to be the general consensus, I will trash the conversion idea and focus on a dedicated sport hybrid.
I have been out of the main street bike world for quite a while and would appreciate recommendations on a decent "solid" sport hybrid and the components to look for.
Can one be had for $500 to $1000 ?
Yes, one can certainly be purchased in that price range. If buying new, I think the $700-800 range is a very good place to be in terms of value. You can certainly spend less than that and you can certainly spend more than that, but I think the value for what you spend is very good in that middle range (as it usually is with many goods or services). Look at bikes like the Trek FX, Giant Escape, Specialized Sirrus, and Cannondale Quick for mainline brand aluminum bikes. The Jamis Coda is in this same market niche offering a Reynolds 531 chrome-moly steel frame. That would be high on my list personally, due its steel frame.
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Old 01-17-20, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
Yes, one can certainly be purchased in that price range. If buying new, I think the $700-800 range is a very good place to be in terms of value. You can certainly spend less than that and you can certainly spend more than that, but I think the value for what you spend is very good in that middle range (as it usually is with many goods or services). Look at bikes like the Trek FX, Giant Escape, Specialized Sirrus, and Cannondale Quick for mainline brand aluminum bikes. The Jamis Coda is in this same market niche offering a Reynolds 531 chrome-moly steel frame. That would be high on my list personally, due its steel frame.
Thank you. I appreciate the recommendations.
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Old 01-19-20, 10:14 PM
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After doing more searching on the Web I changed my mind and pulled the trigger on a MTB in lieu of the Hybrid bike.
My wife said that i am fickle, and perhaps I am.
I ordered a 2018 Jamis Dragonslayer 26+ from Jenson USA. I bought a used Jamis chrome molly frame MTB years ago and really like the fit and feel.
The purchase was kinda knee jerk reaction, so I am hoping I didn't make a mistake.
The BMC was put up for sale on Craigslist, and thus far I have received only offers from scammers.
I appreciate the help.
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Old 01-20-20, 08:04 AM
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This Dragonslayer? Looks like a fun bike!
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Old 01-21-20, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Anything is possible with the sawzall & angle grinder!!!

This was my installing a 20x4.25 "FAT" tire onto my road bike.




As far as doing a drop bar to flat bar conversion. It is very possible to do. But, there are a bunch of caveats to work around, for example dealing with "brifters", as well as Shimano changing derailleur pull between Road and MTB for 10 & 11 speed.

I wouldn't change wheel and tire size from 700c to 26" unless you have disc brakes. Some people, however, have mounted 650b tires on vintage steel frames.

You could find a frame you like... and move the components over onto the new frame, but you'll have to deal with road/hybrid/mtb differences.
Unless I missed a joke with the cut up tubes, I'd be curious if you have a thread or link for this build...
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Old 01-21-20, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
Unless I missed a joke with the cut up tubes, I'd be curious if you have a thread or link for this build...
The build was over here.

https://ratrodbikes.com/forum/index....go-bike.87277/

Unfortunately all the photos are no longer there, but here they are.

Here's the album with a few more pics.
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/13521313



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Old 01-21-20, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The build was over here.

https://ratrodbikes.com/forum/index....go-bike.87277/

Unfortunately all the photos are no longer there, but here they are.

Here's the album with a few more pics.
https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/13521313



Pretty cool! Thanks!!!
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Old 01-28-20, 06:38 PM
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The Dragon Slayer Was Delivered - Too Large

I received the Dragon Slayer today, in a box that measured 70" x 34" x 11". The bike came pretty much fully assembled. After installing the front wheel/tire, I stood over the top tube for fit and the tube fit tight against my crotch standing flat footed.
The bike seems to be too large for me. I was under the understanding that the rider should have 3 to 4 inches of clearance when straddling the top tube.
After calling Jenson, they agreed to accept a return. As they were all out of the small at the discounted price, the rep stated he could discount the price on a Marin Bobcat Trail 5. The smallest bike size offered is a medium. The standover height is 28". I have an inseam of 29".
Would there be enough clearance and is this a decent MTB ?
The Bobcat is built on an aluminum frame and rolls on 29's.
A bit of guidance would be very much appreciated.

​​​​​​https://www.jensonusa.com/Marin-Bobc...5-29-Bike-2020
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Old 01-28-20, 08:06 PM
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For mountain biking, you generally do want a little more top tube stand-over clearance than you would if picking a road bike. Three to four inches is probably a bit more than I think is typically recommended. I think one to two inches would be safe. If your top tube really is crammed up against your groceries, and you really do intend to ride the bike off the road and on legitimately uneven terrain, you might need some more clearance. If, however, you think much of your riding will be mostly on the road, then the stand-over clearance on the Jamis might be okay. You could also install shorter tires on it (if it has super large knobby tires on it) for a small reduction in height. Sometimes that makes all the difference.
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Old 01-28-20, 10:51 PM
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The Dragonslayer Pro is still available in 15" (assuming you got the 17"). I'd go for that one as you'd always wonder about the Dragonslayer if you settled for the Bobcat.

Jamis lists the stand over on the 15" as 29.7" and the 17" as 31.2" FYI
https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/dragonslayer26sport.html
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Old 01-29-20, 02:24 PM
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With an inseam of only 29" I am not certain that even the 15, at a standover height of 29 plus, would fit.
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Old 01-29-20, 04:24 PM
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The bobcat has a lower standover in Medium (29in = 28.1", 27.5in = 27.8").
https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/20-bobcat-trail-5

You originally wanted a hybrid, are you just going to be riding your bike on pavement and easy dirt trails or actual singletrack? For technical riding, I'd agree that you'd want more space, between the top bar, but you originally wanted a hybrid, so you may just be riding on pavement. I'd also measure your standover a few different ways to make sure you are doing it right. How is the reach on the dragonslayer that you have feel? Does it feel long? I've had bikes where the reach was perfect, but the standover was high, but I always tilt the bike when mounting / dismounting so it never affected me when riding. Standing flat footed with the bike straight was close on these bikes, but I was comfortable otherwise. Going down a size would of made the reach too short.

Also going to a non plus 26 tire will lower the standover.
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Old 01-29-20, 09:48 PM
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I want to be able to ride on dirt, pavement and old trails in the Pa mountains. The reach on the dragonslayer seemed too long.
Would a hybrid be capable of traveling the old trails ? I won't be doing technical riding, but would like to navigate over some rocks and small limbs, if the situation arrises.
With that in mind, would the hybrid handle my list ?
Or...how does the Orbea Alma H50 29" look ? https://www.jensonusa.com/Orbea-Alma-H50-29-Bike-2019

Last edited by BradleyL; 01-29-20 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 01-30-20, 01:10 AM
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The Orbea looks nice and the measurements are better:

Orbea Alma H50 (Small 29")
Standover = 715mm (28.15")
Reach = 380mm (14.96")
Stack = 600mm

Dragonslayer (Medium 26+")
Standover = 793mm (31.22")
Reach = 411mm (16.19")
Stack = 600mm

I like old rigid mountain bikes and gravel bikes for what you described. A mountain bike can fit wider tires than a hybrid so you'd probably be happier with a hardtail mountain bike, but both can do what you describe.

I like the Alma much better than the bobcat and it has a nicer fork and components (SLX > Deore).

Last edited by katsup; 01-30-20 at 01:16 AM.
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