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Road Components on a Mountain Bike(10 posts)

Road Components on a Mountain BikeB2
Nov 19, 2002 12:27 PM
I'm thinking about installing some STI shifters on a mountain bike frame. I've got a couple of problems I'm trying to overcome before I make the leap.

1. The frame doesn't have shift lever boss' on the down tube. Are there any alternate methods to adjust the front derailleur cable tension?

2. The levers are not meant to be used with V-Brakes. Do those "Travel Agent" gizmos do the trick or are they just a gimmick?

re: Road Components on a Mountain BikeStraightblock
Nov 19, 2002 3:59 PM
1. Just use an in-line cable adjuster. Your LBS should have them.

2. Plenty of tandems & cyclocross bikes use STI levers with V-brakes by using Travel Agent or similar pulley systems. Again, check your LBS or an online specialty shop like Precision Tandems .
re: Road Components on a Mountain BikeAllUpHill
Nov 19, 2002 7:24 PM
I'm just kind of curious why you're putting road brifters on a mountain bike. Care to elaborate on this project? Sounds like there must an interesting explaination.
re: Road Components on a Mountain BikeB2
Nov 19, 2002 9:16 PM
Well I guess the main reason for the conversion is I'm just dinking around and trying to learn a little in the process. The excuse I'm using is that I don't want to go out buy another frame right now, I've got an Ultegra group laying around and I'm not entirely pleased with the mountain bike gearing when I use the bike as a commuter.

I have some hope (I don't know how realistic) of adapting the frame to accept a rack and panniers and maybe do a tour or two. I've done a bit homework to see if the cockpit can be configured similar to my road bike and it looks pretty doable with a 10cm quill stem elevated a bit. Although with a seat tube angle of 74 degrees, I am having some second thoughts.

I guess there's no reason whatsoever why I couldn't tour with it set up as a mountain bike. It might even be more appropriate all in all, but like I said, I guess I'm just looking for a winter project. I don't know, maybe I'm just more comfortable with a road setup (I hate to see that Ultegra group go to waste :-). Heck, if I don't like it, I can always put it back the way it was.

MTB frame with slicks isn't as comfortable as a roadie, IMHO NMSpunout
Nov 20, 2002 9:35 AM
If your main complaint is the gearingStraightblock
Nov 20, 2002 9:52 AM
why don't you put a 105 or Ultegra cassette in place of the wide range MTB cassette? Shimano road & mtb cassettes interchange on their freehubs, providing you're using the same number of cogs. A 12-23 or similar should give you a good selection of gears for commuting unless you've got some screaming downhills.

If you go ahead with the road bar & lever setup and you're using STI levers with the mtb V-brakes or cantilevers, you'll probably also need to add Travel Agent pulleys or something similar to give the levers enough pull to actuate the brakes. Otherwise, your brakes will feel spongy, and the levers may bottom against the handlebars before you get decent stopping power. Check over at the cyclocross forum for help with the brakes.
If your main complaint is the gearingB2
Nov 20, 2002 11:42 AM
Thanks for the advice.

Like I said I'm just futzin' around looking for an excuse to do an inexpensive project more than trying to address a problem.

The gearing issue for me has more to do with the chainring than the large jumps between cassette cogs. It seems like I spend a lot time in the 44/11 & 44/12. Not a big deal really. I was considering getting a 46T chainring. Maybe that's the ticket.

I am curious about how the comfort and handling are affected with a conversion such as this. Maybe I'll give it a go just to see :-).

If your main complaint is the gearinglaffeaux
Nov 20, 2002 11:51 AM
I've considered a similar project in the past, but never got around to it. You may want to check on the cyclocross board as this is often done to build a 'cross bike on a MTB frame.

I agree that the gears on a MTB are pretty crappy for commuting. I have a 46 front ring on my MTB, and even with knobbies I spend a lot of time in the higher gears. A 34 middle ring is just too low for extended road use.

Give a shot, why not. It would make a good commuter bike.
Makes about as much sense......Alexx
Nov 20, 2002 4:11 AM a screen door on a submarine!
Other issues that I would anticipate.Spoke Wrench
Nov 23, 2002 6:02 AM
1. Bottom bracket width. Most road bikes are 68mm, most mountain bikes are 73mm. The bottom bracket has to match both the frame and the crankset.

2. Front derailleur cage arc. Your mountain front derailleur won't work very well with the bigger road chain rings.

3. Front derailleur clamp size.

4. Front derailleur pull. Most mountain bikes use a top pull derailleur. Road front derailleurs are bottom pull. You might not have cable stops in the right places.

5. Stem/handlebar clamp interface.

Good luck!