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Convert Mtn Bike to Road Bike?(8 posts)

Convert Mtn Bike to Road Bike?Jim Bennett
Jul 15, 2001 10:34 AM
Just wondering how feasible this would be. I have a very light hardtail mtn bike frame, at 3.1 lbs. Is it possible to just swap out the existing bar/fork with a road handlebar and fork? I guess that I will need new rims in order to run road tires, would that also necessitate replacing my current drivetrain with road components?

I'm thinking that the easiest approach would be to go with the road bar and fork, and leave the rest alone but I may be missing something. All things considered, what are the major differences between mtn bike and road frames? Is the geometry dramatically different?

Any ideas or advice is appreciated.
bad idea....C-40
Jul 15, 2001 11:01 AM
Too much time and money to be worth it. You'll spend a lot of money and still have a marginal setup.

If you just want to ride the road occasionally, get some narrow, high pressure tires and maybe an 11-21 cassette. Otherwise, buy a road bike.
Re bad idea....Mart
Jul 15, 2001 11:56 AM
I totally agree - if you really want a road bike then that is what you need to buy. If you don't want a mountain bike anymore you'd probably be better selling it and buying a road bike. As was mentioned skinny tyres would make it go faster and a different cassette would help but I wouldn't change it more than that.

re: Convert Mtn Bike to Road Bike?Bobbi
Jul 15, 2001 12:32 PM
I know a guy who spend over $1000 converting his mtn to a road bike. He was so proud of it. I thought he was an idiot.

When I want a good workout, I'll bring my mtb on short group rides. Even with slicks, I have to bust my ass to keep up.
bad ideaSpiderman
Jul 15, 2001 3:32 PM
I was trying to convert my mtn bike to a tourer when i ran into many of the problems you will. For example, you cant put 700c wheeels on a mtn frame because the brake posts will not line up. Also, to switch the drivetrain around would cost 400-500 alone (new BB, cranks, chainrings, pedals, cassette, r. der. front der, chain, freehub) it was way to expensive and i didn't even try it.
if you have the cash to spend and are looking for a fun, and challenging task, go for it. but it will be a big pain in the ass.
re: Convert Mtn Bike to Road Bike?MR.GT
Jul 15, 2001 6:47 PM
Hey Jim i have a GT i-drive and all i do is run semi-slicks on it. that way its my mountain or my road bike
Do it only if you want to save money...mk_42
Jul 15, 2001 9:35 PM
I just wrote an in depth response to your question and accidentally closed the window without posting so here is a compressed version.

Go for it if you want to go road for a minimum cost. It is fitting a square peg into a round hole but it can be done. You can achieve a road posture by changing the bars, stem, and seat post. It'll take some work but it can be done (I did it for about a year).

You'll get a lot of looks. People will look down on you for riding a frankenstein bike. Bike shops will not want to help you much. If you do solicit a bike shop's help about mixing parts etc. go to a family oriented shop that does cruisers, childrens bikes, etc. They have the tools and the know how and lack a lot of the snobbery. They're good for general bike/mechanical advice or for nonstandard bike chores (like making a road wheel from a mtb hubset you have). Manufacturers are not friendly either. Most of the parts will not fit together as the diameters and lengths are all slightly off so you could't mix them. You might have to force a few, or shim a few.

You will not make a superior/lighter bike with this path but you can get out riding in a short time. If you want to talk about some specifics of fitting this square peg in a round hole email me.

I did it - not too hardgusgus
Jul 16, 2001 5:58 AM
I converted an old steel hardtail to a road commuter. Spent about $250. You will not need new rims, you can get narrow 26" slicks. You will not need a new drivetrain, but you'll probably run out of gears on downhills. You will need a new bar, stem, brake levers, shifters. You may have trouble getting the stem/bars positioned high enough. My bike had cantilever brakes, I had to make sure the brake levers pulled enough pulled enough cable. I ordered bar-end shifters (friction) from Rivendell and they work fine. Overall, a fun project, and the bike works great for commuting and riding around, but the ride is not as nice as my road bike. If the cost is much higher, and you are going to do some serious riding, you may be better off buying a road bike - there are lots of nice bikes for less than $1,000.