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Convert Mountain Bike to Road Bike??(11 posts)

Convert Mountain Bike to Road Bike??cmaywalk
Jan 18, 2002 9:06 AM
I am interested in trying out road biking by training for and, hopefully, participating in the MS-150 in approx. 12 weeks. However, the only bike I have is a Trek 850 Mountain bike (which I currently ride very seldom). I don't want to spend a lot of money on a road bike until I know I'm going to like it and stick with it. Is it possible to change the tires, seat, etc... on my Trek to "make do" on the road for now? I appreciate any recommendations.
make domr_spin
Jan 18, 2002 9:14 AM
Change the knobby tires to pure slicks, leave the rest alone.

I'll bet you'll run into more than a few people on the MS ride who are riding mountain bikes, so don't worry about it. But you have to get rid of the knobby tires--they will really drag you down on the road.

You can't make a road bike out of a mountain bike--it's a totally different beast.
Not ideal, but certainly workablecory
Jan 18, 2002 9:56 AM
Don't let people scare you away from this. The result won't be ideal, but it's certainly possible and worth trying. I did a bunch of metric road centuries several years ago when a mountain bike was all I had, and still commute 20+ miles in summer on an old Bridgestone.
Biggest change is the tires--ditch the knobbies and get something smooth or smoothish in the 1.25-1.5 range. Pump them up to 80-100 psi and you'll be amazed at the difference.
Handlebars were never a problem for me, but if your flat bars bother you, a longer or lower stem plus bar-ends might let you get down to a more aero position, or a mustache bar if you want to spend the 50 bucks (plus brake levers and stuff--they won't fit MB levers).
I rode with the stock MB gearing, and it worked fine. Most people can't push a 53-11 anyway, so don't worry about that unless you really ARE undergeared--if you're spinning out in the big ring all the time, then it's time to change.
I've ridden the same course to work for years on all my bikes, and my times are about the same no matter what I'm on. It depends more or traffic and how I'm feeling than on whether I'm riding the Bstone, the single speed or the Allez.
re: Convert Mountain Bike to Road Bike??pa rider
Jan 18, 2002 11:21 AM
My first road bike was a MTB. I did this in 1992, so the cranks were different than today. I put smoke 1.9 tires or avecet 1.5 tires on. The comments everybody giving to use the new slick tires are correct.

The big difference I had in 1992 was that I could put a 50 tooth big chainring. I use to be able to do 18 average with the roadies in my club. Pissed them off because I could keep up a draft off them. They sucked my wheel a few times.

Check to see if you can get a bigger chainring. I was training for the "COBURN 101 MTB RACE", so I needed to do century rides. I hear that alot of people ride their MTB on the MS150. You're doing the right thing by starting a training program earily. Just remember to pace yourself and don't ride it like a race.

Good luck
Change tiressalmonwheel
Jan 18, 2002 11:44 AM
I would get som slicks that run at a higher pressure, which actually makes a nice commuter. Knobbies really do incease the drag, I think most other changes cost more than they are worth. I put slicks on my cheapo mountain bike for commuting, but then I bought an older ten speed for $25 bucks that is much better for road riding. Ever since I got it I barely ever use the mountain bike except in winter when things are iced up. I do long rides on the ten speed sometimes, if I go out straight form work on a whim, although I have never done 150 miles on it in one day.
Ditto the SlicksB2
Jan 18, 2002 11:54 AM
Just this year I converted an old Bontrager Race to a commuter bike. The coversion consisted of slicks and fenders. You do spin out pretty quickly on the descents with the mtn bike gearing, but it's not too bad.

My slicks (I'll have to check and see what they are) are only rated to 70psi. What mfgr/model are people recommending?

re: Convert Mountain Bike to Road Bike??kyvdh
Jan 18, 2002 1:39 PM
I have a Trek 8000 that I put slicks on and use barends for additional hand positions and it works fine. I'll admit I wish I could have a "dropped" position but still my son and I both did a century last Spring. has some city tires (Ritchey Tom Slicks I think) in 26 x 1 or 1.4 that you can pump up to 100psi. Seems like that would work well and the're on sale for $17. That would be a cheap try for you. You can spin out the gears downhill or when trying to draft a roadbike but I haven't found it to be something that comes up very often. Good luck and enjoy the riding.
re: Convert Mountain Bike to Road Bike??kyvdh
Jan 18, 2002 4:43 PM
Jan 18, 2002 2:37 PM
I would definitely reccomend Ritchey Tom Slicks. I have a set that are 1.5 width that really increased the speed and smoothness of my MTB commute. They also make a 1.0 width slick that would probably be an even better pick.

The 1.5s are only rated for 85 psi.
The problem is................Rusty McNasty
Jan 18, 2002 3:03 PM
I the MTB fits you, then you add road cranks, road stem, bars, etc, you will end up with a road bike that has a frame 5" too small for you! And the geometry will be all wrong, not to mention that it will still be as heavy as an anvil!
Really, if that's all you can afford, buy some decent (high pressure) road slicks, and just live with it.
No problemcoonass
Jan 18, 2002 6:14 PM
I have a Trek 8000; found a year-end sale on Mavic Cross Link wheels for $200.; added some Vredestein Slicks (90psi) and with the XTR crank, it does great; and provides a teriffic workout. I have a 'bud that has a Trek 8500, he added 650 wheels and problem for him either...btw, you'll absolutely have the time of your life on the MS150; we had almost 4,000 riders in 2001 and raised about $930,000.00 from our area. I'll be doing it again this year !!!