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Mtn. to Road Conversion(11 posts)

Mtn. to Road Conversiondez182
Aug 12, 2002 9:28 PM
About a month ago, someone posted a web site that had specifics on making a mountain frame somewhat road-worthy. Does anyone have that address, or just advice on how to do it? I have a Specialized Stumpjumper with Mavic 517 wheels, an XTR crankset. What are the narrowest tires that will fit on my rims? Any help at all would be great. Thanx.
I had 26"x1.2's and now will be installing 26"x1.0's...jtferraro
Aug 13, 2002 4:21 AM
I remember that website too but don't have the URL handy. I'll see if I can find it. Basically, the tires are the biggy. You want to go from a fat, knobby, low-pressure tire to a skinny, slick, high-pressure tire. Since you have an XTR crankset, your large ring should have 46 teeth, which will be great on the road. You also want to see if you can lock out your suspension or stiffen it up as much as possible! You also might want to flip your stem so that the seat is higher than the handlebar/grips. Good luck!

re: Mtn. to Road Conversionkyvdh
Aug 13, 2002 4:34 AM
I don't know of the address you are looking for so I can't help there. I used a Trek 8000 mtn bike for awhile on the road and it really did pretty well with road tires. In winter I put the knobbies back on and it made for a good training bike on the road.
As far as tire width. If you measure the inside width of your rim from bead to bead, just make sure your tire width is greater than this. I was able to run down to 1 inch tires but I had a really narrow rim.
One other suggestion. If you don't have bar ends, I would suggest getting some or some inexpensive aero bars just to give you some different hand positions. That was perhaps the biggest drawback to the mtn bike for me. I have since sold my mtn bike and bought a road bike but I put in several thousand miles on the mtn bike and it worked just fine.
Good luck and enjoy the road.

re: Mtn. to Road ConversionTommyRides
Aug 13, 2002 6:08 AM
I just bought a "performance hybrid" bike by Devinci. It is essentially road frame, road geometry, road componentry, flat MTB bar. I put bar ends on which help, but there still is that dilemma of hand positioning on long rides and the whole aerodynamic thing.

I just noticed in the Nasbar catalog, that they have a "freak" looking bar from GT which is a flat bar essentially, with bar ends built-in. You could conceivably flip it over, use your MTB shifters and levers, and have pseudo "drops" on a mountain bike. The only bad thing is that the bar seems a little wide...for $9.95 it may be worth a try!

Good luck!
re: Mtn. to Road ConversionGTDave
Aug 13, 2002 6:13 AM
I converted an old MTB to a beater road bike, and besides the narrow tires, (26x1.25) I swapped the stock 46 big ring for a 50. Because I had Acera front der which I had to re-position. I had to set the limits on the bottom travel to block out the granny ring. I figured anything on the road that I could not climb with a 36x28 I would need an airlift for anyway, and the added top end was worth it. I also found an old 150mm x 0degree rise stem for a couple of bucks. That changed my position pretty significantly for the better.
My Acera chainrings are welded on!Humma Hah
Aug 13, 2002 2:28 PM
No way can I change them except to pitch the set and put something decent on.
My Acera chainrings are welded on!GTDave
Aug 14, 2002 5:52 AM
Again to the junk pile for an old rsx crank that trickled down from a buddy who upgraded and who does not have the same "you might need it sometime" mentality as me. I did toss the POS Acera crank though.

I used to travel a lot for work and had to spend a week or two in any given town/country. I would go to every LBS I could find, buy a water bottle and ask if they had a junk bin I could go through. I ended up with a good bit of (crap/gems) that way. It beat watching cable in some hotel.
No reason to make this complicatedSilverback
Aug 13, 2002 8:08 AM
I've done several...make that "many"...50+ mile pavement rides on a couple of mountain bikes, back when that was all I had. It's not a mystery--as somebody else has said, the tires are the big change. I stick with 1.25s or 1.4s rather than 1.0s, but I weight 225. You might be able to go smaller (but there's not much advantage, and you get a much harder ride).
Ordinary MB bars with bar-ends will give you a change of hand positions, which is all you need. Personally I WOULDN'T try to get the butt-up, head-down roadie position, but I don't even use that on my road bike. Too uncomfortable for me. And I probably wouldn't change the gearing. If you have a 46 tpoth big ring and an 11- or 12-tooth small cog, that's a 100 or 108-inch gear. If you NEED more, fine, but most people can't even turn that.
No reason to make this complicated (true enough)GTDave
Aug 13, 2002 10:08 AM
Run what you brung...
Tires are the biggest thing
The Giant Iguana 630 I picked up for $100 was a purpose-built conversion. I used parts I had laying around, or from the gimmie bin at my LBS. I went with the 50 because the freewheel was 13-28 and because I had it in my junk bin anyway. It's just details anyway. Besides, I'm kinda hooked on frankensteining (is that a word?) bikes they're a bit cheaper than cars and I can work on them in the house.
I'm glad you said that.Spoke Wrench
Aug 13, 2002 11:33 AM
A bigger gear than you can turn has no value. I've talked to so many people who are SURE that the only thing that is keeping them from going as fast as someone else is lack of a higher gear. Or a bike with 650 wheels can never be as fast as one with 700's because "You obviously go farther with every revolution on 700's."
I've stuck 26 x 1.25 slicks on one ...Humma Hah
Aug 13, 2002 2:27 PM
... which boosted speed by about 1.5 mph on a particular flat TT loop.

How skinny the tires are is not so important as losing the knobbies and pumping 'em up nice and hard.

The other frequently-recommended thing is disabling suspension, which robs kinetic energy. If it has sprung forks with locks, lock 'em. If it is a FS bike, uh, maybe you need a better choice of starting material.