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Converting my Scott Mountain bike for the commute.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I need to convert my 21 speed Scott Tahoma Mt bike for road use for my ride to and from work. I would like to buy a full road/racer but with two children under 3 spare cash is like golddust.

 

I have a budget of £100.00 and I would like some help on the best way I can make my trusty Scott a 'great' road bike.

 

I was thinking tyres but can I get 26 inch racer wheels? would this be the right configuration?  i have a straight handle bar with bar ends can I fit a tri bar?

 

Any help would be much appriciated!

 

Thank you in advance!

post #2 of 15

FWIW.  Presuming that you have a 4-arm 104BCD crank, you can-or-should get a 46t-or-48t chainring to replace what is presumably a 42t outer chainring.  46t chainrings are common ... I think that only Shimano makes a 48t 104BCD chainring (available in either steel or aluminum) ...

 

You could replace your current handlebars ... BUT, you might need different shifters and/or brake levers.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "racer wheels."   Wheels don't have to be expensive, but they would probably exceed the bulk of your £100 budget.

 

I presume that your Scott is a Hardtail ... at the extreme, you could re-do it the way I rebuilt my Mongoose Hardtail with 700c wheels & Drop handlebars:

 

 

Mongoose_7n20fn.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgaskell82 View Post

I need to convert my 21 speed Scott Tahoma Mt bike for road use for my ride to and from work. I would like to buy a full road/racer but with two children under 3 spare cash is like golddust.

 

I have a budget of £100.00 and I would like some help on the best way I can make my trusty Scott a 'great' road bike.

 

I was thinking tyres but can I get 26 inch racer wheels? would this be the right configuration?  i have a straight handle bar with bar ends can I fit a tri bar?

 

Any help would be much appriciated!

 

Thank you in advance!



The difference in road bikes and and mountain bikes are mainly rolling resistance and wind resistance.  No matter what you do you can never make a MTB bike as aero as a RB the frame geometry is to tall.  For commuting I would simply change the tires.  Go to your LBS and get the skinniest smoothest tires you can fit on your rims.  The tires alone will make the most difference.  You can also drop and flip your stem.  If your bars angle up try to angle them forward, you will have to adjust your brakes and shifters.  These adjustments will drop your body and create less wind resistance.  This is what I do to mt MTB when I set it up for a race that consist of fire roads and rolling resistance and drag need to be changed.  

 

If you have suspension lock it out or pump it up so it doesn't move.  You wont need it on the road and will rob you of power.

 

I would not worry about changing gears you should have plenty. 

 

You could get aerobars/tri bars but I personally would not.  They are harder to steer and you are still up high on a MTB frame.  They will help with drag but I would not spend the money.

 

This is all I would do anything else would be waisting money (in my opinion).  If you like road riding and want to save energy or go faster than save your$ and buy a road bike when you can.

post #4 of 15

I recently converted my older mountain bike for commuting.  I didn't spend too much, and I really like how it turned out.  Just be realistic with what you do to your mountain bike, because it will never be a true road bike.  Having a unique project is fun though.  When I did my bike I went with a single speed set-up with a 46 tooth front ring and a 16 tooth rear cog.

 

Here's a thread with pics:

http://www.cyclingforums.com/t/488725/single-speed-trek-4500-commuter

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by alfeng View Post

FWIW.  Presuming that you have a 4-arm 104BCD crank, you can-or-should get a 46t-or-48t chainring to replace what is presumably a 42t outer chainring.  46t chainrings are common ... I think that only Shimano makes a 48t 104BCD chainring (available in either steel or aluminum) ...

You could replace your current handlebars ... BUT, you might need different shifters and/or brake levers.

I'm not sure what you mean by "racer wheels."   Wheels don't have to be expensive, but they would probably exceed the bulk of your £100 budget.

I presume that your Scott is a Hardtail ... at the extreme, you could re-do it the way I rebuilt my Mongoose Hardtail with 700c wheels & Drop handlebars:

350x229px-LL-5d35dc0e_Mongoose_7n20fn.jpeg










and you get a Road Bike with compact geometry, great !
post #6 of 15

Road slicks for MTB wheels can be found pretty easily, cheaply and will make you much more efficient. I was in a similar boat years ago; I had one bike and didn't want to buy another. Now I have 5 different bikes.

 

For a time I had road slicks and aero bars on my mountain bike and it was a pretty fast setup. Aero bars on MTB is actually not that strange of an option, I watched a bit of the "Ride the Divide" video on netflix. The race followed the north american continental divide, (almost) all the riders used mountain bikes with aero bars. I believe that they used the aero bars for long distance comfort as well as small aero boost. Riding aero is, however, not advisable when commuting through the city or other busy areas.

post #7 of 15

I would agree with mmmhills on the setup for mtb on road conditions. I used to commute on a motobacane 600 ht. I changed the tires, and added some bar ends to help with the long distances. The bar ends are pushed forward allowing me to get lower in the ride which does make it a bit quicker. I kept the front suspension though as it seemed to help out with the horrible road holes I hit b/c I was still learning to ride on the street. yes ridding on the street in traffic is a bit different then on the trails so be safe and best of luck.

 

When you save up enough cash, I do recommend getting yourself a road bike or a cross bike, it'll cut your time considerably  

 

 

post #8 of 15

BTW.  Here is one of my "project" (i.e., "work in progress") bikes which is awaiting cables (and, of course, the rear brake calipers + handlebar tape) ...

 

NYCBikes_Camelsback.bmp

 

If you are a wise shopper, then here is something else which can be done to a Hardtail for under £100 ...

 

  • you can probably get a USED set of 10-speed Campagnolo shifters* which are in good condition (you can always pay more) on eBay for about £65 + postage ...
  • the Drop handlebars will cost you another £10+ (you can always spend a lot more than that, of course!) ...
    • £5 for handlebar tape
    • new cables & housing may be necessary -- allow £10+
    • the Road crankset certainly isn't necessary, but could be a future option ... many of the Road parts which you might fit onto your bike could be eventually moved to another bike in the future

 

Road "slicks" + new tubes will be an additional cost, of course.

 

* 10-speed Campagnolo shifters can be readily indexed to 8-and-9-speed Shimano drivetrains ...

 

SHIMANO_CAMPAGNOLO_shift-ratios.jpg

 

 A 10-speed Campagnolo shifter + 8-/9-speed Shimano rear derailleur == 8-speed Shimano indexing

 

  • my initial mismatch of a set of Campagnolo shifters with a Shimano drivetrain was with a 9-speed, XT-750 rear derailleur + 8-speed (older, unramped) 12-30 XT Cassette ...
    • I deemed the indexing to be perfect ...
  • about the same time (thanks to SANTANA TANDEMS), I read about using the hubbub.com connection to create 9-speed Shimano indexing when using a 10-speed Campagnolo shifter + 9-speed Shimano rear derailleur
  • someone else in this Forum posted the link to an earlier version of Chris Juden's matrix (above) for mixing-and-matching Campagnolo shifters with Shimano rear derailleurs

 

A 10-speed Campagnolo shifter + 9-speed Shimano RD using a hubbub.com RD cable connection (see FOLLOWING picture) == 9-speed Shimano indexing

 

Hubbub.jpg

 

  • I used the hubbub.com cable anchoring for several years

    

  

post #9 of 15

A simple inexpensive solution is to buy a butterfly shaped "trekking bar."  That way you can get lower by reaching for the more distant grip area. If you want to get really aero, imagine flipping this around so the open grip area is even farther away. Then add some vertical bar ends and you can stretch out like on a TT bike.  With slicker road tires, you'll be fast enough for commuting. (I've done it with my bike below.)  Nashbar sells this trekking bar for $22.

 

Last weekend I was on a 28 mile group ride over paved trails and a 73 year old guy on a full suspension 26" mountain bike had no problem leading us at 16-22MPH most of the time. I was on a carbon fiber road bike and had no problem keeping up, but he still impressed me.  A younger guy (40-50?) on a mountain hard tail was somewhat slower and I had to fall back a little to make sure he could find the way back.

 

350x350px-LL-3fbf2244_trekkingbar.jpeg

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanG View Post

A simple inexpensive solution is to buy a butterfly shaped "trekking bar."  That way you can get lower by reaching for the more distant grip area. If you want to get really aero, imagine flipping this around so the open grip area is even farther away. Then add some vertical bar ends and you can stretch out like on a TT bike.  With slicker road tires, you'll be fast enough for commuting. (I've done it with my bike below.)  Nashbar sells this trekking bar for $22.

 

Last weekend I was on a 28 mile group ride over paved trails and a 73 year old guy on a full suspension 26" mountain bike had no problem leading us at 16-22MPH most of the time. I was on a carbon fiber road bike and had no problem keeping up, but he still impressed me.  A younger guy (40-50?) on a mountain hard tail was somewhat slower and I had to fall back a little to make sure he could find the way back.

 

350x350px-LL-3fbf2244_trekkingbar.jpeg


OOOO, that looks interesting. I'd have to set it to sit lower though. I've become very used to my drop bars now and I actually prefer the drop bars over the hoods, even on long rides. Can you submit some more pic's with different profiles (like from the side, and such)? I want to see the bars from different angles if that's ok? Also where do you find yourself ridding mostly; on the bar end with the break and shifter or up in the curve part in the front?

 

As you can tell, You've peaked my interest here :D

 

post #11 of 15

OK, I completed my photo assignment. As a professional photographer I just want to say that these are about as bad as I am capable of doing but I really didn't feel like putting much effort into this. (Such as setting up a background and lights.) So they are just quick snapshots.

 

trekking bar 2.jpg

 

The shot above is how I use the bars.  You could tilt it down to have the close section drop a bit.  I generally ride with my hands on the rubber grip areas or on the curved sides. Sometimes I reach out to the front area when I am cruising on a paved road. I have knobby off-road and smooth tires but I mostly use this bike off road.

 

Trek bar end 1.jpg

 

Trek bar end 2.jpg

 

The two shots above show the bar spun around with one bar end inserted and the brakes and shifter rotated on one side just to give you an idea of the possibilities. I saw one guy with a setup like this and he said he liked it more than drop bars. I've never heard of anyone else doing this. For this orientation, instead of simply rotating it as I did, you would probably want to remove the entire bar and mount it upside down to get the contours of the shape a bit different. But you probably can't tell how this would be until you actually saw it in person to understand the way the different sections slope.  You might even want to have the shifters and brake on the closer section and pad where the brakes and shifter are in my photo to give you a rest area for your wrists. You'd have to play around and be creative to see what you like, but it seems to me you could cheaply get more aero without resorting to drop bars and brifters.

 

And for the OP who lives in the UK, here is a source:

 

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/handlebars-other-dept862_pg1/#page=1

 

And then my research found the Modolo Dumbo fully adjustable trekking type bar.  One place has it for about $85-$90

 

http://www.modolo.com/modolo/dumbo.html


Edited by AlanG - 3/15/12 at 11:03pm
post #12 of 15

Alan, thanks for the pic's. I've got some ideas off this and may be updating my old MTB soon with some bars like this. I like how you can keep the same shifters and brakes.

post #13 of 15

How did you get the brake pads to line up with the bigger diameter of the 700c wheels?  Also do they sell drop down bar ends?

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jponikvar View Post

How did you get the brake pads to line up with the bigger diameter of the 700c wheels?

 

I presume you are referring to the following ...

 

Mongoose_7n20fn.jpg

 

I was able to use a set of TEKTRO "long reach" (49-59) Road brake calipers on the front & rear (you can enlarge the picture by clicking on it) ... 

 

  • I enlarged the forward-facing-half of the "fender mounting hole" on the seat stay bridge to accept the brake caliper's recessed bolt ...

 

I was able to use the same "long reach" calipers with the particular Carbon Fiber fork (many CF forks may not be able to, however) ...  

 

Depending on the frame, you may be able to use brake calipers with a "regular" (39-49) reach OR you may need to use a brake caliper with a longer reach (55-63, or longer) ...

 

  • substituting a Road fork changed the head tube angle to approximately 73º (the typical angle found on many Road bikes -- a good thing!)

 

FYI.  To use a Road crankset (in case you are interested), with the particular frame, I needed a BB spindle which is typically used for a Triple Road crank so that the arms + outer chainring would clear the chainstays ... on some frames, I know that you can get by with a "regular" spindle.

 

This past Winter, I decided to update the crankset (why not?) on the bike to a MegaExo crankset ... because of the fore mentioned crankarm clearance issues, it needed to be a Triple (sans the Granny chainring, but I may put it back on at some point).    

 

ALSO, because the frame is aluminum, I needed to lace a 700c rim to a 135mm rear hub.  

 

  • alternatively, the axle on Shimano Road hubs can be replaced with the longer axle from a Shimano MTB hub, and vice-versa ... and, the extra spacer(s) on the non-driveside of the Shimano MTB hub can be transferred to the Road hub to achieve the proper hub width.

 

Quote:


Also do they sell drop down bar ends?

 

 

I know that many-moons-ago "drop down bar ends" were available ... the set which I had had both the "traditional" bar end + a "standard" bend Road Drop ... I never got around to mounting my set & they were unfortunately "liberated" by a burglar several years ago (and, probably sold for 25¢ to a metal recyclnig scrapyard OR to his "fence") ...

 

If you want to continue to use your MTB shifters then I reckon that your best-bet is to get a touring handlebar like the set which AlanG has OR a set of Moustache handlebars (which I believe typically have a smaller diameter) OR a set of STEEL Drop bars (which will have the smaller diameter) OR you can carefull enlarge the inner diameter of your shifter's clamps with a half-round file or sanding drum (or, if the clamps are steel, then you can simply expand them & use longer bolts to tighten them ...). 
  

post #15 of 15

FWIW.  Here's another example of a MTB frame which is in the process of being converted for use on the road .... it is a work in progress (the saddle was lowered digitally to better indicated to me how the bike will look when it is ready-to-ride) ...

 

Giant_temp3.jpg

 

The particular frame & fork are BOTH steel ... 

 

  • the rear stays were re-spaced to 130mm to allow the use of "standard" Road wheels 
  • the original rear brake bosses were removed since I reckon the frame will never be used as a MTB frame in the future
  • the fork was modified so that it would accept 700x32 tires OR a fender + a smaller tire (¿700x28?
  • again, TEKTRO long reach (49-59) calipers were used

 

The oversized down tube definitely makes the combination feel comparatively heavy when compared to the MONGOOSE frame with a Carbon Fiber fork (sub-20 lbs.).

 

  

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