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Old December 14th, 2009, 08:20 AM   #1
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Default Converting an MTB to a commuter bike.

I have a Giant Yukon MTB that I never use for offroading and want to make it into a full fledged commuter bike w/ racks, panniers, and smooth tires.

It looks like this (not mine):

http://images.google.com/url?source=...LhioPYyhN9kSkQ

It's got a hardtail and a rockshox front fork.

I've been looking on bike nashbar for racks and panniers. Is there anything special I need to know before I just go and order the stuff, since it's a MTB and not a roadbike?

Also, I'd like some smooth urban tires, but I'd like to keep them kind of wide, like the mtb tires, any suggestions? I'm trying to do this on a tight budget, so if you keep that in mind, it would be helpful.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 08:53 AM   #2
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You suck at linking...
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Old December 14th, 2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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Also, I'd like some smooth urban tires, but I'd like to keep them kind of wide, like the mtb tires, any suggestions? I'm trying to do this on a tight budget, so if you keep that in mind, it would be helpful.
I had some trick wheels built for my MTB. My old wheels, which were pretty damn good got a set of Tom Slick. I swapped them back and forth for rides. One day on a city ride we went to poach a trail/short cut and a normal, easy, banked turn put me on my ass.

A couple more times taught to stay on the pavement with those. I finally said fukc it and bought a killer road bike.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #4
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You suck at linking...
funny, it works
here
.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #5
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funny, it works here.
Pretty cool site, never been there.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #6
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funny, it works here.
It does over there but not here for some reason.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 12:32 PM   #7
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AE Bike, based in Kalamazoo, has a nice online selection of the racks and bags. Lots of them say "will work with MTB, road, hybrid" etc., so I'd look for that.

http://aebike.com/parts-accessories-...er+rack&Brand=

For the tires I was going to suggest the Maxxis Hookworm That might be TOO fat though.

Here's a list of some MTB street tires. http://www.jensonusa.com/store/sub/1...es.aspx?s=1501

I have some Maxxis Holy Rollers on my street (urban) bike and they roll pretty fast and come in 2.2" width, which might be just right for you. Heavy though.

Last edited by mtnbikinbryno; December 14th, 2009 at 12:38 PM.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 04:58 PM   #8
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Get a cheap rigid fork, cheap rack, and dig around at your local army surplus store for some milsurp bags to work as panniers.

Get an obnoxious bell, I used mine all the time when I was commuting by bike.

Also, reflective tape all over the frame makes you much more visible at night. Power Grips make decent commuter pedals if you dont want to bring a change of shoes to work.

I picked up some el-cheapo kenda 26x1.5" slick tires for something like $10 a tire at a bike shop a while back, they wore out quick, but they rolled really really well at about 80PSI.

Last Edit: Get bar ends if you dont already have them. A couple more hand positions make life much better.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #9
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Also, reflective tape all over the frame makes you much more visible at night. Power Grips make decent commuter pedals if you dont want to bring a change of shoes to work.
You NEED more than reflective tape if you're going to ride at night. An LED tail light at a minimum (I just hook mine to my backpack, but they make seatpost mounts too). A headlight is also very advisable... not for you, but for people turning into your path. I rigged up an old headlamp of mine to my handlebars... looks redneck, but it's bright and people know I'm there. We've got a bunch of snow in TC now and I can't believe the DUI bike commuters who are riding on the street at night without lights. It's absolutely ridiculous and stupid.

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Last Edit: Get bar ends if you dont already have them. A couple more hand positions make life much better.
;)

IMHO, if you're going to be commuting any distance (longer than 5 miles) you should look at a 29er, cross, or road bike.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #10
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you can get tires that most people will call cheater slicks which are still decently wide tires that are slick in the middle but have some nobbies on the sides. Rolling down the road you have as little rolling resistance as possible but if you hit some loose stuff the nobbies will keep you upright. there not to expensive, i know kenda makes them but there are also some chinese brand ones too.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 07:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mtnbikinbryno View Post
You NEED more than reflective tape if you're going to ride at night. An LED tail light at a minimum (I just hook mine to my backpack, but they make seatpost mounts too). A headlight is also very advisable... not for you, but for people turning into your path. I rigged up an old headlamp of mine to my handlebars... looks redneck, but it's bright and people know I'm there. We've got a bunch of snow in TC now and I can't believe the DUI bike commuters who are riding on the street at night without lights. It's absolutely ridiculous and stupid.



;)

IMHO, if you're going to be commuting any distance (longer than 5 miles) you should look at a 29er, cross, or road bike.


I agree 100% about the lights!
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Old December 14th, 2009, 08:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnbikinbryno View Post
You NEED more than reflective tape if you're going to ride at night. An LED tail light at a minimum (I just hook mine to my backpack, but they make seatpost mounts too). A headlight is also very advisable... not for you, but for people turning into your path. I rigged up an old headlamp of mine to my handlebars... looks redneck, but it's bright and people know I'm there. We've got a bunch of snow in TC now and I can't believe the DUI bike commuters who are riding on the street at night without lights. It's absolutely ridiculous and stupid.



;)

IMHO, if you're going to be commuting any distance (longer than 5 miles) you should look at a 29er, cross, or road bike.
Lights are not a problem I will probably get a set. My commute will only be a few blocks, but it will be nice to have panniers for bringing lunch and stuff. I work in the computer lab which has an external door that I can just pull my bike right in the back door. I also want to be able to use it to run errands around town/get groceries, etc. hence the smooth tires.

I've put together a christmas list:

Tires:
Cheng Shin C1218 Street Tire, 26 x 2.125" Wire Bead All Black.

http://www.amazon.com/Cheng-Shin-C12.../dp/B000A7RTAC

Rear Pannier:
Avenir Metro III Panniers (2, 165 Cubic Inches Total)

http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Metro-P...809059&sr=1-54

Rear Rack:
Avenir Universal XL Rear Rack (Black, Universal)
http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Univers..._bxgy_sg_img_b

or
Bor Yueh Urban Rear Rack

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes//Produc...2_217197_-1___

Front rack:
Nashbar Front Rack
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes//Produc...2_167593_-1___

I think I'll just keep the suspension fork and just tighten it up. I was originally wondering if a normal front rack would fit the Judy TT fork, but I've just decided to go with a smaller one that I know will fit.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 09:08 PM   #13
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I totally figured you would be more a fixie kinda commuter
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Old December 14th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #14
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I totally figured you would be more a fixie kinda commuter
I think fixies are stupid unless you're on a track. I like to be able to brake when I'm riding on the streets with cars.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 09:17 PM   #15
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I think fixies are stupid unless you're on a track. I like to be able to brake when I'm riding on the streets with cars.
I used to roll around WMU on a fixed mountain bike. It was geared super low, and it was too much fun. Fixed actually works really well in the winter too.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 09:30 PM   #16
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But I kinda figured you for the trendy fixie guy

http://www.manolith.com/2009/07/13/fixies-fad/

You'd fit right in


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I think fixies are stupid unless you're on a track. I like to be able to brake when I'm riding on the streets with cars.
stopping is good. For my street tires I run around with some maxxis holy rollers, but they probably won't work too well for you because they are pretty wide 2.4"

They roll really well and have decent enough tread to handle any sort of rain, wet grass, etc you may encounter in a commute.

As for the racks and stuff I am with flat fender, get cheap shit.

Lights, get a headlight (for wearing on your head) and then flashers front and rear, as well as ahandlebar mounted headlifght, the more lighting the better. I also agree with handle bars and bar ends for added comfort on your commute.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 10:04 AM   #17
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But I kinda figured you for the trendy fixie guy

http://www.manolith.com/2009/07/13/fixies-fad/

You'd fit right in


stopping is good. For my street tires I run around with some maxxis holy rollers, but they probably won't work too well for you because they are pretty wide 2.4"

They roll really well and have decent enough tread to handle any sort of rain, wet grass, etc you may encounter in a commute.

As for the racks and stuff I am with flat fender, get cheap shit.

Lights, get a headlight (for wearing on your head) and then flashers front and rear, as well as ahandlebar mounted headlifght, the more lighting the better. I also agree with handle bars and bar ends for added comfort on your commute.
My dad has the holy rollers on his MTB, he really likes them. He just rides dirt roads/pavement. I think the 10$ rack and 33.99 set of panniers is pretty reasonable. I was thinking about trying some BMX handle bars to get a more upright/comfortable stance.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 10:18 AM   #18
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I was thinking about trying some BMX handle bars to get a more upright/comfortable stance.
Are you serious? Get some MTB riser bars. BMX bars would look ridonculous.

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Old December 15th, 2009, 10:20 AM   #19
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Are you serious? Get some MTB riser bars. BMX bars would look ridonculous.

hey, it's been done before, and maybe I could start a new hipster trend.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 11:13 AM   #20
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Not gonna lie, I want a fixie. A nice Bianchi Pista frame would be sweet.
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