Mountain bike to touring bike transformation

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by bohunker, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. bohunker

    bohunker Guest

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    I have an old Trek Mountain bike (1993ish).
    The frame is perfect for a touring bike. Instead of purchasing another bike I am thinking about using the Trek frame and making a touring bike out of it.
    Has anyone done this?
    Is it possible to go from Mountain tires to road tires?
    Is it possible to go from flat bar to road bars?
    Thanks,
     
  2. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    Yup, you can get commuter tires and put whatever bar on you'd like as long as it matches your stem which should be 25.4mm.
     

  3. RoyEveritt

    RoyEveritt Brit

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    How much of the old bike do you plan to use? Some MTB rims are a bit wide for proper road tires, although you can usually get away with it. Gearing should be pretty good, especially for hilly tours, if you don't want to change anything there.

    Does the frame have mounting points for racks?

    It's useful for a tourer to have some off-road ability, at least in the UK, because some of our cyclepaths are basically tracks, so you could end up with the perfect bike.

    Different bars might mean different levers, and so on, but it's surprising what you can get away with ... I once took an undersize (youth size) road bike and made it into a kind of hybrid-mtb with solid 26" tires, straight bars from a child's bmx, a longer seat post and not much else. Best part was it was worthless, so I didn't care how I abused it!

    It was stolen from our back garden (yard), so I have no idea how long it would have lasted. I suspect the old frame might have broken with serious off-roading, but it was fun on trails and tracks. Brakes were rubbish, mind you :)

    But starting with a good frame you should end up with a very good bike.

    Roy

    PS. The only drawback is you could spend as much on parts as you would on a new bike, unless you can re-use more than just the frame.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  4. bohunker

    bohunker Guest

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    Does the frame have mounting points for racks?

    Yep, for front and back.
    There is a metal "junk yard" in town, I think I will scavenge the old bike section for spare parts and see what happens.

    I'm looking at using square 5 gal buckets for rear panniers and spend more money on a nice rear trunk.

    Will probably end up using the same wheels and rims and put on slick tires 26 x 1.5 or so.

    As far as the handle bar, will put on bar ends and maybe some sort of aero bar to give more hand positions and provide an aerodynamic option when faced with head winds.
     

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  5. wild

    wild Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man

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    This is what I use for a road bike, a Jamis Explorer 2, 26 x1.95 tire fenders I rode 35 miles the outher day and 22 today I ride at least 10 miles a day allmost every day. I have bin riding my outher bike some a Cannondale Quick 6 , but I like the comfort of the Explorer
     

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    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  6. bohunker

    bohunker Guest

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    Working on the transformation today.
    The 7 speed gear shifter is Shimano st ct 15 does not work.

    What would be a good replacement?

    While I am at it should I replace both the right and left shifters?
     

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  7. Tarukai

    Tarukai SMILEY CAR

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    Good use of an old 820, I must say.

    Also, I'd think most 7-speed shifters won't make much of a difference in performance, as long as they work. same with a 3-er for the front.

    I would replace both at the same time, since you're already doing one it might be easier to do both.
     
  8. bohunker

    bohunker Guest

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    The cassette is 12-28. I noticed that the Surly Longhaul Trucker is 11-34.
    Should I upgrade my cassette to a 34 for the big load and hills?
    Thanks for your input for this very novice self-contained want-to-be.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  9. RoyEveritt

    RoyEveritt Brit

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    If your derailleur will handle it you should certainly go bigger than 12-18. I'd say 28 minimum, depending on your chainwheel sizes. Somewhere near 1:1 (front:rear) would give you all the gearing you need for almost any hill with a moderate load.

    Roy