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  1. #1
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    New question here. Can I mod a Redline d440 29er for a sprint triathlon?

    Hello, I'm a total newbie.
    I've ridden my Jamis Boss SS cruiser 8mi per day on the road for the past year, and also off road on my 1/4 dirt track.

    I'm going to compete in my first triathlon in a couple of months, and the bike ride portion is 10 miles.

    I HATE road bikes/tri bikes, I LOVE the 29ers at my local bike shop.

    I'm on a budget, and like the Redline d440 as a starting point for a hopefully fast bike I can also ride off road. Weight isn't so much an issue as I weigh 210lbs. and it's a short race.

    1. Do fairly smooth/narrow tires exist for 29er wheels? I've only found the Kenda Karma 1.9" wide tires.

    2. What is an inexpensive way to "gear up" the redline d440 to some type of really high gearing - here in florida it's totally flat, so i don't need any lower gears. Ideally, it would be a single front gear and only a rear derailluer.

    As no local shop sells redline, they all turn up their noses at me so I'm seeking online help.

    Thanks for any advice,
    steve

  2. #2
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    Welcome

    Guess you don't realise that 29er" actually use 700c rims, the options for road tyres is endless just pick whichever slick you want to run.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvenOlder
    1. Do fairly smooth/narrow tires exist for 29er wheels? I've only found the Kenda Karma 1.9" wide tires.

    Not sure how big a "big ring" you can fit on there, there are others who own or have ridden them that could shed light on this. But the easiest way would be to buy a used road crank maybe and use that instead of the MTBs compact gearing. Road bikes generally use eith a "normal" 53/39 or "compact" 50/34 crankset or sometimes a tripple based off either of those 2.


    Quote Originally Posted by EvenOlder
    2. What is an inexpensive way to "gear up" the redline d440 to some type of really high gearing - here in florida it's totally flat, so i don't need any lower gears. Ideally, it would be a single front gear and only a rear derailluer.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks- I just assumed that while the diameter was the same, the rims were wider or somehow different for strength. That answers my question then- great!
    thanks for the help,
    steve

  4. #4
    Witty McWitterson
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    The d440 would be a good budget choice for this. The narrowest tire I'd reccomend would be 26mm to 28mm wide. 23mm's are a no go. Gearing wise, you can up the big ring to a 44. It comes stock with a 33. That'll give you lots of top end speed.

    Why the aversion to road bikes? Really they would be better. Looks? Positioning? If its looks, well, there's not much that can be done. If its positioning, look for a higher-bared 'comfort' road bike. Or a flatbar road bike ala Jamis Coda or Allegro.
    Just a regular guy.

  5. #5
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    Really long (140-150mm)stem, and a cheap trekking handlebar (~40 degree sweep), flipped. Your fav grips, and the rest wrapped in bar tape.
    That should offer a racey but stable bar setup, with aero and "climbing" hand positions.

    ~35mm slicks (fast Conti's or something) to not be too much like a road bike, and also not have all the 25mph+ air drag of fatties.
    Seat more forward that you would on a regular geared MTB, or even a SS MTB. You'll stand at low speeds anyway and sit when spinning.
    With said 35mm tires, a 44x15 gear might be OK for road triathlon. What large chainring you'd fit depends on your cranks' chainline and the actual chainstay alignment, more teeth is better of course.
    42x16 is great for casual and sporty commuting, many love it. What speeds would you average with gears on a slick'd MTB? Difference to a road bike would be nearzero.
    SS average should be the same or higher, terrain and legs permitting. Basing gearing on your preferred cadance and typical cruise speed should do the trick.

  6. #6
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    ~martini~
    Thanks- for the response- I just prefer, when not racing, MTB positioning/bars for banging around a tight course
    Wow, the Jamis Allegro looks nice- I'd just swap for a light fixed front fork and simpler gearing and I'm in business, pretty similar to the Redline.

    Cloxxki
    Thanks for the dense knowledge- it'll take me some internet time to catch everything you've written but it sounds like you know what I'm looking for.

    Thanks again everyone,
    steve

  7. #7
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    gearing I can't help with, it's more down to how comfy you are spinning the biggest gear you can handle.

    I'll agree with cloxxi on this but go one step further, try and run something like the REALLY fat slicks like 42's... think selfpropelleddevo said he had 47mm conti's on his hunter.
    They'll keep their momentum up which will make things way easier for you in the long run as you have to push less to keep them at speed, and if the route's fairly flat you shouldn't have a problem with having to spin them back up to speed every couple minutes on climbs etc.

    I'd try and run a non suspension corrected or a 26" fork to shorten the front end, get your nose in the dirt a bit, and run bar ends
    (roadie or inverted marys or similar are a great idea, but more expensive, we've all got a crappy set of bar ends kicking around...)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts
    gearing I can't help with, it's more down to how comfy you are spinning the biggest gear you can handle.

    I'll agree with cloxxi on this but go one step further, try and run something like the REALLY fat slicks like 42's... think selfpropelleddevo said he had 47mm conti's on his hunter.
    They'll keep their momentum up which will make things way easier for you in the long run as you have to push less to keep them at speed, and if the route's fairly flat you shouldn't have a problem with having to spin them back up to speed every couple minutes on climbs etc.

    I'd try and run a non suspension corrected or a 26" fork to shorten the front end, get your nose in the dirt a bit, and run bar ends
    (roadie or inverted marys or similar are a great idea, but more expensive, we've all got a crappy set of bar ends kicking around...)
    Oh, I love 50mm and 60mm slicks for road riding, even when in a hurry. Awesome at really high speeds, let alone tailwainds...
    Just for the purpose of solo road triathlon racing, I might also try 35's some time, if only to lower the COG and gain some small 25mph aerodynamic advantage from that.
    Schwalbe Marathon Supreme's 50mm are what the name implies. Upcoming Furious Freds of the same make will be the same size, but under half the weight at 335g. Not much rubber to deform. For all-out race day, it would be interesting to explore its speed at on-road pressures. Stans Crow tires are already quite quick, but difficult to rate them against much more silent slicks.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Really long (140-150mm)stem, and a cheap trekking handlebar (~40 degree sweep), flipped. Your fav grips, and the rest wrapped in bar tape.
    That should offer a racey but stable bar setup, with aero and "climbing" hand positions.

    ~35mm slicks (fast Conti's or something) to not be too much like a road bike, and also not have all the 25mph+ air drag of fatties.
    Seat more forward that you would on a regular geared MTB, or even a SS MTB. You'll stand at low speeds anyway and sit when spinning.
    With said 35mm tires, a 44x15 gear might be OK for road triathlon. What large chainring you'd fit depends on your cranks' chainline and the actual chainstay alignment, more teeth is better of course.
    42x16 is great for casual and sporty commuting, many love it. What speeds would you average with gears on a slick'd MTB? Difference to a road bike would be nearzero.
    SS average should be the same or higher, terrain and legs permitting. Basing gearing on your preferred cadance and typical cruise speed should do the trick.
    You really think that typical cruise speed for an admitted newbie who rides 8 miles per day will be above 25 mph for any sustained period? On a 29er with fat slicks? Really?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74
    You really think that typical cruise speed for an admitted newbie who rides 8 miles per day will be above 25 mph for any sustained period? On a 29er with fat slicks? Really?
    not the point, the point of answering the question is to help someone try an alternative that they'd prefer instead of trying to convince them to try a route they don't want to take.

    being helpful in other words, as opposed to just telling the bloke "sorry jack! full carbon roadie or get out of the pack!"

    Noone's saying he's going to get a 300% advantage just by swapping to 29x2's instead of the 700x23's of a regular roadie... just saying that IF he decides to pursue this specific route (for whatever personal reasons) here's some helpful advice to do so....

    (besides, who knows? maybe he rides his 8 mile commute at 40mph... just because it's a short commute doesn't mean he's out of shape or he can't be fast, he didn't say he TRAVELLED AT 8 mph, he said he travelled 8 miles distance)

    maybe the coffee's just particularly good and I'm unusually cheery this morning, but I say go for it! cloxxi might be right about the thinner tires... less aero probs, but again, my vote's for the "staying power" or heavier meats keeping their speed up... it's why I got into 29ers in the first place.


    Re-edit: coffee's definitely good today... I'm currently running a schwalbe marathon plus ultra (or whatever the heck it's called) and it's a heavy tire!
    got some gel insert under the tread for puncture resistance, unless I miss my guess it's a 25mm tire, would fit the thin criteria, and the heavy criteria too!
    (i ram them through potholes and such with glee)
    You might be able to find something similar that'd give you both benefits, thinner for aeros and heavier for conservation of (your) energy through (the tire's) rotational inertia.
    Last edited by byknuts; 10-14-2008 at 09:11 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts
    not the point, the point of answering the question is to help someone try an alternative that they'd prefer instead of trying to convince them to try a route they don't want to take.

    being helpful in other words, as opposed to just telling the bloke "sorry jack! full carbon roadie or get out of the pack!"

    Noone's saying he's going to get a 300% advantage just by swapping to 29x2's instead of the 700x23's of a regular roadie... just saying that IF he decides to pursue this specific route (for whatever personal reasons) here's some helpful advice to do so....

    (besides, who knows? maybe he rides his 8 mile commute at 40mph... just because it's a short commute doesn't mean he's out of shape or he can't be fast, he didn't say he TRAVELLED AT 8 mph, he said he travelled 8 miles distance)

    maybe the coffee's just particularly good and I'm unusually cheery this morning, but I say go for it! cloxxi might be right about the thinner tires... less aero probs, but again, my vote's for the "staying power" or heavier meats keeping their speed up... it's why I got into 29ers in the first place.


    Re-edit: coffee's definitely good today... I'm currently running a schwalbe marathon plus ultra (or whatever the heck it's called) and it's a heavy tire!
    got some gel insert under the tread for puncture resistance, unless I miss my guess it's a 25mm tire, would fit the thin criteria, and the heavy criteria too!
    (i ram them through potholes and such with glee)
    You might be able to find something similar that'd give you both benefits, thinner for aeros and heavier for conservation of (your) energy through (the tire's) rotational inertia.
    My point was that if you're riding a 29er as a road bike, with a MTB riding position, wind drag from the tires is your last concern. I will go ahead and assert that a relative newbie on a full-on road bike won't likely spend much time above 25 mph on a 10-mile TT course, much less on a 29er. Below 25 mph, the real concern is weight, not drag.

    If your assertion about heavy tires being faster were even remotely true, you'd see heavier tires and wheels on time trial bikes. Instead, manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to build wheels that are light AND aero. Heavier tires DO NOT conserve your energy.

    6000 miles on the road this year so far, only one flat on 23mm-wide tires. No, I don't hit potholes on purpose. I bunnyhop them all the time, though.

    Sure, for commuting, errands, tooling around, and the occasional dabbling in a sprint tri, the 29er will be fine. I'd put a 28mm or 32mm tire on the rims and call it a day. Any bigger is unnecessary and just added weight to push.

    If the OP gets more into triathlon or road riding, a standard road bike is the best tool for the job.
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  12. #12
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    Byknuts-
    again, thanks
    my 8mi daily fitness/training ride takes 29-30 minutes on flat road on a single speed jamis Boss cruiser, at about 16mph with a single speed? I'm pretty sure i'll hit at least 20mph with just one or two higher gears.
    So that's why I want gears, but want to jam off road/stay fit yet still get up pretty fast for the occasional 10-16 mile race.
    The Bar Ends i found on the net look just right - slap em' on for racing so I can lean down against them, but take em' off the rest of the time.

    I'm now torn between the d440 and the allegro 1,
    having never ridden a "cyclocross" type bike offroad before, with a fairly tight and twisty track-

    Steve

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74

    If your assertion about heavy tires being faster were even remotely true, you'd see heavier tires and wheels on time trial bikes. Instead, manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to build wheels that are light AND aero. Heavier tires DO NOT conserve your energy.

    If the OP gets more into triathlon or road riding, a standard road bike is the best tool for the job.
    you can deny rotational inertia's abilities all you want, but it's there.
    and I DIDN'T say they would be faster, just that it's easier to keep them at speed.
    And for crying out loud, noone's ever countered your point that a road bike would be best. But that wasn't the question he asked was it?
    He asked "a hopefully fast bike I can also ride offroad".

    Relax, noone's disputing what you're saying, we're just trying to be helpful and answer the question he asked, there's nothing wrong with an individual trying to use a piece of improper equipment... some consider it challenging!
    He's not asking how to win the race, he's asking how he can ride a bike that's fun for him, MULTI purpose... and knowing that it'll be fun and maybe not competitive in no way implies that he can't do it!

    discussion over (not because I'm implying that you have nothing left to say, but more because your points haven't changed any of mine, and I haven't argued any of them, ergo there's no reason for me to respond to anything further as if this were a discussion as we're clearly both making very valid points)


    EO: cyclocross bikes are great, bang them on the street, they run pretty well in serious offroad, great all-arounder idea.
    If you're thinking something less "butch but with slicks" and more "kinda bit of everywhere" then a cyclocross is a great idea!
    Definitely lighter than an equivalent priced 29er, and more suited to road use, but still VERY capable offroad (IMO).
    I'd open up that options bin and look at some cyclos... at over 210 loaded for bear myself, I owned a giant TCX, and can vouch for it being REALLY stiff and fast on the road. And very much strong enough offroad.
    Pretty light frame/fork combo as well, but definitely heavier than a roadie.
    FYI: The one I had was the previous generation one with disc brake mounts not the new one.
    (new ones conform to cyclocross rules and don't have the disc tabs)

    My old frame got a girvin fork, custom brace (to raise the brakes up to 700c rim height), and maguras, and handed off to a 240lb mate for his heavy duty commuting use, roadie gears up front and mtb cogs out back means he's got tons of options.

    Motobecan'e got cyclo bikes for cheap, bianchi makes some REALLY nice ones, redline does them too. Sure you'll find something that works for you!

  14. #14
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    A flipped trekking bar and a long stem do not nett a typical MTB riding position. I've brought some really fit roadies into despair with such setups, including the 60mm fat tires.
    Especially when you're less that in pro shape, a slick'd MTB won't mean much if any speed loss. The big aero (dis)advantage is at the exciting side of 25mph. Below it, you have other issues. Like going straight and keeping corners.

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    Do try a modified D440, and tell us how it goes. I want to know, 'cause I plan on using mine to ride a century, eventually. Unlike your situation, I could care less what my time is; I don't expect to keep up with the full carboned roadies. Like you, I like the comfort and riding position of the D440. Looking at mine, I'd say you could get a 44T chainring on it fer sure, maybe even a 46T. Probably nothing too much bigger...depending on the ring, 48 would probably be the absolute max...which should be big enough. I'm keeping my 2.125" Nanoraptors on mine, 'cause I could care less about marginal gains in speed, and they are muy plush on rough roads.

  16. #16
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    So i caved for speed and picked up a Trek FX 7.3, which weighs around 10lbs lighter than the d440 stock, but still has the MTB handlebars. I'll get some cheap aero or such bar for the race.
    I'm still gonna get the d440 sometime soon for crashing in the woods.
    All the advice here was super helpful, I certainly couldn't have made a decision without it.
    Thanks again,
    steve

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