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  1. #1
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    Help with turning a hybrid bike to mountain

    Had my first MB ride on a trail this past weekend riding on a used KMart special bike. Had fun out there, but being out of shape BADLY and riding the bike I know that it can be much more enjoyable.

    Here's my dilemma. I have an older Giant hybrid bicycle with 700cx38 wheels/tires on them that rides with no problems. I'm trying to find more info on the possibility of converting it to a mountain bike. I did find a part to convert the old style quill stem to a newer stem. I believe once doing this, I would need to upgrade the handle bar as well.

    Trying to find out if this is something that I should continue to do for the time being since I can't afford a true MB at the time. Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Can you post pics of your Giant? I suspect you'd be best served to just get some wider, knobby tires and see how it goes. Pics would help though.

  3. #3
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    Just bought a quilled stem with hadlebars, grips, brake levers, shifters, and shifter cable on ebay for 29 bucks. There's a ton of new quill stems around.
    I've seen peeps out on trail with road bars. Sound like u just need some nobies to ride onto dirt.
    What is it your trying to do?
    Round and round we go

  4. #4
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    I would like to get away from the completely upright position that the bike currently has. What tires should I be looking at to replace? Is the width mainly based on what width will fit.

  5. #5
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    Here's a picture of the same bike that I currently have. Mine is just in black, but you can kind of see how straight up I would sit with the current quill on the bike.


  6. #6
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    Get yourself a stem off ebay. Maybe some suspension forks? and tires. Search for quilled stem in your size. U can get an adapter to get your quilled stem to fit a threadless but your still quilled. To change from quilled to threadless, u will need a new fork, and headset, and stem.
    Do it on the cheap and get out and ride. If u like it and stick with it, get a new bike or, craigslist. It always amazes me how many awsome, hardly used bikes can be had for a song.
    Round and round we go

  7. #7
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    I was going to use a quill adapter. Purchased a 1" quill adapter and it didn't fit. The quill adapter took a 1" and quill and made accept standard 1-1/8" stems. Problem was I had a 1" threaded steer tube. it takes a 22.2 mm (7/8") quill, not the 25.4 mm (1") quill. Tip: Measure before purchasing.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the heads up. Will definitely measure before purchasing.

  9. #9
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    I'm trying to imagine a 700c frame on a single track.... :-\

    700c frames aren't built as strong. The tires are narrow. Even though a 29" tire will fit a 700c wheel, I doubt you'll be able to fit a 29" tire through the frame or fork.

    Sell your Kmart bike and buy something used. I found an 2 older full rigid 26" mountain bikes (1993 Specialized Hardrock GX & 1996 Giant Rincon) for $35 each on craigslist. In my area, they are snatched up pretty quick, so timing is everything.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz
    I'm trying to imagine a 700c frame on a single track.... :-\

    700c frames aren't built as strong. The tires are narrow. Even though a 29" tire will fit a 700c wheel, I doubt you'll be able to fit a 29" tire through the frame or fork.
    I wish I had some pictures of me riding my cyclocross bike on singletrack. Then you wouldn't have to imagine it.

    OP, I'd recommend getting a stem adapter and threadless stem. It's a little more expensive initially, but makes it a lot easier to try different-sized stems and dial in your riding position.

    On second thought, start with tires unless you already know you're not content with your riding position. Not how it looks - just get over that - but how it feels.

    Cyclocross racing tires are readily available in everything from a 28mm file tread, which is practically a pavement tire, to a 35mm full knobby. There are a few brands making 700C tires sized in between 35mm and 2.1," as well. Panaracer's Fire Cross would be an option. WTB makes some too, and I'd be surprised if Schwalbe doesn't have something.

    Riding singletrack on a full-rigid with a sub-2.1" tire takes a little more finesse than it does on a mountain bike. You're also likely to have trouble keeping up with your friends, although likely not as much as on a Walmart bike. But off-roading on skinny tires is a lot of fun and you'll develop some great handling skills.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    I wish I had some pictures of me riding my cyclocross bike on singletrack. Then you wouldn't have to imagine it.

    Riding singletrack on a full-rigid with a sub-2.1" tire takes a little more finesse than it does on a mountain bike. You're also likely to have trouble keeping up with your friends, although likely not as much as on a Walmart bike. But off-roading on skinny tires is a lot of fun and you'll develop some great handling skills.
    Yep - I see folk out on my local trails on their cx bikes all the time once cross season starts. Here's a great vid I ran across yesterday through AHTBM (this guy has some serious skills: check out the log crossing @1:22):

    <object width="400" height="225"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=11695455&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=11695455&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="225"></embed></object><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/11695455">Local trails ala cx</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user2018660">Andy Wardman</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

    to the OP: good advice from everyone above. Go with the widest tire you can fit in the frame, and have fun!
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardwarz
    I'm trying to imagine a 700c frame on a single track.... :-\

    700c frames aren't built as strong. The tires are narrow. Even though a 29" tire will fit a 700c wheel, I doubt you'll be able to fit a 29" tire through the frame or fork.

    Sell your Kmart bike and buy something used. I found an 2 older full rigid 26" mountain bikes (1993 Specialized Hardrock GX & 1996 Giant Rincon) for $35 each on craigslist. In my area, they are snatched up pretty quick, so timing is everything.
    Thanks for the reply. I don't have a KMart bike. I was borrowing a KMart bike this past weekend. I have an older Giant hybrid bike that I'd like to convert to mountain.

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