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  1. #1
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    Road drivtrain on MTB frame

    Hi I wanted to put road gears, cranks and derailers on a mtb frame. I would like to use this bike for touring.

    I have not purchased the mtb frame yet, but know for a fact that it will be a rigid frame.

    Does anyone have any experience in this or advice?

    Suggestions for frames and parts would also be great.

    btw I am looking to spend maybe 200$ on a frame.

  2. #2
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    My understanding

    Please recognize that Icould be leading you down the wrong path here, but my understanding is that the f & r derailleur and the cassette shouldn't be a problem. With regard to cranks, check the bb shell dimensions to see if a road bb and crankset will fit. The other issue is shifters. It could be that the handlebar diameters are different than mtb handlebar diameters, so road shiters might not fit.

    I know there are people on this board who have experience with road components on MTB's as this is where I have my understanding of the issues as a result of reading their posts. Hopefully, my recollection is true. In any event with any luck someone with first hand experience will be along to confirm my suspicions or correct me.

    Let us know how things pan out. I'd be interested in a definitive answer, too.

    Good luck in the build.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  3. #3
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    thanks. Hopefully someone will post there experiences, as I am not sure where to start.

  4. #4
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    Why not just get a touring or cyclocross frame? More suitable to the purpose stated, or do you have other uses for the bike than touring? That's a pretty low price point for a quality frame of any kind.
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  5. #5
    The devil is an angel too
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    Regarding cranks, beside BB shell width, you may have issues with chainring size clearance. Road cranks come with a 39T or so middle ring, MTB cranks are 32T so you may have problems with the middle ring rubbing against the chainstay. You could always use a longer BB spindle than recommended, but that (c)would mess up your chainline. Or you could use a smaller middle ring. Now, if you are planning on using a triple road crankset on a MTB frame, I am almost certain you'll have problems with the small ring (likely to be in the 30T range) clearing the frame.

    As for cassette and derailleurs, the cassette would work just fine. The rear derailleur would work just fine, some people actually use them. Front deraillleur should fit, not sure if perhaps the clamp size could be an issue. Shifters, road bars do have a different diameter, so if you want to use STI shifter/brake levers you will need to run a road drop bar (which you would be doing anyway if you are running those levers). But, keep in mind that road levers have a different throw, so if you run a road bar/lever combo you will have to run adapters to use v-brakes (you can always use cantis or road discs) Mountainbike shifters are compatible with rear road derailleurs (provided you are not using a 10 spd road system)

    Now, what I am not sure is why use road gears on a mountainbike. Specifically, road cranks, other than the big ring, you won't have a signifficant gain. If you want to use road components, I would go with a road frame, a touring or ciclocross frame will likely work better for you than a MTB frame. I'd look at Nashbar's touring frame (you can get it for 200 bucks with the fork) and use strong cross wheels. Me 2 pennies.
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  6. #6
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    Thank you everyone.

    The main reason for me wanting a mtb frame is because I like the geometry(sp?) of the frames. The posture needed for a road bike is uncomfortable and seems dangerous for a long tour.

    I checked out the Nashbar touring frame and it looks great, but unfortunatly I am too short . I need like a 46-47cm frame.

    The main reason I want road components is so I can get up to high speeds that are not possible with what I have seen offered for mtb's.

  7. #7
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    I think you're better off getting a touring frame. Besides possible chainline issues its very likely a road crankset will not clear a MTB frame. Also depending on what shifter and derailleur combo you use, road front derrailleurs have a different cable pull ration than MTB. Rear will be no problem if you mix and match derailleurs/shifters.

  8. #8
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    How do road components get higher speeds on an mtb frame/wheels? You plan on spinning out in a 53x12 often? You can achieve a fairly high gear with mountain gruppos, especially for the purposes of touring (you'll need the lower rather than higher gears; gravity will do plenty when you point a loaded tourer downhill).
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  9. #9
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    I have not seen too many bikes with 53x12 gearing, could you point me towards some parts or manufacturers?

    Thank you everyone, I am learning more everyday I'm here

  10. #10
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    53x12 is a fairly common high gear on road bikes. What road components you have in mind?
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  11. #11
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    Most touring bikes, whether they use 26" mtb wheels or 700c road wheels, use mtb components. Better suited to the demands of extended touring.

    You can use road STI dropbar levers with mtb derailleurs if you want.
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  12. #12
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    Ultegra RD works great on some of my XC race setups...

    Been there done that.

  13. #13
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    I was thinking of going with a SHIMANO ULTEGRA 6500 CRANKSET with 53/39 gearing. Does anyone know of any cheap mtb frames that would accomidate this?

    shabbasuraj how do you like that derailer? I read some pretty dodgy reviews on it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurgeTheScurge
    I was thinking of going with a SHIMANO ULTEGRA 6500 CRANKSET with 53/39 gearing. Does anyone know of any cheap mtb frames that would accomidate this?

    shabbasuraj how do you like that derailer? I read some pretty dodgy reviews on it.
    Not to sound nasty or anything, but ...Have you read and understood any of the replies you recieved??
    MTB frames aren't made to accomodate that big of chainrings, they will not turn as they will hit the chainstays. AND the 53/12 gear combo refers to the front ring and rear cog which is a 1:4.46 ratio and MTB 44/11 combo gives you a 1:4 ratio and I'll be you wouldn't as said spin that out too much.

    As said MTB gearing is better suited to touring - if you're actually refering correctly to what you wish to do - as a loaded down bike will need to have the low gearing that MTBs usually have. If you really want slightly bigger gearing check out Shimano's actual touring crankset which runs a 48/36/26 ring combo and is actually made specifically as a touring crankset - this "may" actually fit a rigid MTB frame.
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  15. #15
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    I'm sorry I responded after getting back from new years and was not in the right mindset.

    Based on everyones recomendations I think maybe a TRUVATIV HUSSEFELT CRANKSET with 22/32/44 gearing, If need be I will just change the cog to a bigger one.

    Thanks everyone, and sorry for some of the dumb ass responses.

  16. #16
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    it's the small chainring....

    The little chainring is going to be the issue on some mtb frames. If it's too big, it can hit the chainstay. That said....

    I run a 48/36/28 just fine on my mt bike. With a 48 tooth chainring, and say...an 11 in the rear...you should have plenty of stand up and hammer for those slight downhills.

    My point is...there really isnt a super good reason to get a road crank. Many companies make 48X chainrings for mountain cranks. You'll have to move the front derailleur up a bit higher.

    For winter road riding I change the rubber to some semi slicks, and put on my old Sugino Mt. crank. It's the 5 arm standard. I forget the measurements...110 or 94. Anyhoo, it's got 48/36/28 on there. I got the 28 tooth chainring from my first mt bike. (Paramount pd70) or p something. Those days (91) a 28 tooth chainring was common. It's even steel!. I've had it on each of my successive mt bikes since, at some point or another. So its higher gearing, and hi-pressure tires for the next 2 months till things dry out up here. I used to take off the shock...uhh suspension fork for road riding as well, but now leave it on. Can't seem to live without it. Especially with hi press tires, it takes a lot of the pain out of the arms.
    And don't do the burrito jump... Francois

  17. #17
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    this may seem stupid but I was wondering why you go to slicks with hi presure?

    Personaly I get wide nubby tires and go as low pressure as possible to give me more traction.

  18. #18
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    one more thing

    Before I'm private messaged to death again...

    There isn't ANY issue with 'measurements' and shifting compatibility between the 2 cranksets. Even if one was manufactured 12 years before the other. (yes, I change bottom brackets as well) I know they're different 'widths'. Like you could even tell.

    I use a gripshift XO twistie for the front derailleur. It's like a friction shifter, with clickers!
    (tastes great, less filling, but plenty of clicks) I don't pay attention to where the little pointer is on the shifter, I just turn it till it shifts, then adjust it so it don't rub.

    Cmdr 'click click click" Piffle
    PS...take off the expensive knobbies for touring. Lots of companies sell fairly inexpensive slick/semi slick tires in 26". I use Contis low end, wire bead. I highly DON'T recommend them. They, like most wire beaded tires are a royal biatch to seat.
    Another caveat is if it's a mt frame...with a suspension fork, and skinny tires, and big gearing.....yer gonna look like a dork. It's prolly best to concoct a story about how this is the next new thing in 'aggro/cold weather training.
    t
    And don't do the burrito jump... Francois

  19. #19
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    no question is stupid

    Quote Originally Posted by SurgeTheScurge
    this may seem stupid but I was wondering why you go to slicks with hi presure?

    Personaly I get wide nubby tires and go as low pressure as possible to give me more traction.
    I'm assuming you are riding on the road. Higher pressure, non knobbed tires are more efficient on the road. If yer off/road...you may want a hybrid. I'd leave the full on knobbies for dedicated dirt riding.

    And finally...if you do find yourself on asphalt, at speed, in say a descending turn....your partially inflated knobbies can kill you.
    And don't do the burrito jump... Francois

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurgeTheScurge
    this may seem stupid but I was wondering why you go to slicks with hi presure?

    Personaly I get wide nubby tires and go as low pressure as possible to give me more traction.
    Do you really know what type of riding you want to do with this bike? It seems like every time you post your "requirements" change.
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  21. #21
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurgeTheScurge
    Thank you everyone.

    The main reason for me wanting a mtb frame is because I like the geometry(sp?) of the frames. The posture needed for a road bike is uncomfortable and seems dangerous for a long tour.

    I checked out the Nashbar touring frame and it looks great, but unfortunatly I am too short . I need like a 46-47cm frame.

    The main reason I want road components is so I can get up to high speeds that are not possible with what I have seen offered for mtb's.
    Too short for a Nashbar touring frame? In your profile you say you ride a 19.5" mtb. That means you would ride about a 58cm touring frame.

    A 46- 47cm touring frame would be equivalent to a 12-14" mtb frame.
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  22. #22
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    My requirments have not really changed, I have just changed what parts I am thinking of using based on what people are saying.

    I will be using this bike to go from toronto to montreal next season.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    AND the 53/12 gear combo refers to the front ring and rear cog which is a 1:4.46 ratio and MTB 44/11 combo gives you a 1:4 ratio and I'll be you wouldn't as said spin that out too much.
    For the sake of complicating things even more... A 53-12 combo on a road bicycle gives you 119 gear inches, a 44-11 on a mountainbike gives you 104 gear inches and a 53-12 on a mountainbike gives you 115 gear inches. When you are dealing with different wheel sizes, you are better off using gear inches than plain ratios to compare gear combos. Apples to apples and stuff. Now, a 48-11 on a MTB wheel (26") will give you 113.5 gear inches... and you still have a much lower Low gear to get you up the hills... but, again, I'd recommend a touring frame with flat bars if you don't like the feeling of drops.

    High pressure + slicks= lower rolling resistance on the road.

    Low pressure + knobbies= better traction off road but higher rolling resistance on the road. Knobbies on wet pavement can get sketchy...
    Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.

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  24. #24
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurgeTheScurge
    My requirments have not really changed, I have just changed what parts I am thinking of using based on what people are saying.

    I will be using this bike to go from toronto to montreal next season.
    I think you are asking the wrong questions. Too much attention on details and not enough on the whole picture.

    Describe your trip and how the bike will be used and ask what type of bike will best do the job.
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  25. #25
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    Being you only want to use this bike for touring, the trip between Montreal and Toronto is relatively flat so you don't need really low gearing, and you like the fit of mountian bikes the answer seems pretty simple.

    Go purchase the best quality flat bar road touring bike that you can afford when you are ready to do so. Many of the new road bikes use compact or modified compact geometry which is very similar to a MTB. The touring frames will have rigid forks and all the necessary threaded locations on the frame/fork to mount your pannier packs. Select a bike which has a triple crankset and the gearing will be more than low enough. You will be suprised at how easy a bike with 700c tires and slicks will roll.

    Here are a couple of examples:

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...p?sid=06Sirrus

    http://www.giantbicycles.com/cn/030.....asp?range=231

    http://www.bikes.com/bikes/2006/city/index.aspx

    http://www.norco.com/ts/pass/templat...loc=rd&sloc=fb


    There is no added value to my participation - in fact, just more confusion.

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