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  1. #1
    V-Shaped Rut
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    Perhaps OT, but....... Road bike?

    I've been toying with the idea of hitting up the local pawn shops and benefitting from other people's hard times. So I'm thinking an SS urban bike. However with all the construction and gravel around here I don't want a pure roadie with thin wheels and a hunched over riding position. In fact a lot of the riding around my house (if you don't want to die) is on and off curbs and sidewalks, through lots, etc....

    So, any ideas? Roadie with slightly wider/beefier tires (do they make them?) or MTB frame with narrow tires? Or some other kind of bastardization?

    Gearing? I run 32/18 now and like climbing but its mostly flat here on the road.

    I'm thinking for cheapness sake I'll go with a tensioner, any ideas on that?

  2. #2
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    I think a SS MTB is the ultimate urban machine for the kind of riding you describe. I keep mine at 32/18 cause the streets here are as steep as a lot of the trails. Just gear yours up to 34/16. Ain't nothing at all wrong with running a tensioner for a street machine.

  3. #3
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    You should probably go with a cyclocross bike, something like a Surly Crosscheck, Specialized Tricross SS, or equivalent. Another option is that alot of older road bikes will fit 700x32, but if it had 27" wheels & you put 700s on, you should clear 40s. A good place to start for road gearing is 42x16. I roll that and 46x17, depends on how fast you want to go & how bad the climbs are.

  4. #4
    V-Shaped Rut
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    Interesting, this got me looking/thinking. Another option would be a 29'er. Since it already runs bigger wheels I'd just need to find some road-ish/commuter tires with a bit of tread but not too much.....

  5. #5
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    If it were me, a MTB of some kind with a pair of 26x1.75-95 urban style tires like Schwalbe Marathon Plus or Kenda Komforts.

  6. #6
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I picked up a specialized rockhopper- one of the old ones, I think an '89. It rides pretty great with slicks, but I can still do flatter trails on dry days. I found a 650b wheelset on craigslist and bought some fmf brakes and it is the best of both worlds- the bike feels more road and goes faster and then the offroad is still pretty good.

  7. #7
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    I'd suggest an older steel road bike that originally came with 27" wheels...

    You probably won't have to use a tensioner as most of these bikes had horizontal dropouts. Throw on some fattish (32mm-38mm) 700c tires/wheels, some riser bars, and call it a day. I'd aim for around 65-70 gear inches.

    These old road bikes can be had for a song and should be plenty tough for your needs.

  8. #8
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by croscoe
    I'd suggest an older steel road bike that originally came with 27" wheels...

    You probably won't have to use a tensioner as most of these bikes had horizontal dropouts. Throw on some fattish (32mm-38mm) 700c tires/wheels, some riser bars, and call it a day. I'd aim for around 65-70 gear inches.

    These old road bikes can be had for a song and should be plenty tough for your needs.
    That's what I did.
    With fender's I can fit a 32c tire, or 35c w/o.




  9. #9
    V-Shaped Rut
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    That might very well be the ticket.

    Note to self: Look for 27" tires and horizontal dropouts!

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    That's what I did.
    With fender's I can fit a 32c tire, or 35c w/o.




  10. #10
    smell the saddle...
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    I went through the same charade, overall I feel more nimble and comfortable on a mtb frame especially hopping over obstacles and such. I wanted a commuter (city/traffic riding) and I also wanted a good bike to do alleycat races. In New Orleans the hipsters average 1 or 2 flats on their fixie bikes, so I figure I have the edge. It's flat here so I run a Salsa 48T to ENO 16T freewheel. Yep, you have to stand up to get going but it's fast and I can still crank it up bridges and stuff in the city. I had to go with a slightly wider BB since the 48T was very close to rubbing the frame. Anyhow, I picked up a Surly 1X1 off Craigslist for maybe 400ish, I ended up changing almost all the parts. I kind of went crazy with the pink bling parts and got creative with some paint markers but you get the jest (I wanted something a bit different).

    Let me know if you want the specs, etc. Took these with my camera phone, so hopefully they aren't too blurry. Just got the bars in and got them taped yesterday. Nitto makes an assortment of cool bars for on/off road from the extreme to the norm.
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  11. #11
    Bike Dork
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    Don't shy away from 700c or skinny tires because of rough roads or ups and downs. This bike sees plenty of nasty trails and weather and gets bunny-hopped all the time. Flats aren't a problem if you have good tires and ride smart. Plus riding skinny will make your fat tire riding skills increase exponentially.
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  12. #12
    smell the saddle...
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    I doubt you could get over street car tracks, huge potholes, and take 2-3' foot drops off sidewalks and other jagged road hazards on that bike.

    I think of this way: IF you are stictly commuting you can build a robust road bike with 700 tires and do some "smart riding". IF you are riding the streets like you would on a mountain bike then build one accordingly.

    I can keep up with the road/fixie bikes and sometimes am faster. Plus I ride over everything that gets in my way they constantly have to slow down.

  13. #13
    Bike Dork
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumonky
    I doubt you could get over street car tracks, huge potholes, and take 2-3' foot drops off sidewalks and other jagged road hazards on that bike.

    Come ride with me and find out. I'm in Bloomsburg, PA and I've got a fold-out futon and beer in the fridge. You'd be surprised what an experienced rider can do on a "road" bike.

  14. #14
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanmonkey
    Come ride with me and find out. I'm in Bloomsburg, PA and I've got a fold-out futon and beer in the fridge. You'd be surprised what an experienced rider can do on a "road" bike.

    I've read the quote twice and it still sounds like an indecent proposal.

  15. #15
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    Properly handled, a road bike can easily handle street car tracks and potholes. I live in downtown Toronto, and we have plenty of both. 2-3' drops, probably not. But I'd have to say that I have a hard time believing such a drop can't be avoided on your commute.

  16. #16
    smell the saddle...
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I've read the quote twice and it still sounds like an indecent proposal.
    Yep, I'd have to agree.


    Pennsylvania??? Bwahahahaha - I bet the streets are plated in gold along your bike paths... You obviously have never been to New Orleans, bring that rust bucket here and lets see if that clunker can make it around the block!

    Quoted from Where Y'At Magazine:
    "New Orleans has one of the highest percentages of people who ride bikes, estimated at about four times the national average in 2000. However, it is rated near the bottom for accommodating infrastructure, as is Louisiana, which has one of the highest fatality rates for cyclists."

    No bike paths here and the city still suffers from Katrina damage. No comparison to anywhere in the US to ride a bike.

  17. #17
    Drinking the Slick_Juice
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    That's what I did.
    With fender's I can fit a 32c tire, or 35c w/o.



    that thing is pretty badass

    what kind of tires and wheels are those?
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  18. #18
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    Pennsylvania??? Bwahahahaha - I bet the streets are plated in gold along your bike paths... You obviously have never been to New Orleans, bring that rust bucket here and lets see if that clunker can make it around the block!
    Dude the streets in PA can be pretty bad. The constant freeze and thaw pretty much kills them. The tons of road salt we have to dump dosnt help either. Get much snow or ice in New Orleans?
    read KNOBBY MEATS or be sadly ignorant of the mediocrity that is allowed to exist in the interwebs

  19. #19
    Steamroller
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    I have a nice fixie built up from a fine lugged steel italian frame. I run it SS sometimes, it's my commuter. I used to have a real cool IRO SS cross bike, I think it was the Rob Roy if memory serves, I ran cheap 35mm tires on it and at the time my 8 mile commute with 5 dirt and 3 asphalt was a blast on it. I've also run an SS mtb, 26" with Kenda K-Rad tires, that was pretty nice and worked for dirt or street. My first home built SS the origional PUSS - purple ugly single speed (years before bianchi's puss) cost virtually nothing and it was my grocery getter for a year or so. I never locked it and nobody ever stole it. Somebody actually offered me cash for it, like $50 so I sold it. I kind of wish I still had it .
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  20. #20
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuck_chorris
    that thing is pretty badass

    what kind of tires and wheels are those?
    The front wheel is a Campy Daytona / Open Pro, the rear is a Surly / Salsa.
    The tires are Panaracer Cinder X 35c.

  21. #21
    conjoinicorned
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    a good steel CX bike like the surly crosscheck will take ridiculous abuse. i have taken a few 2' drops to dirt transition with it...but it isn't my first choice for that. but it handles gravel, light singletrack and general road hazards without issue. not to mention, i'd rather ride the roadie with studs in the winter than any of my mtb's (on the road of course)

    the crosscheck can take up to 45c tires (1.75" mtb tires) and is way, way, way faster on the road than any mtb with slicks (and i've had a few)

    it never hurts to try a new position and a new style of bike. my only beef with the crosscheck is the lack of discs, i'm hoping to fix that soon with the new vassago fisticuff CX bike.

    sorry for the pic, the only one i have on the laptop. this is definitely commuter mode...

    Last edited by ferday; 02-22-2009 at 08:26 AM.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumonky
    Quoted from Where Y'At Magazine:
    "New Orleans has one of the highest percentages of people who ride bikes, estimated at about four times the national average in 2000. However, it is rated near the bottom for accommodating infrastructure, as is Louisiana, which has one of the highest fatality rates for cyclists."
    the vast majority of whom are killed by parade floats.

  23. #23
    one chain loop
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferday
    is it a 52cm frame, ferday? planning to build a cx this summer too.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  24. #24
    V-Shaped Rut
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    Well, the pawn shop industry in vegas really let me down. Very few bikes at all and what they had was wal-mart bikes.

    But when I got home I happened to notice an old (but never used!) caloi MTB frame in the back of my garage. I think it was on sale at jenson for $60 and I never built it up.

    I took apart my FS 1x9 for parts since I never really use it. The BB fit, I've got only the big ring on there. I tried it out with no tensioner and it was FAST on the flats, no more spinning out like the 32/18.

    I now need a tensioner, a seat collar, a few gears, some smallish tires and I guess a rigid fork while I'm at it.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumonky
    Yep, I'd have to agree.


    Pennsylvania??? Bwahahahaha - I bet the streets are plated in gold along your bike paths... You obviously have never been to New Orleans, bring that rust bucket here and lets see if that clunker can make it around the block!

    Quoted from Where Y'At Magazine:
    "New Orleans has one of the highest percentages of people who ride bikes, estimated at about four times the national average in 2000. However, it is rated near the bottom for accommodating infrastructure, as is Louisiana, which has one of the highest fatality rates for cyclists."

    No bike paths here and the city still suffers from Katrina damage. No comparison to anywhere in the US to ride a bike.
    That's precisely why I was recommending a SS MTB! Something with fat, flat proof tires, wide, sturdy rims, and a good steel frame. Come ride in New Mexico....that's gotta be the closest state to Louisiana. They've been trying, putting in bike paths and such, but a lot of the regular streets (and drivers) are so cyclist hostile, you need something belt fed and a half track to feel secure...

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