Learn me: rigid 26" commuter- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Learn me: rigid 26" commuter

    Hi All,

    I don't know too much about bikes but I wanted to build a new bike around town. I have a 26" BMX and while I love it I've always wanted to try and build up a 26" BMX as a commuter. I don't really know what I'm looking for however and what I should look for. Ideally I'd like a vintage 26" mountain bike, put some good hardware on it, slicker tires, city bars, and a front rack. I also want it to look really nice, I'm willing to spend $$$$.

    Is there a good resource for this, or pictures to get inspiration?

  2. #2
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    Ok I think for a commuter you are on the right track.

    Concerning the add-ons etc, I would first see what bike you end up with, then see what upgrades it needs. The old ones often have a 3x7 gearing that holds up forever. Tires, rack maybe a saddle and you're good to go. Maybe some fenders if you are also riding in wet areas?

    Later on, fine tune as much as you want

    The way you describe it, I would refer you to the "passion" forum ;o))

  3. #3
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    Easy-peasy: Get yerself a nice vintage MTB frame, sized appropriately. Install slicks or semi-slicks. Add other hardware as desired.

    Confession: I'm not at all knowledgeable about front racks. For me, a rear rack has sufficed nicely.
    There is a season, turn, turn, turn
    And a time for every wheel to turn through it

  4. #4
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    Here's somebody's vintage Ritchey conversion. Not the prettiest, IMO. But it is definitely vintage and definitely a conversion-

    There is a season, turn, turn, turn
    And a time for every wheel to turn through it

  5. #5
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    Now that I see that nice pic: I would upgrade the brakes to sd7 levers/v brakes to get some more stopping power.

  6. #6
    weirdo
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    Hi, Coldsnap. Sounds like a good plan to me. I didn`t know there were 26 inch BMXs. Mind posting a few pictures? What kind of set up are you dreaming of? For inspirational pics, two forum threads come to mind:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/commuting/pos...os-399153.html
    I would LOVE to see photos of your MTB conversion

    They`re both pretty long to read post by post, but you might find some ideas by scrolling quickly through and checking out the pics.
    Recalculating....

  7. #7
    Snow Dog
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    i am going to start using my 1994 Trek Mountain Tack 830. It has the 3x7 gearing mentioned above, and I am going to put some Schwalbe Marathon tires on it. It has been my trail bike since 94, but I just got a Surly Krampus to fill that role. The Trek has been my commuter as well, so the different tires are going to make it much easier to ride on pavement. It is great b/c all of the components are very hardy, and easy to deal with for maintenance issues

    I also actually still have my 20' Mongoose Californian Pro that I ride as a commuter, but only for short distances or to the park.
    Go Practice. Figure it out - Fleas

    15 Surly Krampus - King Amongst Bikes
    LET IT SNOW!

  8. #8
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    Here are some various iterations of mine.

    '89ish kuwahara



    '85 bridgestone



    And this year my bridgestone will actually be wearing some skinwalls (as soon as they get here)

    Since you're coming from a bmx background, I'd say go singlespeed or fixed.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    i am going to start using my 1994 Trek Mountain Tack 830. It has the 3x7 gearing mentioned above, and I am going to put some Schwalbe Marathon tires on it.
    I used a 1998 Trek 810 Singletrack (looks very similar to yours) for 2 years, about 7 miles each way, so it's definitely doable. Pretty much bombproof, sat out in all weathers etc but it is a heavy old beast.

    Depends on you and your route but mine ended up as a defacto single speed as I never changed gear (got lazy on maintenance and then just worked with it). Big ring on the front, 4th cog in the rear. It's ultimately what drove me down the SS route.

    I still have it although it is mostly retired now.
    2018 commutes - 26 days, 542 miles

  10. #10
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    Here's mine, 21 miles each way but mostly flat.

    Learn me:  rigid 26" commuter-001.jpg
    I need to ride more...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldsnapbryan View Post
    Hi All,

    I don't know too much about bikes but I wanted to build a new bike around town. I have a 26" BMX and while I love it I've always wanted to try and build up a 26" BMX as a commuter. I don't really know what I'm looking for however and what I should look for. Ideally I'd like a vintage 26" mountain bike, put some good hardware on it, slicker tires, city bars, and a front rack. I also want it to look really nice, I'm willing to spend $$$$.

    Is there a good resource for this, or pictures to get inspiration?
    Here is mine. A 1989 Fisher Paragon. I like it. I don't know if you would say it looks nice, but I think so. And more importantly, it rides really nicely.




    And here is my build on my process. I could have easily stopped and enjoyed the bike after adding the Ritchey slicks to my 26inch wheels (you will see in the thread), but I do really like my conversion.

    Here it is as currently rigged with front racks and packs on a San Juan Island tour we did summer before last. I really like the Clement USH tires btw.

    https://forums.mtbr.com/commuting/my...on-908426.html
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Learn me:  rigid 26" commuter-bike.jpg  


  12. #12
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    My 1994 GT Timberline. I really should take a photo of it with the panniers on.

    Its running 3x7, I upped the chain rings when I replaced the crank set last year. 11-28 in the back. switched out the canti's to v-brakes. Bought a used set of DH wheels, Mavic 521's on LX hubs. Lastly 26x1.5 Specialized Nimbus Armidillo's. Oh and I swapped out the factory rigid fork for a Surly 1x1, I gained threadless head set and less twitchy handling due to the slightly longer A2C.


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