Turning hardtail to commuter...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Turning hardtail to commuter...

    I am transforming my MTB to a commuter...

    what am i missing:

    1. put on slicks
    2. added rear rack with saddle bags
    3. added two full fenders
    4. installed lights
    5. Bell
    6. Bento Box
    7. mirror

  2. #2
    local trails rider
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    Depends. I don't need a rack but I like to have some reflectors, in addition to the lights, when riding in low light conditions. A bright colored jacket or vest can be good for visibility too: one of those screaming yellow things with reflective stripes maybe.

  3. #3
    Hi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Depends. I don't need a rack but I like to have some reflectors, in addition to the lights, when riding in low light conditions. A bright colored jacket or vest can be good for visibility too: one of those screaming yellow things with reflective stripes maybe.
    The more visibility the better! Get some of that 3M reflective tape and put it all over the bike, especially on the chainstays and the fork.

    Pretty cheap, too:

    http://www.amazon.com/3M-03456C-Scot.../dp/B000BQRIV2

  4. #4
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    Personally, I'd go with a rigid fork, but that's just me.
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  5. #5
    Bedwards Of The West
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    8. remove rack and saddle bags
    9. remove bento box
    10. remove bell, learn to whistle
    11. buy a backpack.




    it's all personal preference. You won't know what you're missing or what you don't like until you ride it for a while. Sounds like a pretty killer start though
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  6. #6
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    Does anyone use spoke lights? Its something I never really thought of until I started considering reflective tape.
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  7. #7
    Bedwards Of The West
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    www.lightweights.org

    They weigh virtually nothing and are almost invisible in daylight (on a silver spoke).
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    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  8. #8
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    Thats pretty neat. Maybe doing that in place of reflective tape on the frame.....I'm just hesitant of putting reflective tape on my frame; but putting it on the spokes is less of a concern for me
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  9. #9
    Bedwards Of The West
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    ^My thoughts exactly. I would put it on my fenders, but not crazy about putting it on my frame. Spokes didn't bother me at all.

    The lightweights came with a 4 little circular dots designed for the ends of quick release skewers...I stuck those (two each) on the heels of my biking shoes for some rearward visibility.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  10. #10
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Lightweights also has Stealth Black Reflective Tape and Stealth Black Reflective Dots, if you already have a black frame, it should blend in well.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  11. #11
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    The description of the spoke reflectors says that its based on 3M reflective tape.....Is it any different than the the 3M tape linked above from Amazon (besides being cut into rectangles)?
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  12. #12
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    I've never used the 3M stuff...the lightweights stuff is REALLY thin...it applies like a decal, you peel off the backing, then apply and peel off the top layer at the same time...the actual reflective tape is really, really thin and mold-able. It comes in square sheets pre-cut into 36 rectangles, which makes it pretty easy to install. Not sure how thin the 3M stuff is, but that was the standout feature of the lightweights stuff.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  13. #13
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    I figured the lightweight stuff would have to be super thin to wrap around a spoke. I was just wondering if maybe it was a marketing ploy to justify the 3x price increase. I'm probably going to get the reflective tape anyway for my helmet, rack, etc. So I can always report back for the benefit of others.
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  14. #14
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    The 3M spoke stuff is what I have on one of my bikes. I'll look for pictures and post them when I find them. The 3M stuff is pre-wrapped around small cylinders of PVC which snap onto your spokes.

    Edit: Found a picture with the 3M spoke reflectors.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Turning hardtail to commuter...-rb07.jpg  

    Last edited by Solomon76; 04-21-2010 at 09:21 AM.
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → В А

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz-Man
    I am transforming my MTB to a commuter...

    what am i missing:

    PICS! You're missing pics man! Especially the berfore and after, which are indeed quite necessary in this type of conversion situation.

    I ..... need ..... DIRT!!!!!

    ... and cookies. :D

  16. #16
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    Light weights +1

    <embed src="http://img249.imageshack.us/flvplayer.swf?f=Pcap0001" width="320" height="260" allowFullScreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/><br/>

    Classic Sport/light tourer, but same idea. When rolling, they look like a very wide reflective rim.

  17. #17
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08HardRock
    The description of the spoke reflectors says that its based on 3M reflective tape.....Is it any different than the the 3M tape linked above from Amazon (besides being cut into rectangles)?
    I tried to do the same thing with little "flags" of Reflexite tape. It worked great... for about a week. If you want them on your spokes, might as well order the Lightweights or Solomon`s tube thingies.. If you want to make the best use of tape from a single order, your best bet is probably to stick it on your rims between the nipples. That`s what I have currently. They stay stuck that way, but not as visible as the Lightweights unless you have pretty deep rims.
    Recalculating....

  18. #18
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    PICS! You're missing pics man!
    Yeah, that too!
    Recalculating....

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz-Man
    I am transforming my MTB to a commuter...

    what am i missing:

    1. put on slicks
    2. added rear rack with saddle bags
    3. added two full fenders
    4. installed lights
    5. Bell
    6. Bento Box
    7. mirror
    if your commute is much longer than 10 miles each way you may want to get drop/moustache/bullhorn/triathalon bars to cope with wind resistance. and a commute even with distances of less than 10 miles on a windy day can be a chore if theres much of a headwind...drop bars are cheap too

  20. #20
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klohiq
    if your commute is much longer than 10 miles each way you may want to get drop/moustache/bullhorn/triathalon bars to cope with wind resistance. and a commute even with distances of less than 10 miles on a windy day can be a chore if theres much of a headwind...drop bars are cheap too
    Have you actually done this swap yourself? Know anyone who has?

    Certainly it's not impossible, but there's a lot to it...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #21
    Bedwards Of The West
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    The only thing that can complicate that swap is hydraulic brakes. It's no big deal otherwise. New brake levers are probably necessary, new shifters are optional ... you can make mtb shifters work fine with drops, I had shimano trigger shifters on drop bars for a while...currently have an LX 8 speed shifter on a bullhorn bar. I'm using time trial brake levers with mechanical discs, no issues.

    You can see my shifter way inboard near the stem:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  22. #22
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    In my world, having to replace the brake levers and maybe shifters is a lot. And I like my STIs, which would also mean a new front derailleur.

    I was also thinking about the fit difference - it takes a pretty small mountain bike to have the right fit with the extra reach of drop bars.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #23
    Bedwards Of The West
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    Andrew, meet Allen wrench. Allen wrench, Andrew
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  24. #24
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    The swap should be easy...just make sure to get drop bars that are the right diameter for your current stem. or buy a new stem (shorter would be better depending on what you have now)

    if you meant using a 10-speed style stem. you would need a threaded fork, makes it harder, but the swap is doable and easy depending on your fork diameter. this option seems less useful and takes more money.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    In my world, having to replace the brake levers and maybe shifters is a lot. And I like my STIs, which would also mean a new front derailleur.

    I was also thinking about the fit difference - it takes a pretty small mountain bike to have the right fit with the extra reach of drop bars.
    what year is it and what bike?

    over the years the geometry has changed considerably. the original mtn bikes were road bikes with knobby tires, now the triangles are different enough where it might be a bigger issue.



  26. #26
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    Have you actually done this swap yourself? Know anyone who has?

    Certainly it's not impossible, but there's a lot to it...
    Me, too. The only tricky part of drop barring your mtb is finding a suitable stem. You do need to switch to shifters and brake levers that fit your new bars, but that isn`t hard at all.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    Recalculating....

  27. #27
    i call it a kaiser blade
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    what i did:

    slicks (cheap kenda/giant 1.5s)
    rigid fork (can't go wrong with surly)
    lights up front and rear
    cheap fenders on wet days so that i don't look like i sharted myself

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz-Man
    I am transforming my MTB to a commuter...

    what am i missing:

    1. put on slicks
    2. added rear rack with saddle bags
    3. added two full fenders
    4. installed lights
    5. Bell
    6. Bento Box
    7. mirror
    Be willing to experiment. My commuter has evolved over time as I have discovered what does/doesn't work for me. I started w/ slicks and a rear rack w/ panniers but found that I didn't like the way the bike handled and so moved to a backpack after 6 months. I also decided that while the slicks were okay, for me the trade-offs weren't worth it and I am now running SB8's.

    My next mod will probably be the bars. I installed a titech H-bar last year to try and get more hand positions but it doesn't quite work for me - lots of choices but none are great. I also don't like riding off road with those bars. Not sure what I will try next.

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