Convert El Cheapo Rigid Bike to SS?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Convert El Cheapo Rigid Bike to SS?

    Hi guys, first time poster here! Please bear with my long story here (you can skip to last paragraph if you want to get straight to the point)...

    I've been (semi) seriously mountain biking for about two years now. I have a Trek 800 Sport that I've been riding since I was twelve (still fits me, though, at 21"). I've been riding local trails (Mt. Falcon, Apex, Enchanted Forest, Chimney Gulch, for all you Front Rangers who know what I'm talking about), and have been doing pretty well at them, IMO.

    Things began to change, however, when I recenty went on a trip to Moab, and rented a pretty decent (from what I understand) hardtail bike. Wow, what a difference! The bike felt about 5 times lighter and much more smoother to ride than what I'm used to. After getting back from the trip, I began shopping for a new bike. What I didn't realize was to get a bike similar to the one I had tried out, I would have to overshoot my budget by a good $600 or so. Not good for a college student with a expensive snowboard addiction. So, I decided to hold off buying a bike until I could spring for a really good one.

    However, once I got back from Moab, I'd found that my skills had improved pretty dramatically (I guess the crazier terrain and nicer bike caused me to push myself more and learn what I could really do), and I could do all sorts of stuff I couldn't before on my old bike. I've been getting better and faster each time I go up. Recently, I tried setting my bike into one gear, and leaving it there for an entire ascent and descent of Chimney Gulch trail. Not only did I do well (and not have to worry about my crappy derailer jamming on me), but I also beat my best time on the ascent(as well as another rider on a hardtail)!

    This got me thinking, what if, to hold me over until I can fork over the big bucks for a fancy bike, I got some clipless pedals and converted my bike to SS? The clipless pedals would feel so much better(the Moab trip got me addicted to by attached to the bike), and SS would make the bike lighter, more efficient, and less frustrating to use. I'm also looking at trying to lighten up the bike in other ways, to make it easier to climb with. Does this sound like a plan to you guys? How much would I be looking at spending for the SS conversion? Also, I worry that doing this conversion will hinder the bike around town performance. I've been trying to find a cheap road bike for going places, but until I do, this is my only bike. What say you? Good idea or waste of money?

  2. #2
    The Tortoise
    Reputation: Dr JRod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    I'd say if you're riding around town/campus, keep the platforms on there and use clipless on the trails. There really isn't a reasons to spend any money on a SS conversion. Use the derailleur as a tensioner, shorten the chain and pick the right cog from your cassette. I wouldn't invest too much into a Trek 800, but that's no reason not to enjoy it until you get a new ride.
    On the streets you'll probably be in too low of a gear for max speed, but either swap cogs between trail outings or learn to spin. Enjoy the SS, I sure am!

  3. #3
    Wolf nipple chips
    Reputation: Cabin Fever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    hells yes

    it would be a great idea. you'll become a stonger, better rider more quickly, your bike will require less maintenance, and you'll just be Big Money Ballin. the money you save in extra maintenance for your geared bike can go towards buying a new geared bike.


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