Using your 29'er SS as a urban commuter?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Using your 29'er SS as a urban commuter?

    In an earlier post, I had indicated my desire to purchase a new 2010 Redline Monocog 29er. I'm totally loving the simplicity of the SS and the durability of the MC. With that being said...

    I'd actually like to use this as a daily commuter with the occasional run on the trails, nothing too hardcore.

    Has anyone put some commuter tires such as some Schwalbe 2.35 Big Apples on their 29er SS MTB? If so, any pics?

    I realize this may defeat the purpose and I might as well purchase a road bike, but I'd like the versatility and option to switch back to a mtb tire.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Haven't done it myself but I think it's a great idea. A converted mountain bike with high volume tires can be run off curbs and through pot holes with less worry than a road bike that could risk a flat tire, dented rim or out of true wheel. Riding my mtb around town I tend to purposefully hop curbs and such for fun, so I would definitely want a bike like you are setting up. If you want to get somewhere as quickly and efficiently as possible then a road bike would still be best, especially over longer distances.

  3. #3
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    Here is an old GT Tequesta that I converted to 700c (technically a 29er ) by cutting off the brake bosses and welding them a little higher. The tires are only a 45mm, I'm sure not as large a tire as you are thinking, but it works for me. I have since ditched the tensioner as I have found a "magic" gear. It is perfect for getting around my small N.Cal town.

  4. #4
    Welsh Dave
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    It works perfectly. Better than a road bike for my type of riding.

    The skinny tires lower the BB (and also the gearing) slightly.
    Unlike a road bike, you get the benefits of: Lack of toe overlap; More upright position (Better for seeing the traffic and for "Hooligan" maneuvers); better brake options; flat bars.

    I used to ride a Cdale crosser as a commuter. If you want to commute fast, a crosser or a proper (geared) road bike is the way to go.

    But if you want to ride in "normal" clothes & normal shoes, f you prefer to cruise than race, if you like jumping stairs on the way to work, or if you ever have to carry stuff in a rucksack, then the more upright "29er-as-hybrid" option is more practical.

    Big Apples rule - But they can be a bit heavy in 29er size. I run 38mm touring Schwalbes on mine.

  5. #5
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    What he said.

    I put a big ring (42t) and a pair of 2.0 Schwalbe Marathon Supreme on my back-up 29er and it is a real fun bike to ride around town. All the crap that scares the folks on skinny tires (sand, sidewalks curbs), are handled with ease.

    Go for it!

  6. #6
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    I ran my diSSent with studded tires over the winter with the same gearing I was using on my roadie SS. Worked great, and as a side benefit, my legs were real strong this spring.

  7. #7
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    Yo! Well, I did the 2.0 BAs on my KM for several months about two years ago. I ended up dropping it because I don't really love pushing big rubber on big wheels long distances. On hills they are huge energy suckers.

    But they are amazingly smooth and it is nice to go down a flight of stairs and not have to touch any of them. My favorite thing was how great the BAs grip. It was almost like hopping on my motorcycle. Way over.

    And sorry- this is the only photo I have.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Using your 29'er SS as a urban commuter?-dsc_0003.jpg  


  8. #8
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    I actually use my '10 MC mostly for commuting with the stock wheels and tires. I did some other upgrades, including a 16t Tomicog.

    It works great, and im never worried about rocks, curbs, and bumps....and i can take the occasional shortcut through a grassy field. go for it.

  9. #9
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    I was looking to do the same thing (convert older mtb to SS). I figured I would use it to commute around town or bike routes pulling my daughter in the child trailer I picked up recentely. At the same time, be able to ride the local trails in te area..I hope it all works out!

  10. #10
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I tried really hard to get my urban mtb to do a little of everything with SS. Right now I have an 89 Rockhopper with Michelin's Country Rock (rolls fast, good traction off pavement when dry and wide rubber) with a 2x5. I can tour, commute and do some offroad without switching a thing.

    If you end up pulling a child. you'll probably want a handful of gears.

  11. #11
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    Yup. Kid puller, studded tire winter errand / play bike / and limited single track riding.



    I use a mess bag or backpack. Not ideal for running groceries unless I have the trailer.

    Next up is an alternate wheel set with some 35's on it for town. And a cargo trailer.

  12. #12
    Welcome to the Gem...
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    i commute every day on my jabberwocky... big apples for the win!
    Ibis Tranny 29


  13. #13
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    29er SS as urban commuter? Been riding urban environments for 3+ years and since November 2009, the 29er SS has been the daily commuter i.e. beater day in and out.
    Creative Producer, Will of the Sun, Platform Pedal Shootout 1M+ views WoS

  14. #14
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    Bmike...that is a cool setup! I pulled my daughter around this weekend and used the same gear as I did on the trail and never had to change gears (what got me thinking about converting to SS when my gears get beat up too bad on the trail). I seem to have found that perfect gear ratio bc the ride went perfect. Now to find a crankset that allows me to take off the chainrings, then I should be ready for the convertion...can not wait to do this!!

  15. #15
    aka baycat
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    I spin out a lot or have insane hills to climb but still do it on my 29er SS. Contemplating a White Industries DOS setup though.

  16. #16
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    well i run small block 8's on the trails, so i usualy just take the old worn ones and put them on my commuter. They're light, and roll fast. And they're free, since i would have thrown them out otherwise. I go through enough tires on my trail bike that i doubt i'd ever run out of "road" tires.
    Even when they arent bald they still roll well.

  17. #17
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    I've got some 2.35 Liteskins on my KM right now. Geared 40:18. It's fun.

  18. #18
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    HIPSTER ALERT!!!!!!

    look for signs of PBR, tight pants, and overpriced messenger bags
    Ride & Smile

  19. #19
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    i do it on my rockhopper ss 29er all the time...geared 32:18...although 32:16 would be better...and i would just rock the mtn tires vs swapping back and forth....

  20. #20
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    The primary focus of my bike was: Utility Bike.

    I just start communiting in May 2010 (total distance 16.5 miles).

    Do you remember that cat on the pepe le pew cartoon? That is the way my legs would move on 42-18 gear. I changed it to 48-18 The enjoyment of my commute has increased!

    I have had the 2.35 Big apples for over a year. Picture was taken with camera phone. I am pretty sure this is not the angle you wanted. Sorry!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Using your 29'er SS as a urban commuter?-single-speed.jpg  

    Last edited by biker-x; 06-16-2010 at 04:51 PM.

  21. #21
    Come see me after class
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    i use my 29er SS on the streets all the time. it's geared 32/18 for our very-non-hilly trails and for putting around the neighborhood, but when i ride Critical Mass every month, i regear to 34/16 so i can play with the hipsters and roadies.

    if it were strictly a commuter bike, i'd leave it geared at 34/16. it rides great on the street, and i love not having to worry about curbs and potholes.

  22. #22
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    I use my 29er for both on / off road. It's not ss though, it's geared (my singlespeed is a surly 1x1 26").

    Think super hybrid on steroids. That's what they are, really.

    With cyclocross (or less offroad specific 29") tires and the right gearing you should be fine. I ditched the 2.2" wide 29er tires (kept em aside for winter though) and put on 700x38 cyclocross tires. It now does the street and offroad better.

    Gearing that allows both on/off road use is not easy but once you find what works for you you get it. At one point I used the same ss for riding from town to town and offroading.

  23. #23
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    wow, 1.5 year old thread!

  24. #24
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    I'm running 33/16 and 2.1" small block 8's at 75psi and loving it around the neighborhood.

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