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Bicycle conversion.
Old 07-04-2008, 06:03 PM   #1
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Bicycle conversion.

Don't laugh, this is an odd one. I have a Mountain Bike that I have never ridden. As a result of working out for the past year and a half I feel great and am much stronger so I would like to get riding.

Being the Cheap frugal soul that I am I would like to take this bike and convert it into a cruiser which would suit my needs better. I think that this would entail more than changing out the handlebars. I will be riding either on paved road or packed gravel. And am more interested in having a more upright seated position than anything else so I am really not interested in changing out the suspension if I don't have to.
My goal is to but a basket or two on this bike to use it for running errands and shopping instead of the car. I'm kind of going for something like the picture below.




It this possible?
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:30 PM   #2
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I did a very similar thing with my classic road bike, and I'm very happy I didn't sell it. As I got older I continued to be comfortable with the drop handlebars as long as I didn't have to look where I was going. So I changed and raised the handlebars, and it works great.

Bike.jpg

However, in your case, I'd consider selling the mountain bike, and buying a cruiser on craigslist. You can probably get more for your bike than you pay for the new one.

We're looking for a road bike for DW, and it's hard because there are so many cruisers advertised.

Here's one for $100:



dyno glide beach cruiser
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:37 PM   #3
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I don't see why not. The gearheads may squawk that the angle ratio yada yada won't be optimum, but then my "new" bike is a 1991 and my "good" bike is a 1976. Yes, it's possible to ride a bicycle without a spring suspension, and even one where the gear shifters are down on the frame.
So I bet you could just switch out the handlebars and handlebar post and ta-da. Get thee to a bike shop, I suggest. You may need longer brake and/or shifter cables but those are cheap and easy to replace. If the first bike mechanic says nay, look for an older - I mean more mature - one.
P.S. Trombone Al posted while I was writing this. What he suggests is good too, IMHO.
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattusbabe View Post
Don't laugh, this is an odd one. I have a Mountain Bike that I have never ridden. As a result of working out for the past year and a half feel I great and am much stronger so I would like to get riding.
Being the Cheap frugal soul that I am I would like to take this bike and convert it into a cruiser which would suit my needs better.
It this possible?
Anything's possible with a good bike shop and large wads of money. But here's a potentially dumb question-- what about test-driving the mountain bike on the roads/paths you're likely to ride?

The reason I bring this up is because you'll have plenty of gears & tread to do what you want without excessive effort, and you might decide that the bike is fine the way it is. Add a couple pannier baskets over the back wheel, or even a bike-packer's basket over the front wheel, and you'll be good to go. With baskets/panniers over both wheels you probably won't even need fenders to keep the mud down.

Spouse's cruiser lacks gears and suspension. It's so clunky that she never rides it, and I'm pretty sure she'd feel differently on a pricey Cannondale mountain bike.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:18 PM   #5
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Yes you can.

The first thing I would suggest if you are not going to use it for mountain biking is to swap the knobby tires for smoother tires. This reduces the rolling resistance a lot and and it is still ok for dirt roads and non-technical trails.

You can get various rear and front racks and baskets and you can clamp them on if your bike does not have threaded fittings. I suggest looking at the Nashbar and Performance bike web sites to get an idea of what it is that you might want.

You can also look at the available tires on those web sites. Since it is a mountain bike you probably have 26" tires. It will have the size on the tires. The other number is the width. Most mountain bikes have 26"x2.1" or 26"x1.95" tires but you can put tires of most widths on a 26" wheel. I have had tires as wide as 2.1" and as narrow as 1.25" on my mountain bike.

Last is your position on the bike. If you want a more up right riding position then you can change out the bars/stem. If you are mechanically oriented you can do it yourself but I suspect that it would probably be worth it to find a good bike shop and have them do it. They can also help you with fitting. In a way a bike is like a good suit. Quality of the cloth and the skill of the tailoring doesn't matter if the measurements are wrong and it doesn't fit. Same with a bike. Fit is very important. A good shop can help with that.

MB
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:51 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies. I will do a search to see what I can get for my current bike and if just outright buying one on Craigslist makes sense. The bike is about five years old so I'd have to figure in depreciation. I am trying to do this on the cheap by working with what I have. I would also be sending this the bike shop where I bought it to have the work done. I agree this should be done by someone who knows what he/she is doing.

Nords I did try to ride the bike just after posting my previous post. I did not like the "cantilevered" feeling I get from the bike's current configuration. This may not be as bad as I feel it is ( had a similar problem with trying to ride a motor scooter...could not get used to the lean when going around corners. Always felt that they were more exaggerated than they were. Ended up selling the thing on e-bay. Who knows I may have an inner ear problem.) Good point about the tires also. Again thanks.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:25 PM   #7
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at five years old i don't imagine the trail bike depreciating much more between now and another five years. keep it for trail riding and get yourself a wicker basket bike for groceries.
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:28 PM   #8
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I have a 1986 Schwinn mountain bike that I turned into a cruiser, because I got tired of riding hunched over reaching for the handlebars. I took it to a local bike shop, told the mechanic what I wanted to do, and he helped me pick out the new handlebars that I wanted and he chose the stem. IIRC he charged me about $25 to swap the bars/stem.....fortunately all of the brake & shifter cables were long enough so I didn't have to have them replaced. The new handlebars look very similar to the ones on the dyno glide picture that T-Al posted above. Also had chrome fenders and a more comfortable padded & sprung seat installed on it. It rides like a dream!

I also bought a red Torker 6-speed Cruiser and had chrome fenders installed. (they don't have the 6-speeds anymore, they went to 7-speed) It looks very similar to this Torker:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Torker Cruiser.jpg (23.3 KB, 59 views)
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