open topic, for anything cycling related.
23 posts • Page 1 of 1
In another thread, I warned that my next project will be an mtb (or hybrid)
But don't worry, I'm not turning to the dark side.
I'm looking for something to tour fire trails, walking trails, grassy paddocks. Just relaxing days on the bike in rough terrain where my touring bike won't appreciate going.
I also need a spare bike around the house for my son's mates to ride when they come over, something that won't be as inappropriate as his rusting bmx to chase him on his roadie
I do not envision me doing hard core mtb stuff - riding down mountainside goat tracks, jumping creeks and boulders. That's for the young and fit - I'm demonstrably neither and have discovered pain.
I will NOT be buying new or even near new - I simply don't have the money. Besides, this is a project bike, something to fill in some shed time and then to ride as described above. I'm envisioning buying an old frame (it can come complete if it likes) at a 'good' price and turning it into a bike over time.
So youse experts, let's get a discussion going on what I need (frame style, suspension?, gearing, bars, blondes, medication) - rough road/track day trip rambling grid.
How about starting off with a cromoly mtb frame, sold by somebody who thought that skinny tubing was so last year and big fat aluminium tubing was now the way to go. A basic set of Rockshox suspension forks would probably be attached to that, but will probably require a rebuild sometime.
That's the sort of start I was thinking of ... but did wonder if another style of frame would also do the job. Something kitted out for front panniers would be worth looking at, though I don't anticipate using them at this stage.
Suspension forks are an issue though. Worth getting? What level should I be looking at (don't want to buy rubbish but am not in the market for top end stuff either ... unless the price is right)? If I get a frame with chromo forks, can I add suspension forks later? Can you rebuild forks and if so, all forks or just the better quality ones?
I'd go for a Cro-Mo, solid fork frame (or hardtail) and trek bars, second hand Deore components and 38 - 45 mm slicks. Something like a Shogun Trailbreaker or similar frame from Repco or Malvern Star from the 'tip shop', Cash Converters or eBay.
I've got two hi-tensile steel frames ready to rebuild, but I'll happily throw them out if a Cro-Mo one crops up. I built one up from a Trailbeaker 1 frame (flat bars, older Acera components and Innova slicks from Torpedo7) and it was really pleasant to ride - and its regular rider still thinks its a pretty good fit to requirements. I also stripped and re-furbished a Trailblazer 3 (hardtail) that easily keeps up with plenty of much 'grander' bikes - usually to the annoyance of their owners.
I originally thought that a Cro-Mo road frame would work, but I think something a bit stronger, with 650mm wheels suits occasional gravel better. Plenty of road frames went all sorts of places in the past though!
I used to have a mtb (Mongoose IBOC) with rigid fork from the era when you could buy the same bike but with or without suspension forks. Despite the frame having a "suspension specific" sticker on the frame, it had a rigid fork and there always seemed to be a lot of my weight over the front end, so much so that I bought a head stem with a steep angle just to feel comfortable. I later bought a set of suspension forks for it (Rockshox Indy XC) and found the length of the suspension forks was longer than the rigid fork, even when compressed and I was able to go back to the original head stem. The point of my ramble is that if you go from a suspension fork to a rigid fork, make sure it is of a similar length. The latest Dirtworks cattledog lists Surly rigid forks at the correct length, although buying lots of new bits might be at odds with your project.
That's why I like the older (Cro-Mo) Trailblazer 1. It was built for a rigid fork, not suspension. Generally, you can't swap a rigid fork for a suspension one because they require different length head tubes. You can find the same frame on models from Repco, Gemini, Apollo and Malvern Star (that I've seen so far) and it is really easy to build up a good commuter from it.
Cromolly is good as it will take knocks and you can bend it into place without having to worry much. Aluminium frames that are dinted loose their strength and can't be bent back (while maintaining orginal strength). They are more expensive and offer weight reduction which is quite nice for hilly fire trails... but a Chromolly is fine. Go for a hard tail and simple front suspension fork, I have, for example on one bike an old RST fork which has some elastomers and a coil... no oil. This is fine for even technical riding as it will take out all the bumps, probably not as elegant however suitable and low budget.
V-Brakes would be your best best, cost effective and brake effective .. and very easy and nice to ride with. You can start with the bottom of the range Shimano (Alivio or Deore) MTB components.
Keep us up to date and let us know which decisions you make.
If budgets are an issue, I strongly suggest a trip to your local dump/transfer station one Sunday afternoon. You will be amazed at the quality and quantity of bikes that are disposed of in this manner. Some are resold but most end up as scrap or solid fill.
We are now such a wealthy society (it seems) that people just throw bikes out when they want to upgrade, or when a bike needs some maintenance. If you have small kids, take your pick of the 12", 16" and 20" bikes on offer. They are thrown away when the kids grow out of them. I have enough of these bikes in the garage for my kids and 4 friends that come over.
I have started providing bikes (free of course) to single mums and less well-to-do families at my kids school - all good "dump bikes".
I scored my cro-mo framed Apollo Vitesse racer from the transfer station. Came with triathlon bars and functioning computer. This is not my number one bike, taking me 25km to work and back every day. There are good bikes to be had for next to nothing. Many may require a service, which often means a bottom bracket job or some other bearings, but most are OK.
If you feel that you need to, you can ask a council employee if it is OK to look through the bikes, but in my experience they are only too pleased to see someone take them away. Anyway, there is your cheap option. One more hint - take some tools with you because you just might spot some accessories on other bikes while you are there. Cheers. Scott the tight arse.
This is a great time for a plug for the website featured on the homepage of bicycles.net.au - Bicycle Recycling Network is promoting the reuse of old bicycles in various ways and forms.
Scotty, if you don't know it already have a look. If it makes sense, get yourself added as you sound like you are doing a good turn and it might save you from heading down the tip too much (if people know you will give their old bikes a better home).
Mmmmm, CrMo hardtail, RST forks, flat bar and bar ends. Now THAT takes me back
Get one if you can find one, CrMo gives a magical ride quality that you just won't find in a beer can. But you knew that already.
A bounce fork will have your wrists thanking you, something simple like an RST elastomer job is easy to maintain, if it ever needs it.
See if you can find Deore or Alivio components within budget. This will give you 24 or 27 well spaced ratios that should let you climb walls if that's what blows your hair back.
V Brakes with Koolstop Thinline pads (look for screw on, not post fit pads, easier setup) are very good, discs are great, but likely over budget.
Most rigid MTB forks will take a pannier and you can buy bolt on racks for bouncers (see Dirtworks website).
Don't go dual bounce unless you're getting seriously dirty, a half decent hardtail will do all you've stated easily, the extra weight, expense and maintenance of a dually rules them out here.
Good luck with the search for a new lover, I can't wait to hear details
I think the ideal bike for you to tour fire trails etc, would need to be unique, how about an exercise bike?
I'm getting seriously concerned about your health. I go away and look at your post count
Flebay and I are on snarling terms - it invites me to spend money and I snarl that I don't have any
I am rather taken by the DIY recumbent. Of course, that will take some money to get started ...
Nope, the search is on for an mtb. I'm starting with freebies or so close to it it doesn't matter. When I find that that hasn't worked, I'll look at actually paying for my donor bike - seeing this is a project rather than a needed item, there's no time frame (besides, I've got a 14' wooden boat I should be finishing )
I'd appreciate that thanks Karen. I've been trying to track down someone like that because I want to help, but no-one seems to know of anyone.
I've pm'd a reply Karen. Thanks for that, he sounds ideal and he's just down the road from me. I've been searching for him for some time now without success, and you're right about the BISA website, he's not there ... or well hidden
The entire time your post has been up here about a mountain bike I have been in regular contact with him via email. How dumb am I, I only twigged tonight that you are in the same area! Glad you finally found him. Be interesting to see what you come home with.
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