2nd wheels or 2nd bike?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

2nd wheels or 2nd bike?

Postby fobfob » Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:35 pm

Hi, I am somewhat confused regarding my options and wondering if someone can help me.

I just bought a new Trek 6000 MTB a month ago. I'm loving it and don't for a second regret the MTB as there are some trails near me that are awesome fun.
The problem is that for commuting and also for some other cool roads (national park) near me, the nobbly 2.1" tires are a real downer. I've put a set of 1.5" Geax roadsters (slicks) on and really appreciate the difference on the road. But now I can't go off road, not on those trails I mentioned.

I don't have a ton of cash to drop on a road bike, having just spent ~$2k on the MTB and many accessories (including clothing, equipment, bike racks for car etc, remember I was starting from scratch!)

So my main question is, how realistic is it to get a second set of wheels for the MTB? I don't mind swapping them but I've been looking into it and it seems a major pain as I would have to get identical cassette and compatible brake rotors, and there's always the problem of derailleur adjustment and/or brake pad bedding, alignment etc. I'm looking at not much change from $400 and I don't know if it's even feasible. But has anyone had experience with this?

BTW I consider that just changing tires rather than wheels is too much of a hassle. It took me an hour to change the tyres last time and although I'm sure I could get that down a bit it's still a major hassle.

Another option is to get a dirt cheap new road bike like the bottom cell for around 500-600. But am I really gonna go any faster or have a better experience on a low end road bike compared to a mid range MTB (with Deore gear, hydro brakes) and slick tires?

Yet another option is a second hand road bike but the real cheap ones seem to be vintage or have some real major problem (i'm looking at ebay). For a serious one you're looking at upwards of $800.

In reality the best option is just to wait until I can afford a decent road bike but I'm still interested in people's opinions on the two questions above.

Thanks!
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by BNA » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:31 pm

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Postby MountGower » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:31 pm

Fobfob
Last edited by MountGower on Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby gururug » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:36 pm

Its really up to your personal preference;

If you;

a)

-Really love your current bike
-Don't swap between commuting and trails daily
-Dont have the space or the time to maintain two bikes

You could get a second set of wheels :lol:

But if you;

b)

-Worried your nice MTB will get pinched
-Are going to commute often
-Have space or another adult in the house who might ride a bike from time to time

Get a resonable quaility second hand beast (150$>350$) for commuting on. :lol:
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Postby fobfob » Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:14 pm

thanks gururug and MountGower. I don't really want a second bike if possible. I like mine and don't have a lot of room. Already it's taking up prime position on my balcony!

Maybe I'm doing something wrong when changing tires. I think the slowest part was getting the new one on. Also, it trashed my hands..

I only used two tire levers. I can't see any use for the third (though I have it). The first one gets a point off the rim, the second starts at that point and I use it to prise the tire off as I turn it. Getting the tire on is much harder and I'm fairly sure I'm missing some technique somewhere. I used the tire lever too although I'm not sure if I am supposed to.

I like the idea of another set of wheels. Quick and simple to swap. But I'm just baulking at the confusing array of possible parts. I've been told to get exactly the same cassette, which in my case is SRAM PG950 11-34. Not exactly the most common. Easier to find a PG970 but will the rear derailluer need adjusting each time? And what about the rotor position? Am I guaranteed to get it exactly right so the brake position doesn't need to be adjusted between the different wheels? Has anyone attempted this?
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Postby gururug » Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:18 pm

I have also seen a half road half knobbly tyre around, may be a compromise
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Postby europa » Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:26 pm

Three levers guarantee and easy off with the tyre. You set all three levers under the bead, each one over the spoke you're going to hook it to (or under if your levers don't have the hook for the spoke). Pull down the centre lever and hook it onto or under the spoke. Pull down the two side ones. At this point, enough of the tyre will be off the rim for it to stay off. I then use one lever, under the bead, to run around the rim, thus taking the rest of the tyre off. Takes less time to do than it does to type :D and, thanks to the third lever, very little effort.

Start directly opposite the valve - it makes it just that little bit easier.

Putting the tyre back on - use your hands for as much as you can. With a bit of luck and fingers stronger than mine, you can do the lot without a lever and that is the best (less chance of pinching the tyre and quicker). However, one application of one lever is usually all I need to get the tyre back on the rim.

Now, for the uber-bling bit - put the brand sticker/stamp of the tyre over the valve. Some people claim it makes it easier to work out where a tube is punctured as you can lay the tube over the tyre, valve on sticker, and see where the nail sticking out of your tyre corresponds to the tube. Personally, I think it's just a way of saying to people who notice these things that you 'pay attention to detail' :wink:

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Postby Bnej » Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:29 pm

You could try something like a Continental Town & Country tyre. It's a relatively fat road/gravel tyre with some recessed tread to help you get by off road. If you're mainly poodling off road, you can get by without knobblies.

I wouldn't recommend most of the hybrid pattern tyres I see - they have the knobbly bits on the edges which means you're going to slip climbing hills and still get squirm if you try high speed cornering on road.

I've done a 25km off road trail a couple of times on 26x1.5 slicks and while I wouldn't recommend it, you can get by.
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Postby europa » Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:33 pm

That was a thought I had but I don't know enough about the mtb scene to comment. Do you need full nobblies where you are riding? Is there a tyre that will do both for you? It seems there are a lot of options out there so investigating this might be worth the effort, even if it only confirms that you need two sets of tyres/wheels/bikes.

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Postby fobfob » Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:41 pm

Good point, I might try my slicks on the trails- might be ok in the dry...
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Postby MountGower » Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:39 pm

Fobfob
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Postby MountGower » Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:46 pm

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Postby tinstaafl » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:09 pm

fobfob wrote:Good point, I might try my slicks on the trails- might be ok in the dry...
Mate,
In the dry I reckon that slicks are perfectly adequate.
I wonder about the advantage of knobbies over the increased rubber to dirt contact of slicks.

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Postby Mulger bill » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:33 pm

G'Day Fobfob.

I went down the two wheelset path. I am using the similar sram cassettes on each, but different Avid rotors. I've had no problems in nearly a year so far.

I use Conti Town and Countrys for the commute, they're a great road use tyre and are quite capable workers off road, though I wouldn't hit up any big rockgardens on them. They will slide badly in loose dusty conditions or on wet grass, but are otherwise very good.

If your local trails are 99% hardpack, you should be pretty right on the Geax's.

Shaun
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Postby mikesbytes » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:40 pm

Hi Fobfob, it does depend a lot on what kind of road riding you are going to do, so what kind of road riding, (ie commuting 10k each way) will you be doing?

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Postby fobfob » Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:08 pm

Wow thanks for all the replies.

I took your advices and went down some trails with the slicks. It was ok, but the best way to describe it was it wasn't "fun" because I always worried I would lose traction. It didn't, but then I didn't go through the worst of it and bailed onto the road 1/2 way through. Also, it was dry and lately (suprisingly, being sydney) it's been quite wet. Ironically I did lose traction on the road at one point, hit some rubbish or something..

The raptors look good although I did look at a range of "hybrid" type tyres and I'm not sure they're gonna keep up with the slicks on the road and I love the stock nobblies I got with the bike (Bontrager Jones ACX), they take to the off road like a mountain goat. I'm already looking for some thin tubes for some 1.25" slicks I just bought.

mikesbytes: At the moment my commute is 1.25km each way which takes about the same time to walk when you consider changing clothes at each end... but that may change. My road riding is mainly for fitness so theoretically I could use anything, but unfortunately I feel the need for speed. faster==funner. Off road, it feels real fast because of having to pay attention to the track and pick your line. I don't get that feeling on the road, but it's a lot closer with the slicks.

mulger: thanks, glad to hear it, I'm still keen for the two wheelset option, just wanted the confidence to know it is workable. ;)
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Postby mikesbytes » Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:14 pm

Why don't you start with the bike you have and only change it once you find you are riding a bigger distance.

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