Converting an MTB to (more of ) a Tourer

Gothmeister
Gothmeister Posts: 62
edited November 2008 in Workshop
I recently picked up my first copy of Cycling Plus and, in the letters page, a correspondent mentioned he'd read an article in a previous issue about "how to change an MTB into a Tourer".

I e-mailed C+ to ask how I get hold of a copy of the article, but they haven't replied.

What is involved in such a transformation? Has anyone here done it? Does anyone know how one gets back issues of C+?

Comments

  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    Depends....on what you mean by "mtb" and "tourer".

    Older rigid "mtbs" easy if you want to keep flat bars - all really need is a change of gearing and tyres! Most decent quality modern ones have wrong geometry for most rigid forks. Changing to drops easy enough - but more costly (altho' bar end shifters rather than STIs not too expensive).

    This COULD be a light tourer - tho' being an old XC race frame no fixing points for rack(s) - nor even 'grds (P-clips fine for the latter but not so satisfactory for racks IMO).

    Nov8.jpg
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • toontra
    toontra Posts: 1,160
    The main things you should be looking for in my opinion are:

    1) Steel frame
    2) Mounting points for rear rack
    3) A fairly relaxed head tube angle giving a long wheelbase

    With these three things you can adjust the stem length and seatpost/saddle to give a good ride position.

    I swear by older Orange P7's and Clockworks and have successfully toured long distances on both. If you can pick up a frame the only problem may be finding a 1"- steerer rigid fork to match (it will need to have a 395 axle-to-crown length also).


    a serious case of small cogs
  • meagain wrote:
    Depends....on what you mean by "mtb" and "tourer".

    Well my current bike (courtesy of my eldest son) is a full suspension DiamondBack S-10 MTB(?) with Panaracer Mach semi-slick tyres.


    My wife is riding (courtesy of my eldest son's partner) an man's Apollo hard tail (ATB?), which also has semi-slick tyres. An older version of something like this:

    http://www.apollobikes.com/apolloproducts/id/29/cid/13/parent/0/t/apolloproducts/title/Incline
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    I personally wouldn't bother "converting" a full bouncer beyond the tyres! Nor any Apollo.

    Frame material a matter of personal choice, but while a suitable frame is likely to BE steel, nowt wrong with alu IMO (tho' the one in the pic taken this a.m. is very light steel).

    There's a lovely old Orange on th'bay at the moment ....but it ain't cheap.
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • GyatsoLa
    GyatsoLa Posts: 667
    Its not clear from your question whether already have an mtb you want to convert? There is no big mystery to it, but details depend on the type of bike.

    If the bike doesn't have eyelets, or has disk brakes, then you need a specialist rack, such as those from www.oldmanmountain.com. Their website shows lots of mtb's converted for rough road touring.

    For the front end, adding bar ends such as Cane Creek Ergo's greatly increases the comfort of the cockpit. Ergon grips help as well. In general, you may wish to raise the front a little using spacers or a new stem.

    Plenty of people tour with front sus, but its better if the sus fork can be locked out, preferably locked at the 'top' rather than the bottom (otherwise it will flip you forward on the flats). But there are various options for rigid forks, such as Kona P2's, or carbon forks from On One (among others).

    Gearing on mtb's is usually fine for touring.

    Mudguards are hard to attach to some, but SKS do good ones that attach to the seatpost and can fit under racks. The front is always more difficult, but crud catchers work ok in most conditions.

    Obviously, tyres need to be changed. For heavy duty touring, Schwalbe Marathon XR's can't be beat. For other tours, there are loads of options depending on your preferences.
  • I converted a Gaint MTB rigid frame to a 'winter' tourer for my son. He loves it.

    drop bars, bar end shifters, semi slicks, rack, dynamo & mudguards

    The frame, forks and crankset cost me a tenner, most of the rest came from the bit box. I think it was just the mudguards and lights that we needed to buy.[/img]
    Recipe: shave legs sparingly, rub in embrocation and drizzle with freshly squeezed baby oil.
  • On this very subject... I've used my spesh rockhopper for "supported" tours, i.e. your bags get carried in a bus, and its been spot on (sure, could be lighter, but it weighs less than a dawes galaxy). Changes were of course tyres but also (as mentioned above) bar ends and spesh ergo grips.

    However...

    I want to take my kit with me next time, so I need a rack that will fit a 26" / disc braked rear. Anyone know of a make and model other than Old Man Mountain?

    Cheers

    Jon
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    I THINK that a trader has been listing some specifically claimed to be OK with discs on th'bay in past few weeks. 'Fraid I can't recall details, but a skim through relevant Active/Ended category might be worthwhile?
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."
  • Jay dubbleU
    Jay dubbleU Posts: 3,159
    I got a disc specific one from Bikehut - I have a Giant Escape which has 26" wheels and it fits with enough clearance to put a crud catcher rear mudguard underneath
  • W5454
    W5454 Posts: 133
    I converted an MTB I had given by a relative.
    Flat bars and shifters were replaced by drop bars an Campag Mirage shifters.
    Triple chainset was replaced with a Stronglight double I had in my spares box.I don't like V brakes so these were replaced by cantis.The frame will accept 700c wheels but I kept the 26" and put slicks on.I have a rack on and will fit mudguards later.The bike is used for commuting and plodding about.
  • GyatsoLa
    GyatsoLa Posts: 667
    I want to take my kit with me next time, so I need a rack that will fit a 26" / disc braked rear. Anyone know of a make and model other than Old Man Mountain?


    Tubus Disco

    http://www.tubus.com/index/lang/en/rubr ... kel/Disco/
  • meagain
    meagain Posts: 2,331
    Cookiemonster,

    these are cheap (and probably cheerful) on th'bay:

    Alloy Pannier Rack Fits Disc Brake Bikes RRP £29.9
    d.j.
    "Cancel my subscription to the resurrection."