Making a MTB easier ride on the road or road bike for sale?

JaniceH Posts: 36
edited June 2009 in Road beginners
Two years ago I misguidedly bought a mountain bike from Halfords in an effort to get fitter. I very quickly found out that Im no good at off road biking and that it was difficult to ride on the roads, so it went back into the garage...

This is my bike spec :Its the Apollo, FS 26s 17" bike frame
Although my bike is an earlier version which is red and silver, its exactly the same. I have the 17" frame size.

I had originally decided that the full suspension was the best way to go, due to having broken the base of my pelvis in a horse riding accident, so its also got a different gel saddle from the stock saddle.

I got the bike out at the weekend and was cycling along with my OH and he was coasting along on his road bike and I was feeling like I was having a really hard time, loads and loads of effort, and apart from struggling with the gears, it just seemed so much effort for being on a flat cyclepath. I know Im not that fit, but I just couldnt help thinking that I was riding totally the wrong bike!

Is there any way of changing the bike to make it easier to ride, or failing that does anyone have a cheap road bike (really cheap) for sale that has a low step over bar, large wheels and thinner tyres?



  • MikeWW
    MikeWW Posts: 723
    You could put slick tyres on it which would help a bit but to be honest that is a very heavy lump and a slow bike on or off road. Any sort of hybrid would be far easier to ride
  • JaniceH
    JaniceH Posts: 36
    I know it is a very heavy bike, I did say it was a misguided purchase :roll: but I only have a maximum of about £80 to spend. Im not even worried if I have to get a new bike, but with that sort of budget its going to be old....
    just seen this in another post on this site. this may /may not not be the right bike for you, but might be worth checking out gumtree
  • butcher_boy
    butcher_boy Posts: 117
    For £80 you would probably be best getting some new tyres for it. Some road slicks will allow you to get higher PSI which will also help.
  • k-dog
    k-dog Posts: 1,652
    The most cost effective thing you can do is to change the tyres - and get them up to at least 40psi. It still won't be as quick as a road bike but it will make a big difference.

    These are a good price. ... elID=20401

    Make sure you seat is at the right height too so you have an efficient position.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    +1 for tyres, I did 1000s of miles on my MTB with slicks before I took the plunge & got a road bike, they made a huge difference.
    Also used SPDs (clip-in pedals) & a longer & lower stem to stretch the riding position out a bit - I can't remember the exact costs but I think it all came to less than £80.
    Full suspension is always going to be a drawback (at least you can cycle comfortably over kerbs & so on) as is the weight of your bike.
  • FSR_XC
    FSR_XC Posts: 2,258
    To be honest JaniceH, the Apollo is not a great bike.

    For off road it is quite heavy and has very poor suspension. This will not help it's ability off road.

    For the road, you don't need the suspension and the tyres will make it slow, as will the weight.

    What you need to think about is how much you will use a bike and if it will be on raods / cycle paths, trials or off road.

    If you decide to try off road again, a decent full suspension bike will start iro £1k. There will obviously be s/h option on ebay etc.

    If you are going to use the bike a lot, then it might be worth investing in a decent, new (or nearly new) one.

    Why not go to a couple of reputable cycle shops and get a few test rides? eg a proper FS mtb, road bike and a flat bar commuter. This is the best way of knowing what you want / need and seeing how much effort each bike needs.
    Stumpjumper FSR 09/10 Pro Carbon, Genesis Vapour CX20 ('17)Carbon, Rose Xeon CW3000 '14, Raleigh R50
  • kieranb
    kieranb Posts: 1,674
    Hi, slick and lighter tyres will make a big difference, Cheap suspension also weighs a lot. If you or your OH know a bit about bikes you could get an ok rigid frame 2nd hand for less than £50 and just move over the bits from the old bike, but does need a bit of bike knowledge.
  • stumpyjon
    stumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    Personally I'm not convinced tyres will make much difference. The suspension is so bad it will suck energy out of you due to pedal bob. Plus it is a very heavy frame and the forks are rubbish and very heavy. Find a canal and through it in (metaphorically speaking) and go buy something else, any money spent on that is wasted.

    Even something like this will be much better.

    Should be worth trying to sell the apollo (people will buy them second hand, my neighbour sold one by chaining it up outside his shop and he got £ 70 for it :shock: . SO take your £ 80 and anything you can get for the apollo and buy something else.

    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • AGNI
    AGNI Posts: 140
    Hi Janice

    Personally I would flog your existing bike and put that with the £80 you're looking to spend and get a second hand used road bike. The bike you have is a good looking bike so should sell quite well.

    Go for a used bike off gumtree or ebay and then you will get a lot more bike for your buck. If you see a bike you fancy then post a link on here for advice. As I have found, its a bit of a minefield when starting out so its good that there are a lot of people here that are happy to help out.

    Next step, spend a bit on the right clothing and maybe spd's. You will soon be burning past hubby :D
    Still suffering with wind