Can you fit 700c wheels on an old school fully rigid mtb?

daniel_b
daniel_b Posts: 11,659
edited August 2016 in Commuting chat
Afternoon,

I want to resurrect my 1991 Marin into a town\pub bike.

Everything on it is original, and the likelihood is that the wheels may be shot, along with the 7spd cassette and chain of course.

I have a spare pair of R500 wheels sat around, which I now genuinely have no use for, and are worth very little, so no real benefit in selling them - would there be a possibility of fitting them with nice width tyres?
The only issue I could foresee is the rim brakes not adjusting enough to accomodate them.

Anyone done this?
Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18

Comments

  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,300
    You won't be able to brake and the rear wheel might not fit in the dropouts
    left the forum March 2023
  • Wheelspinner
    Wheelspinner Posts: 6,595
    You're correct about the brakes not lining up, and although I vaguely recall somewhere seeing adaptors that could be fitted to extend the mounts up to reach, I think they were a faff.

    I have a similar old Trek MTB and did try slotting in a 700c wheel once, and from memory it didn't fit the rear, with anything approaching a sensible tyre. Might have squeezed in with a 23mm road tire, but I think i used a 35 or 38 mm Randonneur and it was too big. Front was ok IIRC, apart from the brakes issue.

    Vintage wheels can likely be rebuilt more easily than a lot of current ones. They'd be cup and cone with loose ball bearings I'd assume. If the cups are ok, you can probably still get replacement cones, and certainly get new bearings. Pack them with good grease, job done.

    If the brake tracks are shot you're in trouble though.

    Also worth noting is that the free hub on the rear for 7 speed is a different width to the 8/9/10 variants, so using your R500 (10 speed version I presume) with a replacement 7 speed cassette likely won't work without some fiddling about with spacers or something.
    Open One+ BMC TE29 Seven 622SL On One Scandal Cervelo RS
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,659
    Damn :-(

    Thanks very much chaps, back to the drawing board then, some good pointers there for me to look into though.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • You won't be able to brake and the rear wheel might not fit in the dropouts

    But apart from that it'll be fine, besides if you ride it back from the pub you won't notice.
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Just fit some slicks, my 1997 MTB town hack bike is on 1.5" slicks as is my home built commuter bike (though the new frame justifies an investment in some 700c/29er -it's disc braked).
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • plantx has super cheap 26" wheels.
    you can also frig on some disk brakes ..