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Looking for advice: commuting with a vintage MTB

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Looking for advice: commuting with a vintage MTB

Old 07-10-20, 07:38 AM
  #26  
davei1980
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Originally Posted by Sauternes View Post
For the tyres I would like to mount a pair of Schwalbe Big Apple: do you recommend them?
Would you choose 50-559 (26 x 2.00) or 55-559 (26 x 2.15)?
I read that I should mount a rim tape to avoid spoke nipples to interact with the air tube: have you some reco on this?
Wider the better but remember, you'll need to leave room for fenders as well, so if you can get away w/ the 55's, do it. You'll be happier.

Yes, all rims except tubulars need rim tape. I've used duct tape/Gorilla tape when I have been in a bind.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 07-10-20, 03:17 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Sauternes View Post
Good point.
Even if Iím not an expert I donít think this will be a problem since it is very easy to remove the wires from the brakes arms in order to widen the gap between pads if needed.
Not always. Sometimes a balloon tire won't even clear the brake calipers if they are "open."
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Old 07-10-20, 04:33 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
Not always. Sometimes a balloon tire won't even clear the brake calipers if they are "open."
You can always let air out of the tires!
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Old 07-11-20, 12:35 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Sauternes View Post
Definitely I'll go for the 2" Big Apples, but no fenders since the plan is to communte only when the weather is OK (at least when leaving home...).
Wow, they don't have puddles or mud in Italy? Lucky you! <--- A bit of gentle sarcasm, as I leave fenders on mine year 'round; from the random gravel pinging under the fenders, they've saved my glasses and my teeth. Just sayin'. And, of course, my ride...



Great Ghu, it's NDS! Horror!
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Old 07-11-20, 08:23 PM
  #30  
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I had an old MTB that would take 26" x 2.25" knobby tires and fenders with lots of clearance. It was a great all year commuter with dropbar and interrupter/cyclo-cross brake levers. I even rode it on rail-trails in winter.



Cheers
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Old 07-12-20, 07:07 PM
  #31  
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Handlebars


I did a similar thing to this giant Iguana. Then, for comfort, I changed the bars and it turned out to be amazing for commuting. I went with some Bontrager H5 hardcase tires. They are a bit heavy but make me feel like a tank. Cincinnati has a lot of glass on the road, so that was needed. I just occasionally pick out the glass and fill in the holes with some shoe goo!
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Old 07-13-20, 03:34 AM
  #32  
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thank you everybody for your suggestions and for the photos.
I love to see these once rugged terrain warriors transformed into well... everyday rugged terrain warriors!
yes in Italy we have pretty terrible roads with lots of holes, cracks so even if it is tarmac is always better to have strong tyres.
this week I'll order the stuff and then will put my not existent mechanical skills at work!
I hope to show you the result very soon.
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Old 07-13-20, 12:02 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Sauternes View Post
thank you everybody for your suggestions and for the photos.
I love to see these once rugged terrain warriors transformed into well... everyday rugged terrain warriors!
yes in Italy we have pretty terrible roads with lots of holes, cracks so even if it is tarmac is always better to have strong tyres.
this week I'll order the stuff and then will put my not existent mechanical skills at work!
I hope to show you the result very soon.
That is awesome! I commuted on my Diamond Back Apex (vertex) for decades. I experimented a lot, going down to tires that were 25mm. Those were horrible (and looked ugly). I spend most of my time commuting on 40mm tires (1.6 inches), and that worked great. But realistically - the bigger is better. Anything over 50mm is going to be hard to get between the brakes when taking on/off, but 60mm should work if you don't mind the hassle. Just as long as you use slicks and not knobbies as mentioned above. I've done that - they are slow and wear out fast and are horrible cornering on pavement. Just make sure you have room for fenders.
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Old 07-14-20, 12:21 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Sauternes View Post
that's a bike earning her daily bread!
​​​ .. which rim tape (if any) to put on the interior of the wheels.
I am also in process of reconditioning my old 1993 hard tail MTB, the rear wheel rim tape is badly worn out, 2" tires rim, i think I'll just remove the old worn out tape and use some kind of quality cheap electrical tape,

should do the job 😁

Last edited by Eds0123; 07-14-20 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 07-18-20, 02:31 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Eds0123 View Post
I am also in process of reconditioning my old 1993 hard tail MTB, the rear wheel rim tape is badly worn out, 2" tires rim, i think I'll just remove the old worn out tape and use some kind of quality cheap electrical tape,

should do the job 😁
I've heard Gorilla tape is popular.
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Old 07-18-20, 03:39 PM
  #36  
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Ciao all!
yesterday I ordered few things:
- Schwalbe Big Apple 26”x2.0”
- Schwalbe tubes
- Schwalbe rim tape
- Schwalbe tyres tools
- WD 40 chain cleaner
- Blub ceramic lube
- Finish Line Grunge Brush
Next I will change the saddle and the seat post, but I think that I will buy those parts in a real shop in order to able to see them before buying (especially the saddle).
Then I assume I will need a bike specialist tune the gears shifters (it is a Shimano DX with thumb shifters).
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Old 07-19-20, 10:28 AM
  #37  
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Today Amazon delivered the chain cleaner and the brush so I started cleaning the bike.
Here are the first results:

The label says “chain cleaner”






So far I’m happy with the results, the WD40 chain cleaner is a beast!
Next days I will receive the tyres so I will be able to test the bike before handing it to a proper mechanic.
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Old 07-19-20, 12:17 PM
  #38  
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I totally support your idea to use vintage mtb for commuting. I did the same with mine. Originally this bike was bought by our whole family after train ride to the capital city in 1994 when I was 12 years old. It was some Italian mountain bike, probably department store bike which was one of the first to appear in my country. It has heavy steel frame but is indestructible. I washed carpets the whole summer to collect money for this as a kid and finally my parents added the most cash to buy it. During the years I updated this bike with parts. Now only frame is left original, stem, SIS shifters and derailleurs. I spray painted it in 2018. At that year it was already 10 years since it was left unridden while I was working abroad. Although I have modern mountain bike Rocky Mountain Vertex 10, I ride my first serious bike all the time now at 38 years old. Imagine, I was riding this in 18th speed all the time when I was 12 because I didn't know how to shift gears. Fast forward 26 years and now I have 12 speeds only which can take me almost anywhere

Original looked something like this:

Original bike

And then after modifications:

Modification process

Photo after modification and repainting

How it looks like today

So basically to have a nice commuting bike I added rear panniers. It's a must for carrying thing and also for touring & commuting bags.

Seatpost - Suntour NCX SP 12, makes a full suspension bike out of hard tail and you even don't notice it. Important if you go for longer rides off road and have fully rigid bike like mine.

Tires - very important. Mine are Schwalbe Marathon with Green Guard, 26 inch and 1.75 inches width. Find these tires ideal for all surfaces, road and offrad. Save lot of pain as it is effective against punctures.

Lights - very important for commuting. So I got dynamo hub, Shimano DH-3N30. Ideal compromise of price and functionality. It powers Bosch & Muller LED lights, front and rear, front is Lumotec Eyc T Senso Plus. I can't say enough good words for dynamo hub and LED lights.

So recently I rode 100 miles in a single day off road on this bike and it worked well. I never imagined that I might be ridding my first ever mountain bike after 26 years and perhaps for another 26 years from this day. Never underestimate old things and the upgrade process. If done carefully, one bike can serve you for the lifetime.
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Old 07-19-20, 03:15 PM
  #39  
Sauternes
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Originally Posted by Indigo82 View Post
I totally support your idea to use vintage mtb for commuting. I did the same with mine.
Thank you for the support and for the inspiring story.
Your bike looks much better now than when it was new!
I love the ďno logoĒ orange frame: the bike is bold and elegant at the same time.
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Old 08-04-20, 03:17 PM
  #40  
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Sauternes , how's the bike looking? Have all your parts arrived yet? Pics?
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Old 08-04-20, 06:39 PM
  #41  
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I have an old MTB for my Winter bike, It is set up for those Ice on the ground days . Studded tires, Hubs with drum brakes. on a rim brake frame..
6 speed freewheel, triple crank..

I have a 26" wheel trekking bike, too , it came 3rd hand, with every thing .. but R'off IGH that Leaked, & handle bar height
to my needs, so I fixed that..

Pictures As of 2008 some changes since then ... Pedals LED headlight, saddle.. red bag old, Nylon, UV damage, had to be replaced..







...

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-04-20 at 06:44 PM.
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