Converting a hybrid bike to tourer/trail bike - bike geometry

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Converting a hybrid bike to tourer/trail bike - bike geometry
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Posted: Apr 7, 2021 at 12:56 Quote
Also Marin Pine Mountain and Salsa Timberjack. Throw in Jamis DragonSlayer (RIP) in you're open to used.

Posted: Apr 7, 2021 at 14:33 Quote
Ok what suspension forks would people suggest? What about something like judy gold rl with a 1 1/8 steerer and and 120mm travel?

Posted: Apr 7, 2021 at 15:18 Quote
If you do have the Suntour I suspect you have, that thing is a boat anchor and you'll save a huge amount of weight moving up to a real fork. If I were in your shoes and committed to the bike, I'd run a 26 or 27.5 Fox 32 Float 1-1/8 from prior years and experiment with travel between 80-100mm.

1-1/8 will buy you back lower stack height needed for adapting a tapered steerer, but I would still forget about running 120mm of travel as with a 650b fork in that range you'd still be pushing a much higher front end than desirable. If you're running a skinny front tire (2.0 or less I imagine?) you could probably get away with most 120mm 26" forks, which will have a smaller a2c than the 27.5 variant and help keep your geo.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 1:22 Quote
[Quote="HaggeredShins"]If you do have the Suntour I suspect you have, that thing is a boat anchor and you'll save a huge amount of weight moving up to a real fork.

Yes it's a suntour nrx 75 mm coil suspension fork. It makes my bike front heavy and its pretty crappy.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 4:21 Quote
My bike works as a tourer. I also have to do a 100 mile ride once a month to see family and I Need my bike in action. Right now I have semi slick schwalbe marathon on my wheels but they quickly lose traction. And it's ok to go at a steady pace down single track but it would never be a trail bike. I need stronger brakes/wheels and better cross country tires so it will stand up to the loads I carry and terrain I ride on. Was hoping I could tweak the geometry so it was more like a trail bike, and in a jack of all trades master of none sort of way take me down a trail if I shed the load. Which it can do anyway. Maybe I need a trail bike and tourer but for now I'm not in a position to get two bikes or do anything other than first sort the bike I have out for my actual needs one part at a time. But like its been said people take Walmart bikes down trails. My bike will certainly be more capable than that. With capable wheels bearing and brakes. Suspension wise first I want something lighter because the nrx is ridiculously heavy. All the stuff around 200 mark so suntour epixion and rockshox recon rl seem pretty crappy. Plus I feel like if I went at it down a single track rough while loaded those sorts of forks would quickly fail...then there's the availability of parts like that in actual bike shops (opposed to amazon or ebay) and the amount of fakes in places like amazon. So I want something with thicker stanchions for that use and something from a reputable source. It's pretty impossible to find anything with a 1 1/8 steerer right now in UK. Which led me to a 120mm 27.5 mid to premium fork...then the pike ultimate just fit with the overall look I want from the finished product.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 4:45 Quote
Since you mention it will never be a trail bike and won't see heavy trail use, have you given any thought to a 27.5 plus size rigid fork? Those come with 3 pack mounts, they would be lighter than any fork mentioned, plus they would give you pretty decent trail use with the big volume tire.

If you are set on a suspension fork it seems like the idea of using an XC fork would fit your use case a lot better. I don't really see why you would need 120+mm of travel unless you are treating it properly like a mtb

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 4:51 Quote
If you’re set on wasting your money upgrading your current bike to be something it was never meant to be, which it sounds like you are, go for it. If you actually don’t want to spend a lot of money, which you say you don’t, just buy the right bike for the job, like the Kona unit x or the surly ogre or bridge club. There is absolutely no reason to blow money on parts to end up with a bike that doesn’t ride well, doesn’t do anything you want it to and will be more prone to completely failing (another one of the things you say you want to avoid). The money you save by not wasting it upgrading your current bike will be enough to completely cover any one of those new bike I mentioned However if you’re absolutely intent on going against all common sense, a tapered fork probably won’t fit as it’s highly likely your bike has an IS headset which can’t me changed to accommodate a tapered fork. Since the bike will turn out like a piece of crap if you go through with this anyways, you’ll likely be able to find a used fork for around $200-300 with thick stanchions with a straight steerer tube for 27.5 or 29 inch wheels.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 6:09 Quote
I'm planning on looking for something a bit cheaper than a pike ultimate but maybe a 34 or sid with slightly thicker stanchions than an xc fork but 1 1/8 steerer with 100-120mm travel

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 6:14 Quote
Also the problem with ditching the parts and getting one of the bikes mentioned is it doesnt address my original problem of needing a comfortable tourer that can haul a lot if weight on...and stop a lot of weight on a steep hill. If I adapt my bike for trails or buy a new bike just for trails....I need to address that need first.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 7:01 Quote
Rodwelljason wrote:
Also the problem with ditching the parts and getting one of the bikes mentioned is it doesnt address my original problem of needing a comfortable tourer that can haul a lot if weight on...and stop a lot of weight on a steep hill. If I adapt my bike for trails or buy a new bike just for trails....I need to address that need first.

The bikes mentioned are better in every way for what you've explained you want to do and there are many purpose made options from adventure touring to bikepacking.

You seem pretty fixated on 120mm of travel and stanchion diameter, which have pretty much zero bearing on what you're trying to achieve functionally and in this case really serve to work against your goals.

You've received a lot of good advice in this thread. May want to consider it before dropping all this coin as you'll likely not get the end result you're expecting.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 7:55 Quote
You are flogging a dead horse.

There have been lots of good points raised but if you are riding steep technical singletrac, especially with a loaded bike then you need to be aware that as you’ve described it in your first post, the bike is too small for you with crap geometry.

You would be much better off buying a used XL 29er hardtail, it doesn’t need to be anything flash, I have a 10 year old bobby basic GT Karakoram for exactly what you are describing. Seriously, you are trying to polish a turd or at the least pour glitter on it.

Not what you want to hear obviously but there it is.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 11:24 Quote
The problem with almost all the bikes listed is they re exclusively 1x and won't take a 3x drive train. Plus did you read the part where I dont have 3000 laying round and need to upgrade a part at a time. It kinda seems like no one has actually fully took in my question. I can afford a few hundred at a time. My bike needs these parts. I can't save up leaving my bike as it is because I need those parts. So all these bikes being better suited to what I want is all well an good. And in 3 years time, I might be able to save up to get something like that. But that doesn't address the problems I am having right now. I knew I would get a hundred replies to the effect of buy a mtb (nearly all modern mountain bikes can only take a 1x drive train). Or you can't change your geometry at all. Then I've seen videos of people trying 150mm travel on a rigid frame or frames that take 100mm, and yes it drastically changes the bikes characteristics. It looked ridiculous, but it worked. Some people would have you believe if you change your geometry head angle by half a degree your bike will snap in half. And granted over use on a trail with for example a rigid bike with a 150mm travel fork slapped on; I would fear for the frame. But I am wanting to modify the geometry a little. To lift my bottom bracket for less strikes if anything else. And I am trying to work out a way to balance the changes so they aren't drastic which should be well within the tolerances of stress on my frame. My frame is the project, not any other type of frame because I don't have the money to get them and need to address my more immediate needs. At the end of the day my needs are are more off road centric tourer. I dont have a grand even to shell out on a used bike and wouldn't be able to save anything like that in a long time.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 11:33 Quote
This ultra specialism in cycling annoys me. Obviously a gravel bike is better suited to gravel tracks and a mountain bike a mountain. But speaking to some people you would think if you happened to find yourself on a road on a gravel bike you should buy a new bike. There were days when people had a bike...probably a wallmart spec old geometry mountain bike that they picked up second hand because they couldn't afford new....and that bike took them up and down mountains and across town too.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 11:35 Quote
If you are this tight on money you should realize the negatives of dumping money into something that makes zero sense. If you don't like people giving you a straight up answer, you should refrain from posting on internet forums.

You are getting defensive because we aren't telling you want YOU want to hear.

Upgrading a cheap department store hybrid to go down technical single track is a stupid idea, both for your wallet and safety.

You are also making a ton of assumptions on the strength of a frame you know nothing about structurally.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 at 11:37 Quote
Its also a project for this bike. The frame isn't bad for a low end bike and it potential to be much better than how it's presented at stock. I specifically want to convert this frame to see its limits

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