Questions on converting 26" for road use

Fatal Swan

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The context: I now ride almost exclusively on road and have a nice modern road bike. To be honest the MTB technology and standards have passed me by since the early 2000s and I've rather lost interest in the bikes along with that type of riding. For the winter I'd like something that can cope with the wet roads in poor condition and keep the decent road bike for the summer. Something a bit comfier with maybe 32/35mm slicks and discs. A modern gravel bike kind of thing would be fine I guess though I still want it to go fast and ideally be pretty light: I prefer the gearing of a double chainset and don't really want to use knobbly tyres.

However, my old, little-used MTB is this one: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=249295&start=60, and lately has been converted to road use.

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And it's actually not a million miles from what I'm looking for for my winter bike so I'm wondering whether I should rebuild it further for that purpose since it's not doing much in its current form. What that plan has going for it is that a) I already own it (and it will save me spending hundreds and hundreds, even second hand in the current climate of bike prices!), b) it has a light frame and is specced out nicely for weight saving so it's light, sub-8kg all in as pictured, c) gearing is already pretty well set up for road use and doesn't really need any changes (M970 XTR shifters, a 28/38/48 XT chainset with a 11-27 DA Cassette and DA long cage mech), and d) it has disc mounts.

The main change for what I want is hydraulic discs, so I'd be replacing the XTR brakeset and Crossmax wheels.

If I go for that change though, I'm also wondering about whether to fit larger wheels instead of replacing with 26s? The frame and fork have ample clearance for 27.5 and I think even 700/29" would probably fit if I keep the tyre size under about 40mm (going to check this with some road wheels shortly...)

So first question, is it worth the effort of lining this bike up for autumn/winter road use of say 10-40 mile rides?

And second question, if I'm switching the wheels and going for discs, is it worth the effort of moving to 27.5 or even 700c? Given the modern axle standards am I likely to have more luck finding a decent quality lightweight QR wheelset (135mm rear, 100m front) in 700 over 27.5?

Thoughts appreciated! :cool:
 

ishaw

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Everything you've mentioned I've been considering and have a thread about. What I've learned so far is that it will be cheaper and easier to stick with 26er wheels and fit wide, slick tyres on them, bolt on the disc brakes and rotors and away you go.

I think you are also OK to use 9sp Road mechs and mtb shifters (shimano) as I asked the sane question about road shifters and mtb mechs.

I was toying with using 27.5 or 29er wheels too, general consensus was if there is enough clearance, you can do it. You should be able to find wheels in either size with qr mountings, but if not, depending on the hubs, oem or aftermarket adapters are available (or just get a bolt through fork and run qr rear). Pretty sure a new set of wheels i bought even came with adapters (I've not used them yet), I think they are fsa wheels. Might also have some crossmax with qr front and rear in 29er flavour.

Ill keep an eye on this thread, as ive not quite decided what to do with my build yet, I may get inspired.
 

Fatal Swan

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Just looked over your thread - interesting read. The thing that makes me think it might be worth doing is that with keeping the flat bar I can keep the drivetrain that's already on it and since the shifters aren't integrated with the brakes the compatibility is easy. Put drop bars on it though and the possibilities get massively constrained since the front derailleur and chainset really want to be road-specific, and then the disc brake options with road STIs reduce too (although cable discs are a possibility).
 

ishaw

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I think that's the position I got to. Keep it mtb and flat bar. Wheel size might be the area I play around with, but erring on sticking with 26er. My main real decision is rigid or suspension up front. I have some nice reba u turn forks in yellow that would match the frame decals and spinergy spokes on the wheels i have, but rigid would be fit and forget.
 

mdvineng

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I did an MTB 26 convert to road and found the early marz xc500 forks were perfect, not too much travel, air adjustable and if you up the oil viscosity, nice.
 

jimo746

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Personally I'd fit 26" disc wheels, cheap to pick up, robust, you already have the tyres for them. Consider mudguards also with wheel choice, they might not fit under 700c wheels on your frame.
For winter at least I'd stick with rigid forks too, fit and forget, happily take mudguards, and with tjr size of tyre you're running there should be adequate shock absorbtion.
If there's any urban riding on the commute then my preference is for flat bars, just seem easier to control the bike on and around traffic etc.

Of course, all the above is rather sensible, and sometimes we know what we "should" do, but do the opposite anyway, just for fun :LOL:
 

Fatal Swan

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A little update - I've had the chance to pop on some spare 700c wheels to check the clearance and there's plenty for up to a 38mm tyre at least, which is more than ample for what I want. Also the bike in a skinny tyre set-up looks far better proportioned with the big wheels on than the 26s did. Difficult to test ride it since the V-brakes won't work, but I think this might be happening...
 

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Lacuna

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There are a variety of options for moving your existing brake posts to work with 700c wheels on ebay. Might be worth it to see if you like it before splashing out on discs
 

gradeAfailure

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If you're going to be using it in winter, I'd absolutely go disc - especially as your f&f already have the mounts. Go cable disc and you can keep your levers, or get a set of Clarks M2 from eBay for £40 for a full set INC. rotors.
 

Fatal Swan

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Unless a reasonably priced decent road bike with discs comes along then this is going to go ahead... Just on the lookout now for a used set of 700c disc wheels that are lightweight with 100/135 QR axles. Those requirements narrow things down a bit but once I've found a set I'll get on with the brakes where there should be a lot more choice available. Any recommendations for decent performing but lightweight hydro disc brakes? (I'm aiming to keep the total bike somewhere near its current 8kg so it'd be competitive with a decent road bike.)
 
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