Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
antdg
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Joined: 17 Apr 2012, 3:42pm

Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby antdg » 17 Apr 2012, 3:57pm

Hi all

I have been reading the forum for a while but I have only just joined (pls go easy). I have been given an old mtb and was just wondering if it would be worth trying to convert to a tourer. The bike is an old merida dakar 655, it has a steel frame with aluminium wheels. I cant really find any info about this bike on the net, so im thinking it may be a cheap bike. I will post some pics of this tomorrow (working later). I have just put some spd peddles on it, but there is a strange knocking noise from coming from the rear, the noise only happens when I peddle (not free wheel).

I will try to add some more info tomorrow with pics once im home.

Thanks

Antdg

Nettled Shin
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Re: Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby Nettled Shin » 17 Apr 2012, 5:13pm

antdg wrote:I have been reading the forum for a while

That could be the cause of your dilemma.

antdg wrote:I have been given an old mtb and was just wondering if it would be worth trying to convert to a tourer. The bike is an old merida dakar 655, it has a steel frame with aluminium wheels.

You may well have a sense of inferiority when using it, but in general, old steel MTBs make good touring bikes. I go on long trips on one, and I found it in a hedge with a piece of paper sellotaped on saying "please take me". I've put better wheels/tyres and some newer drivetrain components on, but that is about it. Probably spent about £90 on it. The frame isn't even what would be considered high quality, as it is stiff and thicker than it need be, but it does the job just fine, and in some ways it is reassuring to know that you are sat on a workhorse and not a spindly-legged thoroughbred. If the bike roughly fits you, perhaps the only thing that should put you off would be a lack of eyelets on the dropouts for a rack and mudguards, but I bet it has a pair front and back.

MarkF
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Re: Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby MarkF » 17 Apr 2012, 8:55pm

Go for it, I bought an old steel GT Outpost for £50, added narrower Bell (Asda) City tyres (£20), some £4 mudguards and an old rack. I've had 2 years (road,track & towpath) use out of it and hope to have many more. I'm riding across Spain in 7 weeks and if anything happened to my main steed then I'd happily use it.

tyred
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Re: Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby tyred » 18 Apr 2012, 1:13pm

Go for it. These can be excellent low cost bikes for many purposes, including touring. The frames are heavy but you won't break it.

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Steve Kish
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Re: Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby Steve Kish » 18 Apr 2012, 3:47pm

Yes, should be fine.

My CTC bike is based on a Marin Pine Mountain MTB with rigid forks and 26-inch wheels. Now shed with Schwalbe Durano 1.3 tyres (less than a tenner each from Planet X) and a Deore 48/36/26 chainset, it has full mudguards and even a set of fittings if I should ever fancy some panniers or a rack.

My CTC mate 'Dangerous' Dave from Thames Valley actually specified a 26-inch Thorn when he ordered it. :D
Old enough to know better but too young to care.

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Dean
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Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby Dean » 18 Apr 2012, 3:55pm

Aye, do it. Old MTB frames are generally pretty sturdy and adaptable. Eighties-early nineties frames usually have braze-ons for racks and mudguards and stuff. I've ridden to Nepal on a bike based on an eighties Peugeot Dakar frame wot I bought off of Chris on this forum for fifteen quid.

It's a bit like Trigger's broom now, as I even had the seat tube replaced and downtube lever fittings brazed on, but at heart it's still a mountain bike.

I'm getting an odd knocking when I pedal as well; in my case I suspect the freehub bearings, though I can't rule out the BB (I've replaced the chain and cassette and the jockey wheels in the rear mech). It's been happening since Austria and so far, my tactic of ignoring it has done the trick. But finding the source of odd noises on a bike is usually a case of trial and error.

nmnm
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Re: Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby nmnm » 18 Apr 2012, 4:54pm

I use an old Specialized Hardrock 1993 for day-to-day and touring sometimes. Lightest (about 29lbs) heavy duty tourer I can imagine.

Re the ticking - I had that and in my case it was an easy fix as it was caused by my shoe making contact with the end of the front gear cable (which had been left too long, sticking out at the end).

hamster
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Re: Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby hamster » 18 Apr 2012, 6:32pm

I use a 1990 Marin Palisades, in its day an entry-level 'proper' MTB. With 4 panniers and a barbag it's rock steady even when charging downhill at over 40mph. I've toured on 4 continents on it.

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Trigger
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Re: Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby Trigger » 18 Apr 2012, 9:24pm

Dean wrote:It's a bit like Trigger's broom now, as I even had the seat tube replaced and downtube lever fittings brazed on, but at heart it's still a mountain bike.


You rang?! Will you be back in time to lead another Tan Hill trip? :lol:

Another +1 for MTBs, heavy but sturdy, so long as you don't want to go fast they make excellent cheap touring bikes.

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Dean
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Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby Dean » 19 Apr 2012, 9:41am

Is that Matt? How's it going? How's the White bike?

I'll not be back this summer! Dunno if anyone else is organising a Tan Hill run - Phil said he'd continue the night rides, and he missed out on Tan Hill, so he might be keen to run it this year.

I was thinking of a run up to Hartside some time, which used to be the UK's highest pub but lost its license way back in the mists o' time. Two climbs to nearly 2000 feet and you get to watch dawn break down Teesdale.

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Trigger
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Re: Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby Trigger » 19 Apr 2012, 3:32pm

Yes Dean, good guess!

I wasn't expecting you to be back any time soon, was only joking :D

Have you ridden up Everest yet, if not why not? chop chop...

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Dean
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Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby Dean » 22 Apr 2012, 3:49pm

BTDTGTTS. A Sherpa carried my bike most of the way, mind ;)

elaine
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Joined: 11 Feb 2007, 5:39pm

Re: Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby elaine » 22 Apr 2012, 4:56pm

Hi Antdg,
Thanks, I too have been wondering whether my old mtb is good to tour on. In 1999, I cycled an E2E on my Marin Bear Valley SE. In 2004, I bought a new Marin Palisades. I then sold my Bear Valley SE and this I regretted. A couple of years ago, a friend who is now in a wheelchair gave me her Marin Muirwoods mtb for SA Rand 100 as she knew I loved Marins. Well, her bike was rusted so I replaced everything except the frame and the rims. I had bits and pieces which I used. One special item was the front fork from my Bear Valley SE. I have a virtual new bike for touring. I have upgraded the quill system to Aheadset and have just managed to find a standard riser handlebar. This is one cool bike for touring. Can I ask one question please.......are the Araya rims still good for touring. There are 36 spokes on the back and I have replaced those with stainless steel spokes. I want to travel lightweight just with rear panniers and handlebar bag. I have invested in very lightweight camping gear.

Thanks for a great Forum. I will be doing some bike touring in the UK this year. I live in Cape Town, SA.
Elaine

hamster
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Re: Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby hamster » 23 Apr 2012, 1:42pm

If I remember rightly the rims are basic channel type without eyelets. Make sure that the braking surface isn't too worn (check for concavity with a ruler) and also that there are no cracks around the spoke holes. For a two week tour on tarmac or so they will be fine, but I wouldn't put them on a bike for a tour the length of Africa!

I rode with some wheels like that for two years of touring trips in Europe.

elaine
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Joined: 11 Feb 2007, 5:39pm

Re: Should I make this old MTB into touring bike.

Postby elaine » 23 Apr 2012, 8:57pm

Thanks for your comments. i will have the rims checked out.
Elaine