Converting a Muddy Fox

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
Derekn
Posts: 34
Joined: 4 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Derekn » 10 Aug 2019, 2:15pm

I have taken the advice given on my previous posting in "Recommendation for a touring bike" and have decided to look at converting my old Muddy Fox to a touring bike :)

At the moment I need to buy mudguards, 2 inch tyres and inner tubes, carriers and bags, lights (dynamo?) bottles and bottle cages, maybe a new set of handle bars and anything else I find worn or broken.

I've looked around for a Bluemels Mudguard Set - 26" silver x 60mm (or 65mm) but cannot find anyone selling them at the moment!
I could buy black mudguards but I think the silver would look better!

Any suggestions for the mudguards and other items would be appreciated.
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whoof
Posts: 1818
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby whoof » 10 Aug 2019, 2:23pm


HobbesOnTour
Posts: 358
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby HobbesOnTour » 10 Aug 2019, 2:49pm

That's a nice looking bike.

Check what mounting options you have - basically holes in the frame at the rear & front hubs. You'll need these for mudguards and racks.

To be boring, I'd say the first job is to get it on the road - make sure gears, brakes, tyres, tubes etc are all in order. Make sure the bike is comfortable. An uncomfortable bike will not be good for touring.

Putting a bike together is great when you know all your choices in advance. Go in too fast and you may regret some of your decisions.
For example, sks mudguards are great and highly recommended, but choosing ones now may limit your choice of tyres in the future.

Spend a bit of time looking up other's bikes and gear to help you get an idea of all the options.

CrazyGuyOnABike is a good place to start. Search here for "panniers" and you'll find discussion on panniers and bags. Ditto with dynohubs and lighting & charging systems. You may want to look at the gearing range as well. Lots of discussions on those.

Give that bike to 10 different people and ask them to build it up into a tourer and you could get 15 bikes back! :D

Good luck on your journey!

whoof
Posts: 1818
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby whoof » 10 Aug 2019, 2:53pm

HobbesOnTour wrote:That's a nice looking bike.

Check what mounting options you have - basically holes in the frame at the rear & front hubs. You'll need these for mudguards and racks.
!

The pics show separate rack and mudguard eyelets on the rear pretty sure can see eyes on the front.

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 358
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby HobbesOnTour » 10 Aug 2019, 2:54pm

whoof wrote:
HobbesOnTour wrote:That's a nice looking bike.

Check what mounting options you have - basically holes in the frame at the rear & front hubs. You'll need these for mudguards and racks.
!

The pics show separate rack and mudguard eyelets on the rear pretty sure can see eyes on the front.


Your pc is better than mine :D

reohn2
Posts: 35244
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby reohn2 » 10 Aug 2019, 3:05pm

Hobbes On Tour's post is good advice,get the bike lubed up serviced,running properly and set up for your own comfort.Then select your touring components carefully.
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

Derekn
Posts: 34
Joined: 4 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Derekn » 10 Aug 2019, 3:21pm

HobbesOnTour wrote:That's a nice looking bike.

Check what mounting options you have - basically holes in the frame at the rear & front hubs. You'll need these for mudguards and racks.

To be boring, I'd say the first job is to get it on the road - make sure gears, brakes, tyres, tubes etc are all in order. Make sure the bike is comfortable. An uncomfortable bike will not be good for touring.

Putting a bike together is great when you know all your choices in advance. Go in too fast and you may regret some of your decisions.
For example, sks mudguards are great and highly recommended, but choosing ones now may limit your choice of tyres in the future.

Spend a bit of time looking up other's bikes and gear to help you get an idea of all the options.

CrazyGuyOnABike is a good place to start. Search here for "panniers" and you'll find discussion on panniers and bags. Ditto with dynohubs and lighting & charging systems. You may want to look at the gearing range as well. Lots of discussions on those.

Give that bike to 10 different people and ask them to build it up into a tourer and you could get 15 bikes back! :D

Good luck on your journey!


Many thanks for your advice HobbesOnTour it has all been noted :)

Yes, it does has the holes etc for mounting of mudguards.
In fact the original bike had full mudguards - not the tiny things you sometimes see on mountain bikes today!
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Derekn
Posts: 34
Joined: 4 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Derekn » 10 Aug 2019, 3:23pm



Thanks for that "whoof" ..... Spa must be the only supplier that didn't show up on a google search for those mudguards! :D

Jamesh
Posts: 502
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Jamesh » 10 Aug 2019, 3:45pm

Looks like a fine start to a touring bike.

Drop in some butterfly bars and some city cruiser tyres and you can be in the road asap.

A rack and panniers would finish the job.

Spa do carradice panniers for £42 I think

Cheers James

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nick12
Posts: 177
Joined: 26 Sep 2017, 9:10pm
Location: york

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby nick12 » 10 Aug 2019, 3:55pm

It is a nice bike and will be fine for touring.
My first 3 touring bikes were all mtb's. If all the components are in decent condition then a new chain and tyres is all i would change for now. Give it a Service this may include cables and some bearings fit a rear rack and give it a runout for the weekend.
You will then know how the bike feels and performs and what you could improve on in terms of comfort and performance.

lowrider
Posts: 114
Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby lowrider » 10 Aug 2019, 4:53pm

Hi,
Assuming the bike is in good condition and serviced, I would limit the work initially to tyres a new rack and mudguards. Also I assume that this is to be a budget conversion ie not going all out to upgrade everything on the bike.

Do you have an ideal bike in mind, if so you might make changes that make this bike closer to the Ideal spec.

The bike looks 80`s early 90`s to me my assumption is that the wheels are 26" and the rims are 19mm wide or there abouts. The tyres on the bike are looking like their time expired so they are definitely the first port of call. I assume you are looking for road or light off road use like a traditional touring bike. If so the tyres I would go for would be 35mm wide Hybrid/ touring type tyres. You could fit thinner or wider say 32mm or 40mm they main thing is that they are good quality slick or hybrid type tread pattern with supple tyre walls (See touring bike specs such as thorn bikes or on the SPA website for examples). The originals are probably 2" wide or 50mm unless you intend to do heavy off roading 2" tyres are overkill and would likely give the bike unnecessary drag. As for the particular make or model of tyre that would start a debate which might not be useful at an early stage Im sure others will fill you in in the details of the latest offerings. This one upgrade will make you bike less tiring to ride, accelerate quicker making it much faster than original spec.

The rack would be a touring or mtb type with dog legs suitable for 26" wheels. The dog legs stop panniers being drawn into the spokes and are an important feature especially if your panniers are not very rigid. Make sure your frame has all the fittings for rack mountings at the seat as well as down at the hub. if these are missing do not despair special seat clamps with rack fittings are available. The rack itself should be a reasonable quality made from 10mm Al tube or steel. I would go for a mid price range see the spa or sjs web sites for examples. Only consider the likes of Tubus if you are thinking of very heavy loads or long tours where reliability is a must.

If you require front pannier racks (lowriders)you can see examples again on the SJS and Spa website. Check you have the necessary fittings on the forks and that any chosen lowrider are suitable. Again if there are no fittings there are suitable low riders available.

Muguards, I would go for SKS but as pointed out above be careful with the width. See the guidance from sks on the muguard width it should be wider than the tyre not the same as the tyre. Also if you intend to go back to using wider tyres at some stage, the mudguards should be sized for those tyres not the thinner ones although it might look a bit odd.

After the initial mods above I would only then concider other things like the comfort, gearing, saddle, handle bars etc. Those would be best left until you get some experince in riding the bike with a load on and know what you can live with. Cheap mods like fitting bar ends for comfort should be considered first after that you need to think about things more carefully. These would be such as is the geaing up to what your going to ask of it also are the brakes good enough. These could ramp up costs and mistakes easy to make so decisions are best made with some actual knowledge of the bike, components and its performance.

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Sweep
Posts: 5362
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Sweep » 10 Aug 2019, 6:13pm

Good call derek.
Look forward to following this project.
Looks like you will be buying a fair bit of stuff including mudguards and racks.
I would think about researching a list (lots of help from folks on here) and then looking at rose of germany. A postage cost but soon covered by savings on some of those items and then you are quids in for they are also good on sensible drivetrain bits and much else.
I'd recommend tubus racks - not cheap but can be transferred to another bike later if need be.
Edit, do tell them your birthday - if imminent may be particularly useful - they often send a discount code as a present which usually covers the (excellent) courier service.
Sweep

Derekn
Posts: 34
Joined: 4 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Derekn » 10 Aug 2019, 6:32pm

Sweep wrote:Good call derek.
Look forward to following this project.
Looks like you will be buying a fair bit of stuff including mudguards and racks.
I would think about researching a list (lots of help from folks on here) and then looking at rose of germany. A postage cost but soon covered by savings on some of those items and then you are quids in for they are also good on sensible drivetrain bits and much else.
I'd recommend tubus racks - not cheap but can be transferred to another bike later if need be.
Edit, do tell them your birthday - if imminent may be particularly useful - they often send a discount code as a present which usually covers the (excellent) courier service.


Many thanks "Sweep" I will keep that in mind :)

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Sweep
Posts: 5362
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Sweep » 10 Aug 2019, 6:38pm

Derekn wrote:
Sweep wrote:Good call derek.
Look forward to following this project.
Looks like you will be buying a fair bit of stuff including mudguards and racks.
I would think about researching a list (lots of help from folks on here) and then looking at rose of germany. A postage cost but soon covered by savings on some of those items and then you are quids in for they are also good on sensible drivetrain bits and much else.
I'd recommend tubus racks - not cheap but can be transferred to another bike later if need be.
Edit, do tell them your birthday - if imminent may be particularly useful - they often send a discount code as a present which usually covers the (excellent) courier service.


Many thanks "Sweep" I will keep that in mind :)

No probs.
The link
https://www.rosebikes.co.uk/

In my experience you will save a few quid just on the mudguards.
Sweep

slowster
Posts: 811
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby slowster » 10 Aug 2019, 6:45pm

Probably the most important thing to consider is the wheels. All other things being equal (which they never are) 26" wheels will be stronger than a 700C road wheel, and it might be that the existing wheels were well built to begin with and are still suitable for touring use now.

However, given the age of the bike, I suspect that the rear wheel might be 126mm (measured between the locknuts, aka Over Locknut Dimension, OLN or OLD), and that the wheel has a freewheel rather than a modern cassette (explanation of the differences here).

Depending upon the quality/condition of the rear wheel, it might be viable to continue to use it, and just re-grease the bearings, ensure that there is no play in them, and replace the freewheel if it is excessively worn (likely given the age, but maybe not if the bike has not been used much since the freewheel was fitted/last replaced). You can still buy freewheels, e.g. from Spa, although you'll need a freewheel remover tool and chain whip to take the existing one off (and the freewheel tool might be different to the one required to take off the replacement freewheel when it eventually wears out).

Other considerations with the freewheel are:

- the hub axle is more stressed on a hub that takes a freewheel than one that takes a cassette, because the right hand bearings are located much further inboard than with a cassette hub, and consquently much less of the right hand axle is supported by the bearing on a freewheel hub (look at the photograph of the two types of hub on the Sheldon Brown website link above, and you will be able to see why that is the case). Axle breakages are not common, but the heavier the rider, the more luggage carried on a rear rack, and the rougher the terrain, e.g. bumpy off road at speed, the greater the risk that an axle will break.

- gearing options, in particular nice very low bottom gears for crawling up hills when you are completely shattered and it feels like someone's put a pallet of bricks in your panniers. Your Muddy Fox already has a triple chainset, so that means you should already have a smallish granny ring* at the front, and you just need a sufficiently enough big sprocket on the freewheel to give you a bottom gear in the low 20 inches, or better still less than 20". This website allows you to input details of your bike to see what gears you have, and what the impact of making changes would be. I've input figures in it based on assumptions about what sprockets and chainrings you have. Note that if you fit a new freewheel with a much larger big sprocket than your current one, in order to get lower gears, you may find that it exceeds the capacity of the rear derailleur (but the existing rear derailleur might need replacing anyway). *Edit - Looking again at the chainset, it looks like the chainrings are larger than the 46/36/26 I've assumed, and I think it might be 48/38/28 or even 50/40/30. I suspect you might therefore need to consider replacing the chainset with one that can take a 24 tooth or 26 tooth inner ring. The front and rear derailleurs look like they too will need replacing.

The alternative to sticking with your existing wheel(s), is to replace the rear (but maybe not the front) with a new wheel incorporating a cassette hub, and fit either an 8 or 9 speed cassette. However, you cannot do that if the rear axle width of the frame is 126mm OLN, because modern MTB hubs which take 8 or more speed cassettes require 135mm OLN axle spacing. Since the frame is steel, it would probably be possible to get it respaced to accept 135mm hubs by cold setting the rear end (aka bending it). If you are lucky enough to have a local framebuilder or shop that would do this cheaply, that would be one option, but normally I would expect that the cost of paying someone to cold set the frame would probably not be worthwhile: it would be better instead to buy a new bike. However, there is also the DIY option, as detailed on Sheldon Brown's website, which might be something you would be happy to have a go at doing, especially if you take the view that the frame has no great monetary or sentimental value. In your shoes, I would be very tempted to have a go.

With regard to the front wheel, you might not need or want to replace it, i.e. just overhaul it and regrease the bearings. However, you mention a dynamo. You can spend a lot of money on hub dynamos, and something like a Son would be overkill/too expensive. However, Shimano do some quite good dynamos which are inexpensive. Decathlon sell this wheel with a Shimano dynamo. It's incredibly cheap - you would probably have to pay more to buy that dynamo hub on its own from a lot of retailers. It's only a single wall rim, which is not as strong as a double wall rim, but if you are not riding hard off road terrain, a heavy rider, or using front panniers, you will probably be able to use it for touring. Pair it with Busch and Muller front and rear lights and you would have very good lighting. You could probably also configure the lighting/wiring to allow you to charge a phone or battery while touring. I think Taylor Wheels, an online german wheel builder, might offer some similar good value wheels with Shimano dynamo hubs, and it might be worth buying a slightly more expensive such wheel from them to get a better double wall rim and the reassurance of a better standard of wheelbuilding than you would get from a factory wheel from Decathlon or Halfords etc. Taylor Wheels might also be a good source for a new rear wheel.