Converting a Muddy Fox

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zenitb
Posts: 260
Joined: 7 Aug 2018, 9:59pm
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Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby zenitb » 10 Aug 2019, 9:30pm

Your Muddy Fox looks a great basis for a rugged touring bike. In fact I think the older fully rigid mtbs are better than current mtbs for this. In case its of interest the url below is how I converted mine. I have just got back from a week touring in France with it.

No need to do all the upgrades I have done though. As other posters have said I would get out, ride it, and then see what you really need.

my modifications here :

http://zenit-b.blogspot.com/2016/11/can ... g.html?m=1

Derekn
Posts: 33
Joined: 4 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Derekn » 10 Aug 2019, 9:56pm

zenitb wrote:Your Muddy Fox looks a great basis for a rugged touring bike. In fact I think the older fully rigid mtbs are better than current mtbs for this. In case its of interest the url below is how I converted mine. I have just got back from a week touring in France with it.

No need to do all the upgrades I have done though. As other posters have said I would get out, ride it, and then see what you really need.

my modifications here :

http://zenit-b.blogspot.com/2016/11/can ... g.html?m=1


Thanks "zenitb" ........ interesting conversion you have done :)

I hadn't thought about converting my old MF until suggested by "HobbesOnTour". I think that's the route I'm taking instead of buying another bike!
I am now putting together a list of items to include in converting the MF for touring.

Derekn
Posts: 33
Joined: 4 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Derekn » 10 Aug 2019, 10:10pm

slowster wrote: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.
..............................

..................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.


Wowwww slowster ....... that's a lot to take in. Many many thanks for taking the time to explain in detail. It has certainly given me room for thought. That dynamo hub/wheel at Decathlon is sooooo cheap that I have already ordered one before they've sold out!! I'm not particularly heavy (lost 2.25 stone last year!) and I don't intend going off road as such.

The real wheel is in fairly good condition so I will leave that alone for the time being, except to dismantle, clean and assemble with the appropriate greases.

As for the gears I will see how it feels to ride and take it from there. However, I will probably replace the front and rear derailleurs.

I would like to keep the original handle bars but the chrome is quite pitted now. There is a chrome plating company nearby so I will ask them for a quote to re-chrome :)

Derekn
Posts: 33
Joined: 4 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Derekn » 10 Aug 2019, 10:17pm

lowrider wrote: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.


Many thanks "lowrider" for all that information. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my post. I have looked at the Tubus carriers and found they are very expensive but didn't know what others to look at....... now I do....... :) ......... thank you for that and the other suggestions :)

Derekn
Posts: 33
Joined: 4 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Derekn » 10 Aug 2019, 10:52pm

This may or may not be a daft question but here goes anyway :)

Would there be a benefit to use say 2inch tyres on the rear and 1.5 inch on the front. I will probably not use a front carrier.

zenitb
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Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby zenitb » 10 Aug 2019, 11:35pm

Derekn wrote:This may or may not be a daft question but here goes anyway :)

Would there be a benefit to use say 2inch tyres on the rear and 1.5 inch on the front. I will probably not use a front carrier.


Probably not obvious in my pics but I have a 2.25" tyre on the rear and a 2" on the front - on the basis that the rear takes more of a pounding. Seems to work ok for me ...

PS now I am on my desktop the pics of your Muddy Fox look great - its a classic and definitely a keeper.
Image Attachments
tyres.JPG

Brucey
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Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Brucey » 11 Aug 2019, 12:23am

there's something to be had in running a wider rear tyre than the front, if you are packing a rear load.

FWIW the thing that has remained unspoken is the dread business of rear axle breakage. This is

a) very common
b) something of a show stopper
c) very likely with screw-on freewheel hubs, less so with freehubs

If you have a screw-on freewheel, I suggest that you carry a spare axle (and the cone spanners required to fit it) if you tour with a rear load, far from home. A rear wheel with a freehub will provide almost total immunity from the risk of axle breakage, so that would be a good upgrade.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Derekn
Posts: 33
Joined: 4 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Derekn » 11 Aug 2019, 7:54am

zenitb wrote:
Derekn wrote:This may or may not be a daft question but here goes anyway :)

Would there be a benefit to use say 2inch tyres on the rear and 1.5 inch on the front. I will probably not use a front carrier.


Probably not obvious in my pics but I have a 2.25" tyre on the rear and a 2" on the front - on the basis that the rear takes more of a pounding. Seems to work ok for me ...

PS now I am on my desktop the pics of your Muddy Fox look great - its a classic and definitely a keeper.


Thank you zenitb :)

Derekn
Posts: 33
Joined: 4 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Derekn » 11 Aug 2019, 7:56am

Brucey wrote:there's something to be had in running a wider rear tyre than the front, if you are packing a rear load.

FWIW the thing that has remained unspoken is the dread business of rear axle breakage. This is

a) very common
b) something of a show stopper
c) very likely with screw-on freewheel hubs, less so with freehubs

If you have a screw-on freewheel, I suggest that you carry a spare axle (and the cone spanners required to fit it) if you tour with a rear load, far from home. A rear wheel with a freehub will provide almost total immunity from the risk of axle breakage, so that would be a good upgrade.

cheers


Thank you Brucey, I will keep that in mind for my MF conversion :)

slowster
Posts: 804
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby slowster » 11 Aug 2019, 9:32am

Derekn wrote:That dynamo hub/wheel at Decathlon is sooooo cheap that I have already ordered one

Some things for you to consider/be aware of when you get it:

- it may or may not come with the little connector box. Decathlon list them and you can buy them from Spa and SJS.

- this thread gives some information and suggestions about the hub, e.g. it's probably a good idea to add more grease to the bearings and the thread tells you how to do it without damaging the wiring, and it's probably also a good idea to stress relieve the wheel, since it's unlikely that this will have been done on such a cheap factory built wheel.

- Sweep has already pointed you towards Rose Bikes - they are usually the cheapest for Busch and Muller rear lights. I recommend the Lumotec IQ Cyo Premium T senso plus and, providing you get a rear rack with an integral light bracket, the Toplight Line Plus (50mm is the more common bracket size on most rear racks). EDIT - Best place for the front light is the fork crown. Since you have cantilever brakes, the standard supplied bracket might foul the canti straddle cable. If so you can get alternative brackets from SJS, like this one.

A couple of general suggestions:

- When you've got a technical question, it's a good idea to see if it has been asked and answered before. You can use the forum advanced search function and/or google "site:https://forum.cyclinguk.org" for that.

- When considering ordering items from the likes of Spa, SJS and Rose Bikes, it makes sense to order several items at a time to either offset the P&P cost or get over a threshold for free P&P, although I think SJS charge only £1.50 for small items.
Last edited by slowster on 11 Aug 2019, 10:06am, edited 2 times in total.

ElaineB
Posts: 137
Joined: 9 Apr 2011, 6:15pm

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby ElaineB » 11 Aug 2019, 9:41am

Definitely ‘silver’ mudguards, that MF bike will look fabulous and ride like a ‘silver bullet’! Don’t forget to show us all the ‘finished product’ Derek.

Derekn
Posts: 33
Joined: 4 Jul 2019, 8:43am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby Derekn » 11 Aug 2019, 12:26pm

ElaineB wrote:Definitely ‘silver’ mudguards, that MF bike will look fabulous and ride like a ‘silver bullet’! Don’t forget to show us all the ‘finished product’ Derek.


Thanks Elaine :D :D

slowster
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Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby slowster » 11 Aug 2019, 6:27pm

Spa are currently selling Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 26" x 50mm tyres for only £20 each. The Marathon Supreme is Schwalbe's fast road touring tyre, but would still be robust enough for riding on gravel tracks and bridleways. Order 2 of them and £10 worth of other items* and you will get free postage.

* For example spare inner tubes - your Muddy Fox wheels take presta valve inner tubes. Hopefully the Decathlon wheel will also take presta (Decathlon doesn't say on the website, so you will just have to wait until it arrives). You don't want to be carrying extra spare inner tubes on tour because one of your wheels is presta and the other schraeder, so if the Decathlon wheel turns out to be schraeder, buy a valve hole reducer.

I've also just noticed that your current wheels have solid axles. The Decathlon wheel needs to be used with a quick release skewer, which the website says is not included. If it does indeed not come with a skewer, this one is only £4.99 and a bargain (Shimano enclosed cam quick release skewers are the only ones worth getting).

cycle tramp
Posts: 512
Joined: 5 Aug 2009, 7:22pm

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby cycle tramp » 11 Aug 2019, 10:05pm

H'mm... if you have the time, a regular poster by the name delequium has converted what appears to be two mountain bikes from the 1980's with an enviable style and panache. If you search for his name, click on the post and scroll down to his link 'current pedalable joys' [or some thing along that line] the link will take you to his flicker [or something] account. As you can see a first rate conversion job was carried out on each.... I remain forever envious of the gentleman's boundless good taste

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

Re: Converting a Muddy Fox

Postby HobbesOnTour » 12 Aug 2019, 11:27am

Derekn wrote:. I will probably not use a front carrier.


I know it's early days, but I wouldn't be discounting a rack at the front just yet.
Obviously, if you don't need it, you don't need it, but for travelling on decent surfaces I prefer the weight distributed front and rear. My bike, (also a MTB convert) handles better. Off road, it's a different matter.

Also, on longer tours, 4 panniers as opposed to 2 gives me more options for having things handy (without having to rummage through everything) during the day. For example, my front panniers carry my stove, cooking gear & food. It means that even on the wettest day I can stop and make something warm without having to worry about getting my clothes or sleeping gear wet.