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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok im new to this, had this bike about 2 months and I am ending up on the hwy alot more lately, i did about 16 miles on it today...all paved roads...soooo, I want to make my Rockhopper more paved road freindly.

how does the front changeable chain ring thing work?
i never get off the large chain ring when I ride now, how large can I put before I have to change the derailer? I never use the 22 can I do away with one that small and make like the 32 the smallest instead of 22/32/42 have a 32/42/48 or something?

next ? is disc brakes...... mine doesnt have em, its got the mounting spots. what all do I need to look for(like on ebay) I saw some that looked like the hydrolic part was at the caliper cable run from the lever down, and some looked like it had a tube running from the lever to the caliper. will the ones with the cables work with my current levers or will I have to get all new ones, my shifters is together with my brake levers.

I had a haro F24 that had some Kenda Krad tires on it they worked well on the HWY and not too bad on the dirt roads. any one else use these ever?
or what have you used for hwy riding.

can you switch to a 24 inch rim when switching to disc barkes,not alot of clearence on the standover, 24's would probably be just right. how would the 24's affect the speed compared to a 26" rim? thanks

 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Try some road bikes. They're already road bikes, so you don't need to try to turn something else into one.

The gear configuration you describe would be really difficult to assemble using existing components, or at least existing MTB components. A 32t chain ring with the right drilling to fit in the small ring position on an MTB crank seems unlikely to me. A "trekking" configuration is relatively common, with 26/36/48 chain rings. Shimano and Truvativ both make some, and I'm sure others are out there Sooner or later, you'll be limited by the large chainring interfering with the chainstay, but you can probably go a little bigger.

If you want to use your existing brake levers, you need mechanical disc brakes. Using discs would allow you to mount 24" wheels, which would allow you to bang your pedal into more things and on more turns, and effectively lower your gear ratio. Standover is overrated, especially on the road. Does that bike even fit you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks,
banging the pedal, I see that, I already hit it a few times like it is, didnt think about that

I have tried a few road bikes,
infact I had this bike for sale for a while, had tons of interest
but I just live out in the middle of nowhere and no one wanted to drive 2,3,4hrs for a bike,
I started out askin $350 and reduced it to $250 pretty quick.
was $250 a reasonable price on this bike its a 2008,
i see old(90 something)model rockhoppers for sale for $300+.
.anyway
since I couldnt sell it, and I cant afford a road bike without selling it,
what can i do but make this bike more HWY friendly???
I will start off with the slicks, after thinking about the pedals hitting 24's are out.
as far as fit
when Im riding the bike seems to fit me well,
I have the slight bend at the knee on the bottom of the downstroke
I dont feel like Im "reaching out" to get to the bars, really its pretty comfortable riding
I do stand when Im climbing hills, but like I said I stay on the outer chainring and the 4 smallest rear sprokets are all i use, generally I use 3f/7r on my gear selector probably 80%of the time. if I used the smaller front sproket I could stay seated when climbing but I dont feel like Im getting anywhere.......too much pedaling,not enough go..
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Do you ever "spin out" your top gear? If not, you could get a road bike cassette and have more useful ratios. It would be MUCH cheaper than swapping your crankset, or even just replacing a bunch of chain rings. There's enough gear ratio overlap that you could go all the way down to an 11-25 cassette without creating gaps.

You could also sell the bike on EBay, or to a shop that handles used bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
by "spin out" do you mean hit the place where I cant possibly pedal any faster to keep up with the bike, then yes, my bike already has a 11-32T so I am riding a 44/11 in my highest gear, generally i am riding one gear down a 44/13 even up most hills, some times I drop to the 5th or 6th every once in a while on really long hills but not very often.

tires will be a huge help Im thinking these knobbys just have soo much resistence
on the road. I saw some Kenda tires that were slick in the middle and had some knobby on the sides, anyone use them?

I saw a Shimano deore m590 mnt bike crankset for about $80 it had 175mm cranks and 26/36/48t chainrings, would I have to change my chainstay for that? is the chainstay the same thing as a derailer or is that on the rear? thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
now dont get me wrong I dont hit the top(high gear) all the time or anything, but I do some,
and with slick tires I figure it will be even easier to hit top end with current gearing.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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lhazc said:
by "spin out" do you mean hit the place where I cant possibly pedal any faster to keep up with the bike, then yes, my bike already has a 11-32T so I am riding a 44/11 in my highest gear, generally i am riding one gear down a 44/13 even up most hills, some times I drop to the 5th or 6th every once in a while on really long hills but not very often.

tires will be a huge help Im thinking these knobbys just have soo much resistence
on the road. I saw some Kenda tires that were slick in the middle and had some knobby on the sides, anyone use them?

I saw a Shimano deore m590 mnt bike crankset for about $80 it had 175mm cranks and 26/36/48t chainrings, would I have to change my chainstay for that? is the chainstay the same thing as a derailer or is that on the rear? thanks for the help.
Yeah, spinning out is when even if you spin your cranks like a hamster on amphetamines, you're not going to put any more power into the bike. It's not too difficult to run into that on a mountain bike on a road descent - I think it's a little below 30mph for most riders. However, if your pedaling form isn't very good, it might be at a much lower cadence and speed...

which your next remark leads me to wonder about. Doing a climb in 44:13 would be pretty inefficient for me, unless I was hammering my way up at around 15mph, and unless it was really mellow, my heart would explode after not very long. Mountain bikers with good technique tend to spin the crank at 70-90rpm. Roadies tend to be a bit faster, more like 80-100rpm. The same gear ratios will make your bike go faster, at those speeds, and going the same speed in a lower gear is physically more efficient for most people, at least until they hit the speed where they start having trouble pedaling smoothly. People's cadences out of the saddle are definitely lower, though. Lately, I've been shifting up a full chain ring when I get out of the saddle on a climb, so that would make my climbing cadence quite a lot lower. Unless you're secretly Andy Schleck, you might do some pedaling exercises and see if some of those lower gear ratios are more useful with cleaner technique. Consider clipless pedals, or at least a set of toe clips. Which part of your foot do you put on the pedal?

IMHO, semislick tires suck for road use. They've got good traction in the center, which is all well and good, but the time you really need traction is in a hard corner, and on a semislick that means you're cornering on the knobs, which squirm and sometimes lose traction suddenly. If you're going to get a slick for road use, get something with no knobs. No tread pattern would be even better, but tires like that are relatively uncommon, even for road bikes. If you get road tires, your wheels will be effectively smaller, because the tires themselves are narrower, so you'll spin out even more easily with your current drivetrain.

The chain stay is the part of the frame that runs from the bottom bracket to the rear dropout. If you look down on your crank so the rings just look like lines, you'll see that if the chain ring was big enough, it would run into the stay. 48t is not much bigger than 44t, but probably still bigger than the bike was designed for. 52t, like on a road crank, is frequently enough bigger not to fit on a mountain bike. I don't know if the M590 with the 48t big ring will clear or not, but if you've got a lot of space between your big ring and chain stay with your current setup, chances are pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
not sure of my cadence, or rpm, it is alot lower when climbing a good hill, I am out of the saddle and keeping a good rythm, if I switch to the smaller front sproket I cant keep a rythm, it seems too jerky, like steping off a step just no resistence.
i use the middle and front pad of my foot, i would say the middle probably little more than the front.

the kenda K-RAD comes in a 1.95, it says low rolling resistence on the street, my Haro had them in a 24" I thought they were pretty good, i seemed to carry speed well with them.
I dont really want a real skinny tire tht looks out of place.
how small of a tire will fit on a mnt bike rim? 1.50? smaller?

i will look at the chain stay, would I have to do anything to the shifter/derailer part if I change the crankset? other than adjust it?

 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Happy to hear you've got a way of climbing that works for you. I think it's useful to be able to climb both sitting and standing; most people prefer one or the other, but neither is right or wrong. Most people who get a lot of riding in use the ball of the foot, although there has been some argument that for hill climbing especially it's better to use a point further back. I have clipless pedals on all my bikes, so it's a bit of a moot point for me. But I think it's worth experimenting a little.

If you get a larger-geared crankset, you'll have to move your derailleur up along on the seat tube. You may run into clearance problems with a water bottle eyelet, although it looks pretty good on your frame, and if your seat tube necks down to accept the derailleur, you should figure out if you'll have enough wiggle room to move it. The difference is pretty small, on the order of half an inch, but I'm too lazy to do the math.

If you like the K-Rad, go for it. With finesse, you should be okay on trails with them too. The minimum width tire for a MTB rim depends on the rim. A good rule of thumb is that it's about 1.45 * width. The width of your rim should be printed on the label. It'll say something like 559-17. A rim with that label would be 17mm wide between the bead seats.
 

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Nice bike

heya...
1st off, i want to tell you thats a nice bike. if i saw it in my local cl for $250 i would definitely have been a possible buyer. i lived with & loved a rockhopper for 10 yrs & still regret selling it a while back. there is a thread devoted to rockies floating around sumwhere here in the spec forum, you oughta check it out.
back to your problem. its been mentioned here already you can never make your mtb work as well on the road as a real road bike. if you are truly stuck with it you need to decide what is important to you. better road manners? cuz any mods towards road-worthiness will cost you off-road.
im no expert myself but unless you are pretty good with a wrench, slapping on road chain rings &/or cranks will be a disaster. big ring clearance concerns, adjusting derailer, chain worries, etc. you did not even mention whether that deore m590 crankset fits your bottom bracket.
that takes you to tires...
if you will never be riding the trails, get full-fledged street tires. if you are going to go off-road for fun & entertainment, keep the real mtb tires & put up with what you are already experiencing on the street. if you insist on compromise its the slick middle, knobby sided tires like the kenda cross & also the panaracer mach SS.
but from my personal experience i can highly recommend specialized borough xc tires. they are narrower & lighter than those others, so are faster on the street & for some reason i can not figure out, my 1.5" wide pros had much better off-road grip than the 1.95 kendas that i used before.
good luck...enjoy that rockhopper!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, i will check out the Borough xc's
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
AndrwSwitch said:
Yeah, spinning out is when even if you spin your cranks like a hamster on amphetamines, you're not going to put any more power into the bike. It's not too difficult to run into that on a mountain bike on a road descent - I think it's a little below 30mph for most riders. However, if your pedaling form isn't very good, it might be at a much lower cadence and speed...

which your next remark leads me to wonder about. Doing a climb in 44:13 would be pretty inefficient for me, unless I was hammering my way up at around 15mph, and unless it was really mellow, my heart would explode after not very long. Mountain bikers with good technique tend to spin the crank at 70-90rpm. Roadies tend to be a bit faster, more like 80-100rpm. The same gear ratios will make your bike go faster, at those speeds, and going the same speed in a lower gear is physically more efficient for most people, at least until they hit the speed where they start having trouble pedaling smoothly. People's cadences out of the saddle are definitely lower, though. Lately, I've been shifting up a full chain ring when I get out of the saddle on a climb, so that would make my climbing cadence quite a lot lower. Unless you're secretly Andy Schleck, you might do some pedaling exercises and see if some of those lower gear ratios are more useful with cleaner technique. Consider clipless pedals, or at least a set of toe clips. Which part of your foot do you put on the pedal?

IMHO, semislick tires suck for road use. They've got good traction in the center, which is all well and good, but the time you really need traction is in a hard corner, and on a semislick that means you're cornering on the knobs, which squirm and sometimes lose traction suddenly. If you're going to get a slick for road use, get something with no knobs. No tread pattern would be even better, but tires like that are relatively uncommon, even for road bikes. If you get road tires, your wheels will be effectively smaller, because the tires themselves are narrower, so you'll spin out even more easily with your current drivetrain.

The chain stay is the part of the frame that runs from the bottom bracket to the rear dropout. If you look down on your crank so the rings just look like lines, you'll see that if the chain ring was big enough, it would run into the stay. 48t is not much bigger than 44t, but probably still bigger than the bike was designed for. 52t, like on a road crank, is frequently enough bigger not to fit on a mountain bike. I don't know if the M590 with the 48t big ring will clear or not, but if you've got a lot of space between your big ring and chain stay with your current setup, chances are pretty good.
AndrwSwitch,

sorry, i had to edit my earlier post, its a 42 not 44 front chainring. and not alot of extra room to the chainstay so a 48 is out... maybe I can make a 44 work.

I payed alot more attention to my pedaling the last two days 90 rpm seems pretty high for me
I probably run in the 55-75 cadence range most of the time, I dont spin out in the top gear unless im going down hill, i do in the 42/13, but its tough that leaves me with a ?....
i would rather put more power to the pedal and have a lower cadence than run my self ragged on a lesser gear and the 90 rpm., what would a 42/13 at say 60 rpm be equal too speed wise to a 42/19? would I have to do 80,90,more rpms?
i mean I would rather ride a 55 cadence on a bigger gear than a 85 cadence on a smaller one. i guess thats where I want the larger gear. if I could pedal 60 strokes and still cruise at "X" amount of speed **the same speed that someone else is cruising at in a lower gear with 80-90 strokes I believe I would like that better for me..

thanks for the help.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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It's important to distinguish "force," "torque," and "power" when you're talking about how you use different gear combinations. If I'm in a high gear and I struggle up a hill, my power output is no different than if I'm in one that's more comfortable for me and ascend the hill at the same speed. At least, if we ignore air resistance. However, I have to apply a lot more force to the pedals, or torque to the crank, in order to do it at a higher gear ratio.

Sheldon Brown's site has a gear ratio calculator that can answer your cadence/speed questions.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

Different people have different efficient cadences, especially climbing hills. I feel best spinning a low gear, so I'm biased and I'm sure my posts reflect that. Some people sit and mash their way up in a lower gear, and while my knees hurt just looking at them, that doesn't make it wrong. Just wrong for me. I do get out of the saddle and "dance" my way up hills sometimes, though.

First thing I found in a search on pedaling technique just now...

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1030

I read it, and it's actually a pretty good article.

If, after you work on your technique some, you still prefer lower cadences, you're probably right. But I think it's worth learning to do it "right." The back part of the pedaling stroke is the one people tend to miss the most, and I think it's a big part of what makes higher cadences work.
 
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