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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of moving from rural MN back to the Twin Cities. I currently own an '09 FSRxc Comp which, for all intents and purposes, is awesome. It does an excellent job on the rough stuff.

The area in which I'm moving to will almost certainly shift me to more riding on pavement. Also, some people I ride with are interested in off-road (the FSR's arena) while others are more comfortable on paved paths.

I know I could easily lockout the FSR's suspension and mount some 1.50's smoothies to make it more competent on the pavement but I can't get around the fact it's seems like the wrong tool for the job. Also to be honest I'd feel kind of silly riding a nice XC FS bike with road tires...

One possibility I've been mulling over is purchasing a closeout/used flatbar road or even a rigid hybrid. I don't have the experience however to fully understand which is the path of least resistance: modify or different bike.
 

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Looks to me as if you need 2 bikes. The FSR for the rides offroad and a road bike (or cruiser) for the rides on pavement.

Alternatively you could get a second set of wheels for your FSR. If you shop the internet this would set you back about $250 including tubes and tires. Plus maybe another $50 if you need brake rotors. That could work fine, if you are ready to switch wheels every now and then, and also if you do get used to ride a full squish on the bike path (I do - I don't care).

But if you plan to ride seriously on pavement you'll end up with a road bike. I never wanted one until I started bike commuting and got constantly passed by road bikes. Now I do have one, ride it commuting as well as for fitness, and love it. Yes, I do have a full suspension bike, too. And I love it. Having both allows me to keep things fresh by enjoying different styles etc of biking.

And: I don't have to change wheels.
 

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My current stable of bikes is:
2007 GT iDrive 4 - Setup as a trail bike.
2010 Access 29er 9.5 - Setup as XC
2010 Diamondback Insight RS (700c flat handlebar) - Setup as a pavement/path bike.

On the pavement/path, I love the 700c. I hook my daughter's trailer up to it and the gearing is perfect for pulling her and keeping up with the rest of the family. (Granted, they are on 26" rigids, but the weight penalty of pulling the trailer vs. the better drivetrain and bigger tires averages out to the same speeds and a decent cadence.)

Could I use my trail bike as an XC bike? Absolutely, as long as I inflate the tires, adjust the seat height, adjust the shocks, etc. The problem becomes having to readjust everything again to go back to trail. It's much easier to have 2 or 3 separate bikes for specific purposes.

Next purchase: drop handle road bike or a tri-bike!
 

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Agreed....

your thinking is spot on, the right tool for the job at hand is always the better way to go. While an MTB will work for the road, it's a pain to keep setting them up for the road, then dropping them back when you want to hit dirt. Swapping wheels will work, but it's not the be all and end all of a multi purpose bike. You'll still likely have to adjust brakes and set things up repeatedly. And then you have the additional wear and tear. Riding with you suspension locked out for long periods is hard on the components and tends to accelerate wear.

The best option, obviously, is to go with a pavement bike. There are lots of options, everything from a full on drop bar road bike to a single speed beach cruiser, or anything in between.

My personal preference is for what had become known as a "Fitness" bike. The Trek FX series is a perfect example. They have a flat bar, nice light weight frame, some use road components, some mountain components, but road gearing, 700c wheels etc. The geometry isn't as agressive as a full on road bike, but deffinately not as upright as a hybrid. And they are fast. But much more comfortable to ride than a full on roadie IMHO.

Anyway, your call. But a bike for the trail and one for the road is deffinately the way to go if you can afford it. :thumbsup:

Good Dirt
 

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Two bikes will work best but if money is tight at the moment then an additional set of wheels will get you by with minimal adjustment here and there when switching between the two.

My bike suggestion would be a cyclocross bike. You get the roadbike geometry for the most part, the gearing and wheel size, but can run a little bit wider tire be it a street tire, enduro, or flat out dirt tire. You can usually pick them up used for under or close to $1k and new for under $1.5k. This option will allow you to hit the road, paths, and even trails (to a degree)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've been really fascinated by the newer fixed gear/single speed bikes out like the Specialized Roll 1 and Gary Fisher Gritty. The most obvious drawback is lack of gearing but they are fairly lightweight and seem like they would work well for tame paved trails or around-town commuting. They're so simple that I like the idea that there's really not much that can go wrong.

Any thoughts on this?
 

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I think that is a good option and even though I have a drop road bar bike have thought about picking up a lower end single speed, can always check out something like bikes direct if budget is an issue.
 
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