Dumb Newbie Question ** Can I swap 90's mtb components to my 80's road bike??
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Red face Dumb Newbie Question ** Can I swap 90's mtb components to my 80's road bike??

    Here is the deal, I don't have much money to spend at the present, (wife) I have a decent late 90's Specialized rock hopper 21 spd with Shimano parts, and I just bought an old 80's Marushi Rx-4 japanese 12spd, suntour parts. Is there any way I might swap the front triple gears from the mtb to the front double gears on the 12 spd, and therfore create a 18 spd, ( yeah I know how lame that sounds) please slap me now!!. Anyway the deal is I want to do my first Tri and don't have much to invest but I thought I might be able to canibilize the Mtb. If this is the lamest thing you ever heard just let me know I have pretty thick skin.


  2. #2
    The web is a MUT
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    For your first tri

    Just tune up the road bike as is, or just use the mtn bike in the race. There will be so much other stuff on your learning curve in your first triathlon that the last thing you'll want to worry about is swapping components between bikes and possibly running into compatibility issues and possibly be left without any bike at all.

    As far as the swap goes, as long as the bottom bracket and deraileur mounting are compatible you should be okay. But I'd just tune up either bike and go with that for the rest of this season.

    You can put slicks on the mtb, or can put an aerobar and foreward shifters on the older roadbike, and end up with a reasonable bike for the first few tri's. After you get some experience you'll know where to spend the money. I assume this will be a Sprint distance triathlon, but if it's longer then that may affect your decisions.

    Get two or three events in with your current bikes, then once you've proven that you're into this new sport and it's not just a fling the money may free up for a new mid-level bike next year that you can set up just for tri's.

    Just some thoughts to think about.

    And have fun in your first event, you're gonna love it. My knees went south prior to my first triathlon, and I was never much of a runner, so no more tri for me (for now at least). (hmmm, maybe next year..... now look what you did.)
    <<a sig line goes here>>

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    BB incompatibilities

    Unless your triathalon has some really steep hills, there's not much incentive to convert to a triple up front, and some risk due to a little more difficult shifting (and the associated chance for a missed shift). Also, it's possible/probable that the MTB stuff is for a 74mm wide BB (frame) and the road stuff is most surely a 68 mm width. Pretend you're Dave Stohler and your preparing for the Little 500. Make that Huffy (in this case Marushi) sing by cleaning it up and really giving it a good overhaul. Find somebody who knows bikes to give you a hand, and you'll not likely lose the tri due to the bike holding you back.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Excellent points all around.

    Thank you for the excellent posts and advice. Yeah, I will stick with what I have for now, and just buy some clipless pedals and maybe an aerobar for the 12 spd. It is nice to have the mtb for crosstraining anyway. I am so pumped about my first Tri, yeah it will probably be the Sprint, since my swimming is coming along a little slower than I hoped. But I hope to be up to olympic and who knows maybe a half-ironman next year!!! ;) We shall see. I'm not coming in straight off the couch if you were wondering.

    Thanks again.

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