Additional wheelset

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Hi, I just got me self a MTB last few months. XC riding for me is during weekends but during weekdays I still have to ride after working hours. So I bought myself a specialized fat boy slick tyres for my roady weekdays rides. I'm thinking of geeting an additional pair of wheelset for my road rides. Must it come with new set of freewheels for road rides because I understand that the gear ratio is different for roadies. I found a pair of rims in one shop. Safety line is the name. Quite lightweight & good appearance as well. Any comment about the name. What's the price for a new set of freewheel? Or any other suggestion for alternate off-road rides & roady rides practice?

-- amir yusof (wcr1414@yahoo.co.uk), June 19, 2003

Answers

Hi Amir

If you want to build up a new set of wheels, to avoid having to remove the slicks and remounting your knobby tyres onto your existing wheels every Friday night, you'll need to buy:

Then you'll need to collar a competent mechanic to build it up. A properly built wheel is probably the most important factor affecting strength and durability of a wheel.

Regarding the gear ratios for the cassette, it's better to get gears that are more closely spaced together if you intend to ride on the road. Sometimes, with mountain bike cassettes, you'll find that one gear is too heavy, while the next one is too light to maintain a comfortable cadence, or RPM. Having said that though, there is a certain mountain biker who regularly smokes roadies in races while riding his mud-encrusted mountain bike, modified for road use merely by the installation of slicks. I digress. Anyway, try a 11-28 tooth XT cassette (should be easy to get and not too expensive) and see how it goes. By a strange coincidence, I've got a a hardly-used 11- 28T XT cassette (8 speed) languishing at the bottom of my parts bin. E-mail me if you wish to provide a new home for my neglected cogset.

A new XTR cassette should cost about RM250. The XT, lacking the titanium parts of the XTR, is only marginally heavier but costs half as much.

Note that if you install a smaller cassette on the bike, the chain will be slightly longer than is ideal, and may lead to increased chain slap. But, since you'll be riding the smaller cassette on the road only, this should not be a problem.

Regarding the rims, "Safety Line" is likely to be a model of rim manufactured by a French company called Rigida. This rim has pins embedded in the rim that will indicate when the rim wall has worn to the point that it is no longer safe to use. I've not used this brand of rim before and so can't comment on its quality.

Alternatively, especially if you're swimming in money and can't get rid of it fast enough, you can get a road bike. I'd sell you mine, but someone's bought it already. Riding a properly tuned road bike is like riding a silken magic carpet, when compared to riding a mountain bike even with slicks installed on the road. Moreover, the higher gearing on the road bike and its larger wheels means that the road bike can go faster on the road than a mountain bike, lungs permitting.

Joe

-- Joe (joeadnan@yahoo.com), June 19, 2003.


Thanks Mr. Joe. For getting me self a road bike will be another few years when all the off road trails in Klang Valley vaporised. Off course I hope that I'll be able to swim in my own money at that time. I guess that I'll just have to stick to my Fat Boy then. Well, thanks again. Maybe I'll just drop by now and then to throw in some other queries.

-- Amir_yusof (wcr1414@yahoo.co.uk), June 19, 2003.

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