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Converting a Mountain Bike into an All-Rounder

Mountain Bikes can make good all-rounders. Newer suspension mountain bikes don't work as well. But this old non-suspension mountain bike makes a good all-rounder with modifications by Todd Remington.

The base frame was chosen because it's light, steel and non suspension. Front and rear suspensions add weight and sacrifice road performance for technical single track specific performance and comfort. Aluminum is also light, but provides a harsher ride without suspension. Titanium would be great, but rarely seen on older mountain bikes without suspension.
This frame is also light for steel.Lightness is important for climbing environments.

A few other features that made this frame a good choice are the sloped top tube for extra clearance yet higher handle bars, brazons for rear rack, sealed bottom bracket already installed and front fork rake for comfort.

Wheels & Tires
The heavy stock wheels were changed out for light racing wheels to decrease rotational weight and further increase climbing ability.

New all terrain tires work better on pavement and dirt. These tires are almost slicks on the top surface, only the sides have knobbys. Rotational weight can be further reduces with tubeless tires.

Ride Comfort
Riding comfort was optimized by adding a comfy seat. Riser bars and taller stem make the ride more relaxed. Bar ends were added for more hand positions.

Gearing was modified to drop the low end while not compromising the upper range too much. Dropping the low end allows for better climbing, especially when tired or loaded. Some rolling paved hill speed may be compromized since the high gear can't be as high with a low geared mountain bike. When alpine touring in steep mountain terrain however, the high gear is rarely needed.

Safety vs Pedal Power
SPD pedals were exchanged for toe clips for the added safety of quick foot plants in mixed terrain.

Tech Help

Bike Pedia MTB Specs