MTB to Cruiser conversion?





Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Henties
    Posts
    3,658
    Thanked: 1215

    Default MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    I got a 2016 Silverback Comp 29" MTB. Surely a nice bike, but I hardly use it, as I find it uncomfortable:
    1) position: the bum up, head down is just not for me. I want to sit on a bike like a normal person and enjoy the ride.

    2) hard saddle: in the olden days, saddles where comfortable and had springs to save your spine from absorbing all the shocks. They don't seem to be available at all anymore, at least in southern Africa. One can buy a Cruiser bike and get what looks like a comfy saddle with it, but saddle alone is a big no no.

    3) handle bar: the straight handle bar might be great for downhill racing, but that's not what I have in mind. I'd like the handles slightly angled towards me and higher than the saddle, a lot higher, so I can sit properly.

    I use the bike mainly on gravel and don't do any long distance or technical stuff. I used to really enjoy cycling, the more leisurely kind on a nice "norma" bicycle, the steel frame ones with a 3 speed "Torpedo" gear shifter. That was around 25+ years ago. Seems one doesn't get anything decent and relatively simple and comfortable anymore.
    Hence I would like to convert the Silverback to a more comfortable bike.
    However, where does one get decent handle bars, stems, longer lines for the hydraulic brakes & shimano shifter and a proper saddle? Does a saddle stem with built in "suspension" work?
    2012 FJ Cruiser
    1983 FJ60 Landcruiser

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    205
    Thanked: 131

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Please share the current dimensions and pics of the bike.
    Discovery Landrover 3 tdv6 2008
    Volvo S40 T5 2006

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    205
    Thanked: 131

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    You need a proper bike fit done.and then you will obtain good advice on how to use your current components in a more efficient way...with minimal part changes.
    Discovery Landrover 3 tdv6 2008
    Volvo S40 T5 2006

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Somerset West
    Age
    35
    Posts
    541
    Thanked: 253

    Default MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    All mountain bikes can be made more comfortable by putting a riser bar and a higher stem on it.

    Couple it with fatter tyres and a saddle THAT SUITS YOU and you'll have a way more comfortable bike. Most bikes ship with saddles that are really uncomfortable. Saddles are just to personal to find something that works for all.
    If your local shop can't help you to get more comfortable, then find someone who understands what you want.

    You can still get the cruiser style bikes, they are great for cruising, but pretty inefficient compared to mountain bikes. Lekker for a cruise down the promenade, but I'd choose nearly any other bike for a long gravel road ride.


    On my one bike my saddle is about 3cm lower than the saddle, and that was pretty comfortable om the 24hr I did in Jan.
    Last edited by PhlippieV; 2020/11/08 at 03:17 PM.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to PhlippieV For This Useful Post:


  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Henties
    Posts
    3,658
    Thanked: 1215

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
    Please share the current dimensions and pics of the bike.
    What dimensions would you like?
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    2012 FJ Cruiser
    1983 FJ60 Landcruiser

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    205
    Thanked: 131

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Ok for general riding this bike is good to go. Its a hard tale which will effectively make you feel the bumps on gravel roads. My advice is to have a proper bike fit done and then take it from there before you spend anymore money on the bike itself.
    Discovery Landrover 3 tdv6 2008
    Volvo S40 T5 2006

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Henties
    Posts
    3,658
    Thanked: 1215

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhlippieV View Post
    All mountain bikes can be made more comfortable by putting a riser bar and a higher stem on it.

    Couple it with fatter tyres and a saddle THAT SUITS YOU and you'll have a way more comfortable bike. Most bikes ship with saddles that are really uncomfortable. Saddles are just to personal to find something that works for all.
    If your local shop can't help you to get more comfortable, then find someone who understands what you want.

    You can still get the cruiser style bikes, they are great for cruising, but pretty inefficient compared to mountain bikes. Lekker for a cruise down the promenade, but I'd choose nearly any other bike for a long gravel road ride.


    On my one bike my saddle is about 3cm lower than the saddle, and that was pretty comfortable om the 24hr I did in Jan.
    Thing is, that I have been to several dedicated bike shops in Nam and they all told me the wider saddles with shock absorber / springs aren't available anywhere. Now I know one does get them in Europe and I wonder whether these guys are just not interested or whether they are really not available on the SA market.
    I have tried a gel saddle, which doesn't really make a difference, neither do those padded cycling pants. It's about the bumps that rigid saddle and stem combination deliver to the bum & spine.
    2012 FJ Cruiser
    1983 FJ60 Landcruiser

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Centurion
    Age
    54
    Posts
    2,256
    Thanked: 874

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    2) hard saddle: in the olden days, saddles where comfortable and had springs to save your spine from absorbing all the shocks. They don't seem to be available at all anymore, at least in southern Africa.
    I fitted this Brooks to my MTB on Friday. (This is for touring, I do not do tech trails)

    Also, FOR ME it made the ride more comfortable (neck & lowe back) to get the handlebar to approx the level of my seat.

    Bikefit -personally I am not too convinced (YES, I did it, paid approx. R900 for it with fancy videos etc etc, and at the end the config ended up with what my own research and setup also indicated)

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to PieterOos For This Useful Post:


  11. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Somerset West
    Age
    35
    Posts
    541
    Thanked: 253

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    Thing is, that I have been to several dedicated bike shops in Nam and they all told me the wider saddles with shock absorber / springs aren't available anywhere. Now I know one does get them in Europe and I wonder whether these guys are just not interested or whether they are really not available on the SA market.
    I have tried a gel saddle, which doesn't really make a difference, neither do those padded cycling pants. It's about the bumps that rigid saddle and stem combination deliver to the bum & spine.
    Those suspension seatposts were never great. Most were downright horrible.
    Don't expect it to take the little bumps away. You'll have more joy with fatter tyres (but may not fit in your frame) or a full suspension frame.
    The tandem people used to swear by the cane creek thudbuster seatposts, but it is a very expensive lipstick.
    https://isikosports.co.za/Cane-Creek...sts-p246518771

    I reckon the leather sofa saddle on the California cruiser might be comfortable for what you want to do, but I can't vouch for it. I'm the guy that spends days on gravel roads with a rigid frame, rigid seatpost and a relatively tiny saddle.
    But I'm also pretty flexible and a masochist. So I take the discomfort, because that bike is fast enough. And with enough riding comes the conditioning that enables me to ride it without discomfort.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to PhlippieV For This Useful Post:


  13. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Midrand
    Age
    49
    Posts
    3,131
    Thanked: 1276

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    I got a 2016 Silverback Comp 29" MTB. Surely a nice bike, but I hardly use it, as I find it uncomfortable:
    1) position: the bum up, head down is just not for me. I want to sit on a bike like a normal person and enjoy the ride.

    2) hard saddle: in the olden days, saddles where comfortable and had springs to save your spine from absorbing all the shocks. They don't seem to be available at all anymore, at least in southern Africa. One can buy a Cruiser bike and get what looks like a comfy saddle with it, but saddle alone is a big no no.

    3) handle bar: the straight handle bar might be great for downhill racing, but that's not what I have in mind. I'd like the handles slightly angled towards me and higher than the saddle, a lot higher, so I can sit properly.

    I use the bike mainly on gravel and don't do any long distance or technical stuff. I used to really enjoy cycling, the more leisurely kind on a nice "norma" bicycle, the steel frame ones with a 3 speed "Torpedo" gear shifter. That was around 25+ years ago. Seems one doesn't get anything decent and relatively simple and comfortable anymore.
    Hence I would like to convert the Silverback to a more comfortable bike.
    However, where does one get decent handle bars, stems, longer lines for the hydraulic brakes & shimano shifter and a proper saddle? Does a saddle stem with built in "suspension" work?
    That sort of requirement is very common in europe. Not really a big thing here. Sounds almost like you want one of those big black mamba bikes that the old post office etc used to use, but just brought up to date.

    In Europe the electric bikes are now super popular and perhaps there is an option there.

    Otherwise you may have to import some components to covert yours?

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Swakopmund
    Age
    32
    Posts
    68
    Thanked: 18

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    I've ridden the exact same bike, was a friend of mines, at the time I Was riding a merida hardtail and the silverback was more comfortable.

    Key things to check:
    -Level out your seat, play around with bringing it forward & back, be mindful of the limits.
    -Get decent tubeless tyres, if I'm not mistaken those are 21 or 23mm internal width rims, so I would suggest 2.25 wide tyres. You could maybe get away with 2.35 but then you run the risk of burping the tyre on rough stuff. Though you do say you only ride gravel so might work. Once you tubeless you can play around with tyre pressure, I run 28-30psi in the rear on my 2.35 wide tyre on the rear, but I ride trails/drops & jumps so I need the extra pressure. I weigh 90kg's and that pressure works great for me on my dual suspension. I would rate I can go down to 24-26psi in the rear on a hardtail and good comfort.
    -Suspension in the seat never works, it causes issues with hip movement and poor pedaling form.
    - before going for a riser bar, try some bar ends, will help getting you sitting more upright to determine if that is what you need.
    - The correct seat for your body shape is way better than a wide seat. a seat to wide can lead to chaffing and again bad pedaling form hurting your hips and back. You need to find a seat that fits your hip bones.

    Remember, riding a bike is not the same as sitting at your office chair, you must be a right position for good pedaling, otherwise you run the risk of doing more harm to your joints( hips and knees in particular).

    Cruisers do not work on gravel roads, as the others have said, they meant for cruising down to the shop for ice cream. I wouldn't ride one more than 30min.
    Current: 2019 Legend 50 D/C auto 4x4 - still to be named.
    Previous:
    '06 Prado VX - Nickname Bruce
    '05 Ford Ranger Supercab 2.5TD XLT - Big Joe
    '06 Fiesta ST - Thor
    '97 Mazda 1300 rustler - Joe
    '81 1100 2door VW golfie - Tracey

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to souti For This Useful Post:


  16. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Harties Boet
    Age
    37
    Posts
    1,788
    Thanked: 1084

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Could it not be that that frame is too small for you?

    From the photo it does look like an uncomfortable setup there. The seat is too high, and the stem is too long it seems, I can just picture how stretched out you must be on that setup.
    Graham Robertson
    Nissan Patrol 4.8
    Nissan Patrol 4.2td

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to Graham For This Useful Post:


  18. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Henties
    Posts
    3,658
    Thanked: 1215

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    Could it not be that that frame is too small for you?

    From the photo it does look like an uncomfortable setup there. The seat is too high, and the stem is too long it seems, I can just picture how stretched out you must be on that setup.
    I'm 1.93 metres tall and got relatively long legs. Hence the high saddle. The handle bar can't extend any further up, the stem is too short and the brake and gear shifter lines would need to be extended, if that is possible.
    The guys at the bicycle shop told me they ordered the frame for my size.

    I would like to have a higher handle bar fitted.
    2012 FJ Cruiser
    1983 FJ60 Landcruiser

  19. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Harties Boet
    Age
    37
    Posts
    1,788
    Thanked: 1084

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    What size is the frame? Check on that vertical tube underneath the seat, it will have either an S, M, or L, or XL sticker.
    Your height it should be a Large frame (L).

    Actually, ive just checked my height. Ok, so youre very tall. Im sure they put you on a large.

    The other solution, which Im sure you dont want to hear, is to push through a bit. I know if I havent ridden in a couple months and then get back on, Im very uncomfortable and sore during and after the first couple rides, but it goes away.

    edit: or, if you say you just want to go on very chilled, slow rides, just drop the seat a bit. Your legs wont extend properly, but if youre just cruising around it wont be a problem, and should be miles more comfortable.
    Last edited by Graham; 2020/12/02 at 02:27 PM.
    Graham Robertson
    Nissan Patrol 4.8
    Nissan Patrol 4.2td

  20. The Following User Says Thank You to Graham For This Useful Post:


  21. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    45
    Posts
    68
    Thanked: 4

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    I'm 1.93 metres tall and got relatively long legs. Hence the high saddle. The handle bar can't extend any further up, the stem is too short and the brake and gear shifter lines would need to be extended, if that is possible.
    The guys at the bicycle shop told me they ordered the frame for my size.

    I would like to have a higher handle bar fitted.

    Hi,

    Already very valuable comments made, especially with regards to the saddle. A large saddle might seem more comfortable but could impact how efficiently you ride. If you sit properly your bum gest used to the smaller saddle after some time.
    So many factors to consider and I don't think there is a short answer to this but I can perhaps make some comments:

    At 1.93m tall I believe you should be riding an XL frame, but looking at your current frame size compared to the 29' wheels it could very easily be an XL already.
    The best way of measuring if the frame is suited for you (frames differ on bikes and XL do not mean to say all measurements are the same) is to look at the reach. This is the horizontal distance between the two vertical lines passing through your bottom bracket and the top of the steerer tube. I think for your height this measurement should be about 480 - 510mm. If this is not currently the case I think you will battle to get the bike comfortable irrespective the changes you make to the cockpit.

    Don't be fooled by thinking a longer stem will help matters. By extending the stem you are moving your body weight forward, and will cause the opposite of what you want to achieve (you will be sitting more slanted instead of more upright)
    If you would like to have a more comfortable riding position, maybe instead of opting for more upright bars consider bars with a slight rise (maybe 35mm or so) and make them as wide as possible.
    Maybe also consider an even shorter stem since a shorter stem and wider bars will "open up" your chest that can be more comfortable. It will however greatly impact the steering feel of the bike and it will feel more "jittery"
    Remember that slight changes can greatly impact the feel of the bike.

    It is relatively easy for your bike shop to fit longer shifter cables brake lines, these can be cut to length but then have to be crimped and bled but I'm sure any bike shop have done this multiple times.

    Good luck, having a bike that fits properly makes riding that much more enjoyable.

  22. The Following User Says Thank You to BvN For This Useful Post:


  23. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Henties
    Posts
    3,658
    Thanked: 1215

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by BvN View Post
    Hi,

    Already very valuable comments made, especially with regards to the saddle. A large saddle might seem more comfortable but could impact how efficiently you ride. If you sit properly your bum gest used to the smaller saddle after some time.
    So many factors to consider and I don't think there is a short answer to this but I can perhaps make some comments:

    At 1.93m tall I believe you should be riding an XL frame, but looking at your current frame size compared to the 29' wheels it could very easily be an XL already.
    The best way of measuring if the frame is suited for you (frames differ on bikes and XL do not mean to say all measurements are the same) is to look at the reach. This is the horizontal distance between the two vertical lines passing through your bottom bracket and the top of the steerer tube. I think for your height this measurement should be about 480 - 510mm. If this is not currently the case I think you will battle to get the bike comfortable irrespective the changes you make to the cockpit.

    Don't be fooled by thinking a longer stem will help matters. By extending the stem you are moving your body weight forward, and will cause the opposite of what you want to achieve (you will be sitting more slanted instead of more upright)
    If you would like to have a more comfortable riding position, maybe instead of opting for more upright bars consider bars with a slight rise (maybe 35mm or so) and make them as wide as possible.
    Maybe also consider an even shorter stem since a shorter stem and wider bars will "open up" your chest that can be more comfortable. It will however greatly impact the steering feel of the bike and it will feel more "jittery"
    Remember that slight changes can greatly impact the feel of the bike.

    It is relatively easy for your bike shop to fit longer shifter cables brake lines, these can be cut to length but then have to be crimped and bled but I'm sure any bike shop have done this multiple times.

    Good luck, having a bike that fits properly makes riding that much more enjoyable.
    Sorry, I don't understand why a longer stem for the handle bar would make me sit more slanted? The saddle stem is high enough.

    I checked the frame, it's a XL frame. Sticker says 55 cm seat tube and 64.5 cm top tube.
    2012 FJ Cruiser
    1983 FJ60 Landcruiser

  24. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    George
    Age
    68
    Posts
    65
    Thanked: 97

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Check out post #11 above : very good advice.
    I also ride a Silverback comp but in dual suspension. I am 178cm and ride a medium frame, so XL should be OK for you.
    On those bikes your widest tire is unfortunately 2.25. A 2.35 lies just too close to rear stancion.
    I have long legs, so my saddle position also looks like yours. All bodies are different.
    I agree with the bar-ends. Giant make nice ones for a reasonable price.
    As per #11: if you are tubeless go for lowest possible pressures. I weigh 73kg (when fit) and ride at 22 and 25psi front and rear. That is on Mavic UST rims. Also have the pressure in the fork checked and play with the rebound setting on a piece of corrugated road. Getting that and pressures right will makes a huge difference to your ride.
    A last thought : think of selling the bike ( it looks very nice ! ) and getting something else rather than spending endless money on it. You can never fully convert a mtb to a cruiser😎.
    Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD6 4x4
    RAV4 VX
    Armadillo Shack caravan
    Silverback Sesta Comp 29er

  25. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cape Town
    Age
    35
    Posts
    120
    Thanked: 62

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    I know you have asked specifically for advice on converting your current bicycle...However, if that is impossible due to parts availability or economically undesirable from a cost point of view.

    Perhaps sell and have a look at the Johnny Loco bicycles. Real tourer styles and very comfortable. I have ridden them as know the chap who was the agent here in SA.

    www.johnnyloco.com

  26. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    45
    Posts
    68
    Thanked: 4

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    Sorry, I don't understand why a longer stem for the handle bar would make me sit more slanted? The saddle stem is high enough.

    I checked the frame, it's a XL frame. Sticker says 55 cm seat tube and 64.5 cm top tube.

    HugoNotte,

    Only saw the replies now:

    I hope I explained it correctly but remember that a longer stem will cause you to reach further forward to keep your hands on the bars, thereby putting more of your weight on the bars and on the front wheel. You will not be able to sit more upright by moving your bars forwards, maybe by moving them upwards or outwards.

  27. The Following User Says Thank You to BvN For This Useful Post:


  28. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Durban
    Age
    66
    Posts
    319
    Thanked: 461

    Default Re: MTB to Cruiser conversion?

    I know the feeling Hugo; I am 1.8m and when I started MTB a very well known bike shop owner sold me a Small bike "on special". Another sold me a "high quality" saddle "on special". Took a few years of discomfort before I found out the saddle was a ladies one and, after much trial and error at an honest shop (Jeff Minnaar) I got a well-fitted Large and a decent saddle. Next bike I had fitted properly. I have ridden thousands of km since.

    That is my cv now I say no bicycle is comfortable (for me). You just learn to suffer. Try get to a good bike shop, get fitted and get a saddle (for all their blurb, Specialized do good saddles and will measure you on the assometer). Seat height (knee almost straight with pedal at the bottom) and saddle position (comfortable and correct forward / back and very slightly tilted forward - you know why) are the most critical for me. At my age (>60) seat and handle bars almost the same height.

    A thorough bike fit can cost thousands of ZAR and there are always takers, as I understand it. YouTube most helpful also.

  29. The Following User Says Thank You to mudgrubber For This Useful Post:


Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •