You do not have to buy a new commuter bike when the old mountain bike lays in the garage without years of usage. You can convert the mountain bike to a commuter bike with a few tips put in place. You will not have to worry about taking the bus or train to work anymore.
You will save a lot of money by creating a commuter bike from a mountain bike. Here are some ways you need to follow to achieve this transformation.
Changing the tires
You can distinguish the type of bike at first sight by checking its tires. Mountain bikes have heavyweight tires that are big while commuter bike tires are lightweight and narrower.
This narrow bike tires enhance the speed of your bike on the road. You can also stick to using wider tires with fewer treads to achieve comfort as well as speed. Always ensure that the tire you buy is very tough to avoid getting punctures and exposing them to frequent maintenance.
You will use different tubes when fitting wide and narrow bike tires. It is better that you use a puncture-resistant tube to help in the end. Do not forget to fill the new tires with air as you pump them to increase their rolling resistance.
Your old mountain bike might have fenders but if it does not, then you need to install them during the conversion to a commuter bike. They reduce your exposure to mud, water, and grime that often sprays on the face, backside, and all over the bike when riding. It also prolongs the life of your bike by reducing the amount of grit that distorts the normal functioning of components of a bike.
Begin by inspecting your bike and make sure the clearance to the wheel, frame, and brake are enough to accommodate the fenders. You can now start the process of fitting them once this is over. You can opt for removable fenders to get them off when not riding in a muddy or dusty area.
Fenders ensure you remain clean throughout a ride. You will not have to worry about cleaning clothes or carrying an extra pair to work to ensure that you look neat.
Fitting racks, baskets or panniers
In most cases, you are prone to carry some luggage while commuting. You need a safe place to place them, one that will not put too much strain when riding. You can use a basket at the front or rear end or some other vast options. They are easy to install and remove and will fit the job.
You can decide to fit a rack at the rear part of the bike. It will provide the bike with a stable framework to ensure you gear it forward. You can strap luggage on it, especially during good weather conditions.
During foul weather, you need to attach panniers or ruck trunks to the rack. Panniers are in pairs to the side of the rack or attached to the back of a bike. They are like enclosed backpacks that ensure your belongings are dry throughout a rainy day. They are hard to install and will take up most of your time, but it will be worth it.
Commuting, especially on the road, requires you to have lights installed on a bike to ensure your safety. It makes you visible in traffic, especially at night hours and limited visibility conditions. It ensures you are on a driver’s radar scene and it helps you evade obstacles.
You need to place the front lights on the handlebar close to the stem. The best type you can get are the ones that illuminate white light to ensure you are visible on the road. You can charge them using USB or opt for getting one with an installed battery.
You can place the rear lights at the stem right below the seat of a bike. Most of them illuminate red light and you attach them on the stem using a stretchy rubber strap that can get off and on with ease.
Adding reflective stickers and tapes
These reflective stickers and tapes complement the front and rear lights of your bike. It increases safety when riding at night by ensuring your visibility to car drivers and other motorists.
You can place these stickers and tapes on the inside of bike rims between the spokes. Let it cover less than half the rim in a solid block to ensure it does not make you conspicuous during the day. Its positioning makes your night riding efficient because it attracts attention to the front and rear end at night.
You have a variety of illuminating colors to pick. Luminous Green, Orange, and yellow are some of the most used to create reflective tapes and stickers. Installing them will increase your visibility on the road and ensure your safety at night too.
Ensuring proper maintenance
Proper bike maintenance will prolong the life span of your bike. It improves on the performance of your bike by making it faster, offers great rolling resistance, and increases grip on the road.
Always ensure to keep the drivetrain clean and lubricated to avoid getting rattling and squeaking sounds from the chain and sprockets. Ensure you have inflated tires at high pressure to help you reduce the effort to maintain high speeds. You should keep the bolts and nuts tight too.
Always check on the brakes to make sure their adjustment is in line. You should also check the brake pads and change them if necessary. To finish up, make it your priority to learn how to fix a flat tube.
Converting a mountain bike that you do not use to a commuter bike saves you a lot of money. You can ride with it to work, to the park, or take a leisure cycle on pavements. All you need to do is follow the right tips that will help transform your mountain bike to a commuter bike. Once achieving your goal, you need to be up for the task to maintain it.