All Terrain Bikes: November 2008 Archives

The Specialized HardRock Road/Cyclocross Bike Conversion

This bike started out as a youth mountain bike - 21 speed, solid fork, 24" wheels.  I should have taken a picture because I can't seem to find any photos of this particular model anywhere in the 'net.  It looks like late '80s-early '90s vintage and the frame is chromoly.   It's not the lightest frame known to mankind, but it's a cool design with lots of lugs and nice long horizontal dropouts to make any number of configurations do-able.   My son wanted a road bike to ride with the family on some of our longer bike outings.   So, the idea was conceived from there.  He had been pedaling like mad on a nice similarly-sized Specialized Hotrock for a year or so.  We had looked at some of the nice youth sized road bike offerings, the Trek KD1000, Felt 24 & some others online.  Ultimately, this is a bike that will be outgrown in a couple of years so we wanted something that wasn't terribly expensive.  This dusty Hardrock came along and fit the bill.   Other than possibly finding some ISO 520 road bike rims, the 'build' is complete.  We were lucky the donor bike had a good headset & bottom bracket.  We changed the stem to an old Salsa stem & added 36cm Salsa drop bars, some Tektro brake levers, top interruper - or whatever you call them - levers, and some Shimano bar end shifters (currently using friction - old school!).  I changed the chainring set from the original 1-piece steel rings to a 'real' 3 piece 34-42-52 alloy Sugino crankset.  We may change the rear gearing as well, even if we do not end up changing wheels.  After our first outing together left us riding home pretty much in the dark, I added a nice Cree LED mini-flashlight headlight & LED blinky tail light for low light riding. hardrock_cx_side.jpgOn a side-note, I learned there are something like four different variations of what are commonly referred to as "24 inch" wheels.  It seems the better rim sizes and tire selection (and better is quite relative here because basically there is not much other than BMX) is based on the ISO 520 rim size...which is slightly larger than the common youth mountain bike ISO 540 rim size.  Sheldon Brown shed light on this confusing issue on his web site, but to be honest I still get confused!  So, I have a great set of 1" high pressure 24" road tires, but no rims to match yet. 

Still, the bike seems to be a hit & though we were looking for some more "high speed" tires for the bike, the tires & wheels on it not are not bad since they are relatively bullet-proof.