• This topic has 11 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 5 days ago by jon_n.
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  • Soul “Monstercross” vs n +1
  • Premier Icon jon_n
    Free Member

    Hi All

    (Of course the real answer, even before the question has been properly asked is “n +1″, but I thought I’d ask it anyway…)

    I’ve got a (new to me) short travel FS 29er, and a mk1 soul. Anything ride wise that would necessitate the full sus, or even to a certain extent the hardtail is a drive away – all of the riding from my door is road, bridleway or gravel. More recently myself and a few riding buddies have been doing occasional longer road tours – they are all on road/gravel bikes vs me on the Soul. The Soul has currently been semi-repurposed with 1.5″ road tyres (on the existing 26” wheels), the 120mm Rebas get locked out and it bimbles along – it’s a bit under geared, un-aerodynamic and doesn’t have any rack mounts etc but it does OK.

    I’ve been toying with the idea of converting it into something more ‘gravelly’ to make it better on the road – rigid forks and drop bars for a starter, but I’m starting to wonder if the amount I’d have to spend to convert it isn’t worth the effort (which is a shame, as it’s a waste to let the frame sit in a corner gathering dust!).

    It looks like drops may work OK as the soul is reasonably short TT wise, there’s options for brakes/gears (although it would probably be spendy – not sure about converting Hope mono M4s to drop brakes would be easy!), straight steerer forks etc. But – it’s going to end up as a slightly odd looking drop bar bike with masses of seat tube etc, and may ride terribly!

    Any hints or advice much appreciated, even if it is “don’t bother trying to make it something it’s not, just buy a proper gravel bike!” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    I can only assume the bike didn’t fit you with flat bars if it’s gonna be okay with drops?.

    You may end up spending a fortune, just to have drop bars?. Put rigid forks and fast tyres on it, bingo.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    The new Surly Corner Bar looks to be interesting for this kind of conversion.

    Premier Icon jon_n
    Free Member

    I can only assume the bike didnโ€™t fit you with flat bars if itโ€™s gonna be okay with drops?.

    It started off with the way bikes were setup when I bought it 17ish years ago – 120ish mm stem and handlebars the widths of your shoulders (and bar ends). It’s now a bit more modern with a shorter stem and much wider bars. I think with drops and the short stem the hoods would end up somewhere where my hands used to be with bar ends..

    Premier Icon jon_n
    Free Member

    The new Surly Corner Bar looks to be interesting for this kind of conversion.

    Thanks – very interesting.

    Premier Icon twrch
    Free Member

    How is the drop from saddle to bars? If it’s already quite aggressive, as older XC bikes were, then it’ll be pretty horrible to ride on the drops (which, I’m told, is how you are supposed to descend). I once converted a Trek 7000 to drops, rode it 100 yards, and put it back as it was.

    Go and buy a proper road or touring bike!

    Premier Icon jon_n
    Free Member

    Yup, the saddle is a fair bit above the bars…

    Sounds like it’s a nice idea but flawed in execution… N+1 time I think…

    Premier Icon FOG
    Full Member

    I have done something similar with my older Soul. Some carbon forks I had on an xc bike, some 700c wheels left over from a road bike upgrade and some gravel tyres and Bobs your uncle.
    I didn’t go for drops as this was meant to be a cheap fix but I did put on some narrower bars with Crane Creek barends and a longer stem as well as 2x gearing and a smaller cassette. Everything came out of the spares box apart from the tyres.
    I find I use it a lot more than I thought I would. My road bike comes out rarely and my MTBs seem to have dropped down the pecking order. I will have a very close look at the corner bar when it comes out but I think it will be too heavy and spendy.

    Premier Icon jimfrandisco
    Free Member

    Crazy bars worth a look? https://velo-orange.com/products/crazy-bars-1

    Normal MTB controls etc but with a forward bit to give you more of a road position on faster sections, but without going as extreme as drops..which may be a long way down from the sounds of the frame.

    Let me know if you get some though…as I’m contemplating doing something very similar!

    Premier Icon ajantom
    Full Member

    It may look odd, but the On One gooseneck stem does a good of getting dirt drops in the right place…

    Premier Icon yetidave
    Free Member

    did this to a swift. Only thing new was a short stem – sourced other bits from folks parts bins mostly. But really should have factored in stem, bars, brifters, bar tape, cables, and cable brake callipers as a start, could be an expensive experiment.

    Premier Icon jon_n
    Free Member

    I did some man maths end ended up ordering a Merlin Malt G2P – with the original discount and the additional VIP discount from past orders the price was very good, and it would save a lot of faff trying to make the Soul into something it’s not. And besides, N+1 ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hopefully it should be here in the next few days – it looks like a few other people have them on here and rate them ๐Ÿ™‚

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