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2011 Specialized Ariel Sport convert to MTB?

TigerMom2012-07-16 20:17:42 +0000 #1
I thought that I was derailling a lot because I was new at cycling by 2011 Specialized Ariel Sport (it almost always derailled when I shifted my front gears from 2 down to 1 while going up a rear gears are usually already at the bigger cogs 2or 3 before I shift my front gears). I have already brought it into my LBS 2-3 times but the problem keeps occurring. I recently bought a 2012 Specialized Amira Elite road bike and have NEVER derailled on the hills. So, now, I am pretty sure that the derailling is not my fault.

My LBS said that they would look into my 2011 Ariel Sport again. I have already added a suspension post for the seat and upgraded the seat to a Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber seat (because I kept hurting my crotch from derailling so often...thinking that it was my error).

So my question is....Should I upgrade my 2011 Ariel Sport front derailleur to a Shimano XTR and add a thin 29 mountain tire to try and turn my hybrid into a moutain bike? Or should I just try to sell my bike and get a low end aluminum mountain bike?


2012 Specialized Amiral Elite, upgraded carbon handle bars, Jett saddle 143mm

2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle

Muirenn2012-07-16 20:31:21 +0000 #2
Do you want a hybrid or a mountain bike?

Do you like the Ariel?

What exactly is wrong with the derailleur? Can it be fixed?

If you want a mountain bike, I would just get one. If you want to keep the Ariel, have it fixed. Shouldn't cost much.
Catrin2012-07-16 20:25:57 +0000 #3
I agree with Muireen, if you want a mountain bike just get one. Something also to consider is that mountain bike frames are beefier and designed to take the abuse on a mountain bike trail if that is what you are wanting to do - and you can get a decent little hardtail without spending a great deal of money. It really just comes down to what it is you want to do.
TigerMom2012-07-16 21:02:17 +0000 #4
I am 5ft 1in and 115 pounds.

I initially bought the 2011 Specialized Ariel Sport because I didn't know whether I liked biking and whether I liked Mountain or road biking better.

I definitely love road biking and spent a lot of money for my 2012 Amira Elite with upgraded carbon handle bars (totally worth it though!).

My husband would like me to join him for an occasional MTB ride, so I was going to see if I could turn the Ariel sport hybrid into a MTB.

The good part about my Ariel Sport is that it already has a front suspension with a lockout and a suspension post along with 29 inch tires. The bad part is that I have already brought the bike in to my original LBS store twice for front deraillment problems, and this is still occurring. Another biker guy recommended a $20 chain deflector, so I will try that next.

If the chain deflector does NOT work, should I change out the front derailleur for a more reliable $150 Shimano XTR plus labor and change out to MTB tires or should I just buy a cheap MTB, which does not have lock out suspension nor a suspension post?


2012 Specialized Amiral Elite, upgraded carbon handle bars, Jett saddle 143mm

2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle
goldfinch2012-07-16 20:34:44 +0000 #5
It took me several bike shops to get a shifting issue on my bike fixed. You might try another shop. I also ended up emailing the manufacturer and they put me in touch with a different shop to work with as I was not happy with the place I bought the bike.

As far as putting on mountain bike tires on your Sport, be sure that there is enough room for the width of the tire. I put knobby 1.7 tires on my Cannondale hybrid, that normally wears 1.5. So, the size wasn't much bigger. However, I noticed a couple of days ago that the inside of the fork has paint rubbed off of it, all the way through the paint. Even though it looks like the tire has clearance, riding clearly has causes the tire to rub the fork at times.

Because of this I think that I have to go back to narrower tires.
Muirenn2012-07-16 22:25:39 +0000 #6
I have a friend with an Ariel, if you need it for trails, you are better off with a mountain-bike.

Specialized has some nice, low-end mountain bikes. So does Jamis. (I'm looking into both). Nothing serious, just to go off-road at this place I know. I do have a Trek hybrid, and I would consider it very similar to the Ariel in function. It's just not that sturdy.
laura*2012-07-16 22:39:36 +0000 #7
These are the relevant parts on your 2011 Ariel Sport:

FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano FD-M191, 31.8mm clamp, top swing, dual pull

CHAIN KMC Z8 w/ reusable Missing Link

CRANKSET SR SunTour Octalink spline, replaceable rings, w/composite anti-jump disc

CHAINRINGS 48 x 38 x 28T w/ chainguard


Originally Posted by TigerMom

If the chain deflector does NOT work, should I change out the front derailleur for a more reliable $150 Shimano XTR plus labor ...?

Dropping chains off the little chainring in front is a lot more common on road bikes than on mountain bikes. This is because of the bigger tooth count differences between rings. Your 28/38/48 rings are an intermediate size, bigger than mountain rings, but smaller than road rings. The jumps between your rings are however the same as many mountain setups.

The curve of front derailleur cages is designed to match the intended chainrings. Your M191 derailleur is specified to work with either a 42 or 48 tooth big ring. An XTR M970 derailleur is only speced for 42 or 44 tooth rings. That doesn't mean it won't work, but it might be self defeating to switch to XTR.

Here's why your chain is probably dropping: When the chain is on the middle chainring and the larger cassette cogs, the chain is running at an angle that is pulling it to the left of the chainrings. When the derailleur forces the chain off the middle chainring, it wants to fly off to the left instead of dropping straight down onto the next smaller chainring. A chain deflector can definitely help here!

There are two things you can do without buying anything at all: Soft pedal as you down shift the front gears. Or, downshift the front before reaching the big cassette cogs.
Irulan2012-07-16 22:43:31 +0000 #8
Mountain bike geometry is different, too. More suited to stability on the trails.



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