New answers tagged race
I'm not sure why you're asking this, because as far as I can see the answer is in the question. You want to "keep it functional for the longest time" and then you say "should I discard a part that extends the life"? Ball bearings without separators/retainers wear out faster, so there's more metal fragments in the race and the whole unit wears out faster. A ...
So you "just don't like the general feel". Over the long haul soaking up a lot of the potholes, ruts and rough roads will not pay off. That comfort is sucking up power and adds weight to the bicycle. Have fun and you may flat out overpower some riders but it is not going to be a competitive bike. Gravel racers and bike manufactures have come to what is ...
Between mass and aerodynamics you would be expending a ton more energy on the MTB if the roads are in decent shape. Rather than roadify the MTB you might consider MTBifying a road bike. Tires are the key, really large, supple ones to soak up the bumps, at an appropriate pressure. Perhaps aiming for tubular cx tires that you can run really low pressures on.
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