I have Bontrager Litespeed frame mountain bike, custom-built back in 1996. it hasn't been ridden much and been stored. Still in excellent shape. I'm no longer going mountain biking and thinking of updating the bike with new components, making more of a crossbreed between a mountain bike and a hybrid. so, new disk brakes from current v-brakes adaptors to mount disc brake to frame (older frame doesn't have the mounts for disc) new rims to accommodate the disc brakes, new tires. maybe a new cassette, if needed?

I think that's it, but I'm probably missing something

thoughts, suggestions?

I plan on doing the work myself


  • 5
    Do you find the bike comfortable? Is it worn out at all? If its functional, just ride the bike and get usage out of it as-is. When things are worn down, then re-think.
    – Criggie
    Jun 3, 2020 at 19:53

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure why you think you need disc brakes on a hybrid, but if you want a hybrid with disc brakes it might be cheaper to buy a newer hybrid with that comes with them (for same quality brakes). You won't be messing around with questionable adapters. In fact you might not even be able to source an adapter that will work with your fork depending on the fork (disc might not fit in there, adapter might not be able to attach to the particular fork).

If you decide to replace the fork you will probably have a hard time finding a straight steerer fork with disc mounts that doesn't have a significantly bigger A to C measurement. A larger A to C will affect the geometry: slacken seat and head angle, raise bottom bracket etc. The slacker head tube angle might be fine (90s bikes were steep) but the slacker seat tube might be too slack resulting in a poor pedaling position and a hard time keeping the front down on climbs because your hips end up behind the rear axle shifting your center of weight too far back.

Your bike seems like a good candidate for a restoration . Stick with the v-brakes (new pads). Do a full tear-down and lube. Clean everything up. If it has an old elastomer fork that is shot you might be better off replacing it with a rigid fork, like a Kona Project 2 from that era. Grab some street friendly tires (the old tires will be shot from age regardless of remaining tread). Check the drivetrain and replace parts as needed (possibly cassette, chainrings and chain). 7 speed Shimano parts should be easy to source and inexpensive (safe bet it's running a 3x7 drivetrain). Might have to settle for it saying Alivio instead of XT or XTR if you want to buy new, but you can find compatible parts new.

  • 4
    Hey - welcome to the site. Excellent first answer +1, keep it up.
    – Criggie
    Jun 3, 2020 at 19:53
  • 2
    Many older mountain bikes came with a 48-38-28 triple crank which is suitable for a hybrid. I agree other than some road compatible tires ride it until either something breaks or it becomes uncomfortable then make changes.
    – mikes
    Jun 3, 2020 at 22:28
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    Thank you!! no point in spending the cash if I don't need to. I'll get it all cleaned up and start riding it again. thanks again
    – Kabits
    Jun 5, 2020 at 16:25
  • From what I could find it looks like a great bike from that era and a bit uncommon. Get it looking good and I bet you'll get compliments. Around here the 90s Konas are super desirable as a commuter and hold their value. Your Bontrager has that same timeless look.
    – shox
    Jun 6, 2020 at 23:45

The only thing you need to do is ensure the bike is safe to ride. Do a methodical M-Check on the bike, look over the whole thing and ensure nothing's deteriorated.

Your rim brakes will be perfectly adequate at braking - sure they may not be trendy but they can stop you fine. There is a possibility that the pads have hardened with age and need replacing, But they're consumables, so two pairs of brake pads are cheap. Just get Kool-Stop ones.

Also look closely at your tyres/tires. If they have hardened and cracked and dropping rubber then its time to replace them. You could choose some small-knobs or tyres with no knobs. But if your current tyres are okay then just ride them for a couple months. Your tubes may be okay, or possibly not. Try inflating them to pressure and see if they hold air pressure for a couple days without loosing more than a few PSI. Again tyres and tubes are consumables so replacing is just normal usage. If you do change to narrower tyres, you'll need narrower tubes anyway.

If your bike has a suspension fork then that's probably the biggest unknown. If it works fine, then keep using it as is. Riding around on a failed/frozen fork is workable but is additional weight and there's a chance it may move unexpectedly on you. Replacing a fork is probably too expensive, unless you have a suitable donor bike of similar specs. Riding on the road does not need suspension - you don't ride into kerbs/curbs or potholes. Normally the suspension would squish if you push down on the handlebars and rebound to the initial position.

Give it a year or so of riding and then you'll be in a better position to know what you want from your bike. At that time, you might choose to go for a dedicated road bike, or simply keep pedalling your current bike.

You can own more than one bike, that's totally fine. (I have 5 1/2)

Faded paint, ripped saddle, or similar are mostly cosmetic - either patch them as you see fit, or put up with it. Even light surface rust is generally not a problem as long as the bike works and remains safe to ride.

  • 1
    Thank you!! I'm just going to get it all looked over, make sure that everything works right again and not make any changes.
    – Kabits
    Jun 5, 2020 at 16:24

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