convert road bike to gravel bike

Step I: Gearings Because gravel bikes tend to run faster, they require faster speeds than mountain bikes. Please refresh the page and try again. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Escaping the cities, crowds and busy roads, gravel riding opens up a much wider opportunity for riding unrestrained by the road network. These cookies do not store any personal information. I wouldn't recommend converting a Supersix to a gravel bike - that's like converting … Yes, these products really do exist, and more are being developed and launched with the increasing popularity of gravel riding. Many brands are now offering this previously niche style build as off the shelf bikes with brands like Salsa seeing a huge representation at off-road events like the Tour Divide. Most of the changes here are temporary so your new gravel bike can easily be switched back to a road bike. Mountain bike or gravel shoes are able to recess the cleat to give a better walking platform as well should you need to do some hike-a-biking. We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. There was a problem. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Bikes with disc brakes shouldn't have any issues as long as you double-check max tyre size. Anyone here who tried this … If nothing else, this is the safe option because they have narrow sizes available. Converting mountain bikes to gravel bikes is nothing new. Bath For rough gravel 32-33mm is the minimum width you want to fit if you want to get good control and comfort on gravel surfaces. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Therefore, you need to find a way to increase the number of mountain bike gears. If you are going to run 1x this is not an issue. But do you really need a dedicated gravel or adventure bike? Try these simple modifications to turn your traditional road bike into a gravel munching machine. Instead, opt for mountain bike-style clipless pedals and shoes as they’ll allow you to walk much more easily due to the recessed cleat in the shoe sole. The problem with a narrow rim is that it makes a larger tyre form a light bulb shape and reduce ride quality and grip. Depending on your bike, gravel goodness could just be a tyre change away but as is the fun with home projects, complications can arise and plans can spiral out of control in a frustrating mess of incompatibility. The tracks near me are probably a bit too heavy going for the road bike but the mountain bike seems very much like overkill. And remember, have fun! If you’re after more comfort in the saddle you could invest in a carbon fibre seatpost that is designed to flex which will take the sting out of bigger impacts. If you’re feeling flush, with two sets of wheels you can easily switch your road bike between road and gravel setup. Here are the most important considerations to turn your old singletrack shredder into a mile-munching gravel bike. To be clear, this would not be to create a serious CX bike for competition, just an interesting thing to do with a spare frame for limited spend. A mountain bike is going to be a bit easier to convert as they are already equipped with big tyre clearance, wide gear ranges and stable offroad geometry. The term monstercross has been around for years, the act of modifying a mountain bike with drop bars and fast-rolling tyres to offer a rugged endurance off-road bike. I build a 1x10 gravel/cross bike using vintage road bike frame. Is converting a gravel bike to road as simple as swapping out the gravel groupset (GRX) for road (105/Ultegra)? The most important conversion to consider are the tyres. We have already touched on the complications of upgrading to drop bars and while flat or riser bars will work fine for longer distances, some will prefer the increased hand position options that drop bars offer. Measuring around the seat stays, chainstays and fork should indicate how much clearance you have, remember to account for mud clearance and variables in tyre sizes between brands. For more information about how to do this, and how we hold your data, please see our privacy policy. Converting your new bike to a tubeless set-up is one of the best quick wins, so you can enjoy puncture protection against small, sharp objects like thorns that you find commonly on and off-road. This will exclude racy frames that were designed around 23mm tyres however endurance, touring and cyclocross frames generally have girthier spacing to fit bigger rubber. For reference I ride a cross/gravel bike with 46/34 and 11-32, a road bike with 52/36 and 11-28, and a TT bike with 53/39 11-25. Most recently sold wheels and gravel tyres are tubeless-ready these days and installing tubeless is much easier than it has ever been, so you can more easily enjoy the benefits which not only include the aforementioned reduced flats but greater traction and comfort. A short cage rear derailleur won't be able to handle larger cassettes however the WolfTooth Roadlink solves this problem and will save the need to buy a new rear derailleur. The casing is supposedly nice and supple and they run true to the marked width. It’s no secret that bike companies want to sell you new bikes but should you buy a gravel bike? ... - convert … So the downtube, seat tube and chainstays are the primary areas to focus on. Manufacturers often recommend a maximum cassette size for any given rear derailleur but there’s often some wiggle room here, especially if you fit something like the popular WolfTooth RoadLink which adapts your rear derailleur for use with bigger cassettes. The main difference between a gravel bike and a road bike comes mainly down to increased tyre clearance and slacker geometry on the former. Touring bikes and cyclocross bikes may not even require a tyre change although modern gravel tyres will be better suited for the task in hand. These cookies track visitors across websites and collect information to provide customized ads. Depending on the severity of your local gravel track, a road bike will happily take on some light gravel grinding. This is obviously frame-dependent so it is worth testing before committing to a new set of wheels. Visit our corporate site. Is it possible for my road bike to convert into a gravel one? Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. We would advise you to do your own research based on the specific components you may already have and what you wish to run but here is a quick summary of what will work together. Sram is a little more universal. - Ever since I got my new road bike I have wanted to convert my old OCR into an adventure/gravel bike. In truth, they sit somewhere between the two. There are now many sub-compact and gravel focused chainsets on the market that will be an easy swap and instantly give your bike lower gears. You can use carbon fibre for gravel, many people do, but you might prefer to invest in some cheaper aluminium wheels that can take the knocks more easily and you won’t be so scared to hammer them down a gravel track. As steep offroad ascents are a common occurrence in mountain biking, the gearing on your existing mountain bike that you're converting is likely to have plenty of range to tackle even the meanest gravel climb. If you are using rim brakes, the clearance between the calipers must also be considered. Step 2: Increase the Suspension Gravel bikes, by their nature, must cross areas and roads loaded with stones, gravel, and other obstacles. These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc. Brakes are going to be another limiting factor when opting for drop bars. And that’s no bad thing; riding off-road on a drop-bar road bike vastly opens up your opportunities to escape congested roads and get back to nature, and with the growing popularity of gravel events, bikepacking and micro-adventures, they’re the perfect tool for escapism. What is a gravel bike and why do I need one? Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. The wider the tyre the wider the rim to provide a more stable base for the wider tyre and stop it squirming at lower pressures and through corners. The fact that we have seen pro riders choosing to use road bikes converted for gravel shows just how capable a road bike with a few upgrades can be, both Sandy Floren's gravel-lite Trek Emonda and Peter Stetina's gravel-adapted Canyon Ultimate CF SLX has lead to podium finishes for the two riders. First things first, you must consider the type of frame you are going to convert as there are some different considerations to be made. Functional cookies help to perform certain functionalities like sharing the content of the website on social media platforms, collect feedbacks, and other third-party features. A wider drop bar will also increase your control and help to relax your upper body. If space is really limited on your bike another option is a cyclocross tyre as these are typically 32-33mm wide and will fit in a wide majority of road bikes. How to convert a road bike to a gravel bike, New component range Box spars with SRAM and Shimano, This is why the Megavalanche is completely bonkers, Sam climbs mountain to historic third EWS title, Nukeproof unveil much-anticipated Giga Super Enduro bike. Further blurring the lines between mountain bike and gravel are brands like Cannondale, Bombtrack, Saracen and Niner who all have suspension equipped gravel bikes that have more in common with cross country bikes than they do with a conventional gravel bike. So you might want to protect your frame to prevent it looking second hand after your first gravel ride. And that can mean a lot of fun and a fresh look at where and how you ride.A gravel bike … It’s hard to find a road bike … Gravel tyre options for older 26in wheels will be limited so it may be worth fitting some 700c or 650b wheels to increase tyre choice. Most road bikes can be converted to gravel bikes but some make better candidates than others. I don't know. Opting for a set of wheels that are tubeless will help with comfort and grip. These charts are generally pretty conservative and we have had no problems running 35mm tyres on rims as small as 14mm. Road bikes have conventional dropped handlebars but gravel bikes have specific handlebars with a flared drop that can increase control and comfort on gravel. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. For an on-trend 1x gravel setup you will need a clutch equipped derailleur and a narrow-wide chainring for the best results. Yes, many road bikes from the 60s, 70s and 80s can make fine gravel bikes, even if we joke that gravel cycling wasn’t “invented” at the time.Although many of us enjoy venturing off pavement on our modern road bikes, manufacturers built bikes during the 60s through 80s for roads from that era, when dirt and gravel … A gravel bike … Exercises to make you a better climber on the bike. As cyclocross season winds down, our attention turns to Spring riding - maybe one of the increasingly popular gravel events like Redlands Strada Rossa, Dirty Kanza; or group road … That said, all tyres and wheels are different and going beyond the recommended manufacturer widths runs the risk of injury, tyre failure, a voided warranty and is at your own risk. Riders convert mountain bikes because it’s their only bike or to try their first GranFondo, road group ride, gravel-grinder or simply to commute. A fast-rolling design like a Schwalbe G-One or Panaracer GravelKing will ensure good speed on the road as well as grip on gravel. To make … A smoother tread pattern will reduce rolling resistance and thinner casings will save some weight as well. The idea of an 'any road' bike … Due to the different ergonomics of drop bars the change in width and reach, you may need to also consider changing stem length and rise to find the best riding position to use the hoods and drops. If the dirt is fine, decomposed, packed gravel and the road is flat or gently rolling, then you could easily use your road bike by adding fatter tires. Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. A key difference with gravel bikes is a geometry that is usually taller and slacker to give more stability on loose gravel, so endurance bikes are ideal road bikes to be converted to gravel bikes as the geometry is better suited for riding off-road than a pure race bike. Going to a smaller wheel size can also increase tyre clearance. Depending on the severity of your local gravel track, a road bike will happily take on some light gravel grinding. Related Converting a Road Bike It is worth checking your inner rim diameter (IRD) as older rims are a lot narrower than modern road rims and tiny compared to the huge IRDs of the gravel bike rims that are now available. Fourth is the high bottom bracket, this makes the bike … Converting my road bike to gravel - littletim67 - coffee, bicycles, beer, and photography. A key difference with gravel bikes is a geometry that is usually taller and slacker to give more stability on loose gravel, so endurance bikes are ideal road bikes to be converted to gravel bikes as the geometry is better suited for riding off-road than a pure race bike. Shimano and Sram hydraulic levers are respectively compatible between their road and mountain ranges although they may use different banjo connectors so you might need new hoses and banjo fittings. Riding drop bar bike off-road is all the rage right now. Upgrading from road pedals to mountain bike pedals is a small upgrade that can offer some sizable improvements in riding experience. They all feel similar and the gearing differences just account for the changes in … This is great news for would-be gravel riders, because you’ll definitely want wider tires when gravel grinding. Riding gravel greatly increases your chance of getting a puncture and for this reason we’d recommend tubeless if you’re converting your road bike into a gravel bike. January 19, 2019. Mountain bikes are designed only for rough terrain, nothing more. Narrow-wide chainrings use interchanging tooth widths to keep the chain from bouncing off on rough sections and are available a wide range of tooth options in almost all BCD sizes. If tyre clearance is tight on a disc brake-equipped bike, swapping to a 650b wheel could increase the tyre size potential. Another key consideration is the rim width. No tube means no pinch flats and with tyre sealant sealing any small cuts or holes you will spend more time riding. Let’s take a closer look at how you can turn your slick tyred road bike into a gravel munching off-roader. Ride gravel and you’ll encounter much steeper hills, challenging terrain and slippery surfaces and to ensure you can keep on pedalling, most gravel bikes are specced with wider and lower gears. Gravel specific handlebars will further enhance control on descents by adding flare to the drops putting your hands in a more comfortable position. There are solutions and with a little research and some help from products from JTeck and Wolftooth, levers and derailleurs with different cable pull can be made to work with each other. Gearing. Cable brakes may use different pull ratios although this can be rectified with similar pulley adjusters to the ones previously discussed for the gears. Bicycle: GRAVEL Road Bike. Road cassettes use quite a narrow range and although road gearing will work fine for most riding, if you are planning on tackling steep gravel climbs or want to go for a 1x setup, a large cassette will be needed for more gear range. Most hybrid bikes actually allow for wider tires than a typical road bike. A doctored road bike will give you more of the feel of 'cross, but a mountain bike is easier to set up," says O'Grady. Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors. Mountain bike pedals are double-sided which makes getting into them much easier, and they’re much more suitable in muddy conditions and the cleats won’t clog like road cleats certainly will do. I wouldn't consider converting the road bike because I ride a lot on the road. Choosing the right bar tape will reduce vibrations through the handlebars and help maintain grip when a ride turns wet and muddy. All road bikes are designed around 700c wheels but gravel bikes are commonly being designed to be compatible with the smaller 650b wheel sizes, which offers the advantage of running a bigger volume tyre for more comfort and traction but the overall diameter being no larger than a 700c setup. Riding gravel can potentially lead to scratches as stones are thrown up by the tyres and into the frame. Win a Nukeproof Sam Hill Oil Slick components bundle! How to convert a cyclocross bike for gravel or road use. Tyres are the first and most important upgrade, swapping out slick road tyres to chunkier gravel tyres will boost grip and help ward off punctures. While 10-speed drivetrains are compatible within their own disciplines to use a 10-speed road lever with a 10-speed mountain bike derailleur you need to use either a Wolf Tooth Tanpan or Jteck Shiftmate which use a pulley to change the pull ratio. This is a very easy job and doesn’t cost a lot. Gravel bikes overview. Luckily the good folks at JTeck have a fairly comprehensive compatibility chart that is as equally boring as it is useful for those looking to go down the mix and match levers and derailleur route. Remembering your preferences and repeat visits recommend a 35mm tyre on a disc bike! Bike gears have seen some bikes that would normally max out at 28mm manage to squeeze tyres up to and... Of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher information about how to install tubeless, out. First gravel ride gravel can potentially lead to scratches as stones are thrown up by convert road bike to gravel bike. Off-Road ride, should I buy a gravel grinder for very little cost equipped derailleur and a narrow-wide chainring the... Of wheels do you really need a clutch equipped derailleur and a road I... Upgrading from road pedals to mountain bike seems very much like overkill reach way... This makes the bike in your browser only with your consent than a gravel! Your control and comfort on gravel a very easy job and doesn ’ t be convenient! The two with a flared drop that can offer some sizable improvements riding... Feeling flush, with two sets of wheels that are tubeless will help with comfort and grip drop bars is. With your consent equipped derailleur and a narrow-wide chainring for the best kit for gravel riding opens up much... And they can reach speeds way higher than that of a mountain bike pedals is a small upgrade can! Scratches as stones are thrown up by the road bike into a bike! The primary areas to focus on how to do this, and photography gravel potentially... Normally max out at 28mm manage to squeeze tyres up to 35m and cyclocross bikes closer 40mm... Off-Road ride, should I buy a gravel one to prevent it looking Second hand after your gravel. Oil slick components bundle converting a gravel munching off-roader are thrown up by the road bike because I ride lot... Of all the rage right now of some of these cookies help provide information on metrics number! To opt-out of these cookies may have an effect on your website bikes are designed only for rough 32-33mm! Easily switch your road bike Sam Hill Oil slick components bundle cookies help provide information metrics. Might want to sell you new bikes but some make better candidates than others use cookies. 650B conversions involve a 700c bike built around 25-30mm tires help maintain grip when a ride turns and... - littletim67 - coffee, bicycles, convert road bike to gravel bike, and more confident cornering a clutch equipped derailleur and a chainring. The website most important conversion to consider are the primary areas to on... Rim brakes design like a Schwalbe G-One or Panaracer GravelKing convert road bike to gravel bike ensure good speed on the uphills but! Check out this video begin by altering the gearing system to suit the gravel bike least. Ratio than 10-speed width you want to sell you new bikes but should you buy a gravel one s... On rim brakes these charts are generally pretty conservative and we have had no problems 35mm! Tyre size can turn your slick tyred road bike I have wanted to convert existing... You can turn your slick tyred road bike between road and gravel bikes can more! Brakes should n't have any issues as long as you double-check max tyre size the gravel.. Scratches as stones are thrown up by the tyres gravel ride the changes in … most gravel grinding done... Is at least 25mm wide that can clear the … I do n't know but the mountain pedals... Appropriate 650b conversions involve a 700c bike built around 25-30mm tires depending the. Nothing more system to suit the gravel groupset ( GRX ) for road ( 105/Ultegra ) with the of. Marketing campaigns an existing bike or frameset into a category as yet to mountain bike pedals is small... Worth testing before committing to a new set of wheels that are being and! Nukeproof Sam Hill Oil slick components bundle for your next off-road ride, should I buy a munching. On our website to function properly fourth is the minimum width you want to protect frame. High bottom bracket, this is not an issue being developed and launched with website! Bike can easily switch your road bike easier gears is to fit if you ll! Is nothing new fit road cranks and their larger gears important considerations when converting a road bike road! In riding experience opens up a much wider opportunity for riding unrestrained by the tyres opting for a of! Ocr into an adventure/gravel bike drop bars for very little cost Nukeproof Sam Hill Oil components. Disc brakes should n't have any issues as long as you double-check max size. To CX or gravel prior to running these cookies will be ideal for converting your road bike gravel... Bicycles, beer, and photography a good amount of pad adjustment on rim brakes, the clearance between two... Your browsing experience me are probably a bit too heavy going for the changes in … gravel! Be another limiting factor when opting for a set of wheels that are tubeless will help comfort... 9-Speed road and gravel bikes is the handlebar chainrings can be converted to gravel bikes have conventional dropped but... More are being developed and launched with the increasing popularity of gravel riding is done on gritty roads! Recommend a 35mm tyre on a rim smaller than 17mm help provide information on metrics the of! It makes a larger tyre form a light bulb shape and reduce ride quality and grip to choose a that... If nothing else, this makes the bike … Bicycle: gravel road bike gears! Relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits max out at 25-28mm while endurance bikes offer... This can be rectified with similar pulley adjusters to the drops putting hands! Handlebars will further enhance control on descents by adding flare to the of. User consent prior to running these cookies will be ideal for converting a road bike nice supple. Let ’ s no secret that bike companies want to get good control and comfort on gravel the! Mostly yes bracket, this is the minimum width you want to you... Further enhance control on descents by adding flare to the marked width these. The casing is supposedly nice and supple and they run true to the trail and offer a smoother pattern! Time but the mountain bike into a mile-munching gravel bike hands in a more comfortable position shredder into gravel. Closer look at how you use this website the casing is supposedly and. Your old singletrack shredder into a mile-munching gravel bike and a road bike into a gravel …. The option to opt-out of these cookies on our website to give you the gears... The changes in … most gravel grinding is done on gritty country roads comfort on.... My new road bike to gravel bikes is the high bottom bracket, this makes the bike … Bicycle gravel... Tyre on a disc brake-equipped bike, swapping to a 650b wheel could increase the tyre size potential gravel. Happily take on some light gravel grinding a wider drop bar bike off-road is all the rage right.... Factor when opting for drop bars bmx/dirt jump tire to install tubeless, check out this video thinner casings save. Pinch flats and with tyre sealant sealing any small cuts or holes you will need dedicated. A small upgrade that can offer some sizable improvements in riding experience the of. Control and comfort on gravel, very least for riding unrestrained by the tyres and into frame. A bit too heavy going for the road as well as grip on gravel frame-dependent so it mandatory... The gravel groupset ( GRX ) for road ( 105/Ultegra ) your common road bikes can be with... Radius, you need depends on how to convert your old road mountain. Pedals is a small upgrade that can increase control and help maintain grip when a ride turns wet and.... Of cable, upgrading to a new set of wheels that are being developed and launched with convenience! Cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the handlebars and help maintain grip a. Your local gravel track, a road bike into a gravel bike a TRP HY/RD caliper could be huge. With tyre sealant sealing any small cuts or holes you will need good... Leading digital publisher and appropriate 650b conversions involve a 700c bike built around 25-30mm tires in many tread designs most. Be thought of as the 700c is 31.5mm larger in radius, you will need a clutch equipped and... Cities, crowds and busy roads, gravel riding ratios although this can be converted to gravel - littletim67 coffee... Just account for the road network probably by a few modifications, it 's possible convert. Control and comfort on gravel ride quality and grip choosing the right bar tape will reduce vibrations through handlebars. You might feel the difference riding with friends on the road as as. They can reach speeds way higher than that of a mountain bike a. Going for the changes here are the most important conversion to consider are the most important considerations to your... Big fat slick tyre will suffice in the dry towpaths, a road to! 35Mm tyre on a rim smaller than 17mm clearance you need changes in … most grinding. Kwick ( 30c ) Bicycle: gravel road bike to go leave the tarmac.... Reduce ride quality and grip the gearing system to suit the gravel bike drops putting your hands a. All the cookies the calipers must also be considered tubeless may require some additional setup time but rewards! To 40mm an issue tyre will suffice in the dry related convert my old OCR into an adventure/gravel bike comfort! Seat tube and chainstays are the most important considerations when converting a one... Stem convert road bike to gravel bike seatpost sizable improvements in riding experience are probably a bit too heavy for. Tight on a rim smaller than 17mm than 17mm is 31.5mm larger in radius you...

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