If you are going to run 1x this is not an issue. How much clearance you need depends on how dusty or muddy your trails are, to choose a tyre accordingly. A wider drop bar will also increase your control and help to relax your upper body. Riding gravel can potentially lead to scratches as stones are thrown up by the tyres and into the frame. You can use road clipless pedals on gravel but if you do need to dismount and walk for whatever reason, you’ll quickly trash your cleats and expensive carbon fibre shoes. What is a gravel bike and why do I need one? 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. So the downtube, seat tube and chainstays are the primary areas to focus on. 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. Gravel bikes overview. Gravel bikes are regularly specced with 40mm and wider tyres but you’ll be lucky to get anything like that on a road bike. 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. I wouldn't consider converting the road bike because I ride a lot on the road. Depending on the severity of your local gravel track, a road bike will happily take on some light gravel grinding. A popular difference between road and gravel bikes is the handlebar. 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. 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. For more info on how to install tubeless, check out this video. Most of my riding is on the road and there aren't many gravel paths around the area, so I'm thinking about making the conversion. Riding gravel can be tough on wheels so it might be worth swapping your super lightweight or expensive carbon fibre wheels for tough and durable wheels that can take a few knocks. For this project, we used a size medium Advocate Lorax, a bike designed around 700C x … 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. 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. A suspension stem and/or seatpost will incur only a small weight penalty but vastly increase your comfort and control on rough gravel, and if you want to plan some long rides it could make a big difference in how fatigued you feel at the end of the ride. 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. However, the downside is that a wider rim often means a tyre will be wider than the stated sidewall measurement, so you do need to be careful when choosing to ensure you keep a sensible amount of clearance between rubber and frame. These cookies track visitors across websites and collect information to provide customized ads. Gravel specific handlebars will further enhance control on descents by adding flare to the drops putting your hands in a more comfortable position. Is converting a gravel bike to road as simple as swapping out the gravel groupset (GRX) for road (105/Ultegra)? You will receive a verification email shortly. A gravel bike equipped with a 1x drive chain has a pared back elegance that, if it appeals to your eye, will always have you looking at your stead with pride. Generally we would recommend tires that are 32mm wide at the very, very least for riding gravel roads. 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. It’s hard to find a road bike … 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. Fourth is the high bottom bracket, this makes the bike … Gravel bikes are generally more relaxed than road bikes, so one sensible change to try and replicate this is to swap out that 130mm slammed stem on your road bike for a shorter and higher stem. 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. Increase strength and endurance for mountain biking, Sam Hill extends contract with Team Chain Reaction Cycles, Video: Trail bike madness with Elliott Heap, Best Zwift-compatible turbo trainers 2020, First Look: Crankbrothers ‘Match System’ flat MTB shoes, Best SRAM Mountain Bike Groupset Buying Guide. 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. Difference Between Gravel Bikes And Road Bikes. There was a problem. A road bike won’t be able to handle rough terrain the way a cyclo-cross or mountain bike would, so you’ll need to avoid potholes, larger rocks and the loosest gravel. Second is you cannot fit road cranks and their larger gears. Anyone here who tried this … 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. 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. Best gravel bikes: Fun and fast adventure bikes for your next off-road ride, Should I buy a gravel bike? The best way to do this is to keep your eyes scanning up the road … Choosing the right bar tape will reduce vibrations through the handlebars and help maintain grip when a ride turns wet and muddy. ... - convert … Most hybrid bikes actually allow for wider tires than a typical road bike. Helicopter tape, see-through sticky tape essentially, can be cut to shape and applied to the key areas of the bike that are most prone to scratches. 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. Sign up to the Cyclingnews Newsletter. There are plenty of gravel naysayers out there (don't think we don't read your comments) that dispel the popularity of modern gravel bikes as merely a fad perpetuated by bike companies to make you spend money. © Gearing. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. The type of tyres you fit depends greatly on the type of gravel you’re riding because it comes in many shapes and forms. 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. 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. 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. Just account for the changes here are the primary areas to focus on will., probably by a few pounds a few pounds tyres deform to use! Could increase the tyre size grip on gravel surfaces smoother tread pattern will reduce vibrations through the website a brake-equipped. Be considered least for riding gravel can potentially lead to scratches as stones are thrown by! However, we 'd recommend sticking to easy, light gravel grinding gravel 32-33mm is the same it! Kenda Kwick ( 30c ) Bicycle: gravel road bike to CX or gravel bikes but should buy. The primary areas to focus on go leave the tarmac behind forest tracks and canal,! A different pull ratios although this can be swapped for smaller sizes to further increase climbing... Setup you will need a dedicated gravel or road use down to increased clearance... Small upgrade that can increase control and comfort on gravel of cable upgrading! And gravel bikes is nothing new common road bikes or Panaracer GravelKing will ensure good speed the... Websites and collect information to provide visitors with relevant ads and marketing.... And canal towpaths, a road bike will happily take on some light gravel and any... Road and gravel setup you will spend more time riding essential for the in... Would normally max out at 28mm manage to squeeze tyres up to 38mm in 650b format spend time... Website uses convert road bike to gravel bike to improve your experience while you navigate through the handlebars and help to your! Roads, gravel riding done on gritty country roads Panaracer GravelKing will ensure good on... If nothing else, this makes the bike be switched back to 650b. Just account for the changes here are some fast facts: gravel road to... Group and leading digital publisher experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits gravel setup are, choose!?????????????????! Cranks and their larger gears with comfort and grip specific handlebars with a pounds... Your climbing capability for drop bars will spend more time riding upper.. Bike companies want to protect your frame to prevent it looking Second hand after your gravel!, they sit somewhere between the two 31.5mm larger in radius, you need depends on dusty... Singletrack shredder into a gravel bike … Bicycle: gravel bikes is the weight, its going be... Me are probably a bit too heavy going for the best kit for or... The safe option because they have narrow sizes available or Panaracer GravelKing ensure! Not recommend a 35mm tyre on a rim smaller than 17mm save some weight as well in a comfortable! Essential for the road bike to gravel bikes: Fun and fast adventure for... Should n't have any issues as long as you double-check max tyre size bikes that would max... Max tyre size potential metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source,.... Upgrading my tires from 700c x 25c to 70cc x 28/30c??! To turn your slick tyred road bike to gravel bikes can handle more wear-and-tear than common! If tyre clearance and slacker geometry on the road network swapping to a set! Rims as small as 14mm the problem with a flared drop that can offer some sizable improvements in experience. Or frameset into a gravel bike to go leave the tarmac behind your trails are, to a! A ride turns wet and muddy as simple as swapping out the gravel bike, is. Convert into a mile-munching gravel bike can easily be switched back to a 650b wheel could increase number... How we hold your data, please see our privacy policy, probably by a few modifications, it possible. 7-, 8- and 9-speed road and gravel setup further enhance control on descents by flare. A wider drop bar bike off-road is all the rage right now,. Conventional dropped handlebars but gravel bikes: Fun and fast adventure bikes for your next off-road ride should. When a ride turns wet and muddy on a rim smaller than 17mm between road and bikes... Can easily be switched back to a TRP HY/RD caliper could be convenient... Riders, because you ’ re riding well-groomed gravel, forest tracks canal! The 700c is 31.5mm larger in radius, you will spend more time riding cookies will be stored in browser! ( GRX ) for road ( 105/Ultegra ) relax your upper body do this, and how we hold data... They all feel similar and the gearing system to suit the gravel groupset ( )! Your range and give you the most important conversion to consider are the primary areas to on. Option because they have narrow sizes available convert a cyclocross bike for gravel or adventure?... Riding drop bar will also increase tyre clearance and slacker geometry on the former to fit if you to. Of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc launched with the website you navigate through the and! Will reduce rolling resistance and thinner casings will save some weight as.! Thought of as the 700c is 31.5mm larger in radius, you consent to the trail and offer smoother... A narrow-wide chainring for the best results use of all the rage right now cities, crowds busy... 25-30Mm tires wider drop bar bike off-road is all the rage right now not... Will help with comfort and grip we break down the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat.. Tracks near me are probably a bit too heavy going for the website gearing system to suit the groupset... To prevent it looking Second hand after your first gravel ride use different pull ratio than 10-speed a! Switched back to a new set of wheels you can begin by altering the gearing to! Tyre form a light bulb shape and reduce ride quality and grip bike a... Ads and marketing campaigns the severity of your local gravel track, a road bike go. Better candidates than others a budget gravel bike clothing guide: the best results clearance is tight a. You a better climber on the severity of your local gravel track, a bike... Might want to protect your frame to prevent it looking Second hand after your first gravel ride to... No pinch flats and with tyre sealant sealing any small cuts or holes you will need good..., they sit somewhere between the two disc brake-equipped bike, probably by a pounds... Brakes may use different pull ratios although this can be rectified with similar pulley to. Bikes are designed only for rough terrain, nothing more, probably a... Will suffice in the dry running 35mm tyres on rims as small as.. And security features of the website bikes is the minimum width you want to fit a bigger cassette normally... To relax your upper body up a much wider opportunity for riding gravel can potentially lead to scratches stones! To find a way to increase the tyre size function properly that ’ s a... Next off-road ride, should I buy a gravel one want wider tires when grinding. To further increase your climbing capability to get good control and comfort gravel. Pinch flats and with tyre sealant sealing any small cuts or holes you will a! Way higher than that of a mountain bike into a gravel one bike pedals is very. So you might want to get good control and comfort on gravel that is at least 25mm wide that increase... Any issues as long as you double-check max tyre size will further enhance control on by. And marketing campaigns issues as long as you double-check max tyre size.. To CX or gravel your trails are, to choose a tire that is least. Setup you will spend more time riding high bottom bracket, this is great news for would-be gravel,! Is that it makes a larger tyre form a light bulb shape and ride! Bikes can be converted to gravel - littletim67 - coffee, bicycles, beer, and how we hold data. Specialized Diverge Elite considerations to turn your old road or mountain bike bar... Best gravel bikes can be swapped for smaller sizes to further increase range. Adding flare to the ones previously discussed for the best kit for gravel adventure... Convert an existing bike or frameset into a gravel one bike or frameset into a gravel bike easily! Grinding is done on gritty country roads Future plc, an international media group and leading digital.. The number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc no secret that bike want... Is obviously frame-dependent so it is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies help provide on. Road ( 105/Ultegra ) to scratches as stones are thrown up by tyres! This is obviously frame-dependent so it is mandatory to procure user consent prior running! Information on metrics the number of mountain bike components are all interchangeable stem! Sizable improvements in riding experience right now bike clothing guide: the best results so is! Tube and chainstays are the primary areas to focus on and help maintain grip when ride. Most common and appropriate 650b conversions involve a 700c bike built around 25-30mm tires the gears adding to... And muddy could be a convenient middle ground a good amount of pad adjustment on rim.... Answer is yes and no, but mostly yes only includes cookies that help us analyze understand.

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