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Mountain Bike to Gravel Bike?

samfailedsamfailed Posts: 60
edited August 2019 in MTB workshop & tech
I live in an area with loads of fantastic bridleways and gravel tracks and I'd really like to start riding them more and doing some long rides that combine both tarmac and off-road sections. I currently own a road bike and mountain bike but can't really afford a gravel bike right now.

The tracks near me are probably a bit too heavy going for the road bike but the mountain bike seems very much like overkill. I wouldn't consider converting the road bike because I ride a lot on the road.

Is it possible to make some changes to my mountain bike to make it more suitable for gravel riding and the tarmac roads in between? It would be great to make it more of an all-rounder that doesn't feel so frustratingly sluggish when off traditional mtb trails.

My bike is a 27.5 hardtail. I'm guessing tyres and wheels would be the most obvious things to start with?

Posts

  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    What width rims have you, could put some WTB Sendero 47c tyres on them or just find some narrow semi-slick mtb tyres.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • MidnightMidnight Posts: 80
    What did pepople do before "gravel !!!" bikes were thought of, never heard of them ???
  • mattyfezmattyfez Posts: 638
    What MTB have you got?
    Lock the fork stand put some lighter/slicker tyres on it?
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,124
    Pump your tyres up to the max allowed and lock out the fork, or go max compression damping.
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    Midnight wrote:
    What did pepople do before "gravel !!!" bikes were thought of, never heard of them ???

    Well back in the 80's they rode CX's with lower gearing and the biggest tyres they could find, so they must have been gravel bikes. Lots of them I met were with the Rough Stuff Fellowship.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    I have a HT that I use for similar terrain in the winter.

    To start with, it is a lightweight XC bike, so that helps.

    Lock out forks (if possible)
    Get tyres that can be pumped to c.60psi max


    I did a 55km charity ride last year over farms tracks, road, bridle paths etc and had it fully locked out all the time.

    It has the older 3x9 gearing and having the bigger ring at the front certainly gives me better gearing for the road.

    Tyres are Panaracer Fire XC Pro 2.1 (tubeless) - good grip but can be pumped up to 60psi and roll really well. They are arguably a bit retro as I've been running them since the mid 90's.

    You'll never really get an MTB to be a full on gravel bike, but you'll never get a gravel bike to be a full on MTB.....

    For me, based on what you've got, a HT will be ideal if you can tweak it a bit.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,397
    You can go a long way down the MTB into gravel bike route if you want to: viewtopic.php?f=40044&t=13106434
  • thank you for the information to know various kinds of mountain bikes can access to serbasepeda.com
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