Do you have a mountain bike and are also planning to relocate to a gentler terrain? We have some good news for you! You do not have to discard your mountain bike and purchase a gravel one. It is possible for you to keep using your mountain bike on the gentler terrains like pedestrian pavements.
How To Convert Mountain Bike To Gravel Bike – Step By Step
Step I: Work on the Gearing
Owing to the fact that the gravel bikes tend to operate faster, they require more gears than their mountain bike counterparts. You should hence find a way of increasing the number of gear options that the mountain bike has.
While at it, ensure that you maintain the ratio at a constant of 2:1 as both kinds of bikes employ more or less similar ratios.
Step II: Raise the Suspension
Gravel bikes, by their nature, have to travel in areas and paths that are laden with rocks, pebbles, and other obstacles. Mountain bikes are only designed for rough terrains, nothing more.
To be able to make your mountain bike serve as a gravel bike, you have to raise the suspension. This is to accord a comfortable clearance between the bike and the ground level.
Step III: Change the Tires
You have to work on the tires too! The tires of a mountain bike are typically thicker, wider, and heavier. That is because they are designed for a large part to handle rough and winding terrains. Those of the gravel bikes tend to be narrower and more agile though.
You just have to change the tires for the best outcomes. The tires you pick for the job have to be lighter, more flexible, and narrower enough to allow for unimpeded agility while on the move.
Step IV: Shock Absorption
We have already pointed out that gravel bikes are designed to tackle many obstacles. Chief examples of these are gravel, pebbles, stones, and dirt, to name but a few! The typical mountain bike is ill-equipped to handle these obstacles though.
Their shock absorbers are simply not that tough. That is why you have to change the absorbers too or make them tougher.
Step V: Upgrade the Braking Mechanism
Gravel bikes are lighter than their mountain bike counterparts. They hence attain higher speeds than their mountain bike counterparts. To guarantee their reliability in the long run, you have to fit some breaking mechanisms that are sharper and more responsive in nature.
Many gravel bikes require disc brakes as they are sharper and more responsive. They also tend to last longer by reason of enduring repeated tears.
Step VI: Chain-ring Set
The gears of your typical mountain bike comprise 9-11 cogs in the back and a further 1-3 chainrings in the front. That of the gravel bike, on the other hand, comes in the form of the 50/34 chainset and a further 11-32 cassette.
You should hence find a way of converting the former to the latter. A wholesome replacement might also work.
Step VII: Offload Unnecessary Extras, Accessories, and Attachments
To make your gravel bikes better equipped to take on the challenging road environments, you have to make them as light as can possibly be. Thus, you should consider offloading unnecessary extras, accessories, and attachments.
These include the carrier or the decorations that may exist on the bike. Take care though that you do not render your new gravel bike of no effect.
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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Question-1. How much does it cost to convert a mountain bike to a gravel bike?
Answer: Converting mountain bile to gravel bile is largely a do-it-yourself undertaking. Nonetheless, it may also be carried out by a professional mechanic for a fee. The exact cost varies from place to place and region to region. All factors considered though, it costs roughly $50 to do a good job.
Question-2. Can I convert a full-suspension or hardtail mountain bike to a gravel bike?
Answer: YES, you can! However, you will have to wait longer and spend more to be able to achieve the feat. That is because the full-suspension and hardtail mountain bikes are very complicated and strenuous to handle, unlike the ordinary kinds of bikes.
Question-3. Can I ride the converted gravel bike in the mountain again?
Answer: NOT really! A gravel bike is optimized for use on normal pedestrian roads. They lack the strength and support that a typical mountainous terrain ordinarily looks for or desires. You just have to stick to the mountain bike for such terrains, nothing else.
Question-4. How long does it take to convert a mountain bike to a gravel bike?
Answer: If you are an expert and have every tool-of-trade needed for the job, this is an activity that ought not to take more than an hour. Be prepared for the long haul nonetheless in case you lack these vital requirements. If you suspect you would take too long, call for the intervention of an expert.
Question-5. Is it possible to reconvert a gravel bike back to a mountain bike?
Answer: YES, it is! However, the new mountain bike will be weaker and less reliable in tackling those hard terrains it is supposed to. That is why we recommend that you do not do so. Instead, we ask that you reinforce your new gravel bike to make it stronger and more reliable for your long haul.
Well, we have done the much as we can to showcase every information you need to know about converting mountain bikes to gravel grinders. Having done our part, we now pass the buck to you to implement the insight we have generously furnished for your own utilization.
One of the best ways to go about the issue is to carry out mock conversions of the mountain bikes to the gravel bikes. That way, you will be able to absorb the points deeper. In return, you will get to obtain a fair mastery of the required skills.
Last Updated: June 10, 2022