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How to Convert Your Mountain Bike to a Gravel Bike

How to Convert Your Mountain Bike to a Gravel Bike

Do you have a mountain bike and plan to travel on softer or off-road terrain? We have good news for you! You don’t have to throw away your mountain bike to buy a gravel bike. You can still use your mountain bike on softer terrain, such as pedestrian sidewalks and farmland.

Before you could do this, you need to know how to convert your mountain bike into a gravel grinder. Here are some steps you need to take for the conversion, as well as some frequently-asked questions at the end.


Converting Your Mountain Bike to Gravel Bike- Step by Step Guide

Step I: Gearings

Because gravel bikes tend to run faster, they require faster speeds than mountain bikes. Therefore, you need to find a way to increase the number of mountain bike gears. To do this, make sure to keep the ratio at a constant ratio of 2:1, as both bikes, use approximately similar proportions.

 Step 2: Increase the Suspension

Gravel bikes, by their nature, must cross areas and roads loaded with stones, gravel, and other obstacles. Mountain bikes are designed only for rough terrain, nothing more. To make a mountain bike a gravel bike, you need to increase the suspension. This will ensure a comfortable separation between the bike and the ground level.

Step 3: Change the Tires

Yes, you also have to work on the tires! Mountain bike tires are generally thicker and heavier. This is since they are designed to handle rough and winding terrain. However, those on gravel bikes tend to be tighter and more agile. Just change the tires for the best results. The tires you choose for the job should be lighter, more flexible, and narrow enough to allow agility without moving obstacles.

Step 4: Shock Absorption

We have already seen that gravel bikes are designed to face many obstacles. The primary examples are gravel, stones, pebbles, and earth, to name a few. However, the typical mountain bike is poorly equipped to deal with these obstacles. Its pads are not that strong. Therefore, you need to change or strengthen the shock absorbers.

Step 5: Update the Brakes

Gravel bikes are lighter than mountain bikes. Therefore, they reach higher speeds than their mountain bike counterparts. To ensure your brakes are reliable, some brake mechanisms need to be adjusted. Many gravel bikes require disc brakes because they are more precise and have better stopping power. They also tend to last longer.

Step 6: Change your Chain Ring Set

Typical mountain bike speeds include 9 to 12-speed cogs at the rear and 1 to 3 chainrings in front. However, gravel bikes generally come in a set-up of 50/34 chainset and 11-32 cassettes. Some riders find even the lowest gear too high for riding on steep slopes. Therefore, it is essential to find a way to transform the first into the second. An 11-40 cassette from Shimano could be the solution.

Step 7: Remove the accessories that are not needed

To make your gravel bike better equipped to handle harsh road environments, you need to make it as simple as possible. Therefore, you should consider removing unnecessary accessories. This includes the child carrier or any decorations that may be on the bike.

How to Convert Your Mountain Bike to a Gravel Bike

Bottom Line

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a real gravel or adventure bike hanging in the garage. Instead, try turning your current mountain bike into a gravel bike. Start with our advice or ask your favorite local bike store for help to get a new configuration.


Related Questions

How much does it cost to turn a mountain bike into a gravel bike?

Turning the mountain ball into a gravel bike is a simple task. However, this can also be done by a professional bike mechanic. The exact cost varies from place to place and from region to region. However, all of the factors taken into consideration it should cost about $50 to do a good job.

 What is the difference between a gravel bike and a mountain bike?

The main differences between a gravel bike and a mountain bike are that a gravel bike has a lighter aerodynamic structure, thinner and smoother wheels. For these reasons, gravel bikes are better suited for dirt paths, gravel, and roads than mountain bikes.

 How long will it take to turn a mountain bike into a gravel grinder?

If you are an expert and have all the commercial tools necessary for the job, this is an activity that should not last more than an hour. However, be prepared for a longer duration if you do not have the expertise and tools. If you think it will take too long, seek the advice of an expert.

gringwaldo - July 23, 2020

Increase the suspension? Remove the child carrier? Beef up the shock absorption? I don’t think you are riding a real mountain bike to start with.
A basic conversion would be: ride it, they aren’t that dissimilar.

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