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Old 01-12-19, 10:28 AM
mstateglfr's Avatar
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Location: Des Moines, IA
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Bikes: '87 Miyata 912, '87 Schwinn Prelude, '90 Fuji Saratoga, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara/Centurion Ironman, '18 Diamondback Syncr, '18 handmade steel roadbike

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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
I have a '84 Trek 400 that is all original. I got to looking at it in the garage tonight and it occured to me... it's got tons of room for wide tires... the width of the rear wheel dropouts is about the same as my '15 Cannondale Synapse 11-speed. There is already small clamps on the top of the top tube for a cable that is running back.

Would this frame make a decent candidate to convert it to a gravel bike? Thoughts? Opinions? Experiences??

Thanks in advance,

the width of the rear dropout doesnt play into if a frame can handle wide tires.
your Synapse is going to have a 130mm dropout which is the current road caliper size. Tire clearance will be limited by the chainstays, specifically closer to the bottom bracket. Also the brake bridge will limit tire size.

as for your trek, that will have 126mm spacing in back. It may be able to handle a 35mm tire and at worst it will handle a 32mm tire once converted to 700c.
good news is that its a 27" wheelset stock, so swapping those for a 700c wheelset will give you that bit more tire clearance.

as for the clamps on the top tube...those are cable guides for the rear brake. Those dont have anything to do with if it would be a good conversion and have everything to do with if you simply want to stop while riding.

it would be a pretty limited use gravel bike for me based on style and tire clearance, but perhaps somewhere with hardpack dirt roads could be a great place.

if you want a gravel bike on the cheap, but an early 90s hybrid. Tons of clearance, typically relaxed geometry, and wide range gearing by way of a 3x7 drivetrain.
toss some new bars, brake levers, and shifters on then ride.
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