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what do I need to do to get road bike onto the rough(er) stuff?

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what do I need to do to get road bike onto the rough(er) stuff?

Old 05-21-14, 07:52 AM
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what do I need to do to get road bike onto the rough(er) stuff?

Afternoon all.

I have a TREK 1000 yellow road bike that is a great fit which I love (for an eBay purchase) but... I never use it on the roads. Too many cars. No fun.

I have 5 bikes. The most I use is a 20yr no suspension MTB for ex rail lines fitness runs. But with this bike growing tired (cones loose\wheels buckled\down to one brake etc) I'm wanting to switch the roadie to said lines work but I need grippier, wider tyres at least.

Has anybody done this? The current ty'res are 77 x 25c. Will other wheels fit? What do I look for?

thanks for looking.

Al
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Old 05-21-14, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_alkan
Afternoon all.

I have a TREK 1000 yellow road bike that is a great fit which I love (for an eBay purchase) but... I never use it on the roads. Too many cars. No fun.

I have 5 bikes. The most I use is a 20yr no suspension MTB for ex rail lines fitness runs. But with this bike growing tired (cones loose\wheels buckled\down to one brake etc) I'm wanting to switch the roadie to said lines work but I need grippier, wider tyres at least.

Has anybody done this? The current ty'res are 77 x 25c. Will other wheels fit? What do I look for?

thanks for looking.

Al
The problem with road bikes is that they are often limited on tire size. This is somewhat age dependent with older bikes having a bit more clearance than newer bikes. Assuming that the bike is this one I really doubt that you could go much wider than a 28mm tire. A 32 to 37mm tire would be better for rail trails but I doubt you can fit them in under the fork. The frame probably isn't going to be as difficult but a wider tire on the back doesn't do much for you.
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Old 05-21-14, 08:30 AM
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I think that you would do better to get the MTB back into shape than to try putting the road bike to a use for which it is ill-fitted. Square peg/round hole kind of thing.

Cone adjustment and wheel truing (or a new/used wheel) and a new/used/repaired brake should not set you back too much.
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Old 05-21-14, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_alkan
Afternoon all.

I have a TREK 1000 yellow road bike that is a great fit which I love (for an eBay purchase) but... I never use it on the roads. Too many cars. No fun.

I have 5 bikes. The most I use is a 20yr no suspension MTB for ex rail lines fitness runs. But with this bike growing tired (cones loose\wheels buckled\down to one brake etc) I'm wanting to switch the roadie to said lines work but I need grippier, wider tyres at least.

Has anybody done this? The current ty'res are 77 x 25c. Will other wheels fit? What do I look for?

thanks for looking.

Al
As cyccommute said, you're probably limited to a 28mm wide tire on a 700c rim on the Trek road bike. That's still pretty narrow for gravel, other than hard-packed crushed lime trails.

My 90s Rivendell has the same limited clearance, designed for short reach brakes with 700c wheels. I changed it to a long reach brakes and a smaller wheel size in order to gain more tire clearance. Now it rides great on any gravel.

I bought 650b rims, also known as 27.5" rims in the MTB community. However, lots of the new 650b MTB rims are disc brake only, so you have to be careful which wheels you buy. You'd want 130mm hub spacing and rim brake capability.

Then you would need to buy new long-reach brakes. Vintage centerpull brakes are a cheap swap and can be pretty effective with new pads. For new long reach brakes, Tektro 800A's are cheap, but only so-so braking. Plus, the 800A is backwards (right/left) from most caliper brakes so it can make for cable routing problems. I used Tektro 559's which aren't as cheap but work great. Now my bike fits 38mm wide tires, plus room for fenders.


650b conversion isn't cheap but it can turn about any clearance-limited road bike into a gravel grinder. A road bike with decent tires will still be faster on gravel than a MTB.

But as dsbrantjr points out, fixing up your MTB would be a lot cheaper. You could probably find a used set of 26" wheels in good shape for pretty cheap. If you have a bike co-op in your town they probably have tons of em.
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