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Turning my Specialized Roubaix into a “gravel bike”

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Turning my Specialized Roubaix into a “gravel bike”

Old 10-18-19, 01:41 PM
  #26  
dpicare26
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Originally Posted by Natenat138 View Post
Actually, thanks for digging this up,. I've been meaning to respond with my results of this experiment, as I did finally take the plunge and grabbed a pair of 27.5 rims and 27.5 tires (their branding, not mine).


.Giant PTRX-1 27.5 wheelset (I don't recall the exact specs)

.160mm rotors, the stock model that comes with the original Roubaix wheelset

.11-32 Shimano Ultegra cassette.

.Maxxis 27.5 x 1.5 Ramblers


I ended up doing this sometime mid-summer so I had a little bit of time to test it a bit. First things first, the clearance on the rear wheel is UNREAL tight and is something I'll address soon. Front wheel is just fine for clearance but the rear is something else and I have to keep pressures on the lower side to keep it from rubbing the frame. I'll be buying much more narrow tires before I do any more extensive gravel riding.


I live in Central PA, primarily riding anything from fine, hard-packed gravel to the chunkiest stuff of fire roads in State Forests. While this was a great setup for the former, it got sketchy at times for the latter. Climbing and flat riding is fine but descending gets to be a little sketchy/squirrely. That could be a number of things, but on the road wheelset I feel incredibly confident in descending but as soon as the other set is on, I'm not laying off my brakes.


This is experiment absolutely spurred my love for gravel riding, so I'll likely be trying a more narrow tire and if that doesn't help, I'll be building a gravel bike from the frame up with this wheelset in its current iteration.
I also live in central PA, and an event that you may be familiar with, called UnPAved, has spurred my interest in getting into more gravel riding. I have an older Specialized Tricross comp (07) with cantilevers, that aren't great (i've read many reviews about this particular bike, fork, and brakeset). So i don;t feel comfortable on the descents. While I was reading about solutions to that problem, I figured in the mean time, I could just throw some knobbies on a seldom used roadie that I have.

Will have to look into clearances further.
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Old 10-26-19, 07:31 AM
  #27  
insideimoutside
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Try to trade for a Diverge locally or another gravel bike.
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Old 10-27-19, 03:06 PM
  #28  
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Hey fellow Roubaix owners - curious how your 650b and tire set up went this summer/fall? I saw you were running a few different setups on this threat and was wondering how it rode for you? I put on a pair of 32 Panaracers on my 700c CLX32's and they fit great, but now feeling a little greedy and hoping I could get a slightly larger size if I got a pair of cheap 650b's and a slightly larger 36 or 38. Thanks for any information you might share!
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Old 12-07-19, 12:26 PM
  #29  
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update

2018 52cm Roubaix. 650b experiment.
42mm Pari-Moto mounted on Stans Crest rims fits easily on the front.
38mm fits on the back.
Both size tires mounted tubeless measured very close to labeled measurement. (.3mm±)
Chainstay width as measure with calipers is 42mm, so 2mm of clearance on either side.
I consider this acceptable as a cushy road ride.. YMMV.
Probably a bit tighter than one would want for rides where mud or little bits of gravel are likely to pack into those spaces.
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Old 12-08-19, 07:08 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by dtheory View Post
2018 52cm Roubaix. 650b experiment.
42mm Pari-Moto mounted on Stans Crest rims fits easily on the front.
38mm fits on the back.
Both size tires mounted tubeless measured very close to labeled measurement. (.3mm±)
Chainstay width as measure with calipers is 42mm, so 2mm of clearance on either side.
I consider this acceptable as a cushy road ride.. YMMV.
Probably a bit tighter than one would want for rides where mud or little bits of gravel are likely to pack into those spaces.
Nice, managed a 42 up front - sounds cush! Thanks for sharing with everyone!
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Old 01-08-20, 01:53 PM
  #31  
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Result of experimenting 650B on Roubaix 2018

Originally Posted by dtheory View Post
Bump...
I'll be doing some experimentation with a set of 650b wheels on a 2018 Roubaix soon..
will let you know how it goes.. I have a friend who has stated 38mm rear is the max with 650b
(42mm on the front)
Will verify that..
Hello there,

what has been the outcome of your experimentations? I am on the same path as you are.

Thanks so much,

VJ
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Old 01-08-20, 01:55 PM
  #32  
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I see my question got answered 1 1/2 years ago. ;-)
thanks
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