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Convert hybrid to gravel for less than 350 US dollars?

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Convert hybrid to gravel for less than 350 US dollars?

Old 06-11-20, 04:16 AM
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bikeamateur70
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Convert hybrid to gravel for less than 350 US dollars?

Convert hybrid to gravel for less than 350 US dollars?I bought a second hand hybrid bike a couple of years ago. Using it mainly on rough bike paths, so a gravel bike will suit me better. Is it possible to convert such a hybrid bike into a gravel bike for less than 350 US dollars? The bike is originally a Merida Freeway Redwood. Frame sixe 58 cm. I am 51 years old, 181 cm tall. Most important is to get dropbars. Will 1x11 groupset be an idea for this? Also curious whether a shift of wheelset will make the bike better. I am living in Scandinavia, so I use European online stores. Please let me know if you know any good online offers.

I bought a second hand hybrid bike a couple of years ago. Using it mainly on rough bike paths, so a gravel bike will suit me better. Is it possible to convert such a hybrid bike into a gravel bike for less than 350 US dollars? The bike is originally a Merida Freeway Redwood. Frame sixe 58. I am 51 years old, 181 cm tall. Most important is to get dropbars. Will 1x11 groupset be an idea for this? Also curious what a shift of wheelset ell make the bike better. I am living in Scandinavia, so I use European online stores. Please let me know if you know any good online offers.
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Old 06-11-20, 01:43 PM
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Yes you can definitely convert a hybrid to a drop bar gravel bike for under $350. It will be hard to do it with 1x11 unless your bike is already 1x11. It would be helpful to post a link to the bike itself.
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Old 06-11-20, 03:38 PM
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I am a newbie here and unfortunstely you need to post 10 times before I can have a picture or URL. My bike got a 3x7 groupset as it is now. Is it right my v-brakes need to be upgraded if I change to dropbars?
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Old 06-11-20, 07:45 PM
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You could change it to a drop bar setup for under $350. Much would need to be used instead of new.

I dont think you could change to drop bar 1x11 for $350.
You will need-
- an 11 speed compatible wheelset
- 1x11 shifting
- drop bars
- bar tape
- new crankset
- new chain
- new cassette
- new cables and housing
- new brakes(mini v or cantilever)
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Old 06-12-20, 10:38 AM
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This should be the first thing to check:
If you can not update the wheels, it will be hard to do it under $350 as a new wheelset will eat up a lot of your budget.
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Old 06-12-20, 11:18 AM
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unterhausen
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Good point about the cassette body. 7 speed will work up to 10 speed, but not for 11. Even cheap wheels will use up most of a $350 budget
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Old 06-12-20, 12:30 PM
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Here’s a mint Specialized Crossroads I added a threadless stem converter, road stem, drop bars 7 speed RX 100 brifters and a freewheel with 34 tooth big chainring. No other changes, works fine, but if I keep it I would convert it to 8 or 9 speed, add gravel tires and a different saddle. I had all the parts laying around so it’s hard to say how much I paid. I was fortunate to find a hybrid that fit perfectly on CL



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Old 06-14-20, 02:17 PM
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Great bike there!
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Old 06-14-20, 02:18 PM
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Thanks,princo. I am checking out?
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Old 06-16-20, 09:27 AM
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Yeah, nice bike! I don't think I would do anything else to it except maybe change pedals with something nicer.
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Old 06-17-20, 03:19 AM
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Schwinn Criss Cross 1x10 built with various parts I've accumulated over time.

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Old 06-17-20, 05:07 AM
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Why not stick with the original wheels and just convert the bike to drops? That will be the most cost effective solution. You can source 3 by 7 brifters or source 7 speed bar end shifters.
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Old 06-18-20, 07:18 PM
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Note on the 11 speed, You need an 11 speed freehub body for ROAD 11 speed cassettes. Mountain 11 speed cassettes (11-40+) fit on standard 10 speed freehub bodies.

OP, You can try and shop around for used parts, or you can go with Microshift Advent X 10. You would probably be able to get a full drivetrain sans chainring for ~$300 or possibly less.
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Old 06-19-20, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Good point about the cassette body. 7 speed will work up to 10 speed, but not for 11. Even cheap wheels will use up most of a $350 budget
And some won't even do 10s. Ask me how I know *sigh*
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Old 06-19-20, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by blak_byke View Post
Schwinn Criss Cross 1x10 built with various parts I've accumulated over time.

This is awesome. Did you strip a steel frame down to the bare metal? Do you have to wax it or something to keep it from corroding?
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Old 06-19-20, 02:14 PM
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Unless you are a true bike geek (like many of us here), I would just leave it as it is. Hybrid makes a decent gravel bike - they are long and stable and not particularly fast. Just put the biggest tires on there you can fit, and go have some fun.

Personally I think flat bar bikes converted to drop bar often look kinda dorky and ugly because you have to raise the drop bars up a lot to get them into a comfortable position. The two bikes above are beautiful, in part because they have a large saddle to handle bar drop. (90% of the conversion bikes I see try to get the bars even or higher than the saddle).

FYI, I have an old 1994 Allez that looks quite similar to the Crossroads above, and I made it an 11 speed just by changing out the cassette and the chain. But it has friction shifters, so that part was easy.
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Old 06-20-20, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehuangsd View Post
This is awesome. Did you strip a steel frame down to the bare metal? Do you have to wax it or something to keep it from corroding?
Thanks! Yes, I stripped the frame to bare metal and wipe it down with Gibbs brand metal treatment. Found out about it on a hotrod forum.
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Old 06-20-20, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
FYI, I have an old 1994 Allez that looks quite similar to the Crossroads above, and I made it an 11 speed just by changing out the cassette and the chain. But it has friction shifters, so that part was easy.
Precisely why I'm using Gevenalle shifters. I can go from 9 to 10 to 11 speed with relative ease. Currently running 1 x 10.
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Old 06-20-20, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Personally I think flat bar bikes converted to drop bar often look kinda dorky and ugly because you have to raise the drop bars up a lot to get them into a comfortable position. The two bikes above are beautiful, in part because they have a large saddle to handle bar drop. (90% of the conversion bikes I see try to get the bars even or higher than the saddle).
Slightly off topic but both of my gravel "specific" bikes are now set up with the bars just about level with the saddle. It's a comfort thing and it allows me to actually run the drops without feeling too far forward OTB.

OP, when I converted my hybrid to drop bars a couple years ago it was for two reasons: It was the cheapest way to see if I enjoyed drop bars more than flat bars, and because there wasn't a "good" alternative for a multi-position handlebar that still gave me easy access to shifting & braking. That said, like Chas58 mentioned, you don't need to convert to drop bars to enjoy riding gravel, and there are some decent enough Alt-Bars that you can run to give more hand positions if that is something you're looking for also. Heck for the money you could get something like a Jones Bar - or any Alt-bar and upgrade the drivetrain to lower end SRAM 1x12 (disclaimer: you'd need to check if you have a 10 speed compatible freehub first).

I don't want to dissuade you from doing the conversion, but I did want to provide alternatives to consider also.
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