Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Hybrid Bicycles
Reload this Page >

Convert Hybrid To Gravel Bike ???

Hybrid Bicycles Where else would you go to discuss these fun, versatile bikes?

Convert Hybrid To Gravel Bike ???

Old 04-28-18, 07:14 PM
  #1  
Witterings
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: The Witterings, West Sussex
Posts: 962
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 499 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Convert Hybrid To Gravel Bike ???

Has anyone converted a Hybrid to a gravel bike and if so how do you know what the maximum width tyre your rim can take is ... I guess to work out the maximum width tyre that'll go between the forks you just take some calipers measure it and knock off a couple of mm or have I missed something??

I guess you'd also need new brake levers that are made for drop handlebars that have your gear shifters on?

Is there anything else I've forgotten that may need to be done?

I'm asking on behalf of a friend as I feel a bit guilty .. we stared riding quite a lot on 26" MTB's ... I went and bought a 2nd hand 29er and wish I'd done a bit more research 1st and bought a gravel bike instead ... because my 29er was quicker he then bought a really nice Cube one .... if I sell mine to buy a gravel bike I won't lose much but he'd dump quite a lot .... he does have a nice carbon hybrid though that he doesn't really use as the roads / paths round here can be a bit bumpy and would at least men it got used rather than just gathering dust.
Witterings is online now  
Old 04-28-18, 09:36 PM
  #2  
katsup
Senior Member
 
katsup's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 688

Bikes: 2017 Salsa Vaya Deore, 90 Trek 520, 91 Fuji Sundance, 1991 Kona Explosif

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 215 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 14 Posts
The geometry of some hybrids are designed for flat bars and finding the right fit for drops can be tricky.

Handlebars, stem, shifters, brake levers and brakes (or travel agents) are needed off the top of my head. In addition, sometimes derailleurs on hybrids are not compatible with road shifters.
katsup is offline  
Old 04-29-18, 01:12 AM
  #3  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,368
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8524 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 74 Posts
I did a hybrid to drop conversion a few months ago.



I ended up stripping it essentially down to a bare frame and replacing a bunch of stuff to get the bike like I wanted. I did put on a pretty large rear cassette, and a new wide range front crankset to get the gearing I wanted, and because I do a lot of hauling cargo, as well as more touring aspirations.

Vintage friction bar end shifters seemed to work for my needs.

Hopefully your CF bike is a little more advanced than my Coda, but the Coda worked well for my needs.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 04-29-18, 08:55 AM
  #4  
mcours2006
Senior Member
 
mcours2006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 5,658

Bikes: Giant Rapid, Bianchi Advantage, Specialized Roubaix, 1985 Gardin Quatro, Norco Threshold, Raleigh Serengheti MTB

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1720 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 23 Posts
Here's my hybrid to cross conversion a few years ago:

BEFORE: Originally a fitness hybrid.


AFTER: The only thing original on this is the frame.


Currently used as a commuter, seen here with 45 mm studded tires.
mcours2006 is offline  
Old 04-29-18, 09:51 AM
  #5  
Witterings
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: The Witterings, West Sussex
Posts: 962
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 499 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Thanks for everyone's input .... it sounds as though it's more complex than I thought and he's not he sort that would take one a project like changing crankset / derailleurs / cassette and judging by the responses the ideal gearing for a gavel bike is different from a hybrid of have I misunderstood?
Witterings is online now  
Old 04-29-18, 10:13 AM
  #6  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,368
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8524 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
Thanks for everyone's input .... it sounds as though it's more complex than I thought and he's not he sort that would take one a project like changing crankset / derailleurs / cassette and judging by the responses the ideal gearing for a gavel bike is different from a hybrid of have I misunderstood?
It is hard to make generalizations without having more details of what you have, and what you want.

My Jamis was about 20 years old, built up with low to mid level components, and it was time for an upgrade. Plus, I like a little higher gearing, even if I'm not riding in the top gear all the time.

Yours is a CF bike, so it may start with a little newer and better components. The ease of conversion may depend a bit on exactly what it is built with. Sora? Tiagra?

Also, I built mine for commuting/utility use, and probably touring, not specifically gravel which may have different requirements.

Even "gravel" will vary in definitions from steep logging roads to smooth rails to trails.

This spring, I'm working on a gravel specific build which will be based on an older MTB. And, specifically for really rough railroad ballast plus goatheads.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 04-29-18, 11:40 AM
  #7  
Witterings
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: The Witterings, West Sussex
Posts: 962
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 499 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Might be an idea if I ask him and find out what it actually is ... I'll post back when I know!!
Witterings is online now  
Old 04-29-18, 02:00 PM
  #8  
MisterK
S'toon trail rider!
 
MisterK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Saskatoon, SK
Posts: 452

Bikes: 2011 Norco Mountaineer(XC/Trails), 2011 Jamis Commuter1(commuter)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ive been slowly doing exactly this with my jamis commuter1. I however dont want drops and am very content with a flatbar, tho im definatly adding bar-ends for an extra hand position.
i emailed jamis about the max tire width on my frame to which they replied 35mm. Not as wide as id like but its a hybrid in its original state.
ive swapped to double wall wheels, 8spd wide cassette and trigger shifter.
its a toss up most days which i feel is my fave bike between my hybrid/grinder and my actual mtb.
MisterK is offline  
Old 05-01-18, 04:30 PM
  #9  
Korina
Happy banana slug
 
Korina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Arcata, California, U.S., North America, Earth, Saggitarius Arm, Milky Way
Posts: 1,119

Bikes: 1992 Specialized Rockhopper Sport, 2016 Giant Liv Rove Lite, 2004 Giant OCR1, 1995 Trek Singletrack 930 1988 Specialized Rockhopper Comp (frame)

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 397 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 37 Posts
Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
Thanks for everyone's input .... it sounds as though it's more complex than I thought and he's not he sort that would take one a project like changing crankset / derailleurs / cassette and judging by the responses the ideal gearing for a gavel bike is different from a hybrid of have I misunderstood?
Some hybrids are more road oriented, and some are more mountain bike oriented,so really it depends. I stuck bomb-proof 38's on my 2016 Liv Rove and suddenly it'll work as a gravel grinder, even with the flat bars.
Korina is offline  
Old 05-03-18, 04:30 AM
  #10  
jimmie65
Proud hobo biker
 
jimmie65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Schertz - New Braunfels area
Posts: 807

Bikes: 2019 Surly Ogre, 2016 Giant Anyroad 2, Lightspeed Roadrunner trike, SE Tripel (in process)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 201 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Why can't he just ride his hybrid on gravel? I do all the time.

Or do a simple conversion - slap on the widest tires that will fit (make sure they're not too slick) and then slide on a pair of Origin8 drop bar ends.
jimmie65 is offline  
Old 05-03-18, 05:03 AM
  #11  
Witterings
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: The Witterings, West Sussex
Posts: 962
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 499 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
Why can't he just ride his hybrid on gravel? I do all the time. Or do a simple conversion - slap on the widest tires that will fit
He tried the existing tyres once and found it really hard / uncomfortable on the gravel section .... we did discussed wider tyres and I'm sure he'll try it at some stage but if it wasn't too much of a job to put on drop handlebars as well would probably take it in somewhere and let them do it all at the same time rather than doing it himself .... I haven't been back as he's been absolutely buried with work and had a no show Monday morning by someone so has been doing 2 people's jobs but I'm hoping he's going to be out for a ride this evening if he can get away at a reasonable time.
Witterings is online now  
Old 05-03-18, 09:12 AM
  #12  
hokiefyd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Northern Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 2,189

Bikes: 2018 Redline Zander, 2018 Giant Roam 2, 2015 Trek Verve 3, 1997 Trek 750, 1969 Peugeot PO-18

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 741 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 42 Posts
The drop bars aren't hard to do, but they'll probably need a lot of new parts, so it gets expensive. Drop bars usually have a 26.0mm clamp diameter, which probably doesn't match what he has now (25.4mm clamp diameter), so he'd need a new stem to do it right. Brake levers aren't hard to come by (and are inexpensive), but the ones with integrated shifters are usually pretty costly, especially if bought new. You can try to find a set used at a decent price. Microshift is a newer company making "brifters", and have decent reviews. You can get a basic set for less than $100. Plus the cost of the bar and stem, and it's going to be $100 or better to do a basic swap, and that's just the cockpit. Plus tires and any other parts.

To your question about the maximum width the rim can take...unless your rim is uncommonly narrow, any rim you have should be able to handle any tire that will physically fit in the frame. I'm assuming your frame will limit you to something like a 45mm tire or narrower. Almost any rim will be fine with a 45mm tire.
hokiefyd is offline  
Old 05-03-18, 09:51 AM
  #13  
practical
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Middelbury, Vermont
Posts: 1,099

Bikes: Giant Escape 1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 134 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd leave the flat bars on it. What advantage is there in changing it? Add bar ends if he'd like them. I'd look at a different set of tires which I'm sure his rims will accommodate. A nice fat tire with low pressure should keep him comfy. Keep it as simple as you can and you'll be happier with the results.
practical is offline  
Old 05-03-18, 09:53 AM
  #14  
jimmie65
Proud hobo biker
 
jimmie65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Schertz - New Braunfels area
Posts: 807

Bikes: 2019 Surly Ogre, 2016 Giant Anyroad 2, Lightspeed Roadrunner trike, SE Tripel (in process)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 201 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
The drop bars aren't hard to do, but they'll probably need a lot of new parts, so it gets expensive. Drop bars usually have a 26.0mm clamp diameter, which probably doesn't match what he has now (25.4mm clamp diameter), so he'd need a new stem to do it right. Brake levers aren't hard to come by (and are inexpensive), but the ones with integrated shifters are usually pretty costly, especially if bought new. You can try to find a set used at a decent price. Microshift is a newer company making "brifters", and have decent reviews. You can get a basic set for less than $100. Plus the cost of the bar and stem, and it's going to be $100 or better to do a basic swap, and that's just the cockpit. Plus tires and any other parts.

To your question about the maximum width the rim can take...unless your rim is uncommonly narrow, any rim you have should be able to handle any tire that will physically fit in the frame. I'm assuming your frame will limit you to something like a 45mm tire or narrower. Almost any rim will be fine with a 45mm tire.
Can't use most drop bar brake levers or (to the best of my knowledge) any integrated brake lever/shifters. His hybrid almost certainly has long pulll v-brakes and drop bar brake levers are made for short pull brakes. Tektro makes long-pull drop bar levers (I have a set for an old MTB drop bar conversion) but I don't have any with the shifter integrated.
jimmie65 is offline  
Old 05-03-18, 11:35 AM
  #15  
hokiefyd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Northern Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 2,189

Bikes: 2018 Redline Zander, 2018 Giant Roam 2, 2015 Trek Verve 3, 1997 Trek 750, 1969 Peugeot PO-18

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 741 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
Can't use most drop bar brake levers or (to the best of my knowledge) any integrated brake lever/shifters. His hybrid almost certainly has long pulll v-brakes and drop bar brake levers are made for short pull brakes. Tektro makes long-pull drop bar levers (I have a set for an old MTB drop bar conversion) but I don't have any with the shifter integrated.
That's right -- drop bar levers won't work with linear pull brakes, but he could install Tektro Mini-Vs, which are super short linear pull brakes designed to work with short pull levers. Or, he could install cantilever brakes in place of the linear pull brakes, installing provisions for cable stops if needed. All adding cost to the project if the current brakes are indeed linear pull.
hokiefyd is offline  
Old 05-03-18, 11:41 AM
  #16  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,368
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8524 Post(s)
Liked 82 Times in 74 Posts
The Tektro RL520 levers work fine with linear pull brakes, but one doesn't get all the fancy "brifter" options with them.

You will loose the cable adjustment at the levers, and should source noodles with adjusters.

Another option is to use a Problem Solvers Travel Agent which is designed to replace the noodle with a pulley to allow standard brake levers to work with the linear pull brakes.

Converting to Cantilevers?
CliffordK is offline  
Old 07-21-18, 10:24 AM
  #17  
ttruong
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I converted a 90s Giant Cypress into a gravel bike. Got rid of the cheap suspension fork, which did almost nothing and replaced it with a super light, rigid aluminum forkósaved a ton of weight. Replaced flat bar with drops and Shimano 8 speed brifters. For the front brakes I used road disc calipers. Started out with 160mm discs but stopping power was pretty mediocre. After switching to 203mm I feel braking is finally acceptable.

For the rears I opted for cantilever brakes because the frame does not have disc mounts. Iíve used v-brakes with Travel Agents previously but I donít like how the cable gets embedded into the pulley and becomes impossible to adjust later. Iím pretty happy with the cantilever setup.

A few minor issues: itís hard to find 8 speed cassettes with a good range and most that are available are made for low end bikes. I may switch to 10 speed in the future. I would not even consider Shimano 9 speed as they seem to be the most unreliable.

Thr fork I sourced is for a mountain bike which lifts up the front end quite a bit. That changes the geometry of the bike and I can feel it in the handling too but I also like the more upright position. Itís my most comfortable bike, with 42mm tires at 35 psi.

Having done this though, I think that economically it does not make sense to do a custom build unless you have all of the parts just hanging around. A cheap new gravel bike now starts at around $500.

Last edited by ttruong; 07-21-18 at 10:34 AM.
ttruong is offline  
Old 07-21-18, 02:34 PM
  #18  
hokiefyd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Northern Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 2,189

Bikes: 2018 Redline Zander, 2018 Giant Roam 2, 2015 Trek Verve 3, 1997 Trek 750, 1969 Peugeot PO-18

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 741 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by ttruong View Post
A few minor issues: itís hard to find 8 speed cassettes with a good range and most that are available are made for low end bikes. I may switch to 10 speed in the future. I would not even consider Shimano 9 speed as they seem to be the most unreliable.
Welcome! Great first post. What kind of range are you looking for in an 8-speed cassette? And what have you heard or read about reliability on 9-speed?
hokiefyd is offline  
Old 07-21-18, 04:00 PM
  #19  
ttruong
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I installed a Biopace double crank that only goes down to a 42t so I wanted at least 36t for the cassette. Most of them look pretty heavy too.

As as for the STI shifters, there is a guy who has made a business out of fixing Shimano STI and he gets most of his business fixing the 9-speed variety. Iíve only had experience with 10speed shifters and they are not very reliable either. Iíve had them gum up and not shift in one direction or even at all. In fact, on two of my road bikes Iíve ďdowngradedĒ to friction shifters for the ultimate in reliability.
ttruong is offline  
Old 07-23-18, 06:08 AM
  #20  
tclong03
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 58
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sirrus to gravel


Here is my 2011 sirrus I converted to gravel. Used dura ace bar end shifters along with shimano xt derailleurs and 9 spd cassette. Mountain crank triple up front converted to 44 x 26 double. And soma brake levers. Oops this isn't the right pic with the components.

Last edited by tclong03; 07-23-18 at 06:11 AM. Reason: Pic dont match latest components
tclong03 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
long john
Classic & Vintage
12
01-12-15 04:29 PM
Harry W
Hybrid Bicycles
4
05-17-14 10:32 AM
ilovecycling
Road Cycling
12
01-28-11 04:00 PM
Leukybear
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
3
05-10-10 09:45 PM
Arrowana
Classic & Vintage
3
04-21-09 04:58 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.