Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Gravel to Road Bike Conversion

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Gravel to Road Bike Conversion

Old 06-28-22, 10:28 AM
  #26  
cyclezen
OM boy
 
cyclezen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Goleta CA
Posts: 3,964

Bikes: a bunch

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 356 Post(s)
Liked 388 Times in 269 Posts
The LA region has quite a few 'River Trails', all going from inland/hills down to the ocean (also reverse ride). Most are MUPS, so 12-ish ft wide, and generally bypass 'hills' (follow 'river' down), so long stretches mostly straight/gentle curve, until you get to road under-crossings - those can be hairy and usually a bunch of slow speed 90 deg kinks. Many ride the trails down then use some form of transit to go back up. Some ride both ways...
I've done a few rides with friends from LA - fun, but best not to do high pace, especially on weekends - can;t imagine what they were like during and after COVID...
Don't remember if we did the Santa Ana Trail, think so... on these rides I was mostly on 'auto-pilot' and just followed the lead... safely... LOL!
https://www.traillink.com/trail/santa-ana-river-trail/
24 mph on some sections was doable, but not advised, in my mind. These rides were mostly 'fun' rides, fast guys just wanting to 'cruise' without motor vehicles around and lights/other traffic.
There were some scary encounters along the way...
Just can't imagine the nightmare now, with the proliferation of e-bikes of every kind... scary... I now avoid these ride invites... happy to stay in my neck of the woods.
Ride On
Yuri
cyclezen is offline  
Old 06-28-22, 02:53 PM
  #27  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 5,683

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel, Specialized Epic Evo

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2352 Post(s)
Liked 1,161 Times in 661 Posts
Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
I don't know anyone that can AVERAGE 24 mph for 2+ hour ride on public roads with hills, traffic, head wind etc...
Thats Pro Cycling paceline speed. I think they avg. 25 or so for 6 hrs. per day, for 3 weeks on a major tour. I'd bet there are Cat 1-2 teams in the states (and Europe) that train near that. Not something the OP wants to get involved in, not that they'd let him.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 06-28-22, 05:38 PM
  #28  
Camilo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5,633
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 640 Post(s)
Liked 507 Times in 335 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
If you find yourself out of gear on long downhills and spinning out in a 46/11, then only option is to swap to a compact road crank that will get you a 50 big ring or a 39/53 crank. But that maybe yields 4 mph in the 53/11, so your call.

You can play with different cassette and crank options and find out speed here. Mike Sherman's Bicycle Gear Calculator (mike-sherman.github.io)

You can also get a 2nd wheelset and put the road tires, maybe 28mm's on that with a road cassette like an 11-28. Then keep the gravel tires and hills gears on the original wheel set. On the carbon Topstone you would have to have a shop re-dish the rear wheel but that easy and cheap. A 2nd wheel set is what a lot of users of this bike do, it's how I have my aluminum Topstone setup, works great.

And FWIW, my experience is that my alu Topstone at 22 lbs with the road wheels on it, is about 5 lbs heavier and maybe 1/2 mph slower than my 17 lbs carbon road bike. I notice it on group rides.
Any cassette with a 11t small sprocket will have the same high speed characteristics as any other. The only reason to have an 11-28 instead would be if the rider is somehow ill-served by the larger jumps in, say, an 11-34. Most are not. Now, if the lower gears absolutely are not needed, go for it. But it won't be a solution for "not keeping pace", imho.

Originally Posted by Peacewiz View Post
thank you for your tips...


we were on Santa Ana river trail to Huntington Beach and I was averaging 16mph and one of the member averaged 24mph. i wasn't wearing tight cycling clothes and I remember the members posture was much more aerodynamic than I, lowered upper body hunched closer to the stem. I wasn't thinking about the aerodynamic but common sense hindsight...


I'll try the new tires, clothing, and posture...


thanks again for such a detailed explanation.
Good luck keeping up with a rider that averages 24mph on a 30 mile ride, if that is accurate "data". That is really, really fast in my book and nothing you do for equipment, including pro-grade bike, clothes and tires will get you even 10% of that difference. Your current bike is not a boat anchor, it is not limiting you that much. By all means get real road tires to either put on your existing wheels or a second set of wheels. Something in the area of 23-28mm. Also, get different clothing if it suits you. It doesn't make a HUGE difference (16 to 24mph), but baggy shorts and tops do flap in the breeze and would make a difference if you were a MPH or so lagging. I don't like the flapping, so I wear lycra shorts and tights and real cycling jerseys and jackets. Now, they aren't racer-cut tight form fitting because I'm too fat for that, but my "club cut" stuff doesn't flap very much compared to a baggy cotton T shirt or normal wind breaker.

Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
To me, the true impediment in making a "gravel bike" a "road bike" is frame geometry. Gravel bikes usually have a lot of trail, sometimes north of 70mm which makes for a lot of wheel flop when ridden aggressively out of the saddle.
This is true, but I don't think the geometry is affecting his concern about not keeping pace on a typical recreational road ride. The handling isn't the issue. I don't believe anything in a gravel bike - assuming road tires, etc. - keeps a person from fitting in on a group ride. A gravel bike fitted out as a road bike with good quality road tires and the high and low gearing like his currently has should be limited only by his fitness and ability to ride in a group.
Camilo is offline  
Old 06-28-22, 05:51 PM
  #29  
Atlas Shrugged
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 756
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 471 Post(s)
Liked 540 Times in 265 Posts
Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
To me, the true impediment in making a "gravel bike" a "road bike" is frame geometry. Gravel bikes usually have a lot of trail, sometimes north of 70mm which makes for a lot of wheel flop when ridden aggressively out of the saddle.
Not sure if less trail will help the op maintain an average pace of 24 mph or affect their average speed in any way. Very few if any mainstream gravel bikes have trail north of 70mm.
Atlas Shrugged is offline  
Old 06-29-22, 03:18 PM
  #30  
prj71
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: North Central Wisconsin
Posts: 3,758
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2246 Post(s)
Liked 732 Times in 488 Posts
Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
I don't know anyone that can AVERAGE 24 mph for 2+ hour ride on public roads with hills, traffic, head wind etc...
Can you imagine 22.2 mph for 2 hours? This was a recent ride of mine all on public roads.


prj71 is offline  
Old 06-29-22, 04:22 PM
  #31  
jonathanf2
Full Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 467

Bikes: '17 105 2x11 Sprint CF Comp / '21 GRX400 2x10 Poseidon X

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 223 Post(s)
Liked 394 Times in 197 Posts
Those are some fast riders. Your bike seems like it can handle a road bike conversion with an Ultegra groupset. I'd switch to some skinnier road slicks, bigger crankset and get a smaller cassette like an 11-28t. After that, I'd focus on training more. I can hang with above average roadies on my gravel bike with a GRX 46:30t setup, but you'll definitely need a bigger crankset on serious fast group rides. Even on my road bike with a 50:34t front crankset, I struggle with serious riders going at a fast pace line at around 26-30mph on the flats. I can only drop them once we hit the hills!
jonathanf2 is offline  
Old 06-30-22, 07:28 AM
  #32  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,518

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2082 Post(s)
Liked 1,140 Times in 692 Posts
Wow, I’m surprised folks think a 46/11 is sufficient for fast club rides; the gear range is not nearly tall enough, in my opinion.
chaadster is offline  
Old 06-30-22, 07:31 AM
  #33  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,202
Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2440 Post(s)
Liked 1,500 Times in 971 Posts
Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
What kind of a church is this that refers to "cyclers"? Sounds like a cult to me.
Probably this one:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/categ...-238657641614/

https://www.instagram.com/thecotbr/?hl=en
seypat is offline  
Old 06-30-22, 09:16 AM
  #34  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 14,506

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 116 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8222 Post(s)
Liked 5,060 Times in 2,941 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Wow, I’m surprised folks think a 46/11 is sufficient for fast club rides; the gear range is not nearly tall enough, in my opinion.
46/11 at a very reasonable 80rpm is 26.7mph on 30mm tires. That may not work for everyone, but it is more than a lot of people can handle. As for it being enough for fast club rides, it may not be on downhill. On flat or uphill though?...very few fast club rides I have seen are moving faster than 27mph. I do see that speed on flat road for sure. Again though, this is at just 80rpm.

But to apply it to the OP, based on what he has said, he is not able to push 46/11 at 80rpm and ride at 27mph so that is plenty of gearing for now.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 06-30-22, 10:40 AM
  #35  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,518

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2082 Post(s)
Liked 1,140 Times in 692 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
46/11 at a very reasonable 80rpm is 26.7mph on 30mm tires. That may not work for everyone, but it is more than a lot of people can handle. As for it being enough for fast club rides, it may not be on downhill. On flat or uphill though?...very few fast club rides I have seen are moving faster than 27mph. I do see that speed on flat road for sure. Again though, this is at just 80rpm.

But to apply it to the OP, based on what he has said, he is not able to push 46/11 at 80rpm and ride at 27mph so that is plenty of gearing for now.
All the more reason to have a better range at the tall end, so they can fine tune their output. Two shifts up off the 46/11 and you’ve only got 93gi to work with, and I can tell you from how I ride, that is not enough to stay on a fast bunch, and for the OP who doesn’t like to pedal above 80rpm anyway, they’re going to have trouble finding the torque load they prefer and get the speed they need. 46t is way too small for fast road work.
chaadster is offline  
Old 06-30-22, 10:58 AM
  #36  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 14,506

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 116 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8222 Post(s)
Liked 5,060 Times in 2,941 Posts
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
All the more reason to have a better range at the tall end, so they can fine tune their output. Two shifts up off the 46/11 and you’ve only got 93gi to work with, and I can tell you from how I ride, that is not enough to stay on a fast bunch, and for the OP who doesn’t like to pedal above 80rpm anyway, they’re going to have trouble finding the torque load they prefer and get the speed they need. 46t is way too small for fast road work.
But if you dont shift twice then you have 112.23 gear inches to work with. Seems like a pretty easy solution to 93 gear inches not being enough to stay with a fast bunch. This is honestly a really odd complaint to even address since the solution is so obvious. A more extreme scenario is 'I ride in 50/22 and that is not enough to stay on a fast bunch, whatever should I do?' Well you should obviously shift to a smaller cog.

As for the OP not wanting to pedal above 80rpm, then why would 70 and a larger gear inch be realistic? Setting that aside, 50/11 at 70rpm is 25.44mph. Reminder, 46/11 at 80rpm is 26.71mph. So if he gets a larger chainring and pedals slower, he will ride slower.


In the end, the OP just needs to ride more and build up ability(stamina, speed, etc).
mstateglfr is offline  
Likes For mstateglfr:

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 - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.