How To Convert A Mountain Bike To A Gravel Bike?

Are you tired of sticking to the paved roads on your mountain bike? 

Do you yearn for the freedom to explore gravel paths and dirt trails? 

Look no further; 

In this article, I will show you how to convert your trusty mountain bike into a versatile gravel machine. 

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking new off-road adventures or simply looking for a change of scenery on your daily commute, converting your mountain bike to a gravel bike is easier than you might think. 

So buckle up and get ready to transform your ride into a gravel-grinding beast that can easily handle any terrain.

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How To Convert A Mountain Bike To A Gravel Bike?

Converting a mountain bike to a gravel bike can be a rewarding project, allowing you to enjoy the versatility of a gravel bike without the need for an entirely new bike. 

Follow these step-by-step instructions to convert your mountain bike into a gravel bike successfully:

1. Assess Your Mountain Bike

Examine your current mountain bike to determine its frame material, size, and overall condition. Ensure that it is suitable for conversion and can accommodate gravel bike components.

2. Choose the Right Frame and Fork

Select a gravel-friendly frame and fork. Gravel frames typically have a more relaxed geometry, allowing for a more comfortable riding position on longer rides. Ensure the frame has mounts for fenders and racks.

3. Tire Clearance

Gravel bikes accommodate wider tires for better stability and comfort. Check the tire clearance on your mountain bike frame and fork to ensure it can accommodate gravel-specific tires (usually 700c with widths ranging from 32mm to 45mm).

4. Replace the Wheels

Swap out your mountain bike wheels for gravel wheels compatible with the chosen tire size. Ensure the hub spacing matches the frame.

5. Update the Drivetrain

Consider upgrading your Drivetrain for a more gravel-oriented experience. This may involve changing the cassette to a broader range suitable for varied terrain and installing a larger chainring for higher speeds.

6. Adjust the Gearing

Modify your gear ratios to better suit gravel riding. This might involve changing the front chainring, rear cassette, and possibly the rear derailleur. Aim for a setup that provides a good balance between climbing ability and speed on flat terrain.

7. Install Gravel-Specific Components

Replace your mountain bike’s components with those designed for gravel riding. This includes installing gravel handlebars, a gravel-specific saddle, and potentially a dropper post.

8. Upgrade the Brakes

If your mountain bike has disc brakes, you may not need to upgrade them. However, if you have rim brakes, consider switching to disc brakes for improved stopping power and reliability, especially in wet and muddy conditions.

9. Add Gravel-Specific Accessories

Consider adding accessories such as fenders, a frame bag, and a front or rear rack for carrying gear on longer rides.

10. Test Ride and Fine-Tune

Take your converted gravel bike for a test ride to ensure everything works smoothly. Fine-tune the components, including the saddle height, handlebar position, and gear shifting, until you achieve a comfortable and efficient setup.

By following these steps, you can successfully convert your mountain bike into a gravel bike, unlocking new possibilities for off-road adventures and long-distance rides.

Also Read : Why Do Fixies Have No Brakes?


In conclusion, converting a mountain bike to a gravel bike can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to explore new terrain and enjoy different riding experiences.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can transform your mountain bike into a versatile gravel-ready machine capable of handling various off-road conditions.

Remember to carefully consider your budget, goals, and riding preferences before modifying to ensure the best results.

With the right tools, parts, and know-how, you can customize your bike to suit your needs and enhance your cycling adventures.

So why wait?

Start converting your mountain bike today and unlock a new world of gravel riding possibilities.

5/5 - (1 vote)

I’ve been riding (bicycles) my entire life and am passionate about everything that comes along with it. I wouldn’t call myself a true “roadie”. I’m just a guy that loves riding because of the pure joy it brings.

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