It is all the rage these days to ride gravel off-road on a bike with drop bars as cyclists increasingly desire the convenience and comfort they provide. In response to the growing demand for gravel riding, many bike manufacturers have added models to their lineups. Gravel events, bike-packing, and micro-adventures are becoming increasingly popular, and off-road bikes allow you to recover from a difficult commute without compromising safety.

Why not convert your current bike into a gravel-worthy alternative if you do not want to buy a new bike? It’s often the case, sometimes it’s not.

We demonstrate how to transform your road bike from a slick-tire bike into a gravel-eating off-roader in just a minute. Whenever you upgrade your gravel bike, you will be able to switch back to your road bike.

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Gravel bikes differ most from road bikes because of their slack geometry and increased clearance for the tires. Some road bikes are more suited to conversion than others, but most can be converted to gravel bikes. For better balance on loose gravel, gravel bikes generally have a slacker and longer geometry than road bikes. Endurance bikes can easily be converted to gravel bikes, due to their suitability for off-road rides.

Footwear and pedals

You can easily modify your road bike to use mountain bike shoes/pedals by simply switching out your road pedals for double-sided mountain bike pedals. Pedals with these features have less likelihood of getting clogged up with mud, dirt, or other debris, and are easier to clip in and out.

Grit and cyclocross shoes are designed with cleats placed far from the ground and protected from the mud. When you’re trying to ride a road bike that isn’t equipped to handle rougher segments and is forced to walk through muddy patches, this switch comes in quite handy.


Gravel tires for your road bike should be purchased with some consideration. If you are using brake calipers (if applicable), you can fit the largest tire size into your frame based on the width of the fork, seat stays, and chainstay. In that regard, keep in mind that you need to allow some clearance for dirt, as well as the size of the tread on the tires. To avoid having tires that will not fit on your bike, be conservative in your estimations.

Rims can also affect your driving performance. In contrast, the inner diameter of gravel-specific rims is much larger than that of road bikes’ inner rims. Keep your tire size within the recommended range provided by the manufacturer. Depending on how often you plan to change your bike’s setup, gravel-specific wheels may be worth your consideration.


While it is not necessary, a wider tire will make riding on gravel more enjoyable. Wider handlebars are common on gravel bikes, as they provide better handling on rough terrain.

With these tips, you should be able to successfully convert your road bike to a gravel bike. The most important thing is to remember that riding gravel is all about having fun and that there are few rules about which bike and equipment are best for what condition and riding style you want. Be sure to have fun while you’re at it!