Wondering how to transform your road bike into a gravel bike for more adventurous rides?

In this blog, we share insights and recommendations for converting a road bike into a gravel bike. We cover essential components, from wider and more durable tires to suitable gear ratios, including suggestions for suspension and braking system upgrades. We also offer alternative options for different types of terrain and riding preferences.

With over 20 years of experience in cycling, bike maintenance, and customization, we’ve helped numerous cyclists adapt their bikes for diverse terrains. Our team has personally tested and evaluated various products and modifications in real-world off-road and mixed-terrain scenarios, ensuring they enhance performance, comfort, and versatility for gravel biking.

Footwear and pedals

You can easily modify your road bike to use mountain bike shoes or 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 range that the manufacturer has recommended. 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!

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