Convert a Hybrid to be more “adventure”/”gravel bike”/Bikepacking

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  • Convert a Hybrid to be more “adventure”/”gravel bike”/Bikepacking
  • iamanobody
    Member

    Flat bar
    700C hybrid
    Some clearance for bigger tyres
    50/34
    10 speed sram

    what would you do?

    Thinking wider tyres obviously
    wider flat bars to accommodate bar bag
    lower ratio – maybe using a CX chainset
    uprated discs for heavier laden bike
    how could i improve “bikepackability”

    this si a project so no new bike

    scotroutes
    Member

    Depending on your current tyres and your proposed route there may be no need to change at all. Wider/gripper might offer up more route options though.

    No need for wide bars. You can carry kit on road bike dropped bars after all.

    Gearing I’d very much a personal choice but that can become an expensive change.

    I’d concentrate on buying the best/lightest/most compact overnight kit first and worry about the bike later.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    MTB gears, big rubber. That’s all you need. Possibly longer stem if it’s a sit-up recreational type rider.

    Even road triples aren’t low enough for winching a loaded bike up a big off-road hill, IMO, but you may be a better climber than me.

    I wouldn’t bother with upgrading brakes – you won’t be going fast on a fully loaded hybrid, nor will you want to.

    iamanobody
    Member

    flat bars atm

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    Spa cycles sub compact chainset if you have a threaded bottom bracket. Any ratios you like £70 I think. They list options but on the phone I said I wanted 40 28. It was delivered 3 days later

    TiRed
    Member

    You’ll struggle with really wide tyres. Cyclocross 33c will be fine. Flared or ordinary drops have a different diameter so you have to change levers and stem if it’s a quill stem. I used Soma Sparrow bars which have a flare and a little drop. A lot like H bars. You can still use the flat brake levers with these. If it’s a proper hybrid, it will already have mtb gearing, so leave alone. Unless you are drawn to 1x. If it’s a flat barred road bike, I’d change to 1x gearing with a NW chainring replacing whatever rings you have. Then add a wider cassette. You can get NW 130 BCD chainrings down to 38T. I have one from Absolute Black – be careful if ordering as they sent 110 BCD first, despite my order as this is the common default.

    Cassette range?

    Don’t overthink it. Choose tyres for terrain and (loaded) comfort, decide if you want full mudguards, Sort your bars for multi-position. Strap stuff, go riding. Rinse, upgrade/change stuff if necessary, repeat.

    Cheapest route to multi-position bars with your current setup is either On One/PX Geoff bars or some bar-ends on flats.

    I have both and alternate, still undecided which work best as early days. Loop bars have handy extra packing/mounting space.

    IME it’s best to start with a few simple things, ie spec tyres, then go on a little packed ride, then evolve the spec as you encounter issues that dictate improvements. Everyone will tell you to do what they do but at least this way you evolve to your own requirements.

    harvey
    Member

    a pal of mine joined us on a gravel bike pack holiday around slovenia. he used a specialized hybrid, absolutely fine, only change was an easier chainset. lots of options about for small money. That and better tyres. check your bike, its surprising what sort of tyre it may cope with

    I’m considering the same with my 2011 Kona Dew Deluxe, plenty of room for bigger tyres and more than capable of handling gravel.

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