Building gravel bike from retro road frame


Retrobike Rider
Gold Trader

The term 'Gravel Bike' comes from America, dun't it, due to the thousands and thousands of miles of gravel type roads they have. They are just a new term for any other name attached to more burly road bikes.

I guess there's plenty of marketing guff around it and any excuse to sell more of something will be popular with manufactures but I think it has it's place as modern MTB's have become more capable so the terrain we ride them on changes. Having regularly changed my modern bike since 2004 (every 2, 3 or 4 years) I've changed my riding as the bikes themselves have developed and was not really riding the trails of my youth anymore. Since getting my GB I've been back out exploring like I used to and it's loads of fun. So much so I sold my road bike. XC bikes are not a million miles away from gravel but no one really buys them any more and even they are longer and slacker than they used to be.

If you still ride retro or even pre-2010 stuff most of the time it probably makes less sense but for me I think it's a ace new string to the bow.

As for the retro build, my mate just stuck some pretty knobbily Schwalbe tyres on his road bike and that has worked so there are tyres available that should fit. I found fitting wider drop bars helped off road too.

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