Turning an Orange P7 into a drop-bar ‘gravel’ bike

WandsworthRouleur

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Like all good cyclists, I've been checking out the riding options around where I'm going on holiday this summer -- Cornwall near Bude. Looks like there's not much MTBing, but I don't really want to take a road bike either as the roads all look pretty small and sketchy. Plus, there'll be some light off roading with the family.

As Mrs Rouleur keeps complaining about all the bike bits in the barn, I think I can keep both of us happy by building up a drop-bar MTB/gravel bike.

I've got an unused P7 frame, seat post and F7 forks that I was going to put on my P7 single speed, but haven't. I've also got some old 105 STI shifters, that I think are 9 speed (they're pretty old). Plenty of wheels to choose from, and a stem or two. Also have a Marin White Industries chainset and a slightly tatty set of Race Face cranks to choose from.

The parts bin has enough QRs, headsets, brakes, cables, etc. in it to complete the build.

Basically, all I think I need are some suitable (cheap!) gravel tyres for 26" wheels and some drop bars.

Anything else I need to look out for? Will the road levers pull the right cable length for cantis (I assume linear pull v-brakes won't work)?

So, should I do it? Has anyone else tried a drop-bar MTB for road use? Or should I just take my Pace to Cornwall?
 

legrandefromage

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Re: Considering building an Orange P7 drop-bar gravel bike?

the levers are fine for cantis

use a 105 triple 9spd mech from the same series as the shifters otherwise the indexing will be all over the place for the front
 

MatBH5

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Re:

Should work well. You could argue that plenty of 26” drop bar tourers (e.g Roberts Roughstuff) are similar things, and would certainly cope with some gravel.
They are not cheap but I’ve got some excellent Compass Natches Pass Rat Trap tyres on this 26” Roberts. 1.8” but there is a Rat Trap from the same company in 2.3”
 

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WandsworthRouleur

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Re: Considering building an Orange P7 drop-bar gravel bike?

That's very lovely Mat.

Definitely need some skin wall tyres, but looking to go 'el cheapo'! Was thinking of Schwalbe Road Cruisers at a bargain 12 quid each. Might not be up to serious gravel though...
 

The History Man

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Re: Considering building an Orange P7 drop-bar gravel bike?

see overburys relic in sig. Exactly what i've been using mine for. 9 speed deore and road bars etc.
 

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epicyclo

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Re: Considering building an Orange P7 drop-bar gravel bike?

WandsworthRouleur":1vj6io0c said:
...Has anyone else tried a drop-bar MTB for road use? Or should I just take my Pace to Cornwall?
Yes. Older mtbs are a good choice because they have shorter TTs, and that works better with dropbars than a long TT, they also tend to have better geometry for gravel purposes.

I did it with my old Voodoo Bokor which was sitting in the unloved and obsolete corner of the attic. Turns out it makes a pretty handy gravel bike with 2" tyres on 700c rims.



(Bars untaped while I was fiddling with lever position)
 

jimo746

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Re: Considering building an Orange P7 drop-bar gravel bike?

WandsworthRouleur":1ng6uz14 said:
Or should I just take my Pace to Cornwall?

YES.

But if you must, then a tyre with minimal tread should suffice.
On my "Gravel" bike I use WTB Horizon which are basically fat slick tyres, but cope surprisingly well with off-road (as long as it isn't muddy!).
So if budget is an issue then just run with what you've got to hand.
 

WandsworthRouleur

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Re: Considering building an Orange P7 drop-bar gravel bike?

jimo746":1505cibz said:
But if you must, then a tyre with minimal tread should suffice.
On my "Gravel" bike I use WTB Horizon which are basically fat slick tyres, but cope surprisingly well with off-road (as long as it isn't muddy!).

I was considering that. Mrs R has got 26” Schwalbe City Jets on her P7. I was thinking of slapping them on the Pace for some road biking.

But... I do like to go fast on the road, and that means being a bit more aero. And I do like the idea of proving to Mrs R that all the bits in the barn aren’t “useless bike bits taking up space”!
 

The History Man

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Re: Considering building an Orange P7 drop-bar gravel bike?

Travelcontacts have a slik centre with light knobbles each side. Good compromise.
 

legrandefromage

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Re: Considering building an Orange P7 drop-bar gravel bike?

Bar-end shifters allow for any brake type and any mech to be used

10spd road bar-end shifters will also allow the use of pretty much any old MTB mechs as far back 1987 - as long as the frame dropouts are not too thick

10 speeds

10!
 
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