Now that Gravel bikes are coming with 2.0in(50mm) tires and with both front and rear suspension, Gravel bikes are becoming more and more like mountain bikes. I’ve been using my 29+ hardtail to ride Gravel and I’m enjoying it. As it is my second bike, I thought I might swap the heavy suspension fork and 3.0in tires for a rigid carbon fork and light fast-rolling 29×2.6 tires like the 700gm Kenda Saber Pro’s. These changes would reduce the overall bike weight by about 4 pounds. Is anyone else using a mountain bike to ride Gravel and how do you like it. Have you done any modifications to make your mountain bike more Gravel worthy?
Is anyone else using a mountain bike to ride Gravel and how do you like it. Have you done any modifications to make your mountain bike more Gravel worthy?
I do occasionally ride gravel (usually rails to trails) on a mountain bike. Specifically, a 130 mm full suspension trail bike. Since it’s occasional, I do not make any permanent changes to the bike for those rides. I do increase tire (27.5×2.4) pressure a little, and might (rarely) lock out the rear shock. It does fine for me like that, even for longer gravel rides (30+ miles). Honestly, it’s more comfortable than my XC bike. I sometimes find myself dropping the dropper seat post slightly to sit more upright for comfort (raising it again when I want to be more efficient). This works well enough that I’ve never given thought to a dedicated gravel bike. But, gravel isn’t what I do on a regular basis (by far).
I have a dedicated gravel bike for gravel grinding. I ride Salsa Warbird and I am very happy with it.I put wider 42 more aggressive tires on it and it was enough modifications for me. Not sure why would somebody need a full suspension gravel bike?I run 28 psi in the front and 30 in the rear and bike feels good even on rougher stuff. Having a full suspension gravel grinder would take away efficiency, acceleration and add extra weight to the bike and turn it into a full mountain bike. I like the idea of efficiency and speed of my Salsa and like the idea of riding a bike that feels a little different and faster then my MTb’s.
I’ve been riding gravel for 2 years now on my aluminum 27.5 XC hardtail. I am using Maxxis Icon 2.3” tires. Although it works fine, I am now shopping for a rigid, drop bar gravel bike as my distances are getting longer, and I need more low gears for speed. I don’t think suspension is necessary, but I would go with wider tires (45-50mm) on 700C wheels as my roads can get quite chunky and loose.
On a rare occasion when I want to ride gravel, I use my hardtail with 29×2.1 Kenda Small Block 8. Since it’s a XC racing bike it has high enough gears for me and feels good on 50+ miles ride. I ride mostly Singletrack but if it was a dedicated gravel bike I would put bar ends or drop bar for more hand positions.