Converting my old mountain bike to a cyclocross (2022)

Asked by: Jan Mays

Can you use a mountain bike for cyclocross?

You can enter a cyclocross race and ride on a mountain bike – but a cyclocross bike will be lighter and will give you the drop handlebars that you’ll want to race in a more aggressive position.

Can I convert my MTB to a gravel bike?

Older mountain bike hardtails can be great starting points for gravel bike conversions. The geometry is often not far off from modern gravel bikes, there’s usually very inexpensive, and they’re generally in plentiful supply.

How do you turn a mountain bike into a road bike?

Quote from video: You can put any spacers on the steer tube. Once you get it all the way through the frame to ensure that your bars are in the same position as they were.

How do I convert my mountain bike to a comfort bike?

Quote from video: But don't be afraid that your bars won't fit in terms of diameters. You do need to check that your grips will fit.

(Video) Top notch Gravel / Cyclocross Bike Build from an old MTB

Are cyclocross bikes as fast as road bikes?

On flat surfaces, a road bike is faster than a cyclocross bike. You can hit speeds of around 55 kph on average while riding a road bike whereas a cyclo-cross bike mostly stays in the range of 48-50 kph. However, of course terrain will have a big impact on the speeds of the two types of bike.

Why do cyclocross riders change bikes?

A: Cyclocross was originally created as a way for road cyclists to keep fit during wintertime. Riding a different bike on different terrain keeps training fresh, and the variety of obstacles, mud, and grass help build bike handling skills that racers can apply during Spring and Summer road races.

Can I put drop bars on my mountain bike?

Yes, drops can be slapped on any mountain bike, but they shouldn’t. For instance, most MTBs have a geometry with a much longer reach, and generally don’t fit as well with drop bars.

What are bicycle bar ends for?

Bar ends add stability to the bike while you change the tire, helping prevent the bike from tipping while you work. Bar ends keep cables, hand grips and the handlebars themselves from getting beat up or scratched on rough ground or pavement.

What’s the difference between a mountain bike and a gravel bike?

Mountain bikes are undoubtedly more capable on rougher and steeper off-road trails, although they’re not as fast on the road. Gravel bikes are most similar to cross-country bikes, which are designed to cover ground easily and pedal well, while also being able to tackle smaller obstacles and trail features.

Is it okay to convert MTB to road bike?

Road Bike Vs Mountain Bike – What’s The Difference? A mountain bike can absolutely be converted into a road bike. They have a few similar elements, and you could even get away with using an unchanged mountain bike on streets for a short period of time.

(Video) DIY Gravel Bike Cyclocross budget custom 1x11 MTB Conversion from 26" to 29" SENSAH SRX PRO

Can I put road wheels on a mountain bike?

The short answer is yes, you can put road wheels on a mountain bike, but due to the very different design of a mountain bike when compared to a road bike, you also need to make some other adjustments and take the design of the bike into consideration to make this transition work out.

Are mountain bikes OK for road use?

Yes, you can ride a mountain bike on the road. Many people like to have a mountain bike instead of a road bike or hybrid because they like the option of being able to ride off-road should they choose.

What’s the difference between a gravel and a cyclocross bike?

Most gravel bikes feature a more relaxed geometry than cyclocross bikes, designed for days of riding rather than an hour or so, and for tackling rougher trails. This enhanced emphasis on comfort tends to give a shorter reach and more upright body position.

Can you ride gravel on a cyclocross bike?

The short answer is, yes, you can. Cyclists regularly bring out their cyclocross bike for their favorite gravel road ride, and, in a pinch, a gravel bike will work decently enough on the cyclocross course to get you to the finish line.

Can a cyclocross bike keep up with a road bike?

Quote from video: Похожие запросы

What kind of bike do you need for cyclocross?

Hybrids and touring bikes make excellent first-time cyclocross bikes, because they typically have the right wheel size (700c), right brakes (cantilever or V-brakes), and have sufficient clearance for cyclocross width tires and room for some mud.

(Video) Budget Gravel Bike/Cyclocross Bike Build from a Hybrid Bike

What is the difference between cyclocross and mountain biking?

Cyclocross races are the shortest of the three, only lasting about 30 minutes to an hour. MTB races are next, averaging about 10 miles, but this really depends on what type of mountain biking you’re doing. For this reason, the race could be well under OR over 10 miles.

Can I use a road bike for cyclocross?

For cyclocross wheels, you can use most road bike wheelsets. If you’re looking for something that’s going to hold up to the demands of CX riding, it might be worthwhile considering a 32/36 spoke handbuilt wheelset, although most machine-made wheels have their uses for cyclocross racing.

Can I use a gravel bike for cyclocross?

The short answer is, yes, you can. Cyclists regularly bring out their cyclocross bike for their favorite gravel road ride, and, in a pinch, a gravel bike will work decently enough on the cyclocross course to get you to the finish line.

Is a gravel bike faster than a mountain bike?

Gravel bikes perform better than mountain bikes on smoother surfaces where riders can go faster rather than worry about large obstacles like big rock or tree roots. Gravel bikes are much faster and more efficient on roads and light terrains like gravel or packed dirt.

What’s the difference between a gravel and a cyclocross bike?

Most gravel bikes feature a more relaxed geometry than cyclocross bikes, designed for days of riding rather than an hour or so, and for tackling rougher trails. This enhanced emphasis on comfort tends to give a shorter reach and more upright body position.

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FAQs

How do I convert my mountain bike to cyclocross? ›

To convert a touring bike to a cross bike, just install a set of cyclocross tires and remove any seat bags, racks, water bottle cages or frame pumps. Pros: Very similar to a cross bike. I raced my first two seasons on one and had a blast.

Can you use a mountain bike for cyclocross? ›

You can enter a cyclocross race and ride on a mountain bike - but a cyclocross bike will be lighter and will give you the drop handlebars that you'll want to race in a more aggressive position.

Can I convert MTB to gravel bike? ›

Older mountain bike hardtails can be great starting points for gravel bike conversions. The geometry is often not far off from modern gravel bikes, there's usually very inexpensive, and they're generally in plentiful supply.

How do I make my mountain bike more road friendly? ›

11 Ways to Make a Mountain Bike More Road Friendly
  1. Tires and tire pressure – reduces rolling resistance.
  2. Saddle position (fore-aft, height) – for an efficient pedal stroke.
  3. Addition of a mirror – Ok, looks weird but makes things safer.
  4. Remove or lock out suspension – get more out of your pedal stroke.

Can you put drop bars on a mountain bike? ›

It is very possible to put drop bars on your mountain bike. Many mountain bikers do exactly this, for a number of reasons (which I'll go into in a moment). To put drop bars on a mountain bike, you will first need to select the ideal drop bars for you.

Can I put gravel tires on my road bike? ›

Just because you're riding a road bike, it doesn't mean you're stuck riding road tires. Swapping in a set of wider gravel tires can increase the capabilities of your bike so you can explore more roads.

Is a cyclocross bike faster than a mountain bike? ›

Cyclocross could be the most fun you've had on two wheels

Compared to a mountain bike a 'crosser is not particularly capable and your road bike will be much faster, more efficient and probably weighs less too. But that's part of what makes these burly drop bar bikes so much fun.

Are cyclocross bikes as fast as road bikes? ›

On flat surfaces, a road bike is faster than a cyclocross bike. You can hit speeds of around 55 kph on average while riding a road bike whereas a cyclo-cross bike mostly stays in the range of 48-50 kph. However, of course terrain will have a big impact on the speeds of the two types of bike.

What is the difference between mountain biking and cyclocross? ›

They are typically differentiated by their greater tire clearances, lower gearing, stronger frames, cantilever brakes or disc brakes and more upright riding position. They also share characteristics with mountain bicycles in that they use knobby tread tires for traction and, increasingly, disc brakes.

How much faster is a gravel bike than a mountain bike? ›

Mountain Bikes: Which One Is Faster? The average speed for a gravel bike is about 15 to 16 mph on a paved roadway, while a mountain bike can travel at an average of 30 mph on rough, downhill terrain. For uphill riding, a gravel bike is faster, but for downhill riding, the mountain bike will be faster.

Why is a gravel bike better than a mountain bike? ›

That's why a gravel bike is more aero (in terms of frame and rider position), allowing you to ride big days, across varying terrain, with low aerodynamic energy losses. Mountain bikes are less aerodynamic, and the rider position is biased toward descending technical terrain.

Can I use a hardtail as a gravel bike? ›

Sure! Although I've done plenty of it and get tired of the flats. I've done the epic long rides over gravel with my skinny tire road bike, but the pace is slower and caution is higher. …

Are mountain bikes OK for road use? ›

Yes, you can ride a mountain bike on the road. Many people like to have a mountain bike instead of a road bike or hybrid because they like the option of being able to ride off-road should they choose.

Can a mountain bike be as fast as a road bike? ›

A road bicycle is 10 to 30% faster than a mountain bike and is 15% faster on average at the same power output on smooth, paved surfaces. Riding posture, rolling resistance, frame geometry, and weight are the main reasons for road bikes being faster with the same level of effort.

Why dont mountain bikes have drop bars? ›

Drop bars require road brakes/shifters, and your flat bar brake and shift levers won't fit (different bar diameter and some obvious ergonomic issues). You're going to need new brake and shift controls.

Why don t mountain bikes have drop bars? ›

Designed for Dirt (and Drops)

Yes, drops can be slapped on any mountain bike, but they shouldn't. For instance, most MTBs have a geometry with a much longer reach, and generally don't fit as well with drop bars.

Why use bar ends on mountain bike? ›

In the list of pros for bar ends is the argument that they give your hands another position and increase leverage when climbing by recruiting more muscle groups, primarily the triceps, shoulders, and latissimus dorsi in your back.

How much faster are road tires vs gravel tires? ›

This is also my experience but my road and gravel have different geometry and positions. I can still ride similar speeds on my gravel however I have to put more effort. The difference is 1-2mph is accurate assuming your tires are the same.

What's the difference between gravel and cyclocross bikes? ›

Gravel vs cyclocross bike geometry

Most gravel bikes feature a more relaxed geometry than cyclocross bikes, designed for days of riding rather than an hour or so, and for tackling rougher trails. This enhanced emphasis on comfort tends to give a shorter reach and more upright body position.

What is the fastest gravel tire on pavement? ›

Schwalbe present the latest model to join their gravel tire family, and promise 20% less rolling resistance and uncompromising speed for races like the Unbound Race.

Why are cyclocross bikes so expensive? ›

Gravel bikes are expensive because they combine premium engineering and expensive materials together. From a design perspective, they are both comfortable, durable, and versatile. In the materials, they are made from carbon fiber, aluminum, and sealant tires, all of these being costly.

Do cyclocross riders clip in? ›

Most cyclocross riders won't use their road pedals and shoes, instead borrowing clipless pedals and shoes from the mountain bike world.

Is suspension allowed in cyclocross? ›

In general, cyclocross purists will not have suspension on their bikes if they are used for competing. However, there are many cyclocross bikes available with suspension, and these are excellent for longer rides or more relaxing leisurely off-roading.

Can a cyclocross bike keep up with a road bike? ›

You can absolutely ride road on a cx bike. Many of the components are actually road components, including the wheels, so slap a pair of 700x23's on the stock wheelset and off you go.

What is the point of cyclocross? ›

Tour de France riders in the early 20th century invented cyclocross as a discipline to help maintain shape during the off-season. The thrilling autumn and winter sport includes sharp turns, steep banks, hurdles, tree roots and other obstacles. Riders are often forced to dismount and run with their bikes.

Can I put cyclocross tires on a road bike? ›

If space is really limited on your bike another option is a cyclocross tyre as these are typically 32-33mm wide and will fit in a wide majority of road bikes. They also come in many tread designs but most are fast-rolling and will be ideal for converting a road bike to a gravel bike.

Why do cyclocross riders change bikes? ›

Riding a different bike on different terrain keeps training fresh, and the variety of obstacles, mud, and grass help build bike handling skills that racers can apply during Spring and Summer road races.

Can a cyclocross bike be used for touring? ›

Cyclocross racing is great. With a few adaptations a cyclocross bike can do everything from road riding to touring.

Can I use a gravel bike for cyclocross? ›

A gravel bike can be the ideal bike for a cyclocross course. It could have better mud clearance and could track better in the sand. On a bumpy course, fat gravel tires that might not fit into your cyclocross bike could even add some speed.

Why do gravel bikes have no suspension? ›

Most gravel bikes do not have suspension because it adds weight to the bike, slows down your road performance, makes it harder to accelerate in a race, and requires extra maintenance.

Why are gravel bikes so popular? ›

It's easy to see why, with gravel bikes offering versatility in abundance and the opportunity for riders to get off the beaten track. A gravel bike has a lot to offer the everyday rider looking to mix up their riding on a machine capable of handling the rough stuff, without handicapping itself much on the tarmac.

Is gravel bike good for uphill? ›

Gravel bikes with larger chainrings (46-48T for example) in the front will result in higher gear ratios, making it easier to accelerate down hills. Bikes with smaller chainrings in the front (31-34T) will make it easier to climb steep hills, but will spin-out more quickly while descending.

Is a mountain bike as fast as a gravel bike? ›

Speed and efficiency

And the harder gearing is better for high speeds. Fitness is a big factor, but it will always be easier to keep up with a fast gravel group ride while on a gravel bike. Mountain bikes will, of course, be faster than gravel bikes on true mountain bike terrain like technical singletrack trails.

How fast can you go on a gravel bike? ›

Gravel bikes or adventure bikes are essentially road bikes that are moderately fast. They can travel up to approximately 25mph on a flat road. On terrain such as gravel or dirt, you could reach a speed of 12-15mph. Gravel bikes can handle a variety of roads and surfaces, and they carry additional gear.

Can you do jumps on a gravel bike? ›

Can you jump a gravel bike? Gravel bikes ultimately should not be jumped, as they are not equipped with front suspension, and are not built to be able to handle that kind of impact.

What type of bike is best for gravel roads? ›

Best Gravel Bikes
  • Specialized S-Works Diverge. A lightweight surgical trail tool designed for carving up trails, gravel roads or mountain passes - at speed. ...
  • Factor Vista. ...
  • Polygon Bend R5. ...
  • Basso Palta II. ...
  • Factor LS. ...
  • Pinarello Grevil Force 1. ...
  • Focus Atlas 6.8. ...
  • Cannondale Topstone Ultegra RX 2.
31 Aug 2022

What is the most versatile bike? ›

Adventure Road Bikes

Adventure Road Bicycles are one of the newest categories of bicycle. They are sometimes called all-road bikes, any-road bikes, or gravel bikes, and are the most versatile sub-category of road bike. Similar to cyclocross bikes, they have drop handlebars and the ability to use wider tires.

What is slacker mountain bike? ›

A “slack” angle is anywhere from 63 to 66 degrees. This means the fork of the bike is going to stick out farther, creating a more stable ride at high speeds, but also be slower handling.

Can I put cruiser tires on a mountain bike? ›

The answer is yes, by all means, on almost any bike, you can choose tires that are best for the type of terrain that you ride.

Is it harder to ride a mountain bike on the road? ›

Mountain bikes are harder to pedal and slower on pavement. But they have a cushy ride, an upright riding position, and can travel easily on a wide variety of surfaces. Hybrid or cross bikes are almost as fast and easy to pedal as a road bike, while being almost as comfortable and versatile as a mountain bike.

How much does it cost to convert a mountain bike to single speed? ›

The nice thing about singlespeeding is you may be able to do it for cheap by converting a bike you already own for less than $30! You could spend a lot more, but the basic conversion will get you rolling with only one gear and is perfect if you just want to try singlespeeding out.

Will pavement ruin mountain bike tires? ›

Does Pavement Ruin Mountain Bike Tires. Typically riding mountain bike tires on the road won't cause you any issues. It will cause them to wear unevenly though, and you will find yourself with a smooth patch down the center on your tires after lots of road miles.

Is it illegal to ride a mountain bike on the pavement? ›

However, the interpretation is clear - it's not legal for a cyclist to ride their bike on the pavement. The Highway Code also states: “You must not cycle on a pavement.”

Which is better for exercise road bike or mountain bike? ›

Overall, mountain bikes are best for endurance and muscle building while road bikes offer a better cardio and overall body workout. Your choice will depend on what workout you want to get out of the activity.

Is 15 mph fast on a mountain bike? ›

Values range from 3 mph for technical trails up to 15 mph for paved greenway paths. The average speed singletracks riders maintain on the trail is 6.98 mph so if a trail lists an average speed above this – it's fast. Otherwise, it's a bit slow.

Whats a good average speed on a mountain bike? ›

If you're riding a mountain bike on a road with a flat elevation profile, 10-14 mph (16-23 km/h) is a good average speed. Technical trails, or those with sharp bends will force will decrease your average cycling speed.

What is the average mountain bike speed? ›

Average speed for a mountain biker ≈ 10 mph (16 kph) during singletrack riding. Uphill sections average ≈ 8 mph (13 kph) with downhill sections averaging ≈ 12 mph (19 kph). The average speed is ≈ 17 mph (27 kph) with peak speeds upwards of 30 mph (48 kph) during downhill mountain bike riding.

What kind of bike do I need for cyclocross? ›

Hybrids and touring bikes make excellent first-time cyclocross bikes, because they typically have the right wheel size (700c), right brakes (cantilever or V-brakes), and have sufficient clearance for cyclocross width tires and room for some mud.

Can a road bike be used for cyclocross? ›

There is, of course, no reason why you can't race cyclocross on your road bike, especially if it has disc brakes, which provide better braking in the wet and won't get clogged up with mud like regular rim brake calipers. The geometry of a road bike is close enough to a cyclocross bike to be more than workable.

Can I use a gravel bike for cyclocross? ›

Unless you're competing at a UCI-level race, in most cases using a gravel bike for a cyclocross race will be absolutely fine, even if you're running tyres over 33cm or bars wider than 50cm.

Why do they change bikes in cyclocross? ›

Changing wheels is slow, so in the event of a flat tire riders just change the entire bike! More sophisticated riders have multiple wheels with different tire tread shapes, so they can even change from a slick to a knobby tire to suit changing weather or course conditions.

Why are cyclocross bikes so expensive? ›

Gravel bikes are expensive because they combine premium engineering and expensive materials together. From a design perspective, they are both comfortable, durable, and versatile. In the materials, they are made from carbon fiber, aluminum, and sealant tires, all of these being costly.

Are cyclocross bikes more upright? ›

Frame geometry - Cyclocross bikes often have more relaxed geometry angles, to give them a more upright riding position than a road racing bike. This position helps with shock absorption off-road, but it also allows you to utilise the bike across multi-disciplines, such as touring and commuting.

Do cyclocross riders clip in? ›

Most cyclocross riders won't use their road pedals and shoes, instead borrowing clipless pedals and shoes from the mountain bike world.

Is suspension allowed in cyclocross? ›

In general, cyclocross purists will not have suspension on their bikes if they are used for competing. However, there are many cyclocross bikes available with suspension, and these are excellent for longer rides or more relaxing leisurely off-roading.

What is a CX mountain bike? ›

Cross-country mountain biking (or XC MTB for short) is one of the most popular types of cycling, and it's easy to see why. It gets its name literally because it takes place in the countryside, allowing riders to explore bridleways, trails and fire roads free from traffic, as well as the worries that come with it.

Do you need two bikes for cyclocross? ›

Cyclocross racers, however, have what's known as a pit, where they can exchange bikes/wheels. Of course, you need two bikes and/or spare wheels in order to take advantage of the pit. Most top riders have two (sometimes three) bikes for an important cross race.

Is a gravel bike faster than a mountain bike? ›

The average speed for a gravel bike is about 15 to 16 mph on a paved roadway, while a mountain bike can travel at an average of 30 mph on rough, downhill terrain. For uphill riding, a gravel bike is faster, but for downhill riding, the mountain bike will be faster.

What is the point of a fat bike? ›

The primary benefit of a fat bike is that they're able to travel over diverse terrain, from snow to sand, better than regular bicycles. The wide tyres provide you with extra grip and traction, and combined with a low tyre pressure, you'll find that you're able to pedal over terrain that'd make conventional tyres sink.

How are cyclocross bikes different? ›

As such, a cyclocross bike will have a higher bottom bracket height relative to a gravel bike, and even a road bike. A cyclocross bike will also have shorter chainstays and a lower stack height, both of which combine for a more aggressive riding position and significantly more agile handling than a gravel bike.

When should I start training for cyclocross? ›

As a result, some cyclists begin cyclocross training in the late spring or early summer. For others, cyclocross is a lower priority after a full spring and summer of road or mountain bike racing.

What is the difference between cyclocross and cross country? ›

The frame is also slightly slacker, to allow for greater bike handling, while the bottom bracket is further from the ground to help avoid obstacles (both natural and artificial). Unlike say a sportive, gran fondo or a traditional cross-country race, a cyclo-cross race is completed on a closed circuit.

Videos

1. Have We Built The Perfect Gravel Bike? | Old MTB To Super Gravel Bike Ep. 3
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2. Can you Convert your MTB to Cyclrocross???
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3. A 1977 Gravel Bike? Vintage Bike to Modern Gravel Bike Build & Ride
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4. Cyclocross Vs. Budget Conversion: Compared
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5. Building The Bike! | Old MTB To Super Gravel Bike Ep. 2
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6. Bob Ross Style Gravel Bike Conversion & Restoration on a Budget
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