Turning flat bar into gravel bike?

Coopz

Likes Dirt
Hey my 2 riding mates recently got the gravel bike bug. I don't enjoy drop bar bikes, tried 3 different bikes over the years and found them all uncomfortable after 1 hour. Was looking at using my old but bulletproof and daily ride Avanti Blade 2 flat bar as a hybrid gravel bike. It's alloy with a steel fork so it should have no strength issues. Just wondering what tyres? Currently have hybrid 32c tyres on it but they seem to dig in on the softer stuff. Can run up to 35c on rear and 38c on the front. Just wondering if anyone can recommend some good all rounders that don't break the bank? Other than the tyres and less aggresive position there's not much seperating gravel from road bikes?
 

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creaky

XMAS Plumper
Sounds like you want something like the Maxxis Rambler, or similar low tread options to maximise your tyre volume given the frame/fork clearance limitations.

I like the Bontrager GR1 as a rear, but they don't last all that long. Nice tyre though.
 

danncam

Likes Dirt
I think most wel known gravel tyres will do the trick, drop the pressure to aroun 32-38 PSI and you'll be set. My gravel bike came with slicks so I grabbed some Maxxis Rambler 700x38c 60TPI EXO/TR Skinwall Foldable Dirt/Gravel Tyre of pushy's and have been very happy with them. there are wider gravel tyres but they do really well on tarmac, concrete or gravel, including some mild mtb single track.
 

creaky

XMAS Plumper
I run down to ~20 psi on my CX...do a ghetto tubeless conversion? And buy a good pump.
Maybe if you’re 65kg, riding rock and root free cx courses and happy to bonk rims occasionally. For me, at 83kg and 32C to 40C tyres, there’s no way in hell I’m running below 30psi and expecting a good outcome.
 

Daniel Hale

She fid, he fid, I fidn't
try spec'd, they gad some gravel tyres on sale 4 29.99 recently, both sets ive had have vern good, maxxis are good for durability

r u running 2x? if not try find a 11_40 cassette, then run a bigger front ring, use a hanger extebder if using road derailleur...how many speed u running?

ps on flat bar i find clip on aero bars are faster on long flat sections
 

boyracer

Likes Dirt
I weigh 100kg and run 65psi lol. The light thin alloy wheels won't go well with a solid impact..
Ummm…. Me too kitted up. But hand built China carbon wheels . Hard rubbish alloy cx frame with carbon Ritchey fork.
I start the week with 38 psi in tyres for my 75 km return dirt/gravel/path commute with lots of gnarly bits/ roots and sharp slate rocks. Even some slick clay for much sliddy fun.
My policy is to do as many bunnyhops/ kerb jumps and wheelies as possible, especially when leaving a road section or visible from road. Let the tin tops know I’m having way more fun getting to work than them.
Usually top up pressures around a fortnight later when I get my first sidewall squirm and they are way down -25 ish typically.
I do occasionally race cx but still on tubbies there. Mmmmm, tubulars .


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dirtdad

Likes Dirt
My policy is to do as many bunnyhops/ kerb jumps and wheelies as possible, especially when leaving a road section or visible from road. Let the tin tops know I’m having way more fun getting to work than them.
Yes.

I don't enjoy drop bar bikes, tried 3 different bikes over the years and found them all uncomfortable after 1 hour.
Yeah I'm not a huge fan of drop bars. But I run a gravel bike as my commuter. Just keep them up high enough and they're ok for me. The drops get used rarely when there is a cracking headwind.
Mostly ride on the tops or the hoods.
Some thicker bartape can help. I find most road/gravel bike bars are thinly padded and people wear padded globes rather than swap it out for thick bartape or gel pads underneath. Not my thing. So sometimes I double up the bartape.

As for tyres. I'm loving my panaracer gravelkings. Had the small knob (yeah... lol) and it was good for dirt. Got some slicks to replace those. Pretty sure they come in 32, 36, and 40mm?
 

boyracer

Likes Dirt
Yar, what he said^^^
I didn't expand on tyres because i use TL but in hindsight i guess you can run tubes in them. We're after good ride and grip, right? Not ability to outlast civilisation itself?
I've ripped through pretty much every 35 + tyre i have found in the last 3.5 years of said commute.
Gravel kings certainly one of the best for price v feels. My favourite tyre for this bike in 38 mm size...43 mm small knob for winter.
Maxxis seem a bit wooden to me. I like their 29er MTB offerings but in 700C sizes...
Compass way too expensive ( and apparently made by Pana).
Rene Herse ditto ( and also apparently made by Pana).
Schwable dead to me. Also continental, Hutchinson and Bontrager, ditto.
Kenda not bad, they do great 35 mm winter tyre for serious mud and a not bad copy of the small knob.
Challenge great but hit or miss on build quality/vulcanising.
 
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