700c to 29er Wheel Conversion – DIY Gravel Bike Update

700c to 29er Wheel Conversion – DIY Gravel Bike Update


– Hey viewers, it’s been about five years since I built this gravel bike. I made a whole series
of videos on that build, so go check those out, but
it’s time for an update. When I built this bike, I
built it with Cyclocross wheels and tires, but I want fatter tires now. So, I’m gonna go ahead and
convert it from these 700c wheels over to these heavier duty 29er wheels. The rims are wider and I’ll be able to fit much wider tires on there. One thing is, the hub spacing
on this is 135 millimeter, where the frames spaced at 130 millimeter so I have to re-space
the rear triangle here to fit the wider wheel. I’ll
also do some brake adjustments to uh, forgive wider rims. So, when I’m done with this
the bike should be even more fun to ride than it is now.
So stay tuned for that! Now while I got you here,
there’s no time like the present to hit that subscribe button
so you see future videos. Anyway, let’s go ahead and get started. Well, gotta start somewhere
so lets start off by pulling the original wheels off and I’m gonna remove this derailleur here just
get it out of the way for while I’m re-spacing
the triangle here. So before I spread the rear triangle here, I’ll get a base measurement and that’s about 130 millimeters. That’ll be my starting point. I want to spread it out to
135 millimeters so that’s just 2.5 millimeters on each
side I’ll be spreading out. Now to spread the rear triangle,
I’ll be using a process called cold setting in which
case I’m going to spread the rear triangle out, well past the 135 millimeter mark, then relax the pressure on there to see where it settles out. If its still at 135, I’ll
go out a little bit farther. I’ll keep going out a
little farther each time. I have a threaded rod with some nuts and some washers on here
and so I’m just going to tighten this nut over here so
it’s just going to push out. And even though, I don’t need
to tighten both of them, uh, I just need to tighten one,
because of Newton’s second law. It’s going to push out both ways. So, I got a ratcheting wrench here and I’ll just start tightening it out and then I’ll
get some measurements along the way before I release it. Okay so I’m about 150 millimeters
which I’m sure is nowhere near enough but I’ll go ahead and relax it and get a measurement. Okay, so that’s like at
about 132 millimeters. So, I still need to go
out a little bit farther, so maybe I’ll take it up to 155. Whenever you do something like this, you do it at your own risk. It’s possible to damage the frame but this is not that
uncommon of a procedure but still, there is risk involved. Okay, so I’m out at about
155 millimeters right now, I’m out, actually, at the
limit of my tool here. So, I’ll have to get a little ruler but I’ll go ahead and
release the pressure here. I’m at about 134.5 millimeters and that actually might be close enough. I can try test fitting the wheel Okay, Okay, It fits in there its just a tiny bit snug, I have to pull it out
just a tiny little bit to get the wheel in there
but that’s no big deal, So , I think that will
work just fine as is. Okay, so now I want to check
the alignment of the drop outs, they should be parallel but as you spread the rear triangle out, the dropouts tend to get just
a little bit out of alignment and so I have my park
tool alignment gauge here to check the alignment. Now, if you look at the
little gap in there, you’ll see that they’re very
slightly out of parallel and so now I can use
these tools to kind of straighten the dropouts just a little bit and bring them into parallel. And they don’t need
to be exactly perfect but the better they are,
the less stress on the axle. If they are way out of alignment it can put stress on the axle and you can bend and break axles but this is just a little bit off. And, so, that looks way better there. Okay, so now I want to
check the alignment of the derailleur hanger here, it should be parallel to
the plane of the wheel and so I have my Park
Tool derailleur hanger alignment gauge here and its screwed into the hanger there and so this little rod here comes out and I’m going to bring it out so it just touches the
edge of the rim there and since the wheel may
not be perfectly true, I’m gonna go ahead and adjust it always to where the valve hole is here. So if I bring it around down back here, and I can already see it’s
out of alignment here. It should be the same
distance from the rim all the way around but here, there’s a big gap. So what I need to do is bring this over here and I’m gonna use the tool to kind of bend the hanger a little bit this way out a just a little bit. Okay, and then do it again here, so. So now, after making
numerous small adjustments all the way around, I get this here just
touching the rim there by where the valve hole is, I go around down here, its pretty close down there, go all the way down to the bottom and its very close down there go away all over here and its pretty close over there so its pretty pretty much the same distance from the rim all the way around so that means the hanger
is parallel to the plane of the wheel now so that is aligned. Now I’m ready to reinstall
the rear derailleur, so go ahead and get this cable on here, like that, and get this on here like this, like that. So now, we’ll remove the
cassette from the old wheel. So now I want to install the cassette onto the new wheel here so get everything all lined up here spacer, get this next cog on here, like that, that, and then tighten it down to 40 Newton meters with a torque wrench like that. Okay, now to install the wheel, put the chain on the first cog, bring it up into place, and then lock it into place there. Okay, now to check the shifting here, up, up, up, up, up up, up, up, up, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down. That actually looked pretty good! Okay, mounted the front wheel on here now if you notice here, I can’t even attach this cable here. That’s because these brakes
where adjusted for a thinner rim so now that this fatter rim
is on there, they just won’t close enough for me to attach this cable. So I need to adjust these
brakes for this wider rim. So I’m going to do that
by loosing this out, letting this cable out just a little bit. and then see how these work here, a little better but I did a
little too much cable there okay, so I got the cable adjusted now I have nice movement
on the front brakes here I’m gonna come back after
I get the tires mounted and readjust the brake pads but in the meantime I’m gonna go ahead and readjust the cable on
the rear brakes as well. Okay I adjusted the cable on these the same way as I did the
front brakes and I have good movement on these as well. Okay, so now I’m ready
to install the tires. The tires I got here are
the Schwalbe Hurricanes, they’re 29 by 2.0 and I know
somebody is going to ask me about the tread on these tires. It’s smooth in the middle and
there’s nobbies on the side. I’m sending this bike
up for a particular race its the Black Fly Challenge
mountain bike race it’s 40 miles and about a
third of it is on asphalt and the other two thirds
are like on a dirt road so its a gravel grinder. There is a little bit of
single track in there but I think these tires will be
a good fit for that race. So, what I want to do is first locate the valve hole on the rim, it’s right here, and so I want to have the logo of the tire lined up with that. The reason being, so, if you get a flat tire, you’d pull the tube out, you can locate the hole in the tube, that way you can correlate it
to where it was on the tire and look for something in the tire like a nail or something in there. And this is also a directional tire, so the arrow pointing this way so I want to have it like this. So, I’m gonna go ahead and
just get this on the rim like that, and then I got a tube for it. I want to go
ahead and put like a little bit of the air in the tube to start off with and that’s enough and then get the valve stem
down through here like this, and start getting the tub
inserted into the tire start getting the bead of
the tire all seated into place, and just use one of my
little Pedro’s tire levers to kind of help get it on, like that, and then go ahead and add some air. Make sure you’re not
pinching the tube anywhere, and one tire done just do the other one. Okay, so I got the tires
mounted on the wheels and I got the wheels mounted on the bike so now I want to adjust the brake pads. To help me do that, I’m
going to use a rubber band and use this to compress the brake lever so it will compress the brakes
while I adjust the pads. Okay now the pad is riding a
little bit low on the rim there so what I’m a do is just loosen this up and I can just move it up into place here and get it kind of centered on the rim, up close to the tire but
I don’t want to have it touching the tire and then when I get it into position, just go ahead and tighten it into place and just like that, and I’m a do the other
three just like that. Well, I’m finished! and man, this thing looks like
its going to be a blast so I’m going to take out for a test drive. Or, maybe ill wait for some warmer weather. A nice, sunny, day blasting down the trails this
thing looks like a beast! What do you think? Let me know down in the comments. If you enjoyed this video,
please give my video a thumbs up. If you’re not subscribed to my channel go ahead and subscribe and click that bell so you get notified when I
come out with new videos! Join me over at Facebook, like that page I spend a lot of time over
there and I have a webpage, RJTheBikeGuy.com go
check that out as well. Thank you very much for watching.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. For more bike repair videos hit the subscribe button 🛑 and click the notification bell ► http://bit.ly/SubRJTheBikeGuy

  2. Now upgrade it to disc brakes :).
    Those tires are amazing! I have them on one of my bikes and they have't disappointed me yet 🙂

  3. I got this 700c hybrid bike from a friend with 35c tires and I just bought 29er tires and slapped them on. Pretty tight fit but works.

  4. Awesome build. I just picked up a 700C 90's Haro Omega hybrid I'm thinking about doing a drop bar conversion on. I'll definitely be referring back to these videos as I do that.

  5. Awesome!
    Я давно ждал когда RJ сделает настоящий гревел из стартона!
    Хурики, конечно, неплохие покрышки, но тонкие, и компаунд скользковат вне асфальта. Kenda K-847 мне больше понравилась.

  6. Nice tutorial. You have the right tools😍 and I like your cold setting setup, simple and effective. Cold setting the frame sounds intimidating but is not that hard or risky if done carefully on a good steel frame. I converted my 1986 Miyata pro road bike from 126mm to 130mm in order to upgrade to brifters and a 10 speed cassette a few years ago. Best upgrade ever and the ride of intake steel is superb. Your rims look like they are tubeless ready…have you tried tubeless yet? I just bought some Schwabe Hurricanes for my gravel bike…..they look good but I haven’t been able to try them out yet either. I ride a lot of mixed terrain: pavement to the gravel with some light singletrails and back home on pavement the tread looks perfect for that.

  7. В ваших видео отличные классические циклокроссы! В России таких больше нигде не увидишь.

  8. I have a similar method which can also come in handy. Ive had a few hubs which have 2mm spacers in between the cone screws and locknuts. Simply remove them and grind the axle down 2mm on each side (if you have thick dropouts you can get away with leaving the axle at 145mm sometimes). Comes in handy if you have an alloy frame and can't re-set it. A lot of bikes have the smaller 130mm hub body with spacers mounted to a 145mm (used on standard 135mm setups) hollow axle. You can also sand down the drive side spacer if it only has a large single spacer. Luckily most hubs ive worked with have a cone screw, large spacer and then a smaller 2mm spacer and then the locking nut on the drive side.

  9. RJ, I think you will like those tires. I have a set on one of my own bikes that I use on a 50/50 mix of pavement and off road. The ride quality is really nice, yet they're still super fast. If you air them down too much, you can feel the side knobs cornering on pavement, but a little more inflation pressure fixes that. Good luck in your upcoming race.

  10. Hey RJ, What's your take on the "dork ring"? Does it really do anything good? I tend to leave them unless they are damaged, brittle or terribly discolored… TIA!

  11. Always enjoy your content. A few nitpicks: to keep from doubling or tripling work install tires and cassette before fitting wheels. This allows you to check for frame clearance. Same for that brake straddle cable.

    Not sure if you mentioned if you were cold setting a steel frame. Looks like steel. Would not attempt on aluminum. Forget about carbon.

  12. When you change the wheels diameter, how does it affect the handling of the bike? Is it a more solid feel or is it more agile?

  13. That looks totally awesome!!!!! great video as always, RJ. Big tires on “road” bikes have always looked amazing to me. Used to have a Trek 520 that I fitted some 700*35’s.
    Did you consider tubeless for this build?

  14. Another great video, RJ! Do you think it’s a good idea to have those alignment tools to check the alignment on a bicycle every so often?

  15. Why didn't you replace the spacer on the non-drive side of the rear wheel with a smaller one? Much less of a permanent change and much less risk?

  16. Currently working on a cheaper version (because… money). It's an 86 giant iguana with the 26er wheels. Chopped the bars shorter and added drop-bar ends. Went with the bontrager H5 tires but gonna change when they wear out.

  17. RJ,,,, you are the best,,,, i usted to ride a 5 speed Derosa bike metal frame from the 70’s…..because of your teachings now I ride the same frame with 11 speed Campy super record. You and the bike are awesome,,,,,

  18. I love and swear by (literally – f-word) your amazing repair / innovation videos.
    Thank you R.J. ~ I'm a better-cyclist – albeit mediocre at best, because of YOU.
    Robt

  19. You lack of logic for this procedure actually angers me. You had one job. Your job was to think of a procedure and write a script that works for the layman. The layman. Think about it. If I had the personal interest that I would spend 100 bucks on some wheels alignment tool, I'd OBVIOUISLY already know how to use it, RIGHT? So I'm not the demographic you're looking for. Right?? I'm all for improvisation and artistic license, but you are misguided and failed to understand this isn't a time to do that. This is a set procedure with important bullet points, and I'm sorry to say, but you… you failed. You failed on multiple accounts. First you failed to comprehend that not everybody has the same tools are you. Secondly that they lack your experience. Thirdly that you didn't adjust the terminology for everyday people. Are you autistic or something? You ACTUALLY think people have the same set of words in their personal vocabulary as you? just because you do???? Reality check. If you are serious about doing youtube vids on this, then by all means go ahead, but check your ego at the door and emphatise with the everyday person that may lack not only the tools you have, but also the experience. Why am I bothering to write this paragraph when I could just have ignored it and moved on? Because I feel that you really want to genuinely do this and that it's important to you. So, yeah, do it, by all means, but rethink your approach and your demography, and write a script accordingly. Think of us as massive dumbasses, basically, and watch your subs go throguh the roof. Peace.

  20. Looks good. Just need a couple frame bags and you're ready to set off on an overnight gravel adventure!

    Are you planning to do a Headshok rebuild video on your new Cannondale?

  21. Hey dog – were can I get a bike stand like yours without breaking the " bank"… Also great video as always – take care!

  22. I been watching you're vids for about 3 years now i can say comfortably you are one of the best at home mechanics I've ever seen

  23. Nice build! Could you please add a link in the show notes for the race for which you're setting up this bike?

  24. Just remove one spacer from the axle and you got a 130mm wheel, then recenter wheel. No actual need to bend frames here =/ Also if u push it out like this you have a risk of pushing one site more than the other. Its better to use a big peace of wood. Put between the dropouts and the seattube, then lever and bend one site at a time, keep measuring. This is espacially important for bikes where the right chainstay has some dent to fit a big chainring. This site might be weaker. Nice build doe, like ur Videos 😀

  25. Hey RJ quick question im running the latest sora and i wanted to get new wheels but its compatible with 10/11 speed. Would it be possible to fit, or would i have to buy new groupset

  26. Good video, THANK YOU for hammering home the importance of ensuring the dropouts are parallel after a coldset.

    With that said, I can't say that I agree with relying solely on newton's second law to ensure the rear triangle is symmetrical during a cold setting. Seems there are a lot of things that could change how the port and starboard stays might behave- even something as seemingly trivial as a blob of weld/braze on one stay vs its pair.

    Why not employ something like Sheldon's string method to check symmetry, or make a DIY version of Park's FAG-2? Even just for peace of mind?

    Or did I miss you addressing this? I did kind of skim through it.

  27. This is my favourite bike channel but today I'm thinking I haven't seen any new video for 3 months. Youtube unsubscribed me by itself. Thanks a lot assholes.

  28. i just use a long wooden stick to space them in or out and i clamp another stick in the middle to measure if they are spaced out evenly.

  29. Hi everyone,

    I have a question. My bike has quick release hub and using hydraulic disc brake. However, I noticed that the disc is shifting after some rides, so I have to realign the caliper way too often. I tried to clean the brake pistons, but it still happen.
    The QRs are tightened moderately but I can somewhat flex the wheels so that the rotors also moved a little. I am wondering if someone ever experienced the same problem or know the solution for this. [I don't have resources to change to Thru Axle anytime soon]

    Big thanks.

  30. cold setting as you did isn't an ideal way to do this. If one side gives and spreads out more than the other, which is highly possible, you no longer have a symmetrical frame. Going over to Sheldon Brown's website there's a procedure for spreading the triangles one side at a time. That's a better way as you can tweak one side out half the way then the other side to the final setting. That ensures a symmetrical spreading. Mind you if the wheel is correctly dished and the rim ended up equally spaced between the upper stays then all is well. If it wasn't then it would have needed some tweaking.

    Other than this niggle the video was superb.

  31. And remember, a 700c rim and a 29er are exactly the same size. 622mm.
    Great article on cold setting the rear triangle.

  32. Lemme know down in the cooooooments 😉 this guy has saved my bacon more times than I can think. When I was in rough times my car was broke down so I bought an 80s Raleigh road bike to for 2$ from a years sale to ride 6 miles to work. It was in rough shape. RJ taught be how to take the entire bike apart, clean, grease, and maintain the bike. RJ kept ME! From losing my job. I Am so grateful for everything you share. I'm a stay at home dad now and am ready to get back in the saddle with my 2year old daughter with me. Thank you so much.

  33. I got tires for my trek mt.track 850xc at walmart for 5 bucks a piece on clearance but there a 26×1.75 an the tires that were on it were 26×2.10

  34. RJ i becoming addicted to wacth your videos, even i have no plans for doing this i like to see your approach to the situation. This ch is one of best free trade school online. What ppl don't realize is how good a bigger tire feels, i used to run 32's on one of my bikes, when i switched to 700×38 was like a revelation, i no longer feel the pot holes (so much), can go enter or exit sidewalks with almost no loss in speed ,makes my ride more convenient and comfortable making me ride more and more. 23's-25's-28's ? Let those for the pro's, i just wanna ride and enjoy my ride without feeling the pot holes in my teeth every time i ride over them. Btw my avg speed is also better with the bigger tires.

  35. Hey RJ! How are you using STI levers with these brakes? I'm currently planning a drop-bar MTB build and i'd love to use STI levers with my cantilever brakes, hope to hear how you did it!

  36. Can a hybrid bike, in my case a Giant Roam 3 Disc, Be set up with better tires for gravel? I just bought the bike as it was recommended by my bike shop for the type of riding I do; however I am finding that it does not ride very well on gravel. Great on smooth pavement, but I have very little traction in gravel. Tires on it now are Giant CrossCut S, 700×38, Deflect 2 puncture protection. The wheel set is Giant GX28 disc wheelset.

  37. RJ bike Guy i was juste wondering whats the minimal width To fit 2inch 29tyres on 700c hybrid i m in the same situation and I have stock 700*38 with wider rim and v brakes

  38. Thanks I enjoyed the vid, but you are such a perfectionist it makes me feel ashamed of my rattly-tatty bikes… 🙂
    I'm going to use your tip to position the tires so I can easily find whatever gave me a flat. I am also going to glue a tiny patch onto my inner tubes near the valve so I know which direction the tube was mounted to help locate the nail/glass/thorn/wire etc…
    Seeing as I liked your tip, here's one for you: when I am using the chain tool I have an old bent spoke I use to hold the rear gears up so there is no tension on the chain.

  39. A silver sharpie is great for inner tube repairs and sidewall markings.

    RJ, do you ever use special tubes or products that promise to reduce flats?

  40. BEAUTIFUL!!! Was that originally a road bike..?! This just blew my mind!! You sir, just got yourself a new subscriber!!

  41. My Trek 700 has been a great beater bike- Even rode it after lake effect snow storms. Just don't expect to stop with snow-covered rims! Waiting until the snow melted was the right call!

  42. I'd swap the brake pads out. I'm a firm believer in clear odyssey slim by four pads, I've used them on v brakes, cantilever, 990, and oldschool caliper brakes, if your not running disk brakes these are the way to go, I have them on my BMX, my mountain bike, and my dirt jumper

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