Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    98

    26" Pisgah to 700c gravel bike

    Is it the ideal 700c frame? No. The BB is about an inch higher than a real CX frame and the rear end is a little on the long side. But it's free (I've owned it since new, but it's been hanging around in the garage for the past 5+ years), and it's titanium. If it all works, not bad. Here it is compared to my old Crockett. Pardon the crappy overlay.



    Aside from a much lower top tube/head tube, it's not that much out of line. The fork is set to reflect the 395mm A-C rigid fork that I bought.



    The other issue is possibly tire clearance. Here's a worn 35c on the back. There's probably room for a 38, but maybe not. It's also a 130mm hub in the 135mm frame, but I'm not too worried about that.



    Everything has been ordered to make this happen (105 5800/XT 1x, Tektro Mini-Vees, Soma steel fork, etc.), but a lot of it hinges on the $20 rear brake extenders. If those don't raise the rear brakes enough to work on the 700c rim (maybe in combination with elongating the pad slot on the brakes, if there's room), I don't know what I'll do. Buy the right frame I guess?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    461
    I converted an old Seven 26" softtail to my commuter/gravel. Like you said, the bb is a bit higher than my road frame which doesn't bother me at all. The HT is low, partially because of the conversion, partially because that how the original frame was built and partially because I like my handlebars even with my seat, so I stacked the crap out of the steertube, which looks weird, but whatever, it was a free frame I talked my brother in law out of.

    The hardest thing for me was to get the trail right, I messed about with the suspension fork that was on there, since I could set it up at different axle to crown lengths to test and ended up putting on a large clearance road fork that I had on hand that was coincidently what I needed. The trail isn't perfect, but it's close enough that after a minute it feels fine.

    I used this to help in figuring it out. Bicycle Trail Calculator | yojimg.net

    You'll likely have to run a mtb crankset or go road 1x due to clearance issues.

    It's well worth the effort and a few bucks to put a nice frame back on the road.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    98
    Interesting. I suppose I'll see what's what when the fork gets here. I ordered the basic Soma steel CX canti fork, and the frame was originally designed around an 80mm fork. A quick phone level shows that with the 395mm fork, the bike has a roughly 72 degree HTA. When I plug everything into that calculator, it's very close to my old Poprad with a Ritchey CX fork. We'll see if that translates to the real world.

    I hear you on the bar height. The stem in the photo is a -6 degree, 120mm with hardly any spacers. I imagine I'll do a +6 degree with at least 20mm of spacers to start, and go from there.

    When it comes to the crankset, I think you're right. I'm going with an XT M785 and a 38t narrow/wide, along with an 11-28 11-speed 105 5800 derailleur and shifters. The front shifter won't do anything, but it was less expensive than going for Sram Rival and a matching dummy lever. At least this way it's set up for a double if I ever see the need, but that's doubtful around here.

    In addition to the rear brake extenders, somebody pointed me towards these:

    BDop OFFSET HOLDERS

    Installed upside down and swapped sides, these will raise the pads another 7mm on top of the 16mm post extenders. That should be plenty.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    461
    My fork was 395 as well, it'll probably be fine.

    The bike came with an old XTR 950 crankset which I used for a while, but it was completely worn out and I couldn't find chainrings for it, I also found myself spinning out since it only had a 44. I then tried a compact because I wanted a 50, which didn't fit unfortunately, so I ended up finding and buying a Trekking crankset which is a mtb triple that has a 48. Not the lightest thing out there, but it's been working well and it was cheap. I think I got it for @ $50

    Shimano Deore M590 9-Speed Triple Chainset | Chain Reaction Cycles

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    98
    The top end on this one will be 38/11. We'll see how that does, but it will probably be enough for the intent of this bike. That's good for ~25mph at 90 rpm, which should be plenty. If not, a 40t looks like it'll also fit. One benefit of the longer chainstays is pretty decent chainring clearance.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    98
    The extenders came the other day. One issue: the bolts they supplied were about .5mm too long for my frame, and were hitting either the end of the threads or the seat stay. So, I needed a really odd washer/spacer. The ID had to be a couple of mm smaller than the OD, and it all had to fit inside of the extender housing (flush-ish bolt head for needed brake arm clearance). Hmm. Tough. After looking around online with no luck but before going to Lowe's and/or buying/borrowing a grinder to shorten the hardware, I had an idea: a paperclip.



    It took a couple tries to make it round, but it worked perfectly. It might even function as a lock washer and it was free. So what if it's a bit ghetto.

    Not too terrible:


  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    461
    Looks like a win to me. I would have ground them down, but I have the gear for that and your solution works just as well.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    98
    Yeah, grinding them down would have been more elegant. I suppose I could file them down as well, should the paperclips not work long-term.

    Progress:



    The 926AL Mini-V brakes lined up just fine with the brake track, but I had a problem pop up. This should have been obvious, but it wasn't. The 926s have 80mm arms, and because the bosses are still lower than normal, everything is low. Because of this and the short arms, the cable stop pretty much rests on the back tire. To fix it, I ordered a pair of 95mm Tektro something-or-others for $18. Not bad. The lever will probably be a bit more squishy than it would be with the 926s, but whatever. MTB linear pull brakes look to be in the 105-110mm range, so these are still better than those.

    For the money, the fork is quite nice. It was $100 or so, and looks to be well made. I know that Tange Infinity isn't the nicest steel out there, but it's relatively light (880g cut down). Plus it has yellow decals that match the Litespeed.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    461
    Looks nice, I like the fork

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    98
    Thanks. I took the bike out on a test ride today, and the fork rides nicely. My test ride was a ~15 mile gravel rail trail with the Burley attached, so I didn't get to see how it handled, but the ride quality was very good. I need to play with the seat position and stem height (and maybe length), but overall, not bad for a bastardized 26" MTB.

    The brakes were kind of finicky to set up (and live up to the expectations of $18/pair), but seem to have good enough power. I had to use inline adjusters to get rid of lever mush but still allow for enough cable to remove the noodles (and then wheels), but that's no biggie. Consistent self-centering is an issue (the front was intermittently rubbing on the ride), even after futzing with the tensioners forever. If I ride this thing enough, better brakes may be on the menu. Hell, maybe even discs.



    19.5 lbs, which isn't too bad considering the steel fork and heavy bar/stem.

    I'm also glad that I didn't go for the 40t chainring. I don't think it wouldn't have fit without chain line destroying BB spacers. Here's the 38t:


  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    461
    Nice job! It feels good to get these old bikes off the wall and back on the road again.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    2
    I converted an old Toccoa to a 1x9 gravel bike with a 36x11, but I kept the 26" rims and put on some 26x2.35 supermoto's. Rides awesome.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    98
    ^ Sounds like a nice bike. It turns out that the 700c Bastard Pisgah didn't really work all that well for me (odd fit, brake issues), so I did this to my road bike... it's sort of a Litespeed, I guess:





    I'm pretty happy with the result, both on pavement and gravel. I just swap the 33 (36) wheel on the front for a GP4000 on another wheel for paved rides, and the Sector 28 is pretty great in any condition.

    As for the Pisgah, maybe I'll turn it back into period-correct a 26" MTB. I sort of want to sell the frame, but I'm not sure about that.

Similar Threads

  1. Gravel Bike wheel q: Stan's ArchEX on gravel bike
    By stuarttx in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-23-2017, 06:53 PM
  2. Pisgah Monster-Cross Challenge!
    By pisgahproductions in forum Southeast
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-15-2012, 06:56 PM
  3. Pisgah Monster-Cross Challenge (x-post SE)
    By pisgahproductions in forum Cyclocross
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-19-2012, 08:43 AM
  4. Litespeed Pisgah
    By european.dr in forum Litespeed - Merlin
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-15-2010, 05:13 AM
  5. Pisgah/Nantahala hiking trails
    By gutfiddle in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-04-2007, 03:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •