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.

About the Author: Michael Flood


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

  2. Hello, RJ! Why don't you just install the new Hurricane's tyres on the old weelset? Is it a critical difference between internal width of the rims?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *