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Old 09-24-06, 06:43 PM   #1
Opedaler
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Trail Bike

Looking to get a bike to meet the following needs;

1) trail bike (75% limestone and 25% paved)

2) comfortable,as I (we) want to enjoy the scenery and feel good after a typical 25-35 mi ride....with longer rides every once in awhile.

3)fairly fast under trail conditions. We have fat tire bikes for other needs and no longer enjoy road rides very often. Also,wind might be a factor but hills will seldom be.

Any suggestions will be much appreciated and taken seriously. Thanks
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Old 09-24-06, 07:00 PM   #2
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I'd look at Cyclocross bikes or touring bikes.
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Old 09-24-06, 08:17 PM   #3
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I converted an old MTB for the same application you're looking to fill. I added a low end fork, comfort tires with low resistance tread, new seat post and a new Bontrager seat. But that fit my style of riding and not everyone wants this type of bike. I only mention it because many hybrids now have suspension forks. I like the suspension fork on the Nishiki because it cuts down on vibration transmitted from the gravel surface through the bars. Just something to consider.
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Old 09-24-06, 08:34 PM   #4
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I live only 2 miles from Missouri's KATY trail so I ride the crushed limestone trail quite a bit.

Virtually all of my Katy riding is near the heavily used St Charles end. Consequently, the trail surface is the next thing to blacktop. I generally use road bikes with 700 x 23c tires without a thought. I also have a converted mountain bike that has 2" semi-slick tires but I haven't taken it down to the trail for awhile. If the trails that you ride on are less heavily traveled they tend to be noticeably more "gravelier". Wider tires skate around less on loose rock.
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Old 09-24-06, 09:08 PM   #5
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We bike the Wisconsin Limestone Rails to Trails all the time. Road bikes are not so good for that. There are sandy patches and we often get exposed to heavy rain. The limestone dust will get all over the bike and you. Slick tires are not safe there. Delicate gearing is not going to last.
There are also lots of bumps and holes in the path.
A mountain bike with smaller wheels and knobby tires is too slow.
I am using successfully a Trek Hybrid with 700 x 38 tires. We also are using a tandem with fat tires.
A new bike could be a Cyclocross with 700 x ?? tires.
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Old 09-25-06, 06:44 AM   #6
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I think almost anything that will allow for tires 28mm or wider would work. I'd probably not seek out somehting with suspension (most likely overkill). I think Grampy is right that a cyclocross or touring bike would work. So would an old hard tail mountain bike. I ride an olde Trek 950 Single Track for much the same purpose you describe. I also have a Cannondale T800 (used for touring) that works well on most trails that have some packed base.
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Old 09-25-06, 06:54 AM   #7
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Thanks a bunch everyone. Much good info and gives us something to work around.

Currently preparing for the Cowboy trail in Nebraska. From Norfolk to Valentine is about 150-160 mi, but 27 are back on pavement. The trail has been in progress for eight to ten years so some is well packed and some is pretty soft. The dilemma isthe distance between towns and decent overnight lodging. When we do the entire ride (probably next year) we would like bikes that give us enough speed to get to certain towns with something to do. A sixty to seventy mi ride will be needed some days. We won't be carrying much as we will spend nights in motels but some equip for some canoeing at Valentine.

Really appreciate the thoughts and help. Again, thanks
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Old 09-28-06, 02:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opedaler
Thanks a bunch everyone. Much good info and gives us something to work around.

Currently preparing for the Cowboy trail in Nebraska. From Norfolk to Valentine is about 150-160 mi, but 27 are back on pavement. The trail has been in progress for eight to ten years so some is well packed and some is pretty soft. The dilemma isthe distance between towns and decent overnight lodging. When we do the entire ride (probably next year) we would like bikes that give us enough speed to get to certain towns with something to do. A sixty to seventy mi ride will be needed some days. We won't be carrying much as we will spend nights in motels but some equip for some canoeing at Valentine.

Really appreciate the thoughts and help. Again, thanks
What you really want is someone to act as a sag wagon. My group occasionally does a few long day rides and we do not feel like going 300 miles or so to have a minor bike problem ruin someones ride. On my long one day ride- I have someone meet me frequently along the route- carrying all the spares we might need- and the extra food and water. It has for the last few years been my son-in-law but next year he wants to ride. Looks like the wife and daughter will be getting lost in the middle of nowhere again.

In fact- That sag wagon duty if necessary on any long ride- Although Will did not have his own personal crew on his ride- The sag wagon did have a mechanic to hand and saved the riders carrying all their own personal gear. It also came in handy for any mechanical dropouts that were to be had, or even shattered riders.

My dream is in fact a holiday in Europe where I can ride between overnight stops and the wives can drive the cars from Campsite to campsite - putting up the tents and having a meal ready for when we arrive. Providing they can cut their shopping and be at the end of a phone when required- it should be a good holiday by both groups.
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Old 09-28-06, 03:17 PM   #9
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I've got a Kona Jake the Snake, Put 28's on it and did the KATY trail back in Jun.. Did 100+ first day. Strongly recommend it.

Also have a Gary Fisher older Tassahara, 98 or so. Heavy but Nice.
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