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Old 06-29-07, 07:44 PM   #1
will dehne
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Hybrid, Limestone Trail, Tires

This subject came up a few times. I spend some money for new wheels and like to share my experience.

My Treck Hybrid 7700 is very good for these Limestone Trails. They are bumpy in places from tractors crossing and various critters digging holes. I like to go fast and therefore will hit these holes at full speed.
I have biked on these trails for many years using 80 PSI 700 x 38 tires. Works great but takes a lot of effort to do 50 miles in 3 hours. Well, it is mid summer and the trail is hard and dry. So I go and buy two new wheels with 120 PSI 700 x 28 tires.
The Hybrid shocks soften the 120 PSI hard tire action. The 120 PSI and 28 mm are noticeably more efficient so that the 50 miles in 3 hours become much more doable.

I should also mention that a Hybrid bike has better sealed bearings than a road-bike.
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Old 06-29-07, 08:17 PM   #2
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I tried a gravel trail on a Specialized Sirrus Comp with a carbon fork and 700x28 Armadillo tires and I found it too harsh. The Sirrus is still considered a hybrid, but is largely a road bike.

But on a Gary Fisher Mendota hybrid with carbon fork and 700x32, that was much better.

Since some people ride them with 700x23/25 road tires, I'm not surprised that you found it acceptable to use 700x28 with a front shock.
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Old 06-29-07, 10:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
I tried a gravel trail on a Specialized Sirrus Comp with a carbon fork and 700x28 Armadillo tires and I found it too harsh. The Sirrus is still considered a hybrid, but is largely a road bike.

But on a Gary Fisher Mendota hybrid with carbon fork and 700x32, that was much better.

Since some people ride them with 700x23/25 road tires, I'm not surprised that you found it acceptable to use 700x28 with a front shock.
Tom- That is correct. That is the message for folks who want to ride the trails.
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Old 06-30-07, 06:09 AM   #4
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Offroad and I use a narrow tyre all year round. MTB but most use 2.1 or 1.95. I use 1.8 or even 1.5's in the mud.

Anything over 25 with a showing of a tread should work in 700 wheels but you have to keep the pressure higher than on a 38 and be prepared for a harsher ride.
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Old 06-30-07, 06:30 AM   #5
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I put those Panaracers 32s on mine, and I sure do like them. For the little bit I lose in speed, is made up in comfort. I still have a set of 28s to go on, after these are worn out though.
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Old 06-30-07, 07:40 AM   #6
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I gave my hybrid to my son for commuting and now have only my Giant OCR1 with 700X25 tires, which are a little squirrely on crushed limestone (not always well packed).

I'm thinking of trying 28s or even 32s if they would fit - probably better for my 230 lbs as well.
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Old 06-30-07, 08:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richjac
I gave my hybrid to my son for commuting and now have only my Giant OCR1 with 700X25 tires, which are a little squirrely on crushed limestone (not always well packed).

I'm thinking of trying 28s or even 32s if they would fit - probably better for my 230 lbs as well.
I have a road-bike where the 28 will not install through the brake pads even if I open the brake setting wide. Someone suggested to let the air out and inflate after the wheels are installed. That worked fine.
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Old 06-30-07, 09:28 AM   #8
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I don't know what a limestone trail is. Here we have little mud and
almost all is what we call hardpack. I would speculate that we ride
on similar stuff. I run Michelin Jets (a cyclocross tire) in 700x30 but
the size doesn't mean anything. (Not only do I like standards, but I
like lots of them.) This is a wider tire than any 700x35 that I have
seen. Running about 70 psi I can go quite fast and maintain my
comfort level for control. I wish racing tires could provide speed,
handling, _and_ durability. My wife runs these too and it is a real
confidence booster due to the handling.
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Old 06-30-07, 06:28 PM   #9
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Fifteen in a row. I think I've set the record.
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Old 06-30-07, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will dehne
This subject came up a few times. I spend some money for new wheels and like to share my experience.

My Treck Hybrid 7700 is very good for these Limestone Trails. They are bumpy in places from tractors crossing and various critters digging holes. I like to go fast and therefore will hit these holes at full speed.
I have biked on these trails for many years using 80 PSI 700 x 38 tires. Works great but takes a lot of effort to do 50 miles in 3 hours. Well, it is mid summer and the trail is hard and dry. So I go and buy two new wheels with 120 PSI 700 x 28 tires.
The Hybrid shocks soften the 120 PSI hard tire action. The 120 PSI and 28 mm are noticeably more efficient so that the 50 miles in 3 hours become much more doable.

I should also mention that a Hybrid bike has better sealed bearings than a road-bike.
You can buy wheels with tires already mounted? Where do you get them?
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Old 07-06-07, 04:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
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You can buy wheels with tires already mounted? Where do you get them?
My LBS will do anything for a Buck, doesn't yours?
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Old 07-06-07, 04:39 PM   #12
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Will, I hit a couple of holes yesterday on the Sugar River Trail where I was real glad to not have thin 120psi tires on. I don't know what is digging some of those craters - some of those holes are 6"-8" across.

One of them was hiding in a shadow, didn't see it before I was bounced off of my seat.
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Old 07-06-07, 04:42 PM   #13
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Will

So what wheels did you get and what tyres?

As I have found out on the OCR3- wheels made alot of difference to the ride- and the tyres on tarmac were completely different.
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Old 07-12-07, 10:34 AM   #14
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I was thinking of this thread last night during my ride on the new Badger trail. I would not want to ride this trail with 28mm, 120 psi tires. Too much gravel on it, with some of the gravel being too large (due to inconsistent contractors having worked on it). The Sugar River trail is mostly smooth, hard packed dirt, with fine limestone screenings pressed down into the top layer, forming a hard surface.

I rode on a surface much like this trail on both a Specialized Sirrus and a Jamis Coda that had 28mm tires with 70 psi, albeit with rigid carbon forks. I found the ride on both to be too jarring and too unstable - bouncing sideways off of rocks.

On this trail, and a few others that I've ridden, I would use a minimum of a 32mm tire, and would prefer a 35mm or larger. My 700x38s handle it very nicely.
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Old 07-12-07, 05:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Will, I hit a couple of holes yesterday on the Sugar River Trail where I was real glad to not have thin 120psi tires on. I don't know what is digging some of those craters - some of those holes are 6"-8" across.

One of them was hiding in a shadow, didn't see it before I was bounced off of my seat.
This is correct what you describe. This thread was supposed to illustrate the benefit of a high end Hybrid Bike with shocks front and seat-stem. This will absorb the trail conditions quite well. I did it today and Tuesday at full speed. I did it at 16.7 MPH for the round trip. That means that I slam into those holes you mention. No problem.
There was a severe down-pour on Tuesday afternoon. Lucky only for 30 minutes. The 700 x 28, 120 PSI Continental tires did not do well in rain and softening trail.

OTOH, the speed benefit of the 28 is so great that I took a chance again today despite rain in the forecast. Well, it did not rain and I went like hell.
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Old 07-12-07, 06:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
Will

So what wheels did you get and what tyres?

As I have found out on the OCR3- wheels made alot of difference to the ride- and the tyres on tarmac were completely different.
Bontragger Race Lite Wheels with Continental (high end) 700 x 28, 120 PSI tires. The wheels are not the best for me but they were available at the LBS. I trust them enough that they will replace them if they fail. The Continental tires served me well on the Cross Country Tour.
All this works great on this Sugar River Trail as Tom describes. It does not work so well in or after rain.
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Old 07-12-07, 07:26 PM   #17
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Last November I attempted to ride the Sugar River Trail after about 3" of snow had just melted. My 700x38 tires were sinking about a half-inch into the trail surface. I gave up after 3 miles.
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Old 07-12-07, 09:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Last November I attempted to ride the Sugar River Trail after about 3" of snow had just melted. My 700x38 tires were sinking about a half-inch into the trail surface. I gave up after 3 miles.
October through April/May are not great on these WI trails.
I am hoping that my retirement allows more time in warmer clime.
OTOH, there is global warming. Perhaps things will improve in WI?
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