Slicks on the KATY?
I am planning a ride in the very near future on the KATY Trail. I have ridden my ATB previously, but now have only a "modified ATB" with road slicks. In your opinion(s), are slicks do-able AND will the small gravel be damaging to the tires? I'd appreciate anyone's help on this. Thanks!
Lots of people ride the KATY trail from end to end with road bike tires and seem to get along OK. Personally, I take the approach that road tires are fine from St. Charles to Augusta but I like a little wider tire (1 1/2") beyond that because the trail gets significantly "gravelier." Tire tread on the KATY trail doesn't matter.
Originally Posted by riverrat
I've ridden the katy several times (I live in St. Louis).
I did a 100-miler on the Katy last year with slick road tires (700x35). I had a flat but it didn't appear to be caused by trail conditions. I did another 100-miler this year with semi-smooth tires (Continental Top Toures - 700x32) and had no problems at all.
I think the biggest factor with tires on the katy trail is width. The gravel gets a little soft in places, especially near the shoulder, and I think a wide tire would be more stable than a narrow. By wide I mean wider than a standard 700x23 road tire.
Also there are long stretches where they've allowed farm equipment to use the trail, and the surface is really rough. Again, a wide tire floats over that better than narrow.
So, in my view, slick is OK, and wide is best.
NOTE: If the weather has been dry be prepared for dusty conditions. It can be a real bear breathing in that dust on a hot, dry day.