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Old 08-12-17, 04:46 PM   #1
bentz69
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off-roading and trail tires - trek 7.4

Help a new guy out if you will....Bought a trek 7.4 last year for the sole purpose of a comfortable street bike that I can ride either by myself on the street or paved surfaces for exercise. But now I'd like to use the bike for some dry off-road trails (grass, dirt, gravel etc) but I dont think the standard tires are up to the task (Bontrager AW1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x32c)

Can you recommend me some different tire options that would suit my needs? How much wider can I go?

I suppose I dont want a dedicated off-road tire but I was reading that the bontrager H5 hard-case reflective hybrid tire would be good for some trails but still good for the street. Can I really have a little bit of each scenerio or should I have specific tires for off-road vs paved


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Old 08-12-17, 05:36 PM   #2
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A little more reading suggests that the bontrager LT3 hybrid tire might be good for my needs. Some light trail and road/street. But I see the only size is 700x38c. Will those fit my 7.4 that came with 700x32c?

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Old 08-12-17, 05:44 PM   #3
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A little more reading suggests that the bontrager LT3 hybrid tire might be good for my needs. Some light trail and road/street. But I see the only size is 700x38c. Will those fit my 7.4 that came with 700x32c?

Probably. Examine how much space there is around the current tires. You'd want to see at least a 1/4" gap between the tire and any part of the frame. The tightest point is usually around the chainstays right behind the crank.
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Old 08-12-17, 06:39 PM   #4
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As someone who has used both the LT3 and the H5 (though in different sizes), I would say the LT3 is definitely not a street tire. It rolls somewhat well on pavement, but the taller tread blocks do squirm some and it doesn't feel as stable during cornering as tires with shallower tread do. My Trek Verve came with the H5s in 700x35, and I think it's a great tire for mixed surfaces.

In general, I think tire volume (a larger size) offers more of a benefit on looser stuff than the actual tread pattern does.

The 38mm LT3 might or might not fit your FX, but the 35mm H5 certainly should. Its actual measurement, fully inflated, is about 33mm wide and about 31mm tall.
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Old 08-12-17, 07:08 PM   #5
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Good info thanks.....Im not stuck on bontrager only tires. Ill use any quailty brand so Im open to any suggestions.
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Old 08-12-17, 08:10 PM   #6
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those are good tires, wear them out first. but if you must swap, I really enjoy the wtb riddlers











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Old 08-12-17, 10:13 PM   #7
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^Those riddlers look like they handle a great variety of surfaces. Any good for street riding or more suited for the enviroments you posted?
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Old 08-12-17, 10:54 PM   #8
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Also came across specialized crossroads armadillo tire. Reviews suggest a great "all-around" tire for a variety of surfaces. Im looking for something like that.

my lbs has 700x38 in stock and looking at my bike, it appears an extra 3mm on each side will clear. Perhaps I will take a ride there tomorrow

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Old 08-13-17, 07:03 AM   #9
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^Those riddlers look like they handle a great variety of surfaces. Any good for street riding or more suited for the environments you posted?
dunno, but I got them for the environments pictured. got these other Michelin Proteks for mixed surfaces, mostly hard dirt trails & rural streets. word of caution, they run wide especially at max pressure. they don't deflect when deflated so I'm running them at around only 40lbs





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Old 08-13-17, 07:17 AM   #10
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Also came across specialized crossroads armadillo tire. Reviews suggest a great "all-around" tire for a variety of surfaces. Im looking for something like that.my lbs has 700x38 in stock and looking at my bike, it appears an extra 3mm on each side will clear. Perhaps I will take a ride there tomorrow
those look like what I got the Riddlers to replace. don't know the brand or model. they were really old but I was having good fun using them on everything, but rarely pavement. if you pump them up hard they should be fine on pavement. the deep side grooves were good for climbing steep loose dirt. but I felt I needed more flotation & a wider footprint



this pic shows that the Riddlers are flatter & provide more flotation for softer trails like forest roads in southern Massachusetts. a mix of sand & pine needles




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Old 08-13-17, 03:08 PM   #11
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Also came across specialized crossroads armadillo tire. Reviews suggest a great "all-around" tire for a variety of surfaces. Im looking for something like that.

my lbs has 700x38 in stock and looking at my bike, it appears an extra 3mm on each side will clear. Perhaps I will take a ride there tomorrow

I have Maxxis Ramblers on my bike and they're fast on pavement and hold very well on hard pack and gravel trails. These are 700x38 but they also come in 700x40.

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Old 08-13-17, 03:32 PM   #12
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beefy! nice! shallow center tread too, a lot like the Riddlers
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Old 08-13-17, 05:23 PM   #13
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decided to go with the specialized crossroads armadillo based on reviews and because they were available for local purchase today....I was dying to hit the trails

Had access to variety of different surfaces today (paved, small gravel, hard dirt, soft dirt, mud) and I was very happy with how they performed. btw, 700x38 fit fine....could even go up to a 40 if I wanted too

thanks everyone
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Old 08-14-17, 08:10 AM   #14
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jealous, chained to my desk, obligations all weekend, shares pics sometime if you can
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