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  1. #1
    Senior Member bikecrate's Avatar
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    Would you ride this bike on this road?

    I have a '03 Trek 7500 FX with slick tires. I spend most of my time riding on city streets. I'm going on a trip to rural FL next month. I plan to ride around on mostly paved country roads. However, there are a couple of unpaved sections I'm keen to try. One 4 mile stretch looks especially interesting. I'm expecting packed dirt and gravel, from the little bit I can see on Google street view. So am I in for a painful experience or bike bliss? Would anyone here attempt it?

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    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    Get a pair of Schwalbe CX Comp's ... they are only 8€ here and they will get you fast and without a lot of resistance over paved roads while at the same time being perfect for dirt and gravel.
    I use mine all the time through forests and fields

  3. #3
    Senior Member bikecrate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
    Get a pair of Schwalbe CX Comp's ... they are only 8 here and they will get you fast and without a lot of resistance over paved roads while at the same time being perfect for dirt and gravel.
    I use mine all the time through forests and fields
    Well, I'm due for some new tires. Any issue with flats?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikecrate View Post
    I have a '03 Trek 7500 FX with slick tires. I spend most of my time riding on city streets. I'm going on a trip to rural FL next month. I plan to ride around on mostly paved country roads. However, there are a couple of unpaved sections I'm keen to try. One 4 mile stretch looks especially interesting. I'm expecting packed dirt and gravel, from the little bit I can see on Google street view. So am I in for a painful experience or bike bliss? Would anyone here attempt it?
    Sure, I ride on unpaved roads quite frequently with slick tires and haven't encountered any problems. They're not the best for traction in mud or soft sand, but not an issue on packed dirt and gravel. Plus, the lack of traction is usually only an issue on steep terrain and I'm guessing that you won't be seeing much of that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    should be fine but wutz the width of your slicks?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  6. #6
    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikecrate View Post
    Well, I'm due for some new tires. Any issue with flats?
    Well I haven't had any flats in 1000 kilometers now, doing roads, crappy roads full of holes, rocky tracks, fields, gravel, ...
    I had one bit of sharp metal wire that tried to penetrate the rear tyre at one point, but it was stopped by the puncture protection

  7. #7
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    The CX is a popular tyre and a good price, but fitting one for a journey that is mostly on the road doesn't make sense. 35mm or wider slicks can handle much rougher terrain than the OP is talking about and the CX is flawed on the road - it's ok if ridden cautiously, but like any tyre with sharp cornering knobs it is prone to "walking" in hard turns. This is a fundamental design limit of such tyres: when you put a lot of pressure on rubber knobs they bend. The tread pattern also reduces braking grip on the road - tread on a bicycle tyre is only useful on surfaces that they tyre will penetrate, like mud.

    For mostly road and a few km of packed dirt roads I'd go with slicks as long as you're not expecting real mud.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bikecrate's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone...

    They are cheap Forte 35mm (I forgot the model name). I'm probably going to do it anyways, but I think I will get some newer tires. Mine are fairly worn out.

    I did a ride like this earlier in the year. The last stretch was a dirt road into a county park. It had just rained and these massive potholes were filled with mud. I went for a few yards and gave up. I had to change my bike ride into a bike walk.

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