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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 06-17-03, 12:41 PM   #1
N_C
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Yes you can ride a recumbent on a crushed limestone trail.

This past Saturday I did a ride called Bike Around Carroll County Iowa, or B.A.C.C.I., see the post ride report in the General Discussion forum.

Part of this ride was on the Sauk Rail trail. The first and last legs of the ride are on the part of the trail that is paved. Between Carroll, Iowa and Maple River, Iowa.

However the rest of the trail is crushed limestone.

Me and several other riders decided to ride on the part of the trail between Breda, Iowa and Maple River, Iowa because we had gotten tired of riding the hills.

My SWB, OSS Vision R40 did rather well on the crushed limestone part of the trail. Sure there were soft spots I had to power through. The bike did get a little squirrly in certain areas. And where the trail crossed some of the county gravel roads I had to stop, get off and walk because the shoulder portion of the gravel road was to soft and would have pulled me down. But other wise it was not to bad.

I run 26" x 1.25 Primo Racers on my recumbent. A really good road tire for 'bents. But on a crushed limestone trail I would rather have had knobbier tires, especially if I was going to ride for a longer distance. I talked to the guys at my LBS about this and I can get a new set of appropriate tires for riding my Vision on crushed limestone.

In the future, don't know when yet I'm planning on doing a self contained tour on the entire Katy Trail in Missouri all the way across. I know most of it is crushed limestone. For this ride I will get the right set of tires to ride on.

So for recumbent riders everywhere, yes you can ride on a crushed limestone trail with the right tires.
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Old 06-17-03, 01:00 PM   #2
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Is there a reason that 'bents shouldn't be able to be ridden on crushed limestone? I'd think that it would perform the same as a "wedgie"
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Old 06-18-03, 11:17 AM   #3
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Originally posted by Raiyn
Is there a reason that 'bents shouldn't be able to be ridden on crushed limestone? I'd think that it would perform the same as a "wedgie"
No there isn't any reason why you could not raiyn. It is just that you do not see it very often, if at all. I'm guessing the reason why is because of the tires.

If you are refereing to a road bike wedgie then a 'bent will probably perform better because there is a better selection of tire widths available. But a hybred or mtn bike wedgie will probably do better tire wise on crushed limestone then a 'bent. Again because of the variety of tire widths available.
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Old 06-18-03, 01:43 PM   #4
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The nice thing about "Rail to Trail" trails is that they are rarely more than a few % grade and the turns are sweeping. The problem with gravel is sliding out on any change in direction. Bents are a little more unforgiving in this regard. Tires that are 'thin' are at risk for cuts and puncture, depending on the sharpness of the gravel. I rode the C&O (?) canal trail in Wash DC last summer and it was very nice on the bent. It was a hard pack path though. No bike does well on loose gravel, bents again less well than DF. A gravel Blue Ridge parkway would be a nightmare. Steve
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Old 09-21-03, 01:10 PM   #5
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Sorry I am so late to this thread - I wish I knew then what I know now - I rode the Katy trail from St. Louis to Boonsboro in August- I learned the hard way that all bikes on the limestone loose 12-15% efficiency compared to riding on the paved roads. I had 7 flats in the first 150 miles of the trail - I was told that this is due to 2 things - 1. the limesone pieces can cut into and imbed into touring tires - I use a Specialized Armadillo on the rear 26 in. Shimano rear wheel and a Conti Ave. on the 26 in front. 2 flats on the Armadill and 7 on the front - The biil for putting a set of kevlar tire liners as well as new thorn proof tubes was 90+ bucks on the trail. 2 there are thorns on the trail, they ahve the same impact.

It is the loss in efficiency - your rolling resistence is simply not the same as on paved roads - caused me to completely redo my daily mileage. Really would have liked that information before I took the trip this summer. Otherwise I loved the trail and the few people I ran into aloing the way.
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Old 09-21-03, 04:16 PM   #6
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I ride the Youghiogheney Trail of south western Pennsylvania a couple of times a week. The Yough is a compacted crushed limestone trail. I'm sure I see at least one recumbent rider every time I'm out. Never seen one who looked unhappy by the way.
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Old 09-22-03, 04:35 PM   #7
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I rode two sections of the Katy trail a couple of years ago with my hybred. I used pretty aggressive tread on that bike. I will be going back with my bent. I consider that a fairly descent trail. Sure there were a few places I figure I may have trouble, but overall I expect no problems.
I ride crushed limestone trails almost all the time with my bent, an EZ Sport, I have the stock tires and have never had a problem with flats. These are 100 psi max tires which I keep inflated to about 80 lbs.
I can notice a difference though between gravel and paved trails. But the quality of the surface also makes an impact. I've also some problems crossing gravel roads because of the shoulders being soft. After the first scare I just have paid more attention.
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Old 10-13-03, 09:31 AM   #8
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I ride the Chrysler Greenway trail here in Southwestern Ontario. The trail runs some 42 km. from just outside Windsor to the hamlet of Ruthven. It was made from an abandoned rail line and its surface is compacted limestone screening. My group rides it a couple of times a year, and I myself another 3-4 times when I visit my family(my parents live at the mid-point of the trail). My fellow riders and I have had no problems with this surface. I ride a 2000 RANS Rocket with 20" Primo Comet tires. I, like the previous poster, druhl, have never an unhappy face on the trail...But then again, I think it's impossible to do anything but smile when you're riding your bike....Rick..Canada..
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Old 12-02-03, 01:06 AM   #9
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Recumbent Trail Bike

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Old 12-11-03, 09:06 PM   #10
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Bents and crushed limestone

This past October I did the whole length of the Katy Trail on my RANS V2. I used Continental Top Touring 2000 tires. 26x1.75 rear--20x1.50 front. Uneventful trip-- no flats. I found it to be a perfect bike and tire combination for that trip. Jorge
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Old 12-12-03, 09:40 AM   #11
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RideorDrive how did you manage to navigate the trail where it crosses gravel roads? Usually where a trail intersects with a gravel or dirt road the shoulder is very soft and can pull a rider down.

did you camp, hotel/motel? What about shower facitlities? Or did you take one of those prtable camp showers? How long did it take you to ride the entire 200 plus miles? Did you pull a trailer? What kind?
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Old 12-12-03, 11:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
RideorDrive how did you manage to navigate the trail where it crosses gravel roads? Usually where a trail intersects with a gravel or dirt road the shoulder is very soft and can pull a rider down.

did you camp, hotel/motel? What about shower facitlities? Or did you take one of those prtable camp showers? How long did it take you to ride the entire 200 plus miles? Did you pull a trailer? What kind?
We(1 RANS V2, 3 single uprights and 1 tandem upright) did the Katy Trail the first week of October. Starting in Clinton, we worked our way east to St Charles, where we had left our cars. Started on a Sunday and finished on a Friday, a total of 250 miles including side trips and riding around checking out some of the small towns.[U]We found the trail surface to be in exceptionally good condition. It was packed nice and hard, rarely any loose stuff even at intersections. Of all the multiple intersections we crossed, I only remember one that was a bit soft and "rocky" all the others were no problems at all. The trail was fairly flat the whole route, very slight inclines along the way. We did B&B's and hotels. We hired a gentleman by the name of Gary Creasson of[I]CREASSON'S KATY TRAIL SHUTTLE SERVICES who shuttled us to the start and then would take our bags to the next nights stop. We found him listed in the KATY TRAIL GUIDE BOOK a must have book for planning the trip. Camping sites available and listed in the book. The people of the area are very friendly with the cyclist and not once did any of us encountered threats or aggression from noncyclist. Bents seen on the trail: 1 V-Rex, 1 Screamer and 2 Vision tandems, 1 Easy Lite. Of the five bikes in our group, 3 of us, including the upright tandem, had Conti Top Touring 2000 tires...no flats! I would do this ride again in a heart beat.
Jorge
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