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  1. #1
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    Tire Recommendations for Rail Trail

    Considering doing the Pittsurgh to D.C. trail ride this summer. Looks like mostly rail trail, crushed limestone and stuff. Any recommendations for minimum tire width or tire recommendations in general?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Everest's Avatar
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    On the katy trail which sounds similiar surface wise I was fine on 23c's but would probably reccomend 25 or 28
    Road: Quattro Assi Scandium w/ SRAM Rival and Rolf Echelon's
    Mountain: 2005 Specialized Enduro Comp
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara

  3. #3
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    I am riding from Cleveland to DC in September via the same trails. my touring bike uses 26 tires. 26x1.5 or larger is what I usually use for rail trails and towpaths here in NY.
    . Wider tires roll easier on stone dust or soft earth. They also absorb shock better and most importantly wider tires don't rut the trails as badly as narrow tires when it is wet. I rode half of the C&O in 2004 on a IRC Metro 1.5 it worked great! for 700 size tires something around 700x 38 or bigger would be my choice.

  4. #4
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad
    I am riding from Cleveland to DC in September via the same trails. my touring bike uses 26 tires. 26x1.5 or larger is what I usually use for rail trails and towpaths here in NY.
    . Wider tires roll easier on stone dust or soft earth. They also absorb shock better and most importantly wider tires don't rut the trails as badly as narrow tires when it is wet. I rode half of the C&O in 2004 on a IRC Metro 1.5 it worked great! for 700 size tires something around 700x 38 or bigger would be my choice.
    Yes, As this post points out WIDER IS BETTER. I also ride trails and put the widest tire on I can stuff
    between the brakes. FAT and CHUSHY is the way to go.

  5. #5
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    Hamr, it also depends on what type of bike you have and how wide of a tire you can fit. What bike do you have (brand, etc.) and what size wheels does it have - 26" (mountain bike), or 700c (road bike)?

  6. #6
    Senior Member BikePackin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamr22
    Considering doing the Pittsurgh to D.C. trail ride this summer. Looks like mostly rail trail, crushed limestone and stuff. Any recommendations for minimum tire width or tire recommendations in general?
    Thanks!
    Kenda Kozmik Lite -
    http://www.kendausa.com/bicycle/crosscountry.html
    either 1.75 or the 2.00 cause, as your research has already brought to light, the C & O Tow Path gets down right muddy when it rains..... it is not just a case of crushed limestone.

  7. #7
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Marathon Plus's. You'll never get a flat again. I don't.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Everest's Avatar
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    I like the speed of a norrower tire but thats probably just me. It probably does generate a little rougher ride but for that is a worthwhile sacrifice as I dont really notice it.
    Road: Quattro Assi Scandium w/ SRAM Rival and Rolf Echelon's
    Mountain: 2005 Specialized Enduro Comp
    2003 Gary Fisher Tassajara

  9. #9
    Senior Member metal_cowboy's Avatar
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    If you ride a 700c wheeled bike, I would suggest the 700x37 Panaracer Pasela Tourguard. http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/tires_tubes/10050.html Great tires that ride very smooth at around 60psi.
    Rivendell Alantis, Rivendell Rambouillet, Klein Adroit, Co Motion Big AL

  10. #10
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    The C&O can be pretty rough. Nothing less than 28's, and that's taking chance. 32's or 37's would be better.

    Many parts of the trail is not crushed stone anymore. Just hardpack with rocks. After a rain it can be miles of mud. In the middle of a summer drought it can be like riding on broken concrete.

    Bring spares. You'll be a long way from support.

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    Thanks for the info! I think I'll go wider than the 1.5" that I was thinking of using.

    Wintermute: I was planning on riding a hardtail mountain bike. I have a pulmori (iron horse knock off) that is heavy like a tank. I put a stem extender on it to get the bars higher and it kind of feels like a comfort bike now. What do you think?

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    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
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    2nd the Marathons. Wider = better IMHO, you can always pump them up harder.
    Anything with a smoother tread will keep the dust down and the drivetrain cleaner.

  13. #13
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Schwalbe Mara + 32 if you value speed.
    Schwalbe Mara + 38 if you value traction.

    I got tired of picking up my wife from the hospital, so I gave her my 38's. She's much more stable now. On a bike that is, otherwise, she's a mess. Uh oh, here she comes, gotta run!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hamr22
    Thanks for the info! I think I'll go wider than the 1.5" that I was thinking of using.

    Wintermute: I was planning on riding a hardtail mountain bike. I have a pulmori (iron horse knock off) that is heavy like a tank. I put a stem extender on it to get the bars higher and it kind of feels like a comfort bike now. What do you think?

    If you look through the touring threads, you'll see that comfort is the key, weight is much lower on the priority list. You might want to also check out Continental TravelContacts. Good puncture resistance and work well on mixed terrain.

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    Senior Member bbwolfy's Avatar
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    the o.e. 1 3/8,s on my cypress lasted over 1000 miles on crushed lime rail trail. IMO they were a good balance of comfort, traction, and minimal rolling resistance.

  16. #16
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    Hey! I'm thinking of doing the same trip this summer. Where have you found info for the Allegheny Passage? I've found tons of generic info but nothing really substantial for camping, food etc. on this half of the trip which seems to be directly oppositie from the the C&O canal which seems to have every rock, tree and canal cataloged, photographed and historically detailed.

  17. #17
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    Sarah , have you been to the ata trail website? www.atatrail.org .If you go through the maps it will list the services at the various towns along the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad
    Sarah , have you been to the ata trail website? www.atatrail.org .If you go through the maps it will list the services at the various towns along the way.
    I've been to this website before and kept getting error messages. This is the first time I've been able to get past the homepage. I guess our computers are playing nice again.
    Are there any forums for finding rides/ partners for the trip? The DSH doesn't bike and is "concerned" that I would be going alone.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Thrifty1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute
    If you look through the touring threads, you'll see that comfort is the key, weight is much lower on the priority list. You might want to also check out Continental TravelContacts. Good puncture resistance and work well on mixed terrain.
    My wife and use Travel Contacts on our "comfort" touring bikes and absolutly no problem or complaints on any surface/condition. Great tires but dificult to find.

  20. #20
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahJ
    I've been to this website before and kept getting error messages. This is the first time I've been able to get past the homepage. I guess our computers are playing nice again.
    Are there any forums for finding rides/ partners for the trip? The DSH doesn't bike and is "concerned" that I would be going alone.
    ATA has a yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Great_Allegheny_Passage/ that might be place to start. Bike Washington also has a yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BikeWashingtonDC/
    there is of course this forum. Adventure cycling also has a ride forum.

  21. #21
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    Thanks to everyone for the info!

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