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Old 02-20-06, 10:21 PM   #1
hamr22
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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!
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Old 02-20-06, 10:38 PM   #2
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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
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Old 02-20-06, 11:16 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 02-21-06, 10:35 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 02-21-06, 10:45 AM   #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)?
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Old 02-21-06, 04:22 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 02-21-06, 04:33 PM   #7
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus's. You'll never get a flat again. I don't.
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Old 02-21-06, 04:35 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 02-21-06, 05:31 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 02-21-06, 06:39 PM   #10
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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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Old 02-21-06, 09:35 PM   #11
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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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Old 02-21-06, 10:33 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 02-22-06, 12:07 AM   #13
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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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Old 02-22-06, 07:49 AM   #14
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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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Old 02-22-06, 08:43 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 02-22-06, 09:17 AM   #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.
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Old 02-22-06, 10:31 AM   #17
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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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Old 02-22-06, 11:10 AM   #18
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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.
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.
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Old 02-22-06, 11:23 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 02-22-06, 12:40 PM   #20
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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.
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Old 02-23-06, 12:51 PM   #21
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Thanks to everyone for the info!
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