Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Beefcake the Mighty rdubbz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Scumdogia
    Posts
    591
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    anyone ride the C&O canal?

    I'm thinking of riding the C&O this fall from cumberland to DC. I was wondering if my Trek 7.5fx would be able to do it? I'm going to be getting the biggest tires I can fit on the rim, but am concerned about the low spoke count? How's the condition of that trail?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by rdubbz View Post
    I'm thinking of riding the C&O this fall from cumberland to DC. I was wondering if my Trek 7.5fx would be able to do it? I'm going to be getting the biggest tires I can fit on the rim, but am concerned about the low spoke count? How's the condition of that trail?
    Thanks.
    It's bumpy and rocky, as my 7.5fx would tell you if it could. It rode the trail last week. See "The Historian's Tour - Pittsburgh to ?" in the Clydesdale forum.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Mid-Atlantic
    My Bikes
    A bunch
    Posts
    892
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Even dry, the towpath is packed sand with stones, and yes, it can be rough, but your bike shouldn't have a problem.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    SF
    My Bikes
    1972 Paramount Track, 1972 Paramount P13 Road, 1972 Paramount Tandem, 1986 Paramount Road, Merckx MXL, Gunnar Cross Hairs, Samson Illusion NJS, KHS Aero Track, Titus Racer X 29er, Tom Palermo Custom Touring
    Posts
    1,573
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You will be fine. You could easily do the ride on 700x28 tires. I think anything pas 700x32 is overkill and will just slow you down.

  5. #5
    ...into the blue...
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    My Bikes
    Thorn Nomad 2, LHT, Jamis Quest, ....
    Posts
    436
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by anomaly View Post
    You will be fine. You could easily do the ride on 700x28 tires. I think anything pas 700x32 is overkill and will just slow you down.
    I beg to disagree. Unless you are a 150-lb biking stud, and/or want to do in excess of 75-80 miles/day, put the cushiest tires you can on it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Highland Park, NJ, USA
    My Bikes
    "Hildy", a Novara Randonee touring bike; a 16-speed Bike Friday Tikit; Dahon Curve D3 folding bike; a green around-town cruiser; and a Specialized Stumpjumper frame-based built-up MTB.
    Posts
    3,779
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I did it on 700x32s, I had a blast. If I were doing it all over I'd put some semi-knobby 700 tires on.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DuckFat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Leesburg, VA
    My Bikes
    Cannondale Killer-V 900 (Mountain), Jamis Aurora (Touring)
    Posts
    252
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, put on the biggest tires you can and let out some air on the bumpiest sections near DC/Great Falls.

    You pulling a trailer or running panniers? A trailer may save your spokes.

  8. #8
    Seņor Miembro JustBrowsing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    603
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've been meaning to ask about this exact thing. I'm planning on riding from Cumberland back to DC at the end of September. I have Kenda Kwicks on my Kona Jake and they seem to handle the parts of the canal that I've ridden with no problem (700x30, semi-slick w/decent knobs for cornering/muck). Sure it's a bit bumpy, but I wouldn't expect anything less. I'll be keeping an eye on this thread and will probably post my own asking for suggestions in the next week. And I'll read through the Historian's thread, since that seems to be the most recent one covering the trip (I've read plenty of others). Can't wait to do this!

    Actually, any suggestions for car rentals to get up to Cumberland? I know Hertz and Enterprise both have dropoff points up there (unfortunately Avis doesn't--their pickup place is right around the corner from me in DC). Which one is closer to the start of the trail up there?
    Hey! Get your mouse off my text!

  9. #9
    Beefcake the Mighty rdubbz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Scumdogia
    Posts
    591
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for all the good info. Excellent thread and pictures, Historian. If I use my Trek I think I'll get some semi-knobby as suggested. Just a rack and maybe milk crate (the trailer looks nice, but I don't have). Call me crazy, but if my wife doesn't stop me I may actually buy a salsa la cruz soon and use that for the trip.

  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,784
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You might want to check out the following if you haven't already:
    http://www.bikewashington.org/canal/
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/coTowpath/

  11. #11
    Seņor Miembro JustBrowsing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    603
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hmmm, been reading the Historian's thread and it does look like he had a fair bit of spoke troubles with his 7.5's wheels. You might want to pick up a few FiberFix spokes for your trip (thanks for the link Tom). Actually, I should probably get a few myself.
    Hey! Get your mouse off my text!

  12. #12
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,784
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JustBrowsing View Post
    Hmmm, been reading the Historian's thread and it does look like he had a fair bit of spoke troubles with his 7.5's wheels. You might want to pick up a few FiberFix spokes for your trip (thanks for the link Tom). Actually, I should probably get a few myself.
    Or get some real spokes and a Unior Cassette *******. Make sure the lock ring isn't overtightened before you go and the cassette ******* will easily remove the cassette to replace drive side outer spokes (those are the ones that fail).
    http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=2456

    It isn't all that much more trouble to put in real spokes.

  13. #13
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by JustBrowsing View Post
    Hmmm, been reading the Historian's thread and it does look like he had a fair bit of spoke troubles with his 7.5's wheels. You might want to pick up a few FiberFix spokes for your trip (thanks for the link Tom). Actually, I should probably get a few myself.
    Actually, that's not the wheel that came with the 7.5fx. It was an upgrade, and three shops I stopped at all advised me it was a manufacturer defect. My local shop is treating it as a defective wheel, and I should be getting a replacement.

    For the record, I broke 4 spokes on tour, and 2 the week before. Six spokes in two and a half weeks - the wheel is less than 4 months old.

  14. #14
    Seņor Miembro JustBrowsing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    603
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Historian and staehpj1, thanks for the info. And Neil, congrats on the journey! I think I was down near marker 0 on Sunday about the time you rolled in. Had I been paying attention to this forum I would've congratulated you in person.
    Hey! Get your mouse off my text!

  15. #15
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by JustBrowsing View Post
    Historian and staehpj1, thanks for the info. And Neil, congrats on the journey! I think I was down near marker 0 on Sunday about the time you rolled in. Had I been paying attention to this forum I would've congratulated you in person.
    I recorded 5:10 PM as my arrival time at the marker. I was pushing through the crowd at the boathouse a few minutes earlier - did you see a hefty cyclist with a trailer?

  16. #16
    Seņor Miembro JustBrowsing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    603
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    I recorded 5:10 PM as my arrival time at the marker. I was pushing through the crowd at the boathouse a few minutes earlier - did you see a hefty cyclist with a trailer?
    Honestly, I don't remember. I was just piddling around down there at about 5 or 6. I see people loaded up come through just about every time I'm there. You probably rode right past me. But I can tell you I definitely wasn't the "on your left" guy. I use a bell.
    Hey! Get your mouse off my text!

  17. #17
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by JustBrowsing View Post
    Honestly, I don't remember. I was just piddling around down there at about 5 or 6. I see people loaded up come through just about every time I'm there. You probably rode right past me. But I can tell you I definitely wasn't the "on your left" guy. I use a bell.
    That "Sunday cyclist" was a woman on a comfort bike.

  18. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    My Bikes
    Surly LHT
    Posts
    9
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am heading from Pittsburgh to DC on September 17 or 18 and plan on being in DC on the 21 if anyone is on the trail during that time look me up.

    Jason

  19. #19
    Senior Member badger_biker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Rural Western Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    2004 Specialized Sequoia Elite, 1990 and 1986 Cannondale ST400, 1987 Trek 400 Elance, 1987 Schwinn Voyageur, 1986 Nishiki Cascade, 1985 Specialized Expedition, 1984 Bridgestone 400, 1975 Motobecane Le Champion
    Posts
    890
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DuckFat View Post
    Yeah, put on the biggest tires you can and let out some air on the bumpiest sections near DC/Great Falls.

    You pulling a trailer or running panniers? A trailer may save your spokes.
    DuckFat - I've only ridden the C&O from Georgetown to maybe 5 miles beyond Great Falls. By your comment, is that the roughest section of the whole trail? I'd like to do the whole DC/Pitt tour someday and based on my experience I was getting concerned about being able to do it with my 38 or 35c tires. Maybe they would be OK if it isn't all like that first stretch.
    Thanks,
    badger
    1975 Motobecane Le Champion
    1984 Bridgestone 400 -- 1985 Specialized Expedition 1986 Cannondale ST400 and Nishiki Cascade -- 1987 Trek Elance 400T and Schwinn Voyageur
    1990 Cannondale ST400 -- 1994 Univega Via Carisma

  20. #20
    Senior Member DuckFat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Leesburg, VA
    My Bikes
    Cannondale Killer-V 900 (Mountain), Jamis Aurora (Touring)
    Posts
    252
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, from about mile 30 all the way to Cumberland the trail is smoother. There are some rough patches near Paw Paw but overall I got beat up the most near Great Falls with a lot of washboard surfaces and little golf ball sized rocks all over the trail. Airing down the tires did help quite a bit.

    Be sure to find and take the rail trail for the 21 miles from above Hackock to Fort Frederick. The entrance is tricky to find but it's the smoothest surface I have ever biked on.
    Last edited by DuckFat; 08-29-08 at 10:27 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •