Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41
  1. #1
    Groucho in Altoona
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    4
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    What Kind of Bike for Rails to Trails- Long Ride

    I'm planning on doing some long rides this summer. Rails to Trails, Cumberland to DC maybe. What kind of bike would be best? Currently doing road riding with a nice Canondale Synapse but don't want to take it on the rails to trails. Should I go hybrid, Cyclocross, touring or what?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    upper devonian
    Posts
    896
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Depends what you'd use the bike for the rest of the time. All-rounder I'd go cross. Commuter would probably be hybrid. If you get bit by the touring bug, you'll appreciate a tourer. Or go with whatever you like best and make it fit everything else, bikes are pretty adaptable.

  3. #3
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Groucho01 View Post
    I'm planning on doing some long rides this summer. Rails to Trails, Cumberland to DC maybe. What kind of bike would be best? Currently doing road riding with a nice Canondale Synapse but don't want to take it on the rails to trails. Should I go hybrid, Cyclocross, touring or what?
    A hybrid or rigid mountain bike works fine on the C & O. Here's my Trek 7.5 fx and Yakima Big Tow trailer.


  4. #4
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,954
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Use whatever style bike that you feel comfortable with, but I would suggest making sure the bike will accept larger tires than a 23 or 25. ....................Pause.............................

    OK, now this is where someone steps up and states they rode 800 miles of rails to trail on their 700x20mm and loved it and wouldn't dare slow themselves down with a 28 or 32 tire or God forbid larger yet.
    .........

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Touring bikes are naturally slow. After riding a C'dale Synapse, a touring bike will feel like a tank.

    Most of the posters here are like me-- we love our tanks! You might like the slow roll as well if you give it a try. So roadies never do, however. Test ride a touring bike or two.

    Do you have a hardtail MTB? or can barrow one? that might be a cheaper option.

  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On the road-USA
    My Bikes
    Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
    Posts
    16,326
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    Use whatever style bike that you feel comfortable with, but I would suggest making sure the bike will accept larger tires than a 23 or 25. ....................Pause.............................

    OK, now this is where someone steps up and states they rode 800 miles of rails to trail on their 700x20mm and loved it and wouldn't dare slow themselves down with a 28 or 32 tire or God forbid larger yet.
    .........
    I won't ride a bike with tires under 30's

    In response to the OP. Depends on what you want and how you will use the other bike. FWIW I ride my fairly short R to T on all of my bikes, but usually my 1972 Raleigh Superbe with the 1-3/8" (35mm) tires. A wider tire is going to improve comfort and provide "float" over a very narrow road tire. I would recommend a relaxed geometry bike; old rigid MTB, sport touring, hybrid, touring bike or cyclocross bike will all work fine. Fenders will be a plus if the weather is at all messy.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  7. #7
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    the desert
    Posts
    1,071
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Groucho01, I've been going over the same question in anticipation of a possible GAP/C&O ride in Sept. I'll be following this topic.

    At the top of my concerns is I don't know what it's like to ride on crushed limestone and just how important that should be regarding bike choice.

    I enjoyed the Historian's thread on his GAP/C&O adventure. IIRC, his only issues involved a less than adequate rear wheel and a troublesome trailer linkage, neither of which I'd say were due to the type of bike he rode.

    dewaday's advice seems practical and honest...even if that means less reason to get another bike.

  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dallas area, Texas
    Posts
    10,733
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Around here, there's a couple of Rails-to-Trails that are smooth fine gravel, and you could pretty much ride anything on them, but some others are pretty rough, and you'd want a mountain bike or equivalent- so it's a question of what the trails are like, not just what bike to use.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Most rails to trails have little significant grade change so for years I have been enjoying my rides with a single speed cyclocross geometry bike (on one pompino)with 35mm tires. It is simple, there isn't much to tear up with all the rock dust and I was never shifting on the trail much anyhow. That being said I have been leaving the trail for some of the towns or some of the newly built connector trails and there can be some hills.I am also thinking about some longer rides including some camping. Because of the fun I have had on the single speed I am having built for me a surly crosscheck with an 8 speed redbrand internally geared hub(hoping for the simplicity and ruggedness of the single speed but with a few gears) some touring brakes and I am going to try some albatross bars. This bike is not being built with speed or aerodynamics in mind. I am too busy enjoying the scenery to worry about how aero I am. There are enough mounts for my fenders and some racks for the occasional camp as well.Hoping to pick it up later this week, and if weather permits I'll let you know how it did!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    upper devonian
    Posts
    896
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by desertdork View Post
    Groucho01, I've been going over the same question in anticipation of a possible GAP/C&O ride in Sept. I'll be following this topic.

    At the top of my concerns is I don't know what it's like to ride on crushed limestone and just how important that should be regarding bike choice.

    I enjoyed the Historian's thread on his GAP/C&O adventure. IIRC, his only issues involved a less than adequate rear wheel and a troublesome trailer linkage, neither of which I'd say were due to the type of bike he rode.

    dewaday's advice seems practical and honest...even if that means less reason to get another bike.
    Oh dear, that certainly wasn't my intention .
    FWIW, I happen to ride a Synapse as well, great bike. Between a cyclocross and a hybrid, you'd probably feel more at home on a cross, I rarely ride my hybrid anymore for that reason.

    As far as crushed limestone, it's basically a very hard pack surface that ruts up some during rainy season, and gets dusty as heck during drought. Not at all gravelly, it's more like really poorly poured asphalt. Any bike that takes 32 tires would be comfortable. Aside from that, fenders are real handy, and hi spoke count wheels are good. We do an annual early spring and late fall 74 mile crushed limestone ride, and one of our female participants rides a skinny wheel aluminum race bike. She survives and has a blast.

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,772
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It depends on which trails you will ride and what you want. I rode the who Northern Central Railroad Trail combined with whatever they call it in PA. The round trip was 84 miles and it was a day ride. I did it a few times on skinny road tires. I also rode on the C&O towpath with 2.1" tires. Both were OK for what I wanted on those trips. Some places there are paved rail trails where skinny tire win hands down (Western Maryland Rail Trail for example).

    For touring on the C&O... If you go when the trail is in good shape 28mm tires are OK. Other times a mountain bike is the best. On average I'd say 32mm is a good compromise for the C&O. Will you be loaded touring? Will you want to do more touring down the road? Some find a touring bike to be a great all around bike. I have come to prefer a road bike for everything but loaded touring and mine now mostly sits when I am not on tour.

  12. #12
    Senior Member z415's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Gainesville/Tampa, FL
    My Bikes
    Trek 1000, two mtbs and working on a fixie for commuting.
    Posts
    2,347
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    OK, now this is where someone steps up and states they rode 800 miles of rails to trail on their 700x20mm and loved it and wouldn't dare slow themselves down with a 28 or 32 tire or God forbid larger yet.
    .........
    Sounds like torture. At Guantanamo.
    Falling is learning...[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]...learn to not fall in a box.
    Any good American will watch THIS -and- WHERE WAS MY BIKE MADE?

  13. #13
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by desertdork View Post

    I enjoyed the Historian's thread on his GAP/C&O adventure. IIRC, his only issues involved a less than adequate rear wheel and a troublesome trailer linkage, neither of which I'd say were due to the type of bike he rode.
    Thanks. The rear wheel was supposed to be an upgrade from the stock 28 spoke rear wheel. It wasn't. The 28 might have been OK.

    Which thread was that? My thread here, or the 'real time' one in the Clydesdale forum? The Clydesdale thread is here:

    The Historian's Tour - Pittsburgh to ? - The Official Thread

    Note how different the tone of that thread is compared to another two in this forum.

  14. #14
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Parkville, Md
    Posts
    7,772
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by desertdork View Post
    At the top of my concerns is I don't know what it's like to ride on crushed limestone and just how important that should be regarding bike choice.
    I should mentioned that unless they have been doing some resurfacing in the last few years that some to the C&O is not crushed limestone. Some substantial portions are more like dirt, mud when it is wet enough. If that isn't the case anymore someone please correct me.

  15. #15
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hampton Roads VA
    My Bikes
    '07 Trek 520, '10 Gary Fisher Triton, '04 Trek 8000, '85 Trek 500, '84 Trek 610, '85 Trek 510, '92 Trek Multitrack 700
    Posts
    1,601
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've riden my Trek 520 on the New River Trail and the Virginia Creeper Trail, both in western Virginia. I would recomend at least 32's due to the crushed rock surfaces on many Rails To Trails trail.

  16. #16
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    I should mentioned that unless they have been doing some resurfacing in the last few years that some to the C&O is not crushed limestone. Some substantial portions are more like dirt, mud when it is wet enough. If that isn't the case anymore someone please correct me.
    The C & O is not crushed limestone, save in a few spots and close to DC. The bulk of it is gravel and dirt. And mud when it's wet.

  17. #17
    .
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    My Bikes
    Moots Psychlo-x ybb, Soma ES, Trek 950
    Posts
    3,783
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've ridden a lot of rail-to-trail routes on my cyclocross bike. Change out the tires from road to actual 700x35/38 cyclocross or even hybrid tires and it's a great ride. This Spring, I'm planning on doing some of the Oregon Trail on my 29er which I have some Schwalbe Big Apples. That should be a fun ride on those tires.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  18. #18
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern VA
    My Bikes
    2008 Trek Madone 5.5, 2009 Cervelo R3SL tdf edition, Cervelo R5 with Di2
    Posts
    2,491
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I rode 50 miles (out and back) the day after Christmas on the C&O from Georgetown on a Specialized Tri-Cross. I love that bike for commuting, but it was still a bit bone-jarring. I think I lost a couple of fillings. If I ride it again (when it's warmer) I think I'll take a hybrid. The suspension would have helped I think.

  19. #19
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    My Bikes
    Too darn many.. latest count is 11
    Posts
    5,345
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Juat a FYI though. DC to Cumberland isn't a "Rails to Trails". It's basically a 2 track tow path. WMRT, and the GAP *are* Rauils to Trails, and there is a night and day difference. C&O is best on a Cyclocross bike if you're looking for speed, a MTB or Hybrid if you're looking for comfort. No way I'd do the C&O on a road bike.

    -Roger

  20. #20
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    My Bikes
    Too darn many.. latest count is 11
    Posts
    5,345
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    I should mentioned that unless they have been doing some resurfacing in the last few years that some to the C&O is not crushed limestone. Some substantial portions are more like dirt, mud when it is wet enough. If that isn't the case anymore someone please correct me.
    No correction, it's still that way!

  21. #21
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    the desert
    Posts
    1,071
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Which thread was that? My thread here, or the 'real time' one in the Clydesdale forum? The Clydesdale thread is here:

    The Historian's Tour - Pittsburgh to ? - The Official Thread
    That's it

  22. #22
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    the desert
    Posts
    1,071
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    I should mentioned that unless they have been doing some resurfacing in the last few years that some to the C&O is not crushed limestone. Some substantial portions are more like dirt, mud when it is wet enough. If that isn't the case anymore someone please correct me.
    Thanks to everyone for clarifying this.

    I shouldn't have mentioned crushed limestone. My apology to the OP for diverting this thread.

    With the rough surface of the C&O, how many here would steer the OP away from choosing a carbon fork for this ride? The Historian and JimF22003 had carbon forks on their respective FX and Tricross, but I didn't note any concern stated by either.

  23. #23
    Neil_B
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by desertdork View Post
    Thanks to everyone for clarifying this.

    I shouldn't have mentioned crushed limestone. My apology to the OP for diverting this thread.

    With the rough surface of the C&O, how many here would steer the OP away from choosing a carbon fork for this ride? The Historian and JimF22003 had carbon forks on their respective FX and Tricross, but I didn't note any concern stated by either.
    If that's what he has on his bike, I don't see any reason he couldn't use it. That said, if I owned another hybrid without a carbon fork, I might have used it instead. The big drawback to the carbon fork, IMO, is that you can't put a front rack on it.

  24. #24
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,954
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    The big drawback to the carbon fork, IMO, is that you can't put a front rack on it.
    There are front racks that can be used with a carbon fork like the one below but you're definitely more limited in choices.

    Last edited by robow; 01-18-09 at 06:57 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, Indiana
    My Bikes
    Volae Team, '76 Motobecane Grand Jubile, '60's Schwinn Typhoon 2-speed kickback, Specialized Hardrock, Sun Flat-top unicycle
    Posts
    1,568
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Riding a muddy C&O last summer, I found the gravel to be sparse and the trail-wide puddles common. Either plan around the weather, plan to hose down every night, or have fenders. I rode a rigid mtn bike with 1.75" tires and full fenders - it was great.

    I'll be back this summer.
    This has to be a tie between re-frozen slushy uneven dirty ice stuff just right of the nicely plowed pavement, and super-glassy ice with a dusting of fresh powder - SalshShark

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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