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  1. #1
    Bike Nerd Mr. Jim's Avatar
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    Help with tire choice.

    I have a little weekend jaunt planned, three days on the Pere Marquette and White Pines Trail MUPs in Michigan. Last day will be pavement as are portions of the trails, the rest of the trails to my knowledge are gravel.

    Bike is a LHT, I have slicks or a selection of MT bike tires, I would of course prefer the slicks, but have never toured on gravel before except for short stretches. Any recommendation for type/size of tires for this? I have 26" wheels. I am not willing to go buy new tires for this so it is the stock slicks or random MB tires I have laying around.
    Jim
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  2. #2
    Bike Nerd Mr. Jim's Avatar
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    From the trail description

    The remaining 60 miles of the trail is surfaced with packed gravel or cinders with pavement planned for the future. Riders with hybrid and mountain bikes will find the entire trail very enjoyable.
    I'm especially interested in hearing from folk that have ridden the unpaved sections.

    Also having trouble finding a campground near Big Rapids MI, I prefer this to stealth camping. If you know of one let me know. Closest I can find is Paris MI to the north.
    Jim
    my bikes
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    1970s (or 80s) fuji touring with a Yakima Big Tow
    2008 Surly LHT with Axiom Racks and SKS Fenders (for sale)
    Mid 80's Cannondale Road Bike

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    If it's packed gravel 35-40mm slicks (with air pressure on the lower side) should work fine. This would be what they call 'hybrid', I think.
    I've ridden short stretches of packed gravel on 23mm tyres; went quite well, but you do slide about.

  4. #4
    Charles Ramsey
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    I noticed tires with some tread are much safer crossing railroad tracks and on wet leaves.

  5. #5
    Senior Member KDC1956's Avatar
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    Don't be to cheap tires are not that much I just got a new set of Panarace TG @ 20.00 each.My tires are 26x1.75 and I too have a Surly LHT 52cm

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    If your slicks are the Slickasourus that comes stock on the LHT then I would go with your best MTB tire that hopefully has a center flat section.I'm almost willing to bet that you will get at least one or more flats with the stock tires,particularly on the gravel sections.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    I sampled a bit of packed gravel county road out in western OK recently. It had rained. Was running 700x38s. Traction was ok but the tires did sink/slide a bit. Had I continued, the drive train would soon have been covered in sticky road grit. Because of the rain, wide mtb tires would have been in order. Nothing to do about the grit.

    I'd go with the mtb tires and pray for dry weather.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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