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Bike Hiking?

Old 03-16-16, 05:07 PM
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Bike Hiking?

Hi,

I normally ride a road bike and love doing centuries, but sometimes the paved road gets a bit boring and also a bit dangerous with cars.

I'm wondering if there is a name to a genre of biking which involves riding on hiking trails. By that I mean riding cleared maintained trails on your bike. Now I know your all saying, "Mountain Biking" but mountain biking means this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBlSHIBUx7g

and I'm more interested in riding cleared mainly flat trails.
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Old 03-16-16, 05:19 PM
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Gravel bikes? Or now refered to as "Adventure" bikes or "All-Terrain" road bikes. For example these from Norco.

EDIT: or these "X-Road" from Giant
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Old 03-16-16, 05:20 PM
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The link is to whats called downhill. Even if they're easy mtb trails I still call it mtb or you can call it cross country maybe.
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Old 03-16-16, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Inpd
Hi,

I normally ride a road bike and love doing centuries, but sometimes the paved road gets a bit boring and also a bit dangerous with cars.

I'm wondering if there is a name to a genre of biking which involves riding on hiking trails. By that I mean riding cleared maintained trails on your bike. Now I know your all saying, "Mountain Biking" but mountain biking means this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBlSHIBUx7g

and I'm more interested in riding cleared mainly flat trails.
If you have clear maintained trails, someone is maintaining them and it's probably volunteers. Find out who that group is and join them in a trail building or maintenance day. You'll make some friends and get some good advice. I'm a pavement type person when it comes to bicycles, but I do hike and backpack and am a member and volunteer of a trail maintainance group and also have an adopted section of trail.
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Old 03-16-16, 05:39 PM
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There are a handful of waus to ride mtbs. Commonly, there are downhill mtbs and xc mtbs. XC (cross country) typically have less fork suspenaion travel and different geometry since the position and riding is different.
I dont do any sort of downhill since im in the corn belt, but
I do enjoy the xc/trail aspect of mountain biking.
I have an older mtb and its great on trails in the woods and prairies.


There is also gravel riding which is nice because its basically you and maybe 5 cars over the span of an hour.

Look into gravel bikes, adventure bikes, and CX bikes. All are in the general overall category you are interested in.
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Old 03-16-16, 06:01 PM
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Look up "Gravel Grinder" and similar rides- Dirty Kanza, for example.
On the one organized gravel-grinder ride I did, it looked like half the people had gravel bikes (drop bars, medium tires), half had mountain bikes.
Mountain biking varies a lot. Around here (Dallas area), the "mountain bike" trails are single-track trails with a little whoop-di-do place every mile or so. But, with the exception of bouncing over tree roots, you could ride any bike on the easy parts and walk or bypass the hard spots.
By the way, if you haven't checked into it, there are a lot of hiking trails that don't allow bicycles. So kind of scout that out before you make too many plans.
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Old 03-16-16, 06:32 PM
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I've never explored gravel grinding, and actually had never heard of it except at this site. Just did a quick search around here and found what I expected for gravel grinding. Country lanes and fire roads. Anything I would consider a foot trail that allows bikes around here would likely fall into the category of mountain biking with some level of difficulty for a beginner. Even a couple of the beginner rated trails challenged my teen daughter and 20s son who are in decent shape, but not regular riders. Cleared and well maintained is pretty subjective. Clear and well maintained to a hiker may still be pretty rough to a cyclist, or enjoyably challenging Also, many here are shared with equestiran traffic.
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Old 03-16-16, 06:58 PM
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Look up rail trails:
https://www.railtrails.org.au/
Rail Trails NZ - Portal for New Zealand's Greatest Cycle Trail Rides
Rails-to-Trails: Canada Rail-Trails Guide
Canadian Rail Trails
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy - Creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and building healthier places for healthier people. | Rails-to-Trails Conservancy



And other trails in your local area: Greater Hobart Trails | Bush walking, bike riding, mountain biking, horse riding and urban tracks in Hobart, Kingborough, Derwent Valley, Clarence, Glenorchy & Brighton, Tasmania Australia


(Note that many hiking trails do not allow bicycles. You've got to look for multi-use trails or trails specifically for cycling)
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Old 03-16-16, 07:01 PM
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Thank goodness someone finally said "rail trails." I think that's the simple answer Inpd was looking for.
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Old 03-16-16, 07:25 PM
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Inpd, Be aware that your roadie may not be ideal for even gentle off road, non paved riding. Tires are generally too narrow and even small pebbles can chip the paint from your down tube...I know.

For off road riding on a drop bar bike I ride my old and well used touring bike with 37 mm tires. My preference for off road is my hard tail mountain bike.

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Old 03-17-16, 08:25 AM
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Thanks Everyone As Usual!

Thanks, great feedback as usual.

Rails to trails are good and I've ridden a few before on a road bike with 28mm tires and carbon fork and a road bike was great. But these trails rarely get into the heart of nature that hiking can so I'm looking with something that can handle a bit less groomed rails

I think my options are:

a) Cyclocross bike
b) An adventure bike (which seems to be a cyclocross bike but cost 25% more!)
c) A hard tail mountain bike
d) A full suspension mountain bike

I'm leaning towards c) or d) just because it gives me more options the terrain I can cover.

Has anyone tried riding a) or b) over trails that have a few rocks, ridges and ruffles in them? I'm guessing the lack of suspension means they aren't very good.
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Old 03-17-16, 08:40 AM
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Many years ago (before mountain bikes were invented) when I rode a way-to-big-for-me Raleigh Grand Prix with road tires (probably 27x1), --I had no problem riding trails that might now be referred to as single-track. I didn't so much bomb over logs or jump rock crevices, but that ten-speed was just fine on any trial I rode. My light touring bikes now are treated similarly. Trails and fire roads are fine on 700x28 (or 32 or 38). I like the thought of dedicated "gravel grinders", but I like even better the thought of a single bike that can do anything. My light tourers try to be just that.
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Old 03-17-16, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd
...I think my options are:

a) Cyclocross bike
b) An adventure bike (which seems to be a cyclocross bike but cost 25% more!)
c) A hard tail mountain bike
d) A full suspension mountain bike

I'm leaning towards c) or d) just because it gives me more options the terrain I can cover.

Has anyone tried riding a) or b) over trails that have a few rocks, ridges and ruffles in them? I'm guessing the lack of suspension means they aren't very good.
My daughter and others have traversed rough terrain on a), but it's just the nature of CX. At a slower pace my touring bike isn't uncomfortable even riding over tree roots. Neither are suited to tight and technical terrain as well as a hard tail mountain bike. A full suspension mountain bike is a bit of over kill for trails, but some would have nothing else.

Brad
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Old 03-17-16, 10:25 AM
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Look at something like a hard tail 29er mt bike. A do all type rig. Can run some thinner tires for smoother surfaces or bigger knobby tires for dirt.
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Old 03-17-16, 10:31 AM
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1. what's your budget?

2. are you looking new or used?

3. plan to carry much stuff?

4. hills and mountains?

5. flat bars or drops?
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Old 03-17-16, 10:31 AM
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No one has yet said bikepacking, which is how [MENTION=404712]Inpd[/MENTION] 's description reads to me. Although I guess that usually involves camping.
[MENTION=404712]Inpd[/MENTION] you do need to check whether bikes are legal on the path you choose. Around here there are many hiker-only or hiker-and-horses-only trails.
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Old 03-17-16, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
No one has yet said bikepacking, which is how [MENTION=404712]Inpd[/MENTION] 's description reads to me. Although I guess that usually involves camping.
[MENTION=404712]Inpd[/MENTION] you do need to check whether bikes are legal on the path you choose. Around here there are many hiker-only or hiker-and-horses-only trails.
Bikepacking! Great, that's a keyword I can search on. [MENTION=339610]Darth Lefty[/MENTION], I've heard there are some great trails to ride a bike on around your part of CA right?
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Old 03-17-16, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Inpd
Bikepacking! Great, that's a keyword I can search on. @Darth Lefty, I've heard there are some great trails to ride a bike on around your part of CA right?
Good luck with flat bikepacking and enjoy going minimalist on the gear, hills and minimal gear are generally what it's all about.

And unless you are planning more than day rides, I don't know why you started this in Touring.
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Old 03-17-16, 01:07 PM
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OP, it might be helpful it you stated where you are from. In this area (DC), there are railtrails (paved and unpaved), canal towpath, gravel roads, mountain biking trails, MUPs, and more. Other places there are fire roads, utility ROWs, etc., all of which could meet your needs.
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Old 03-17-16, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Inpd
@Darth Lefty, I've heard there are some great trails to ride a bike on around your part of CA right?
There's not much you can't do here or nearby. I commute on a MUP which is heavily traveled by roadies as well, there are rail trails and mountain biking in the foothills, and if you wanted to fatbike in the snow or downhill at a ski resort in the summer, Tahoe is a 2hr drive
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Old 03-17-16, 01:23 PM
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Britain has long had the rough stuff fellowship, its was always about taking your bike across the country side .

bikes carried as much as ridden .. they had a club with members around the shires/counties..
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Old 03-17-16, 01:45 PM
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Bikepacking.

How has no one said that yet?

Google it.

oh yeah, they did. Well anyway, yes, Google that.
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Old 03-17-16, 02:32 PM
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I rode my Long Haul Trucker for several years. Loved it, but didn't love how it rode when I left the pavement behind. Last summer I picked up a Troll, and even with my Trucker wheels, it already felt like an improvement when going off the road thanks to having a lot more pedal clearance. It's still a touring bike, but also a mountain bike. As of a few weeks ago, I'm finally running some nice, wide, 26" wheels, and now I'm looking for excuses to ride over rougher ground, rather than avoiding it.

Looking to get more of a bikepacking set-up going, too. Not so much to to keep my gear clear of obstacles (although that will be helpful if I ever find any single track to tour on), but to help streamline my gear and maybe ditch the weight of at least one rack, if not two.

I never considered mountain biking as an activity I'd pursue, but when it was put the way you put it: simply biking but off the roads, then it becomes more appealing to see how I can switch from riding on pavement to riding on whatever I want. I don't really have the experience to say what works and what doesn't, but so far I've really enjoyed my Troll, and feel like it's more than ready to tackle a variety of surfaces with its higher bottom bracket and fatter tires. I could see adding a front suspension some day and trying to ride even rougher stuff, but for now it seems like its already ready to go wherever I might want to take it. I doubt I'd want a suspension for touring unless it was going to be day after day of single track. It's added weight and added complexity, and if you're not going to get lots of use out of it, I think I'd rather get by with a rigid bike.

Also be aware that not every hiking trail is good for mountain biking, or any biking. Some trails are just made assuming you're on foot and can step over an obstacle or climb some natural stairs. And some just don't allow bikes. So do your research, and have fun.
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Old 03-17-16, 11:42 PM
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I agree that bikepacking sounds like what you're talking about, given that you're posting in the touring forum.

People have biked the entire Great Divide Trail on a cyclocross bike, and on a rigid mountain bike. So it's possible. If I were to give it a try, I'd take a hardtail. Big tires and possibly a sprung saddle (like the Brooks Flyer), to take the edge off.

If you know the trails you'll be riding on and they're all well-maintained, hybrids are an option.
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Old 03-18-16, 07:49 PM
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don't bike on hiking trails. especially if they are hiking only trails. the hikers just don't dig it. oh! same for equestrian trails. don't bike on those. those horse people are like seriously nuts!

Last edited by mrv; 03-18-16 at 07:53 PM.
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