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Poll - Which Bike & Tires for late Sept on C&O/GAP?

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View Poll Results: Which Bike & Tire for Sept C&O/GAP?
Trek 520 w/ 32mm and fenders
2
15.38%
Trek 520 w/ 37 mm and no fenders
5
38.46%
Hardtail MTB w/ suspension fork and 1.6" or wider
3
23.08%
Hardtail MTB w/ rigid fork and 1.6" or wider
3
23.08%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

Poll - Which Bike & Tires for late Sept on C&O/GAP?

Old 07-20-10, 09:37 AM
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Poll - Which Bike & Tires for late Sept on C&O/GAP?

I'm signed up for the Adventure Cycling tour of the C&O Canal / GAP in September-October. Now I need to decide upon which bike and what tires. Your thoughts would be appreciated. I'm a fairly heavy rider with a reconstructed shoulder, so the MTB with suspension is nice. But I put a few thousand miles on the Trek each year, so I'm really at home on that bike on pavement.

The ride is supported so I don't have to carry much more than a day bag, which I can do on any of the listed bikes.

I'm traveling up from Texas and have been looking forward to this trip for a couple of years. For you folks who have ridden the tour route I really appreciate your comments.

Thanks.

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Old 07-20-10, 10:10 AM
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If a supported tour and given your shoulder issue, I'd go for the MTB with suspension (assuming it has lockout or is otherwise adjustable). The C&O can be pretty bumpy in spots. However, I would run road-type tires or very non-agressive knobbies at most. I rode it with a 1.5" road tire, fully loaded with no problems.
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Old 07-20-10, 12:04 PM
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Old 07-20-10, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by briwasson
If a supported tour and given your shoulder issue, I'd go for the MTB with suspension (assuming it has lockout or is otherwise adjustable). The C&O can be pretty bumpy in spots. However, I would run road-type tires or very non-agressive knobbies at most. I rode it with a 1.5" road tire, fully loaded with no problems.
I would agree with that but I would watch the weather as a bunch of rain will make for a muddy trail... when I did parts of it it was kind of muddy due to rain...and I was riding a thin road tire...

I'm sure you will enjoy it, especially a supported tour...

If you haven't already I'd recomend checking out the Youtube videos on the canal very interesting...

Enjoy
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Old 07-20-10, 08:19 PM
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Local to me, so I'll weigh in.

I'd do the hardtail personally, especially given your shoulder (mine recuperating from May surgery).

I do it on a cross bike wth 32's, but it can beat you up a bit. GAP is a much better trail than the C&O
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Old 07-20-10, 10:57 PM
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Tires seem more important than the bike - either ride will work. When I did it I rode with 32 smooth commuting tires, and on the third time cyclecross tires with a little bit of tread to them. The C & O can turn into a swamp when its wet, and there aren't always good road alternates, so take whatever bike and tire will get you through.
 
Old 07-22-10, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CCrew

I'd do the hardtail personally, especially given your shoulder (mine recuperating from May surgery).

I do it on a cross bike wth 32's, but it can beat you up a bit.
I gather that 32mm (1-1/4") is somewhat of a minimum recommended size.
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Old 07-26-10, 09:57 AM
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I just did the whole trail, from DC to Pittsburgh in 5.5 days on my 1996 Trek 5000 full carbon bike. I rode 25c tires and have absolutely no problems or complaints. The C&O was mostly dry except for the last 20 miles or so from Paw Paw to Cumberland where we got dumped on with rain and had to slog through trail full of muck.

I weigh about 150 and was carrying about 35 lbs. of gear (tent, cooking equipt., clothes, Gu, etc.). The frame has braze-ons for a rear rack on the dropouts, and I have the top of the rack threaded to my seatpost clamp.

The only problem was a broken spoke/spoke loosenings on my piece 'o crap Alex Rims DA22 wheel set. The only thing I would do different would be a stronger wheel set. The stock set was probably stronger- I think I chose aesthetics over performance when I 'upgraded' to the newer set. I rode my recently bought Brooks B-17 saddle that had about 200 miles on it before the trip, and is now very nicely broken in.

Bottom line- I'd say do not worry about riding a road bike on this trail-
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