Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

28mm on the c&o

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

28mm on the c&o

Old 11-17-12, 10:09 AM
  #1  
eappleton1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
28mm on the c&o

Hi all,

I'm interested in riding the c&o canal trail as part of a cross country trip. We would be going in early May. We're riding cross checks with 28mm tires and carrying front/back panniers. Does this seem doable?

Eric
eappleton1 is offline  
Old 11-17-12, 10:40 AM
  #2  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 10,213
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 591 Post(s)
Liked 193 Times in 155 Posts
It will depend to some extent on the condition of the trail at the time. It can get pretty muddy and rutted.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1
staehpj1 is online now  
Old 11-17-12, 10:45 AM
  #3  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,322 Times in 832 Posts
Look at the weather forecast..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 11-17-12, 10:48 AM
  #4  
robow
Senior Member
 
robow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,568
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 435 Post(s)
Liked 131 Times in 93 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
It will depend to some extent on the condition of the trail at the time. It can get pretty muddy and rutted.
Agreed, if it's dry >>>you're fine, if it's a mess like it was the time I rode it, I found my 26' x 1 1/2" tires (38 mm) to be barely adequate.
robow is offline  
Old 11-17-12, 09:03 PM
  #5  
charly17201
Senior Member
 
charly17201's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 582

Bikes: RANS Formula LE, Giant Escape 1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I road the C&O last year starting May 1st. Got rained on every day. I would suggest a wider tire, but it isn't impossible. I saw others riding very skinny tires (patch kit, spare tube and pump will most likely be needed).

You just have to realize there will most likely be a lot of muddy trail. What ever you choose, mud guards would be nice, but if you have them on the bike, make sure there is plenty of room to get your hand in to pull the muddy glop out.
charly17201 is offline  
Old 11-17-12, 09:55 PM
  #6  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,539

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3392 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by charly17201 View Post
I road the C&O last year starting May 1st. Got rained on every day. I would suggest a wider tire, but it isn't impossible. I saw others riding very skinny tires (patch kit, spare tube and pump will most likely be needed).

You just have to realize there will most likely be a lot of muddy trail. What ever you choose, mud guards would be nice, but if you have them on the bike, make sure there is plenty of room to get your hand in to pull the muddy glop out.
I forget what the exact ranking is as far a rain but this region is one of the top rainiest in the country. As far as the rest of the world... From what I have heard it gets more rainy days than England.

Forget about checking the forecasts too. Long range forecasts, even by a few days are a joke in this region. A life long resident and avid boater, told me that it has something to do with the bay, the nearby mountains and other geography that makes the region a forecasters nightmare. Apparently the closer you get to the bay the worse it gets on predictions.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 11-18-12, 12:14 AM
  #7  
DropBarFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,150

Bikes: 2013 Surly Disc Trucker, 2004 Novara Randonee , old fixie , etc

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 671 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 43 Posts
I've only ridden on the section close to DC which has a fair amount of gravel over the dirt. Rode about 15 miles once with 28 mm tires & the rough ride gets fatiguing on wrists & butt after a while. There are some rocks & bumps, not really possible to avoid them all. The more rural parts may have less gravel but more mud. So it's probably doable but perhaps not too fun. Perhaps you could but some wider tires for the C & O? Re rain, yes it can get rainy in spring but OTOH this year was pretty dry & some of recent years also. Good luck.
DropBarFan is offline  
Old 11-18-12, 07:15 PM
  #8  
robow
Senior Member
 
robow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,568
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 435 Post(s)
Liked 131 Times in 93 Posts
The farther you get from DC, the less substrate used for the trail (it's dirt and mud and not crushed limestone which is often used on rail to trails), unless it has changed in the last couple years.
robow is offline  
Old 11-18-12, 07:46 PM
  #9  
Stannian
Senior Member
 
Stannian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 111

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Are you really going to change your tires mid-tour? Hell yes it's doable. There are probably better tire choices out there but they will work just fine. You may have to get off the bike in some sections, but that's no big deal. On my last tour the crushed limestone trail was covered in half a foot of water. No tire was riding through it. I just walked off to the side and didn't even get muddy.

On second thought, why not put fatter tires on those cross-checks? You are bound to hit more gravel roads along the way and wider tires make rough roads much more enjoyable at a negligible efficiency loss. You will be negligibly slower on asphalt, but much faster on rough stuff. Fat tires are really nice to tour on.
Stannian is offline  
Old 11-19-12, 05:27 AM
  #10  
eappleton1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks, all. It doesn't seem like the C&O is the right choice for us, regardless of the tire size. We'll come back some other time when we're carrying less.

Eric
eappleton1 is offline  
Old 11-19-12, 06:02 AM
  #11  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 10,213
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 591 Post(s)
Liked 193 Times in 155 Posts
Originally Posted by eappleton1 View Post
Thanks, all. It doesn't seem like the C&O is the right choice for us, regardless of the tire size. We'll come back some other time when we're carrying less.

Eric
Good luck with whatever route you wind up using.

Just in case you aren't completely decided... If my observations are typical lots of folks carry a lot of gear on the C&O so that may not be a good reason to avoid it.

If you should change your mind... On a coast to coast trip you could use the C&O or regular roads based on the weather and trail conditions when you get there. Also, you could start with the C&O and and change your mind any number of places along the way.

The C&O isn't really my cup of tea, but it might be a nice change of pace on a long road tour. That said, I wouldn't go very far out of my way to ride it on a coast to coast tour.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1
staehpj1 is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
dhender02
Fifty Plus (50+)
10
05-19-15 09:02 AM
Dan Burkhart
Fifty Plus (50+)
10
12-15-14 05:41 PM
Timtruro
Fifty Plus (50+)
15
03-24-14 08:19 AM
donalson
Touring
9
10-25-13 05:58 PM
boogman
Touring
21
03-19-12 12:41 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.