Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Questions and answers about routes.

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Landslide
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Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by Landslide » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:10 pm

Can any of you lovely folk advise on decent routes for a cross/gravel bike with ~40c tyres?

I know there's the Wild About Argyll Trail, and folk have survived the Capital Trail and Trans Cambrian on cross bikes, but what else is there that wouldn't be utterly miserable on anything less than 2" knobblies? The Borders 220 looks like a nice distance in an interesting part of the world...

Conversely, what should be avoided on pain of death by HAB?

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:18 am

NCN 7
Rob Roy Way
Great Glen Way
South Loch Ness Trail.

That's just off the top of my head. There are routes to be ridden in Caithness, around Rothiemurchus and Nethy Bridge, Ardverickie Estate and, I'm guessing in many of the Border forests.

restlessshawn
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by restlessshawn » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:18 am

ScotRoutes wrote:I'm guessing in many of the Border forests.
Yeah I have a 290 mile mostly gravel route sat here waiting for me to take a few days off and ride it in one.

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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by restlessshawn » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:31 am

South Downs Way, depending on how far south you are

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sean_iow
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by sean_iow » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:29 am

restlessnative wrote:South Downs Way, depending on how far south you are
:lol: Obviously you're not very south to think that's skinny tyre friendly. I rode it in November and it was a sea of mud and slippery chalk and hard going on 27.5 x 2.35". Maybe in the summer when it dries out it would be suitable, but not for months yet. When I rode it I was so filthy that when I got to the ferry one of the staff came over to make sure I wasn't going to sit on any of the clean seats and I rode back to Southampton from Whinchester on the road so there was 15 miles for the worst of the mud to fall of me.

This is not intend as a criticism of your suggestion, just wouldn't want to OP to set out to ride it and find out how bad it is.
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:36 am

While you'd survive the TCW on a gravel bike, some stretches wouldn't be a lot of fun - doable just not much fun.

I tend to think the purpose of gravel type bikes is that of exploring rather than route following but I tend to think that of most things :wink:
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restlessshawn
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by restlessshawn » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:57 am

sean_iow wrote:
restlessnative wrote:South Downs Way, depending on how far south you are
:lol: Obviously you're not very south to think that's skinny tyre friendly. I rode it in November and it was a sea of mud and slippery chalk and hard going on 27.5 x 2.35". Maybe in the summer when it dries out it would be suitable, but not for months yet. When I rode it I was so filthy that when I got to the ferry one of the staff came over to make sure I wasn't going to sit on any of the clean seats and I rode back to Southampton from Whinchester on the road so there was 15 miles for the worst of the mud to fall of me.

This is not intend as a criticism of your suggestion, just wouldn't want to OP to set out to ride it and find out how bad it is.
Ok I should have perhaps clarified my suggestion with not in winter! There is a CX sportive over the SDW in the summer months.

I grew up in Havant and was riding the SDW and surrounding areas in the late 80's on skinny Tioga tyres, rigid forks and cantilever brakes...youth of today...mumble mumble grumble ;)

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sean_iow
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by sean_iow » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:05 am

restlessnative wrote:I grew up in Havant and was riding the SDW and surrounding areas in the late 80's on skinny Tioga tyres, rigid forks and cantilever brakes...youth of today...mumble mumble grumble ;)
Oi, I'm 47 :lol: Your right of course, in the summer it is probably quite ride-able on skinny tyres, provided it's not been to wet beforehand. When I rode it in November the last 50 miles back to Winchester where really bad, partially the weather but also the larger tracks I'd expect to be ok were very badly churned up by vehicles, most likely gamekeepers and shooting parties as I heard lots of shots on that section.
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restlessshawn
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by restlessshawn » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:44 am

Ooops I'm only 48

I usually get a ride in somewhere down there when I visit my parents. Despite living down there for so long I never went for a cycle on the IOW

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Ray Young
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by Ray Young » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:04 pm

Landslide wrote: The Borders 220 looks like a nice distance in and interesting part of the world...
This wouldn't be suitable for your needs I'm afraid.

Landslide
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by Landslide » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:39 pm

Thanks for all the replies folks. I think I'll probably file it under "what's the worst that can happen?", "buy some fatter tyres" and "start saving for a monstercross frame".

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sean_iow
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by sean_iow » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:34 am

When I had the off road tyres on mine in the summer I used it to ride off road sections that had too much road work between to want to ride on the mtb. I did a century on the Island last summer, mainly on the road but also riding on the nicer/better condition tracks as the mood took me. The advantage for me of the 'gravel' bike is it's so much faster on the road sections. So rather than look for a complete route you could ride the gravel bike friendly sections of a route and take to the quiet back roads to link them up?
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jamiep
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by jamiep » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:13 am

Badger Divide. I've not yet done it but hope to this spring

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summittoppler
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by summittoppler » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:09 pm

I was up at Galloway National Park last weekend. It seems to be a great area for gravel riding. Lond stretches of fireroads with a lot of them following the valleys so not much climbing.

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PaulE
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by PaulE » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:55 pm

I rode the trans Pennine trail a couple of years ago, from Southport to Hornsea, and that was a nice mix of road and easy trails. You could then return by a mixture of train and other trails or even by the way of the roses route?
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Nutsnut
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by Nutsnut » Tue May 01, 2018 8:49 pm

I'm no riding god, but rode the TCW last year on my cross bike and if anything still felt overbiked for the route.

All the climbs bar one were rideable, all the descent were rideable, with only one making wish I took a bigger bike (Foel Fadian?)

mat_swan
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by mat_swan » Thu May 03, 2018 1:01 pm

I took the cross bike along the South Downs, mostly on the SDW, from Eastbourne back to Hassocks at the end of that really hot week. Aside from getting rather rattled if you try and go too fast on some of the downs it's fine. Death by sliding in the wet though.

Make sure you've got some decently low gears, 42-36 as my lowest got a little painful at times

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Rich3rd
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Re: Routes for skinnier tyres. Or not.

Post by Rich3rd » Mon May 07, 2018 9:56 pm

This was my Wc2c ride which i did on cx.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/12784411
Never knowingly under biked...

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