Off road tires

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by Ron338, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Ron338

    Ron338 New Member

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    I have a Trek 520 with Mavic T519 rims and Panaracer Pasela 700 x 35c tires. I'm planning a trip on the kinds of surfaces you find on the C and O Canal Path (dirt and loose gravel). The 35's I have on the bike now sometimes wash out a bit on the looser gravel surfaces. Does anyone here have any experience with the maximum size tire that a Trek 520 can accept? Will a 29" tire fit on the Mavic rims that I'm using? Can anyone recommend a tire? Thanks!
     
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  2. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    I've ridden the C&O tow path many times and I just rode it last week with a friend. My friend had a Sequoia hybrid and has 700x32 tires but with more of an aggressive off road tread than yours which is a road tire. He just got the tires but previously he had less aggressive tread and didn't seem to have a problem either... even though it was fairly muddy that time. I used a mountain bike last week with off road knobby tires and also have used the same bike on that trail with more slick tires for the road. And I have ridden it on my cyclocross bike that has Ritchey SpeedMax Cross tires that are between off road and road tires. No problems with any of these. I guess if it is real muddy it could get sluggish but I'd avoid it in that case. My friend and I are planning to ride the entire 184 mile trail next month if we can schedule our time.

    http://www.ritcheylogic.com/dyn_prodfamily.php?k=98784

    If you know the C&O maybe you know the Crescent trail from Bethesda to Silver Spring (Georgetown Branch Trail) where it is gravel and packed dirt. I ride this several times a week with my cyclocross bike with no traction problems even in the rain. When it is really soft in spots the bike can get a bit squirrelly but I've been able to handle it easily. So if your tires don't work maybe just get some that are made for off road. There are plenty to choose from. I use my Ritcheys for both on and off road and they still look very good after 2000 miles. I don't know the maximum width your bike can handle but with your 35mm tires, is there any more clearance for something wider?

    Both trails are flat and I never had much problem with grip using either bike. I do find the knobby tires on the mountain bike are very helpful going up hill on dirt. But you probably won't be doing that.
     
  3. Ron338

    Ron338 New Member

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    Alan, thanks for the help. There is clearance for a bigger tire, maybe as large as a 700 x 38, but i don't know if there is enough clearance for a 38 tire with knobby tread. I may go with a smaller tire with a better off road tread.
     
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