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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
Katy Trail Tire Selection

Thank you for the opportunity for speaking about the trail. I have ridden the entire distance and many 60 to 120 mile trips in lots of conditions. With several different bikes and tires.
1. The faster you were going the less the vibration. At around 8 to 10 mph I seemed to feel everything ( mountain bike ).with front shock. My touring longwheel base bike, with upright bars could get up to above 12mph sometimes hitting 18 to 20 mph. At this speed one seems to float above the vibration. If you are going out for a slow and go short distance anything will work. WANT NO FLATS?- always use Mr. tuffy tire liners.If your tire is a 32c use the larger size for hybirds this wraps slightly into the sidewall for better protection. My experience is less tread is better. Slicks are good on the back but a little tread with a larger size tire on the front. I also learned to run high pressure on rear and about 70 to 80 lbs on front.- LUBE- tryed everything and the only one that works is ICE WAX. anything with an oil base will turn into a limeslush. I like the 700c size tires because you can find a lot of selection in every shop compared to the mountain 26 sizes. A carbon seat post or a spring loaded seatpost is a must for the B...problem. I love the BONRIGER tires. this is the heavy duty go fast lineup I use. Even there 700x28 or 32 c slick on the rear and a reqular 700c on front works great.(less tread on rear). Pray for no rain...limestone is and water makes concrete and a 10 mph pace will become 5mph with great power output. Remember the faster you go the less vibration you feel so make the right tire decision on the fastest heavyduty tire on the market for the rear and about anyting on the front (no slicks on front) I run over sticks and nature junk and I have NEVER HAD A FLAT using Mr Tuffys . Enjoy your ride by Dale Cannon
posted Feb 21 2008 7:28PM - dale cannon, lawrence kansas

First, let me say that when compared to the C&O Canal Trail between Cumberland, MD, and Washington, DC, the KATY Trail is a "dream" ride, remarkably smooth. The thought of road "vibration" never occurred to us when we traveled between Sedalia and St. Charles. Having said that, I can only add to the good suggestions already offered by adding a recommmendation for Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. We finally switched to them after using Mr. Tuffy inserts for many years. Think built-in Mr. Tuffies. All the protection from flats without the extra hassle of getting the tuffies lined up right inside your tire, and no (admittedly slight) increase in flats from pinched tubes.
posted Feb 21 2008 8:01PM - Larry Erickson, Seattle, WA

Thanks for the great advice. I think I may try the tire liners or marathon plus tires. I haven't had a flat yet, but why not take the extra precaution.

What does the less tread on the rear get you? I'v been running 700x35 cyclocross front and rear. (El Cheapo brand)
posted Feb 21 2008 8:53PM - Frank, Lees Summit

Frank from Lee summitt asked -Good Q- WHY LESS TREAD ON REAR?- #1. If we put the rear on a scale and then the front we will find about 60 to 75% of the weight of the rider is going to the rear wheel. There is plenty of traction on the rear wheel. #2. Most riders use a rack on the rear with a day pack. The deeper the tread the more the powered magic (limejunk) throws up to the rack and then DOWN TO THE GEARS. #3. We normaly go STRAIGHT on the trail with very few turns where corner traction is needed. #4. Cyclecross tires are OK but they are almost always foldup and may not offer a stiff sidewall, or a hi pressure rating. (C/cross tires works great on front).Some foldup tires on bikes with heavy riders are known to roll off the rim at times. TOURING TIRES use a wire bead and have a much stiffer sidewall. When loaded with a 250 lb ,man + 3 -h20 's + plus a rack and a day bag with misc day trip stuff. GOOD TOURING TIRES can be inflated up to (90 to 100psi). They have almost no lateral flex and very low rolling drag. This allows the rider to get to ( the sweet zone ) of the speed grid where vibration is very low and you can fly to the next town a little faster with a little less effort. And a lot less magic (limejunk) thrown up to your rack and then down to your gears....Darn.. (I love that magic Limedust) I can taste it now as I write this. From Dale Cannon
posted Feb 22 2008 7:24AM - dale cannon, lawrence kansas

I hear and have ordered Green Slime, a tire sealant that instantly fills holes and is inexpensive ($10 for 2 bikes). This means that you don't have do anything until the flat; then just fill with green slime liquid and pump up. Google it to ensure you get youtube/google advice from those already long using.
posted Aug 14 2015 5:08PM - Jon Canter, Tallahassee

Jon, lime junk an green slime are not the same stuff.
posted Aug 15 2015 6:15PM - Anonoh

I have used Michelin Jet cyclocross tires for the last few years with great success. I'm a 205 lb rider on a Trek Hybrid. Low rolling resistance and have not had a flat because of the tires yet. I've had more problems with valve stems on the tubes than something puncturing the tube through the tire.
posted May 8 2016 3:17PM - Marty Beck, Jefferson City

I've had Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on my bike and have done the KT end to end 3 times in the last 3 years without any problems. They are worth the price, hands down.
posted May 10 2016 4:37AM - Anonoh

In preparation for the Katy I tested 2 bikes yesterday on our local crushed limestone trail. It is Spring and the trail was soft in the shaded lowlands and dry and hard on full sun/hilltops. My first ride was on a roadbike with 700x28 continental gatorskins. The second ride was on a hybrid with 700x32 armadillo tires pulling a BOB trailer. The combined weight of rider, water, food, and gear was 250#. Each ride was 8 miles round trip. The first took 25% longer than the 2nd. The bike sunk into the trail and felt like I was biking out of a hole most of the ride. Where the crushed limestone was deep/loose there was sliding sideways of front tire. The hybrid fared much better. It was quicker and took much less energy. With the weight distributed over 3 axles (wider tires) instead of 2 there was less compaction and better handling. The down side of the hybrid was the noticeable vibration. Overall the hybrid was better.
posted Mar 21 2017 9:54AM - BOB, Ankeny

Tags: St Charles, Sedalia, Washington, Water, Route Suggestions, Other Trails, Weather, Running, Tires Modify Tags

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