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Author Topic: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?  (Read 2257 times)

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Offline ClintonRH

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Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« on: April 27, 2009, 12:21:54 AM »
I was thinking of taking my cyclocross bike next weekend along with the mountain bike. I was looking at West Meadow and Spur especially. My weaknesses were the climbs in my single cross attempt. I'm a native South Floridian, hills are still a strange and foreign concept to me. Anyone ever see any one on a cyclocross bike out at Boyette? I know a few people who ride the trails of Wilderness Park on their cross bikes but Boyette just looks so much nicer with the elevation changes and I don't see nearly as many family outing trail blockades at Boyette as at Wilderness. Seems to me like a great place to get some summer miles in. As much as I love my mountain bike, I just don't see myself ever competing with it, whereas cyclocross racing call to me, though I still can't see myself ever winning. The only issue I see is that on the cross bike it's doesn't take a lot of effort to be going a hell of a lot faster than most fat-tire mountain bikes ever would on those trails which though marked as intermediate really are very simple easy trails if not for a few climbs. I'm probably thinking too much but I dislike conflict so I figured I'd throw it out there.
I have a small group of friends that wants to do cross with me next year. If there's no objections (I don't see why there would be except for the speed issue since after all a bike is a bike whether it has flat bars, risers, or drops) and it catches on with other crossers would it be possible to set up dismount barriers along the shoulder of the fire road or in another wide area (off to the side as an option and not blocking access). I'm just thinking ahead and probably wouldn't want to do it until the race season is much closer. I really like the possibilities I'm seeing. I got killed this year because I'm a horrible climber and really had nowhere to train (didn't help that I only got back into cycling seriously a few months before and didn't take cross seriously until I got a taste of it). Next fall I want to be ready.

Offline FACTORe

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Re: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 07:06:38 AM »
I have seen skinny tires at boyette on the 2 track and meadows...I always wondered how the hell they got through the sand at the beggining of the trail to get out there.

I love both mtbing and roadie riding and I am very curious about cross racing...I keep threatening to do it - that just means another bike though.....ugh

Offline catman

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Re: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2009, 07:39:39 AM »
I have not seen skinny tires at any of the local trails but I did finally see one of those SUPER fat tired Surly's the other weekend at Santos. Not sure what motivates one to say " Ok, yeah, um I'm gonna take that bike home with me today", but to each it's own.
 
Perfect bike for rednecks who are closet mountain bikers? I imagine it will work well at mud hole? Leave the spandex at home though.
 
 
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Offline Garry

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Re: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2009, 08:09:18 AM »
There are - were - a few people riding their cross bikes at Boyette and getting good practice in.  Unfortunately right now with the drought the sand is a big issue getting out there.  The Quads, I was told, is even fun on a cross bike when it's packed.  There again, no rain, so smaller tires kind of suck right now.  Hopefully that will change before too long!  Once you get past the sandy area at the front and hit the meadows it's a good place to ride a cycle-cross bike.  (There are plans for an additional climb in West Meadow too.) 

As far as putting in jump-overs, probably won't happen. BALM-BOYETTE SCRUB NATURE PRESERVE goes by a different set of rules and we're quite lucky to have what we do have under those rules.

Offline slowfatguy

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Re: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 08:18:28 AM »
there was a guy on a cross bike out there on the 19th, saw him on South Abyss. I think it was more a goof off ride than anything serious, as there was a big group of them goofing around.
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Re: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 08:55:44 AM »
I am a huge fan of cyclocrossing, but not in the traditional sense.  I like singletracking my cyclocross.  Hello buddy you dont need to set up barriers, they are called log crossings, completely natural and you can find them on any trail.

I have pretty much ridden almost every trail in the state on my cross bike and as long as you got the power and gearing you can ride them all, if its sandy, another opportunity for you to practice another cross skill, pick it up and run.

I dont own a road bike, I only own a cross bike, why have a bike that is only good on one terrain, thats my philosophy!

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Offline Marcel Aguirre

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Re: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 09:34:58 AM »
Clinton,
DO IT... Boyette would be a great place for CX over WTA.  There are LESS roots and LESS sand.  Much more elevation.  You may a loose a bit of traction you will need on climbs but no biggie.

I saw Bob ride 1.9 tires on his MTB and even test road it on the Canyon trail.  Plenty of grip at 1.9.  I might even get me a pair of those for my MTB bike.

Offline treadlight

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Re: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 10:16:28 AM »
I witnessed an older gentleman riding on his cx bike and he said he rides everything except Abyss (this is before the new trails additions).
 
He also said "stay in the middle of the trail".

Offline ClintonRH

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Re: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 10:38:36 PM »
Ok, proper barriers are out. Barring that maybe a few conveniently sized log sections could be relocated. I know I've seen a few chainsawed trunks of about the right size scattered about. Might even be explainable as optional obstacles. I know some people can bunny hop those things. I can do one but my rear wheel usually hits pretty hard and definitely not several in a chain, yet. Again, just thinking. I don't want to irritate anyone or cause problems.

I've  never found the sand to be too bad to deal with on the cross bike. So long as the section is not terribly long and is mostly straight I can usually power through it better on the cross bike than with my mountain bike so long as I force myself to stay in the saddle and keep the rear wheel weighted. Only time I've ever gotten stuck in the sand on the cross is when I picked a bad line of attack cutting across the sand under the big transmission lines. The wheel sinks in and spins a bit but I think it's skinny enough that it finds the firmer stuff underneath the loose stuff. Front usually tracks pretty straight almost like a guiding rudder while the rear gets squirmy at times. I wouldn't want to do it in a pack of riders but it makes for some interesting bike handling practice. So long as I pick my line to avoid the really loose and freshly turned up sand I can usually make it across most of the sand pits in the morris bridge section of Wilderness. The trail left in the sand would look like I had to have been intoxicated as the rear slides side to side but it works. It's probably actually faster to dismount and run but not as much fun. Seems to have a similiar effect in slippery mud where the skinny tire cuts in to the bottom while a fatter tire seems to float on the surface and slide every which way.

The 2.2s on my mtb work in that same sand until I've shed all the momentum I had going in then the rear wheel just seem to free spin and dig a ditch. I can usually keep it going if I gear way down and just crawl through it but then the front usually wants to slide every which way if I weight it towards the back to pick up traction on the rear. Weight it forwards and the front tracks but the rear spins out. Becomes a balancing act. Haven't mastered gracefully crossing sand pits yet but I've gotten them down to where I rarely have to clip out.

Best way to cross sand IMO is to avoid it entirely if there's a reasonable (and responsible) line that can get around or minimize it.

Offline Jason & Nancy Daniels

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Re: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 08:19:27 AM »
I was in the group with the 'cross rider. He had been talking about riding his bike out there for a while. He had so much fun that he has been talking about riding it at Alafia!

We rode SST, Lower and Upper Loch Ness, Randy's Trail, Gator Pit, Golf Cart, Canyon, North and South Abyss, Pandemonium (Far Right Option), Sidewinder, Swamp Thing, Ridgeline, Garry's Loop, Woods, East Meadow, Spur, Spider Berm, West Meadow, and Baby Nessie. One of the guys in our group dubbed the cx bike, the "Meadows Slayer" because we got dropped out there  :P .

Anyway, the only two issues he mentioned were:

1. Inability to shift on the rough stuff because his shifters are on the down tube. He basically just figured out the right gear and pretended he was riding a single speed.

2. His forearms were sore by the end of the ride - rigid fork and riding the hoods.

Otherwise, he had no problem in the sand - I would imagine this would be excellent practice as 'cross course designers usually like to throw whatever they can at you (especially mud).
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Offline ClintonRH

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Re: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2009, 07:48:54 PM »
I love my cross bike but most of those trails would put some fear in me. At the very least I'd want a stronger wheelset before attempting any of the diamonds on that bike. I have Mavic Aksiums. Excellent wheels but the front is only 20 spokes and it makes some nasty creaks and groans when I catch air hopping curbs and speed bumps. I have total confidence in it for beginner/intermediate stuff but there would be visions dancing through my head of it grenading spectacularly on some of those trails.

When going seriously off-road I tip my bars forward so that my hoods are angled forward and flip the stem. This makes the drops super comfortable to ride in and raises the bars so I'm not laid out as much. Setup like this I feel more in control because the brake levers are super squeezable in this position without compromising control and because I'm in the drops I can let the bars float a little in my hands rather than having the death grip on the hoods. Since I have 105 brifters I usually feel no reason to leave the drops for anything other than a dismount. For hard climbing I can still grab the hoods for leverage if I want but I wouldn't use them as a primary riding position as the ability to brake hard is compromised by the forward angle. I really love this position on that bike. I feel perfectly centered on the bike and it handles so quick and sharp with the nearly straight fork. I wont win any awards any time soon but I love that bike because it inspires confidence. It just feels good. I actually really like that bike with the bars setup in a more road racing oriented position too because the higher bottom bracket lets me pedal through some sweeping corners that other people have to coast through. Most of the time I compromise, stem flipped up but put the spacer on top and the hoods tipped up; a road style position but with the bars higher than a true racing posture.

I tried for a while to get a similiar riding position on my MTB with some on-one midge bars. Never could get it right. The wheelbase is so much shorter and the angles just aren't compatible. Feels amazing on flats and climbing but that riding position just pushes your CG too far forward and downhill and hard braking became treacherous. With that setup I could just plow through the main trail at Wilderness with reckless abandon but I found it's tragic weaknesses on more varied trails. With a better fork it probably might have worked but my cheap fork is too bouncy to control with the preload high, dives too much to be out over the wheel like that if the preload is low, while settings in the middle are more of a combination of both problems than a good compromise. I'll probably use those bars on another bike because they were really comfortable but I think I'll stick to flat bars or risers on my shock toting bikes. Glad I tried it though. Was a fun project. Maybe I'll try dirt drops again if I ever get a 29er. I think the geo might work better.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 07:59:56 PM by ClintonRH »

Offline RKL

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Re: Anyone ever see skinny tires out there?
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2009, 05:30:34 PM »
I just got a cross bike this week and am looking forward to trying it out on 2-track I ride down here in Sarasota County.  Look forward to the reports about how Boyette might ride, as the Meadows would be great hill practice & I could see riding a number of other trails too.
 
On a separate note - there was a thread a while back about shipping costs to fly bikes.  I brought my cross bike from Iowa to St. Pete on Allegiant Air for just $50.  It was packed in a box from the shop.  I checked it at the gate - no problems.
 

 

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